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“Actually Unbelievable!”

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InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Los Angeles, California
1 review
“Actually Unbelievable!”
Reviewed April 20, 2014

As you must be doing right now, I had done this researching before going to the Intercontinental Thalasso Spa. My family of 4 stayed in room 112, end of the pontoon, which we had reserved in March 2013 (we went over this past new years 2013-2014 for 10 days).

Upon arrival to Bora Bora, the resorts yacht picks you up and takes you on your first of many boat ride across the island. It is spectacular to see Mount Otemanu as you rotate around it to see all of its different angles.

The staff was incredibly polite, especially Dmitrievich, that's probably not how to spell his name but he is at the bubbles restaurant and is the funniest, most interesting hotel staff member I've ever met. His laugh is contagious and he was one of the highlights of our trip.

The water was unlike any color you've ever seen, and depending on the amount of sunlight reflecting upon it, the water will shine every hue of blue and green you can ever imagine.

The ONLY complaint would be the food. Breakfast was great with an awesome buffet, lunch was tolerable, but dinner was terrible almost every night. Their fish, which should be amazing since it's in the middle of the ocean was like rubber and had no flavor. Other guests agreed with us that the food was pretty bad. My suggestion is every morning at the breakfast buffet, stock up on bread and butter and cheese, and for dinner go into town as often as possible.

The funny thing is that even though the food was very bad, the stunning beauty of Bora Bora and the beautiful resort and all of the activities completely make up for it so it still deserves 5 stars. After our trip, the food wasn't really a factor when we looked back on it, so if you can get past the food, you will have a fantastic trip of a lifetime.

Room Tip: In my opinion the rooms farther out are awesome, we got end of the pontoon, because you can fully ju...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank speacock1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guillaume E, General Manager at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, responded to this review, April 22, 2014
Dear Guest, Ia Orana from Bora Bora,

We would like to extend our most sincere Mauruuru for sharing this nice feedback about our Resort and our dear associates.

It is a pleasure to read you liked your stay with us and especially the lagoon. I agree, the lagoon color is really beautiful and the combination of the blue lagoon with the mountain is gorgeous.

The food served in our restaurants is usually highly appreciated by our American guests and majority of our international customers. That is why, I am disappointed to read that you were unhappy with your dinner experiences. Please, be sure that your comments are taken very seriously by our Executive Chef and are receiving my personal care.

We really hope we will have the pleasure to welcome you and your family again to beautiful Bora Bora.

Sunny Regards,

Guillaume EPINETTE
General Manager
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
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Garfield, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2014

Our honeymoon started with the help of Lisa Jones from Santa Barbara Travel Agency in California. We live in NJ and the travel agents here gave up sky high quotes and it seemed my dream honeymoon would not be!

Browsing here on Trip Advisor I found many happy customers from all over the country and decided to shoot her an email!

She came back with amazing packages with amazing prices! She recommended the Thalasso and promised us it would be amazing!

The over water bungalow was gorgeous with new furnishings, amazing bathroom with soaker tub with a lagoon view!

The service and meals were memorable!

Hopefully one day we can come back for an anniversary trip!

Room Tip: Talk to Lisa!!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank DaynaMarie9160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guillaume E, General Manager at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, responded to this review, April 22, 2014
Dear Marie, Ia Orana from the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Mauruuru roa for sharing your thoughts with the TripAdvisor community.

We are happy you liked your bungalow with private access to the lagoon. Our bungalows are all designed for the wellness of our guests so it is a pleasure to read you liked it this much.

We hope we will have the chance to welcome you for your anniversary trip.

Warm Regards,

Guillaume Epinette
General Manager
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
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Camarillo, California
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2014

Where to start...let's just say I'm completely depressed to be home. This place is absolutely incredible. My family (husband and two kids, ages 9 and 11) just returned from a 6 night stay at the Thalasso over our Spring Break and we were blown away by everything! To start, arrival and check-in was seamless and relaxing. We were greeted at the dock by a hotel manager, driven around the property for a tour and then taken to a table overlooking the ocean, where we were given cold towels and tea (tropical juice for the kids) to complete our check-in. During check-in, we were told we were upgraded to a Diamond over-the-water villa. We knew at this point, this trip was going to be over the top...and it was!

We felt throughout the trip that we were treated like royalty. Everyone at the resort is so friendly. You can't pass someone without them smiling and saying "Ia orana" - which means hello/welcome. We also arrived at our villa to a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit and a plate of assorted bags of candy (for the kids). What a special touch! And to top that, every day we were greeted by a new gift - ICH towels, t-shirts, and a pareo one day, cookies with our kids' names on them another day, assorted pastries, strawberry shortcake, etc. on different days. It was like Christmas every day! When someone knocked on our door, our kids rushed to get it as they couldn't wait to see the gift they were going to get. I believe thanks needs to be given to our exceptional travel agent, Judy at Camarillo Travel, her rep Camille at Tahiti Legends and her rep Raphael at ICH Thalasso. What an amazing trio - highly recommend all for booking a trip to Bora Bora at the IHC Thalasso.

There are so many things to do at this resort and in Bora Bora (including nothing if that's what you want to do). My family is very active though and we thoroughly enjoyed all of the free water sports - such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. We never had to wait for any of the equipment - there was plenty for everyone. The snorkeling at the lagoon by the chapel was the best place to snorkel. This was also our favorite spot to lay out - no people anywhere here. It's like you have the beach to yourself. One day as I'm quietly reading a book, I see a canoe coming in with a Japanese couple headed toward the chapel to get married...this was right out of a movie! I felt so privileged to watch quietly from the shore.

Later that night as we were walking around the hotel grounds, a staff member driving a golf cart asked if we'd like a ride to our room. We stated that we wanted to explore the grounds and see the ocean. Well, he told us to get in and he gave us an amazing tour. He even took us inside the chapel and had us walk across the glass bottom floor. He didn't have to do this - he went out of his way to show us around...exceptional service!

There are so many things to list that we loved at this resort - the pool table in the lobby area (kept our kids busy and allowed us some alone time after meals or on the beach), happy hour (the drinks are fabulous - I highly recommend the "Smooth Criminal"), the duo that played music on the beach - I think they were called "unplugged music" (they knew so many excellent songs, couples were dancing on the beach and I saw people from all over the globe singing along to the songs) - music does really bring everyone together. I will never forget sipping my drink on the beach, looking at the lagoon as the sun was setting over Mt. Otemanu, listening to this magical music. This was a moment for me.

More great things about this resort - the food was excellent (very french and very good). We ate at both the Reef and Sands. The Reef is a bit more high-end and expensive, but tasty. Our kids ate free at both restaurants and each one had a separate kids' menu with tons of options. As a family, we especially loved the Margarita pizza at Sands. You can order it at the bar and eat it out by the pool, on the beach or have it delivered to your over-water villa (which we did). My husband and I swam in from our villa to the shore, hopped in the pool, enjoyed cocktails served to us in the pool, ordered room service at the bar, swam back to our villa and arrived just in time for the pizza on deck...this is living!

Another example of the special touches offered at the ICH Thalasso - sorbet served by the pool, complimentary of course. One day, my daughter and I were snorkeling over by the chapel - a bit far from the pool - and she was commenting that she wanted some of their delicious sorbet. Well, before we could dry off and head over to get some, a pool boy magically appeared with a tray of raspberry and mango sorbet. He walked all the way over to serve us...amazing!

We also enjoyed the sting ray feeding at 2pm everyday. This was a highlight for us. They are such beautiful creatures that allow you to get close and even touch them...what a gift! Feeding them is something I will never forget.

Tips: bring some alcohol and snacks to enjoy during your stay (and to keep costs down a bit). My husband and I enjoyed having a few cocktails on our deck before heading to dinner. Bring blow up rafts to use in the lagoon, do "Happy Hour" at least once and don't miss "unplugged music", attend at least one Polynesian show at the hotel - they offer two (one on Monday and one on Thursday), take advantage of all of the free water sports, put sunscreen on every two hours - if you don't, you will get burned, ask for a ride back to your room when you are tired - they are glad to give you a lift on a golf cart, eat a lot at the breakfast buffet - the omelettes are fantastic, do the sting ray feeding EVERY day, and enjoy your brief time in paradise, as unfortunately it will come to an end.

We also did the jet ski circle island tour (fun but too fast, I would have liked exploring more, but we just seemed to power around the island as fast as we could), a private snorkeling trip where we snorkeled with sharks, sting rays and various fish - awesome swimming with the sharks and my kids loved it, and the jeep safari tour - we did this during a day of rain and man was it adventurous - a little scary, but really fun.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank thymetotravel999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guillaume E, General Manager at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, responded to this review, April 17, 2014
Dear Guest, Greetings from Bora Bora,

You cannot imagine how grateful we are to you for your wonderfully positive feedback.

As you discovered, we are blessed to have a warm and caring staff, people who obviously love coming to work every day. I have personally shared your review with all the staff.

It is a pleasure to read you enjoyed all our activities with your family. It is true that families love to share moments together by kayaking or paddling onto the lagoon.

There are so many wonderful good things in your review that I cannot mention everything. But it has been our joy and privilege to serve you and your family and hope to welcome you back soon!

Warm Regards

Guillaume EPINETTE
General Manager
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
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Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2014

I don't know where to begin, this hotel is amazing! We stayed here for 5 nights on our 17 night, 4 island trip to French Polynesia. We had booked an Sapphire overwater bungalow with Custom Tahiti (who organized our whole trip very well). Unfortunately when we arrived at the room we noticed scaffolding on the bungalow next door and a strong smell of varnish. We called the front desk to complain. I'm not generally a complainer but this was the pinnacle of our holiday and my dream to be in Bora Bora. The hotel responded quickly to resolve our issue and upgraded us and moved us to a diamond Otemanu over water bungalow.

The rooms are incredible - huge, comfortable and have everything you would need. I've stayed in some very nice hotels around the world, but this is one of the nicest I've ever experienced. To be able to hop off your deck and swim in the lagoon is like having your own massive giant swimming pool. The water is warm and clear. We are thankful that the travel agent had the foresight to book us a rate which included both breakfast and dinner. While all of French Polynesia is expensive, this resort is no exception.

The food at the resort was excellent. We ate at both the Sands and the Reef restaurants (not at the new Corail that just opened). We preferred the Sands as it was a little more laid back and the menu was a bit broader. But the Reef was also excellent. One night we sat at a table right on the beach at the sands. The Mahi Mahi sandwich was particularly good.

If there is a downside to the hotel, it was that it is quite inaccessible to Viatape or any shops (like a supermarket). There is a boat shuttle you can take in that is free during the day, but then you have to take a bus. So you are at the mercy of the hotel for drinks etc. We rented a car one day - they pick you up at La Moana where the boat shuttle drops you off. We made a stop at the SuperU to pick up some juice and snacks for our room while we had the car. Someone on tripadvisor suggested bringing some of your own liquor and we did that and could make a drink in our room.

But the inaccessibility is a small price to pay for such a beautiful setting. The hotel grounds are fabulous as are all of the amenities. I can't say enough about how beautiful the views and settings are - see the pictures I've attached.

This was a pure 5 star experience in Bora Bora that made our trip unforgettable.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gillian_M112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guillaume E, General Manager at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, responded to this review, April 17, 2014
Dear Gillian, Ia Orana,

Thank you very much for posting such a nice review! We are happy to read that your stay with us has met your expectations.

I am thrilled to read all the good things you say about the resort : the rooms, the restaurants, the location. The pictures you have attached are beautiful.

We look forward to welcome you back so you can admire the beauty of Bora Bora once again…

Warm Regards

Guillaume EPINETTE
General Manager
InterContinental Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa
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Louisville, Kentucky
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2014

There are so many wonderful things to discuss! Our expectations were more than met here. We departed on Monday, and miss it so much! It all started at the airport, where we were greeted with representatives and given flower leis. We were shown where to go and what to do. Once we arrived at the Thalasso, we were greeted by several employees and a man blowing into a conch to announce our arrival! We were taken via golf cart around the resort and informed of the facilities and where everything is located. We were then seated and given ice cold drinks and cold towels during check in, and they took our picture in front of the mountain. We got an early check-in and a late check-out because we had signed up for the Ambassadors prior to arrival. We were also given a complimentary room upgrade from an Emerald to Sapphire room, complimentary fruit bowls for a couple of days and complimentary bottles of water daily. We were offered a day room so we could shower and clean up as we waited for our room to be ready, but it wasn't necessary.

We were whisked away when our room was ready, and taken to our room. We almost died when we walked into our room...it was so beautiful! The views we had were to die for. We loved the glass bottom coffee table, which we opened to feed the fish! (they only came at night, not sure why. Other than that, we didn't see much marine life through that table). I loved the rain shower, and I also loved the little shower on the deck outside so you could rinse the sand and saltwater off yourself before going inside after a swim and snorkel session. The first thing we did was jumped into the turquoise water from the deck of our bungalow and snorkeled (we brought our own snorkel gear, which I highly recommend!). During the week near our bungalow, we saw a black tip shark (on the first day, swimming right past our bungalow!), a spotted eagle ray and several sting rays, clams, sea cucumbers and a barracuda whom lingered around all week (yikes! However I had swam with it once and with another one during an excursion, and was never attacked haha).

Around the bungalows and the lagoon, we saw two squids swimming together, two octopus, several crabs, a lobster, a baby black tip shark in the lagoon near the chapel at night once, many stingrays, and a multitude of fish. We snorkeled in several areas, but the lagoon by the chapel was by far the best spot. Just watch out for those sea urchins! We enjoyed the free water sports they had to offer, such as kayaking and the stand up paddle boards. They were so much fun! They also did a stingray feeding every day at 2pm. This is a MUST DO!!!! Such an amazing experience! We noticed that the rays swim in everyday around noon, waiting to be fed...and after their feeding they leave haha! They are very friendly, and will jump on you like dogs and seem to love the attention. We weren't sure if the stingers had been removed or what, since they were wild but they didn't seem to be a threat regardless. It did appear that they still had them, but they were very friendly. The pool boys were wonderful, so helpful, friendly and entertaining! We never used the pool, so I can't comment on that but the beach was perfect with several lounges and hammocks to be lazy on ;). We enjoyed laying by the beach and having lunch and drinks served to us while we soaked up the sun.

Onto our couple's massage in their deep ocean spa. FANTASTIC. I can't even begin to explain how lovely it was! There were glass floors so we were able to watch the marine life while we were massaged! It was out of this world and well worth the money. Everyone in the spa were very friendly and helpful, and we were allowed to enjoy their facilities that entire day. It was lovely and so relaxing there! Perfect for after those long flights and layovers!

The food: We got a half board meal plan. This is also a must as prices are very high in Bora Bora, understandably. We bought a few snacks from the main island and some cokes to mix with the bourbon that we brought from home to keep in our room. Lunches were reasonably priced. We had lunch on the main island at a place near the Le Moana and it was fantastic. We enjoyed breakfasts every morning at the Reef restaurant and service was great. We enjoyed our typical american breakfasts mixed in with polynesian dishes every a.m. We had dinner at the Reef two nights, and the first night was terrible service but good food. We understood that they were busy, but not why other tables who were seated long after us were tended to more diligently and thus were finished and gone long before us. The only difference we noticed, was that they had all ordered alcohol and we didn't that night. However, the second time we dined there for dinner was on Friday for the polynesian show. We were seated right in front of the action, which was great as was service. However, it was a buffet dinner but the servers were more attentive this time. We dined twice at the Sands, and it was perfect. The second time, we were seated outside right by the beach in front of a fire pit and it was truly perfect.

Our last evening, we dined at the new Corail restaurant. It was superb! We were seated right by the window overlooking the lagoon and chapel. So gorgeous! At first, we were catered to by several servers. However, service started dwindling down as the night went on. We got up to pour our own wine, which wasn't actually a big deal to us, but they all came running the second they saw us and apologized. We had noticed that there were two very large parties dining as well, and it was also only their 3rd night open so we had no issues with the servers and could see that they were very busy. So we were not upset at all. The view was gorgeous, food delicious, wine delicious, we enjoyed each other's company and were fine. In the end, after we did ask to cancel our desert and get the bill since we waited so long, they comped some of our bill. This wasn't necessary as we understood and couldn't blame them, however it showed us their hospitality and spoke volumes to us. Tip: It is necessary to call ahead to make reservations at all of the restaurants for dinner.

Concierge and Reception were always extremely helpful and friendly! We told them we wanted to swim with dolphins and sea turtles, and they informed us that there were no dolphins in Bora Bora. They actually called the Le Meridien Resort for us to find out if non-guests can do the turtle activities! They said yes, so we booked a morning over there and it was an amazing experience! A transfer boat was arranged to and from for us, and it happened to be right next door haha! We also did the Aqua Helmet Safari (amazing and those guys were great!), the Jeep 4x4 safari (awesome and very informative! We got some amazing views from the tops of the mountains!), and our favorite: the shark and ray snorkel safari! We snorkeled in a coral reef, swam with a whole bunch of stingrays, then went further into the ocean to swim with sharks! The sharks were definitely a memorable experience, a little intimidating but so amazing. They were black tip and lemon sharks, and didn't seem to care about us lol. My husband went to the diving center and had a wonderful time during his dive. He said the instructor was great and very helpful. One day when we were walking from our bungalow to dinner, a male employee driving by on a golf cart stopped to offer us a ride since he was going back to reception. We were very thankful! It was small details like this which made our stay so memorable.

Checkout: The day beforehand, they brought us a check-out day letter with instructions and the time of our shuttle boat transfer to the bora bora airport, as well as a detailed list of our charges for the week. The late checkout was awesome, because it afforded us one more day to spend in paradise! However, there were charges for things that we did not use from the mini-bar. Once we informed them of their mistake, they quickly righted their wrong. Also, we had noticed several other guests with Thalasso bags, using them as beach bags, shopping bags, etc. We asked reception where to buy them and were told that as Ambassadors, we should have received one on our first day. Since we hadn't, they said they were going to send one to our room. We later received a call from them stating that they had already brought us one with our honeymoon gifts, which they hadn't. Once we informed them, they actually deducted the amount from our bill to our surprise! Again, not necessary, however all of these little details add up. These are the reasons why we want to come back.

We were very very sad to leave, and what we thought would be a once in a lifetime trip will hopefully happen again someday! We were able to see all of the other resorts during our stay, and we thought the Thalasso looked best by far! More calm, quiet and a more beautiful color lagoon. Between that and how wonderful the service was, we were certain that we made the right choice-and other guests we spoke to said the same thing. It did rain everyday, but only for a short time and was sunny again afterwards. It is worth it to get the Ambassador membership, for all the perks and especially the room upgrade. However, it seemed that there were no bad rooms there! All the same, just deeper water and a better view of the mountain the further out you go. We had Sapphire room 118, and it was perfect. The water was above our heads, which we loved and had a great view. My husband bought me a tahitian pearl necklace from the Tahia boutique at the resort, and it's gorgeous. The lady working there was extremely helpful and friendly when I went back in looking for matching earrings. I really can't say enough about this resort, although I've already written a novel here! Believe it or not, there's so much more! This place was well worth the splurge, after all how many people get to go to paradise? So why not make it worth your while.

Room Tip: Get the Ambassador membership for a free room upgrade. Emerald rooms face the beach, so shallow wat...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Dawnita A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guillaume E, General Manager at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
Dear Guest,

Warmest Greetings from Bora Bora.

There is no better thanks for us than reading such comments. Thank you very much for your trust, we are proud to have exceeded your expectations.

I am sure all the details you have written in your review will help the TripAdvisor readers to make the right choice.

It is a pleasure to read that you loved your arrival experience, your Sapphire bungalow, the Spa, the Concierge activities… I personally shared your review with all my team at our morning meeting and they loved it.

For the breakfast, our chef is very attentive to the quality of the buffet and always provides the buffet with local products in order to make the experience even more genuine. Your comment rewards its daily work!

I am sorry you had to wait too long during your first dinner at Le Reef. Trust me, we give to our guests the same high level of services, no matter if they drink alcohol or not.
It is a pleasure to read that overall, you had great experiences in our restaurants especially in our new gastronomic restaurant “Le Corail”. We think the setting is gorgeous as well as the food and the wine selected by Antoine our sommelier.

Thank you again for your review. We hope we will have the pleasure to take care of you again in the future.

Sunny Regards

Guillaume EPINETTE
General Manager
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
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California
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2014

This hotel is the perfect combination of gorgeous setting with amazingly accommodating staff.
We are currently staying in the hotel as I type, we have another week ahead of us, there are things like the SPA that I can't review as I still haven't had the opportunity to try, but everything so far is SUPERB. Paradise on earth.
To begin with we got upgraded to a Diamond view villa which is divine, and the hotel provided us with Champagne to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, MERCI!! :)
The villas are really spacious, we are traveling with our 2 children and each one has their own bed. They have a very smart layout where one bed hides underneath a sofa bed.
You even get a really big walking closet which is great when you have a villa for 4 people. So lots of space for everyone.
We are totally pampered every afternoon to these delicious treats, cookies or fruits or cake, just incredible. The staff know everyone by name and they really pamper you from dust to dawn.
The food is really good, and we have very high standards. This is our fifth time in Bora Bora, and in terms of hotels this is one of my favorites.
Yesterday I jumped into the water from our villa to find myself swimming with a sting ray, wow!

The pool boy is really good at keeping the kids happy, he makes them crows and baskets. Every day they have fun organized activities. Other hotels nickel and dime you about everything, at the Thalasso everything is included, which is really refreshing.

The only thing that seems a bit unreasonable is the SPA prices, but we will give it a try and come back to review.

Tips: Bring mosquito spray, at sunset little mosquitos are very active.
Cons: The only area I would improve is the little store. In the USA convenience store have a small section with first aid kids and toys. This one had no toys whatsoever not even a bucket and when I asked the lady if she had any, all she could say was NO. No toys, no bucket, no... She perhaps wasn't as friendly as the rest of the staff but that's fine. I guess we won't go shopping.

Room Tip: Ambassador members get an upgrade if rooms available. Totally worth the annual fee.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rosee_bv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guillaume E, General Manager at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, responded to this review, April 11, 2014
Dear Guest, Greetings from Bora Bora,

Thank you very much for sharing your comments with the TripAdvisor community. It was a real pleasure to welcome you and your family in our resort.

We will not miss the occasion to congratulate all the staff on your behalf with a special thanks to the pool boys who entertained your adorable kids. It is so nice to read they had a lot of fun.
I hope the kids liked the toys we offered you. Heimana, the Front Office Manager, made a special trip to the main island just to make your kids even happier than they were before.

Thank you again and we hope to welcome your beautiful family back to Bora Bora.

Warm regards

Guillaume Epinette
General Manager
InterContinantal Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
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Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2014

This hotel is paradise on earth. We stayed for 6 days on our honeymoon and can’t wait to go back. This hotel has literally thought of all the details.

Your Thalasso experience begins in the airport, where they will be waiting for you as you get off your flight and will whisk you and your luggage into the boat. The boat will take you to the dock, and from there to check-in. They’ll have a drink waiting for you as you fill out paperwork. On the way to the room, they’ll show you all the key features of the resort. Best check-in experience ever.

Onto the room: We are Ambassador Members and were upgraded to a sapphire OWB. The resort is large but there are only 80 bungalows laid out in two adjacent “Y” shapes. As others have mentioned, all the bungalows are the same size but the price varies on the view. The bungalows are large – over 1000sq ft – with a separate living and bedroom area. Each has a multi-tiered deck, and on the bottom deck there is a shower to hose off. Other highlights: pillow menu, giant soaking tub with a view, huge walk in closet, rain shower, glass bottom coffee table with a light below to watch for fishes, etc. They are decorated in a modern taste. We saw other resorts while on our activities, and the OWB at the Thalasso are better planned and laid out than all the other properties.

Housekeeping comes twice daily, excellent. We did have to remind them to leave us more tea a few times, no big deal.

Onto the resort: The resort is beautiful. We enjoyed the Beach Lounge, pool area. We made use of the free snorkels (go by the Chapel for the best snorkeling) and kayaks. Pool boys were fantastic. We did not use the spa (too $). The beach lounge has multiple seating options, with wonderful views of Mt Otemanu. The pool is smaller than I expected, but the ocean is right there and way more fun to swim in. Don’t miss the sting ray feeding at 2pm daily.

One thing I really appreciated about the whole resort was their commitment to being green. Read about the deep sea air-conditioning system, very innovative. There are also other smart choices – like having separate AC controls for the living room and bedroom area so you can keep the bedroom cooler but not waste energy cooling the living room area down.

Onto the restaurants and food: We enjoyed “Bubbles Bar” and the Sands and Reefs restaurant. Happy hour is a great deal, and delicious drinks. Bubbles bar is trendy, all in white, with high ceilings and a classic bar. Sands was great for lunch and dinner. We had breakfast buffet included at Reefs. Breakfast was wonderful but we had a poor experience for dinner. There was a large dead bug in my salad, wrong drink order twice, a starter I didn't order, and my mahi mahi was over-cooked. They were apologetic but 5 issues in a meal is alarming. My husband felt the atmosphere too stuffy. They are opening a third restaurant, Le Corail, in April.

I definitely recommend getting atleast a half board meal plan at this resort, you really don’t have any other options for breakfast.

Another word of caution on the dining: We traveled in March, low season. With a combination of low season and poor weather, often only the Reefs restaurant was opened with a limited menu and the staff seemed quite rude when asked about other dining options. The shuttle was closed because of the weather so were forced to eat the resort. We ordered room service instead (which was lovely).

Onto the activities: The hotel has a concierge that books activities. We enjoyed exploring Bora Bora by water (Pur Snorkeling and charted a boat) and by land (Safari tour). We booked Pur Snorkeling directly through Pur Snorkeling and saved 4000xpf. Concierge was really mixed. For example: We asked about the differences between two snorkeling excursions. The concierge was a bit snotty and pointed out that the length was different and one included meals. This was exactly what was on the printed guide, and I can read just fine. We asked another concierge and learned that the size of the tour differs, the boat varied from a luxury speed boat to ordinary pontoon; one emphasized more traditional Polynesian experience (played a ukulele) while the other offered a more natural experience. When you are paying $100 USD plus per person these types of differences matter. My advice is if you get a snotty concierge, just ask for a different one.

We also traveled in low season so did not need to book in advance.

Onto the service: For the most part, the staff was very friendly – addressing us hello whenever we passed. Very kind.

A few lowlights:
As mentioned, we travel during the low season and experienced poor weather. Due to poor weather, all activities and the shuttle to Le Moana cancelled due to safety reasons. Swimming was also prohibited. This is not the hotel’s fault. This lasted for several days, so we asked for recommendations on what to do. The only response we got was the spa. They were rude about it too, and kept saying it we shouldn’t have come in the low season.

If you’re going to tell a guest that when you’re paying $$$$ to stay there, then just close the resort with that type of attitude. My husband described it as being help captive on the motu. Mind you, there are no other places to eat, no grocery stores, no food in the sundry shop, and all activities closed. My advice to the resort: Work on the staff’s attitude and rainy day offerings. We would have loved to learn more about Polynesian culture and history for example– maybe a cultural demonstration of sorts for rainy days?

The checkout experience was poor. We were charged for things we didn’t use in our room. For example, a nespresso costs 350xpf. We didn’t use any but were charged for some. Next time I will bring nespresso pods with me from home. Felt a bit nickel and dimed.

We also put our Ambassador waters in the fridge and were charged for water. The check-out lady was quite rude with me that we used the fridge to chill our free water. Excuse me, but if they are going to be fussy about use of the fridge, let guests know that in advance at check-in. I would have just asked for my fridge to be emptied. The hotel can improve on their overall value proposition and service.

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely, but a Sapphire room or higher does offer a view of the lagoon. Emerald roo...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DavoMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guillaume E, General Manager at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, responded to this review, April 11, 2014
Dear Guest, Ia Orana,

Mauruuru roa for your detailed comment.

Very pleased to read that overall you enjoyed your stay with us.

I would like to thank you for mentioning our green policy. We think that it is really important to have one when you are located in Bora Bora. It is such a beautiful island, we must preserve it. We were the first worldwide to implement the Sea-Water-Air Conditioning system (SWAC) and it is a success!

Our Executive Assistant Manager has reached out to you directly to discuss all the points you have described in your review. Again, our guest safety is a paramount importance and we regret we had to cancel the shuttle boat, as well as forbidding people to swim into the lagoon.
However, I would like to apologize regarding the way staff members dealt with providing alternative options at the resort for entertainment purposes. We usually provide some extended palm leaves weaving, pareo demonstration... The staff attitude has been discussed with all department heads to make sure that staff awareness is made to avoid repetition.

We strive for excellence and we hope to welcome you back soon. Thank you again.

Warm Regards

Guillaume EPINETTE
General Manager
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Property: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Address: | Motu Piti Aau, 98730, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Bora Bora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 Spa Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is located between the two hearts of Motu Piti Aau, a coral island on the barrier reef. The Deep Ocean Spa is the centerpiece, but the resort offers lots of cultural and recreational activities to fill your days including canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, stargazing and handicraft demonstrations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora Hotel Bora Bora
Intercontinental Thalasso Hotel Bora
Intercontinental Thalasso Resort Bora
Intercontinental Bora Bora

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