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“You will have a different experience here”

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InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
DC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“You will have a different experience here”
Reviewed April 5, 2009

When my wife and I arrived here for our honeymoon, we were given a tour by the manager while our luggage was brought to our over-water bungalow. The gentleman asked us if this was our first trip to French Polynesia, and we said yes but we had spent a few days at the InterContinental in Moorea before arriving on Bora Bora. He gave us one of the those 'i know something you don't know' smirks and said "You will have a different experience here." He was right.

This place is near perfect. The bungalows were larger than most one bedroom apartments, and serviced twice daily. The lagoon is breathtaking, pictures just don't capture it. The colors of the water in the lagoon will have you transfixed for hours. The infinity pool, whose tiles match the shades of the lagoon water, leads your eyes across to a spectacular view of Mount Otemanu. The property is beautifully maintained, with flowers and well designed paths and bridges everywhere. All of our pillows and towels were adorned with fresh cut flowers after each service.

We ended up in a Sapphire class bungalow, which means we had only a partial view of the main island, when staring out of the 8' tall glass window that sat in front of the king sized bed. There were separate his and her's sinks, a large shower, multiple flat screen TVs (who is gonna watch TV in place like this?) and a tub big enough for two. There is also a glass topped coffee table which slides open so you can feed the fish that gather underneath your bungalow at night.

The Deep Ocean Spa is fantastic and well worth the price. When we arrived the manager gave us a 30% discount coupon for the spa which expired in two days, so we figured we would jump on the opportunity and were very glad we did. The "couples massage" was a bit more... thorough... then what I have experienced in the past, but not at all uncomfortable (With the exception of both my wife and I having to wear disposable thongs and nothing else). The spa offered a range of services using water they claim comes from 3000' down in the pacific, including a cold plunge which was just fantastic after a warm and humid morning. Unfortunately, the spa's facilities are only available to you for the day you book your treatment, but if they did not have this restriction place, guests would be hanging out there instead of at the beach or pool. We later found out that during the "off season", November through mid-April, it's pretty much always 30% off, so just ask if you are staying here during that time.

Speaking of the "off season", that's probably when you would want to visit this beautiful island. There are few crowds, tables are always available at restaurants, and the resorts are almost like private retreats. I do not think I would have enjoyed the InterContinental and the island quite as much if we had been there with the masses during the high season. There are only three issues that came up when visiting in the March/April time frame. The first is that the whales are not in Bora Bora during that time. The second is that it's likely you will get up to a total of 30 minutes a day of rain. The third, and the only one that really matters, is that coral reefs are not at their best until later in the year. They are still great, don't get me wrong, but they are not at their peak so if you are coming to Bora Bora for diving, you may want to try November.

One interesting thing about this resort, and this may just be false correlation on my part, it seemed to rain less here than on the main island. Clouds tended to hang around the top of mountains on the main island, so as the sparse clouds would roll in off of the ocean, they would pass over the Thalasso, giving us little five to ten minute showers, and then slow down when they encountered the clouds over the island, giving the people staying there different weather.

Please note that InterContinental has two properties on Bora Bora. The Moana on the main island, and the Thalasso on the largest Mutu. The less expensive Moana is targeted for families and more budget conscious couples. It's a very nice hotel as well, but it's not quite is the class as the Thalasso is in terms luxury bungalows and service. The one advantage it does have is that there are more activities available to guests than there are at the Thalasso. Thalasso guests can take a free water taxi ride between the resorts and enjoy the same comforts, but I highly recommend families consider the Moana if they have young kids who need something to do.

Some tips for Bora Bora:
- Walk along the paths between the bungalows at dusk, especially after a rain shower. That's when we got to see reef sharks, sting rays, spotted eagle rays, and a small manta swimming through the lagoon.
- The large mantas and turtles are gone from the Lagoon. Apparently construction has driven them out to the ocean side, which is not safe for snorkelers or inexperienced divers.
- Shark and Sting Ray feeding is a must. Make sure you select an excursion that takes you to the "Coral Gardens" for snorkeling as well.
- There is no place to dance/club in Bora Bora now that Club Med has shut down.
-There are no more helicopter rides on the island. The last one closed last year.
- Avoid the 4x4 trips, they are too long, expensive, and bumpy for too little pay-off in terms of scenery.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Broken_Iris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Washington DC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2009

I can't say enough good things about this resort! My wife and I went for our honeymoon March 10-17, and absolutely loved it. The staff was tremendously friendly, and always ready to serve any of our needs. The resort was absolutely beautiful, and the bungalows were spectacular. (Note: Book an Emerald bungalow. When you get there, you can pay $150 to register in the Ambassador club and get an automatic free upgrade to a Sapphire bungalow. All are exactly the same size/setup, but the Sapphires and Diamonds have a better view.)

We boated by every other resort in Bora Bora, and felt very confident that the Intercontinental Thalasso was the best choice we could have made, and we highly recommend it to anyone that can afford it!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank GULawTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston bean
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2009

We were very pleased with our room (Overwater Bungalow), the staff, service, location and cleanliness were superb. The meals were good but the menu does not change often so we had to go into town to mix-it-up. Bloody Mary's was a nice change! The hotel is gorgeous but there is not a lot to do. There are many water sports (kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling etc) but other than that there is nothing to do at night. No activities. We thought we would visit the jacuzzi, but were told it would cost us $60/person for 1 hour!! We have one at home so we decided to forego the additional charge. We did go on La Moana (swimming with the sharks, stingrays and coral reef) and then a lunch in the water. That was very fun and a once in a lifetime experience. The town is dirty and the only thing to do is shop for pearls or souveniers. Bottom line I probably will not return to Tahiti. Hawaii is a much better bet. ******If you are going to this hotel for more than 3 nights and over a weekend, then join the Ambassadors Club and get one night free. You will have to pay $150 to join, but it will save one night which is about $1000 and you also get a free upgrade to the next level room. The Ambassadors Club is part of the Priority Club at IHC hotels.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank ccarolyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kemer
Level Contributor
35 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2009

We stayed at a diamond OWB at The Thalasso 10-14 Jan, 2009. It is an excellent property with wonderful rooms, very well maintained grounds and the sea and the views are simply stunning. However the service does not quite match up to the standards of the property. What somewhat bothered us is that the staff in general (with few exceptions of course)do not smile much and did not really gave us the feeling that guests really do matter that much.
We were especially unhappy with the breakfast buffet with poor choise and lack of taste. We had to send back tea a few times because it was served luke warm. And we were served wrong orders a few other times.
Otherwise, it is an excellent property where we had a marvelous holiday.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ozden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
178 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2009

I spent a lot of time reading all of the reviews before going and was most concerned about the weather, as we went during the 'wet season'. We ended up having marvelously sunny weather all 4 days we were there with only the ocassional and brief rain shower. So, there is hope for anyone reading this with the same concern.

We paid to become part of the Ambassador club and got upgraded, recommend. We made several friends in our age bracket and we all agreed that we picked the right hotel. In fact, another couple came to visit us from the island as their resort was not as pristine nor had the views that the Thalasso does. If you are going to pay to go to Bora Bora (expensive inter-island flight, hotel, food etc.) it just doesn't make sense to not pay a little more to stay at the best locale possible - as the location is what most 'makes' your stay.

Best restaurant we visited on the island was 'Lagoon' at the St. Regis - amazing food. The Thalasso food and bar were nice - definitely recommend the happy hour. Although the complimentary boat service to the main island is nice, if the weather is nice the best bet is to just enjoy the Thalasso facilities, beach etc. and relax! Sea kayaking around the lagoon area was fun too.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank WorldAdventurer_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2009

We had the most amazing and perfect honeymoon in the French Polynesian Islands! We stayed 5 nights in Moorea and 5 nights in Bora Bora. Both were amazing, but our hotel experience at the Intercontinental Thalasso was incredible. The overwater bungalow was an extravagant suite with all the furnishings you could ask for - hardwood floors, spacious bathrooms and tubs, large living room area with DVD player, very comfortable balcony with eating area and lounge chairs.

This hotel was recommended to us by our travel agent, Claudia with www.pacific-for-less.com - she was very knowledgeable about all of the islands and the hotels on them. It was clear that she has experienced them first hand as her recommendations were spot on and incredibly helpful. She even arranged to have champagne and fruit waiting for us upon our arrival!

We also had dinner at La Villa Mahana, which was hands down the best meal we have ever had. We live right in downtown Chicago and experience great dining (both casual and fine) regularly, so we are truly picky. Claudia also recommended and arranged this for us ahead of time due to the limited and exclusive availability (only about 8 tables in the whole restaurant.) This incredible dining experience only made our entire honeymoon that much more amazing!

The truly only drawback to French Polynesia is that there is no nightlife. People are there to relax and enjoy the company they are with, so everything shuts down by 9pm and that is not an exaggeration. So, if you are looking for an exciting and upbeat nightlife - this is not the place for you. Even the bars inside the hotels are empty.

Overall, I would highly recommend Bora Bora to anyone considering a vacation or honeymoon to the French Polynesian Islands! We are already anxious to plan a trip back, when we manage to save up the $!

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank livetotravel1108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RI
Level Contributor
53 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2009

Loved this resort. Came here after a long stay in New Zealand for some rest and relaxation. We joined the Ambassorder club for a small fee and got an upgrade to a hut further down in a quieter area in deeper water. We also got a late checkout with this 4pm which was nice, since our plane didnt leave the island late, and we would've ended up hanging around the tiny airport for many long hours.
There are only 2 restaurants to eat at the resort, one for breakfast and lunch and one for dinner. The menu doesnt change for any of these, so if you plan on eating at the resort the whole time, it can get boring. Happy hour is everyday at 5 I think, and you buy one, get one free, but they have to be the same drink and are only certain ones, so make sure you ask. We made that mistake and got what we wanted and had to pay.
The main island you can go to, is dirty, lots and lots of homeless dogs, not much to do either. So if you dont want to get depressed and dont care about trying to get ripped off at finding pearls, dont go! Stay on the resort. We went to the main island, you have to take a water taxi to their sister resort on the main island then take a taxi ride into town, that in itself can take you an hour. Wasnt worth it at all.
The rooms itself were beautiful, bed looking out over the water, it was just perfect! I would go again, but not for 5 days 6 nights, was a little to long for me. Bring books etc, if you just want to relax in the room and want to watch some TV there are only 2 channels in english, one is CNN, and the other is the hotel info channel.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank alb76ri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Top resorts Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 Spa 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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