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Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
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Reviewed December 17, 2013

We had extremely high expectations based on reviews (and cost) and Four Seasons Bora Bora was nearly everything we imagined it would be. We stayed Nov 12-20, 2013.

We came here for our honeymoon like so many others and just wanted everything to go smoothly. There were a few minor bumps along the way, so I'll start with those:
1) Really a minor issue, but still frustrating. Room was not ready until 3pm exactly even though we were told it would be ready early. We arrived at 11am and since we were told it would be ready shortly, we just kind of sat around waiting. If we knew it would be the full 4 hours, we would've put on our swimsuits and kicked back.
2) Food: overall it was disappointing. Almost everything we ordered arrived cold or cool. Breakfast buffet items were not kept warm properly or were not fresh. Selection did not change much over the course of the week. Everything from room service arrived cold. The food at the sushi restaurant was extremely slow to arrive.
3) Bugs in our room. There were giant cockroaches in our room multiple times, so large my husband had to put on gym shoes just to kill them. And then when you kill them, they smell horrible. Creeps me out and I don't sleep well knowing there are bugs crawling around. There was a large gap between the floor and our sliding glass door in the living room and this is likely where they came in. We told management twice but nothing was done to resolve the issue or fix the gap.
4) The dinner shuttle into town costs roughly $80/couple round trip. So before you even get to your dinner restaurant, you've dropped $80. Dinner itself will run you at least $175, then tack on the $80 to that. This price seems excessive for a transfer to the main island. They do this so you'll eat at their restaurants instead. It's disappointing.

The good: EVERYTHING else!
Pickup from the airport was in a sleek boat with only one other couple aboard. Ride is quick and comfortable.

Pool and beach area are kept extremely clean, chair covers are changed immediately when someone gets up. Towels, water and sunblock always readily available. No fighting for chairs or umbrellas or space in the pool. Wish there was a hot tub, though!

The location is unbeatable. We had OWB 122 with amazing views of the lagoon. The colors here are indescribable. It was surreal.

The staff was extremely helpful and friendly, and somehow always knew your name and preferences. The water sports staff is exceptional in this regard.

The bungalows are very nice and well kept (though usually smelled a bit musty). They are luxurious and comfortable with a huge deck, chairs, snorkel gear, swim platform, and outdoor shower head for rinsing off salt water. We spent a good chunk of our time swimming off our deck rather than going to the beach. There are currents at times but nothing dangerous if you're a decent swimmer. Just don't close your eyes while you float on your raft or you may drift away .

Water sports are free, which is awesome. Kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling. So fun to putz around the lagoon, though the wind was quite strong at times making it difficult.

Spa was very nice. We did a couples massage and just relaxed to the sound of the waves from the open Pacific crashing in.

I could go on and on. There is room for improvement, which is frustrating when you pay so much, but overall the experience was wonderful and magical and even a bit surreal. I would return in a heartbeat. I don't think I would even try another resort.

BTW, you and everyone else are on your honeymoon, so don't expect an upgrade.

Room Tip: The rooms on the west pontoon are MUCH more convenient.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank Emkn45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestExperienceBora, Guest Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, responded to this reviewResponded December 20, 2013

Thank you for your wonderful comments and feedback on your experience with Four Seasons. We're most happy to hear that you particularly enjoyed the arrival experience, your over-water bungalow, the complimentary services, amenities and activities, our staff, and of course the beautiful lagoon! We also appreciate your feedback, which we will use to help better the experience here. Thanks again - and we look forward to your return ;)!

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Reviewed December 16, 2013

We definetly needed to write this review because we were so excited to get to Bora Bora and staying at this hotel. We were expecting a better quality in many things such as service, food, and rooms. Since we travelled for a month before arriving here we also had the opportunity to stay at other Four Seasons during this same trip and this was not at all as good the other ones.

At our arrival they came and pick us up in the little gondola just because we were the last couple to arrive at the hotel during that day, and we were only 2 persons. As we waited for the staff to pick up our luggage from the airport we saw the other hotels boats and ours was the worse compared with the St. Regis (who also just had a couple inside) just to mention one.

As we were approaching the hotel they kindly made the check-in in our room, but we were disappointed to find out that we were not getting an upgrade even though we had booked through our Virtuoso Travel Agent and were specifically told we were honeymooners. Anyway the room had great views and was very big but almost the last in the lagoon, which meant we had to walk for more than 20 min each time we needed to go for anything in the resort, lunch, breakfast, bars or the pool and beach...

Then as if this wasnt enough the room was never cleaned up properly since we had 2 very unfortunate incidents during our first and last days of our stay and never got changed to another room...

We were hanging out in our sofa at the tv room and a ROACH was walking inside our room floors, we immediately called the front desk and didnt seemed surprised at all, but we had to call 3 times before somebody came to our room and do something about it. Instead since 30 minutes passed my husband had to kill it. After this a Housekeeping lady came and just cleaned the mess up and told us the room was going to be cleaned very throughly after this incident. Which we happened to see later cause we were hanging out in our deck and a cleaning guy came to sweep the floors but we were surprised to see he just threw away the dust and garbage to the ocean instead of taking it away or something.

Nobody called to apologize about the incident and the last day just before we took a shower, there was another one below the shower's rug but again we called 3-4 times to the Front Desk and Housekeeping and nobody came to the room I had to take pictures of it to show them in Front Desk when we left and made our check out and at least they took off some room charges (200 dlls aprox) which was nothing compared to what we spent in this hotel.

Anyway they tried to make up at the end, and since we didnt get time to eat lunch before we left to the airport they sent us some sandwiches and salads to us on the next gondola. But it was definitely not worth what we payed for this resort and not what we were expecting from this beautiful place at all.

Very disappointed from this trip to Bora Bora, the island is beautiful but make sure to choose a good hotel, which I dont know which other options are they since this is supposed to be the best one in here.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
18  Thank jdavilaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestExperienceBora, Guest Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, responded to this reviewResponded December 20, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts here. We're very sorry to hear of the inconveniences you experienced during your stay - there are aspects of your visit that are uncharacteristic with what to be expect. We do appreciate your feedback, as it allows us the opportunity to review the occurrences in an effort to improve the guest experience. Our Executive Office is reaching out to you directly, with the greatest concern for your comments. We strive to provide excellence, and hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back again – thanks again

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Reviewed December 14, 2013

We recently stayed for one week at this beautiful resort hotel
Pick up at airport was very welcoming and transfer to the small but fast hotel boat was seamless .
Arriving at the Four Seasons the welcome was friendly and well organised
Our package was for full service (three meals per day ) - if we return we would probably take the 2 meal package
The staff at this resort were never less than excellent - helpful and cooperative while all the facilities were first class and beautifully maintained .The over the water bungalow superb and the view across the water superb.
The only slight disappointment was the standard of the food.When it was good , it was very very good but it did drop from this high standard and was definitely average on occasions
Would definitely consider returning to this outstanding hotel

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank newmarket18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestExperienceBora, Guest Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Hi there - thanks very much for taking the time to share your experience with us here! We're very happy to learn that you enjoyed your stay and that you particularly enjoyed the arrival experience, Four Seasons service, Resort facilities and your overwater bungalow. We also appreciate your feedback on the food, and our new Chef is creating some wonderful new menus to ensure spectacular dining experiences throughout. We look forward to welcoming you back - in the meantime, Happy Holidays!

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Reviewed December 12, 2013

This hotel is amazing all around. A lot of its splendor is attributable to the location, but the hotel itself adds a lot to the experience. The room was outstanding. We elected an over the water bungalow and it was worth every penny. From our vantage point we were able to see the bungalows with walk out to the beach which appeared to be very lovely too. The water was warm and mostly clear though there were some light currents that limited visibility. That being said - the four seasons has an awesome lagoon that we enjoyed almost daily for snorkeling - esp since the water was otherwise choppy. The snorkeling equipment was complimentary and was always available. There were paddle boards and canoes also available but were sometimes more difficult to reserve due to demand. That being said, there was always something to do in the water either at the pool, in the man made lagoon, or through an outing booked with the hotel. The jet ski tour was amazing. If I were to redo the trip, I would have booked the 8 person boat all day boat tour. Other guests who went said it was breathtaking. Their pictures showed them swimming with sharks and eating freshly caught seafood on a private beach with some of the locals.
Next - service and food. The service in the rooms was prompt and thorough. Anything you needed, within 5 minutes housekeeping ad you covered. BTW we stayed for a week. We decided to pack lightly since we had flights with short layover times and were concerned about luggage not making it onto our flights. So we were thrilled there was complimentary washer dryers for guest use so we just did a load when we were there.
Food - service at the sushi restaurant was almost always disappointing. As a vegetarian and vegan couple - we often have to make adjustments to meals and somehow they always missed the mark. Plus even without a full restaurant, service was always very very slow. One night I couldn't wait any longer and simply walked out. The buffet in the morning and room service were excellent. After the first few nights of disappointing meals, we met with the chef and he prepared us a meal nearly every night tailored to our diets! Every morning at breakfast a manager would discuss options that the chef had in mind and we would pick what we wanted. It was like having a private chef. These are the touches that the four seasons offers that made our trip extra special.
Spa - we went several times to the spa - for facials and massages as well as to simply enjoy the serenity pool and the relaxation room. Honestly, the spa services did not impress me and were for the most part average. S for the price, I would not revisit the spa and instead spend my money doing more of the activities the resort offers. The fitness center and amenities of the spa are available to all guests even without booking spa services.
Overall - this was a dream vacation and the Four Seasons went above and beyond to make sure the experience was memorable.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank needsomevacay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestExperienceBora, Guest Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Thanks so much for the lovely review - we're thrilled to know you so enjoyed your stay with us in May! We're very happy to know that you particularly enjoyed your overwater bungalow, Lagoon Sanctuary, activities and Four Seasons service. We also appreciate your feedback on the Spa (we're always working on new treatments and offerings!) and we're happy that our culinary team was able to work with you in ensuring you enjoyed your dining with us. We're so pleased that we fulfilled your dream vacation, and hope to see you back here again one day for more dreams-come true - Happy Holidays.

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Reviewed December 11, 2013

I will admit that I'm not easy to please, and I will say that I did not have the best start of my stay at the resort. There were some miscommunications with the staff, so I emailed customer feedback by the second night. I was so very disappointed and angry at the things that I thought should have been done to welcome us for our honeymoon, especially at the price we were paying (high expectations)! As a matter of fact, I had originally posted a very negative review, but decided to edit it once the problems had been addressed and corrected. The night after I sent the email (before my review was posted), the associate director, Igor, reached out to us. We could tell that he was genuinely sorry for the miscommunication from the staff and about our unhappiness. Let's just say that he did everything he could to make us comfortable and to make sure that we would enjoy the rest of our stay. And so we did, very much so, enjoy the last two nights. I will say that the customer service really is good--people almost always greet you by your name (I have no idea how they knew who we were!), there is water provided everywhere in the facilities, turn down service is pretty amazing (it's basically like getting your room cleaned twice/day, but with a few nicely added features), check in is in your bungalow so you do not waste any time, breakfast buffet is delicious. We loved paddle boarding and kayaking (free). We also loved feeding all of the beautiful fish in the lagoon (you can ask the restaurant for some bread to bring there). If you stay here, you MUST book a spa service. I chose one of the signature two hour ones, and it was the best! For dinner in town (near Vaitape), we chose the Matira Beach Cafe, which had a very romantic setting. It was nice getting out of the resort. One of the things that annoyed us was that we came from two other resorts with mostly honeymooners and couples. Then, once we got to the Four Seasons, there were so many families and kids--which killed the romantic mood. Apparently they have a very nice kids center/activities, and we also happened to come over Thanksgiving break, which could explain all of the family and noise. Things calmed down quite a bit after the Thanksgiving weekend. Yoga classes are also charged now (used to be free). The gourmet restaurant was fantastic (favorite: foie gras appetizer, which we had to reorder since we loved it so much). Polynesian show was also very fun. Even though Igor made sure that our last two nights were great, I am still sad/upset that the first two nights were not up to my expectations, especially for this price.

Room Tip: Overwater bungalow in the 100's are closer to the restaurant. Ours was facing Mt. Otemanu--it's wonderful to watch the sunset and to wake up to the beautiful sight of the mountain. Only thing that we didn't like was that it was always noisy, since we were surrounded by bungalows. If you want more privacy, request a bungalow at the end of the pontoon.
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank perfectdestination
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestExperienceBora, Guest Relations Manager at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2013

Hello - and thanks so much for your thoughtful review of your stay with us. We're so happy that things turned out well after the initial miscommunications. It's great to know that you particularly enjoyed the customer service, amentities, turn down service, the food, activities and the Spa. Regarding families, the holidays do tend to bring more kids to Bora Bora - and we do have great programming for them, though we tend to be a very romance-based destination. Also, we do offer some complimentary yoga and fitness classes, in addition to the private and group classes also available for a fee. Thank you again for your great feedback, and we certainly hope to welcome you back again one day and look forward to exceeding your expectations, indeed - Happy Holidays!

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