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“Excellent Place to Stay”

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Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Ranked #1 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Canton, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellent Place to Stay”
Reviewed March 12, 2011

My wife and I decided to go to French Polynesia for two weeks for our honeymoon. Having never been there before, I bought a guide book and did a lot of online searching in planning our trip. I quickly found out that not only were there many options regarding where to stay but also many types of rooms and different views at each hotel. Trip planning was made more difficult because we were visiting three islands and you can only get so much information from a hotel website.

I realized that I needed to get some help from someone who knows the islands and the accommodations. I contacted True Tahiti Vacations and received invaluable advice and assistance not only in deciding to stay at the Four Seasons but also in planning our entire island-hopping trip. It helps that they are located in Tahiti and have firsthand knowledge of the resorts and restaurants.

The first thing you realize about the Four Seasons is the service. They met us at the airport and took us to the hotel on a private boat (complete with cool towels and refreshments). Smartly, they had us complete the check-in paperwork during the 15 minute boat ride to the hotel, which was very efficient.

The resort is a large place, so they took us to our mountain view overwater bungalow on a golf cart which giving us a brief tour. Most of the overwater bungalows are identical except for the view, except for the most expensive units that have a small pool. Our room was very spacious and had a large sitting area adjacent to a covered deck. The bathroom included a tub with doors that opened out to the deck and a nice shower. The bedroom included a comfortable king size bed and ample room.

On foot, our room was about a ten minute walk from the restaurants, pool, and front desk (and golf cart transportation is readily available for those who prefer not to walk). By walking, you can see the beautiful plants and flowers. Even at night, we never had a problem with insects.

The pool area is very nice with many different areas to relax and be a little pampered with cool washcloths, water, little fruit smoothies, pineapple candy, and other items the staff brings around.

The resort includes a private inland lagoon. The best place to view fish is near the beach near the center of the property rather than the long lagoon behind the villas (the long lagoon will probably be better in a few years after coral has a chance to grow). For the best snorkeling, the front desk can arrange excursions that take you to the best spots, which are at a different part of the island. Excursions can be billed directly to your room.

The restaurants at the resorts are very good. The view from the Sunset Restaurant and Bar is spectacular, especially at dusk.

There was also free laundry facilities at various points in the resort, which is nice if you were on a longer trip like we were.

Overall, there Four Seasons is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the paradise of Bora Bora.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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7 Thank mmietzel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2011

ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!!!
Other than the cost being a bit steep everything else was amazing!!
From the airport in Bora Bora you are picked up by the resort boat and it"s a mere 10-15 min ride.... breathtaking!!!
The over the water bungalow's are very clean and spacious inside.... we were very impressed with them!!
The beach is clean and well kept..
There is certainly something majestic about Mt. Otemanu.....simply majestic!!
The staff and locals are beautiful and friendly people.... the stay was like a dream.
We couldn't have picked a better place for our Honeymoon!!!!

P.S: The resort is very accessible.... my husband is in a wheel chair and it was very convenient for us to get around!!
Hope to go back one day!!!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Seematony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2011

I have read a few of the reviews about Tahiti on TA and it is easy to spot those people who are first-timers to French Polynesia because they are always completely shocked at the price of food, hotel rates and other expenses, so let me set the record straight.

Ask any local in Polynesia and they will tell you the same thing, the cost of ALL goods in the islands is super expensive and they try to shop in the USA whenever they can. That is the reality of Tahiti, so as they say if you can't afford it, don't go!

This was our 5th trip to Tahiti and 4th trip to Bora Bora, we try to go 2 years if finances allow and Bora Bora is always on the list. This time we also made our first trip to the Tuamotu islands and that was super cool, defintely off the grid but gorgeous. But Bora Bora is definitely our favorite and yes, it is expensive but if you can afford St Barts, Four Seasons Kona or the Maldives, you can afford Tahiti.

We returned to the Four Seasons Hotel, as we vacationed there in 2009, and the hotel looks even better than our last visit and we were plesantly suprised to see lots of familiar faces...their staff appear quite happy and the changes at the hotel are great. The Sunset Bar was by far our favorite casual hangout for dinner and cocktails, we dressed up one night for their elegant restaurant, and did room service a lot and the food was awesome..I love the sirloin burger and my hubby was hooked on the pasta, daily fresh fish, and the best french fries on the planet!!

Since we've been to Bora Bora a few times we tend not to eat at the local restaurants for dinner, but we did grab lunch at Bloody Mary's one day and it was great but yes, lunch was $50....that is Tahiti.

I you are worried about the cost of things, do as we did and buy the meal plan which is about $80 each for dinner....we think this is a great value and you can eat wherever you want at any of the restaurants or room service. Our tour package came with breakfast so we were set for full breakfast and dinner daily.

The overwater bungalows at the Four seasons can't be beat....seriously, they are so decadent and huge...they are monster suites. Lots of privacy, you can sunbathe naked if you wish and the deep tub is big enough for two adults and then some!

If Bora Bora is on your Bucket List, and it should be, you must save your money and go, and don't stay anywhere but the Four Seasons. They make you feel special, and welcomed....for us it is like coming home now, so we will definitely be back!

Oh, if you go ask for concierges Gilles and Eric, Indy and Terry at the pool bar...and Alexander and Jean in the restaurant...and you must meet Oliver the Biologist at the Lagoon Sanctuary. Besides being super smart, he's cute too!!

**Maururu**

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
24 Thank Dinah62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2011

From fist approach on the Shuttle boat from the airport the Hotel is simply beauty. It’s a 20 acre property with every last inch manicured and groomed daily to perfection. They dug out various canals and motes around the propotery for some nice snorkeling and swimming. Bungalows came as advertised, just perfection. Be prepared to walk especially if you are in the 400’s. I clocked it a 1/2 Mile from our Bungalow to the pool and Restaurants. Walk never bothered us, and with the obscene amount of daily bread consumption, it was welcome.

One draw back for Honeymoon Couples, be prepared for families and Children. The Hotel does cater to families more than others, not something was aware of when booking and were thus surprised at the amount of very young children as well as teen agers that were present. Unfortunalty they were very noisy at the pool. The hotel has no regulations for “ball playing” various floats, rafts etc” “cannon balls” games, shouting etc.. It was very disruptive for those trying to relax, shame on the parents for not respecting other guests.

The service was tremendous, very accommodating, every server from front desk to waiter was so pleasant and attentive It felt like they were faking it.

Food was very good and abundant, I had read many reviews ripping the quality, we didn’t find this at all. Food was always tasty and fresh. The breakfast buffet each day was abundant and bountiful. Lunch selections from salads, to Burgers and frites, to various Raw Tuna Dishes were all fresh as could be and excellent. The Sunset Bar was a nice option a few nights for Sushi and other Asian delights. Very relaxing and our favorite hang out of the property. Thank You Tetu!! We did eat at the high end Restaurant which again was excellent.

Yes this place is very expensive. Knowing this going in we did most of our excursions in Moorea. (rays, sharks, diving, Polynesian Show) I looked into deep sea fishing for 1/2 day but it was $1000 USA Dollars, way too steep with no guarantee of fish. The Polynesian show and buffet was $200 per person for what I was told was boring and sub par. As one of our friends said, “you seen one Polynesian show, you seen them all” Only things we did in Bora was Sunset Cruise (excellent choice) and the Boat to main island (was really a waste of time, don’t even bother going to Bloody Mary’s) If you come from another Island bring some snacks for the room. I would stay away from the Frozen Drinks at the pool, they are $30 USA and very small, not to mention the French do not put much ice in their frozen drinks. They were more Shake like liquid and syrup than the icy frozen concoctions we love so much in the states.. Stick to the Champagne, Hinano Beer and Wine, more reasonable comparatively speaking.

Upon check out besure to closely examine every itemization on your final bill, they definitely make mistakes as reported in other reviews.

All in all the place was paradise, truly a once in a life time property and worth every penny!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Davis777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2011

If you are looking for every last drop of detail on this huge spend, please read this. I did a ton of research before deciding to place the down payment on our Bora Bora trip and was well prepared for our journey. While there, I learned a few things that I didn't see in the great reviews on Trip Advisor, hence the length of this review. All resorts are NOT created equal in the South Pacific, and thankfully we chose the 4S though St Regis guests raved as well.
#1. Shop Before Buy!
Be sure to use a travel agent here, those agencies get you special perks like free breakfast, early check-in, late check out (we had out bungalow til 7p that night!) and other lil nice things like a bottle of wine and such. I put my dates & resort out to bid with 5 different agencies before settling with one. It came down to Pleasant Holidays giving us a Mountain View room for the price of a Resort View (2 classes up) which translated into a couple $100 per night savings. Also, if you are coming from LAX -- ask your agent to look for flights that take you LAX-PPT-BOB all in one day vs the over night in Papeete (PPT). I was glad to make that decision vs dealing with PPT airport twice in 12 hours! That airport is a hot mess, literally.

#2 What to Pack?
Here is the skinny-- Air Tahiti has strict baggage weight restrictions (40lbs for all checked bags and carry on). If you are the guy/girl that packs every outfit you own because you don't know what you will feel like that day? Save yourself the baggage fees and stick to this list:

- SUNSCREEN!! for 10 days, I packed 4 large tubes and it just got me through. Will need a minimum of 35 spf- 50 if you are wicked pale. Very strong sun so reapply every hour with water.
- Swim suits and cover ups
- Sun dresses and sandals
- OFF! or other anti-mosquito (they LOVE to bite at night)
- DVD's because the movies in-room are about $15 each and the TV has only 2-3 channels in English and one of the channels is CNN (yawn)
- Hair detangler-- with the boats, salt and wind, your hair will be a tangled mess. The conditioner in-room is nice but won't do the trick
- BOTTLES OF WINE! use your Wine Skins and pack a few nice bottles of Chardonnay or bubbly. We are NorCal wine snobs and THANKFULLY I packed 5 btls of our fav's. Despite other reviews talking about the great wine list-- if you are a Cal wine lover, the list will pale in choices and the prices are WICKED HIGH! The cheapest drink at the pool is a 2100 xpf (about $25) and a glass of cheap bubbles will start at 3100 (about $36).
- Underwater camera. I bought a FujiFilms XP. For $129 on Amazon, the video and pics were great and when you are jetskiiing, diving and snorkeling - you will not want to risk your land camera in an alleged "water resistant" case. Best money I spent by far. Also, by the $15 accessory kit that includes a floater strap for your camera. Those island boats can get bumpy and we saw other couples gear take a dive overboard. Sad...
- SUNGLASSES- I brought 3 pair, you will need 'em
- Some trail mix, Pringles (snacks that don't melt or crush in luggage. Depending on if you do the meal plan at 15000+ xpf ($180 pp/pd) you may want a lil nib at night
-- Cards, books, magazines, dice, iphone (chargers)-- those lazy afternoons can get a lil stir crazy and the reading material available is in every language but English for the most part!
- Ziplock bags- great for snorkelers and keeping things dry on the boat

#3 Ready to Book?
Be sure to request a room in the 100-200's. If you get stuck in the 300-400 rooms, you will walking all day to get to food, spa, gym, pool, well, everything! I called the resort directly about 2 months before we left and had them insert a comment on our reservation to get a "200" room-- we stayed in 225 and it was great. DONT BUY THE BUSINESS CLASS on AIR TAHITI NUI for $5000! Go to the airport and pay $800pp to upgrade. You will get the upgrade if you check in early. BEST VALUE for sure. And, biz class does make a difference if you are on the 11p out of LAX. Also, if you want certain foods-- be SURE to email the 4S ahead and do your requests! That's a lesson I learned the HARD way. While most will rave about the food, its NOTHING like the 4S's we stay at here in the states. I was SO sick of Mahi Mahi in coconut vanilla sauce, and other guests told me they asked ahead for special meals to be prepared to give them a break from the resort cuisine.

#4 You are there, checked in- Now what?
Decide if you are doing the meal plan or not-- (we did but cancelled in 2 days in because we were SO tired of the resort food it wasn't worth the money). Take the 4S boat to Vaitape (runs 2x a day but the island closes up by 5p so go on the 1115a ferry). Rent the car for $100 for 2.5 hrs and drive around the island. Have a drink at the beach (Matira) and buy some pearls. Right before you turn the car in, go to the grocery store and buy Jack, Coke, cookies, yada yada. So glad we did-- it was nice to mix drinks in our bungalow on demand!

#5 Book these activities!
- Shark & Ray feeding with Billy (we did this 3 times!) Be sure to take some rolls from breakfast with you on this tour because you can feed 1000's of fish at the Coral Gardens. It was sooo cool to hold a wheat roll and see all these fish swarm your hand to eat. You get great pics and video from the self-made experience!
- Dinner on the main land Bloody Mary's- you will be glad to get away from resort food after a few days.
- Jet skis (book one and double up)
- SPA!!! couples massage for 80 mins
- Private snorkel with Damion-- ask him to take you to the "channel reef"-- its a non-tourist spot!
- Deep sea fishing-- don't get gipped by doing the lagoon fishing, it all small fish

#6 Going Home....
Be sure to ask for late check out! Instead of having to pack in the morning and vacate the bungalow-- we had the room right up until we left for the airport! Allowed us to have a full day of snorkeling AND spa! perfecto! Be sure to review your bill and brace yourself for a hefty add on shocker! You will easily be $5k up on a 10 day trip, and that is average. Ours was more... When you get to Papeete, on the 11p flight, there is 2 different lines. READ THE SIGNS since they don't open the gates until 2 hours before for ticketing and you have to stand in a sweaty line with your luggage for the 2+ hrs before the flight. We got into the wrong line and delayed ourselves unnecessarily. Don't buy anything liquid or sharp from the gift shops while you wait in PPT for your outboard trip. We saw all these tourist getting oils and vanilla extract and it was taken in the security line. They also took my tweezers, saying they were a weapon. I carried them one to Bora Bora and now, they were a weapon. Go fish. I think the lady liked them and knew they were expensive.

Its a place to go to at least once in your life. Can't say we will be back any time soon, but will definitely be back one day.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
33 Thank redon2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Four Seasons Bora Bora for 5 nights in early December. In short, while the location and resort were beautiful, some of the amenities and the service were well below what you would expect from a Four Seasons (or other "5-star" hotel). So we recommend it--just don't set your expectations too high for the hotel itself, though the beauty of Bora Bora will compensate for the hotel to a degree.

The rooms - we stayed in an overwater bungalow with plunge pool (see story below on how we ended up with a plunge pool), and the room was amazing. The bed was a typical FS bed--comfortable and facing the water. There was also a ton of storage space in the bedroom--Bora Bora was our last stop of a 17-day trip, and we had plenty of room to unpack our beach clothes and stash our suitcases with the stuff from the earlier portions of our trip out of sight. The living room was big but kind of a waste of space--the only time we used it was to watch a movie on the last night, though I see how it's helpful to have the sleep sofa if you're traveling with kids. It had a mini-fridge (helpful for stashing bottles of water and leftovers) and a big flat screen TV with DVD player. One complaint is that we wish the DVD player had been in the bedroom--the sofa in the living room was not that comfortable to sit on for a few hours to watch a movie and didn't have blankets--we would have preferred to watch the movie in bed, but the TV in the bedroom was smaller and didn't have a DVD player. The bathroom was one of the best parts of the room--the bathtub, toilet and shower can each be separated from the sink area (which had 2 sinks on separate vanities--also a plus), so there's plenty of privacy, if needed. The outdoor space was nice as well--there's a dining area in the shade for four people, two lounge chairs, a small shower (not private--just a spigot for rinsing off after getting out of the water) and stairs then a ladder leading down to the lagoon. Another slight disappointment inside the room as the plexi-glass panels for underwater viewing--I knew the panels were limited to the bathroom, but I pictured them being pretty large--instead, there are 3 panels, one in the floor near the sinks, one on a ledge in the toilet room and another on a ledge in the shower--each is only about 1 foot by 4 feet. Also, there is no reef built up below the bungalows (perhaps because the resort is so new), so there is very little wildlife to see through the panels anyway--I think we saw about 5 fish our entire stay.

The food - as many previous reviewers have mentioned, the food is overpriced (though not quite as expensive as I expected, given the location) and generally pretty terrible. The better meals that we had were actually two buffets--breakfast every morning and a BBQ buffet that they did on Thursday nights. Breakfast is normally about $90 per couple, but from what I understand, you can get it included in most packages. It included a variety of fresh juices, fruit, a selection of hot items that seemed to be on a 3-day rotation, deli meats and cheeses, a few pastries and breads, omelet station and packaged yogurts and cereals. For lunch, we usually ordered from the pool bar, which was pretty awful--a grilled chicken Caesar salad was about $30, and the chicken was overcooked and dry, a pizza was about the same price and tasted about the same as a frozen pizza, etc. The other lunch option was to eat inside the restaurant, but the menu was basically the same (plus a few additions, like $15 melon soup), so we chose to stay in our lounge chairs and eat by the beach since at least the scenery was better. There were two options for dinner--the Sunset Bar (Asian food) plus either the main restaurant (I forget the name) or Tere Nui (the same place that has the breakfast buffet and lunch), depending on the night. Tere Nui hosted the BBQ buffet on Thursday night, which was quite good--about 15 different cold salad options, plus about 5-6 different meats that were grilled to order, and plenty of desserts, bread and other sides. I think it was $75 per person and generally a good value. There was also live music that night--a mix of classic rock hits and Polynesian music. We ate at the main restaurant one night and didn't really enjoy it. Even though the resort was half full, we were told we would have to be "squeezed in" since we didn't make a reservation--we had no idea that hotel guests would have to make a reservation when the resort was only half full, particularly in a place where you're supposed to be relaxed and not on a schedule where you have to plan ahead. The food was mostly Polynesian-themed and just not very good--overcooked fish, etc. They also brought us the wrong appetizer, though they let us keep the wrong one, brought us the right one and comped it, so we really couldn't complain. The Sunset Bar had better food but was probably the worst value--$25 for a California roll, $30 for 5 duck spring rolls, etc.--it was actually our most expensive meal, and all we did was split a few appetizers and 1 entree. Finally, we ordered room service once for lunch and once for dinner, which was a pretty good deal--the food was slightly better than the pool bar, plus they gave you good rolls and butter, and the portions were large, so we could usually split an appetizer and an entree.

The spa - I didn't visit, but my husband did for a massage. He said that it was nice enough, but they didn't do enough with it, given the location (i.e., didn't take advantage of the nice views and surroundings). He said that the Four Seasons Santa Barbara spa was much, much nicer.

The pool/beach - these areas were both nice and very well-appointed. There were 5 cabanas by the pool, plenty of lounge chairs around the pool with umbrellas and side tables, a number of thatched huts on the beach with a pair of lounge chairs and a small table and lounge chairs (not with cushions--just plastic) out on the sand. We had no trouble getting our seat of choice each day, though the resort was only half-full while we were there. Each day, someone from the pool bar would bring 2 or 3 little snacks (a smoothie shot, a piece of coconut or a frozen lychee) by, which was a nice touch. One complaint was that they allowed both smoking and cell phones by the pool--resorts that nice usually have restricted areas for those things so that other guests aren't disturbed--we had to change pool chairs one day because someone (who sat down after us!) was talking loudly on his phone and smoking.

Villa Mahana - we ate there one night and definitely recommend it. The food was not the best that we'd ever had, but it was definitely at least average for a $400 meal (and after 3 days of Four Seasons food, it was heavenly!). You have a choice of the European tasting menu (French food), the Polynesian tasting menu, or a la carte off of either menu. My husband ordered the European tasting menu with wine pairings (he loved the wines; the courses included a seafood salad, risotto, beef, a molten chocolate cake plus one other course that I've forgotten), and I ordered an appetizer and an entree a la carte (seafood salad and seafood risotto with mascarpone cheese)--I barely finished just my two courses, and my husband (who has a huge appetite) was stuffed--the portions are huge. As far as getting there, there is a scheduled trip on the FS boat each night, which I think costs $30 per person and took about 20 minutes each way, and the restaurant arranges for a car to pick you up for the 5-minute ride to the restaurant once you reach the main island (no charge for this, though we did tip the drivers). If you're staying more than 2-3 nights, Villa Mahana is a must-do--the food is pretty good, and even if it's not the best meal ever, the change of scenery and menu are worth it. There is 1 outdoor table that must be booked months and months in advance--we were too late to get it, but it's supposed to be amazing. Do make a reservation by e-mailing Damien (the owner/chef) in advance, or just let the hotel know, and they'll take care of the reservation and transportation arrangements.

Service - the service was probably the worst that we had ever had at any Four Seasons (or other hotel of that caliber--Ritz-Carlton, etc.). Check-in was a fiasco--we had a guaranteed upgrade that we didn't receive, which was ridiculous given that the resort was only 50% full while we were there. We got to the room and realized that we hadn't been upgraded, so we asked, and it took about 5 minutes just to resolve the issue. The manager suggested that we hang out in our non-upgraded room and enjoy room service for dinner (which was our plan) until the other one was ready--the only problem was that the room wasn't ready. The A/C had not been turned on, so it was about 90 degrees in the room! There was no way to turn it on from the bungalow--an engineer had to be called, and we were told that it would take about 30 minutes just for him to get there, plus time to actually cool down the bungalow. We were pretty flexible and offered to just order the room service and eat outside on the porch, but the light bulbs on the porch had burned out, so it was pitch black, making it impossible to eat (and the light bulbs were about 15-20 feet off the ground, so of course, the engineer was needed for this, too). At this point, my husband and I were livid--we had traveled over 15 hours that day, and they hadn't given us the proper room, and the room that they did give us was basically not livable, which is really inexcusable when you check in at 8:00 at night and the resort is half full. So the manager came and got us on a golf cart and took us to the Sunset Bar to wait--she did comp my husband's drink there and ultimately upgraded us to the plunge pool room, so she at least made it up to us, though the confusion should never have happened in the first place. There were also other misses in the service--airport transfers showed up on our bill when they were supposed to be included, housekeeping forgetting to leave bottled water, getting the wrong dish at the restaurant--nothing major that wasn't resolved, but things that shouldn't have happened in the first place in a FS.

Shops - there are 2 shops on the property--an upgraded gift shop and a pearl shop. The gift shop didn't have anything special and was really expensive. The pearl shop was an outrage--my husband had wanted to buy me a piece of jewelry to commemorate the trip, so we went into the pearl shop one day while the manager (and I believe owner) was working. We spent a good 20 minutes browsing, making clear that we wanted to take a closer look at a few pieces in the cases, and she completely ignored us (not even a "hello" when we walked in), even though we were the only ones in the store. I can't stand when that happens in any store, so it was an easy decision to spend our money elsewhere.

Outings - except for Villa Mahana, we ended up not leaving the resort for any outings. We did sign up for the lagoon tour with Oliver, the marine biologist on staff, which is free and at 2:30 every day--just remember to sign up in advance and to bring your masks and snorkels from your room. Oliver is super-friendly and knowledgeable--definitely take advantage.

Misc. Tips - Bring underwater cameras from home if you plan to use them while snorkeling--they are ridiculously expensive in the Papeete airport and at the hotel. It gets light really early and dark really early (about 6am - 6 pm), so we took advantage of the daylight by starting early (breakfast by about 8:30) and crashing early, since there's not much to do at night anyway. There's a DVD library and 3 computers with free internet in the business center (in room wireless is about $20/day)--we never had to wait for the computers in the business center. There's a good hair-dryer in the room, so no need to bring your own (I have really curly hair and blow-dry it every day, and the hair-dryer in the room was more than sufficient. For other gadgets, the hotel has complimentary adapters (though I'm not sure about converters--we had our own but brought the wrong adapter) to borrow from the front desk. There are free laundry facilities, but the dryers don't work very well--nice to have the option, just don't wait until the last minute since everything will take 3 cycles to dry. There is construction going on and can be heard all day from the beachfront villas and spa. Behind the spa, take advantage of the access to the Pacific Ocean and a rocky beach alongside it--it's technically not on the resort (or at least they say it isn't for liability reasons), so there are no chairs, staff, etc. since the water is far too dangerous to swim in (there's a 1000m drop-off about 20 yards from the shore), but it's a beautiful place for a walk, and it's nice to hear the waves (the lagoon is very calm). As some previous posters have mentioned, the resort is pretty spread out--it can be a long walk back to the rooms in the 300s and 400s, especially if your room is towards the end of one of the sections, but we never felt like it was a strenuous walk or anything, and they offer golf cart transport if you request it or if they pass you on one of the carts. Also spend a few minutes in the chapel--it was built to perfectly frame the mountain on the main island--great place to take pictures and enjoy the view.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank wilson315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2011

Well, it’s a Four Seasons so there just isn’t much of anything to complain about. So, I will sum up the few areas for improvement then list the positives that made the choice of this resort the best for us in our current family situation…

As have a few have stated, the daytime poolside and room service menus become a tad monotonous after about a week. The quality of the food and presentation is as good as it gets as far as poolside/lunch and “evening” room service goes, they could just use some more options.

The bungalows are all positioned with a great view and true to Tahitian style architecture. On the inside, they tried to mix and match a Tahitian theme with European style amenities. It just didn’t quite work. They should have done one or the other and I am leaning toward more opulence versus traditional. With that said, it’s still a Four Seasons and you are surrounded by everything you would need to know and to remind you that you are in a Four Seasons.

This issue is extremely minor. Sorry, the Europeans think they have the market cornered in coffee preparation appliances. They’re sleek, they’re stylish, they have exotic names, they appear to be “multifunctional”, but they just don’t work well. The in room coffee/espresso maker just didn’t do a good cup of coffee or a shot of espresso well and yes; I know how to use one. It wasn’t the operator. A single serve $12.99 Mr. Coffee machine would have worked better. The coffee quality itself was however very good, and Europeans do know how to roast a bean into what usually turns into liquid gold, but the machine just didn’t do it justice.

Lastly, as others have mentioned, if you want to get away from the resort since it’s located on Motu Tehotu (motu is the Tahitian word for little island), unless you’re going on an excursion, the transportation will cost you $70 for a boat shuttle. It’s best to get out on an excursion and talk the tour operator into stopping off at a few places of interest , or find a few other folks looking for an off resort adventure and split the bill. As you can see, the negatives are few and should not be a reason for anyone not to consider the Four Seasons. Now the positives…

Yes, you are actually here watching a beautiful Tahitian sunset over the bluest of lagoons gently dipping behind majestic Mt. Otemanu from the deck of your overwater bungalow at the Four Seasons. Is it real, is it a dream? These are the memories made at this incredible resort from possibly the most beautiful locations on earth. It is real, and the Four Seasons delivers quality, luxury, opulence, and world class service.

This was our second trip to Bora Bora. The first time around we stayed at the Park Royal which is now the Intercontinental Le Moana. This time we were undecided between a newly remodeled St. Regis which supposedly has great dining, the Intercontinental Thalasso which is known for its spa and the Four Seasons which is known for a balance. I don’t think you could go wrong with any of these places and they are all just about the same price. Tahiti is expensive, very expensive, so a few more bucks can be the difference between a bad or great meal, or the difference between inferior to superior customer service. Since the prices are high, what separates the pack is customer service and that’s how they compete. Four Seasons Resorts are world renowned for customer service and Bora Bora is no exception. The reviews for customer service plus the fact we were travelling with 2 pre -schoolers in tow was the reason for the decision.

The Four Seasons Bora Bora has been highly regarded as one of the best places to travel with kids in Bora Bora. They have a complimentary kids camp complete with a splash zone. It’s clean, it’s safe, they do fun excursions, and they do quality art projects with the kids. Ms. Francine and Ms. Jenny are great with kids, and the kids would actually ask to go there even when Mommy and Daddy weren’t diving with sharks and mantas. Yes, the Four Seasons is family friendly, but it’s spacious enough and well enough planned that kids of any age will not have an impact on the honeymooner or non family traveler. In addition, they did an excellent job planning for our kid’s arrival.
The kids received stuffed spotted eagle ray animals, they received a complete robe and flip flop set in their sizes, and turtle shaped cookies with their names written in chocolate icing on them; nice touch and “mad props yo” to the Four Seasons people. They also child proof the room by covering corners on tables and securing the deck by encasing everything in plexi glass so they don’t accidently fall into the lagoon. Another great job Four Seasons.

Pick up and check in were seamless. They pick you up in one of their elegant shuttle vessels. You are greeted by a friendly staff with complimentary water and an ice cold hand towel scented in the enchanted fragrance of the world famous Tahitian Tiare’ flower. After travelling halfway across the world, feeling about as fresh as a final 3 competitor in survivor, the shuttle service quickly reminds you pampering is just a boat ride away. In minutes, after a refreshing and visually stunning panoramic ride to the resort, you pull up to the dock of the Four Seasons and are greeted by name with a wonderful tropical fruit drink and again, with more of those wonderful magical little towels. In a few moments you are whisked away to your bungalow. Shortly after, your luggage arrives and a member of the staff orientates you on your room, the resort and how to get the most of your stay. You begin to settle into the surroundings, your stress melts and you realize you’re in for a wonderful vacation.

The staff is incredible. Anything we needed was a smile away. They were really intent on making sure you were well taken care of. The concierge service is great, you can get DVD’s from the front desk, and they have a great business center if/when you want to utilize the computers for a quick email to those at home. The grounds are immaculate, the pool is great and the poolside service is wonderful. When you decide on a pool day, they periodically bring by those towels I am raving about and a different complimentary snack everyday that the kids loved. The one that really stands out was this candied cold pineapple on a stick. Here it is almost 3 months later and I can still taste it. Tahiti with it’s sights, scents and tastes is true sensory overload.

The spa is incredible. You get an hour to unwind by yourself in private utilizing a steam room, a hot tub, a chromo therapy shower or just hanging outside in your own private Eden on a comfortable lounge chair. After the hour, you can do a couples or solitary massage and utilize a choice of techniques. Then, you can unwind without a thought or care in the world at a relaxation room with an incredible view.

The resort also has a mini man made lagoon that is great for the little ones to get some experience swimming with live fish. There is also a resident marine biologist on staff that is trying different techniques to grow coral and an afternoon learning about the research is also a great lesson for kids and adults alike.

The evening entertainment is fine. They have different theme nights at the main buffet restaurant and also a Tahitian show one night a week.

The concierge is very skilled at finding activities on and off the resort that suit an individual’s pace, fitness and interest level. They helped find us activities that kept the adults interested, but also the kids entertained. We did it before, but highly recommend the 4x4 tour. I recommend seeing Toby at Vavau tours. He’s super knowledgeable, patient and willing to accommodate seeing some places off the tour as well.

We also did a lot of Scuba diving. Wow, what a place to go diving. The outer reef is still damaged from a cyclone, but the inner lagoon is fine and one of the few spots on earth you are almost guaranteed to see mantas. We dove with Top Dive and did our advanced certificate. Top Dive from the friendliness of the staff to their local knowledge is great. Definitely recommend them as well.

In all, if you subtract out the high premiums of a luxury Bora Bora vacation, it is probably the best all around vacation we have had. This is grading on atmosphere, location, luxury, customer service, travelling with kids, diving and dining and cost not considered. If you add the money back into the equation and grade for these things minus travelling with the kids, then Taveuni Island Resort in Fiji is the way to go with any 4 star plus in Maui right there in the mix with or without kids . If you add back in the money then add the kids back into the equation and curve for proximity to the USA, then Beaches Turks Caicos is the spot. With that said, if Tahiti and her Island of Bora Bora is on your “must do”list, then go for it, get it crossed off and see the wonderful folks at the Four Seasons. We loved it so much, we crossed it off twice.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank DiVe_FaMiLy4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Property: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Address: Motu Tehotu BP 547, 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Bora Bora
#1 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
#1 Spa Hotel in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora 5*
Number of rooms: 107
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is a South Pacific paradise, combining the highest standards of service with ultramodern comforts and the natural ease and gracious hospitality of the Polynesian culture. Set upon Bora Bora's surrounding coral atoll, the Resort is a vast tropical grove, replete with coconut palms and pandanus trees. Meandering channels of pure turquoise lead to the main beach or to smaller lagoons, waiting to be discovered. Every vista is breathtaking. The Resort offers 100 overwater bungalow suites and seven beachfront villa estates, all designed with thatched roofs and decorated with indigenous artwork. Four restaurants offer a vast selection of creative culinary experiences, while the full-service spa is balanced by the powerful rhythms of the Pacific Ocean and the tranquility of the island's lagoon - offering an unmatched combination of relaxation and exhilaration. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora Hotel Bora Bora
4 Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Four Seasons Bora
Four Seasons Hotel Bora
Bora Bora Four Seasons

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