We stayed at the Intercontinental Thalasso and really enjoyed it. We were honeymoonin in June 2006 and found that all the hotels we stayed at were underbooked. I know July and August is full, esp with european tourists so perhaps mid to late June is a lull period. I know we had fun!
On a trip around the island by boat I thought the Hotel Bora Bora and the nearby Sheraton had some of the best waterfront. IIRC the Sheraton has its own little island in the middle of the lagoon for day trips to white sand. The hotels on the motu all faced the mountain in the center of Bora, and it is a beautiful view.
We stayed at Le Meridien at the end of Oct, beginning of Nov. for our honeymoon. It was fabulous! Bora Bora is a tropical vacation destination with year-round temperatures in the 77 to 82 degree range. Go from May to October when the weather is dry and the air is cooled by the trade winds. From November to April, it rains more often, while days are hotter and more humid. We stayed through Nov. 7th and were fine, I think it rained one afternoon for an hour.
This was one of the best beaches I've ever visited. There were many activities to choose from and they offered a daily shuttle service via boat to the main island. We biked around the island and checked out a few of the other hotels/resorts. The advantage to staying at Le Meridien is that it is the only hotel on the motu, making it relaxing, plus you get an amazing view of the mountian on the main island. You really feel like you are in a beautiful remote destination.
The service and food was outstanding. They even delivered complimentary champagne and strawberries to our room the second night. We stayed in an over water bungalow with our own private deck and outdoor shower. The inside had a great tub and a seperate enclosed dual head shower and a see through glass floor underneath the coffee table. It was truly romantic and adventurous!
Hi Cali98. Thanks for your update on Le Meridien. I have never been to French Polynesia and have a few questions for you. First, did you fly from the east coast or west coast?Was this trip a Luxury Link package? How were the costs on the island for food, etc. Did you venture off the property often and if so, how (car, foot, etc.). Was there a lot of boat traffic in yourlagoon area or could you swim freely withoutdodging boats. Thanks so much. I am in the very early stages of planning a trip and am working on the logistics right now. Thanks for your suggestions on the time of year to go.
Hi-I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I haven't checked this in awhile and have been busy. I'll try to answer your questions as best I can. We flew from Los Angeles in late Oct. 2002. We did not go through Luxury Link, I didn't know about it then. Food cost depends on where you want to go. It wasn't outrageous but nothing was dirt cheap. The hotel restaurants were a little more expensive. It was not a crowded location, there were several lagoons we could swim in. We even had the hotel pack a picnic lunch for us and kayaked to a private beach. There was so much space and few people that you could really get away from everyone. We did venture off the property. There was a shuttle boat that would run back and forth between our motu and the main island. One time we did a day trip and road bikes around the main island, we also went to dinner a few times and just took a taxi after we docked. The hotel restaurants and lounge were great, but we wanted to experience different places.
I just returned from two weeks in FP....water as beautiful as ever. Bora Bora was the finish line for the annual Hawai'i Iki Nui va'a race and it was a spectacular sight. We took the Tupuna 4-wheel drive 1/2 day safari (me for the 4th time)....very rough road !!! but spectacular sights at the top of the mountain. This time my trip wasn't through luxurylink and I found meals very expensive on all the islands. Enjoyed dinner at Alfredo's on Moorea and Mango Cafe in Papeete.....spectacular!
I can only second this recommendation. The French Polynesian Islands are outrageously expensive, but understandingly so. Most everything needs to be imported, and a great many things are imported directly from France.
Hi I.....We notice some LL packages to villas. The packages are priced reasonably. I am still torn if we want to go there. It sounds lovely. I think I would go for the villa rental. Would love to hear some feedback on someone who has rented. We could cook some meals in to save costs.
We recently visited Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti. Bora Bora and Moorea were stops on our Hawaii - Tahiti cruise. We enjoyed the scenery and the snorkeling. In Tahiti we spent 4 nights at the Le Meridien Hotel in Papetee which was ok, but rather expensive. The over the water bungalows were small and cost more than we cared to spend. Food prices were out of site, $45 for buffet breakfast per person. Even so January was low season, this did not mean "dry" season. It rained every day while we were there. One travel site for French Polynesia states "there is NO monsoon, there are NO cyclones, and there is a LOT of sunshine", we felt like we hit monsoon season. In Bora Bora it rained so hard that the beautiful blue lagoon turned brown from the run-off that we had to abandon our 4th snorkeling stop there. Moorea was beautiful and we had a chance to swim with black tip sharks and large, very tame manterays, but again the rain and the low clouds obscured the mountains. Moorea is just a short hop by hydrofoil from Papetee and the mountains are quite visible from the Le Meridien Hotel in Papetee. However, they were most of the time shrouded in clouds. We found the snorkeling in front of the Le Meridien Hotel rather poor compared to Virgin Gorda or the rest of the Caribbean. True, the fish in all the 3 Polynesian Islands we visited were beautiful and more varied than in the Virgin Islands. However, the coral was dead and had the appearance of dead cement blocks. There were no sea fans at all. However, many of the dead coral blocks were covered by some rampant, green, unsightly growth. There was a constant stream of pollution we could observe in front of the Le Meridien Hotel which made us wonder if this was the cause of the coral decay.
The return flight from Papetee via LAX to Tampa was 26 hours including the layovers.
Our conclusion was, while we were thrilled to have seen Bora Bora, Morea and Tahiti, we would rather spend time in Virgin Gorda or other Caribbean Islands which are in our back yard and just a couple of flight hours away. In any case, if you do go, do not go in January or February but rather pick May to September to avoid the constant rains.