While we originally read mixed reviews about Le Mai Tai, we didn’t want to base our dream honeymoon on someone else’s opinion. We specifically wanted to stay at a resort in Bora Bora that offered deep over water bungalows (OWBs). We are very active people and the last thing we wanted to do was snorkel under or around an OWB that was only a mere 4-5 feet deep. While doing our research, we found that some of Bora Bora’s deepest OWBs were at Le Mai Tai. On top of that, we could get 7 straight nights for an amazing price that was comparable to 4 nights somewhere else. We were looking for the true OWB experience, an authentic Polynesian island and lagoon experience. It was the best decision we made because, ultimately, we experienced all of those things and more.
Upon arrival at the Bora Bora airport, we were transferred by boat to Vaitape, where the main harbour is. From there, we were transferred by van to Le Mai Tai. We were greeted with flower leis and a yummy cold drink. After a small tour and explanation of the facilities, we checked into our gorgeous OWB. Back in Canada, I had corresponded with the resort manager to arrange for an OWB that was furthest away from shore and over the deepest water. They did not let us down! Our OWB, #107, was the most amazing one there! We later found out that #107 and #108 were the best ones!
As mentioned, our OWB was the furthest one from the shore, therefore providing us with the most spectacular view. It was built about ten feet above the actual surface of the water. The water directly underneath the OWB was about 20 feet deep (YAY!), and directly off of our balcony looking out into the lagoon, the water dropped further and further to 30 feet, 40 feet, and deeper! The water itself was crystal clear making for perfect snorkelling conditions, and of the brightest turquoise blue I have ever seen. We were in for an amazing week!
Inside, the OWB was a very quaint and private retreat. Thatched roof, wooden details, Polynesian décor, a king size bed, spacious bathroom, open air shower, and large patio doors that opened to our very large balcony overlooking the gorgeous lagoon. We also had a bar fridge in our room, a small safe, and a glass bottom floor underneath the coffee table.
We snorkelled and swam around our OWB everyday. The underwater life is just breathtaking! We fed the fish leftover bread from the restaurants, all the while trying not to laugh so hard from the constant tickling from the fishes’ noses. Some of the best times we had on our HM were at our OWB, whether it was underwater exploring, admiring the captivating views, or watching the sunrise from the balcony. It was our own little world.
There are two restaurants on-site, one of which is next to the beach and the other located at the main building. The one next to the beach is more casual, so we opted to go there for a few lunches. Delicious food too – my favourite was the green salad with goat cheese and walnuts. DH’s fave was the mahi mahi salad. The restaurant at the main building is more formal, and therefore great for romantic dinners with my hubby. And of course, the meals there were also delicious. My personal favourite was the mahi-mahi tuna on a bed of leeks (sounds weird, but sooo good!). DH’s fave was the lagoon fish made with a creamy sauce. Breakfast is served only at the formal restaurant, either buffet or a-la-carte. My favourite breakfast was eggs Benedict, while DH’s was the ham omelette.
There is also a free-standing bar conveniently located right on the beach. We enjoyed several drinks there from our favourite staff member, Chantal. Drinks were always cold and service was so friendly. We also had kayaks and snorkel gear available at the beach, as well as an authentic Polynesian canoe draped in palms.
We found Le Mai Tai to have the most friendly and the most courteous staff. Everyone was always willing to accommodate our needs, answer our many questions, and go the extra mile to ensure we were comfortable. We were always greeted with a smile and an enthusiastic “bonjour!” Several of the staff members even knew us by name. About half-way through our stay, chilled champagne and a fruit platter were delivered to our room! How sweet!
Side note: Being Canadian, we were taught French at a very early age up until grade nine. My husband stopped then, but I continued to take French all the way through to University. I love the language, so I was extremely happy to be able to use it again, seeing as it had been years since my last “real” French conversation. If I forgot a word here or there, the staff at Le Mai Tai were very patient with me. And although the majority of the staff spoke English, they were all more than happy to hear me speak French! I believe this was because they somehow knew that we were genuinely accepting and, in one way or another, adapting to their culture and to ours surroundings. After all, WE were the visitors.
Activities on and around the island deserve a whole review in and of themselves, but several worth mentioning are: personal open-air dune buggy rental, personal aluminum boat rental, dinner at Bloody Mary's, and a black pearl tour at The Farm.
Overall, Le Mai Tai is a beautiful and authentic Polynesian resort. It is intimate in size, quaint, and not at all overcrowded. The hospitality at Le Mai Tai is unsurpassed, as we felt “at home” from day one.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Maitai Bora