This was the last stop of our 3-island honeymoon adventure. My favourite hands down and glad it was our last stop!!!! You will notice the St. Regis difference right at the Bora Bora airport. The representative bought us juices on the house while we waited for other couples to arrive. Then the moment came when we saw the St. Regis yacht. Just as other travellers have noted, it clearly blows away EVERY other hotel boat (Le Meridien being a sad small boat -- which I was suprised about given it's a good hotel - value wise). We didn't however see the Four Seasons boat until our departure -- and given that it is newer, it's very stylish as well.
Arrival - we were warmly greeted with leis by our bulter Eri (Tahitian) who quickly whisked us around the resort in a club car and showed us all the key points. Before leaving us to our Deluxe OWB (free upgrade on top of our already free upgrade from Pacific for Less), he made sure to note all our pre-made reservations (La Villa Mahana, complimentary beach dinner, Lagoon by Jean Georges, complimentary couples massage) and double checked that we were ready to go.
Food -- we tried Lagoon and Te Pahu (beach dinner). Lagoon had a prix fixed menu for Valentine's day so the bill came to 32000 XPF (~ $400 CDN) excluding drinks. Included in that price was a 3 course meal + amuse bouche + end treat + champagne. The waiters were very attentive and served us tons of breads. For the money, we've had better tasting food. We would have loved to try Lagoon on a regular menu night but didn't have enough days with all the other reservations. Beautiful view (can't beat it). Te Pahu beach dinner was free for us but comparing to the quality of the food, we both enjoyed this dinner more than Lagoon (and who can beat free food? :)) Because it was quite windy that evening, they set us up inside but on the edge with a beach view (in case it rained). There were 2 other couples there as well but the staff was smart enough to adorn the place with flowers and statues so that we were not in view of the other 2 couples. Nice touch but so thoughtful! There is also Sushi Take (Japanese restaurant) which we didn't get a chance to try. It looked small from the outside. Aparima Bar offers snacks throughout the day and we had a tasty St. Regis pizza (good for 2) for 3300 XPF (~ $40 CDN). There was free champagne (normally costs $100+) and truffles upon arrival due to our honeymoon package.
Service -- St. Regis butler service here is divine. We got letters/notes daily reminding us of reservations and even one from our butler telling us that he would be off the next day but that we can call butler service anytime. There was a special turndown service for Valentine's day (flower petals on the bed) and every evening, they would have a St. Regis stamped box of Tahitian cookies (different flavour each night) along with a legend/story about the island. On the last night, there was a St. Regis foot mat (?) on each side of the bed. Talk about great treatment! Late checkout was free for us (platinum SPG membership) so it was helpful since our flight was at 5pm. Everywhere you turn, there is someone saying Ia Orana to you and even the hotel guests would smile at a minimum if not say hello. Unlike a previous comment on this forum, not all butlers are Frenchmen. There are various locals that made the place a true Tahiti feel. There is even a Japanese butler (or at least one that spoke Japanese) for the Japanese tourists.
Pools -- soft water apparently. We didn't use them too much as we got enough water on our Reef Discovery excursion and OWB. We only lounged at the Oasis pool which was a few minutes away from our Deluxe OWB. First come first served for this pool and it's adults only (but I only saw one kid at the resort anyhow). The oasis pool is much more private with cabana's that allow you to call for service (phones available).
Mosquitoes -- NONE. I got 13 mosquitoe bites over my entire trip. None from the St. Regis because they spray the resort on Mondays and Thursdays so mosquitoes are rare. For me, that was the best thing! i never saw any bugs in the OWB except for a water bug on the window one day. We always kept the doors closed.
Rooms -- Deluxe OWB as mentioned -- 1550 sq ft of pure elegance (largest of all hotels in Bora Bora). Some small complaints: The sliding doors were a bit warped here and there and there are a few water stains on some areas in the washroom (mirror frames, drawers) but nothing to complain about. You don't notice it unless it's daytime. If you use the soft lighting, you won't notice it. There are windows everywhere that you can open up if you want. Some curtains could use fixing (falling off due to tugging). Privacy screens on the deck but NO sound proofing if you open your doors/windows! :). Surround sound with volume adjusters in every room. Two separate AC adjusters. Ample space including wide hallway. Converters/adapters available upon request. Loofahs included too by the bathtub. Over the top is all I can say! :)
Lagoonarium -- this makes up for the lack of fish around the OWB. You can save yourself some money by just visiting this instead of going on a tour (depends how much of an enthusiast you are about snorkelling). There are a few fish that are about 0.75m long. They are harmless and enjoy swimming at the bottom.
Spa -- quiet, and very out of the way. It is about 30 min walk from end to end of the resort and the spa is at one end. Noticed that this was the only thatched roof in repair that week with a blue tarp on (along with a very discreet renovation going on near reception). Inside the massage room was not that Tahitian like as I would have imagined (not a thatched roof with dark woods). Remember to remind the therapist on the amount of pressure you want! Serene and quiet.
Fitness centre -- our first stop after we arrived :). Complete with AC / water / music / view of the spa with touchscreen treadmills.
Bikes -- first come first served. We took 2 bikes from the spa and a fuming guest chased us down in a club car to tell us that we took hers. It's first come first serve so in my view, if no one is riding it, we can use it. There are phones everywhere to call a club car and they come within 10 minutes so I don't see what the concern is. We did consider bringing bike locks as another commenter here noted but thought it might be too much. It says in the hotel book (in your room) that we need to return bikes to reception by 5pm. The butler service said we didn't have to so we would just leave it outside our room and it would magically all appear by reception/spa the next day.
Boat service to main island -- free several times a day with free taxi on the 10:15AM and 2PM departures. Each trip with the bus shuttle is about 2 hours before they pick you up again. The St. Regis waiting area in the main island has AC and is nicely maintained. Pick up/drop off is at Robert Wan pearl shop (only one bench here). Really dusty in Vaitape and not much to see except for cheap souvenirs, Robert Wan pearls (and other pearl shops), pricey home decor items and Aloe cafe for some cheaper lunch. Banks here have better exchange rates than the resort but it's not much difference unless you are paying cash for big ticket items. Usually credit cards have the best rates anyhow. One trip is enough unless you are going to dinner.
Private motu -- accessible from the Te Pahu restaurant end. To the right of it is the "backyard" of the Royal Estate (13000 sq ft room). You walk over a small bridge to get to it. Quiet place.
Overall, a pricey trip but a must do at least once in your life! Special thanks to Pacific for Less for all the first hand advice, reservations, and hassle free honeymoon planning. Mauruuru!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The exclusive St. Regis Bora Bora is 44-acre island resort located in Polynesian paradise. Our elite accommodation features the 13,000 sq ft Miri Miri spa and Lagoon Restaurant by Jean Georges. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The St. Regis Bora Bora Hotel Bora Bora
- St Regis Hotel Bora
- St Regis Bora Bora
- St Regis Resort Bora Bora