One of my most memorable hotel stays – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

The stay at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa was the highlight of our trip to French Poynesia and one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at. If you are planning a romantic getaway to Bora Bora (read my review here), you should consider the InterConti as your place to stay. The combination of the beauty of Bora Bora, its location on the atoll facing the island, the amazing overwater villas and great service make it an amazing place to stay at and worth the sky high prices!

SONY DSCLocation: The InterConti is located on the motu ringing Bora Bora, facing the island, giving it one of the most desirable locations on Bora Bora (shared with equally exclusive neighbors the St. Regis and the Four Seasons). The overwater villas are built in two “crab claws” reaching into the lagoon and you can spot the unique design on Google Earth or from the plane! From the villas you will have a view over the blue-green lagoon, with some facing the beautiful mountains! Any guest can enjoy those views from the bar, restaurant and pool area as well! Reaching the hotel involves a long trip and contributes to the exclusivity: Flights to Tahiti are rare, connecting flights to Bora Bora are expensive and you will be picked up by the hotel boat for the last leg of your journey!

SONY DSCService: The service at the InterConti was exceptional throughout, as you would expect from a hotel in this category. We were welcomed at the small airport and brought to the hotel boat for a quick journey to the hotel pier. The staff welcomed us with the sounds of a horn blowing, leys, drinks and cold towels. We were checked into our room quickly and brought to our villa with a golf cart, giving us a tour of the resort in the process. The housekeeping staff was thorough, yet invisible. They seemed to appear out of thin air as soon as we left our room and were finished before we returned every day. Not once did we return to an unmade room! The staff at the bar and restaurant were very attentive and equally friendly, without ever being intrusive. They struck the perfect balance between attending to your every need, without ever “hovering” or intruding. The same is true for the staff at the spa and all around the resort! It is rare, even at a 5-star hotel, to complete a multi-night stay without a single issue – and the InterConti did just that!

SONY DSCRoom: Calling the villas a “room” is almost offensive – you are reaching your villa via the wooden boardwalk and enter into a small foyer with a work desk (which you will hopefully not need!). To the left is a large living room, with a comfortable couch and a glass (opening) couch table, allowing for a view into the lagoon below. You can see the fish without ever putting on a snorkel or mask! The living room opens onto a large, private deck with room for a table with chairs and two loungers. The deck is hidden from view from the boardwalk or other villas, giving you great privacy. From the upper deck, you can step down SONY DSConto a lower deck and with a small ladder enter the lagoon for a swim! To the left of the living room is the bed room with a large, comfortable bed also facing the lagoon! There is a side table behind the bed and a tray table available for breakfast in bed! Further on to the left is the also very large bathroom with a separate shower, toilet sinks and a large, free standing bath tub with, you guessed it, a view of the lagoon! The size of the villa as well as the furnishings were opulent and the greatest feature is the amazing lagoon views from anywhere in or outside the villa, while having complete privacy as well!

IC LoungeRestaurant/Amenities: One of the nice features of the InterConti is the number of small stretches of beaches, each with two loungers, giving you the feel of having a “private” beach wherever you put down. While you obviously would see other guests, it always felt almost empty in a good way.
The InterConti has multiple bars and restaurants and, given that you are pretty much “captive” at the resort, you will experience them. The main “Reef” restaurant is serving breakfast and dinner with very good food, great service and views of the pool and beaches. Lunch is served at the “Sands” beach restaurantWe also enjoyed the bar and lounge, especially during the daily happy hour for cocktails at sunset. You can mix up your experience with the more South-Beach-esque, stylish inside lounge seating or the relaxed beach side seating. Dinner is also available in the air-conditioned “Le Corail” restaurant if you need a cool break!
IC Stingray FeedingTo round out the luxurious, relaxing experience, you can treat yourself to some time at the spa. You can receive your massages or treatments in overwater spa suite, offering the only time I saw fish during a massage. You also get access to an outdoor relaxation area, including private jacuzzi and loungers that made for a great spot to hang out after receiving treatments – and you can even order cocktails or champagne to add to your indulgence.
If you are looking for more activities around the resort, you can go swimming or snorkeling right from the beach or go on a dive trip. There are also a fitness center and tennis courts for your exercise. You will be able to see stingrays right off the beach – the hotel organizes feedings every day to make for a very unique experience. The hotel also has a boat shuttle to the sister hotel InterConti Le Moana on the main island of Bora Bora. We took the boat and rented bikes for a tour of the island!

SONY DSCIf you combine the beautiful location on the motu with great views and access to the lagoon, the private, overwater villas with the good food, spa, plentiful amenities and great service, you get a truly memorable, romantic getaway of a lifetime that is hard to match in other places. All of this comes at a staggering price – everything from the flight to the rooms and the food is very expensive. But considering the generally high prices all over French Polynesia, the InterConti is actually worth it and providing better value than other places here! We looked at the (similarly expensive) InterConti Le Moana and it does not even compare! And, fortunately, you can use points from the IHG Rewards program to book your room – like we did – and save a lot of money on your trip. Keep in mind that even with a “free” room, your stay will still be an expensive one by the time you pay for food, drinks, transportation and optional services! If you are planning a romantic getaway of a lifetime, and Bora Bora is your destination of choice, you should consider the InterContinental Thalasso, even if only for a night or two – I’m sure you will remember it!


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