Where to Stay in Bora Bora

Bora Bora is heaven on Earth. Clear blue waters, tropical reefs as far as the eye can see. Cocktails and beers that are never ending and keep being brought to you almost like magic. If you are after a truly unique, ultra-luxury holiday or vacation, Bora Bora is the place you want to visit. Getting there can be difficult, and it is very expensive, however there is nowhere else like this on the planet.

This is the ultimate guide on where to stay in Bora Bora. I have scoured every single bit of information I can find to bring you the best recommendations on where to stay on the island, including location, price, service and value. This guide only covers the island of Bora Bora, not its neighbours. I will cover the surrounding islands in another article.

My recommendations for the top 5 resorts in Bora Bora are:

  1. Four Seasons Resort (Honeymoons)
  2. Le Meridien Bora Bora (Families)
  3. Hotel Maitai Polynesia (Budget)
  4. Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island (Location)
  5. Conrad Bora Bora Nui (Snorkelling)

This is what I believe is the 5 best resorts in their categories. However, don’t stop reading here. Continue reading to get a lot more in-depth information on each hotel. Who knows, you may think some other resort is a better option and decide to go with that one.

I also have a full guide on how to get to Bora Bora from every single continent which I highly recommend reading also. That guide will save you a lot of money on flights to the island.

Best Place to Stay for Honeymoons

Four Seasons Resort

Four Seasons Resort
Four Season’s famous overwater bungalows are perfect for honeymooners

About

Your holiday dreams will come true at Four Seasons. White sand, crystal clear lagoons and lots of champagne are all on offer at this truly spectacular resort. Overwater bungalows are lined across the beach and provide the backdrop to some amazing underwater adventures.

Four Seasons was listed in the 2012 Conde Nast Traveller Top 100 List.

Location

Four Seasons resort is located on the island of Motu Piti Aau, less than 2 kilometers away from the main island and 6 kilometers away from the airport. Upon arrival into the airport, you will be greeted by a member of the Four Seasons who will be more than happy to take your luggage and escort you to their custom yacht. Enjoy a 15-minute transfer to the resort in style. The resort offers a taxi style boat service over the main island to explore the culture and culture of Bora Bora.

Amenities

  • Pool
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Spa
  • 4 Restaurant
  • Gym
  • Breakfast Available
  • Business Services
  • Bar
  • Laundry
  • Room Service
  • Housekeeping
  • 24/7 Front Desk
  • Hot Tub

Rooms

Four Seasons Resort offers a variety of different bungalows depending on what your requirements are. These are my recommendation for couples.

One-bedroom overwater bungalows with a beach view are the perfect accommodation for couples or small families. Views of the lagoon and Mt Otemanu over your private plunge pool are spectacular and are seriously some of the best resort views money can buy.

If you want to spend a little less money, I highly recommend the one bedroom beachfront villa estates. The views from the beach are still nothing short of spectacular. Beachfront rooms are equipped with an enclosed garden and private pool to relax in. The white sand on the beach and turquoise water and only a few metres from the room.

All bungalows available are able to be viewed on the Agoda website.

Review

Everything about this resort is amazing. The location, the scenery, the atmosphere. Well, everything except the price. But this resort is very, very expensive. However, for a truly special occasion like a honeymoon or anniversary you are not going to find a more premium spot to celebrate.

Visitors reported the best service and facilities on the island. However, negative experiences included price for goods and services in the resort, which are described as outrageously expensive. If you are going, expect to take a lot more money than what the hotel costs!

If you are after a once in a lifetime experience, I highly recommend Four Seasons Resort. The views, water and scenery are worth every dollar in my opinion.

I highly recommend checking out Four Seasons on the Agoda website for best rates and availability.

Best Places to Stay for Families

Blue Heaven Island

Blue Heaven Island is my budget recommendation for families on Bora Bora island

About

Located on a private island, Blue Heaven is a 5-bungalow resort designed for families. The resort likes things run with simple in mind and old fashioned. Ceiling fans instead of air conditioning, a beautiful lagoon as a pool and solar power.

However, don’t let this deter you from the days filled with kayaking, swimming and snorkelling the reefs.

Location

Blue Heaven Island is located on the island of Paahi, nestled between Vananui and Tane. As Blue Heaven Island is located on a private island, access to the island is fairly restricted. However, the island is only just over a kilometer from the Bora Bora airport. Because of this remoteness, Blue Heaven Island offers a package which will drop you off at the airport. This allows you to be able to get the hourly shuttle to the main island.

Amenities

  • Free airport shuttle
  • Shopping centre shuttle (surcharge)
  • Restaurant
  • Breakfast available
  • Wi-Fi available (XPF 500 per hour)
  • Free Kayaking
  • Free cots and infants’ beds

Rooms

Blue Heaven Island keeps it simple with the one room type, a bungalow with lagoon views. Sleeping 4 people, 2 adults and 2 children, this room is perfect for families. Free cots and infant beds are available on request and are free of charge. The beds have mosquito nets around them as they can get in and be quite frustrating.

Review

This resort is great for families and keeps things simple on the private island. With solar power and intermittent Wi-Fi, expect to be truly disconnected from the outside world and ready to take in the natural beauty the resort has to offer.

Being very secluded in a tropical area, mosquitos are quite prevalent on the resort. Be sure to bring repellent (Amazon link). Whilst Kayaking equipment is provided free of charge, scuba gear will need to be brought to the island. Being in such a low-lit area, the night sky from the resort is incredible. If you are into astrophotography or star gazing in general, it will blow you away with how clear and beautiful the night sky is. Blue Island Heaven recommends bringing a small telescope if you can fit it in your suitcase. The Mosodo Crystal Clear 8-24X40 (Amazon link) is portable and will get you closer to the stars.

I recommend checking out Blue Heaven Island on Agoda for the best rates and availability.

Le Meridien Bora Bora

Le Meridien Bora Bora
Le Meridien Bora Bora is my luxury recommendation for families

About

For the families wanting to splash out and spoil the children, Le Meridien Bora Bora is the place to do so. Owned and operated by Mariott, Le Meridien is a spectacular escape from the busy life.

Le Meridien has amazing views of Mt Otemau, private lagoons and crystal-clear waters. This hotel is truly a heaven on Earth. The resort is also home to the famous Bora Bora Turtle Centre, which is known for its not for profit rehabilitation of injured turtles. This is a must do for any visitor to the island.

Location

Le Meridien is located on the east side of Bora Bora. The resort is located on a motu (islet) and has boat transfers to get to and from the domestic airport. Additionally, the shuttle also visits the main island if you want to go shopping or explore the town area. The shuttle to the airport is a 12,390 XPF ($115 USD) round trip. Getting to the town of Vaitape will set you back 3,045 XPF ($28.50 USD) for a round trip.

Amenities

  • Pool
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Restaurant
  • Spa
  • Gym
  • Breakfast available
  • Bar
  • Business services
  • Laundry
  • Room service
  • Housekeeping
  • 24/7 front desk

Rooms

Like Four Seasons, Le Meridien offers a whole bunch of different rooms and sizes. My recommendation for families is the 1-bedroom suite on the beach. The room fits 3 adults and 2 children. It has a king bed and 3 sofa beds inside and has direct access to the beaches of the interior lagoon.

The room itself is simply beautiful. Lined with hardwood floors, a glass bottom floor in the bedroom which looks into the crystal-clear water and a deck area for lounging and taking in the sights. It has all the usual things you would expect from a 5-star resort too including Wi-Fi, Spa and Air Conditioning.

Review

I highly recommend Le Meridien as a luxury getaway for the family. While very expensive, the views, atmosphere, service and activities are second to none. This truly is a tropical paradise like no other. Le Meridien is a much safer choice over Blue Heaven Island especially with children. With modern amenities such as Wi-Fi and air conditioning there will be no complaints from the kids here at this resort.

The resort has breakfast and restaurant options available. Breakfast is usually included as part of your stay; however the restaurants attract fees. These can be expensive, so if you are wanting to save some money head onto the main island and check out the restaurant options in town.

I highly recommend checking out Le Meridien on the Agoda website for the best rates and availability.

Best Place to Stay on a Budget

Hotel Maitai Polynesia

Hotel Maitai Polynesia
Hotel Maitai Polynesia is perfect if you want to explore Bora Bora on a budget

About

If you are on a budget, Hotel Maitai Polynesia is great value for what you pay. This hotel’s location is perfect for visiting the sites of Bora Bora while staying on the island. The rooms provide stunning views of the garden and beaches surrounding the hotel. Rent a moped and explore the island or visit the only public beach in Bora Bora, which is conveniently close to the hotel.

Location

Hotel Maitai Polynesia is located to the south on the main island of Bora Bora. The location is great for checking out the restaurants, bars and activities on the main island. Getting to the resort is done by hire car or Air Tahiti shuttle boat. The shuttle boat runs on days there is flights and is free when you have a flight the same day. Just show your boarding pass or confirmation.

I highly recommend checking out Hotel Maitai Polynesia on the Agoda website for best rates and availability.

Amenities

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Free parking
  • Restaurant
  • Breakfast available
  • Business services
  • Bar
  • Laundry
  • Housekeeping
  • 24/7 front desk

Rooms

Various rooms are available at Hotel Maitai including standard rooms and bungalows. The standard rooms provide great value with either garden views or ocean views. If you are feeling like a bungalow, you can choose between an overwater room or one on the beachfront.

The rooms are nice and well maintained. Tiled floors help keep the rooms cooler in the hotter months. The overwater bungalows are perfect for watching the amazing colours of the sunrise. Air conditioning is a definite bonus in the Bora Bora heat.

Review

If you still want an amazing Bora Bora experience without breaking the bank, this hotel is perfect for you. Whilst located on the main island and not a private one, this has its benefits over the more luxury resorts. Access to restaurants and bars is easy from Hotel Maitai. With a short walk to attractions such as Leopard Rays Trench, Matira Beach and Coral Gardens this resort is in a perfect location.

I am a fan of these more budget style resorts over the bigger chain ones. Food and beverages are much cheaper, and it doesn’t feel like every penny is being squeezed out of you. If the restaurant is not your style, there is plenty of food options around which the bigger resorts cannot offer.

Best Place to Stay for Snorkelling

Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Located on the island of To’opua, Conrad Bora Bora Nui offers some of the best snorkelling in the world.

About

Conrad Bora Bora Nui offers a fully renovated 5-star experience on a remote island in the south-west of Bora Bora. Operated by Hilton, the resort boasts a massive 6 restaurants and bars which will keep everyone happy and fed.

There is an abundance of activities to do on the island including hiking, picnics and swimming with the sharks. However, the island has amazing snorkelling, with the area surrounded with sea life of all colours.

Conrad Bora Bora Nui is listed on the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List for 2017 and has a certificate of excellence from Tripadvisor.

Location

The resort is located on the island of Motu Toopua, which is one of largest islands in the Bora Bora region excluding the main island. Access the island from the domestic airport by boat, which travels between the two islands ferrying guests. The cost of a round trip is 13,900 XPF ($130 USD). There is a shuttle to the main town of Vaitape also, which can be arranged by resort staff for a fee.

Amenities

  • Tennis Court
  • Pool
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Spa
  • Restaurant
  • Gym
  • Breakfast Available
  • Business Services
  • Bar
  • Laundry
  • Room Service
  • 24/7 Front Desk

Rooms

Conrad Bora Bora Nui offers a huge array of different rooms and suites. There are a number of different villas offered including ones overlooking the horizon pool, garden pool, over the water, garden, horizon, royal pool and king beach.

The premium overwater villas are simply stunning with beds and decks facing the ocean, plunge pool and private spa.

Review

Being tucked away at the back of an island to the west, Conrad Bora Bora Nui offers a little more privacy in an already sacred and private island. Along with the beautiful location, the snorkelling here is spectacular and I rate it the best on Bora Bora. Swim around the overwaters and you will see a whole bunch of different tropical reef fish such as Clown Fish and Butterfly Fish. I highly recommend this place to any other snorkelling lovers like myself.

I highly recommend checking out Conrad Bora Bora Nui on Agoda for rates and availability.

Best Rated Place to Stay

Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island

Sofitel Bora Bora
Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island is the perfect blend of all the best resorts on the island

About

Sofitel Bora Bora is the perfect mix everything that makes a great resort on the island. It is luxurious, offers amazing view and offers so much natural beauty with 360-degree views of the ocean and Mt Otemanu. However, this resort cannot accommodate families and is limited to a maximum of 2 people. Sofitel Private Island offers some of the best snorkelling on the whole of Bora Bora with the island being a popular stop for all the tour companies also.

Location

The resort is located on the private motu island of Pitiuu Uta, which lies between the islands of Pitiuu Tai and Matira Beach on the main island. Getting to the island is sorted for you by the resort with a 20-minute cruise from the airport through the shimmering blue waters. A free boat ride takes you to the main island to explore and enjoy the local town.

Amenities

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Spa
  • Restaurant
  • Breakfast available
  • Bar
  • Room service
  • Housekeeping
  • 24/7 front desk

Rooms

The resort offers two different luxury bungalows, either with an ocean view or over water. The ocean view bungalows are perched up in the trees to provide spectacular views. Overwater bungalows are perfect for relaxing and watching the main island and sunset over Mount Otemanu. The rooms are a little dated but offer an authentic island experience on Bora Bora.

Review

Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island has the highest rating in Bora Bora on most of the major travel sites. With impeccable service who will go out of their way to help you to the private island location. With a free 5-minute boat ride to the main island you will never be short of things to do while staying here. The one downside is the rooms are a little dated and in need of upgrade. However don’t let this deter you from what will be a memory that lasts a lifetime.

I highly recommend checking out Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island on Agoda for the best rates and availability.

Best Things to do in Bora Bora

Matira Beach

About

The only public beach in Bora Bora, Matira beach has some of the whitest, purest sand and clearest water of any beach in the world. With temperatures rarely dipping below 20 degrees Celsius, the beach is great for swimming all year round.

There is plenty to do around the beach as well, with hiking trails, shopping, snack bars and restaurants to keep you entertained and stomachs full. Watching a sunset over the crystal-clear water is truly delightful.

Location

Matira beach is located on the southern end of the main island, with plenty of resorts, restaurants, shops and clubs surrounding the area.

To get to the beach, get the shuttle from the airport to the main island. Most resorts and hotels offer shuttles to assist with getting around the island. There is no public transport on Bora Bora, there is cars to rent to get around though. However, the best way to explore the island is by renting a moped or bicycle. Get around at your own pace and find out what makes Bora Bora so special.

Bora Bora Lagoonarium

About

Take an excursion around the Bora Bora Lagoonarium, which is a national aquarium on the east side of the island. There is a huge abundance of marine life such as sharks, stingrays and tropical fish and if you are feeling daring you can also snorkel with them also.

The tour guides will keep you laughing and entertained all day on this day trip. There is the option of a half day or full day tour. I recommend the full day tour as you can get the opportunity to feed the sharks and stingrays, as well as enjoy snorkelling at the coral gardens, one of the best spots on all of Bora Bora to explore the reef.

Location

Bora Bora Lagoonarium is located on a private motu on the east side of the island, one of the small private islands surrounding the main island. Tours will pick you up from the main island in the morning and take you out to the motu as part of the package.

Leopard Rays Trench

About

Another diving and snorkelling spot, Leopard Rays trench is a shallow spot famous for its stingray and shark marine life. The rays and sharks are notoriously friendly, and will let you feed them, touch and swim with them carefree. This spot is fantastic for snorkelling also with plenty of tropical and colourful fish getting in amongst the action.

Location

Leopard Rays trench is located a short boat ride of the beach of Bora Bora. Booking a guide is the best way to explore this natural wonder, and they will take care of the transport and assist you around the area.

Mount Otemanu

About

How do you want to see Mount Otemanu, the mountain standing in the middle of Bora Bora? By helicopter, hiking, boat and catamaran trips are all available to see the centre of attention on the island. A great sight from around the various resorts on the motus, there is many ways to enjoy this mountain and it can be done if many different ways.

Check with staff on different options for your resort. I highly recommend the hiking option if it is available, as well as taking a boat cruise through the azure waters to take in this magnificent landscape. The Mount Otemanu Cave is particularly spectacular if you are up for the hike.

Location

Mount Otemanu is the centrepiece of the island of Bora Bora. Access the main island from the locally run boat shuttles from the domestic airport. All the resorts on the motus offer their own modes of transport from the airport to the resort and then over to the main island. Rent a car, moped or bicycle on the main island to get around.

Bora Bora Turtle Centre

About

Who doesn’t love turtles? Who doesn’t love rescued animals? This place is amazing, it is educational, informative and is doing a great thing in our world. The Bora Bora Turtle Centre is great for getting up and close with the different turtles of the Pacific Ocean, as well as other marine life such as octopus, eel and puffer fish.

What makes this place truly special is the rehabilitation program they have, taking injured turtles and giving them a better life. The centre is not for profit and the staff and very warm and friendly. They are multilingual also which is an added bonus.

Location

The Bora Bora Turtle Centre is located on the Le Meridien Resort Motu. Whilst it is in the resort area, the centre is operated independently. Access the motu via boat shuttle which leaves from the main island to go to the Le Meridien Resort.

What to Bring to Bora Bora

Snorkel Equipment

Most resorts and tour operators on the island do not provide snorkel equipment. If they do, they are usually dated and in need of replacement. I would recommend bringing your own set, the amount of snorkelling you will do on the island will pay for the gear itself.

This is a great set on Amazon I highly recommend for the island. While not necessary, a set of good fins will help you swim around the reefs like Michael Phelps. A small compact set that fit in your suitcase is all that is needed (link to a great set).

Swimmers

What else would you go to Bora Bora for! Swimmers are basically all you need to pack to the island, so don’t forget them. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck on the beach all day. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing.

Rash vests should also be brought with you. The island is very close to the equator, and as such experiences extreme UV sunlight all year round. Rash vests are a great way to protect yourself from a nasty sunburn. This rash vest on Amazon (link) will provide great protection from the sun.

Mosquito Repellent

Bora Bora is a humid, tropical island. Unfortunately, this is a mosquito’s favourite spot. There is plenty of them, along with other insects and bugs.

Citronella is a great mosquito repellent and these bands (Amazon link) are great at keeping them away. A pack of mosquito repellent stickers (Amazon link) also work well for short periods. I would highly recommend looking at some sort of protection while on the island. I know from experience that mosquitoes can ruin a trip of a lifetime!

Sunscreen

As mentioned above, the sun is extremely harsh on Bora Bora. As an Australian I know all too well the dangers of the sun and getting skin cancer. 80% of all cancer diagnosed here is skin cancer. Don’t become a part of that statistic.

I recommend SPF 50+ for full protection. Make sure you apply every few hours especially if swimming and snorkelling. Don’t forget your back, as that is the most exposed body part when snorkelling. Your back literally is a frying pan being heated by the sun!

Camera

Don’t forget your camera! You will want to take plenty of pics to show off to your friends. I have a full article on travel cameras that are under $400, I highly suggest checking it out if you need a camera.

My recommendation for a great action camera is the DJI Osmo (Amazon link). This camera records amazing video and is perfect for all your swimming with the sharks, rays and tropical fish.

You might also be interested in these posts:

How to Get to Bora Bora from Every Continent
The Best Cameras Under $400 for Travel
The Least Visited Countries in the World
The Best Sites to Get Cheap Travel

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