Hotel Review: Four Seasons Bora Bora
The Four Seasons Bora Bora is one of the biggest dream destinations in the world and it does not disappoint. The moment you pull up to the dock at Four Seasons, you feel like you just stepped into a real-life screensaver and every corner of this property is stunning. Read on to find out what to expect on your trip.
There are many debates amongst travelers about which hotel has the best view of Mount Otemanu and we would argue that Four Seasons is up there. Spectacular angles from every corner of the resort are impossible to ignore. The hotel is located on a thin strip of land protected from the outer reef, while maintaining small lagoons that weave throughout the resort. You can hear the sound of the waves throughout the hotel, providing a magical experience, when all you can see is the calm lagoon versus hearing the swell behind you.
The hotel is located within 10 minutes by boat to the airport and they do offer a shuttle into town once per day. Guests are welcome to hire the private boat at any time for fee. Offering the shuttle to go shopping in Vaitape is a great experience for those looking to experience the mainland during their stay. The boat drops off in the heart of the town for easy shopping and dining access.
Overall, the location is truly spectacular. The views, teal water and amazing snorkeling are world class.
Lobby & Check in experience: 5/5
We had a somewhat untraditional arrival experience due to our arriving from another hotel, however, it was overall very well-executed. Most guests will arrive at the airport and be swiftly shuttled to the hotel aboard a stunning teak luxury boat. The hotel greets you with flower necklaces and a welcome beverage. Check in occurs at the front desk, unless you pay for the private transfer. Our check in was easy, quick and our agent told us a great deal about the resort and surroundings. He made dinner reservations for us as well, to ensure we didn’t have to wait for a table throughout our stay.
After checking in, we were taken by a buggy to do a quick tour of the property before heading to our Mountain View overwater bungalow. From the moment we stepped onto the boat, we never saw our luggage until we arrived in our room and the luggage was already waiting there.
The check-in experience is very luxurious and feels very Polynesian. We loved the tour of the property and room.
Every room at Four Seasons Bora Bora is suite-style, meaning you have a separate bedroom and living room. The rooms overall are spectacular, with a variety of options to choose from based on your budget and needs. There are actually no “standard” beach bungalows at Four Seasons, rather, they have chosen to make the lowest room type an overwater bungalow (which we love).
The lowest tier room is a One-Bedroom Beach View bungalow and while the actual room is the same as the others, we would recommend upgrading to at least a Lagoon View bungalow. The Beach View bungalows may have less optimal locations and have less privacy, for this reason. The Lagoon View and Mountain View bungalows feature wonderful views, with the Mountain View rooms facing Mount Otemanu directly.
The suites themselves have a large living room with walls that completely open up to the outside. The living room features a large minibar, seating area and television. The bathroom separates the living room from the bedroom and features a large bath tub that also opens completely to the outside, two vanities, shower and separate toilet room. The king bedroom is plush and serene. The entire bungalow smells of fresh wood and exudes the feeling of a spa. We fell in love with the small details, like the coffee table books, artwork and true feeling of home.
The patio is large and features a covered dining table, two chaise loungers and a lower swimming deck. We spent all day and night lounging on the patio outside. Even if it rains, the covered dining area is protected.
Between the three “standard” bungalows, the mountain view is by far the most spectacular, our room having a direct view of Mount Otemanu from every angle. The next category up features plunge pools and are good for travelers who prefer to lounge in a pool during the day rather than take a dip in the lagoon. Do note that the pools are not heated.
The Otemanu Suites with Plunge Pools are a bit more of a splurge but do feature a larger pool, outdoor covered lounge pad and are situated on the end caps of the jetties for total privacy to the outside when lounging in the living room, bedroom or pool. We love this suite type, but do note that the lounge corner is not private do to the curve of the jetty and proximity to neighboring rooms.
Four Seasons is world-renowned for its professional, subtle and friendly service. As with many experiences in French Polynesia, the restaurant staff was overwhelmingly kind, hospitable and genuinely wonderful. We always felt very taken care of during our meals, thanks to the genuine hospitality of the restaurant staff. We had an issue with our air conditioning not working one evening and the technician who came to fix it was extremely apologetic and helpful. In general, the majority of the staff really do make the experience.
Overall, I’d say the service met the standard for a luxury hotel, but did perhaps lack a bit of proactivity. We saw with a number of guests who experienced issues, the hotel was not particularly quick to apologize or try to make things better or go above and beyond to do so. Instead, they seemed to get defensive, insisting it couldn’t be an error on their part. It took multiple calls or trips to the front desk to get a resolution to a problem. We attribute this somewhat to a lot of new staff joining the team since COVID-19. While many of the restaurant staff we met had been there for 10+ years, most of the front desk we talked to were new in the last year or two. We have no doubt that with time and training, the front office will be at that 5 star level.
On our last morning at the hotel, one of the ladies at the breakfast restaurant made me a flower crown to thank me for coming and being part of the experience at the For Seasons. This was not a corporate directive, rather a genuine kind gesture from a staff member at the hotel and it brought me to tears! It was so authentic and kind. I do hope the hotel embraces these kinds of gestures to surprise and delight guests in the future as it was truly a beautiful sendoff.
Four Seasons offers a number of restaurants on property with a variety of cuisines. Overall, the food is good. We do wish they leaned in more to the Tahitian local cuisine but in general, we really enjoyed our meals.
Tere Nui is the breakfast restaurant on property. They offer a buffet as well as an a la carte menu. Breakfast is included in most reservations and comes with a variety of options such as eggs, American favorites, healthy options, coconut water, baked items and more. They do upcharge for green juice (Detox Juice) but everything else is included, including lattes, espressos and more.
We found the buffet and a la carte menu to be more than sufficient and they do note common allergies on the menu. While the food was inconsistent at times, you could order anything you want and they would happily make it for you.
Vaimiti is the Asian restaurant set right above the water facing the sunset. The setting is wonderful and the food is very good, though very pricy. We absolutely loved the crispy pork, that was a big standout. The cocktails are sunset are wonderful and we highly recommend arriving in time for a sundowner. The vibes at the restaurant are very trendy and the service was great.
Arii Moana is a Mediterranean inspired cuisine and offered a number of fresh fish dishes, ceviches and more. We dined here on our last night and really enjoyed the selection and variety. The wine list is excellent as well. We recommend making a reservation for earlier in the evening for optimal seating.
Four Seasons Bora Bora does not disappoint when it comes to facilities. They truly have it all – a world-class spa, beautiful beachfront and pool, activities and incredible lagoons for snorkeling. Paddle boarding and snorkeling are included in your room and it’s incredible to explore the area above and below the water.
The pool and beach are set to the far side of the property and it’s a wonderful place to spend the day. Beach chairs are plentiful and the lagoon is calm and relaxing. There is a small motu (island) right off the beach that guests can swim/walk to and relax. They also use this motu for private dinners – it’s very romantic.
The pool and beach area offer complimentary water and sunscreen as well.
The spa sits at the edge of the island and the lagoon, with the sound of crashing waves soothing guests as they experience the spa. There is a communal area for guests with a steam and sauna and anyone can access this area as a guest. The fitness center is located in the spa as well.
There are a few shops on property for guests who are not looking to take the shuttle to the mainland. Prices are in line with the higher end shops in town and you can claim the taxes back when you depart French Polynesia.
One facility that we really appreciated after a few weeks of travel is the self-service laundry machine. The hotel provides guests with complimentary detergent to use the machines at their leisure and we took full advantage of this. This is particularly excellent for people on longer trips and we really enjoyed this pleasant surprise.
There are also ample paid excursions and activities that guests can take part in, like diving, sailing and more.
Overall, Four Seasons Bora Bora has everything you would expect from a resort and more.
The style at Four Seasons is impeccable. The design and luxury touches are extraordinary. It was, truthfully, difficult to pull ourselves away from our suite to explore the hotel because it was so incredibly comfortable and luxurious. The music piping through the speakers, “chill” energy throughout the restaurants and gorgeous lighting make the Four Seasons a very trendy environment.
Overall, we absolutely loved our stay at the Four Seasons Bora Bora. The location is spectacular and the entire property is so lush and vibrant. The suites are unreal and you truly can’t go wrong when considering this property for your next trip.