French Polynesia

Bora Bora: It’s Real!

Bora Bora – a paradise that I thought could only be seen on the front cover of a magazine – I couldn’t believe it (and I still can’t) that I have made it all the way there!!! After I visited the absolutely gorgeous Moorea, I asked myself how much prettier could Bora Bora be? Well, it did not disappoint! Let me finish our last morning in Moorea 🙂

Our flight was at 12:25 pm, we were confirmed the shuttle will be picking us up at 10:30 am. We had almost a whole morning to enjoy our last hours of Moorea. Another blue sky perfect weather day; I had my refreshing morning walk! We went to get our free breakfast, got a table on the outside balcony for a great view of the overwater bungalows even though the sun was shining directly on my back but it was totally worth it for the view. I had tons of fresh fruits and the yummy fresh mango juice, I wish they sell those mango juice at the store at home!

A bird wanted to have breakfast too!

After breakfast, we took a walk around the hotel and got more photos! All the way to the left of the hotel, there’s a private house, whoever live there are very lucky to have such a nice view of the overwater bungalows and a great beach. Look at how clear the water is!

We walked to the little pier and there has stunning views of the overwater bungalows and the lush mountains of Moorea! That’s how crystal clear water looks like!

We even saw a stingray swim by!

There were a lot of fishes under the pier:

We walked all the way back to our overwater bungalow and on the bridge, we saw people looking down at the water….oh wow it was a big huge eel!

We watched the eel for a few minutes swimming from one rock to another and school of fishes swimming around! Here is our overwater bungalow again!

It was quite a difference in between our bungalow and our neighbor’s so piracy and noise wasn’t a concern!

We decided to walk all the way to the end of the overwater bungalows since we didn’t do so past two days. Another beautiful perspective!

View from the overwater bungalows on the left “branch”, the lush mountains of Moorea can be seen very clearly!

At the very end, there were tons of birds hanging out there!

We walked very slowly not to disturb their morning peaceful time 🙂

At least they haven’t fly away yet!

My turn!!!

Darn lol!

We will going to miss Moorea, we barely even explore the island yet!!!

We went back to our room, called the front desk so they can send a golf cart to pick up our luggage, and we walked to the lobby. Checkout – I reviewed the bill carefully and made sure the return transfer will be paid by Hilton and they did! The driver came and accidentally, he loaded another people’s luggage as well, hubby noticed it and told him. We had an “island tour” due to the driver drove us all the way to the port instead of the airport!!! We told him we are going to the airport…urg! It was still early luckily and the airport wasn’t that far from the port. Check-in was easy peasy, weighted our luggage, tag, and done. No x-ray, no body scanner, no security check at all LOL! There was only 1 arrival and departure door and few souvenir shops. Since we didn’t have a chance for souvenir shopping, I heard Tahitian pearls are much more expensive in Bora Bora than Moorea, so we took a look at the gift shop. I asked if there’s certificate of authentication and the owner said yes, well it was basically he measured the diameter of the pearl, the class, and stamp with his shop’s name. Don’t know if they are real or not but the prices are reasonable as gifts to take home and the design pretty nice. I bought three: one for my mom, my mother in law, and myself (ended up giving to my best friend) for a total of $350 (around 35,000 xpf paid with credit card).

Don’t forget to apply insect repellent as I heard the airport has a lot of mosquitoes especially inside the restroom! When almost time to board, we started to line up, we were the 2nd couple on the line. Why? To get the best seats on the left side of the plane for the view of Bora Bora! The 1 hour 15 minutes flight wasn’t too bad with a landing on Raiatea. The moment has come, camera ready!!!! Too bad the windows were very dirty so couldn’t get a clear look of Bora Bora from the air… we are Bora Bora!!!

The two “Y”s on the back will be where we staying – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa! Next to it is the Le Meridien and on the very right hand corner is the St. Regis!

The famous mountain peak “Mount Otemanu” and the turquoise lagoon of Bora Bora! OMG, I was super excited!

The moment I walked out of the plane, oh wow, look at that turquoise water on the back!!! I wanted to jump right into it!

Inside the small airport, a little bit larger than Moorea’s, are counters of the hotels on the island. We went to the Intercontinental’s counter, checked in, and got a blue tag to tag our luggage. We walked to the luggage area to pick up our bags and then a guy saw our blue tag and said follow me. Just stepping out of the airport… and water! It reminded me of Venice – not much places in this world you can travel in/out of the airport by boats! I take back on what I called “turquoise” water from previous posts of islands I have visited over the past few years….this is turquoise!

The boat on the left side is our boat to both the Intercontinental hotels whereas the huge one on the back is the Air Tahiti shuttle to the main island. It’s mandatory for us to take the hotel shuttle (they changed the policy not too long ago) and it cost 12,062 xpf per person round trip, that’s around $120 per person!!! I viewed it as a “lagoon boat tour” as we passed by fantastic views of the world famous lagoon!

The full view of the Air Tahiti shuttle!

The brightness of the turquoise water almost blinded my eyes, seriously!

During the 15 minutes ride, we constantly switching sides to have pictures of the mountain and the overwater bungalows! The water is sooo clear!

I had my left hand holding the GoPro for video and my right hand for photos LOL! How can you let go of the shuttle button when you have views like this?

Here we were approaching our hotel pier!

We were welcomed by the sound from the seashell:

The days of living like royals starts NOW!

We stepped out of the boat and the lady welcomed us and invited us onto her golf cart with another couple who were in the same boat as us. We hopped onto the back seat unobstructed views and were given a tour of the hotel! How many hotels would do this? Once again, one hand recording with the GoPro and one hand taking photos!

She showed us where the reception, concierge, pool, restaurants, spa, and fitness center are located. Then she turned back to the reception for us to finish our paperwork to check-in. We were seated on a table with the amazing view and were immediately given a cup of refreshing, iced-cold jasmine tea and a cold face tower infused with the smell of jasmine – 5* hotel service! We were asked for our passports, one credit card, and our departing flight info. She picked up from us that we don’t even need to walk to the counter or anything like that! Wouldn’t it be nice if all hotel check-ins are that relax? Then, another lady came with a camera for a photo of us and I asked her to take on my iPhone.

From the iPhone:

From the DSLR:

From the iPhone:

From DSLR:

See the different between iphone and DSLR? For a trip of maybe once in a lifetime, the trip probably cost thousands so why not invest some money for a decent camera?

The lady came back with our room keys, a map of the resort, the shuttle time schedule to the sister property, and a letter to let guests aware of the Chikungunya outbreak that the hotel will be spraying everyday at 3pm. We had a ride again on the golf cart 🙂 The right side is the reception and this is the way to the right “Y” rooms in #100’s.

Our Emerald overwater bungalow was the 2nd one on the left side of the first/right “Y” with the view of hotel beach and other overwater bungalows on the secondl eft “Y”. I heard to avoid the rooms on the right side of the first/right “Y” because they have views of the hotel pier and it could be quite a lot of traffic!

As soon as we opened the door, OMG AHHH, it is almost three times as big as our overwater bungalow at the Hilton Moorea! It’s basically an apartment with 700 sq feet inside and a 322 sq feet terrace! All the overwater bungalows in Intercontinental are the same size, the room categories are based on the view of the famous mountain!

Left side of the entrance is our living room and the glass floor-coffee table with welcome fruits:

Another view of the living room, there’s a big table in front of the door (where my husband is) with two small bottles of Evian water!

Then, I walked into our bedroom, I was totally imagining waking up early morning looking directly at the overwater bungalows through that floor to ceiling window!!! Perfectly designed so romantic!

On the right is the walk in closet and the toilet:

No idea why they separated the toilet from the rest of the restroom! Then after the bedroom is the restroom:

The double sinks, that tub has view of overwater bungalows too! On the right side, I forgot to take a picture, is a huge shower room! The toiletries by Algotherm – the brand the hotel spa uses. I love that lotion! Ohh and a bottle of after sun lotion – definitely needed that. The black and white box has more items – forgot your toothbrush, toothpaste,….no problem!

I walked back to our living room, unbelievable view:

The only imperfection of our overwater bungalow is the gap between the doors, hubby put some toilet papers to fill the gap to prevent mosquitoes coming in (Chikungunya outbreak in French Polynesia so we took all our precaution as possible). Our 300 sq feet terrace:

And the deck:

That turquoise lagoon! Who needs a swimming pool when you have this:

We hardly noticed anyone swimming there on the 4 days we were there, sometimes we felt like we have the whole “pool” all to ourselves! Incredible! The overwater bungalows all the way on the back are the left “Y” bungalows room number 300’s. Even with a wide angle lens from our deck, it couldn’t capture the whole overwater bungalow – it’s that spacious! Our bed on the left 🙂

The water level is so shallow – only up to my shoulder level and as you walk out more, it’s even more shallow. Hubby took his DSLR and walked out to take photos:

Oh definitely wear your water shoes, have rocks and shells in the bottom! He took a picture of me and our overwater bungalow from there:

We sprayed extra insect repellent since higher risk during dawn/dust times! Never tired of that view!

Enjoying our first Bora Bora sunset!

He took a picture of me taking picture of him haha!

The sun sets right behind the mountain so will not have the sun setting at the horizon view, but with this:

Can see other people’s bedroom so have the shade down if you don’t want to be seen hehe:

Looking back of the hotel beach:

The bright area on the right side is the restaurant next to the pool: Le Sands. It was the last night Le Sands will be opened and then it will close for the low season so we decided to have a try. We walked in without reservation and didn’t have to wait because it was the low season.

We thought of seating on the beach but more chance of mosquitos so we picked this table:

Some pages of the menu:

They even have an Asian selection:

We made up our mind…..appetizer: poisson cru (Tahiti’s raw fish with coconut milk similar to Hawaii’s poke) – 2590 xpf:

It was good but portion was small for ~$26!

I ordered the caramelized pork belly from the Asian selection for 2600 xpf, it was very tasty with a light curry sauce to balance the fat:

Husband ordered the Angus rib eye steak for 3900 xpf, urg $40 for this small portion!

I reminded us that we need to get used to the Bora Bora luxury prices LOL! We had a nice walk back to our room, we saw many stars!!! Once we reached our room, I went in and grabbed the tripod for some pictures of stars!

Our bed was so comfortable! The bedroom and living room each can adjust the AC separately and powered by deep ocean water – very environmental! Why need to dream when it came true? Bora Bora, it’s real, we are here!

12 thoughts on “Bora Bora: It’s Real!

  1. Great review and so recent! It’s getting me super excited for our honeymoon in August. A bit worried about the mosquitos…did either of you get bitten? Did you tell the hotel about that gap in the door?

    1. Hi Jeremy, we both got bitten once outside the hotel property though and were very fortunately not by the virus carrying kind. We completely forgotten to tell the hotel when we were there about the gap in the door, I’ll email to notify them! August should be a dry season and hopefully it’ll not be an issue by then!

  2. Hello Miss Vacation. Excellent review thank you. We are headed to this property in 7 days.

    Can you share if there is the following available in the room or on the property:

    In room fridge?
    In room safe adequate?
    How was the internet speed? Wired and wireless both available?
    What about laundry on site?
    What regard to luggage, does Air Tahiti follow the size and weight regulations closely? Did you pay and additional bag fees?

    Thank you.

    1. Hello Kevin,
      The in room fridge is mostly full but we were able to squeeze in some drinks and breakfast items. The in room safe is adequate for small items; not for a full sized laptop or a DSLR camera and I would not recommend putting high valuable items in there as the hotel has no liability in the event of loss. If you have a DSLR camera that you do not want to bring it with you to snorkeling or water activities for example, you can ask the front desk to store it for you. We left our tablet in the room and no issue; remember to lock the sliding doors out the deck! The internet speed is excellent, we used the wireless and I think they limited to two devices per room; fast enough to stream videos! I didn’t pay much attention to laundry, I doubt it! Air Tahiti weight on the check-in bags but they didn’t weight our carry-ons, I guess since they increased the carry-ons limit, they doubt people’s bag would be more than 11 lbs. It’s really important to follow the weight limit as it’s a safety issue as well on those small planes!

  3. Hi,

    Curious how much of this day was spent traveling from Moorea to Bora Bora? I hate thinking we will waste a full day traveling/checking out/checking in to another location.


    1. The flight from Moorea to Bora Bora was a little more than an hour and the boat ride from airport to the hotel was 30 min. There was no security line what so ever at both airports so the waiting time was at minimum. I booked the noon flight thinking we couldn’t check-in till 2 pm anyways. But you can use the hotel facility while your room is getting ready so take an earlier flight to get there, you’ll have at least half a day to enjoy in paradise!

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