The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
Travel Blogs from Bora Bora
I'm running out of adjectives and descriptions of paradise. Wake up call @ 5:45am. I joined 3 other Yanks down in the theater room where the St. Regis was nice enough to get us an Internet feed on the big screen for the game. Not the ending we had hoped for but the results are acceptable. Ruthie joined us around 7:45 for breakfast. Then down to the dock to take us to our all-day excursion. We were all alone when a crazy native man in a bright blue canon ...
More amazing Bora Bora. We woke up (recovered from our jet-lag) to an amazing view through our open deck floor-to-ceiling doors. Unbelievable. We made our way to our included (everyday) breakfast. We weren't sure what to expect. But soon found ourselves amidst a succulent buffet including made to order omelets, waffles, and crepes. We just went for the ready made buffet which included more options than we could try. Plenty of ...
... 1089;юду видны раков
80;ны, в котор
жемчу 75;а. Интер 77;сно за ...
... to take a couple of the ship’s bikes and rode around the island.
It was great fun. I ride a bicycle to work every day, it’s maybe 15 minutes each way, so hardly taxing. This was 32km. Considering it was the second time Al had been on a bike in about 30 years (last year in Vietnam was the first) he did amazingly well even if his **** hurt for days afterwards. That’s not surprising as the bike seats are terrible. While I’m ...
... We went ashore and visited one of oldest villages on the island .. Papetoai. Met up with Hiro, an American who came here in the 60’s and stayed. He spent a lot of time with Lynn retracing her memories of times in this part of the world.
MEMORIES – Lynn and her sister, Marion, were here many years ago and stayed at the now defunct Club Med.
Last ‘call’ was Bora Bora.
Always hailed as ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
More great choices in Bora Bora
Search TripAdvisor for more deals in Bora Bora
Historical Traveler Reviews The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
Honeymoon in Heaven
Orana! Our extensive research and consultation to find the perfect honeymoon was a true success. As Manhattanites, my husband and I truly enjoy traveling and luxurious accommodations, dining and service. Our experience at the St. Regis Resort Bora Bora was absolutely magical!
From the moment we deplaned in Bora Bora we were greeted by our "Fantasy Island-like" entourage who welcomed us and escorted us on our own personal motorboat to the resort's island. We were greeted by our assigned butler, Emilie, a lovely, sweet and extremely attentive young woman, who provided us with warm hand towels, a ride to and tour of our villa over the water, and eight days of surprise treats and warm hospitality. I must share that my husband and I were so impressed when we entered our gorgeous villa with its breathtaking view that we simply were giddy with excitement! That night we ate at the Jean George inspired restaurant and the Kobe beef was simply to die for. For the duration of our stay, we reveled in this alter reality- perfect weather, soft radiant sun with a zephyr, enjoying fabulous cuisine, impeccable service, kayaking, swimming, sailing, lying in the sun, and room service. Our favorite activity, enjoyed daily, was snorkeling in the resort's man-made lagoon aquarium. The sea life, especially the Pufferfish, is so tame that you can reach out and touch them!!! For all you spa lovers like me...a true massage connoisseur, I would rate my Tahitian massage as one of THE best massages I have had to date...certainly better than Bliss, Red Door, and those I've had at Ritz Carltons, the Waldorf and more! My husband and I also loved and highly recommend the Lagoon Cruise where we saw amazing views of the island and unparalleled crystal clear waters, watched the feeding of sharks, and fed and played with remarkably tame and friendly sting rays. Nothing compares to our escape to this enchanted island and #1 rated St. Regis resort!
Lastly, I must comment on our St. Regis Travel Specialist, Merehani Jithame, who made our trip a reality and our travel in French Polynesia incredibly seamless.
Absolutely amazing, Nothing to be concerned about
After reading some of the dergatory reviews on this site, I felt obligated to relate my experience. The St. Regis is the finest property in Bora Bora without exception. We had lunch at the Nui and spent time at the Thalasso and neither came close. The rooms are amazing, the staff could not have been nicer (all of whom spoke english well enough to satisfy and exceed all our concerns.) You have your own butler at the hotel, who on one occasion ironed and pair of pants and my shirt before dinner in just 20 minutes as I had just returned from jet skiing. The food is superb. The ahi tuna at the lagoon restaurant is the best on the island. The crew at Bloody Mary's will tell you the same. The hotel is top notch, you truly have to make an effort not to have a great time.
One review stated something to the effect that there was nothing to do but sit at the pool. I was there for 7 days, did 6 dives, 3 jet ski trips around the lagoon (great fun when the water's calm), 2 massages, biked around the island of Bora Bora, snorkeled with rays and sharks, and only got in the pool on two occasions after an excursion to have a drink at the bar. If you want to stay at the property and relax that is certainly an option. If you're active, then be proactive and you will be as busy as you like.
The caveat to the St. Regis is the price. The hotel is expensive, the food is expensive, the activities are expensive (as they are anywhere in Bora Bora). If you're going to worry about how much loot you are spending every time you go to lunch then stay somehwere else. It is worth every penny and if trying to decide wether or not to stay there based on these reviews I can say do it withour reservation or hesitation.
Manhattan Couple Used to Top-Notch Service and Quality
We went to the St. Regis Bora Bora on the first leg of our honeymoon. We had VERY high expectations, especially because we both love to travel and had recently taken some unbelieveable trips to Bali, Hong Kong and Tortola. Knowing it was the first week the hotel was open, we were not sure what to expect. From start to finish, we were blown away. (We even cancelled our reservation at the hotel in Moorea and exptended our stay at the SR).
When we arrived, someone was waiting at the airport to welcome us, collect our luggage and ensure we were taken care of from the second we walked off the plane to the time we stepped foot on the St. Regis grounds. When the boat arrived at the hotel, there were several employees waiting there to welcome us, including the butler who was assigned to us for the week. She was gracious, overly concerned with our level of satisfaction and very accommodating. She took us to our over-the-water bungalow and immediately checked us in without us having to lift a finger. A cold bottle of top-shelf champagne was waiting for us with a plate of the freshest fruit. The room was spotless and we had a great view, not to mention the bathroom was palatial. I am a stickler for clean hotel rooms. In fact, I am more than a stickler. I am a perfectionist and can't tolerate uncleany hotel suites. Anyway, we loved the private deck, but at the time, the chairs did not have cushions, but I believe they were expecting them and had not made it to the island yet.
We really enjoyed our stay and can honestly say it was better than we expected. We did four amazing scuba dives that the hotel set up for us. They use a great scuba center with top-notch instructors (ask for Eric who knows the island and the dives very well) and this was by far a highlight for us. We also went around the island on water skiis with a guide. Had we knows the cost, we may have reconsidered, but nonetheless, our guide was a lot of fun, so friendly and knowledgeable. The highlight was him taking us to a great little remote island where he found and cut up coconuts for us to eat and then he took us to a fantastic, mind-blowing snorkeling spot. It was a perfect day. We are active people by nature, but this was a true relaxing vacation for us and offered a nice balance btw relaxing and doing things.
We enjoyed eating at Lagoon, Jean George's restaurant at the St. Regis. And it was nice to see Jean George himself in the kitchen preparing our meal. That was a pleasant and unexpected surprise. However, we are not creatures of habit and wanted to explore other restaurants on the island. The hotel graciously recommended places, made reservations and handled transporation. The transportation on the island is not exactly flexible, so know that you may have to abide by the set times the boats and taxis come and go. Kind of a pain in theory, but did not effect our plans at all. And finally with regqards to food, I highly recommend the sandwiches at the beach bar. We ate there almost every day. They are affordable (in Bora Bora standards) and delicious. I was warned about the lack of good food, but we enjoyed every meal we had and felt the food was high quality and tasty. The SR also has great egg-white omelettes.
Another great thing to mention was that there were nights where we wanted to stay in and watch movies. The hotel had a good amount of DVDs and CDs, which we utlized quite often. They were free to us, but I am not sure if that has changed or not.
While you will pay a lot to stay at the St. Regis, it is worth every penny. We would definitely go back and I hope we do soon!
My husband and I have just returned from a week at the St. Regis Bora Bora, which was the last week of our three-week honeymoon trip (for the first 2 weeks we had travelled across the States). I have to say that everything was superb and we really did not want to come back home!
Our OW villa was HUGE and from the bathroom you could even see the sea in front of you, by sliding the mirror. Furniture was brand new, modern contemporary with a lot of "wengè-style" wood, which I truly love. The site where the hotel is located is simply unbelievable, overlooking the Bora Bora lagoon, just in front of the main island. We exploited a lot the various facilities of the hotel, from the beach activities, to the luxurious SPA (we did a "couple massage" together and it was great), the lagoonarium, the pool bar and the two restaurants. During our stay we went twice to the restaturant of Chef Jean-Georges and my husband believes it was the best restaturant of all our honeymoon (just for the benchmarks, we had dined at Le Cirque in NYC, Sabella in San Francisco, Ago and Koi in L.A.)
Sometime we ate in-room (mostly for breakfast) and the staff was always nice and punctual: in particular, they always committed to bring food in no more than half an hour from the order and they always met the deadline.
Generally, the majority of the staff is composed of young French nationals and they were very nice with us, especially the guys at the pool bar. But also the local Polynesian guys were friendly and polite.
We also enjoyed the two "sunset cocktails" offered on Tuesday Aug 8th and Friday Aug 11th by the general manager of the hotel to all guests.
Finally, we did and enjoyed a lot the "motu picnic tour" which is a 6-hour boat excursion around the lagoon of Bora Bora, including also shark-feeding, raze-feeding, coral-snorkeling and a picnic prepared by local people on a "motu" (local name for the typical little sand islands of the lagoon).
To sum up, I strongly recommend the resort for honeymooners and for romantic trips.
The best resort in all of French Polynesia
I have just returned from a week at the St. Regis and I have to write a review as I hspent one of the best vacations in my life at that resort. This is the best place in French Polynesia. The resort is absolutely magnificent and the service is really great. The staff is so friendly and helpful. My husband and I had a massage every day and we love their spa.
I travel to Tahiti once a year and I am very familiar with the resorts in all of the different islands, especially Bora Bora so
I had very low expectations prior because I know that there is a big issue with service and food in French Polynesia .
Service at the St. Regis is perfect (it s hard to believe that they just opened) and the food was superb. They even have JeanGeorges from NYC!!
I stayed in one of their Deluxe Over the water bungalow and the rooms are very beautiful. They are very big and they have a large deck and a AMAZING bathroom.
I think that resort is one of the best hotel in the world and I highly recommend it to all the people who want the best of the best!
Loved St Regis
I just came back from St Regis and la Tahaa. Overall, I was very happy we picked St Regis. Here are some points I want to make
1)Only one restaurant for lunch and dinner(very expensive)
2) Shuttles to the main island are not organized like other resorts on motu.
3)Landscaping is very new so looks bare on some parts on the resort
4)Water level right from the OW bungalows is deep (I saw some fish there everyday)
1)The best room and best bathroom in FP.
It is so huge.(1600sft) I initially book beach bungalow but they upgrade our room to OW bungalows with Jacuzzi on our deck. Our view was amazing looking over the main Bora Bora island. The everything is so new, clean and stylish. I was so impressed. My husband liked two 50 inch plasma/flat screen TV (we rented some DVDs some nights).
2) $300 credit/day towards activity and spa
I think everyone got the same thing when I was there. They are well aware that it is not perfect so they compensate us for $300 day. That was huge. The most of excursions costs from $85 to $125/person (shark feed tour, wave runner tour to main land jeep tour). I did spa everyday and it was nice. Not to mention, everyone got a bottle of Dom Perignon when we arrived. I can't say you would get that same compensation when you come, but I am sure they will try to do the best they can to accommodate your needs
3) Good butler service
I know many people had problems with butlers, but our butler(Emily) was amazing. The first night at the resort was our 10th anniversary. When we came back from our dinner, our butler has put many candles and flower pedals all over the room and bed. We were so touched. Not to mention, We left some shoes in our room, when we contacted the hotel, Emily sent our shoes to our next hotel right away. She also arranged many activities as well as dinner reservations.
1)Bring/buy some snacks/food so that you do not have to eat at restaurants every meal. Wine is actually cheap. I was able to find $6 wine at many bora bora restaurants including St.Regis. So you do not have to bring them from the state. Free water bottles are available at activity desk near pool as well as fitness room, so take advantage of that.
2)Do not give 15% tip, it is not necessary. I talk to the locals many times about this. We gave few dollars at lunch and around $10 for diner. Some restaurants refuse to take our tips.
3)Try to eat dinner on main island on some nights (like Bloody Mary) It's fun to go somewhere different. Make sure to arrange free shuttle from the restaurant. For us, Shuttles always showed up on time. We went to dinner with other couple who we met on this trip, so enjoyed talking with them while we waited for our shuttle.
4) Bring some movies (DVD) that you have not seen. Even in July, we did have some rain when we were there. Also it gets dark by 6pm, It was nice to see some movies while we were there. There is no movie channel in English at Bora Bora. St Regis has some DVD collections,but we see movie often, we have seen the most of their collections.
5)Relax and enjoy!
I think some guests are very critical and I understand b/c they pay a lot money to go there, but give them a little break. The Most of stuffs are young French/European(average age 24.) They have been there only few months. It is really not easy to run huge operation like they do in FP. Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful places on earth. People should spend their time enjoying for what they have rather than complaining their shortcomings. I know they have some problems but they really try very hard. I will pick this place anytime.
St Regis Opening - Great resort with some kinks to work out
We've just returned from our 9 day stay at the St. Regis Bora Bora. Although the hotel has posted a June 20 grand opening date on their website the hotel is not fully operational. They currently had about 25 rooms completed out of the 90 or so rooms they have available. The hotel was relatively empty. You almost feel as though you have the resort to yourself - which can be good if you are looking for that type of experience. I think many of the guests were surprised to arrive at the current state of the hotel particularly when it came to operational/service issues and the lack of details missing from a 5 star hotel experience.
For the most part the beach bungalows facing the lagoon are complete; however the beach bungalows facing the ocean are still a work in progress. A large percentage of the over water bungalows are still under construction as well - what I mean by construction is that they are primarily finishing up the interiors of the villas (i.e. decorating, landscaping, etc.). The major construction around the hotel is complete, so don't worry you won't see cranes, bulldozers, etc on the property.
We've heard they are planning to have the hotel completed towards the end of August. But, as you know things operate very slowly in French Polynesia.
We initially reserved at Beach front villa. The beach front villas face either the lagoon or the ocean. They are spacious and are private. Unfortunately, we had numerous problems with our beach bungalow during our first three days of our stay (A/C partially operating, no electricity for a full day and the power coming on and off another day). We were finally moved to an OWB bungalow after some persuasion with the front desk manager. As the hotel does not have all their rooms completed we were placed in a bungalow facing the construction of the Four Seasons Hotel. I guess it gave us an opportunity to try out a beach and OWB bungalow. The only issue was that we faced the Four Seasons construction site. Who wants to see cranes and construction when you are paying all this money! Unfortunately, about 50% of the OWB bungalows face the construction. We heard that the construction of the Four Seasons will not be completed until 2008. For those of you visiting the hotel, make sure you request a room facing Mt Otenamu - the views are much nicer.
Here's summary of the hotel:
- The rooms are large and luxurious. Some amenities include Aqua Di Parma toiletries, Pratesi sheets, Bose 3-2-1 Stereo with surround sound system in your villa, wireless internet connection, large outdoor living space with teak furniture, outdoor showers in all villas, 2 large 42" Sony LCD TVs, dual climate control systems for bedroom and living room. Large sunken tubs and rain shower heads and Toto bathroom fixtures. So you can see some of the details they put into the rooms.
- The property is chic yet elegant - For those of you considering staying at the new Thalasso vs St Regis --- We heard the interior of the new Intercontinental Thalasso which recently opened was designed by Philippe Starck. St Regis is a little more conservative in design, but still has a "cool" factor to it. (As a side note, we did go to the Thalasso for dinner and the hotel was very nice as well.)
- The Lagoon Restaurant (main restaurant at the St Regis) is a Jean Georges restaurant -- for those of you who are foodies this may be you chance to dine at a Jean Georges establishment! There is a limited menu right now, but they plan to expand their menu in the future. The food at Lagoon was good, but pricey.
- Overall the food at the hotel is good -- better than what we ate at the other restaurants on the main island. However, I really wasn't that impressed with the food in French Polynesia - maybe because I live in a city with great restaurants. The only other restaurant outside of Lagoon which I thought was excellent was Villa Mahana.
- The food prices at the hotel are crazy. Expect to pay close to $100-125 for lunch (2 entrees, bottle of water, 2 soft drinks and tip) at the casual restaurant (Le Tepahu). And who said you don't tip in French Polynesia. You actually tip at the St Regis. I think the prices are about 20-25% above what it actually should be. We didn't order a cocktail at the hotel, but heard a virgin cocktail costs about $22USD. Also note that the menu at both restaurants is not very child-friendly. There's also some inconsistency with quantity and prices. For example, we ordered French fries a few times and we were charged 800XPF one day and 1000XPF another day (and the amount of fries you get was tiny - think a very small salad plate worth of fries). The amount of food you get also varies each day when you order the same entrée. This was a common theme/complaint among the other guests as well. For example, sometimes you may get 4 shrimp with your Caesar salad and another day you may get 5. Or the size of the same entrée may be different each day. So, as you can see there is some operational/consistency issues with the restaurant.
- However, service at the St Regis restaurants is excellent. Overall, the staff is very nice and they try to be accommodating
- The resort itself is beautiful and once the foliage grows it should be spectacular. It's a large property and if you don't want to walk from one end of the property to another, you can call the butler/porter to take you to wherever you want to on the property from your villa.
- The hotel offers a shuttle boat service into Vaitape. But, then there isn't much to do in Vaitape. I thought it was pretty dirty and nothing very interesting to do there. I would recommend loading up on water, drinks and snacks at Magasin Chin Le. That will save you some money.
- The concierges are helpful in arranging restaurant reservations on the main island or activities that the hotel offers. Be sure you do the circle island lagoon tour with shark feeding.
Areas for Improvement:
- The Butler service is a work in progress. When you arrive you are assigned a butler who checks you in, but when you call for the butler whichever one is available comes. Right now, there are about 6 butlers for appx 25 bungalows, so certain requests may take time. But, hopefully things will improve once they hire more butlers and they are assigned to a certain section of the resort (we've heard that this is what they are planning to do). Right now, they scurry all over the place on their golf carts trying to accommodate people's requests. There are some butlers that are definitely stronger than others, but be patient with them. The butlers are all VERY nice and they are always willing to make your stay a pleasant experience! The butler service improved during our stay and once they work out the kinks it will be one of the benefits of staying at this resort.
- During the first few days of our stay, we had to ask a few times for things to be done. I know this is French Polynesia and things run more slowly here and this is a new resort. Hopefully, after the staff gains more experience things will improve. However, if the resort expects to be associated with the St Regis brand they need to up level themselves to the reputation that the St Regis holds. In my mind, I would rate the current overall service about a 2 1/2 star, but the opportunity is there for the hotel to become a 5 star luxury resort.
- If you want to dine at one of the restaurants on the main island you have to take a shuttle boat at either 6:15 or 7:45. Dining at most of the restaurants takes at the most 1hr to 1.25 hours and then you end up spending an hour waiting for the shuttle to take you back to the hotel. I was expecting restaurant service to be slow, but it was relatively fast. This is how it works at the St Regis -- You take the hotel water shuttle to a taxi pick up point on the main island (St Regis shares this transfer point with Le Meridien). The taxis then take you to the restaurant and then back to the transfer point until you wait for your water shuttle back to the hotel. Sometimes if you finish your dinner early you end up waiting close to an hour for the boat shuttle back to the hotel. Not my idea of fun waiting in a dirty transfer point with wild dogs and unfriendly employees. The people assigned at the transfer point are all Le Meridien staff. They are rude and threatening. If you ask the Meridien staff to call the St Regis to check on the status of the shuttle, they become belligerent and pretend they don't speak English and keep saying they work for Le Meridien even though they know the St Regis also uses the same transfer station. St Regis needs to place some of their employees at this transfer point in the event one of their hotel guests needs to get in contact with the hotel.
- Spa treatments -- we had massages nearly every day of our stay and they were very good. The facials are average. The spa is about 90% complete, but as with the rest of the hotel they are putting the finishing touches on the spa. Once they complete the spa, it should be spectacular. The masseuses were supposedly trained by Remede. One annoying thing with the spa- they are always out of robes. So you end up walking around half naked around the spa. Also, there are some consistency issues - sometimes they light candles or play music during treatments, sometimes they don't.
- Pool Service - average. I don't think they have cleaned the main pool since they opened. There is sand in the pool and algae growing all over the tiles. There is a second smaller adult pool called the Oasis pool (adult pool) - it's pretty lame. Not very inviting and no one ever goes there. Also, for some reason there are no cushions on the hard teak chaises by the pools. Try lying or sitting on hard teak for a couple of hours. When we first checked in there were no cushions for the chaises on your villa's deck either, but cushions showed up toward the end of our stay. You can request the cushions at the pool, but they are a rare item. I've seen guests carrying their cushions from their bungalow to the pool since they don't want to part with it. Maybe they are on order. But, you would expect that the hotel would have ordered cushions before opening.
- Housekeeping is inconsistent - they come to clean or turn down the room at random times of the day - from early in the morning to late afternoon. We had issues where toiletries from the previous guest were left instead of the maid leaving new unopened toiletries. Sometimes they don't leave towels, etc. But, again it's a training issue.
- Another thing with the resort is that you can see and smell smoke blowing across the property. I've heard that the hotel burns their leaves/foliage from the gardens at the end of the motu (close to the beach bungalows facing the lagoon), but luckily I don't think they burn the leaves daily. Be forewarned the smoke can get heavy at certain times of the day.
- Check out process -. Check your bill before leaving. We were over billed for items. Take the time to carefully review your bill before checking out!
- Overall, I thought that the hotel operations need improvement. You see things that just don't flow seamlessly with staff and their guests. They will need ramp up quickly before they are at maximum capacity or they will be in trouble. I wonder what will happen when the hotel reaches maximum occupancy if they are currently challenged with less than 25 of the villas occupied.
We talked to other guests at the hotel and they experienced similar issues and have similar concerns regarding service, operations and prices at the restaurants. We all expected Bora Bora to be pricey, but were a little shocked at the food/drink prices at the St Regis. Dining in Tokyo and NYC is a bargain compared to the French Polynesia. And most of the guests are well-traveled guests who have stayed at high end resorts/hotels. So, if you are on a budget the St Regis is not the place for you.
We talked to other guests during our stay and they also questioned whether or not the hotel was ready to open on June 20. Basically, most of the staff arrived at the hotel one month prior to opening. So, you can understand some of the service issues that initial guests experienced at the hotel.
Right now, the hotel is offering their "first time/early" guests a 30000XPF credit towards service related activities such as island activities (tours, water activities, etc) and spa treatments. I think they realized that the hotel was not prepared and wanted to somehow compensate their guests who have to live through the opening growing pains. But, I'm not sure how long they will offer this credit.
I'm sure the St Regis will be a top notch resort in about 12-16 months. Don't expect a 5 star experience if you plan on coming here in the next 6 months. I'm sure it will take time for them to tighten up their operations and service standards. But all in all, the St Regis Bora Bora is a beautiful resort and Bora Bora is a magical destination. Also, it looks like the resort will become a destination for celebrities. While we were there, Nicole Kidman was honeymooning with Keith Urban and Eva Longoria and Tony Parker were staying at the hotel as well.
We've been very fortunate to have had 4 trips to Bora Bora and we just returned from our last trip. We stayed at the newly opened, or should I say partially opened St. Regis and were very pleased. I say partially open since only about half the rooms were ready for occupancy, but all the public areas were complete, except the sushi restaurant and children's activity center.
The resort has large and absolutely beautiful rooms. We had the one bedroom over water, which is bigger than a small house. Huge living room, huge bedroom, and a bathroom as large as many bedrooms. Both the living and bedroom had large flat screen tvs and overlooked the beautiful lagoon. Furnishings were beautiful, rather modern and minimal with a touch of the island feel very nicely done.
The pool/beach area are breathtakingly beautiful and offer a nice place for gathering. Many of the resorts do not have large swimming pools, since the lagoon at Bora Bora is so incredible. But it was nicely done and right next to the beach, so you could have your choice of places to swim or tan.
Since the resort is new, and there was major construction going on before it opened, this is not a place where the fish have started to hang out. With the overwater bungalows, you have the beautiful deck and the viewing windows in the floor, but it is doubtful you will see many fish. In time I'm sure they will come once the coral can become established. I have to say Hotel Bora Bora has an abundance of great snorkeling and fish right off the beach, which you will not get here. So make sure to do a few water/fish type excursions. You can scuba dive, and all the operators have a beginning dive so yoy need absolutely no previous experience, and don't even really need to be a good swimmer. Just some level of water comfort is all you need. Every day we saw several people take their first dives. If you don't dive, I highly recommend a shark feeding and a helmet dive. These can only be done in a few places so do them here, where the lagoon and the fish are so spectacular.
Another thing we were very pleased with was the high quality of the food. The only good meal we ever had on Bora Bora was at Villa Mahala, but the food at the St. Regis was very good. A big bonus on an island not known for good food. And no matter where you eat on Bora Bora, food is EXPENSIVE. I used to call BB home of the $20 hamburger, but I don't think you can find them that cheap anymore. Appetizers and desserts all run around $25 at the resort and all entrees are around $40-50. Wine wasn't cheap, and many cocktails were over $20. The other resorts aren't that much less, and the restaurants are also pretty close to that. So be ready.
The one negative I do feel the need to point out is this is a world class resort, and it brings all those wonderful things with it. Unfortunately, when you are at the resort, you don't really get the Bora Bora feel. In fact many of the employees at the resort are French, so we laughed about feeling like we were on the Riviera. But the resort is surrounded by so many Tahitian things to do make sure you get out and do them. Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and the St. Regis is definitely a top shelf resort, so the combination of the two makes for an absoutely wonderful and unforgetable vacation.
Amazing Property in Paradise
Just came back from my honeymoon in paradise. Let me first say that I have not stayed at any other properties in Bora Bora so I cannot compare the St. Regis to any others, I can only compare it to my expectations which I obtained from reading numerous forums about Bora Bora.
In one word the St Regis can be described as AWESOME. The buildings are all brand new. We got a room with a jacuzzi on the deck. it was a 1 bedroom bungalow over the water. The deck was very large and spacious. There was a jacuzzi a space for a table and 2 charis along with 2 "beach chairs" to lay out on and a seperate deck with a shower and a ladder leading down to the Lagoon.
The living room was huge. It had a couch a coffee table with a bottom look thru glass where you could look at fishes, Huge Sony TV, a small dining table for 2. Bedroom also had its own huge sony TV, king size bed, and when I say king size I mean a real king size bed, not 2 twins or fulls pushed together. The bathroom was also huge. They had a soaking tub as well as a rainfall shower. 2 his and her sinks, a huge closest for clothes.
For pictures check out. I posted them here and don't have the energy to post again.
As for the service the service we recieved was excellent. Room service always managed to deliver food within 30 min or less. The food at the Lagoon Restaurant was excellent! Its the type of food you would find in any NY 4-5 star restaurant. Unfortunately when we were there the only option for dinner was the Lagoon restaurant. For lunch they only have the restaurant by the pool open. Menu was somewhat limited in choices but the food always tasted good. I'm a very picky eater so I was worried after having read all the reviews about how bad the food is in Bora Bora that I was surprised and happy to find the food at the St. Regis quite excelent. They are supposed to open up their sushi restaurant soon as well but not sure when that is going to happen.
If you don't like the food at the resort you can go to any of the restaurants on the island. The hotel will arrange transportation. As far as I can tell the shuttle to and from the main island is free you just have to schedule it with the conceirge. The butlers there are great, they got all of our requets taken care of in a timely manner and took care of all of our needs.
The only down side to this resort is it is expensive. But this was my honeymoon so I decided to splurge. But I defiently want to go back. If you're going to book a room here I highly suggest you first get a quote from a travel agent then check out the [---------]website. I found that I got much better rates with the [---------------]web site using the AAA discount as opposed to the rates I got with the travel agents. The good thing about travel agents is they take care of everything but I found it cheaper to book everything myself. Only problem is if a flight or something is cancled then you have to deal with it yourself.
The only negatives about the resort were some minor mess ups that hardly tarnished our vacation. Like once we waited an hour to go back to the st regis because the shuttle had been told someone was coming and no one showed up in the end. This happened twice. I think communication between the shuttle and front desk or whoever could use a little work. The Do not disturb signs kept falling off the front door beacuse of the wind.:) On their beach there are a lot of rocks or shells in the first few feed when you go into the water. Kinda hurt my feet so bring those reef shoes.
But overall this is one amazing resort.
Terribly Overpriced. Lack of Service. The Tune of the St. Regis.
Just so I am up front with my biases, I had a below average experience at the St. Regis, but an excellent time in Bora Bora. Thus, you know my sentiments right up front.
Not everyone here will have a bad experience and not everyone will have a good experience either. My fiancé, for instance, had a great time and thinks very highly of this hotel. I, on the other hand, think very highly of Bora Bora, but wish that I stayed at any hotel other than the St. Regis. In my personal estimation, the St. Regis is for a very particular type of person. If you are not this type, then you will likely have a similar experience.
The St. Regis is the best hotel for....
those who want to relax on the beach and do absolutely nothing but enjoy the beautiful environment. My fiancé wanted to do nothing more than sit on the beach and at the pool all day long, every day. She truly enjoys doing this. She enjoys going to the spa, sleeping early and laying out in the sun every day. The hotel does not really have to do much to satisfy this type of person. They pretty much have a good time no matter what the hotel does or does not do. Although, I will say, the St. Regis even managed to upset my fiancé! As you may or may not know, the St. Regis has beautiful rooms. Far and away the best rooms Bora Bora has to offer. On the sundeck of these rooms stands a beautiful gazebo. The gazebos are nice, because they light up at night and it's a wonderful place to have dinner. They face the main island in our room, which makes them extra special. Yet, the light bulb was out since we got here making it impossible to have dinner in the gazebo. You'll learn that Bora Bora is pitch black at night. We called twice every day from when we got here to have someone fix the gazebo. Three people have even entered into the room and looked at the gazebo on separate occasions. Yet, they've all said the same things: we'll fix it later or they'll ask in a rhetorical tone, "can we fix it tomorrow?" So here we are, on Friday, the last day here, and we still can't have dinner in our own room (that we are paying $1000.00+ for) because the, the management at the St. Regis can't manage to help us fix a light bulb.
To be fair though, the St. Regis will make certain people very happy. The food here is great. It is more than great. Everything I've eaten here has been outstanding. But you'll pay for it. The most basic breakfast in the world: cereal, a side of bacon, orange juice and coffee for 2 costs nearly $100.00. That's the cheapest of the cheap you can get. Bora Bora, in general, is highly inflated. It's one of the most expensive places in the world. But it is manageable. The St. Regis, however, takes this to another extreme. Yet, once again, this place has everything that a laid back person could ever dream of. They have a great spa, a great swimming pool, they bring you coconut on the beach, cold towels with which to wipe your face and the place is completely secluded. Thus, for some people, this place is absolute heaven.
The St. Regis is not the hotel for...
Those who want a balanced vacation filled with relaxation and an abundance of water activities. From my personal experience with the St. Regis, I want to emphasis that you should avoid this hotel if you are coming to Bora Bora to involve yourself in an abundance of activities. The St. Regis has an activities list, which was, to put it lightly, a very bad idea. If one wants to do something that is not on that activities list, and he or she is staying at the St. Regis, it's likely not going to happen. It was extremely difficult to do some activity that is not on the St. Regis activities list. The St. Regis will do nothing to help you. It's the worst. For example, I just wanted to go snorkeling at the coral gardens. Yet, the only thing they have on their activities list that has to do with the coral gardens, a popular snorkly spot, is an all day excursion where they briefly stop off at this place. If you want to do this excursion, you have to pay $800.00 for the boat!!!!! And the best part is, you will only get to snorkel there for a brief period of time and have to do the rest of the excursion. On another occasion I went to the office and asked if I could simply go snorkeling. I just want to snorkel. Not a big deal. We're in Bora Bora right? Wrong! The only way I can snorkel is if I go on one of their excursions. This means, I would have to go on the Bora Bora lagoon tour, which was really nice, but I'm not going to feed the stingrays and sharks and go around the entire island every time I just want to snorkel and see some fish! But that is what the St. Regis wants you to do. Also, let's imagine you're willing to comply with their extortionary demands. There's like 2-3 total activities that involve snorkeling on the Activities List. Two of which cost over $800.00 to do!!!! So far there has been two reasonable activity here that involve snorkeling. The Bora Bora Lagoon tour and the Lagoonarium. The other activities were not so appealing to me. Don't get me started on the Jet Skis. They take you around the island on the jet skis, but notice you do this exact trip on the Bora Bora Lagoon tour. Moreover, the snorkeling stops are well below average on the St. Regis Jet Skis tour. You see no fish on this tour. Avoid the Jet Skis at all costs. Which again, if you plan on doing activities, you'll have a difficult time as I've already noted. The worst part of this whole vacation was when we were on the jet skies and the tour guide pointed out to the coral gardens but then took us to a different snorkeling stop!!!!! I could detail the entire activities list, but that would take too long. Just know, that activities + St. Regis = Big Problems!
Transport System for Going out to Dinner:
Basically, you have two times to go out. You can go out either at 6:15 if you are going out to any restaurant other than Bloody Mary's or 7:45 if you plan to go out to Bloody Mary's. But here's the worst part about this. The ride coming home is at 9:30 or 10:30! This means you have to stay on the island, which has basically nothing to do at night, for over an hour and a half after you finish with dinner! The taxies basically only take you to and from the restaurants.
As a side story to the level of service offered by the St. Regis having to do with these taxies, I offer you the following: Yesterday, we get to the dock shortly before 6:15 in the evening. The front office or reception is right next to the dock. About 20 steps away. We go into the front office to change our currency in order to pay for dinner. The front office takes over 20 minutes to do a simple task such as being able to change currency. During our previous adventures out to the island, the front office managed to delay our boat for others who were a little late. But when we were a little late, thanks to the front office, the boat managed to ship off. No problem right? They'll just get us another boat. They did get us another boat but forgot to get us another taxi from the dock to the restaurants. And just so you don't think we're giving the St. Regis a hard time, there is like 2 taxi drivers on the whole island. Meaning, we could not simply get into a taxi when we got to the dock on the main island. All the taxis are arranged!! Thus we ended up sitting at the dock for over an hour and a half until the "Bloody Mary's" ship arrived at 8:00 pm. The guide for the Bloody Mary's, who worked at the St. Regis, told us she would get us a cab only if we paid for it! HA! After they caused us to miss the boat and the cab, they wanted us to pay for the cab!
Personally speaking...I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to fully research outside companies and book some excursions with them if it is possible. It's my own fault for not doing this. I simply thought that if I wanted to do something, the hotel, being as prestigious as it is, would help me out. In my experience with the St. Regis, this did not happen. They would not help me at all.
I'll just say, that if I were to go to the St. Regis and do it all over again, I would do some heavy research on outside operators to see if it would be possible to book activities with them. Otherwise, I suggest booking the Bora Bora Lagoon Tour and the Lagoonarium activities with the St. Regis. I had a blast on both of those tours and they were "relatively" inexpensive.
Reviw of the St. Regis Beaches:
I am going to be as honest as I can. I did not think very highly of the swimming water and the beaches at the St. Regis. The water around the OWB is relatively murky compared to other waters in Bora Bora. It's also pretty deep. Around 10-15 feet deep or so. I avoided swimming off of the OWB.
As for the beach at the St. Regis. I would have to say it was well below average compared to other beaches in Bora Bora. The beach at the St. Regis is man made. The sand is brought in at the hotel. This is very problematic because when you walk about five feet into the water, the sand becomes filled with alge. It's kindof gross. I did not have this problem with any other water/beach in all of Bora Bora. Moreover, the water gets deep after about 10-15 feet off-shore. There aren't many fish off the St. Regis beach.
I had a chance to see and swim in the waters around the Le Meridian. The Le Meridian without question, tops the St. Regis in this area. The water in and around the Le Meridian is very clear. Much more clear than the water around the St. Regis and at the St. Regis beach. Moreover, the water in the Le Meridian is very shallow. It makes for perfect conditions for swimming. Especially off of the OWB. I had a chance to see the water arond the OWB, and I can attest that it's shallow (about waist high) and beautiful to swim in. If I could go back, I would probably choose the Le Meridian over the St. Regis exclusived on this basis.
Overall, the St. Regis is an o.k. place. The big problem with the St. Regis is that the management won't help you very much when it comes to trying to do things not on their activities list or with anything that involves spending your money outside of the hotel. For example, if you want to book a dinner on the main island, they'll have to drop their 2 cents on how the new restaurant at the hotel is superior. They will indeed book the dinner for you, but their chiming in every time I wanted to do something outside of the hotel suggests to me that they simply want you to spend as much money as you can at the St. Regis. Even if spending your money at the hotel will partly spoil your time in Bora Bora. That's the feeling I got from the St. Regis. They're willing to sacrafice your experience a little if they know they could get you to do their activities, eat their food and spend your money at the hotel.
If you want to book an outside excursion or do something very specific, they wont' help you. They'll just smile and ignore everything you have to say and suggest that you do one of their activities.
Notice here there is a running theme that I'm trying to drive home. There is nothing wrong with the St. Regis per se. Only with the way they conduct their activities. They want you to use their list, which will be inadequate for some people (those who want to snorkle at least - I didn't much care for many of the other activities beside the 4X4 Safari & Snorkling), and will not help you book with outside agencies. They will actually make it difficult for you. The level of service is very schizophrenic. One moment they will offer a level of service that is far beyond anything I've ever seen. The next moment, it's the worst service ever! I don't get it. But that's how the hotel is operating.
Yet, I want nothing more than to be wrong about the St. Regis. I really want everyone who goes there to have the best time of their lives. Bora Bora is a wonderful place, and I will be coming back very soon. Sooner rather than later I hope. My overall experience was excellent. I had one of the best vacations I've ever had. It's far more likely than not that you'll have an excellent experience at the St. Regis.
Suggestions for the St. Regis:
The hotel and OWB are breath taking. The St. Regis is, without questions, the most beautiful resort I've ever seen. The St. Regis has obviously done quite a bit to make this a memorable experience for anyone who decides to stay. Please don't ruin it by having such a ridged activities list. If someone simply wants to snorkle, or dive at a particular location, you should help them. It makes their experience much more memorable. By the same token, you should be able to help them book outside activities. Not doing so detracts from the overall good feel of the hotel. A large number of people come to Bora Bora to do water-based activities. You're going to many of your patrons if you don't drastically change the way you conduct your activities. Take from this what you will, but I won't be shocked to see another negative review within the next month or so.
Basically, don't come here if you are the active type. Some people like to go on vacation and do a lot of activities. Others like to come on vacation and chill out the entire time. Neither is right or wrong. But one thing is objectively true. The St. Regis underperforms and is well below average when it comes to doing any kind of activities. Yet, by the same token, it is heaven for those who want simply want to relax