Bora Bora recommendations?

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Todd F r e n c h
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Bora Bora recommendations?

#1 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

We’re planning to go through the hoops (all the Covid-19 testing requirements for French Polynesia, etc) and head to Bora Bora for one of our bucket list items, as we can get an overwater bungalow to keep the maximum social distancing possible [cheers.gif]

Any restaurant recommendations or other travel-related reccs anyone has for us? Will bring a Wine Check, full, and risk paying the duty, whatever that is, if they charge it, but I plan to shop at the Papeete duty-free as apparently there’s a ton of French imports there
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#2 Post by Philip Ente »

when will you be there?

We will be there in about 6 weeks, in transit to Moorea. Overwater villa. Have had 5 trips to Europe cancelled already. Like you, nowhere else to go.
Have been to Bora Bora. You will get more bang for the buck at the other islands.
This is not really a red wine kind of place.

PM me

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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#3 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Philip Ente wrote: December 20th, 2020, 11:31 am when will you be there?

We will be there in about 6 weeks, in transit to Moorea. Overwater villa. Have had 5 trips to Europe cancelled already. Like you, nowhere else to go.
Have been to Bora Bora. You will get more bang for the buck at the other islands.
This is not really a red wine kind of place.

PM me
Dec 26 - Jan 2

I'll be in that water hours and hours and hours each day, that I assure you. I love snorkeling
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#4 Post by Mark Y »

Which hotel are u staying at?

We went to moorea/Bora bora 8 years ago and stayed at intercontinental moorea / intercontinental thalasso bora. Not a lot of restaurants other than hotel ones. Staying out at the atol means access to main land is by ferry shuttle.
If u stay on the main island there are local spots. But to me food isn’t that great vs Hawaii

Actually AT moorea now :). This time at a Airbnb by the water. Local food is not bad. But the water is why u come here that’s for sure.

Also. Not sure if itin is fix. But the water/snorkeling/diving is wayyyyy better in moorea.
Bora bora looks obviously insane. But the water looks better from outside of the water. Most of the Overwater villas sit on sand bars. So not a lot of wild life. If u dive outside of the protected area, there are great shark diving. Pretty fun experience. Either way. It’s an awesome place. Enjoy!
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#5 Post by Mark Y »

Couple of more notes:

No issue bringing wine. No one cared. We packed 4 bottles.

Covid testing isn’t too bad either.
- 3 days prior. Print out result
- Register on etis. Make sure u get names and passport numbers exactly matching. They check closely. But super friendly. Print out the QR code page.
- u get a testing kit u have to do 4 days into ur trip. Nose swab. Easy.

But yah. Have low expectations on food. Bora bora is hellllllaaaa rich people place so expect high prices and western vibes.

Bora bora we shuttled to the main island from thyllaso and rented a bike and biked around. Sitting in the overwater villa while beautiful gets boring for me hahah. But man it is insanely beautiful.

Jet ski tour around bora bora - I found awesome.

Diving in bora is great too. But snorkeling is not that great. Especially compared to moorea

Fun note on “rich people place” - overheard conversation at the pool:
Guy to another guy - man went jet sking today. It’s so fun! I need to buy a couple when I get back.
😂
Y.e.

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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#6 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Thanks, Mark - will look into the jet ski tour - Jen would like that. We’re staying at Le Bora Bora, formerly ‘Pearl’, I think? Apparently the snorkeling is pretty good in that area where the resort is, and I’ll be looking for nearby options as well, including the lagoon. Our resort not only completely renovated the resort, but they are about 5 years into a coral regeneration project, with the ‘farms’ all around the bungalows

I know it’s called ‘Boring Boring’ but that’s exactly what we want - just sitting in our bungalow or snorkeling, and just relaxing. Boring sounds WONDERFUL lol
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#7 Post by Barry L i p t o n »

You aren't going to have a lot of choices. Which resort are you staying at?

Been to Bora Bora twice, Moorea twice, Rangiroa once. Rangiroa is the best snorkeling and diving for sure, followed by Moorea (but a typhoon there several years ago really killed the coral) followed by Bora Bora. Lot's of sandy bottom in Bora Bora, snorkeling is pleasant but not like the Maldives (or Moorea). I did a couple of dives, they were ok.

It's drop dead gorgeous so you will enjoy it. You will probably go to the Main Island to Bloody Mary's. It's not that great but it's a fun excursion. There is/was a Jean Georges restaurant that was surprisingly poor at one of the Resorts. Cost a $75 boat transfer fee which I got refunded as there was so much exhaust it was sickening.
it is still paradise and probably the most beautiful island I've ever been to.

I'd bring all champagne.

If you go again, check out Moorea. It's a "real place", with locals and restuarants and you can drive around it.

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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#8 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Barry L i p t o n wrote: December 20th, 2020, 1:46 pm You aren't going to have a lot of choices. Which resort are you staying at?

Been to Bora Bora twice, Moorea twice, Rangiroa once. Rangiroa is the best snorkeling and diving for sure, followed by Moorea (but a typhoon there several years ago really killed the coral) followed by Bora Bora. Lot's of sandy bottom in Bora Bora, snorkeling is pleasant but not like the Maldives (or Moorea). I did a couple of dives, they were ok.

It's drop dead gorgeous so you will enjoy it. You will probably go to the Main Island to Bloody Mary's. It's not that great but it's a fun excursion. There is/was a Jean Georges restaurant that was surprisingly poor at one of the Resorts. Cost a $75 boat transfer fee which I got refunded as there was so much exhaust it was sickening.
it is still paradise and probably the most beautiful island I've ever been to.

I'd bring all champagne.

If you go again, check out Moorea. It's a "real place", with locals and restuarants and you can drive around it.
Barry - thanks for the tip on Jean Georges - we were trying to go there, guess we can switch that out!
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#9 Post by Alex Valdes »

I stayed at the St Regis ;the Jean Georges is there). It’s the worst by a mile of all the Jean Georges I’ve been to. It’s also probably the most expensive.

I recommend champagne - it’s basically all we drank while there and it was perfect.

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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#10 Post by Philip Ente »

Todd
We go to Moorea and it seems some people here are in agreement.
In addition, it is much easier to get to from Papetee. We have an ocean view over the water villa for probably way less than you are paying and it includes breakfast and dinner. I do not think you will find truly great food anywhere in the area. Too late for you to change? Can give you our place if you PM me.It is a 10 minute walk from a village with supermarkets and stores.

I was very naive about Tahiti life. On my first trip there, 20 years ago,to one of them more primitive islands (Riatea), I thought I could walk thought the jungle and come across grass skirt wearing natives playing drums and dancing around roasting pigs. We did come across a native but he asked us to get him a certain software DVD for his daughter and gave us his email address, before going back to spearfishing.

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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#11 Post by Barry L i p t o n »

Add a couple days and it’s easy to do both. You might be able to do 4 nights in Moorea and 5 in Bora Bora for what the week would cost you in Bora Bora.

In normal times, I wouldn’t suggest such last-minute changes, but these days it may not be hard.

But if it winds up being difficult then no point stressing extra since the goal is relaxation.

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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#12 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

We did research and planned, originally, to do an island-hopping trip, few nights in Bora Bora, few in Moorea, etc, but we decided we wanted just peace and quiet, and the ultimate in nature's beauty, which is Bora Bora. Yes, it is too late to change, and the stress of doing so would ruin the trip even before we got there. I know it's more expensive in Bora Bora, but we reserved the highest level overwater bungalow with Otemanu view for only about $875/night, with breakfast included and the entire resort was renovated this year. We're not paying St. Regis numbers, other than for dinners out.

So far we have the following restaurants, one night open and not sure what to do with it:

26th - Otemanu (in resort, we'll still be jet lagged I'm sure)
27th - Villa Mahana
28th - St James
29th - Open
30th - Yacht Club
31st - New Years Eve with mandatory meal/celebration (literally mandatory - charged if we go or not lol)
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#13 Post by Barry L i p t o n »

Bring extra sunscreen! That will save you $$.

There is nothing like an OWB for relaxation and beauty! When you need some activity, just slip into the water from the deck!

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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#14 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Barry L i p t o n wrote: December 21st, 2020, 8:40 am Bring extra sunscreen! That will save you $$.

There is nothing like an OWB for relaxation and beauty! When you need some activity, just slip into the water from the deck!
Exactly my 'activity' plan - I'll be in that water as much as possible. Already stocked up on sunscreen, too!
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#15 Post by D Zurcher »

We just got back from Bora Bora a few weeks ago-we stayed at the Intercontinental Le Moana for a couple of nights (due to continual flight schedule cancellations and changes) and the Four Seasons. We've heard nothing but good things about the Le Bora Bora after the renovations-there is great snorkeling over in that area. I believe they have a free shuttle to the main island that will save you a few bucks going over to the store, Bloody Mary's, and the other restaurants you mentioned. The Jean Georges restaurant is at the St Regis-its pretty good for Bora Bora food standards. If you want to go there you need to reach out to the St Regis concierge and request a reservation. All the restaurants at St Regis (and Four Seasons) are operating on a modified schedule due to occupancy being down-so each restaurant is only operating 2 or 3 nights per week-hotel guests get first crack at a reservation. If it isn't sold out they will let you come over. Bloody Mary's is on a modified schedule also, check their website for operating days/hours. LAX Duty Free has not been open, but the Duty Free in Papeete airport has been open when flights arrive-we landed at 5am and they were open. We took wine in our checked bags (no one checked it) and we picked up some Dom Perignon at the PPT airport. It was $229 as I recall. They have a nice selection of Champagne and Bordeaux-the high end Bordeaux was pretty expensive as I recall. Go hungry to La Villa Mahana-decent sized portions and heavy sauces-great food, but you will leave there exhausted :). Be careful of your carry on bag weight on your Air Tahiti flight from PPT-BOB-they have strict limitations. The Dom put me over the top had to do some manuevering on the floor at the ticket counter.
Last edited by D Zurcher on December 21st, 2020, 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#16 Post by D Zurcher »

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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#17 Post by D Zurcher »

There is also a Facebook private group called "Off to Bora Bora!" run by a photographer who lives there. Very informative-just have to request to join. She checks in a few times per day, worst case it takes abotu 24 hours to be added to the group.
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#18 Post by D Zurcher »

Here are some pics of the Champagne and high end Bordeaux frig at PPT:
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#19 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Wow, Dan, thank you!!!
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#20 Post by D Zurcher »

Oh-if you plan on floating off your bungalow-buy a couple floats from Amazon and get a 75 foot thin tether rope to attach them to your deck-hours of entertainment:
00FB7145-0173-49AC-83C4-3B8C1B0CB8CC.jpeg
EF3320EA-2771-4DFB-80E6-3EC3A2AF24B6.jpeg
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#21 Post by D Zurcher »

How was your trip Todd? Curious to hear about the recently renovated Pearl.....hope you had great weather.
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#22 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

D Zurcher wrote: January 5th, 2021, 1:20 pm How was your trip Todd? Curious to hear about the recently renovated Pearl.....hope you had great weather.
omG it was incredible - I almost wept (seriously) when we were leaving. It was more beautiful than photos can capture, even though they capture it so accurately, there's a beauty that can only be experienced while there. We spent the entire time (other than maybe 4 dinners out, 2 more that were cancelled due to storms) on our dock, reading, chilling, snorkeling, kayaking (free rentals at the resort) - an entire week of just enjoying the incredible view, basically. It was meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but we both insisted we'd have to go back. Likely to the same resort, though I imagine the prices will only go up from now on.

The row of overwater bungalows across from us was empty, as they are under construction, and serendipitously the week we were there had no construction workers because of the holidays. We barely saw 20 people on the whole huge resort, but plenty of fish, stingrays, and just gorgeous views that we never tired of. The room had multiple water views - over the bathroom sink, at the edge of the bed, etc - and I couldn't get enough of those at night when we were indoors, lights shining down on the water. Oh, man...what a gorgeous trip
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#23 Post by Mark Y »

Glad you had a great time.. it really is a beautiful place! :)
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#24 Post by D Zurcher »

That's great-we've gone 5 times now, and I'm thinking about when 6 will be. We were there about 7 weeks ago and had 1 bad storm, and it rained 2 or 3 times for 10-15 minutes-otherwise it was pretty perfect.
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#25 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

D Zurcher wrote: January 5th, 2021, 3:29 pm That's great-we've gone 5 times now, and I'm thinking about when 6 will be. We were there about 7 weeks ago and had 1 bad storm, and it rained 2 or 3 times for 10-15 minutes-otherwise it was pretty perfect.
Yeah, we had 2 nights of storm, other small 15 minute rains. Still...couldn’t believe how amazing it is there. Best money we’ve spent, really. Thousands and thousands of dollars gladly spent
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#26 Post by Mark Y »

Todd F r e n c h wrote: January 5th, 2021, 3:49 pm
D Zurcher wrote: January 5th, 2021, 3:29 pm That's great-we've gone 5 times now, and I'm thinking about when 6 will be. We were there about 7 weeks ago and had 1 bad storm, and it rained 2 or 3 times for 10-15 minutes-otherwise it was pretty perfect.
Yeah, we had 2 nights of storm, other small 15 minute rains. Still...couldn’t believe how amazing it is there. Best money we’ve spent, really. Thousands and thousands of dollars gladly spent
Next time go longer. Spend a few days in an Airbnb in moorea on the water. (Or a hotel owb)

We just came back from 12 nights in moorea...prefer it to bora bora, despite how amazingly beautiful and awesome BB is!
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#27 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f »

Glad to hear you had an amazing trip, Todd! It's inspiring for those of us who've never been, not to mention good for you to recharge your batteries before BD...

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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#28 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Mark Y wrote: January 5th, 2021, 4:13 pm
Todd F r e n c h wrote: January 5th, 2021, 3:49 pm
D Zurcher wrote: January 5th, 2021, 3:29 pm That's great-we've gone 5 times now, and I'm thinking about when 6 will be. We were there about 7 weeks ago and had 1 bad storm, and it rained 2 or 3 times for 10-15 minutes-otherwise it was pretty perfect.
Yeah, we had 2 nights of storm, other small 15 minute rains. Still...couldn’t believe how amazing it is there. Best money we’ve spent, really. Thousands and thousands of dollars gladly spent
Next time go longer. Spend a few days in an Airbnb in moorea on the water. (Or a hotel owb)

We just came back from 12 nights in moorea...prefer it to bora bora, despite how amazingly beautiful and awesome BB is!
Would love to, but 7 nights was a stretch as we still have child issues to deal with. One is nearly 18, but the other is only 15, and so finding a place for him to stay for that long proves to be difficult.

As for Moorea, I've heard great things, and we met a couple who spent a full 2 weeks all around Tahiti, and among where they 'stayed' was to charter a catamaran, where they cruised, lived, ate, etc. 2-person crew, 2 people on the boat, said it was amazing. Basically a floating B and B, but just for whomever is chartering it. Cruising from island to island, going to the 'local' spots, camping out over a massive reef, etc. THAT'S what we'll do next when we go [cheers.gif]

As for 'Boring Boring', we absolutely loved doing absolutely nothing. Boring is exactly what we needed.
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#29 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote: January 5th, 2021, 6:25 pm Glad to hear you had an amazing trip, Todd! It's inspiring for those of us who've never been, not to mention good for you to recharge your batteries before BD...
It's a bucket list item for many, and SO worth it, trust me.
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#30 Post by D Zurcher »

Todd F r e n c h wrote: January 6th, 2021, 8:15 am
D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote: January 5th, 2021, 6:25 pm Glad to hear you had an amazing trip, Todd! It's inspiring for those of us who've never been, not to mention good for you to recharge your batteries before BD...
It's a bucket list item for many, and SO worth it, trust me.
Todd-fortunately you went when you did. Sounds like starting on 1/26 an negative PCR test will be required to fly back into the US. In Tahiti there is only one lab who can do the test and get PCR printed results back to you in 48 hours or less-and that is on the island of Tahiti. You would have to extend the trip 2-3 days and get to Tahiti, get the test, get the result before you could fly back. I can't wait until things return to somewhat normal...
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Re: Bora Bora recommendations?

#31 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

D Zurcher wrote: January 13th, 2021, 5:52 am
Todd F r e n c h wrote: January 6th, 2021, 8:15 am
D@ve D y r 0 f f wrote: January 5th, 2021, 6:25 pm Glad to hear you had an amazing trip, Todd! It's inspiring for those of us who've never been, not to mention good for you to recharge your batteries before BD...
It's a bucket list item for many, and SO worth it, trust me.
Todd-fortunately you went when you did. Sounds like starting on 1/26 an negative PCR test will be required to fly back into the US. In Tahiti there is only one lab who can do the test and get PCR printed results back to you in 48 hours or less-and that is on the island of Tahiti. You would have to extend the trip 2-3 days and get to Tahiti, get the test, get the result before you could fly back. I can't wait until things return to somewhat normal...
WOW! That has got to be difficult to get out there, holy crap!
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

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