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at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa
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Completely let down by the management of the resort
Feb 17th, 2020
I’ve just spent 6 days in the hotel and it was not one of the best stays I’ve ever encountered in fact it was probably one of the worst stays ever in 15 years of staying with Intercontinental properties globally. I had booked a 6 night stay and included a renewal of vows package for the third day of out stay. Our spend was in the region of $10 000usd. so I hope you will find my comment useful when booking a stay at this property as we both felt that the hotel treated us appalling badly and didn’t do any follow up despite me being pragmatic and writing to the Directeur general of the resort. I did get a generic response which I will detail later On our initial arrival being told the spa was closing from Monday and that the gym would not be available between 6am and 5pm were if I’m honest truly disappointing. One of the main interests we have is both sport and spa. Both my wife and I are regular gym users and usually like to work out around 7-8.00am then go and enjoy breakfast but, this was not possible. Starting a workout after 5pm is not my idea of a holiday and working around a hotel’s restrictions should not be part of a holiday. In addition, using the Spa facilities was a big thing for us and coming back to the resort to find out this was not possible after today was not what we had hoped for. This is a spa resort and it advertises a spa. In addition, the building work taking place as well as the restaurant availability resulting in realistically only one choice was not what we had thought was going to be the case. There was no mention of any of this on the website with the exception of the Le Coral closing for the low season. I firmly believe that we should have been notified about this well in advance. Had this been the case we could have changed our plans as they have been flexible having been in Bora Bora for over two weeks. Whilst I accept that this is low season and there are renovation works that need to be done but not across from you £800+ a night overwater bungalow for 4 days continuous. This was completely unacceptable on so many levels. All the other hotels had specific details on their websites telling guests that they were performing renovations as I checked the intercontinental website and the other surrounding property websites. The lack of staff is noticeable for example, when on the first day I ordered some foam pillows as my wife is allergic to feather. I thought (wrongly) this would be done but was not and then asking twice the following day, this eventually being done when the room was serviced. It took me in fact 6 calls and one to the concierge to, something that was very simple but clearly not. The first night in the restaurant we ordered two courses and a bottle of wine. The starters arrived but no wine and I had to ask for this so we could have wine with our food. Most guests were served bread but we were missed out. That was offered to us with our main course. If I was staying at a holiday inn I would not be disappointed but in a premium resort charging premium prices I expect a good level of service, but unfortunately it has been lacking on occasions. Most of the staff are wonderfully polite but its plainly obvious some care not to be here or indeed to be part of the team. It seems that 75% of the time things get done but 25% things go awry and I cannot accept this if you are paying a significant amount in a prestigious resort. On Sunday I was informed that after 4pm the boat to Le Moana is chargeable I found this a little exploitative especially when so many things at this hotel will now be closed. I did complain about this to a duty manager I asked why that if you travelled before 4pm you still had to pay for a return journey for just coming from Le Moana. He informed me that it was an outside contractor and beyond their control. He offered to “negotiate” a better price with reception which I found quite insulting that I was deemed so gullible that a manager had to negotiate with reception for a price. I declined this as it was never about money it was a principle based on a guest being treated as a commodity rather than a guest especially for 70000xpf. My wife and I watched the sunset over at Matiera when we were last there and we were hoping to do so again and return to the hotel for dinner but not at the cost the hotel wanted. The sound of hammering and angle grinders in the spa just as we started our treatments was not acceptable. We had the last booking in the morning as the spa was closing for renovations on our second day. About 15 minutes into our couples massage we were greeted by hammering and angle grinding for a considerable time. As this was the day of our renewal of vows it was really not appropriate, and really not a good start to the day. The wedding dinner went a little wrong on the service as we had not even finished the starter when the next course arrived 10 mins into our meal, then on the main courses we heard an almighty crash of plates and cutlery. Then a huge gap before we received our main courses. The beef with foie gras was absent of the foie gras and the beef was cold. The main of my wife was a risotto but was not risotto it was in fact a pilau rice so whilst we can’t be sure that the server dropped the courses, but it was not what we had agreed for our wedding dinner and it took over half an hour to serve it. It was truly disappointing but we just accepted it as we didn’t want to spoil the end of the day. We did have a wonderful renewal of vows ceremony which was organised by the concierge Sophie Jourdan. She is truly an amazing concierge, the best by a long way. She and her team were faultless and what I would expect from an IHG high end property but all the other issues surrounding the stay and what we paid were dreadful in relation to the type of property. I did write to the Manager of the resort and expressed my comments and he sent a pretty generic response which I was informed that feedback is a real importance to the hotel and I was thanked for providing a detailed experience. I was assured there was a management meeting the next day, and that my comments would be shared with all relevant department heads to ensure they could take the proper actions to do things right. I would have expected some formal follow up from anyone but for 4 days we received nothing from any member of staff. We were granted the shuttle free to the main island which we used and spent our time at the Bora Bora yacht club and Bora Bora beach club which the Intercontinental could learn a huge amount from by seeing the way in which they present food and beverage as it's substantially better. It was only on check out when asked about how our stay was that the reception staff were astounded that we had such a bad stay. I explained to no less than three members of staff about all the problems that we had encountered and the guest relations manager though aware of my comments to the manager, had assumed that it had all been dealt with. I did ask how did all the management team presume that it had been dealt with if no one had spoken to the guest to try to resolve any issues, after all you left a letter saying that if our experience was less than 5 star we should let the team know so they could put it right. I think 4 days is more than adequate to do this. I even shared videos of the constant drilling and hammering opposite and asked why you would put a returning guest here and especially on the wedding renewal? I would be happy to share this if anyone would like to see just how bad the constant noise was. I asked why you would all presume that it was dealt with if you don’t communicate with guests?. Guest services were completely embarrassed by this and didn’t know what to say. They asked what they could but I said as I’m now leaving how could you possibly do something to make it right? They offered me a small financial offer which I said no as it’s too little too late as my holiday and wedding was over but my wife said we would accept it. There was a definite opinion that someone had dealt with these issues but not a single manager had or indeed tried to talk to us. Having no follow up after contacting the general manager was exceptionally poor quality and showed a lack of professional courtesy towards a guest and I really felt that the service was exceptionally poor. Even now it would have been a significant gesture from the management team to say “SORRY” after talking to guest relations upon our departure but even that is probably too much to ask and has left us with a feeling of disdain. As a final issue its 5 weeks since we left and we booked photographer through the hotel for the wedding which we paid the hotel for and to date we have had no wedding pictures. Having spent a huge amount on what should have been a perfect stay for our renewal but it was not and the lack of communication was so saddening that it has left a very bitter taste. I do accept that not everything can be perfect and mistakes happen but most of the issues were completely avoidable with some consideration and open dialogue but not informing guests of renovations and closures is unacceptable and I can only assume that the resort did not care for any guests staying during this period and as guest relations did point out to me that I was not the only complaint, they had received numerous from other guests. I truly wanted to leave the resort Monday and made this very clear in my email to the manager . It’s truly upsetting that we were not informed about all the closures and building works prior to arrival as we would have discussed with the hotel. We had numerous emails over a period of months to arrange our wedding day and at any point we could have been made aware of the closures and building works as these planned closures and works must have been planned some time ago but once in the resort you are a captive audience especially when charging for the boat transfer and offering very few services. All of these things are small but when you have multiple cause for dissatisfaction it starts to become very annoying especially during the precious holiday time especially when you fly half way round the world to get there. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Fantastic honeymoon at Thalasso in Bora Bora!
Feb 16th, 2020
Amazing four nights spent at InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso resort, couldn’t have asked for more! Positives: -stunning views of the sandy beaches, turquoise water, overwater bungalows and incredible views of Otemanu mountain -5* professional service throughout our stay, the welcome tour of the resort was helpful -plenty of food choices across the 3 restaurants, variety of local Polynesian flavours, french cuisine and other dishes -Villas - amazing overwater bungalow with a large living room and sundeck. Inside the bungalow the rooms feel very modern and slick -plenty of water activities available at the resort -Spa - the Spa is very large, has views over the ocean and nice relaxation rooms -the resort feels very private Negatives: -check out process could have been smoother -there was a delay in the transfer boat from the airport to the resort TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
My now favorite place in the world
Feb 16th, 2020
We just got back from our honeymoon and had the best time. I would truly call this a 5-star resort. I was skeptical reading some of these reviews about food or bugs etc. but we felt the food was really good (we go to foodie restaurants in LA) and there were minimal bugs for a tropical environment like that. The fruit is so fresh. Wish I could have all those juices everyday they have at breakfast. We got an overwater villa facing the mountain and loved it. I do suggest bringing a float and a small rope to tie yourself to the deck. Possibly some snacks and only exchange a little but of cash for tips for the boat or luggage crew. No experience with other resorts but the villa was very spacious. It’s very worth it for the money. Highly recommend! TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Feb 12th, 2020
Great beach, small pool. It has an amazing view of the atoll and turquoise waters. The bar isn’t swim up but it’s very close by and offers great cocktails. It’s also right next to the public beach which has quite a bit more space and is also amazing. Staff were helpful and friendly. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
Feb 8th, 2020
My husband and I stayed here and it’s an absolutely beautiful hotel, we loved everything about Bora Bora. They also have a ferry that will take you to the neighboring island, where there’s a small town. We spent a week here, which I think is a little too long as there is not a whole lot to do...it becomes monotonous. I would recommend spending some time in Tahiti and a few days in Bora Bora. Overall, the place and island are gorgeous, you can’t go wrong!! TRIPADVISOR.COM USER
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