French Polynesia Trip Report Index
Tahiti and Bora Bora – Flights & Airfares
Hilton Frankfurt Airport
Lufthansa Senator Lounge Frankfurt Airport (Terminal 1, Departure Area B)
InterContinental Resort Tahiti
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort (site inspection)
InterContinental Resort and Spa Moorea
Pic: Mount Otemanu from InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Pic: Overwater Villa at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
There are 4 InterContinental properties in French Polynesia: Tahiti, Moorea, Le Moana Bora Bora and Thalasso Bora Bora. All are managed by the same owner. Detailed information on each of these resorts is available in PDF format: Resort Specifications, Rooms, Bungalows and Villas + Transfers
Pic: Blue Lagoon Wedding Chapel at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Back in January, just a few days after I book my great airfare from Brussels to Papeete, I found another great deal for French Polynesia. InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa was bookable at 30K PriorityClub points per night! PriorityClub had announced it would increase/decrease the number of points required for a free night at many of its hotels. The intention was to increase the points required for IC Bora Bora Thalasso from 40K to 50K per night. However, instead of increasing the number of points required, someone at IHG decided to decrease it (for a brief time) to 30K! As 10K points could be bought for $60 (now $70), a free night at IC Bora Bora Thalasso was bookable for $180. Compare that with the cheapest bookable villa at +$900 (€700) and you know you have a great deal! I immediately booked a 5 night stay at 150K points which I bought for $900 (15x $60, €700). A paid 5 night stay in September would have been +$5000 (€4000)!!!
Pic: Sands Bar & Restaurant at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Sep 2012)
Pic: Beach Lounge at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Pic: Outdoor Beach Shower at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Pic: Stingrays at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Sep 2012)
Pic: Deep Ocean Spa Treatment Villas at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Pic: View on the Wedding Chapel at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Pic: Lounge chairs at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
The problem with PriorityClub points bookings at IC Bora Bora Thalasso is the fact you can only select the “Two Bedroom Family Suite Coral Garden Villa” option. The Coral Garden Villas also know as “Motu Villas” (video) are located in the backyard of the resort and do not offer the famous Bora Bora overwater villa experience. The resort offers paid upgrades, but the fees are steep.
From 2 Bedroom Coral Garden villa to:
Emerald overwater villa 15,000 XPF + 14% tax per night ($185,€143)
Sapphire overwater villa 25,000 XPF + 14% tax per night ($270,€208)
Diamond overwater villa 35,000 XPF + 14% tax per night ($307,€237)
Diamond Otemanu overwater villa 45,000 XPF + 14% tax per night ($553,€428)
Diamond End of Pontoon overwater villa 55,000 XPF +14% tax p/n ($676,€523)
Keep in mind all overwater villas have the exact same layout, you’re just paying extra for the view from your villa and it’s location on the pier.
Pic: IC Bora Bora Thalasso Overwater Villas and Motu Family Suites Map
Due to the steep upgrade fees and the reports on Flyertalk about almost everybody being upgraded for free, I declined the paid upgraded offer. With 83 Overwater Villas and only 3 Coral Garden Villas, my Royal Ambassador status had to do the job. The only factor which raised my concern about not being upgraded was the fact the hotel had been sold-out weeks in advance of my stay. Upon arrival at the resort, the worst possible scenario came true. I was informed they were fully booked and I would be assigned Coral Garden Villa 301 for the entire duration of my stay. I immediately asked to speak to the manager on duty, but he was ‘unavailable’ (it was Monday evening, 6pm). I would have been fine staying at the Coral Garden Villa, if at least one night I could experience an Overwater Villa. Once in the Coral Garden Villa, the disappointment was even bigger when I noticed it wasn’t even clean (cobwebs, stains on walls and furniture, dirty floor). I asked again to speak to a manager, but was informed my concerns could only be addressed the next morning!?! As this was unacceptable and the hotel didn’t offer an immediate solution, I contacted IHG via twitter. Fortunately, they responded swiftly and informed me they had contacted the resort and a solution would be provided the next morning. I settled with it and went to bed. The next morning I called reception for an update and they transferred me to the Guest Relation manager. He was aware of my concerns and apologized for the inconvenience. He offered me an upgrade to a Sapphire Overwater Villa and complimentary breakfast for the duration of my stay. That was a great value proposition, as such upgrade would have been $1080 (€832) for four nights and breakfast XPF3834 ($41, €32) per day. Internet access was complimentary as Royal Ambassador, a big saving too, as the normal charge was XPF3000 ($32,€25) per 24 hours.
Pic: Sapphire Overwater Villa 118 at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
The Sapphire Overwater Villa was fantastic: very spacious living room, great terrace with sundeck offering direct access to the lagoon. Bedroom and bathroom with incredible views all day long, even from the bathtub!
Pic: Living Room Overwater Villa at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Pic: Bedroom Overwater Villa at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Pic: Bathroom Overwater Villa at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Pic: Bathroom Amenties at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Sep 2012)
Pic: Terrace Overwater Villa at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Sep 2012)
Pic: Deck Staircase Overwater Villa at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Pic: Overwater Villa Deck at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Sep 2012)
Pic: Sapphire Overwater Villa at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Video: Sapphire Overwater Villa 118 at IC Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa