If you’re in the midst of planning a honeymoon or a special trip to Bora Bora, you’re likely asking yourself the same questions I did before my own recent vacation.
Things like “What’s the best hotel in Bora Bora?” “St. Regis vs. Four Seasons Bora Bora: which is better?” and “What do I pack for Bora Bora?”
As someone who just returned from a 10 day trip to Bora Bora that was split between both the St. Regis and Four Seasons, I figured I’d share all of my thoughts with you now that they’re fresh in my mind!
St. Regis Bora Bora Review
Here’s the route we took:
NYC > LAX > PPT > Bora Bora
Quick Tip: Because our flight from LAX arrived into Tahiti (PPT) late at night, we decided to stay overnight there (at the no-frills Tahiti Airport Motel) so that we could catch the first flight to Bora Bora in the morning.
This way, we were able to get an ENTIRE day at the St. Regis, rather than arriving there at night time.
We also booked an evening flight on the tail end of our trip for our departure, which then gave us another FULL day to spend at the property. (Be sure to ask for a late check out!)
St. Regis Bora Bora First Impression
Upon arrival to the Bora Bora airport, you’ll be greeted by a friendly member of the St. Regis staff. If you are taking St Regis’ private boat transfer to the hotel, they’ll assist you with your bags, load them onto the boat, provide you with a cold towel, water, and floral necklace.
The staff was even kind enough to take photos of everyone on the pier before we got on board. We found this experience to be seamless.
I believe there are lower cost boat options for getting to the hotel if you decide not to book the property’s private transfer, and my guess is, they’re not that much different than the hotel version. Definitely something I would look into next time around.
The ride was beautiful, and it took around 25 minutes.
Once we docked at the St. Regis, we were introduced to our dedicated butler (yes, you get a butler throughout your stay!)
Our butler was Ida, and she was truly a DOLL. This brings me to one of the best selling points, in my opinion, of the St. Regis…
The Butler Service
As I’ve experienced at other St. Regis properties, the service here was truly unmatched.
Butlers will take care of your restaurant reservations, excursions, appointments, and other misc things (like having a cake sent to the room for a birthday.)
They also offer to unpack & pack your luggage for you, complimentary. This is something I’ve been offered at other hotels, but have always felt too guilty to take advantage of.
However, we were so jet lagged after traveling for 28+ hours, the idea of having someone unpack for me was too tempting to pass up—so I went with it. And OMG. WHAT A LUXURY.
They truly took such great care with every little detail—from the way the clothes were organized, to proactively asking if we’d like our wine unpacked and put into the fridge.
They even offered to unpack & organize our toiletries (which I passed on, but appreciated the offer.)
Perhaps most impressive, when Ida saw that I had inflatable pool floats in my luggage, she asked if she could have her team blow them up for me.
Quick Tip: A follower had made the awesome recommendation to bring our own pool floats, and I’m so glad we did! It was nice to be able to float outside of our villa (and also nice that we paid $20 for them on Amazon vs the $100+ price tag at the boutique.)
Another St. Regis perk is that they offer complimentary pressing of two items per person, per day. Complimentary pressing is pretty rare in my experience—in fact, when I’ve had items pressed at luxury hotels in the past, it’s always exorbitantly expensive.
Each day, Matt & I would leave the items we wanted pressed on the bed, and they would be taken + delivered back to us by the afternoon. It was a small but greatly appreciated perk.
This level of service extended throughout the hotel—from the restaurants, to the bar, to the beach and pool. Everyone was extremely attentive and quickly learned our preferences (like having fresh watermelon juice at breakfast every morning.)
The Room: Overwater Villa at St. Regis Bora Bora
In full transparency, when we had seen photos of the rooms online, we weren’t totally blown away. In photos, they looked a little dated and a little dark (I was purely going based off of comparisons to overwater bungalows I’ve stayed at in the Maldives, where rooms felt more modern, open-air, and very bright.)
That being said, when we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised that the room we booked (overwater villa with an ocean view) ended up looking much nicer in person than it seemed in photos.
It was SUPER spacious, with a large deck, nice living room/seating area, and huge bedroom + bathroom with double sinks and a vanity area.
If I’m being super nit-picky, the bathroom could definitely use better lighting, but all things considered, it was fab.
I think it goes without saying that resorts in Bora Bora are absolutely breathtaking. The St. Regis has a phenomenal view of Mount Otemanu (the extinct volcano located at the center of the island) as well as stunning sunsets from different vantage points on the property.
There’s also a tennis court, a lagoonarium, a main pool, an adults-only pool, a kids pool, a small water sports center, a spa, and a main beach area.
Curious how Bora Bora compares to the Maldives?
Read my exhaustive guide to the Maldives here.
What We Loved
- The resort feels vast enough that you won’t get bored, but somehow, it also feels super intimate. I knew my away around after a few days. This was the one biggest difference from the Four Seasons (which I elaborate on more in my Four Seasons review post.)
- Being able to bike around the entire property! Each villa gets a set of bikes to use throughout your stay. We liked having the option of biking, walking or getting a ride on a golf cart (if, say, we were dressed up for dinner.)
- I also liked that it didn’t feel too spread out (which was maybe due to the location of our room.) For ex: if I was at the beach and realized I forgot something in my room, or needed to go charge my phone, it was nice to be able to hop on my bike and be back at the room within 10 minutes.)
St. Regis Bora Bora Restaurants and Food
Overall we really enjoyed the food during our stay. The standout, by far, was the Jean Georges restaurant Lagoon. Between the food, service, atmosphere and view… it was a 10/10. Incredible special occasion restaurant.
Even if you don’t stay at the St. Regis, I would definitely recommend making a reservation here for drinks on the Lagoon terrace, followed by dinner at the Lagoon Restaurant.
Make sure you time your drinks / dinner to sunset — once it gets dark, you’re not able to experience how absolutely breathtaking it is.
One thing I would note: there are 4 restaurants that serve dinner on property, and some are only open on certain days.
Pay attention to the schedule and book things accordingly! On our third night, the two restaurants that were open were the same ones we’d just eaten at, and we didn’t want to repeat (especially at Lagoon, since it’s definitely more of a special occasion experience) so we just ordered room service.
I’m guessing this is less of an issue during non-COVID times, when you’re able to go off-property to dine on the main island or at other hotels. (During the first half of our trip, the island was on lockdown due to COVID so we weren’t able to go off property.)
How Expensive is the Food at St. Regis Bora Bora?
This is a question a lot of people ask, and the truth is — it’s EXPENSIVE. Bora Bora definitely isn’t the type of place to go to if you’re looking for a deal.
Dinner will run you around $100+/pp (with alcohol); and lunch can be slightly less (or more) depending on how many beach cocktails you’re downing.
Cocktails, on average, were around $20.
Quick Tip: You can bring your own alcohol to Bora Bora. Yep, you heard that right. You’re allowed 3 bottles of wine per person, or 2L of hard liquor. If you plan to drink during your trip, I would highly highly recommend bringing your own—or buying at duty free in PPT. It’s a great way to save a little money without compromising your experience, as wine and booze prices at the hotels are pretty steep.
And if you’re worried about being judged by the hotel… fret not. Our butler who unpacked for us even offered to put our bottles of wine on ice or in the fridge for us.
St. Regis Bora Bora Price
Rates at St. Regis Bora Bora start at around $1,200 and can go up to $2,000 depending on the time of year that you book.
Check Rates: St. Regis Bora Bora
Booking with Points
If you’re a Marriott Bonvoy member, you’re in luck. Rooms at the St. Regis Bora Bora are typically around 85,000 points per night during standard dates, 70,000 during off-peak dates (rainy season) and 100,000 points per night during high season.
We actually booked our stay on points, and definitely felt it was a great use of them.
St. Regis Bora Bora vs. Four Seasons Bora Bora
Wondering which hotel to choose between the St. Regis Bora Bora and the Four Seasons Bora Bora? You’re not alone. We were in the same boat, which is why we ended up splitting our trip between both hotels.
I have a separate post comparing the St. Regis to the Four Seasons here!
Is the St. Regis Bora Bora Worth It?
If you’re hoping for a luxurious, relaxing vacation at a fabulous five-star resort, with excellent attention to detail from the staff—and you don’t mind forking over a pretty penny for it—then yes, the St. Regis Bora Bora is absolutely worth it.
What to Pack for Bora Bora
Below are some of the outfits I brought with me to Bora Bora.
For more ideas check out my Beach Vacation Packing List, my favorite swimsuit cover-ups, the best denim shorts, and some favorite swimsuits (especially for women with full chests.)