Where To Stay in Bora Bora


When we were planning our trip to Bora Bora, we wished that we could have found a site that explained the differences in where to stay in Bora Bora.  Due to its unique geography, it is not like other tropical islands where a resort anywhere on a beach will be just as nice.  In our excursions around the island on two separate occasions, one by boat and the other by Jet Ski, we were able to get a good look at where each hotel was located and the view the bungalows would possess from that location.

First, here is a photo of the incredible geography of Bora Bora.  You can read more about this amazing flight into Bora Bora here.

Bora Bora from the airplane

The main island of Bora Bora is your typical volcanic island with the towering Mount Otemanu at its center.  Surrounding the main island in a ring are tiny islands called, motus.  Just on the outside of the motus is the coral reef that protects both the motus and the exquisite azure lagoon that makes Bora Bora famous.

We believe the resorts and hotels can be broken into 3 main categories based on their location: On the main island, on a motu facing the main island, and on a motu but facing the open ocean.  There are advantages and disadvantages to all locations, so here are our thoughts on where to stay in Bora Bora:

1)      Resorts on the Main Island

These resorts tended to be the older resorts in Bora Bora although some have undergone renovations.  Staying on the main island provides easier access to more restaurants and shopping in the main town.

Intercontinental Le Moana Bora Bora – Located on Matira Point on the main island, most of the views at the Intercontinental Le Moana will be towards the lagoon and to the motus surrounding the lagoon.  If you opt to stay in an overwater bungalow, depending on its location, you may get views of Mount Otemanu.  Just be aware, there are two Intercontinental resorts in Bora Bora, one on the main island and one on a motu so be sure you are booking the right one so as not to be disappointed when you arrive.

Intercontinental Le Moana Bora Bora

Intercontinental Le Moana Bora Bora

Hotel Sofitel Marara Beach & Private Island – This resort has accommodations in two locations, most on the main island facing out towards the lagoon and a few on their private island which face in towards the lagoon and have the famous views of Mount Otemanu.  Although, these overwater bungalows are not what we would consider “true” overwater bungalows as they are half over the land and half over the water.  If you stay at the Hotel Sofitel, you will need to decide whether you want to be closer to the amenities of the resort and stay on the main island or have the views of Mount Otemanu.

2)      Resorts on motu facing Main Island

These are the resorts that have made Bora Bora famous with their stunning pictures of overwater bungalows perched over the turquoise lagoon with Mount Otemanu towering in the background.  If you would like to wake up in bed and look out your sliding door to see Mount Otemanu, one of these resorts is where you will want to stay in Bora Bora.

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa – Located on motu Tevairoa, the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa have many overwater bungalows, beach suite bungalows and garden pool suite bungalows.  For the views of Mount Otemanu, you will likely need to pay extra for the Premium Overwater Bungalows and request one with the view you wish.

Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa – This is the second Intercontinental resort in Bora Bora and probably the one I would choose between the two.  Located on the motu Piti Aau, many of the overwater bungalows offer staggering views of the main island and the peak of Mount Otemanu but again make sure to book the right bungalow as some will face the resort or side of the lagoon.

Le Méridien Bora Bora – Motu Tape is the location of this recently renovated resort.  Accommodations include Beach Bungalows, Lagoon Bungalows, and Overwater Bungalows.  Again, there is often a price difference in the each of the types of bungalows depending on the location and view afforded from the individual bungalow.  It is a good idea to talk to the Le Méridien Bora Bora directly to confirm or request specific bungalows as some overwater bungalow may not have a view of Mount Otemanu or only when on your deck whereas others are situated in the perfect location.

St. Regis Bora Bora Resort – Serving as the backdrop for the movie “Couples Retreat”, the St. Regis is exquisite.  Due to the design of the walkways out over the lagoon and construction of the overwater bungalows, some have amazing views of Mount Otemanu while others face the resort.  Bora Bora is stunning no matter which way you look, but make sure you have booked the bungalow and view you wish before arriving so as not to be disappointed.

Bora Bora - Mount Otemanu

Similar to the view from the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort & the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora – Located on Motu Tehotu next to the St. Regis is the impeccable Four Seasons Resort.  Offering six different categories in Overwater Bungalows, their names describe the view each bungalow offers.  For the best views of Mount Otemanu, book the Mountain-View Overwater Bungalow.  Other options for the Overwater Bungalows include: Lagoon-view, Resort-view or Beach-view.  For a true splurge, they also have an Otemanu Overwater Bungalow with Plunge Pool and an Overwater Bungalow with Plunge Pool.

3)      Resorts on motu facing open ocean

 There is only one resort in this category which faces the open ocean.  With unobstructed views of the reef and sapphire Pacific Ocean, the views are breathtaking yet different from the many other resorts.

Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa – Located on Motu Toopua the Hilton Resort is located on 800m of white sandy beach.  This is the resort that we stayed at while in Bora Bora and there are a few Overwater Bungalows (#101-107) that have slight views of Mount Otemanu.  For the best views or the open ocean and more privacy, you will want to book a Deluxe Overwater Bungalow or one of the two Royal Overwater Bungalows.  These bungalows are located further out on the walkways and in some cases it feels like you are completely alone staring out to the magnificent lagoon and coral reef of Bora Bora.  For the best sunset views, we recommend requesting to be in Overwater Bungalows #321-326.  One thing to note about many of the overwater bungalows at the Hilton is that they are considered “Deep” Overwater Bungalows.  Unlike many others in Bora Bora which are over a lagoon which is only 4-5 feet deep, many of the bungalows are over 20-30 feet of water.  There are some Overwater Bungalows that are in shallower water, so if this is important to you make sure to request a “Shallow” Overwater Bungalow.

Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa

Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa

Bora Bora is probably the most stunning location we have ever been too.  It seemed no matter which way you looked, the vistas were jaw dropping.  I am sure that no matter where you choose to stay in Bora Bora, you will be as impressed with this tropical paradise as we were.

Is Bora Bora on your bucket list?  Have you been to Bora Bora and would you recommend any of these or other accommodations?  Please let us know if you have any questions about where to stay in Bora Bora.


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19 Responses to Where To Stay in Bora Bora

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  3. Hi There,

    I came across your article in researching Bora Bora and where to stay and just wanted to say thanks! You do a great job of explaining and it make our choice easy!

    Keep up the great reviews!


    Danielle February 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm Reply
    • Thanks so much for your comment, Danielle! We are glad you found our review helpful, and we wish you a great time in Bora Bora!

      evan&tracy February 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm Reply
  4. Pingback: Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa Review | Travels4Couples

  5. Hello, I really enjoyed this article. We are trying to figure out where to stay for our honeymoon in Bora Bora. Out of all of these place, what hotel is the most romantic and nicest? It sounds like they are all wonderful so it’s hard to decide. Would you say St. Regis or Four Seasons?

    Mykelle March 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm Reply
    • Thank you! We are glad you found our post helpful. We don’t think you can go wrong with either the St. Regis or the Four Seasons. From what we remember, the Four Seasons was situated with an amazing view of Mount Otemanu (not to say the St. Regis doesn’t have an amazing view as well) but that view just stuck in our minds.

      evan&tracy March 21, 2014 at 1:06 am Reply
      • Thank you for the great info! my husband and i are planning to go for our anniversary. we decided to stay in bungalows, can we visit these hotels to take pictures, go to one of their restaurants and hang out by the beach? or the entire facility is only for people who are checked in?

        thank you!

        ilovelife April 15, 2014 at 11:19 am Reply
        • Hi Agatha,

          Thanks for your comment! As far as we know, it is fine to go to any of the resorts for dinner or to snap a few pictures, however, you do have to take a different boat to get to each one and it costs money for some. These boats/ferries only travel at specific times, so it can be a bit of a hassle getting out to them.

          evan&tracy April 15, 2014 at 5:48 pm Reply
  6. Hi Evan&Tracy!

    This is a blast of a website to help us make a choice for staying in Bora Bora, thanks so much! We’d like to stay in the Hilton BB for 8 nights, preferably in a shallow overwater bungalow (good advice, we didn’t know most of them were deep overwater bungalows!) but I don’t want to pay 600 euro times 8 nights. We were thinking of staying 4-5 nights in a deluxeroom of the main building with lagoon view, and then book a shallow overwater one the last nights. Have you seen the rooms with lagoon view and are they to be recommended? On the other hand, would you think it’s worth considering taking another hotel for the remaining nights, since Hilton is just on a small island, and it could be less boring to change location?

    Thanks in advance!

    Ward April 30, 2014 at 11:31 am Reply
    • Glad you found our website useful, Ward! We did not see the inside of the lagoon view rooms but the location of the building seemed like the rooms would have a good view of the ocean. Most of the other big resort hotels are also on small islands surrounding the main island and we never felt bored on the Hilton island as there was lots of snorkelling, small walking paths and we enjoyed just relaxing on our deck. There is a shuttle boat that you pay for, that will take you into the main town from the resort. We did this a couple of times and even went to Bloody Mary’s for dinner one night (highly recommended). It may be difficult to switch resorts as all the hotels have private charter boats that take you from the airport to the hotel. So if you switched resorts, you would likely have to take the hilton shuttle boat back to the airport (about 20 minute ride) and then take the other hotel’s shuttle to their resort. Doable but you would probably lose a day in this shuffle. To help prevent, boredom, we would highly recommend doing some of the excursions – expensive but worth it. We really enjoyed our jet ski/atv tour and swimming with the sharks and sting rays with a lagoon tour & lunch. We also found the prices staggering but believed that this was a once in a lifetime trip and we do not regret any of the money that we spent.

      Hope you have an amazing trip!!!

      evan&tracy May 2, 2014 at 10:26 pm Reply
  7. Hello, my fiancé and I plan on going to bora bora for our honeymoon. Did y’all do the all inclusive package? Is there a specific travel agency that you went thru? If so, would you use them again? If you had to go back, which resort would you choose after seeing all of them? Thank you for all the info! Jake

    Jake August 17, 2014 at 5:45 pm Reply
    • Thanks for your questions, Jake! We didn’t book the all inclusive package but instead had all of our breakfasts and dinners included. For lunch, we just went into town when we arrived and grabbed some cheese, crackers, etc. to munch on as breakfast was HUGE and we found we did not need a large lunch. You can also pick up beverages at the local supermarket and buy some alcohol at the duty free on your flight over to save on the super expensive drinks at the resorts. We did go out for a few dinners but it was nice to know that we had most already covered. We booked our trip through a travel agent who booked our package through GoWay which I believe is a travel company that specializes in the South Pacific. We were very happy with our trip and wouldn’t hesitate to book through GoWay again. If we were to go again, we would probably stay at the Four Seasons Bora Bora or St. Regis, if budget allowed. However, we did really enjoy our stay at the Hilton for a more reasonable budget.

      evan&tracy August 19, 2014 at 9:05 pm Reply
  8. Hello Evan&Tracy,
    We cannot determine which hotel to book for our trip this December. The Le Meridien, a category 7 hotel, is an option since it is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than even the Hilton. Would you have any idea why it would be that much cheaper? I worry it might be an older hotel or has some issues with infrastructure of the direction it is facing. Since we are on a budget, the Four Seasons and IHG seem out of the picture.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated and thank you for the suggestions above!


    Julie October 7, 2014 at 5:30 am Reply
    • Thank you for your comments, Julie, we are glad that you found our suggestions helpful so far. From what we saw 2 years ago, the Le Meridien looked like a very nice resort. It was on one of the motus facing in towards the lagoon and Mount Otemanu. There were several resorts though in this area (it seemed like there were quite a few overwater bungalows) so it didn’t seem as private/remote as perhaps the Hilton did. This was also one of the first stretch of resorts on the island so it likely is a bit older than other resorts, however, it has likely undergone renovations that may be described on their website. We think that as long as you go with one of the resorts on the motus, you will not be disappointed. Of course there are superior resorts (like the Four Seasons and St. Regis) but they all seemed very nice. We are definitely jealous that you will be heading there in December and we hope you have an amazing time!

      evan&tracy October 7, 2014 at 8:33 pm Reply
  9. Hi there,

    We are looking into the Hilton for this June. The size of the room, snorkeling, and seemingly slightly less expensive food options are our reasons for leaning this way. All in all, would you recommend the Hilton? Would you stay there again?

    Brittney January 22, 2015 at 6:43 pm Reply
    • Hi Brittney,
      Yes, we would recommend the Hilton as we did have a great time there. We would stay there again without reservation, however, if we were going to Bora Bora again, we would probably choose one of the hotels on the inner lagoon that had a view of Mount Otemanu simply to get a different perspective. Hope you have a fabulous trip, we are jealous 🙂

      evan&tracy January 22, 2015 at 7:17 pm Reply
  10. Thanks for this post! We are deciding between the Four Seasons and the Hilton. We are stuck as to which to choose! If we stayed at the Hilton, we would do a much nicer suite and have a little more spending money for excursions etc. If we stayed at the Four Seasons we would stay in the cheapest villa, and probably not do much other than hang around the resort. In your opinion, is the Four Seasons worth the extra money, or should we go with the Hilton where the rooms may not be as nice but we can have more flexibility with spending money?

    Samantha March 8, 2015 at 9:45 pm Reply
    • That is a tough choice, Samantha. The rooms at the Hilton were beautiful, in our opinion, so if you are planning to stay in any of the overwater bungalow categories, we don’t think you will be disappointed by the quality of the room. The biggest difference to us between the 2 resorts is the location so you would need to decide how important that is to you…would you prefer to be on the inner lagoon facing Mount Otemanu (then stay at the Four Seasons) or if not, then the Hilton’s outer lagoon location would be fine. One thing that we can say for sure, is we did really enjoy the excursions that we did (jet ski/atv tour, swimming with the sharks and sting rays) and it would have been disappointing to us to go all that way and not get to experience these excursions. For us, we made the decision to choose the Hilton as it was cheaper and allowed us to have the extra spending money.

      evan&tracy March 18, 2015 at 11:50 am Reply

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