The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is a luxury resort located on the picturesque French Polynesian island of Bora Bora. It offers its guests the highest standards of service, ultra modern accommodations, and an unrivaled location best described as paradise on earth. We spent five nights at this resort at the end of April, 2019 and here is our report.
The Four Seasons Bora Bora Resort is located on Motu Tehotu, approximately 15 minutes away by boat from Bora Bora’s Motu Mute Airport.
The resort features 100 overwater bungalows and 7 beachfront villas, private beaches, a private lagoon, infinity pool, four restaurants, spa and fitness facilities, tennis and volleyball courts, a chapel, children’s entertainment area, and plenty of paid as well as free activities to keep you occupied.
At the time of this writing, the resort was undergoing a series of renovations to increase the number of over-water bungalows and add plunge pools to some of the existing ones (more on this subject below).
Upon lading at Bora Bora Airport, you will be greeted by a small team of Four Seasons representatives located at their designated arrival desk inside the airport. The airport is very small and you should have no trouble locating them directly across from the arrivals gate. They will offer you a very cute flowers necklace and a bottle of cold water, and assist you in retrieving your luggage and taking it to your boat transfer to the resort. Boats and other water vessels are the only method of transportation between the airport, the resorts, the main island of Bora Bora, and pretty much nearly anywhere else in the area.
Please note it is necessary to contact the resort before your departure with your flight information so they know to schedule a boat transfer for your arrival time.
The boat ride to the resort takes about 15 minutes and it will be your first glimpse of the paradise you have just arrived at. On a clear day, you will get an unobstructed view of the main island and Mount Otemanu on the right side of the boat, and the beautiful beaches and vegetation on the left side.
Once you arrive at the resort, a representative will be waiting for you with a cold beverage to check you in, give you an overview of the resort, and show you to your accommodations.
The official check-in time is 3:00 PM, but the staff will make every effort to have your room available as early as possible and make your wait time a pleasant experience.
We landed at Bora Bora Airport at 8:20 AM and made it to the resort around 9:00 AM. While we waited, we changed and freshened up at the air-conditioned changing room next to the lobby that is available to guests checking in, we went on a short walk around the beautiful property, and ordered some cocktails at the beach across from the property’s infinity pool. Shortly before 1:00 PM, our check-in representative came to find us at the beach and took us via golf cart to our overwater bungalow.
At the time of our stay the resort was comprised of 100 overwater bungalows with various view options (beach, lagoon, mountain) and 7 bigger, more expensive, beach-front villas. We stayed at a “Mountain View” overwater bungalow and it was absolutely perfect. Our bungalow was divided in four sections:
The living room was spacious and it featured a sofa, coffee table, flat screen tv, club chair with a side table, small work desk, safe, single cup coffee maker, and a mini fridge/mini bar stocked with various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and glassware for two. Opposite to the main entrance, a glass patio door led to a private deck and offered views of the water and Mount Otemanu in the distance.
The bathroom featured double sinks (his and hers), a toilet room, shower, and a spacious bathtub with views of the water and Mount Otemanu. The usual toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, etc) were available for use.
The bedroom featured a very comfortable king bed with plenty of fluffy pillows, a small seating area, opening windows with blinds, spacious closets for him and her, various drawers and shelves, and a place for luggage at each side of the room. The deck is also accessible from the bedroom via another patio door.
The deck was comprised of two levels. The top level featured a patio table and chairs shaded by a gazebo, as well as two beach chaise lounge chairs and a small coffee table. The lower level is a platform with a ladder leading directly into the water, thus effectively making the lagoon into your pool.
As stated before, the resort does have bungalows with plunge pools on the deck, in case jumping straight into the lagoon is not to your liking.
Food and Drinks
There is five sources of food and drinks at Four Seasons Bora Bora.
In-room dining is available from 6:00 AM to 10:30 PM with different food options depending on the time of the day and 24-hour service for drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). One menu item that stood out to us was the “Canoe Breakfast;” a pre-set breakfast for two that is delivered to your bungalow by two staff members via a traditional water canoe. A pretty unique experience, but with a price tag of $250 USD!
Fare Hoa Beach Bar is located beachside, adjacent to the main pool, and open daily 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM. It offers bar, grill, Polynesian, steakhouse and seafood cuisines. The “Pool and Beach” menu varies slightly from the main menu, but any item you request from either menu will be brought to you whether you are at the restaurant, beachside or at the pool. Their truffle fries, chocolate lava cake, and piña coladas are quite good. They have a buy one get the same one free “Happy Hour” from 4:00 – 5:00 PM daily.
Tere Nui, located adjacent to the main pool, serves buffet style breakfast every day from 6:30 – 11:00 AM. Every morning you will find an assortment of fresh fruit, charcuterie, pastries, juices, and hot breakfast plates. You can also order a variety of coffees and other food items from their menu at no additional cost, such as french toast and eggs benedict, to name a few. If your resort reservation includes breakfast, this is where you will go every morning.
Sunset Bar is a restaurant and bar with both indoor and overwater terrace seating, open for dinner from 5:00 – 11:00 PM. It offers freshly prepared sushi and Asian-inspired dinners. As its name suggests, the sunset and Mount Otemanu views from here are quite nice. The sushi is truly fresh and quite good, and we recommend trying their “cocktail of the day” if you’re feeling adventurous. This became our favorite restaurant for dinner during our stay.
Lastly, Arii Moana is a romantic waterside restaurant open for dinner from 6:00 – 9:30 PM. Arii Moana offers Polynesian and French-infused dinner options, such as caviar, Striped Seabass and tiramisu. We referred to this one as the “fancy” restaurant of the resort.
The dress code for all locations, even the fancy one, is “resort casual,” meaning you can show up in shorts, t-shirt and sandals and you won’t feel out of place. Keep in mind you are in a resort, thousands of miles away from “normal,” in warm humid weather. Beachwear is king.
The resort has a plethora of both paid and free activities available to resort guests. You can find anything from water activities (Jetski, kayak, snorkeling, etc.) to tennis and diving lessons, shows, and a variety of guided tours. You can get a calendar of the activities taking place at the resort during the week from the front desk or you can access the concierge- recommended activities pamphlet here.
During our stay we decided to go to their Polynesian Dinner Show and Fenua Stargazing Tour, both of which we enjoyed. The Fenua Stargazing Tour turned out to be one of our favorite activities of the trip as it was filled with very nice views of the sunset and the night sky that followed, as well as a ton of information about the stars, the island and the local culture.
The concierge at the resort can help with booking any activities you may want to do in or out of the resort.
Get all your shopping done before you arrive in Bora Bora. There are very few places where to shop in the island, and even less at the resort. At the Four Seasons you’ll only be able to find some clothing, high-end keepsakes, Tahitian black pearls and other fine jewels.
We received excellent service from everyone at the resort. The staff at the Four Seasons is extremely friendly, polite, and always ready to assist you in whatever you may want or need. They truly strive to make your stay as pleasant and worry-free as possible.
Drones are unfortunately prohibited at the resort due to its close proximity to the path of flights leaving Bora Bora Airport. Finding the resorts policy on drones without having to ask someone was a little difficult; we saw only one small “No drones” sign posted at the resort, and it took some perusing around their website in order to find their drones policy.
Flying a drone may also prove difficult some days due to quickly changing weather conditions.
The weather is difficult to predict from outside of the island and most of the weather forecasters don’t give accurate reports due to the very particular conditions of the region (it may literally rain on one side of the island but not on the other, and rain may come and go in a matter of minutes). The forecast for our five-night stay was rain and thunderstorms every day; however once we got there, most days turned out to be a mix of cloudy and sunny skies, brief showers every now and then, and some rain and moderate winds on our last day as we were checking out of the resort.
The Four Seasons uses Windguru – Bora Bora to check on upcoming weather conditions.
Leaving the Resort
There is a boat shuttle to the main island twice per day at 1:15 PM (returning at 4:45 PM) and 6:45 PM (returning at 9:45 PM). The cost is about $25 USD roundtrip per person and this has to be scheduled with the concierge for your desired date and time.
If you have scheduled activities with other companies on the main island, they will contact you via phone and/or email about 24 hours prior to let you know what time your water taxi will be at the resort to pick you up. All the companies we booked activities with provided transportation to/from the resort at no extra cost.
If you want to go somewhere at any other time or on your own schedule the hotel’s concierge is your best bet to find out availability and cost.
The resort is will be undergoing renovations from January thru October, 2019. Other than walking past one of the bungalows that was being worked on on our way to our bungalow, it did not feel like work was being done at the resort and it did not bother us in any way shape or form.
During this period, the resort is offering all guests a daily credit between 100 EUR and 300 EUR that can be used towards various resort charges and activities, not including nightly charges, food or drinks. See details here.
Tips and Tricks
Use the Four Seasons App. The app (available to Apple and Android users) is extremely helpful and easy to use. You can chat 24-hours a day directly with a resort representative for anything you may need, order in-room dining, make restaurant and activity reservations, keep track of your in-resort spending, etc.
Pay the extra fee to get a Mountain View Room. While it is true that there is no bad view at this resort, our opinion is that the bungalows facing Mount Otemanu have the best view. It was truly amazing to wake up in the morning, and/or lounge around the bungalow, and see the lagoon at our doorstep and the mountain in the distance.
Pack lightly. Even during “cold” and rainy months of the year, the temperature rarely drops below 22° C (72° F) and it is always humid, the most you may want to take is a light rain jacket or a long sleeve shirt to protect you from the rain/sun. At the resort you will be wearing sandals, shorts, t-shirts and beachwear 99% of the time. The resort will provide you with towels, sandals, sunscreen at various locations throughout the premises, umbrellas for the rain and other small necessities.
Bring any personal use items you may need from home or buy them at Tahiti airport. There’s very few places where to get things on the main island of Bora Bora and none at the resort. Alcohol is on the expensive side ($11 beers, $23 cocktails) so bringing a couple bottles from home or buying them Duty Free at Tahiti airport will save you some cash.
Checking out is quite easy other than the fact that you probably will be wishing you could stay longer. The front desk will remind you of your scheduled departure date about 24 hours prior and ask for your flight information to schedule your boat to Bora Bora airport. The boat will leave about 90 minutes prior to your flight’s departure time (which will be plenty of time for you to get to the airport and check into your flight).
Once you are ready to leave your bungalow on the day of departure you can call for a golf cart to give you and your luggage a ride to the lobby. Check out is at noon, but guests with departing flights later in the day can stay and enjoy the premises until their boat’s departure time.
Out of all the places we have been fortunate enough to stay at, Four Seasons Bora Bora was definitely in our top three. It is hard to beat a beautiful property on a paradisiacal island with truly excellent service. Mauruuru, Four Seasons!