Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa
Posting this on a Monday morning is probably a little unfair…
But it could also be great motivation to remind yourself why you’re at work – so that you can earn money to hang out in beautiful places where you can relax!
Bora Bora has an impressive reputation. Not only for its crystal clear, iridescent blue water and marine life, but also for the opulent over-water bungalows.
So, does the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa live up to its reputation?
Accommodation & Location
I’ll cut to the chase: staying in an over-water bungalow at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa is everything travel articles make it out to be. It’s pretty darn fantastic.
Firstly, it’s the location. Our bungalow looks over the Pacific Ocean. Even on an inclement day, this is a fantastic view. There is no experience like having the ocean in your backyard, replete with coral and stingrays and curious fish friends.
Secondly, it’s the accommodation. We’ve stayed at various Hilton resorts and hotels across Australasia and North America, and this is hands down the best one.
We booked 4 nights in the over-water bungalow, and 3 nights in the hillside. Whilst there is the temptation to spend the whole week (or longer) in the over-water bungalows, I would recommend booking a combination of both huts.
From the hillside, you have fantastic views and a wonderful sense of privacy. And it gave us easy access to lay in hammocks on the white sanded beach that I didn’t do while we were in the over-water bungalow.
And the advantage of the over-water bungalow is clear: if you want to be in the water, you walk on to your deck and dive straight in! One of my favourite things was feeding a few fish who quickly came to associate me with food and we called “my little friends”.
The rooms are large, wooden bungalows, large enough that you feel like you have your own mini house. They have enormous bathtubs (yes, big enough for two!) and rainfall shower heads (again, big enough for two!). There’s a reason why everyone comes on their honeymoon here.
Staff and Activities
The staff, as expected at a luxury resort, are a delight. No request was too hard for them. And unlike a lot of upmarket hotels, they are beautifully relaxed about everything.
“Do you think they have to say hello and smile at us all the time?” I asked North Nomad at one point. But I got the impression that the employees were sincerely friendly, happy people.
The manager, John, is a charming French man. He manages to introduce himself to each guest and chat with them over drinks at the bar or the manager’s reception.
The concierge are a fantastic help with activities, too. We went on the Hilton Snorkeling Safari and got up close with sting rays and sharks. We went scuba diving with manta rays. And we did more sedate activities like paddle boarding (which I was terrible at, frankly!)
There are a stack of other activities you can do that we didn’t get a chance to do, like dinner out on the Hilton’s private motu or jetskiing.
Food and Drink
This is where North Nomad and I get tricky with accommodation. We both have very specific tastes and requirements.
The Hilton does have an extensive vegetarian menu available on request at its reception. You need to order in the morning for the evening, however.
This instilled me with a new empathy for how North Nomad feels when I say to him on a Monday, “So what do you feel like having for dinner tomorrow?” so I can go shopping or marinate something. Who really knows what they want to have that far in advance?
I was a little bad at pre-ordering, so we frequently ate at the more casual bar who coped very well with my strange requests like Pad Thai with plum sauce instead of fish sauce (which was some of the best pad thai I’ve ever had, and I say that from my current location of Chiang Mai).
We also used room service for many meals. The kitchen staff happily dealt with every modification we requested, and would put in extra items for me. I think they worried that the lady who didn’t eat meat or drink milk wasn’t getting enough food, which was very sweet.
We ordered quite a few breakfasts and found that with our slight statures, ordering one breakfast more than did both of us for both breakfast and a snack before lunch.
The buffet was pretty impressive. You need to go at least once, just to check it out.
Being French Polynesian, it was seafood heavy and obviously not going to cater hugely to the vegetarian or vegan market. North Nomad had his fill of crab – one of his favourite meals. I *may* have had an entire plate of dessert.
Hina Day Spa
No luxury resort visit or honeymoon is complete without a visit to the day spa. We booked in for a couple’s massage at the Hina Day Spa.
Yind sits high up on the resort, with sweeping views of the island and ocean. Before your massage,you’re given a row of oils to check out so you can pick your favourite scent to get a massage with.
We chose the hour long massage. At the time of booking, an hour always seems like plenty of time. But come massage time, after an hour of enjoying melting into the table with your knots getting kneaded out, it really doesn’t seem long enough!
The couple’s massage room comes with a shower, and it was a nice chance to rinse off the oils so we didn’t get sunburnt on the quick journey back to our bungalow.
Would we stay again?
Oh yes! This was the best vacation we’ve ever had. We’re still young, we know “the best” can always be topped, but it was just so lovely. Maybe for an anniversary in the future!
Location & Contact Details: BP 502 VAITAPE, BORA BORA, 98730, FRENCH POLYNESIATEL: +689-40-603 300 FAX: 689-40-603 301
You can connect with South Nomad, Jessica, over at Google+.