Review: Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island

How to Get There

When my husband and I arrived at the airport in Bora Bora, we saw several greeters with signs of various hotels next to the luggage carousel.  The airport was small with only two terminals, and so the greeters were very easy to find.  After we claimed our luggage, they directed us to the hotel’s boat where we were whisked away to the private island.

The Good

As soon as we arrived at the private island, the Sofitel staff offered us coconuts and led us to the buffet breakfast as they were getting our room ready.  It was immediately apparent, and remained true throughout our stay, that the Sofitel offers excellent customer service.  Not only were they courteous as if it was part of their job, the staff was genuinely warm and friendly.  

The Sofitel also offers great value.  Bora Bora is known for being expensive, and Sofitel’s rate, ranging on average between $448.00 to $670.00 a night, was much more affordable than surrounding resorts.  Their room accommodations also include daily buffet breakfast, daily treats such as decorated chocolate and macaroons at downturn service, and a refrigerator stocked with complimentary water, soda, and beer.  Most other hotels do not include breakfast (unless you add a premium to your room rate) or fully stocked drinks. On a sidetone, when you are at the buffet breakfast, definitely try out their crepe and pancakes—they are delicious!

As it is a private island, the Sofitel has less people.  Their huts are also located in relatively shallow water with coral reefs that attract lots of fish.  My husband and I did not even feel there was a need to book a fish expedition elsewhere, because there was so much fish right below our hut.  We also learned that fish love bread—so if you have leftovers from breakfast, feel free to bring some with you to feed the fish.

The Bad

The Sofitel’s facilities are older, and it is especially apparent with the room’s air conditioner, or rather, lack of A/C.  One of the things you will learn at Bora Bora, is that air conditioners are rare and are generally only available inside your hotel room.  The air conditioner we had in our room was old and barely cooled the room down.   As a result of the heat and perhaps other factors, I developed a serious case of skin rash, which was not a pleasant or romantic addition to our honeymoon.

Also, they had a pamphlet labeled something along the lines of “our friends,” featuring geckos, mosquitos, cockroaches and various insects.  Some of these “friends” were definitely present in the room, including geckos and a cockroach that somehow fell from the ceiling and landed on the bedsheets one day.  I think the presence of insects in the rooms are partly due to the tropical climate at Bora Bora, but it may also be an indication of Sofitel’s need to remodel their facilities real soon. 

Another feature that needs to be updated is their WiFi.  The internet access was at best choppy and almost non-existent.  We phoned the receptionist almost daily to alert them of this issue, but it was never fully fixed while we were there.  

Bottom Line

 The Sofitel can be a great deal, and has a very well trained staff.  However, if you are looking for newer facilities, and if internet access is important to you, the Sofitel may not be your first choice.

To check out more images of the Sofitel and to find out more about our experience at Bora Bora, see below!

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