InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora – French Polynesia Trip Report


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In this post I”ll provide a review and pictures from our 7 night stay at the InterContinental Bora Bora in French Polynesia. This post is part of a larger trip report from our two week “Year of the B” trip to French Polynesia. For this trip we used 150k Delta miles each to fly on Delta and Air France in business class. We used 280,000 (40k x 7 nights) Priority Club points for our 7 night stay at the InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso Resort and Spa. I was an InterContinental Royal Ambassador during this stay. This was the second island stop on our two week award stay in French Polynesia.

French Polynesia Trip Report:

  1. ATL > LAX in DL Business Class and an over night at the Andaz West Hollywood
  2. LAX > PPT in Air France Business Class and ferry to Moorea
  3. Hilton Moorea Hotel Review
  4. Moorea Activities
  5. InterContinental Bora Bora
  6. Villa Mahana Restaurant Bora Bora
  7. Le Meridien Tahiti
  8. Ritz Carlton LAX and LAX > ATL in DL Business Class

Journey to Hotel

We started our short journey to the InterContinental Bora Bora Thalasso from the Hilton Moorea. We took a Hilton taxi to the Moorea Ferry docks to catch the high speed ferry back to Tahiti. From there we took a pre-arranged taxi (definitely learned from the couple from our Hilton hotel review) from the Tahiti ferry docks to the PPT airport. We had to take a plane from Tahiti to Bora Bora because I didn’t book the only directly flight from Moorea to Bora Bora before it sold out. So please learn from my mistake and book the Moorea to Bora Bora flight early.

The plane was an Air Tahiti ATR, a very reliable aircraft. The view on approach to Bora Bora was spectacular. Even more amazing was the view from baggage claim.

We then took the InterContinental Thalasso water taxi to the hotel docks. One could easily have avoided the high cost hotel water taxi by taking the public ferry to Vitae, taking a taxi to the InterContinental Le Moana, then catching the free ferry from the InterContinental Le Moana to the InterContinenal Thalasso. We took the ferry between the sister hotels several times during our trip, more on that later. The locals are very friendly and welcomed us to their island paradise.

Tahitian Welcome

WelcomeAir Tahiti ATR

PlaneApproach

ApproachBaggage Claim

Baggage ClaimTaxi Stand

Taxi Stand

Boat Arrival

Check In

Check in was awesome, a one of a kind experience! We were picked up at the dock on a golf cart and taken to an open air seating area. Drinks and towels were promptly provided to cool off from the heat. We were informed of our upgrade to the overwater bungalow from the 2 bedroom Motu villas. The Motu villas are the standard award villas provided for Priority Club award stays. Since we were on an award stay as a Royal Ambassador I was relatively confident we’d be upgraded. There is a lot of discussion on Flyertalk about whether these villas are even operational. From my pictures below, I don’t think they are. The Motu villas are located next to the employee housing and the signs to them are broken. Regardless we were thrilled with our upgrade and amazed by the room quality and view. A welcome amenity bag and vanilla lotion was provided. Also, a very nice fruit basket was provided, which came in handy when mixing our our own drinks, more on that later as well.

Check InCheck InOur Villa Was The Fourth Hut On Left In This Picture

Walk To VillaVilla 203

Villa

Fruit Basket – Great For Making Drinks. What drink would you make with these items? (1) Dark Tahitian rum, (2) Tahitian fruit below, (3) Tahitian fruit juice

Fruit PlateWelcome Amenity

Hotel

If you’ve made it this far in the review your about one third of the way through. This hotel is amazing and requires multiple pictures and detail to provide the full scope of it’s awesomeness. The pool is an infinity pool that makes you think you can just swim over to the mountain. The service and drinks by the pool were great. There is a decent sized beach that wraps around the hotel over to the wedding chapel. We were fortunate enough to witness a Brazilian wedding during our stay. After the wedding the party moved to the beach happy hour spot and the fun really started. The Spa was very tranquil and secluded, a must if you visit this hotel. A decent gym is on site with all the equipment you would need.

PoolPoolLunch View

Wedding ChapelChapelBeachBarWedding Party Setup

SpaSpaGymGymSign To Motu Villa (Missing Arrow)Sign

2 BedroomRestaurantRestaurant

Room

We were upgraded to room 203, an overwater bungalow facing the outer motu. We had great views of the island and a few chances to see local fisherman in action. The room is huge. You walk into an entrance foyer. To the right is a living room with a pull out couch. For the Royal Ambassadors on a paid stay, the mini bar is stocked. But Royal Ambassadors do not get free access on award stays, boo! The bed looks directly over the water, such a great view to wake up every day. The deck is much like the Hilton Moorea, in that it makes you want to jump right into the water every time you see it.

The only problem we had with the room was with the indoor shower, who needs this when you have a claw foot tub and outdoor shower anyway. There was pervasive mold throughout the shower during our stay. I believe this is because they use inadequate cleaning products. I mentioned the mold to house keeping on Day 1, Day 2 and on Day 3 we saw the same mold problem. So I had to take additional pictures, walk my happy behind over to the front counter and ask for the House Keeping Manager. He was very kind and asked how he could help. I proceeded to tell him I’ve asked for mold remediation for the past 2.5 days but have received no such remediation. Then I showed him the pictures and his mouth dropped. He agreed this condition was “unacceptable”. Needless to say we refrained from taking an indoor shower for the first 3 days of our 7 day stay at this hotel. But seriously, its hardly a reason to spoil your trip when you have views like this.

Front DoorLiving RoomLiving Room 2Couch

Mini Bar

Mini Bar

BathroomBath

Bathroom

Bed With A View

Bed View

Bed

Porch

DeckDeck View

Fishermen

Crystal Clear Water

Porch View

Ferry To Le Moana InterContinental

We took the free InterContinental ferry from the Thalasso to the main island InterContinental Le Moana hotel several times. Once we took it to stock up on provisions, another to visit Villa Mahana Restaurant (next post), and another to just tour the island. The free ferry to the main island is one of the best reasons to stay at the Thalasso over the Four Seasons or St Regis. We met a couple from New York at Villa Mahana that were paying an arm and leg to stay at the Four Seasons, and they had to pay about $85 USD each way for a 20 minute boat ride to dinner. The Le Moana ferry comes every 30 minutes on island time, so grab a beer or two from the Le Moana bar on your way back to the ferry dock. Its a great view. We got to see another wedding on the beach at Le Moana when we were just waiting for the ferry back to Thalasso.

If you take the ferry to the Le Moana it will take about 30 minutes. There is a road out the front door of the hotel. If you go right about 1/2 mile you’ll run into a small grocery store on the left that has all the necessities including rum, beer, wine, snack food, etc. This time we went with Dark Avatea Tahitian rum, it was much better than the white rum for mixed drinks. If your on an island for 7 days, these provisions will come in handy.

Walk To StoreStore

Our Initial “Stash”

Stash

Resources

Tahiti Explorer Travel Forum

Points, Miles & Martinis French Polynesia Trip Report

Bottom Line

This is paradise at its best. Some people say Bora Bora is Boring Boring, but we really enjoyed our stay at the InterContinental. We liked our time there so much we wish we could go back soon. But for 280,000 Priority Club points, we’ll have to wait until we can rebuild our points and miles war chest with promotions like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold, together earning 140,000 Ultimate Rewards good for points or miles. In the next post we’ll share some of the activities on Bora Bora including a full dinning picture experience at Villa Mahana.

Thank you InterContinental Thalasso for our great stay in Bora Bora.

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View From the Boat

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way. Feel free to reach me at theweeklyflyer@gmail.com

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Pingbacks

  1. […] my favorite IHG redemptions was when we redeemed 280,000 (40k x 7 nights) points to stay at the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora – (French Polynesia Trip Report here.) Certainly a great possibility for those looking for an aspirational trip with IHG […]

Comments

  1. Beautiful pictures! My husband and I stayed at the IC Thalasso in May and absolutely loved the location but ran into numerous service issues (stuff kind of like your mold problem- speaking of mold you should have seen the mold in the day rooms, yuck!). We found that it took repeated and continued complaining to get any issue, even a small one, resolved. Too bad, because aside from that this truly is an outstanding property.

  2. Great report! If you had to choose, would you go back to the Hilton or the IC on Bora Bora? I did room 87 at the Hilton last year and loved it!

    I’m also interested to see your report on le meridian. It was horrible when I was there! Not le meridein standards. However they have an amazing restaurant there in la care.

  3. @Millionmile – Thanks, it was paradise.

    @Hulagrrl210 – The property is great, a few service tweaks and they’ll be top notch.

    @DealsWeLike – Looking forward to your Thailand trip report as well.

    @EJ – It is a tough choice. I would go back to Bora Bora and add in another island or two. The Hilton on Moorea was fantastic as well. I’ll get the Le Meridien post up in the next day or so, I have to get the Villa Mahana report up first.

  4. My wife and I are staying at the Thalasso in May and are currently staying in the Motu Villa with points. Can you please give me the link of the flyertalk thread that you spoke about above in which the rooms are no longer operational?

    Thanks!

  5. Thank you for posting the link. We are currently platinum members due to the Priority card. I was told that the only way I could guarantee an upgrade was to pay for it. I figured I would purchase the ambassador status when I arrived if the perks made sense. What are the perks for having that status while there?

    You mention in your post that you can take the free ferry to avoid the taxi to the resort. I was told by the resort that the fee is mandatory. Do you know of way around that fee by taking the free taxi?

    Thanks!

  6. @Jay – I was not even guaranteed an upgrade, and they will not confirm an upgrade in advance unless you pay. If all of the overwater bungalows are sold out and they don’t feel like giving you an upgrade, you’ll probably find yourself in the Motu Villa. But if you are an ambassador they’ve said “we do our best to take care of ambassadors”. So I think its reasonable to think there is room for an upgrade. They were upgrading the wifi internet while we were there so you’ll get free wifi, free bottle of water per day, free fruit basket and welcome amenity, and late checkout.

    They told me the taxi transport from airport was optional, but I would recommend going with them if you can afford to. Its very nice to roll up to the IC dock 15 minutes after landing.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.

  7. Do you know if you can use the free night certificate from the Chase Priority Club Visa for a free night there?

  8. Hi Larry – Are you referring to the Buy One Get One (BOGO) certificate, points or something else?

    You can use the BOGO certificate there easily. You can also redeem points for either IC Bora Bora.

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  10. In case you are still monitoring this thread:

    How far out did you look for the direct flight? We are going in Jan of 2016 – 10 1/2 months from now. Wonder how soon I would need to book the flight before it would be filled.

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