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“Beautiful Property but Disappointing Service and Food”

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Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 April 2012

My wife and I stayed at HIlton Bora Bora Nui Resort for three nights following five nights at Hilton Moorea. We had a wonderful time at Hilton Moorea and were anticipating a similar experience at Hilton Bora Bora. The experience at Hilton Bora Bora started very nicely but later disappointment started to happen.
We flew from Moorea to the airport on a Motu in Bora Bora. Our travel package included transportation from the Motu to Hilton Bora Bora by Hilton boat and I recommend this option. You are met by a representative from Hilton Bora Bora who tags the luggage and then directs you towards the Hilton launch. It was a moderately small boat that held about 20 individuals maximum. The trip took about 20 minutes to Hilton Bora Bora. Upon arrival we were greeted by a musical group and directed towards a lounge area. Checked in at that area and given fruit juice and wet washcloth. Eventually we were walked to a motorized cart and driven to our room, 303 a over the water bungalow. We had to cross two bridges to get to the room. It is on its own small island. We looked at over the shallow waters of the ocean and could see the waves crashing on the coral reef..sometimes with a great loud thunder of sound.
Room 303: The room is much larger than the one on Moorea Hilton. It took us awhile to figure out how to properly control the air conditioning which was desperately needed that day. Bathroom is also larger than on Moorea. The fish in the water under the room were less in number and variety than we had at the Moorea Hilton. Mostly mullets. We did see one day some manta rays. Room 303 is very comfortable and we had a romantic dinner on the outside porch one night. The room was serviced without problems.
Food: We had a meal plan with breakfast and dinner. Breakfast was at the Tamure beach grill. You are seated in an area that has sand with tables on the sand. The breakfast buffet is smaller than the one at Hilton Moorea and food quality was not as good. One morning we arrived shortly after it opened as we had a tour and the breakfast bar was still being serviced. It still was not complete when we left. Staff were not as friendly or helpful as at Hilton Moorea. Dinner was either at Tamure or at Iriati, which needs a reservation. Variety of food is limited in both environments and food quality is OK but not inspiring and service again was not as nice as at Hilton Moorea. We met an Australian couple and he was a rancher who raised lamb and beef which was exported. He was not impressed with service or food either.
Ambience: As others have written it is an amazing property in terms of views and appearance and location. However, it is slowly decaying. For example, the walkway from the front desk to our room has a section which consists of tiles. In several locations tiles are missing and have not been replaced. This is a safety hazard as if you are not looking you could trip. There was a small drain opening in one section of the path that had no cover. Again, you could trip if you were not observant. I noticed just a tone of property not being maintained as well as it should be for a 4-5 star property. Part of the problem may be income flow....the property was not full when we were there in late March/early April and there may be a cash flow issue for repairs. Also noted on the main island of Bora Bora that several stores are closed, many of which are pearl stores.
Service: Service in general average and in a few cases below average. As noted above service in restaurants is average at best. When we went from our room to the front desk or restaurant we called several times for motorized cart service. Sometimes it arrived promptly , sometimes slowly and at one time it never arrived and we had to call again. After we returned from a tour we asked for a motorized cart to take us to our room. The front desk struggled to find someone and eventually one of the concierges was assigned to take us. Just as were ready to leave she saw some of the male employees talking together. She then went over to them and asked them to take us. She returned and said they were not interested. She said the male employees seemed often to be lazy. Interesting comment from another employee. Most helpful staff were the front desk ones.
Leaving: We did not know what time our boat was leaving until the morning of our last day. We had a 6:30 p.m. flight to Papette and the boat left at 5:15 p.m. We made it and it only took a short time to check in at the airport. Hilton was nice enough to let us use our room until we actually went to the boat dock.
Overall: I would rate the hotel as 4- because of service and food issues, along with the apparent lack of continuing maintenance in certain areas of operations.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank travelnice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sebmaing, Directeur général at Conrad Bora Bora Nui, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2012

Dear Sir, Madame,

The entire team of Hitlon Bora Bora Nui is disapointed to hear that some aspects of your experience did not meet your expectations.
I have well noted the comments you have made in regards to our food offer and the general upkeep of the hotel and shared it with the entire team.
We thank you immensely for your comments about our hotel, as they help us improving the standards of service we are delivering to our guests,
We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Warm regards

Sebastien Maingourd
General Manager

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Reviewed 12 April 2012

We travelled to Bora Bora for our Honeymoon and it was the most beautiful place we have ever stayed and like another world.
The room was fantastic, we stayed in an over-water king bungalow.
We would definitely recommend going the Restaurants off-site however as the food in the Hotel was a big let down overall and it did not seem local produce was used very often but frozen and shipped in, we were tired when we arrived so ate on-site for a few nights until we went to town and found out what we were missing out on!
The service also could be better; the staff were all very polite and accommodating to us overall but quite a few did seem to lack any initiative at all, we did have a few issues, the right thing was done by us in the end however it was really frustrating on occasion we had to ask for so many things that we feel should be standard in a 5 Star Property.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kate_robinson_55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sebmaing, Directeur général at Conrad Bora Bora Nui, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2012

Dear Sir, Madame,

The entire team of Hitlon Bora Bora Nui is delighted to read you thoroughly enjoyed your stay and wish to thank you immensely for your gracious comments about our hotel.
It is always a great pleasure to read through notes such as yours, for they serve as an inspiration to help us in our continued commitment to improve the standards you have experienced.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Warm regards

Sebastien Maingourd
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2012

Oh where do I begin to describe this magical place…. From the mesmerizing glistening lagoons and the wonderfully painted sea life .. to the lush tropical valleys , night skies filled with glittering stars, the hospitality of the Tahitians or the delicious tropical fruits… Bora Bora is truly heaven on earth and to make your heaven better a stay with Hilton Nui will do! We were in French Polynesia for 20 days 10 of which we spent at Hilton Bora Bora Nui. You can only access the resort by a boat so make sure you contact them beforehand. Upon arrival we were greeted by tropical juices and towels. We had to wait a couple of hours for our room to be ready. The reception area itself is on the lagoon so you can enjoy tropical fishes swim by while waiting. One of the staff members gave us an entire tour of the property. Since we wanted to experience both, we stayed 3 days on Lagoon View Suite and the rest on the Overwater Villa. They both are identical from inside but the overwater villa is definitely a must!!!

1. Welcome amenities were EVIAN water , tropical fruits and Tahitian desserts.

2.Rooms are spotless and very spacious. The bed is extremely comfortable. The restroom is as large as the room itself and all marbled floors. There is a refrigerator in the room so stock up on snacks and drinks. You can find the small grocery store on the mainland. Internet in the rooms also works great we used it to Skype and call back home. Definitely worth paying for. They deliver two water bottles every day to your room and of course you can feed the fishes from your coffee table !

3.Breakfast was pretty good at iratai restaurant. They had grilled fish , rice, made to order eggs, variety of pastries and fruits ( The best pineapples!) , fresh juices and cheeses. The menu pretty much stayed the same throughout our stay. We always sat by the side of the restaurant overlooking the bungalows and the lagoon. The manger of the restaurant, Stephane Amy, was extremely nice. I asked him if there are any mangoes in Bora Bora and he delivered 9 huge delicious mangoes to our bungalow at night. How Sweet! Restaurants at the property are just okay ..we usually took the speed boat to the mainland and dined there. Most of the restaurants will complimentary pick you up from the dock. We also had lunch at the St. Regis and Sofitel once. Just a note ..the food is extremely expensive just about anywhere.

4.Spa is a must …one of the best I have been to. One thing I would recommend would be the walk up to the chapel and watch the sunrise. It is absolutely breathtaking.

5.Also sign up for the hobby cat ride and the snorkeling near the reception. You can do that with the beach boys Tepoe and Upa Upa. Both were very nice, funny and friendly.

6.Snorkeling is pretty much the same everywhere. Other activities you can do on the property are jet skiing, kayak, swim with manta rays and sharks(a must do! but can also be done in Moorea for half the price) , scuba etc. The pool was a little moldy so we didn’t swim there much. We also went on a little adventure and kayaked to one of the neighboring island and encountered some Dobermans and a man holding a sickle. He said something in French and while we were about to run he stopped us and gave us some coconuts…very very nice people but obviously I wouldn’t recommend trespassing :)

Remember Hilton Nui doesn’t have a view of Mt. Otemanu from the bungalows . However, it didn’t bother us. We enjoyed the infinite horizon views. You basically have the entire island to yourself...so relax anywhere. You cannot go wrong with Hilton Nui… it’s totally worth staying. This was truly a vacation of a lifetime and we will definitely be back!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank aq1020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sebmaing, Directeur général at Conrad Bora Bora Nui, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2012

Dear Sir, Madame,

The entire team of Hitlon Bora Bora Nui is delighted to read you thoroughly enjoyed your stay and wish to thank you immensely for your gracious comments about our hotel.
It is always a great pleasure to read through notes such as yours, for they serve as an inspiration to help us in our continued commitment to improve the standards you have experienced.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Warm regards

Sebastien Maingourd
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2012

okay so I'm finally getting around to reviewing the Hilton Nui a year later. We travelled March/April 2011, spent a week at the Hilton Moorea and a week at the Hilton Nui Bora Bora. The hotel is beautiful, there is a spa located at the top of the resort with fabulous views. The beach is pretty but most of the view is just of the overwater bungalows.... though you'll end up spending your time on your deck for privacy anyway. We had the King Royal Overwater Villa which has a hot tub on the deck, a great place to soak with a glass of wine and watch the sunset. The decks, upper and lower, at the Hilton are great because they are large, and you can have sun or shade depending on your mood. There is some snorkeling closer to the beach just a short swim from your bungalow. The food at the hotel was good, but there are some really good restaurants on the main island, I'd suggest getting breakfast included in your package, then have dinners on the main island. I think all restaurants offer free shuttle service back and forth. The resort as a whole is very nice, the staff were terrific and very friendly.
I have only 1 negative thing to say, before we went we read about a manta ray snorkeling trip in Bora Bora that I really wanted to do. When I tried to book it, the hotel staff told me I couldn't do it from their hotel/motu. I went back to Bora Bora again in 2012 and found out this is not true. Last year I was disappointed and trust me, you don't want to feel like you missed out on something just because the hotel doesn't offer it . For a lot of travellers I've talked to, this is their dream vacation. This year, I met a local guy, Thierry, he owns a business called TCadeau BoraBora Consulting, and he customizes vacations to suit your personal needs. Don't let your hotel limit your options, this is your vacation, go with a local resident who has a vast knowledge of the islands and can offer you ALL the activities so you get as much out of your vacation as possible. For the record, I am not at all employed, compensated etc by Thierry or his company, but because of my experience, I feel that you will get so much more out of your vacation simply by discovering how much more is available to you. Thierry can be reached at tcadeau@yahoo.fr
French Polynesia is: beautiful islands, amazing water, fabulous scenery, and wonderful people....

Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
1  Thank GillyDN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sebmaing, Directeur général at Conrad Bora Bora Nui, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2012

Dear Sir, Madame,

The entire team of Hitlon Bora Bora Nui is delighted to read you thoroughly enjoyed your stay and wish to thank you immensely for your gracious comments about our hotel.
It is always a great pleasure to read through notes such as yours, for they serve as an inspiration to help us in our continued commitment to improve the standards you have experienced.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Warm regards

Sebastien Maingourd
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2012

Recently returned from a glorious week in French Polynesia. We actully used Costco's travel department to book our trip and was a little nervous about it, but everything was arranged beautifully. We arrived in Papaette late on a Saturday night so stayed the first night in a "moderate" level hotel near the airport which we thought was amazing. But, we didn't know what amazing was until the next day when we arrived in Bora Bora. What a gorgeous place with the reef surrounding the island and bath water warm, crystal clear water to swim in.

The hotel was really beautiful and lived up to the travel agent's description. She recommended this property over a few others because the bungalows were larger and the ground more lush. The room over the water was so beautiful -- just like what you see in the movies. Everyone told us to beware of the high prices for food and excursions, but we bought the breakfast and dinner plan so didn't feel it directly (although I'm sure we paid). The drinks were crazy -- $20 U.S. for a cocktail. The best day and the best value of our trip was an excursion called "Lagoon Safari." Our guide Leo was fantastic -- he has a boat and an ukulele....he took us swimming with rays and sharks, snorkling in tropical fish tank waters and even put an octopus on his head! We took a boat ride around the whole island and saw all the other resorts. We had lunch on a private "motu" owned by the Hilton prepared by his wife which was the best meal of the trip. Highly recommend taking this excursion.

The Hilton needs some work -- it's looking a little worn out in places. Our airconditioning broke and it took all day to finally decided to move us to another room. When time came to move (exactly when we had a dinner reservation) -- they made us do it ourselves. It completely ruined the night. Some of the staff were less than helpful, while others like Stephen is the beach restaurant, went out of his way to make us feel welcome. When he heard I didn't eat gluten, he had special bread made just for me every morning!

I'd stay in this property again, although when I'll have the time to travel 30 hours to get there, I'm not sure. YARANA!

Room Tip: If you want to be in the over water bungalows, I think the best ones were to the right of the recept...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank lasvegasmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sebmaing, Directeur général at Conrad Bora Bora Nui, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2012

Dear Sir, Madame,

The entire team of Hitlon Bora Bora Nui is delighted to read you thoroughly enjoyed your stay and wish to thank you immensely for your gracious comments about our hotel.
It is always a great pleasure to read through notes such as yours, for they serve as an inspiration to help us in our continued commitment to improve the standards you have experienced.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Warm regards

Sebastien Maingourd
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2012

Just spent 6 days at this beautiful resort. The overwater villas are amazing. The people are very very friendly and accommodating. The only negative and to me this a big one is the food. There are only 3 restaurantants. The quality, choices, preperation and presentation was far below average. I would not return to this resort because of the food and food alone.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank dmantee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2012

My husband and I stayed 5 nights at the Bora Bora Hilton Hotel for our honeymoon. We took our trip in Nov 2011. We already made plans to go back for our 10 year anniversary :) The snorkeling was unbelieveable. The fish were friendly and I would recommend to go swimming with the sharks.

We stayed in the overwayer King Desluxe Bungalow right next to the Royal Overwater Villa. It was a magical time.

due to Hilton H Honors we had free internet but it was still very slow. The breakfast buffet was delicious

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank giulianac175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Address: BP 502 Vaitape, 98730, French Polynesia (Formerly Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Bora Bora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Bora Bora
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Bora Bora
#5 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
Price Range: $759 - $1,632 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Conrad Bora Bora Nui 5*
Number of rooms: 122
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bora Bora... It's possibly the most glamorously famous island in the world. Bora Bora's legends, mysteries and romance lend an almost mystical dimension to its very name. The island rises up from the middle of the crystalline, multi-colored waters of its celebrated lagoon which is protected in turn from the ocean by a string of tiny coral islets. Suspended between turquoise waters and limitless skies, Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa nestles in a sacred cove of white sand and majestic lava rock. Here you will find a sensitive blend of authenticity and luxury - the very best of Polynesian tradition combined with sumptuous comfort. A wifi connection is available for free all across the resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort And Spa
Hilton Bora Bora Nui Hotel Bora Bora
Hilton Bora Nui Hotel
Hilton Bora Nui Resort

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