Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort4.0 out of 5.0
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Recent guest reviews
Very loud music every night from the hotel bar. Promised a beach bungalow - got one with the bar view and beach view was obstructed by trees, parked boats, and overhanging straw roof down to the level of 4 feet. Beach is so, so, water temperature great, but for real swimming you need to navigate between corals which are beautiful, but dangerous because they come up very close to water surface. Beach is very short. Breakfast are great, but other meals are nothing spectacular and prices are obscene; well, it is France, after all. Would not recommend this place, and would not recommend Bora Bora, by that matter. There are other, nicer islands, in French Polynesia, and in other parts of the world. Bora Bora is an overrated place, used by snobs and young couples "filled" with vanity.
Very comfortable hotel, good breakfast is located near Matira beach where you can walk If you do not want to dine in the nearby hotel there is a pizzeria and market
This hotel has a very friendly staff and the restaurant offers decent quality of food, but pricing is extremely high. We stayed in a beach-side bungalow which I would recommend over the over-water bungalows. We took a trip to the "Private Island" which I recommend for sunset views, but I don't recommend the "romantic dinner". The main hotel is in need of updating as it is very dated. There is an air of old Tahiti which makes the hotel unique and charming.
The reason for my title is that we live in Hawaii. From our welcome at curbside to our visit with the hotel manager while waiting for our return taxi, the experience was amazing. We interacted with several of the staff and everyone from porter, to bar, to room service and ocean activities was courteous, energetic and served with a smile. To us, that is the no. 1 reason to return and promote a vacation spot.
Sofitel has all you need to relax: sandy beach, great pool, nice bar & restaurant, nice bungalows with terrace, etc. All in all we're happy to have stayed at the Sofitel, but we found it too expensive for the service we got. Moreover because we stayed at a little bed & breakfast hotel 800m away from Sofitel and we have more friendly and proactive service than at the Sofitel, better and more private beach at 1/4 of the price. The housekeeping was more efficient and complete at the other village than at the Sofitel (always forgot towels, didn't wash our coffee cups, etc.). Sun goes away pretty soon (4pm) because located behind the hill, you don't see the sunset.
I stayed at the Sofitel in December 2011 with my husband. We spent four days on Bora Bora, and wanted to have an experience on the mainland as well as on one of the motus. We therefore stayed at Le Meridien for two days, then transferred to the Sofitel for two days. After coming from Le Meridien, the Sofitel was definitely a step-down, but we anticipated this to an extent given the price difference. The staff at Le Meridien made such an effort with guests and were so pleasant in their manner; this was not the case with the staff at the Sofitel (with the exception of the woman from Switzerland who checked us in and was so friendly and helpful). They weren't unpleasant per se; they were just a tad surly. Our check-in went fine, and we appreciated being allowed to access our room about an hour before official check-in. It did, however, take several calls and about an hour for our bags to arrive, which was frustrating because my husband needed to prepare for a diving trip. We would have taken our bags ourselves had we known it would take so long. At first look, we were pleased with our room, which was a lagoon-front bungalow. It had a large terrace with direct access to the water. There wasn't a lot of privacy and the water directly around the bungalow was quite murky, but being able to climb right into the water from the deck was great. You have to swim for a bit to reach the nicer water with more marine activity. The reason I said we were pleased with the room "at first look" is because once we had gotten settled in the room we noticed that certain areas were dirty, such as around the fridge (this was very dirty) and certain parts of the bathroom. We also noticed that certain things weren't being kept up - toilet tissue used to close a hole in the shower ceiling and so forth. The room has a lot of potential; it just has to be better maintained. The only meal we had at the hotel was for lunch. We each had a sandwich for about $12 apiece, and they were pretty good. They get you on the drinks, like $6 for water and $7 for soda. For one dinner we ate at La Bounty, about a 5 minute walk from the hotel (turn left when coming out of the hotel). The place was atmospheric, there were lots of choices, it was reasonably priced, and the food was very good. I would definitely recommend dinners there. For our other meals, we ate food we had purchased from the grocery store that is very close to La Bounty. $5 buys you about an hour on the Internet using one of two computers in the lobby. The connection was bad, but it was great to have a cheap way to check the most essential things. We took the shuttle boat to the private island to go snorkeling. It's definitely more beautiful on the private island, but the trade-off is having to get on a shuttle boat in order to access the mainland. The boat only takes 5 minutes though, and there is a restaurant on the island to make things more convenient. If you are very into snorkeling, I'd advise you to stay on the island, since the coral gardens can be accessed easily from there. I'd say that the biggest draw of the hotel is its location on the mainland, which makes travel to other places easier and cheaper. It's great to be able to walk out of the hotel to other restaurants (although walking is not easy, since there aren't any sidewalks) and to rent bikes and go around the island. I'd recommend biking (use an electric bike) to the beach at Matira Point and then to the town of Vaitape, where there are art galleries and stores. There is also a cash machine there, which is one of the only places you will find one on the island. It's also great that a cab to the airport only costs $25 from the hotel.
We booked an over-water bungalow on the private island for 3 nights. Check in was chaotic and unfriendly. Room was clean enough, but not overly so... lizards were running around inside. Meals at the hotel were horribly overpriced and, marginal at best. There are better local restaurants right across the street for 1/4 the price. Although sounding romantic, being on the private island proved to be more of a hassle whenever we wanted to eat/ do anything.[...].Do not stay here. If you're spending all that money to get to Bora Bora (which, although beautiful, we've decided is a bit over-rated... Moorea and Tahiti are just as nice), go ahead and splurge on something like the Four Seasons, where you know, you won't have to deal with all the stupid issues that the Sofitel had.
When we arrived they insisted that we had to pay an additional $500 for a special new year's eve meal. They said it was mandatory. I was shocked because we booked through [...]and there was no mention of this charge. I would advise you not to sell hotel rooms on your site if customers are forced to buy additional items on arrival.I was also forced to pay approx $120 more for airport transfer and city tax. At the airport there was no mention of such a charge.
A Cyclone damaged Marara so we were taken to the Sofitel Motu- private Island. We had room 129- beautiful overwater bungalow with the best view of Bora Bora... we loved our stay.