Clients booking their vacation with our Luxury Travel Concierge recently asked me which was best, St. Regis vs. Four Seasons Bora Bora. Therefore, I thought it would be useful to pen a piece together comparing these two luxury resorts if you are booking a holiday or even your honeymoon here.
Bora Bora is a small South Pacific island northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia. Much like the Maldives, this destination is popular with honeymooners because of its picture-perfect sand framed islands and turquoise sea. The coral reef here makes it a top spot for scuba diving, and you can book dreamy overwater villas at most of the luxury resorts. The difference between the South Pacific and the Maldives is the elevation. The island’s centrally-located dormant volcano is 727m high.
If you are flying in from the West Coast, you will likely fly in from LAX or San Francisco’s main airport into Tahiti and then on to Bora Bora. The question is, when you get there, which is best? St Regis or Four Seasons?
In a nutshell, we prefer the Four Seasons. Below we outline our reasoning.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Expect a James Bond-style collection by boat from the airport, complete with shell necklaces and a glass of water. Even though the boat is shared, there’s no queue at check-in. It is worth noting that the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora’s boat is more luxurious than the boat used at St. Regis.
The resort itself is huge, and you can call for fun golf buggies to collect you, or you can just walk to get around.
The rooms at Four Seasons are large, stunning, private, and quiet. They have wonderful mountain views. You can see the walkway leading to the overwater villas above. When choosing between rooms, it’s worth noting that the sunrise villa loses the sunshine from its veranda mid-afternoon, so it is worth booking the sunset villa.
The staff across all Four Seasons hotels are some of the best in the world and so helpful. They bother to learn your name and are hard to beat. Plus, there is complimentary laundry! Yes really. Just wash your clothes in the washing machine next to the ice machine. They even provide complimentary detergent. So useful!
The food at the Four Seasons is exceptional, with wonderful seared tuna, steak, or lobster, plus a delicious sushi restaurant and a bar.
The Four Seasons spa is excellent, as are the tours and experiences like the private dinner sunset cruise.
The private beach at Four Seasons is one of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see, and the pool is also excellent and stunning. There is an incredible snorkeling lagoon. Again, you get the idea from the picture above. The clear turquoise waters are unbeatable.
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is more of a generic luxury resort as opposed to the unique experience you get at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. There is a larger variety of restaurants, including Italian and Indian choices, but the food quality is usually not as perfect as the food at the Four Seasons. Equally, there are more pool options, but the hotel’s communal areas are busier and less exclusive.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is located on its own island. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is not. You can see locals huts and water villas from other hotels when you look out to sea.
The beachside villas here are very good with vast private pools, and they are just steps from the sea. The pool part of these rooms ends up in the shade soon after lunch, so the beach being next to your room is handy to grab some rays. Overwater villas are usually more special, but if your room choice is dictated by budget, you will still have a lovely time on the beach.
To get around, the hotel supplies bikes. For snorkeling, the lagoon seems to attract larger fish than those at the Four Seasons.
In conclusion, while both resorts are outstanding, the Four Seasons is exclusive, exceptional, and unlike anywhere else in the world. These two hotels are near each other, so you could spend some nights at one resort and some at the other. If you decide to do this, we would suggest starting with St. Regis and ending at the Four Seasons as the latter is the kind of place you will want to spend your last night.
Photo © Kevin Gibbons / Adobe Stock.
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