If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind experience, look no further than the five-star resort Conrad Bora Bora Nui, located in the beautiful French Polynesian Islands. From their modern and luxurious overwater villas to their unique activities, you’ll feel like you’re in paradise.
Located about 25 minutes by boat from the mainland of Bora Bora, this incredible resort is nestled in a tucked away cove on its own private island of true Polynesian relaxation, with views of the most famous (dormant) volcanic mountain peak in Bora Bora, Mt. Otemanu. Comparable to the St. Regis or Four Seasons options, this will come with a bit less of a price point but with similar, if not more, of a reward.
This is a beautiful and modern luxury property with striking colorful reefs, long private beaches lined with tucked away umbrellas, gourmet dining options from French to Chinese cuisines with a hint of a true Polynesian culture felt throughout.
Why did we choose the Conrad Bora Bora Nui over the St. Regis or Four Seasons, though?! Being Hilton Honors members was initially a huge draw, however, that is not always the deal breaker for us. After doing extensive research we choose the Conrad Bora Bora Nui for what we felt would provide the most cultural experience. In our opinion, the resort ultimately, for a lack of a better words, offered the most unique experience for our money spent.
The Conrad Bora Bora Nui built its cultural department, and activities, with the on-site (and native) Polynesian recreation team. The cultural line-up includes traditional cooking demonstrations, jewelry making, dance lessons and language classes.
One example of this is Ahi Ma’a – where a selection of meat, seafood and vegetables are cooked for up to 12 hours in the underground oven made from coconut leaves and rocks. Conrad Bora Bora Nui is the only resort in Bora Bora to offer this traditional experience to guests. You can witness this special ceremony every Friday at the closing of the locals work week in celebration of native Polynesian culture (who doesn’t love their Fridays, though?!) Dinner and traditional Polynesian dancing follows – definitely make a reservation for this night as soon as you check in!
The main languages spoken here are Tahitian and French.
A few words to know:
Upon arrival on the hotel boat from the mainland of Bora Bora, guests are greeted with the cocktail of the day, a line of hotel employees singing Polynesian songs and playing ukuleles, along with smiling, welcoming faces. Luggage was taken from the boat directly to our room and was there once we arrived at our overwater villa. Once we were checked in, we were given a grand tour by golf cart around the island. After completing the tour we took the cruiser bikes, which are free to use, and cruised around a bit more to check out the grounds!
The staff stood out from the rest and truly made this experience one to remember. Whether it was first thing in the morning when the workers have just woken up or after a long shift, you will always be greeted with a huge smile. This is not a common greeting like you hear at the grocery store in your hometown. You are greeted with a warm and thankful heart, as if you are family, as if you have been waited for and you are truly someone of importance. Even in our case, we were not the ones renting the Presidential Villa for example (or VRP – Very Rich People – as we called them!), but still were treated as such. The staff was a true five star touch with this resort and you will feel like the king or queen you are!
We know they say paradise has many faces, but we have yet to see a place more beautiful or pristine than this! The entire property was out of a movie set; covered with the most beautiful and lush tropical flowers you have ever seen. The grass green-as-can-be anywhere you looked (just needed a golf course!) and the sand was as white as this piece of paper we’re writing on. Something that stood out to us was the lack of bugs or mosquitos on the island, which we did not mind a bit! There were cruiser bikes all over the island for guests to use, which was very useful for us and our room location on the island!
There is a small shop at the resort that has unique Polynesian gifts, beachwear, sunglasses, flip flops, as well as limited medicine and feminine products. They did not carry any pain medicine so plan ahead with ibuprofen, etc. – don’t be like us and forget this!
We stayed in the Deluxe Overwater King Villa. Our villa had a welcome surprise with champagne, flowers and chocolates, which was a very elegant touch.
There were two over-the-water hammocks (which we saw a shark swimming under at night!) and fully retractable doors – bringing the outside in. The villa came with a king bed, spacious bathroom with a separate bath tub (the entire bathroom has multiple windows that open to the ocean below), dressing room and seating area with a TV that swivels and is hidden in the footboard of the bed. All the fixtures and interior design was extremely luxurious, modern and very zen. This was a huge reason why we chose the Conrad Hilton Bora Bora Nui over the other luxury hotel options.
The mini fridge was stocked full of goodies and there was free wifi and bluetooth speakers throughout the unit and on the deck, along with robes and slippers and a complimentary beach bag.
Each day you will have your Nespresso machine restocked (give us all the espresso!!), all of the drinks from the fridge, as well as the option to have a custom incense set up during the nighttime turndown service. (Note: we would suggest getting the incense options without smoke!) We had a very nice and personalized note from our housekeeper on our last night and it was extremely sweet, just another touch to the five star experience.
Although very delicious, I am sure you’ve heard that food and alcohol is expensive in Bora Bora. Food is obnoxiously expensive almost anywhere through these similar luxury resort destinations in the French Polynesian islands. However, the Conrad had some amazing add-on packages available.
We went with the breakfast buffet option each morning and it was incredible. It is at their signature open-air restaurant called Iriatai. They had an expansive variety of all cuisines ranging from fresh French pastries (all the incredible croissants you could ever want) to classic Polynesian cuisine. This option came with fresh juices and speciality coffees each day and the option to also order from the menu. We literally turned into croissants, crepes, and cappuccinos when we went home – and were not mad about it!
We also opted in for the option to have a 3-course dinner at any of the restaurants every night throughout our stay. This was an amazing option, and one we highly recommend, because we could enjoy each restaurant and understand the cultural differences they offered for an all-inclusive price. We left dinner each night full and very happy. You can expect some incredible and unique culinary experiences at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
Speaking of culinary experiences, there are five restaurants on the property. We highly recommend making reservations when you arrive at the resort for each night of your stay.
Mediterranean and Polynesian dishes with tables set in the sand. Location of Ahi Ma’a – the traditional Polynesian dinner & dance on Fridays View Menu Here
From the complimentary reef-safe sunscreen provided to all guests to the partnership with Manta Trust for the protection of manta rays in French Polynesia Islands, inclusive and sustainable tourism at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui is of the utmost importance.
In addition, they have adopted a recycling process to reduce food wastage, as well as installed solar panels on all 114 villas and suites at the resort. One of their most impressive endeavors is the development of 17 different underwater coral structures around the resort built with the intention to regenerate them. Coral feeds plankton and plankton feeds fish, so there’s an entire ecosystem that can be boosted with these efforts.
The resort offers a host of complimentary activities for guests to enjoy and excursions for an additional charge. We highly recommend booking any excursions or spa treatments ahead of your arrival. Don’t make our mistake! (Getting a sugar scrub and deep tissue massage in the middle of your trip when you’re sunburned isn’t the most ideal but it was our only option!)
Speaking of spa treatments, the spa at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui is truly magical. Perched on a hilltop and nestled in volcano rock, the Hina Spa overlooks both the resort as well as Mt. Otemanu. It offers a large range of treatments, including couples massages. We chose the “Romantic Moment” couples package and it was incredible. This package included a 30 min Polynesian body scrub, followed by a 60min massage of choice and completed with a 30min Jacuzzi session with savory & sweet treats, accompanied by a bottle of champagne.
Snorkel gear is offered complimentary, so you can explore the stunning coral reefs. We recommend bringing your own snorkel gear so you can jump off your villa straight into the water! Any seashell lovers out there like Chelsea?! The beaches here have the most beautiful and unique seashells!
Other excursions/extras available include a luxury breakfast delivery to your villa by a canoe, jet-skiing, swimming with sharks and stingrays, fishing charters and private romantic dining options throughout the resort and on Motu Tapu – the most photographed islet in the South Pacific and only available exclusively to guests of the Conrad.
If you don’t mind being stuck on an island with zero cell service, surrounded by croissants and coconut-filled Mai Tai’s, then this is the place for you!
We say just do it – take the trip to Bora Bora!
There are a lot more less-expensive lodging options on the main island of Tahiti, as well as Bora Bora. But once we decided to go, we decided we were going to go all in and fully experience our Pinterest board dreams in person!
This is a needed notch on the belt for well-heeled travelers and will give you an experience to dream about until you come back! Our experience with the Conrad Bora Bora Nui was overall extremely relaxing and was one that would, in turn, change the direction of our lives.
You can expect to be relaxed like you have never been – almost to the point of thinking to yourself, “Should I be doing something right now?” It gives you the time and space to truly disconnect and put things that matter into perspective, like taking more of these trips!