Want to take the best vacation of your life?
Then, save all your pennies for the Le Méridien resort in Bora Bora, Tahiti. The monsieur and I stayed there for five days about a year ago. It remains our best vacation to date and we’ve been to some pretty amazing places!
Located on an islet opposite of Mount Otemanu, this luxury hotel offers endless opportunities to bask in the French Polynesian sun, splash about in the bright blue water, and relax yourself into utter bliss.
Tahiti is paradise but this place on Bora Bora is a slice of heaven on earth. I’ll be sharing our experience with honest details on the room and amenities, restaurants, activities, and service.
Room and Amenities
We stayed in an overwater bungalow that looked onto the cerulean water. The decor is modern yet cozy thanks to the use of clean lines, classic solid colors, and wooden accents.
The room set up like a fancy studio apartment with the bed on one side. The other side has a small living room set-up and the bathroom. It opens up to a balcony where you’ll likely be watching the sunset every evening while lounging on one of the outdoor chairs.
Like most luxury hotels, the bed is ultra comfortable with crisp white sheets. The shower is huge with a luxurious shower head located overhead and hand-held shower wand. The bathtub is surrounded by shutters so that you can open them up to check out the view while you have a soak.
Can we talk about the Malin and Goetz products? Can we also talk about the wonderful staff who realized I was hoarding all of the teeny bottles and put out extra sets for me? Now that’s what I call service.
You also have access to a small fridge and a dinky coffee maker. Unfortunately, water is not free so you will have to call room service or purchase bottles from one of the restaurants.
Most of the overwater bungalows are the same size. The prices variation depends on a few factors such as location, view, and bed size. Some of the bungalows have a see-through floor so you can watch the ocean life from your room. Most also have a ladder so that you have direct access to the water.
Those with extra dough may opt for an expansive villa on a private island located in the middle of the resort. However, we were not those people so you will have to look for another hotel review for more info on that.
There are four restaurants on the resort property.
Le Tipanié is the largest restaurant housed under a thatched roof that opens up to a small lagoon. Every morning they serve an expansive breakfast buffet with all the options your heart desires including cereal, fresh fruit, pastries, hot dishes, local specialities, and waffle sticks with Nutella (swoon).
During the evening, this location transforms into the formal dining area with a rotating menu. One night may be Italian while another night focuses on seafood. It’s the most delicious option but also the most expensive option so plan your budget accordingly.
This restaurant had the best service. You are always welcomed with a smile and the staff checks in on you often enough. One fun addition: The tables located closest to the water are set with a small container of fish food so the fishes can dine while you do too.
Te Ava is the other large restaurant open for lunch and dinner. It’s a more casual setting with an open air design that’s located right on the sand of the beach. The menu theme rotates from Mexican to Asian and American BBQ.
You’ll eat well here since portions are huge but the food isn’t much to write home about and service was a little lacking (not bad just not attentive). That said, the best meal we had during our stay was the prix fixe menu during Asian night so keep an eye out for that.
Need a quick lunch? Head over to the Pool Bar for pizza, salads, sandwiches, snacks, and drinks. We ordered the margarita pizza a few times and saved half of it for a light dinner. It was tasty!
When the sun is setting, head upstairs to the Hapaina Wine & Tapas Bar for fancy appetizers, traditional bar food, wine, beer, and cocktails. The seafood appetizers are highly recommended and the wine list is superb!
Since the Le Meridien brand has roots in Europe, it’s one of the only resorts on the island that still offers pensions. Our package included the free breakfast buffet but I suggest purchasing a pension that has two or three meals per day. That way you don’t have to worry about spending money on food. Plus, it somehow feels free if you’ve paid for it ahead of time.
Lastly, you can arrange transportation to dine at other hotels or go to restaurants on the mainland.
Although relaxing should be number one on your list of things to do, there is plenty to do in and around the resort.
You can book a range of activities from swimming with sharks and rays to sailing in a traditional Polynesian boat and going deep sea fishing, Jet Skiing, parasailing, waterskiing, and more.
Since we had done many of these activities on Moorea (see travel guide here), we opted to fill our days with free fun instead. This mainly included lounging about on the beach, swimming in one of the two infinity pools, or venturing out into the bright blue water.
Some stuff is free to check out such as pool floaties, stand-up paddle boards, and sports equipment. We also entertained ourselves by playing petanque on the outdoor court (this is a French game similar to bocce ball) and shooting pool in the indoor game room (a Wii is also available if that’s more your speed).
Though the gym is on the small side with an odd layout, the machines are all clean and fairly new. It’s worth noting the air conditioner is on a timer so it takes a few minutes to get the temp of the room down.
All this said, there may not be enough for you to do if you are super active or staying there for a long time. We both felt like five days was the perfect amount of time for us to get into a relaxing schedule of eat, swim, sleep, repeat. A few more days and we would have likely gotten bored.
Conservation is a priority for the Le Méridien and is one thing that sets them apart from the other resorts in Bora Bora.
Every morning the conservation team feeds the rays in the small lagoon in the middle of the resort. Guests are invited to watch the rays glide up to the beach and suck up their favorite fish. We went to the feeding most mornings and it was a joy to watch every single time.
Through the Turtle Center project, they nurture injured sea turtles back to health so they can be released back into the wild. You can learn about the sea turtles from the marine biologist on staff and then go behind the scenes to feed the turtles for free.
You can also check out the small Aquarium and their coral preservation project.
Service at this location is pretty good. Everyone we came across was kind and helpful.
There were a few stand-out staff members who were hospitality pros and made our stay that much better. One of the restaurant managers stopped by our table each morning for a pleasant conversation and Arnaud made friends with one of the beach dudes. Plus, let us not forget the housekeeper who hooked me up with free Malin and Goetz!
One night the power went out temporarily and cut the air conditioning. It was a bit uncomfortable but we decided not to complain since it affected everyone. The hotel gave us complimentary bottle of champagne as an apology, which we thought was a nice gesture.
I will say that the service wasn’t stand-out amazing like we’ve experienced at other high-end hotels. The Le Méridien staff won’t anticipate your needs because they are more reactive than proactive. However, the moment you make a request they will quickly follow through so that’s one thing to keep in mind when staying there.
Overall, a stay at the Le Méridien in Bora Bora is a stay of a lifetime. We enjoyed every single moment and came back relaxed and refreshed.
It’s a beautiful and romantic setting perfect for a couple. Most people got there to celebrate something special whether it was a honeymoon, baby moon or anniversary. Families with kids were few and far between.
We would go back every single year if our bank account allowed it. Unfortunately, paradise ain’t free so it may be a while before we make it back to those white sand beaches and heavenly waters.
I hope this honest review was helpful and makes your trip to Bora Bora that much better. Bon voyage and enjoy!