Photo by Marc Gerard of Bora Bora Photography
Bora Bora – a place the surpasses all your dreams and expectations! For our 10 year anniversary, my husband and I traveled to Intercontinental Thalasso Resort and Spa in the French Polynesia! It’s been a long-time dream of mine to visit this beautiful paradise and despite everything 2020 threw at us this year, we were able to go! This island was even more beautiful than we imagined and the resort we stayed at made this trip even better! The photos honestly don’t do this place justice! The beautiful and vibrant colors, the warm sunlight, the peaceful sound of water and the sweet aroma of flowers fill the air. Everything about Bora Bora is magical!
*If you want to learn more about traveling to Bora Bora, check out my ‘Traveling to Bora Bora’ post! I’m sharing all the details about how to get here!*
Where We Stayed
After looking at a few different resorts, we settled on a 7-night stay at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa. This resort has incredible views of the mountain and beautiful coral reefs right in and around the resort property. This location has only overwater bungalows so every room is special! The locals also told us this resort has the most wildlife and fish since it’s the last resort property in a line of resorts and it has the open lagoon on one side. We saw stingrays and lots of fish daily!
The most beautiful sunsets ever are in Bora Bora! This is the one we enjoyed on our first day!
Our Overwater Bungalow
The Intercontinental Bora Bora has several different bungalow options, including beach, lagoon or mountain view rooms and rooms with pools. We chose the Diamond Otemanu Bungalow, which has open and sweeping views of Mt. Otemanu. This room also has the best sunset views and we were able to watch the sunset every evening from our deck!
The bungalows are HUGE inside and offer great amenities! They include a large living room/seating area with a TV, mini bar, desk, a coffee table that looks directly into the water and access to the deck. The bedroom is also large with a comfortable, large bed, TV and beautiful views! The bungalow has a large, walk-in closet with an adjacent WC/toilet. I thought the location of the WC was an interesting choice but it worked okay! I loved the large bathroom which included double vanities, a large bathtub next to a huge window and a large walk-in shower.
Overall, we loved the bungalow! It was very well maintained, nothing was broken, no bugs and nicely appointed with local decor!
This is the view from the bedroom window!
The water in Bora Bora is unreal!! The color looks almost fake but it’s even more saturated in real life! Don’t forget to bring a floaty with you to relax! We swam every single day in the lagoon by our bungalow. The water is super clear and calm and the ocean floor is covered in soft, white sand. The lagoon isn’t too deep, about 5 feet in most places. This also means no diving off the deck since the water isn’t very deep. We saw stingrays and fish every day in the water, right next to our bungalow!
Every morning, I enjoyed an espresso made with the in-room Nespresso machine! The resort offers a large variety of Nespresso pods that you can have restocked daily. The morning views were amazing!
The bungalows are set further away into the lagoon, away from the island. It’s a 3 to 5 minute walk to the restaurants. We loved walking every morning and evening!
Evening walks to the island were always beautiful!
Every sunset was different and beautiful! We loved watching the sunsets from our deck!
The Food at Intercontinental
Food is always super important to us no matter where we go and we loved the food at this resort! Our room package included breakfast, a $100 daily value, which was a great bonus. Since everything has to be imported and shipped to the island, the food prices aren’t cheap but they also weren’t too high. We spent an average $300 to $400 a day on food. That included lunch either at the restaurant or in-room dining, minibar and drinks, and dinner with a bottle of wine. This resort has 3 main restaurants for dining: breakfast buffet, Sands for lunch and dinner, and Corail for dinner.
This grilled lobster dish was our last dinner at the resort! Lobster is available with a 24-hour notice at both dinner restaurants!
The breakfast buffet at the Intercontinental Thalasso was one of my favorites yet! It wasn’t too large but included just about everything your heart desires. Everything was very fresh and beautifully presented! I loved the fresh-pressed juices they offered daily and the fresh, local fruit which was so delicious! The breakfast buffet included: a yogurt, fruit salad and muesli station; fresh fruit station; fresh juice station; salad station with pre-made salads; hot food section with eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage and changing rice, noodles or steamed veggies; made-to-order omelets; sweet breakfast station with crepes, pancakes and waffles; bread and toast section; cured meats and seafood selection; and, fresh baked pastries.
Breakfast is served in a covered, open-air restaurant with views of the mountain and palm trees!
I loved their omelet station and all the fresh fruit, which tasted so delicious!
The breakfast buffet was always very clean and decorated with fresh foliage.
We enjoyed a few different options for lunch at this resort. They have the Sands restaurant and pool bar open for lunch, and room service is also available. Sands serves a variety of foods, including fresh seafood and sushi, salads, sandwiches and burgers and even pizza! The pool bar also serves small snacks like tacos, calamari and other snacks. The room service was very similar to what Sands had to offer, with the added enjoyment of not having to leave your room!
The freshest and most delicious tuna sashimi for lunch! We had this every other day!
The views from the Sands restaurant were spectacular!
This is the view from the beach at Sands.
Fresh seafood was always on the menu! This is fresh parrot fish with a minced veggie garnish and with stir-fried cabbage.
Room service lunch! Every other day, we enjoyed lunch in our room. A great option if you’re lazy and don’t want to leave your room!
The Intercontinental offers two restaurants for dinner: Sands and Corail. Sands is the more casual of the two and serves a rotating menu of classics such as steaks, seafood and pasta. The seafood is all local and fresh, too! Plus, there are shows around 7pm every other evening, including fire shows and dancing shows! It was so fun to watch!
The Corail restaurant offers an amazing fine dining experience! You can choose from a pre-set menu or order a la carte. The food was absolutely amazing here! Every dish was exquisite, delicious and you can tell that a lot of effort was put into each idea! The restaurant also has the largest wine cellar in all of French Polynesia! The manager and waitstaff were so incredible and even gifted us a jar of vanilla sea salt on our last evening!
These Polynesian dancers put on the best show! Had to take a photo with them!
We also had the chance to watch a Polynesian fire show one of the evenings and that was really fun, too!
The entrance to the Sands restaurant is adjacent to the pool and looks so pretty in the evening!
The inside of the Sands restaurant at dinner time.
The view at dinner time from Sands restaurant! It faces directly into the mountain so you can watch the sunset as you start your dinner!
Amuse-bouche at Corail restaurant! The restaurant is right next to the coral reef lagoon and you can watch the fish swim around as you’re eating dinner!
This clam panna cotta was so delicious and a great example of the unique dishes this restaurant offered!
Oven-roasted guinea fowl with wild mushrooms and puree. Another great dish!
My favorite appetizer was this delicate duck foie gras with vanilla and candied ginger. So incredibly creamy and delicious!
Smoky sea scallops with clams, bacon, veggies and ravioli.
The wine room at Corail! They had a huge assortment of French and European wines. Our only request is to feature more Californian wines since there was only 1 or 2 on the wine list.
Extra fancy sorbet for dessert!
The vanilla sea salt gift set that we received. Such a thoughtful gift! They even hand-drew and signed this card!
Private Beach Dinner
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, I highly recommend booking the private beach dinner this resort has to offer! It was the most beautiful dinner of my life!! The staff went above and beyond to set up a the most beautiful table with flowers and candles. And the food was so delicious, too! We had a 5 course meal with shrimp ravioli, mushroom risotto, creamy bisque, filet mignon with foie gras, and mousse cake for dessert!
The entire set up was so beautiful! This is the lantern-lit path that leads to our dinner table.
The resort has a two bars where you can enjoy a few delicious drinks: at the pool and a separate bar for evenings. Both of these served delicious drinks! I especially loved their fresh coconut drinks, served in a real coconut! The pool bar also offers small snacks!
The bar was pretty empty most evenings but there was live music some of the evenings which made it more fun!
We loved the beautiful views from the infinity edge pool at this resort! The main pool isn’t too big but it was never crowded when we were there and we always had a choice of lounge chairs. The pool offers bar service, too so you never have to leave your chair! It’s a salt water pool, which I love, and the views of the mountain are amazing!
I loved the fresh coconut drinks they offered at the pool! This one was massive!
The views here were amazing! Can you tell how happy I am in this place?!
This is the view from inside the infinitely pool! Stunning views of Mt. Otemanu!
I loved the beautiful, white sandy beaches at this resort! The beach is dotted with palapas and beach loungers with plenty of space in between for privacy. The beach was never crowded here and the staff was always ready to bring towels or drinks. The only downside is there are small, sharp pieces of coral and shells along the edges of the beaches so make sure to bring water shoes!
Lots of space on these white, sandy beaches!
The Resort Grounds
Not only does this resort have beautiful views of the lagoon and Mt. Otemanu, the resort grounds are equally breathtaking! Every pathway and every corner is beautifully manicured and planted with a variety of trees and shrubs. The even have a special garden, called ‘The Secret Garden of Love’ where you can hang a lock and toss the key for good luck! We loved to take long walks after breakfast and just stroll through the property!
If you’re ever at the resort, look out for our lock!
You can see the wedding chapel next to the coral reef lagoon in this photo! Lots of seating everywhere!
Another shot of the beautiful Garden of Love!
This photo was taken from the water in the coral reef lagoon! The building in the right-hand corner is the Corail restaurant.
I had one of the best massages of my life at the Thalasso Spa! This place is so incredible and immaculate! The spa has its own coral reef lagoon and while you’re getting a massage, you can watch the fish through the see-through floor of the treatment rooms! This was such a cool experience! The spa also offers extra amenities such as private hot tubs, relaxation room, tea room and a water treatment course. The only negative was the fact that our massage started more than 30 minutes late due to the previous client arriving late. We settled things with the manager and I hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else!
There are five of these 2-person hot tubs at the spa and each one is surrounded by rock walls so you have quite a bit of privacy.
One of the questions I received again and again was ‘what is there to do?’! Personally, I enjoyed relaxing at our resort, swimming and snorkeling almost every day. This place is all about zen, relaxation and peace. Our resort had very impressive corals right on the property and adjacent to it so we didn’t have to leave anywhere for the best snorkeling of our lives! The water is super clear and there are so many fish and a large variety of them!
These are the reefs at the resort coral reef lagoon!
Another view of the coral reef lagoon! It was so full of life with vibrant colors and so many fish! Everyone is allowed to snorkel there.
There is soo much to do in terms of activities on the island! Our resort offered paddle boards and canoes free of charge; first come, first serve. They also offered paid tours for snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, boat tours, helicopter tours and so much more. You can even rent a boat for a full or half day, with meals included. And, if you want to check out the main town in Bora Bora, the resort has a boat shuttle that leaves multiple times a day to the main island.
Whenever we go for a wedding anniversary trip, we like to hire a professional photographer to capture the memories. This year, we went with Marc Gerard of Bora Bora Photography and we absolutely loved his work!! Marc and his assistant Billy were so easy to work with and very fun and professional! We received the photos the next week and received even more photos than our package included! He works all over Bora Bora and the surrounding islands. I highly recommend him for any occasion!
Our trip to Bora Bora was unforgettable! The island is so much beautiful and breathtaking in real life than photos can ever capture! The water is so clear and it has an unreal color like nothing we’ve ever seen! The people are so friendly and welcoming, we felt right at home! The food was delicious and we loved the fresh seafood options. The experience itself was very peaceful, rejuvenating and relaxing! I highly recommend this resort if you’re traveling to Bora Bora!
Aerial view of Bora Bora and its resorts!