After 5 months of quarantine at home, we finally decide to venture back into travel with a trip to our bucket list destination – Bora Bora! French Polynesia opened up to international tourism on July 15th and is one of the few countries that is open to the US right now, albeit with strict entry & stay requirements. Here is my guide on all the entry requirements to travel to French Polynesia.
PC : IC Thalasso
We spent an entire week in Bora Bora and split our time across three resorts during our time there. For the first part of our stay we stayed at the beautiful Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa. Intercontinental French Polynesia has 3 properties in all of French Polynesia :
- Intercontinental Tahiti Resort and Spa
- Intercontinental Bora Bora Le Moana Moana Resort in Bora Bora.
- Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa in Bora Bora
Intercontinental Tahiti is the best resort in Tahiti and is conveniently located close to the airport. If you have a day or two to spend in Tahiti before island hopping this is the place to stay. While Intercontinental Moana is on the main island in Bora Bora, Intercontinental Thalasso is a tropical oasis that is set on its own private island (called Motu Piti Aau) and is known to have one of the best views of the lagoon and Mount Otemanu in all of Bora Bora. This luxurious resort is handsdown one of the best resorts to stay in all of Bora Bora! The airport is located on another island, so a boat transfer arranged by the resort is the best way to get to it.
The sight that instantly took our breath away when we arrived!
Mount Otemanu is one of two peaks of an extinct volcano located at the center of the island and is so synonymous with Bora Bora. While choosing a place to stay a view of this iconic landmark was my no 1 criteria and Intercontinental Thalasso had the most majestic views of the mountain from all over the property!
Covid 19 Safety Updates :
Before I recap my stay at the resort I wanted to address what the property is doing in terms of new rules during the pandemic. In this new era of travel during the COVID 19 pandemic , the Intercontinental French Polynesia has new enhanced safety and health protocols in place to make sure that their guests are safe during their stay. This was the first hotel that we have stayed at after the pandemic and I am happy to report that we felt 100% safe and comfortable during our entire stay here. Keep in mind that all guests who have travelled to French Polynesia had also tested negative before their travel to the destination which also makes it a lot safer. Some of the new protocols the resort had in place for safety during COVID-19 are :
- contactless and an easy check in. When they showed us to our room, we were the only ones who went in for safety purposes.
- all the resort staff wore masks, while guests have the choice to wear them or not while on the resort. Since the resort was at a low capacity while we were there and there was plenty of space to social distance everywhere since its so open spaced. Anush and I were fine without our masks for the most part, but we wore them while we were close to any locals or any public spaces like ferries, airports, etc.
- Digital contactless menus in the restaurants and in room – my favorite update! So easy to scan a QR code with your phone and order food, spa services, in room services, activities, etc.
- For housekeeping and turn down services, we were given the option to call in and let them know when the staff could come into our villa, while we were either outside the room entirely or on the deck of our villa.
- plenty of hand sanitizing stations throughout the property.
- social distancing measures within public spaces like in restaurants.
- for breakfast buffet – all guests were required to wear masks while serving themselves. They also had separate containers for clean and used tongs, to reduce shared points of touch.
- periodic deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants at all public spaces.
Now onto the fun parts 🙂 – recapping our wonderful stay here at IC Thalasso.
The resort has a total of 84 luxury overwater villas in different categories to choose from. We stayed in a Diamond Otemanu Overwater Villa and were in love with the incredible interiors as well as the million dollar views that we had from our bedroom, bathroom as well as our overwater deck. The room was spacious with a separate living and bedroom area, a large bathroom and a dreamy deck with lounge chairs and direct access to the azure lagoon!
Diamond Otemanu Overwater Villa – bedroom and living room
PC : IC Thalasso
Enjoying our amazing private deck!
Sunset champs and direct access to the lagoon from our deck for a sunset swim!
If you want to splurge – I would highly recommend their luxurious Brando suite at the end of the pontoon which is their best villa on the pontoon with 180 degrees of the mountain and dreamscape villa interiors! Walking up and down this pontoon was my favorite thing to do – especially at sunset!
Reflections of Mount Otemanu on the lagoon – so unreal!
Dreamiest pontoon walk – anytime of day!
As for dining options, Intercontinental Thalasso has 3 restaurants and 3 bars. While we were there, 2 of the restaurants and 2 bars were open. “Sands” was their toes in the sand restaurant open for lunch while “Reef” was the main restaurant on the terrace where breakfast and dinner were served daily. We also got to try their Polynesian dinner on one of the nights, with live cultural entertainment too.
Breakfast at Reef – dining in the restaurant (above) or on the terrace (below)
Lunch at Sands
We also had a cooking demonstration on one of the days on how to make “Poisson Cru” – a traditional Tahitian raw fish dish. This ceviche style of dish has been my fave thing that I tried in the trip and I pretty much ate it every.single.day!
Enjoying some delicious Poisson Cru!
Ingredients – raw fish (tuna), diced raw veggies, fresh coconut milk, lime, salt.
That fresh coco milk though!
Learning how to master this, so I can recreate it back home !
YUM! Had this on repeat throughout my stay here.
BEACH & POOL :
The large infinity pool close to the beach facing Mount Otemanu is the perfect place to spend an afternoon or a magical sunset.
Pool area at IC Thalasso
You are really spoilt for choice when you have both a picture perfect pool as well as a dreamy beach to choose just a stone’s throw away from each other.
Beach area at IC Thalasso
RESORT GROUNDS :
I also loved how lush and tropical the resort grounds were. This was the “Garden of Love” within the resort – a tropical heaven! IC Thalasso has created this unique secret garden of love in the resort’s botanical garden where people can symbolize their eternal devotion by sealing their love with a lock in Bora Bora in Polynesian style. You can bring your own little lock and attach it to a palm tree in the garden and throw away the keys in the garden’s Tiki, which symbolizes the protection of your love forever. Such a fun way to seal a memory !
Getting lost in this tropical lush landscape!
While there are plenty of avenues for relaxation, IC Thalasso also offers many activities to choose from to keep yourself busy. Among the complimentary activities are – Daily cultural demonstrations at the pool such as pareo tying lessons, palm frond weaving, fitness room, snorkeling, water sports like standup paddle boarding, kayaking or even trying the outrigger canoe. For an unforgettable breakfast in paradise, you must experience IC Thalasso’s canoe breakfast – an island style room service that delivers a delicious brekkie on the deck of your overwater villa ! And while breakfast is being served you can also try your hand at the canoe. Let me tell you – I did not look nearly as graceful as this when I tried it. Its way harder than it looks haha especially with a little wind!
Traditional Polynesian outrigger canoe
Other activities at an extra charge include lagoon tours, catamaran tours, private excursions, transfers to the main island, spa services and more! Our experience with the concierge here is especially noteworthy – they were professional, friendly and extremely efficient in getting our requests for particular activities and bookings done asap.
Thalasso Spa ; also has a coral garden outside it.
The Intercontinental Thalasso would be a beautiful location for a destination wedding, dreamy honeymoon or even a bucket list vacation for couples or families. This little lagoon here was one of my personal favorite spots on the property. The villa that you see is the resort’s stunning overwater wedding chapel! Talk about a dream wedding location , we even witnessed a wedding happen here and it was what fairytales are made of!
My absolute favorite spot in the resort – this dreamy lagoon in front of the wedding chapel!
Shop all my looks here :
We had the most beautiful start to our Bora Bora vacation here at Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa and cannot recommend it enough for your stay in the island. You can also split your stay between the IC Moana and IC Thalasso properties to get the best of both worlds.
Also be sure to check out my TRAVEL GUIDE TO BORA BORA for more details on how to plan a trip to this bucklet list destination!
Thanks for stopping by! xoxo
This stay was in collaboration with Intercontinental Bora Bora Thalasso resort and spa, a part of Intercontinental French Polynesia; but all thoughts and opinions are my own.