Upon arrival, our butler gave us a tour of the St. Regis property which was much larger than we expected. The hotel has both overwater bungalows and beach bungalows with private plunge pools. If we returned here, I might consider actually splitting my time between the overwater bungalows and the beach bungalows, which were also massive and very private. Having a large plunge pool and deck area overlooking the lagoon would be a nice and less expensive option for a few days.
Our first stop was the main pool and beach area. Of course, the main pool featured a swim-up bar and had a large covered seating area with a casual restaurant inside. We ate several meals and they had excellent cocktails in the evening. I have to say that their beach staff was pretty cool – it was several good looking and young local guys wearing sarongs. Fine by me.
Off to the side and overlooked by the casual bar restaurant was the main beach area. They had ample seating areas here and there was also the activity huts for water sports, which included stand up paddle boards, floaties, kayaks, paddle wheels and jet skis.
The hotel also provided cruiser bikes so you could ride around the property. These are on a first come, first served basis and were very popular. I would say that it was about a 15-20 minute walk from our OWB to the other side of the property where the spa and lagoonarium were located.
Next are the restaurants. The St. Regis has several restaurants on the property, including a sushi restaurant, an Italian restaurant, the casual beach restaurant and the high-end Jean-Georges restaurant, Lagoon. We ate at Lagoon on our last night and that was our favorite meal of the trip – I’ll write a separate post on that one. We ate at the beach bar twice, which featured your usual fare of sandwiches, burgers, pizzas and some seafood dishes. They made really delicious cosmos and mojitos here. As the prices are ridiculous ($30 for a mojito; $40 for a club sandwich), we often split an entree which worked well because the portion sizes were huge anyway. The best part is that if you a split a sandwich or burger, they actually give you smaller portions of your own individual sandwich or burger (rather than you having to cut it in half) and they give you two full orders of fries at no extra cost.
We also tried the sushi restaurant our first night there, which we enjoyed. We sampled a few different rolls and some shrimp tempura. Apparently they are about to start remodeling the sushi restaurant to expand it and while it wasn’t the best sushi I have had in my life, it was quite good and the tempura was solid with a yummy dipping sauce.
We also enjoyed our OWB so much that we ordered room service for dinner one night and lunch another day, along with some wine to enjoy. As all of the restaurants are open air, it was a nice change of pace to have a bottle of red inside with A/C one night. One thing about Bora Bora – it is very warm and humid here all the time. I would say it was usually about 85-90 degrees farenheit in the sunshine with about 85%+ humidity. So, you will sweat just sitting outside. I’m never a big fan of sweating bullets while eating and while most places did have a decent breeze in the evenings, there were a few times that I wish they had better fans or air circulation in the restaurants. Definitely pack light and breezy clothes for this trip!
Of course, the best part of the property was the incredible views of the lagoon and the island from every vantage point.
A unique feature of the hotel is their Lagoonarium. This is an enclosed part of the Lagoon that features fish and coral and that hotel guests can snorkel. They also do fish feedings here every morning and we stopped by to check that out and saw a massive blue fin tuna and a moray eel.
Near the Lagoonarium was the Miri Miri Spa featuring Clarins products. It also had a quiet pool and small beach area but we never went there for any services. The hotel also featured a game room with pool table and games, a separate adults only oasis pool area and there was a small shopping area that had a black pearl store, a sundry shop and a boutique selling clothes and bathing suits and St. Regis logo items.
We thought the overall property was gorgeous but it was so easy to relax in our private bungalow! I had the impression that most people stayed in their rooms a lot, which makes sense given that you have everything you need in your bungalow and most people are here on honeymoon trips or anniversary trips. This is definitely not a place to come for nightlife but it was so quiet and relaxing day and night. P.S. the stars at night are incredible here – you can see the bands of the milky way. It was stunning!