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French Polynesia is one of Earth’s dreamiest destinations — and one of the most expensive. Thankfully, there are several resorts on its islands that participate in loyalty programs, which means that travelers can earn points on stays and even redeem points for stays.
InterContinental Hotels Group — better known as IHG — has three branded properties in French Polynesia. The InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa is located on the capital island of Tahiti, while the other two, Intercontinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort and InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa, are found on the island of Bora Bora. The latter is the newest and the most exclusive and expensive of the trio.
All three InterContinental properties participate in the IHG One Rewards program, which means that booking with IHG points is possible, as is earning points when booking directly through IHG. If you pay with an IHG-co-branded credit card, you earn bonus points, too.
Here’s our The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa review to help you decide if this romantic retreat is right for you.
About The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa
The IHG One Rewards program doesn’t categorize its properties into specific points redemptions, instead following a dynamic pricing model. If you’re able to find award availability, you should expect to shell out roughly 120,000 points per night for a free night stay on points.
The two other InterContinental properties in French Polynesia are also available for points bookings: The InterContinental Tahiti priced at 71,000 points per night on a recent search (considerably cheaper), while the Intercontinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort priced out similarly at 120,000 points per night.
Unfortunately, availability is hard to come by at all three resorts, especially InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa. Though IHG One Rewards opens at least one reward booking per night, these go quickly. Our recent search over 365 days yielded a total of zero award stays greater than one night at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa.
This means that it’s not really possible to take advantage of IHG One Rewards’ fourth night free offer for award bookings made with the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card. It also means that if you plan to stay more than one night at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa — and most people will — you will have to combine points and money for your stay. On a brighter note, you will earn lots of points for your stay and even more if you pay with an IHG co-branded credit card, like the IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card.
» Learn more: Hotel programs with free award nights for extended stays
The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa is located on Motu Piti Aau, an easterly islet across from Bora Bora’s famed main island. This prime location grants exceptional views of iconic Mount Otemanu and Bora Bora’s famed blue lagoon.
InterContinental® Bora Bora Le Moana Resort, is located off Matira Beach on the main island and near the village of Vaitape. A complimentary boat shuttle runs between the two resorts.
The resort’s style is understated and contemporary with nods to traditional Polynesia design. There’s plenty of transitional indoor-outdoor space to capitalize on the vistas of the turquoise waters and towering Mount Otemanu.
Amenities such as the main pool, spa, restaurants, bars and tennis court are located on the actual reef islet, while accommodations are exclusively overwater. That’s important since most people coming to Bora Bora seek overwater accommodation, and at many properties, entry-level rooms are inland, while higher category rooms tend to be overwater.
At InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa, guests are always guaranteed overwater accommodation.
Food and beverage
Guests can delight in the cuisine and cocktails of three different restaurants and three different bars. Highlights include dinner-only Le Corail, which serves global cuisine and offers beverages from the largest wine cellar in French Polynesia. Sands Restaurant serves lighter fare, like salads and grilled meats, and regularly hosts themed nights, featuring a fire dance show. Meanwhile, Bubbles Bar & Terrace overlooks the pool and is a popular spot in the late afternoon thanks to its happy hour specials. Room service is available 24/7.
All of the resort’s nearly 100 villas are overwater. They are connected by wooden land bridges that branch out from the motu. There are four two-bedroom Teremoana villas which command the best views. The other villas are the same size indoors, differentiated mainly by the view and the presence of a private pool.
All have a glass coffee table with a great view over the lagoon, a convertible sofa and a private sundeck. There’s complimentary in-room Wi-Fi. Arguably the most exciting part of staying in an overwater bungalow is the ability to go directly from your room into the ocean.
There are several amenities at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa to heighten the Bora Bora experience. There’s a large infinity swimming pool lined with loungers and prime island views.
Next, the resort’s massive Deep Ocean Spa is the first thalassotherapy spa — or seawater spa — in the southern hemisphere. It offers a full range of body and facial treatments, and houses a hydrotherapy circuit that includes a cold sea water plunge pool, jacuzzi, steam bath and sauna. A modern fitness center complements a jogging track that zigzags through the property’s tropical gardens.
Guests can observe tropical fish life in the Lagoonarium and partake in complimentary activities that celebrate Polynesian heritage, such as pareo tying lessons (a wraparound skirt worn on Tahiti or other Pacific islands) and palm frond weaving. Non-motorized water sports, like kayaks, paddle boards and snorkeling equipment, are also offered free of charge. Other activities, such as scuba diving, a catamaran sunset cruise and parasailing are available for a charge.
Another resort highlight is its focus on sustainability. Villas and common areas are cooled using a state-of-the-art sea water air conditioning system. There’s a water bottling facility on-site and, in the surrounding waters, biorock technology is employed to foster coral growth.
How to get to The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa
To get to the resort, international travelers first must fly into Faa'a International Airport in Tahiti and then connect on a domestic 50-minute flight to Bora Bora. After arriving in Bora Bora, the property is a 20-25 minute boat transfer away (which must be reserved in advance).
Travelers can use miles to fly to and from Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui, United Airlines, Air New Zealand, Air France, LATAM and Hawaiian Airlines . Domestic flights are on Air Tahiti and cannot be booked with points.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card