Review: Conrad Bora Bora Overwater Villa

Filed Under: Hilton

After four nights at the St. Regis Bora Bora, we were excited to check out the Conrad Bora Bora and see how it compared.

Upgrading to an overwater villa at the Conrad Bora Bora

We redeemed points and certificates for our entire stay here. For one night we redeemed 85,000 Honors points, and for the other night we redeemed a weekend reward certificate from Hilton’s co-branded credit card.

Those stays book into King Garden View Suites. While they’re large and nice enough, we decided to upgrade to an overwater villa for our two nights. The hotel offers two upgrade options:

  • You can upgrade to a King Overwater Villa for 35,000 XPF (~330USD) per night
  • You can upgrade to a King Pool Overwater Villa for 65,000 XPF (~620USD) per night

We decided to upgrade to one of the standard overwater villas (as much as we like plunge pools, I don’t think they’re worth $300 per night), and confirmed that upgrade about a month in advance.

The hotel didn’t seem to be very full when we were there, and we were upgraded further from an Overwater Villa to a Deluxe Overwater Villa. This is exactly the same villa, it just has better views (and I guess it’s fair enough to get some sort of upgrade on account of my Hilton Honors status).

For what it’s worth, the Conrad has 114 rooms, including 28 land villas and 86 overwater villas. For reference, here’s a map of the resort that also shows the different villa types:

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa review

There are three separate sets of docks with overwater villas, and our villa (#106) was located towards the far end of one of them. We were driven to our room by the lovely guest relations manager, Caroline, and as she drove us she explained “you have one of my favorite rooms. I like 105 and 106, and you’ll see why shortly.”

And that was for good reason, as you’ll see in the pictures below.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villas

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villas

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa

Outside our villa were a couple of bikes. It was maybe a 10 minute walk to the main part of the resort, so if you didn’t want to walk, you could bike there or call for a golf cart.

Conrad Bora Bora bikes

The overwater villa is advertised as being around 1,250 square feet, though that definitely includes outdoor space. As you guys may remember in my previous review, the St. Regis Bora Bora claims to have the largest standard overwater villas of any resort in French Polynesia. However, our villa was in awful condition.

By contrast, this room was gorgeous, and felt luxurious. This was really just one big room, but it was nicely appointed. There was an entryway leading into the rest of the room.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa entryway

The centerpiece of the room was a king size bed.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa

Then back near the entrance was a couch that could seat two.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa sitting area

There was a welcome amenity there, consisting of some juice and chocolates.

Conrad Bora Bora welcome amenity

On the opposite side of the room was a table with a chair. Some constructive feedback — it would be nice if they had a second chair, so you could potentially eat there, in the event that it’s raining and you order room service.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa table & chair

Next to that was the minibar, along with a Nespresso machine and kettle. The minibar had complimentary water and juice.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa minibar

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa coffee machine & kettle

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa minibar

The TV “popped out” near the bottom of the bed. It’s funny that every time you leave the room the TV retracts, and then when you return it automatically goes back up.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa TV

The bathroom was located behind the bedroom, and was huge. It featured double sinks on opposite sides of the room, a large soaking tub, and then a toilet and shower in separate rooms.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa bathroom

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa bathroom

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa bathroom

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa shower

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa toilet

Toiletries were from Shanghai Tang.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa toiletries

I can’t emphasize enough that the room was in immaculate condition, which is such a departure from the overwater villa we had at the St. Regis. The room even had a bluetooth speaker system so you could play your music either inside or outside, which was fun.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa bluetooth sound system

Of course the reason you get an overwater villa is because of the outdoor space…

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa view

…and the outdoor space here was lovely.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa deck

On one side of the deck was a table with two chairs.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa outdoor seating

Then there were two lounging chairs and a “net” you could lie in.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa outdoor area

Then there were stairs leading down to a deck, should you want to swim directly from your room.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa deck

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa outdoor seating

As I mentioned above, when we were brought to our room, the guest relations manager said that rooms 105 and 106 are her favorites. Why? Because they’re the only rooms with a mostly unobstructed view of Mount Otemanu.

Mount Otemanu is the most iconic “sight” of Bora Bora, and the Conrad Bora Bora largely lacks that view. That’s because it’s located at the far end of Bora Bora and has a large hill on one side, and that obstructs the views. So while you have that amazing view from many places at the St. Regis, you don’t get that view much from the Conrad. So having that view from our villa was awesome.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa view

Otherwise the room looked out into the open ocean to the right.

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa net

Conrad Bora Bora overwater villa bottom line

We loved our overwater villa at the Conrad Bora Bora. While it wasn’t as large as the villa at the St. Regis, it was actually luxurious and well maintained. We especially lucked out that we even got a villa with a view of Mount Otemanu, which is a treat (at most hotels you’d pay hundreds of dollars more just for the view).

So yeah, we were very pleasantly surprised by the Conrad, as it only gets better from here.

In the next installment I’ll cover the rest of the resort.

  1. Just for fun, at what point is a hotel room big enough / luxurious enough that not only are there two sinks in the bathroom but that it also has two toilets as well?

  2. There’s no comparison to the Four Seasons, not only the luxury level of the accommodations but also the location of the Conrad is not so good.

  3. @Paul – If there are two toilets, it will be because there are two separate bathrooms, which is not uncommon for suites with multiple separate rooms.

  4. I’m not sure how good the views are since your room was the exception with Mt. Otemanu. Having a more modern and well maintained room matters more to me than size. Bigger is not always better! I would be outside all the time, so having good outside space is a must! I really don’t understand the net. Is the net really comfortable to lie in?

    As a cyclist, I love to see that the Conrad’s bikes are well maintained compared to St. Regis. I’ve seen the TV’s before at Hilton hotels that go up & down when you leave the room. Overall, I can’t wait to see the review of the rest of the property.

  5. @Paul – The Palace Tower at Caesar’s Palace has some rooms with weird Jack and Jill showers connecting two sink areas, which each have a toilet. I guess that’s one bathroom with two toilets.

  6. I stayed in villa 106 when it was the Hilton. The general manager said it was his favorite villa because of the view.

  7. Talking of St. Regises, this kind of pop-out TV was seen in Lucky’s review of the St. Regis in Chengdu, China.

  8. Hi,
    Do you know if there will be an upcoming Hilton hotels sale for Brazil, looking to book a stay for June.
    Thank you,

  9. @ Paul -Amanzoe has one big bathroom with two toilets, one on each end (his and hers, or his and his, or hers and hers)… both were Toto as well.. kind of a bit excessive…

  10. Liked the villas better. What is with the wierd form you must sign to take leftover pizza to your room

  11. Thank you for the Bora Bora reviews! Great information… heading there in May! Wooohooooo

  12. Just got back from a stay in one of the overwater pool bungalows here. As Lucky says, Caroline is an absolute delight. The property is pretty well-maintained although it does show some wear and tear. Our one problem was with the air conditioning. The whole room is cooled by a single unit in the main bedroom area. While the bathroom and dressing room occupy nearly half of the living space, they have no cooling vents; as a result we had to resign ourselves to keeping the large bathroom and dressing room doors closed (and roasting hot) so that the underpowered unit could keep the main space at any sort of comfortable temp.

    I realize this is paradise, and it seems silly to quibble about the A/C, but this did make the stay decidedly less comfortable than it should have been for the price.

  13. Same- I am planning to do a St Regis to Conrad transfer as well. What are the options?

  14. Is the view of Mt Otemanu necessary?
    I just learned it’s iconic for Bora Bora.
    Just like Mt Fuji for Japan?? 😉

  15. For those of who you are saying the location is not ideal, it depends on which side you are staying on. The bungalows next to the two story villas have unobstructed views of the sunset and have the best snorkeling. I’ve stayed at the end bungalow of the Intercontinental Thalasso and had an unobstructed view of Mount Otmanu, but obstructed views of the sunset and hardly any fish under my bungalow.

  16. Hi!!! thanks for this review! i am planing a second honeymoon to this conrad bora and this post was what i needed, since we are calendar flexible when is the best time to visit on hhonor points? pur aniversary is on november 8th but we can fly anytime after july. thabks for the help

  17. Just did the St. Regis and currently at the Conrad. I have the opposite preference and would be very happy to go back to the St. Regis and not happy with the Conrad. The hyperbole comparison to Motel 6 isn’t appropriate for either but I’m not happy with our Conrad stay so far.

    I use this site as reference but have come to realize one off situations can really skew perspectives. The review here of the reef side villa at St. Regis was generally positive. We stayed in 505 next door with a slightly different layout but loved it. The only negative thing I could say is there was staining on the tiles of the shower. We didn’t have a poor over water villa experience.

    At the Conrad it has seriously been a comedy of service errors and I think we’ve become more critical with each issue as things compile.

    Here has been our Conrad interactions so far.

    Called yesterday after no outreach from the hotel other than generic hilton e-mail. Ask about transport and they say from the airport or city otherwise concierge could arrange but expensive and St. Regis could also arrange. I let them know we’ll probably be there around 2pm.

    When we arrived at about 130ish (no watch but left St. Regis at 1pm via private transfer). They didn’t seem ready for us. We were the only ones there and we signed our arrival paperwork and they took our passports but after about 5 minutes a conrad boat from the airport arrived. The staff then started to help the guests from the airport boat and took them away for their tours on the golf carts. Us and a family were the last to be served and they walked us down the pier together and showed us the pool and bar, also neither of our rooms were ready and wouldn’t be ready until 3 which is the check in time. No mention about our diamond breakfast benefits, no mention of what room we are in, no real instructions on where to go to get keys at 3pm. She was able to answer the hours of various dining options. I also didn’t want to ask about elite benefits as we were with another group of people. I took a bike and rode around the property to scope out the property (the check in paperwork said room 515 which looked to be the worst room in the resort). Regarding the bikes, as someone who rode over 5000 miles last year it’s toss up on which place has shittier bikes but I like the St. Regis bikes more so not sure why the St. Regis got the short end of the review stick with the crap bike bit.

    After riding around I figured I’d go to guest services. I said our room wasn’t ready when we arrived but I was wondering about potential upgrade options. He said no upgrade options the first night but potentially the second night. Over water villa for 60,000 is what he first offered and I said no that’s more than I was willing to pay. He asks what I had in mind and I counter with 25,000. He says let me see and says the best he can offer is 35,000 which is what Lucky said over water villas would cost. I said I’d talk with my wife. At this point he says it looks like our room is ready. He goes into the back for a long time, and I don’t know why. When he comes back he can’t find the room key and says it’s up at the front dock check in area. We walk down there, and find our bags are still sitting there and weren’t put in our room. They say someone just took the key to the guest services as they were looking for us and we must have walked right by. ??? Instead of walking back to guest services we get in a golf cart with a staff member who goes up and gets the key cards and takes us to room 523. The neighbors are walking out as we go in and there is unopened champagne and glasses outside our room door but the guy makes no mention of this as we walk by. We get to the room and it’s after 3pm. He confirms there is a diamond breakfast benefit that ends at 1030. No welcome amenity in the room (St. Regis provided champagne, sparkling and still water, a birthday cake and delicious macaroons presented in a coconut). The room is basically a large room divided by floor to ceiling TV stand. The stuff is newer but cheaper. For example the bathroom free standing tub is plastic, the sink is American standard, the toilet buttons are plastic, it’s like a sauna in the bathroom because the AC is not powerful enough, staining on the shower tile, the walls are really thin and we can hear the people next door.

    I call back to the front desk and ask specifically what room for the over water because there are a couple I wouldn’t want (127-130 and 239-342). He says 338 but he was happy I called because he wanted to show me the view and would be over in about 5 minutes to take me over to the over water villa. Less than 5 minutes later a knock on the door. It’s not the front desk guy but instead two guys with sparking water and still water, the champagne and glasses are no longer in front of the door. They move the stuff my wife put on the table and put out the water and a box with a letter. I ask if the water is complementary and they say yes. I also ask if they know how the AC works because the temp hasn’t changed from 26 despite being set at 20. They try and say I should call the front desk. They leave and I look at the welcome gift. I look at the box and see wrappers. I open it up thinking the chocolates are inside the wrappers…they aren’t. It was an eaten box of chocolate. I call the front desk and let them know. Not sure they believe me because honestly who would believe people would drop off a box of eaten chocolate (unless they re-use the magnetized boxes they put the chocolate pieces in how could that even happen?). Two guys come back with new box of chocolate and apologize. I get a call back from the front desk upgrade room guy and he says no carts available but he would send someone in about 20 minutes. I say no worries I’ll ride over and take a look at 338 myself.

    I like the location looking out at the sunset (basic overwater villa and not the deluxe like lucky got). I call back to the front desk and they say the guy I was working with isn’t available but they will have him call right back. 30 min later no call but some guy shows up who asks if I speak french. I say no he says bad english but show view for room. I said no I went on my own. He leaves and since I haven’t gotten a call back so we go to eat. I sit down and the cushion is soaking wet, I get we are at a beach resort. There is also remaining food and paper napkins on the bench seating. King crab roll I order has a piece of shell in it that I bite into and does not taste good.

    Like I said when things start going bad they pile up and I start noticing all these things that I don’t really care about. For example the ketchup comes in an open dish they fill while the mustard and mayonnaise is sealed individual jars (St. Regis ketchup is sealed individual jar).

    Get back to the room temp went down to 25 but bathroom still a sauna.

    Call the front desk guy say we would like the overwater villa if we can get late checkout. Says good with late checkout but can’t get into the room until 5pm tomorrow but can stay in current room until then.

    Sitting here now and can hear everything outside. The windows in the bathroom are not glass and instead are wood slats with screens which likely contributes to the sauna like temperatures.

    SO yeah. Experiences are highly variable.

    Here is my quick opinion:
    St. Regis: Older but higher quality, impeccable service, private, older crowd (I’m 35 and think we were the youngest people we saw other than 1 infant), location with lagoon, real reef and awesome mountain view, we went for a long walk along the ocean without seeing anyone
    Conrad: Newer but lower quality, poor service, younger families and millennials who want to be seen (haven’t seen many people older unless they were with their elementary/middle school aged kids), better beach with fine sand and pool, interesting man made reef, really can’t walk off the resort because both sides have signs saying staff only beyond this point

  18. Finished our stay. We did enjoy the overwater villa. The sunsets from our villa was great. The finishes in the overwater villa were much nicer than the garden suite. Not sure how they can get away with $800 fee on the garden suites.

    Still hands down I pick St. Regis Reefside villa vs the overwater villa at Conrad.

    St. Regis lower cost, way better service and more privacy/intimate feel.

    Still can’t get over the eaten chocolate welcome Diamond amenity at the Conrad. Compare that to a personalized chocolate cake, champagne and macaroons in a fresh coconut as a Platinum amenity at the St. Regis.

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