What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
All is said in the title! This hotel is a living dream! We went via a company that booked us this hotel for our honeymoon and we don't regret it! Employees are lovely, the food is amazing! They have several restaurants, you can choose your style of cuisine (italian, japanese, ...) The suite we had was beyond our expectations!! Clean, spacious... Everything was perfect!! And the landscape is breathtaking! We highly recommend!
Over the Top for Service, Views, Relaxation, Spa, Food, Etc.
WOW! WOW! WOW! is the best way I can describe our magical week in paradise. We have spent a lot of time in the BVI, St. Lucia and Turks and Caicos. All of these are also incredible. But, this is definitely one of our #1 places and trips. We had Over the Water Bungalow #15 End of the Pontoon. The room was so comfortable and the views were stunning. We loved to feed the fish via our glass top coffee table which slid off to make this possible. At night, we loved to turn the light on under the water and watch the fish and stingrays swim under our room. The service and everything about the Pearl exceeded our expectations, which were high. Since we tend to like less of the party life and more of the quiet and relaxation, we chose the Pearl because of this. Although, on three occasions, we did book a boat and a shuttle van from our place to eat dinner on the main island (twice) and to do a beach drop for a few hours on Matira Beach -- one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We may have to return to this paradise which includes some of the most lovely people we have ever met. The spa, the restaurants, beach and pool were all beautiful, and the advice and excursions planned with help from the concierges were spot on. We didn't want to leave!
Great resort, amazing views
As others have mentioned, this resort is going through major renovations. We were there right before they closed and you can definitely tell the upgrades are needed. Our bungalow was obviously older and had signs of wear and tear. But you cannot beat the view! This resort is on the outskirts of the reef area, so most of the bungalows are facing the main island. We were in bungalow 29 and it had a great view, not too close to other neighbors either. On one of our excursions we were told about the resort closing for renovations at the end of November. Our guide told us this resort is the only one on the island that employs locals over "outsiders" (people from other countries). He didn't know what was going to happen to the staff once the resort closed, it's supposed to be closed for 6 months. And will have a new name and ownership. Sure hope they hire the locals back! They make this resort what it is! We agree with the other reviews on the food and restaurants. Breakfast is good, lots of choices, fresh raw fish, made to order eggs and omelettes. Mikki Mikki is good for lunch, sandwiches and pizzas. For dinner get out of the resort! There is a ferry that goes to the main island several times per hour, the trip is only 5 min across the lagoon. Make dinner reservations with the concierge and they will set up your ferry and taxi to get you to and from the restaurant. Make note, on Sundays ALL restaurants on the main island are closed, essentially the island closes. Except for The Yacht Club, that is open on Mondays, make reservations early though because this books up quickly on a Monday. Overall, great stay here. Definitely make an appointment for the spa! It's a great calming experience. Can't wait to see what it looks like after the renovations are completed!
Good value for amazing beauty, but some key details to set expectations
By now, you've read the other reviews which cover the #1 complain- that things look dated and in need of a refresh... and you've read that the resort is doing just that from Nov 2019 > Apr 2020. So I won't talk much about that. The view is spectacular, the beach and 4ft deep white sandy lagoon is visible from Google Maps or the TA review pics and just like you'd imagine... no need to add praise there. So let's cover some minor but useful details not mentioned as often: close to booking time, the Pearl will lock you in for transfer from BOB airport to the resort in the fine print for about $75/pp round trip, so $150 for a couple. The boat ride takes about 8 minutes. It seems many resorts will do this pickup/dropoff included with the resort booking, but I didn't hear or see such an option offered from Pearl. There is a regular ferry into Vaitape from BOB provided by Air Tahiti... large red/white boat that will be waiting at the baggage claim dock. If you are doing Pearl because your trying to get the once-in-a-lifetime Bora Bora OWB experience without actually breaking the bank- you've chosen the right resort, but doesn't mean you can't sidestep their nickle&diming you. The Vaitape is free, then a taxi can be taken for cheap over to the Bora Bora Pearl base dock on the main island, and during the day, the resort shuttle from base dock to the resort is free... so- two extra legs, but you only pay for the cheap, short taxi if you are clever. If you want... the shuttle schedule isn't advertised to you in advance, so i attached a pic. Pearl seems to allow you to show up as early as you want on the checkin day, and they will provide you a transfer-room for free or show you to your room if it happens to be ready. Super smart... we booked the first flight from Papeete (8am) and were in our day-room by 10am changing for the beach. Our room was ready by 2-ish, but we felt like we got to use the whole day. We did the reverse on our departure day (checkout 11am) but Pearl will charge you $75 for the transfer-room on the way out. Still totally worth it to maximize another day in paradise, and we booked the last flight out of BOB at 7pm. Air Tahiti schedule is all over the place, so plan ahead. Other reviews detail the transfer-room. More specifics, assuming the renovations don't change the angles or room #s, we felt like OWB end-of-pontoon #16 (our room) and #44 had the most dead-on straight view from the bed of Otemanu. 16 is closer walk to shore. Other OWB could easily see Otemanu from some part of the room, and most all Otemanu view room can easily see it from the deck. But if you want to hit the home run, request 16 or 44. Pearl won't guarantee, but you can always ask. #17 and #18 are on near the end of pontoon and have almost straight views. #49, 50, 26, 27 are not End-of-Pontoon but have pretty straight on views if you want to try booking a lower tier OWB but hope for the Otemanu direct view from your bed (just see a bit more of your neighbors from the deck). Resort maps are easy to find online, ones with the room #s are a bit harder, but you can do it. The right most pontoon wing (from the beach looking out) but facing the "beach view" may actually be able to see and hear the ocean waves around the corner of the motu end. Much better non-Otemanu view option to be on your deck than the ones that stare directly at the beach where all the loungers are at. But a bit of a walk. Minor tidbits you might find useful to maximize the precious experience: - there are plenty of fish in the lagoon, and they are quite big. At night, the lights under the bungalows turn on by default (though you can manually turn them off). Most people leave their lights on, which attracts the fish all night. That's great to experience before you go to bed. But when you are trying to sleep, you will hear the fish splashing around as the big fish jostle each other. The wicker walls are obviously thin, so we actually had to use ear plugs to get a quiet night sleep without getting woken up at odd hours. Also in Nov, the sun rose at almost 5am, which mean mainland roosters could easily be heard since the surroundings are so quiet and still at that hour. The fishing and transfer boats start up around 5am too. Seems a bit silly, but the earplugs were a small value add to the experience. - we received 4 bottles of water in our OWB End-of-Pontoon, which was fine for our 3 day stay (3 full days was enough). We refilled from the water jug at the sports hut twice. Did not see any water jug at the main lobby. We also were given a water bottle on the boat ride coming and another going. Plus a champagne bottle in the room when we arrived, plus 2 snorkel sets, 9 Nespresso pods [3 decaf, 3 volluto, 3 livanto if you must know). - the glass panels by the tub, sink etc had strange holes bored thru them which allowed bugs to crawl right in (you can easily see them). Not sure why on earth this was done, but we covered all the holes with flat objects as soon as we arrived. Hopefully fixed in the renovation. - wifi / internet is good when its working. We got 20Mb speeds on day 1, then nothing thruout day 2. Forget about doing any uploads. - breakfast comments are covered elsewhere and all true- nice but not wow. But bacon and croissants were excellent. Guava jam, must try. Nice to have multiple fruit juices, but pre-packaged yogurts is a Holiday Inn move. Acceptable for a few days, but most all-inclusives do much better. Smoking section should be located further away if its going to be open air. Flies and lack of good ceiling fan are bad enough. - paddle boards and kayaks are as easily available on the main beach as possible. No hassle at all and were almost constantly being tried out by guests. Perfect lagoon environment to learn if you have ever wanted to. - Mt. Otemanu is almost constantly covered in a cloud that never fully clears. If you ever happen to see a moment where the clouds completely clear from the peak... DROP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND TAKE YOUR PICTURES NOW. You may not get another chance. - Coral garden nursery is genius. Great coral and immense number of fish. Easiest and best snorkeling you can possibly want. Shoutouts and venting: only member of the service staff that showed more the average attitude was Veitu (Vaitu? Veitu-hard to remember her whole name). She was friendly, enthusiastic and helpful showing us to our room... this is what we expected from all the lobby staff, but everyone else was markedly serious, unfriendly- always frowning and looking like they were too busy with something on the counter to pay attention to you (the $ paying guest), even though the lobby was never ever busy. As mentioned, the attitude of the whole staff needs an upgrade or bringing in outsiders. If you've enjoyed the service/treatment from all-inclusive resorts elsewhere, you are in for a disappointment. - I know its island style, but seems like a wanna-be resort should have the dining staff maybe all wear the same dress code? Island dress is fine, but it should all match, maybe name tags so guests can comment and commend on their particular service in reviews? In the restaurant, every hostess/waitress had on a different dress and different style, color, length- like they just grabbed their own stuff from their closet. This is a 4 star resort, no?
We loved our stay - resort is now closed for extensive updates
First, the resort will be closed for several month undergoing renovation - the resort will rebuilt at least all OWBs, tearing down the existing structures and replacing them with newly designed ones. I was fortunate enough to see their one already updated OWB and confirm that a major upgrade is happening. The NEW Pearl Beach will look completely different from the old one.Everything will be new and updated. With that in mind, I will not review the current OWB in detail. Our OWD showed some wear and tear, being 20 years old - but nonetheless was amazing and we feel sad knowing that it will no longer exist. As for the restaurants, I copy other reviewer's comments by highlighting that we found the Mikki Mikki restaurant (next to the pool) was the best but is closed for dinner service during "low season" (which seems to be defined by the number of guests staying at the resort and can change weekly, so currently their is no way telling). Therefore we only had few choices for dinner: eating out (taking ferry to main island), ordering rooms service, eating at the Sushi restaurant or the main restaurant. We ate at the Sushi restaurant once, but only the vegetarian options which we enjoyed. We ate at the main restaurant twice and were disappointing both times, food was flavorless or even served cold, yet way more pricier than the Mikki Mikki restaruant. Our first night was still "high season" and we had dinner at Mikki Mikki and enjoyed the food. We had lunch several times at Mikki Mikki and enjoyed it. We hope the main restaurant will improve once the NEW Pearl opens. All restaurants have an open design, so yes, there will be some flies, but you also get to hear the waves and see the water - we hope it stays that way (with some improvements, see below). Breakfast was very good. It didn't change much during our stay but how could it? It included (almost) everything one could wish for - we stayed at the Tahitit Intercontinental and the breakfast buffer was bigger, but in the end had more or less the same choices as the Bora Bora Pearl (the Intercontinental had rice for breakfast which I am a huge fan, the Pearl did not). The Intercontinental also used "small fans" to keep flies away - that would be an improvement the NEW Pearl should make. The staff was so amazing and super friendly. The staff was on "island time", so service wasn't always fast but any guest who comes to Bora Bora should stop rushing their lives and sit back and relax. The staff will help you to relax with a big smile and a friendly "Ia ora na". There are some minor things that could improve, i.e. room service did not restock empty items, so we even run out of TP which is awkward, but worry not, there is an emergency phone in your restroom (hope you never need to use it!). Our OWB had a Nespresso machine, but capsules were never re-stocked. We had brought our own, knowing about the issue (Thanks, TripAdvisor). We heard that during renovation the staff will get additional training, so the NEW Pearl will hopefully improve. Now, for those who read reviews carefully, here is the part that did worry us and could have resulted in a one star rating: the Pearl is now closed and undergoing renovation for several month. But the renovation work started already before the closure of the resort (some reviews already complained about that). We were not informed by the resort that there will be EXTENSIVE WORK being done during our stay, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to ~4pm. Loud hammering, lots of noise - they ripped apart OWB right next to ours, so it was loud and also did not look like paradise walking by seeing all the ruins and remains of what used to be a OWB. This was highly disappointing as we had come for a week of relaxation and doing nothing, it wasn't our plan to go for daily excursion but rather to stay at the resort and enjoy the view (amazing!), water (amazing) and quiet life (not so quiet). We complained and the resort apologized (very professional, thanks Stephanie) but also told us that they couldn't do much about the construction (being on a tight schedule). We got a resort credit (about ~12% of what we paid for the stay) as compensation, but going to Bora Bora is more of a once in-a-lifetime dream vacation (and it isn't cheap), so getting a credit is nice, but I rather pay more and have no disruption than getting a ~12% price reduction of the stay. We noticed that the resort was on the empty side (explaining the "low season" limited restaurant schedule), but it still is wrong to schedule major construction while having paying customers (without notifying customers beforehand - we heard that there will be a "soft-opening" with some remaining construction going on, so be warned - I recommend to stay elsewhere as even with credits you will spent a lot of money for a trip to Bora Bora and construction noise will impact your stay (unless you will be out and about during the day, in that case the soft opening time might offer a good deal). Nevertheless, I gave the Pearl a five star rating and can only hope that management will be more considerate towards customers in future. Btw., the Pearl is a local resort, and most employees (~95%) are locals.
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