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Polynesian Paradise: A Review of The Conrad Bora Bora Nui

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Watching the sun set from one of those iconic overwater villas. Seeing a sting ray swim right off your deck, then jumping in to snorkel with schools of fish. Boating around the crystal blue lagoons and white sand beaches of Bora Bora, soaking it all in.

It's hard not to sound hyperbolic about a trip to Bora Bora. But it's the location that makes a resort special, and the Conrad Bora Bora Nui embraces it with warm service, beautiful grounds, and incredible villas – both on land and perched over the ocean.

It's one of the ultimate bucket-list properties for Hilton aficionados – and one of the hardest to actually book using points, to boot. So when availability to book the Conrad Bora Bora opened up last year, I jumped on it as soon as I could, piecing it into a trip with my wife throughout Oceania last month.

Read on for the entire review of our stay – and why I think it deserves a place in the conversation for one of the best Hilton properties in the world.


Booking the Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Even if you're a millionaire – in cash or in points – booking the Conrad Bora Bora Nui is not for the faint of heart.

This resort in French Polynesian paradise regularly charges $900 to $1,200 a night or more for a standard room … and the going rate to book an overwater villa here is typically closer to $2,000 a night.

That makes it a fantastic way to use Hilton Honors points, Hilton free night certificates, or both. But that hinges on standard award availability to actually book this pricey property with points: 120,000 of them per night, to be exact.

That can be easier said than done, as you're far more likely to see this property going for nearly 1 million points. But we've found and flagged widespread standard award availability at the Conrad Bora Bora a few times in the last year, making it much easier to book with your points.

conrad bora bora may availability 

Thrifty Tip: Book at least a five-night stay at this Conrad and get your fifth-night free on award stays – a benefit available to anyone with Hilton status. That brings the cost for a five-night stay down to just 480,000 Hilton Honors points, or 96,000 points per night.

Sadly, a five-night stay wasn't in the cards for us as I wanted to use a combination of points and Hilton free night certificates. That's just what I did, booking our first two nights with 240,000 points and the second couple of nights using two free night certificates. A Hilton agent gladly combined the two reservations so there was no need to worry about checking out and back in mid-stay.

Not bad for a five-star stay that would normally cost more than $5,000, right?

conrad bora bora price 

At Thrifty Traveler, we don’t accept freebies. We use our own points, miles, or cash to pay for every single flight or hotel you see reviewed here – including this one!

Within hours of booking our stay, an agent from the Conrad Bora Bora Nui emailed to welcome us and arrange our boat transfer from the Bora Bora (BOB). At 18,000 XPF (about $165 USD) per adult – or 9,000 XPF for children seven to 12 and free for those under seven – it's not exactly cheap. But the right Hilton card can take the sting out of it.

We consider the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card the single-best hotel credit card on the market, but a $550-a-year credit card isn't for everyone. If you're heading for the Conrad in Bora Bora, though, having it in your wallet is practically essential. It gets you…

  • Automatic (and top-tier) Hilton Diamond status, giving you a great shot at a complimentary upgrade – keep reading to see my experience! 
  • That Diamond status also unlocks free daily breakfast, which saves you a whopping $100 a day for two guests
  • Twice-a-year resort credits of $200, which automatically kicks in for any food, beverage, spa, boat transfers, and other charges to your room when you pay with the Aspire Card at checkout
  • Earn 14x Hilton Honors points on your bill at checkout

All information about the Hilton Honors Aspire Card has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

hilton aspire card

Apply Here for the Hilton Honors Aspire Card (for full disclosure, this is our personal referral link)

My Aspire Card paid dividends on this trip, easily outweighing the cost of keeping it for a year … and then some. I pre-paid our boat transfer fees to use up resort credits before they lapsed at the end of 2023, used the first set of new resort credits for 2024 to cover $200 of our bill at checkout, and we loved breakfast each morning – especially since it was free.

Even after covering the cost of our room with points and free night certificates, our stay at the Conrad Bora Bora could have been a real budget-buster. The Aspire Card single-handedly made it – you guessed it – thrifty.

Read more: How the Hilton Aspire Card Saved Me $866 in Bora Bora

About 10 days before our arrival, I got another email with an upgrade offer: Would we like to pay $550 a night to secure a spot in one of the Conrad's overwater villas? Compared the normal, $1,700-a-night cost of these signature villas, that was a reasonable cost … but one we were unwilling to pay. We decided to roll the dice on a complimentary upgrade upon arrival instead.

It paid off.


Location, Getting There & Checking In

Getting to the Conrad Bora Bora Nui is no easy feat, either. At a minimum, it'll take a few flights and a boat ride to reach the resort.

First things first, you'll need to get to Tahiti (PPT), French Polynesia's only international gateway. From there, you'll need to hop on the short-yet-expensive 40-minute flight to Bora Bora (BOB) itself, operated by either Air Tahiti or Air Moana. Expect to pay at least $350 apiece.

We used the $300 annual travel credit from the *venture x* to book a pair of $372 roundtrip flights on Air Tahiti to reach Bora Bora, then covered the remainder with Capital One Venture miles. That's the beauty of Capital One Venture miles: Where other credit card points fall short, Capital One can cover the cost of … well, pretty much anything.

tahiti to bora bora flights 

No, the travel isn't done yet. Like many resorts in Bora Bora, the Conrad Bora Bora Nui isn't on the main island itself but on its own small islet (called a motu). And while many of the top-end properties are located on the east side of the main island, the Conrad is located on the southwest side.

That means you have to hop on a boat to get to and from the resort.

map of conrad bora bora nui 

The Conrad and many other high-end Bora Bora resorts operate their own boats transfers, with a row of small kiosks to check in and get ready for departure soon after deplaning.

conrad bora bora nui boat stand 

After a warm greeting from a Conrad employee (leis included) and waiting no more than five minutes for luggage at the charmingly small Bora Bora airport, we handed off our bags and headed to the Conrad boat just steps away from the terminal. A handful of other travelers bound for the Conrad joined us onboard.

conrad bora bora boat 

After a gorgeous and smooth 20-minute ride with jaw-dropping views of Bora Bora's towering Mount Otemanu in the background, we pulled past the overwater villas of the Conrad Bora Bora Nui and into the main dock.

overwater villas at the conrad bora bora nui

conrad bora bora nui boat pulling into dock 

A trio of Conrad employees were waving and waiting at the dock, ready to escort us to a couch nearby to handle check in. Another employee brought over some delicious verbena iced tea and cold towels.

Talk about a beautiful check-in area!

check in at conrad bora bora nui 

Our helpful check-in agent, Lawrence, helped us take care of the paperwork and let us know that we'd been upgraded from the standard King Lagoon View suite to a Tropical Pool Villa. I had noticed that upgrade in my Hilton app a few days before arrival, but excellent! We asked about the possibility of getting upgraded again to an overwater villa, but no luck … at least not at first.

He also showed us a map of the expansive property. Take a look for yourself.

conrad bora bora nui 

After wrapping up the and getting our keys – the Conrad Bora Bora Nui uses digital wristbands instead of plastic key cards – it was time to hop in a golf cart for a quick tour around the place before bringing us to the door of our villa.


A Slight Hiccup During Check-In

The check-in process was smooth … with one slight issue. And it seems like I'm not alone.

While it's different in the states now, all Hilton Gold and Diamond members are supposed to get complimentary breakfast daily at almost every Hilton property abroad. Those are the rules, and they apply to the Conrad whether you're in Tulum, Dublin, Singapore, or here in Bora Bora. Here it is, straight from Hilton Honors' terms and conditions.

conrad bora bora breakfast 

Yet when we checked in, we were given a choice:

  • We could stick with the complimentary continental breakfast for two
  • Or we could instead get a 7,000 XPF ($63 USD) daily credit to use on any drinks or dining across the property. That's one credit per room, not per guest.

On paper, breakfast was an easy pick: Considering the breakfast buffet costs 5,700 XPF (about $52) per person, the value of that benefit for two easily outweighed the daily credit option. But having the choice, while a tad strange, isn't a bad thing. Surely, some travelers would much rather skip breakfast and use the on-property credits throughout their stay.

Unfortunately, it seems the resort is no longer giving travelers that choice. In just the few weeks since our stay, Award Wallet reported that the Conrad Bora Bora Nui is only offering Hilton Honors members that (less valuable) daily property credit – no more free breakfast, violating the hotel chain's terms.

Here's hoping the Conrad Bora Bora Nui backtracks and resumes following the rules. If not, watch for games … and prepare for a bit of an argument to ensure you get what you're owed.


Rooms at the Conrad Bora Bora: A Pool Villa & Overwater Villa, Too

We had the pleasure of staying in two different villas during the course of our four nights thanks to not one but two room upgrades – including one big surprise.

While it might seem annoying to shift rooms midway through a fairly brief stay, I wouldn't have it any other way.


Conrad Bora Bora Nui Tropical Pool Villa

No matter how many points you use or what status you've got, you can't count on an upgrade all the way up to an overwater villa. As far as consolation prizes, the tropical pool villa at the Conrad Bora Bora was about as good as it gets.

The entire wing of Garden Pool Villas is located on the east side of the resort, just off the walkway for the hike up to spa, a small chapel, and the Mount Otemanu viewpoint – there are just a pair of even more exclusive “Beach Pool Villas” on the other end of the property.

At over 1,000 square feet with a massive outdoor area, these are an enormous upgrade over the standard rooms you typically get when booking with Hilton points. You step into a nicely designed welcome area, complete with a small coffee bar with a Nespresso machine – which is free and was refilled daily – and a minibar, which was definitely not free.

Fortunately, there was always complimentary water here. And hotel staff restocked our villa with free water once, if not twice, daily.

conrad bora bora nui 

From there, the villa opens up into a spacious and warm living room, complete with a ludicrously comfortable sofa, a few chairs, and a table facing one of two large flatscreen TVs.

I loved the design throughout the villa: Deep, earthy wood with black accents and a burlap-like fabric on doors for some texture. The vaulted ceilings with beams made it feel even more spacious.

conrad bora bora nui living room villa

conrad bora bora nui 

There were also some thoughtful welcome amenities waiting for us on the table: A few additional bottles of water, some sour gummy candy, chocolate truffles, and a nice note from the manager.

welcome gift on table 

Behind a small divider wall – which you could fully close with two sliding pocket doors on either side – you'll find the bedroom, anchored by an even more outrageously comfortable king bed.

bed inside conrad bora bora nui villa 

There were small nightstands on either side of the bed, with international power sockets in reach of both.

conrad bora bora nui villa nightstand

conrad bora bora nui villa nightstand 

This is also where you'll find a small desk, should you need to get some work done, along with a sizable closet, which also had a small safe inside.

conrad bora bora nui closet and desk
conrad bora bora nui closet 

But inside the villa, the bathroom is the star of the show. Look at this.

conrad bora bora villa bathroom 

It's big and it's gorgeous, with two large vanities facing one another on either side with a massive bath tub right in the middle. I loved how much storage the bathroom had, too, with plenty of shelving to store toiletries.

Here's a look from another angle.

bathroom in conrad bora bora nui pool villa 

The bathroom is even bigger than it looks, too. On one side, it opens up into a smaller room with the toilet.

conrad bora bora nui toilet 

And on the other side, there was a large (and tall) walk-in shower with a rainfall showerhead. A tad more water pressure would have been nice, but I can't complain about this setup.

conrad bora bora nui pool villa shower 

In the shower and throughout the bathroom, there were bulk bottles of spendy Byredo toiletries … aside from the shower gel, which was from the brand Crabtree & Evelyn – a Hilton standard. Supply chain issues, maybe?

toiletries inside conrad bora bora nui shower 

While the bathroom might have been the star inside, the true star of the entire pool villa was the outdoor space, which might have doubled the square footage.

conrad bora bora nui pool villa 

The two sun loungers were incredibly well padded and comfortable, a perfect spot to cozy up with a book in the sun. When you got too hot, the plunge pool was great for a dip to cool off.

conrad bora bora nui pool deck 

But there was also an entire covered seating area, a nice spot to eat room service outdoors or take cover from the occasional Bora Bora shower.

conrad bora bora nui outdoor seating area 

One of my favorite features of this villa – and every villa, for that matter – was a built-in Bluetooth audio system you could use to play music indoors and outdoors.

Really, I've only got two knocks against these tropical pool villas:

  • Keeping the grounds in immaculate condition is hard work, so it was hard to escape the constant buzz of weed whackers and hedge trimmers on the lawns below these villas during the day.
  • Thanks to their location at the foot of a large hill leading up to the viewpoint of Mount Otemanu, the pathways to and from these villas were often covered in water from rain runoff, making for a messy (and sometimes slightly treacherous) walk.


wet sidewalk at conrad bora bora nui  

Really, though, these villas are fantastic. In fact, I'd gladly argue that they're better on paper than the resort's many iconic overwater villas: far more spacious, laid out smarter, and in better condition with fewer scuffs and other signs of wear and tear.

But this is Bora Bora. And in practice, nothing beats a villa perched right over the water. After two nights, we were happy sticking put in our pool villa … only to receive a text message from Conrad staff that they'd gladly upgrade us to a King Deluxe overwater villa for the second half of our stay.

How could we say no?


Deluxe King Overwater Villa

Overwater villas dominate the landscape at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui.

There are dozens of them spread across three main piers: One toward the far east side, one near the middle, and the final (and largest) block of villas on the west end.

After packing up our things and saying goodbye to our beloved pool villa, a friendly employee picked us up and drove us out near the far end of that final dock of villas. We were assigned villa 324, facing west for sunset and located just a few doors down from the resort's two presidential villas.

conrad bora bora nui overwater villas 

The only difference, I believe, between overwater villas and deluxe overwater villas comes down to the location and view. There are also 30 or so overwater pool villas and a few other, even fancier overwater options.

But you won't find me complaining about this deluxe view. Not for a millisecond.

conrad bora bora nui overwater villa deck

conrad bora bora nui overwater villas 

Or the watercolor-like sunset over our neighbors.

conrad bora bora nui villas at sunset 

Nor this one, an unforgettable moment when a stingray swam right in front of our deck, no more than five feet away.

stingray in the water 

So yes, let's set's start with the outdoor space – because that's what you're here for, isn't it? It's what makes these villas special.

The outdoor space at each overwater villa has two levels: A place to sit and relax, with a small staircase down to a lower level platform with a ladder down into the water. Some villas are in water deep enough to jump right in with ease, though ours was in about five feet of water at most with coral all around.

There's also a small hose with a sprayer to the left of the staircase you can use to rinse off after jumping in or snorkeling. A tap of the button with your foot gives you a good 10 seconds or so of water.

conrad bora bora overwater villa 

Up on the main platform there are two incredibly sturdy hammocks built over the water, which, though made of plastic, were quite comfortable. This was a great place to spend the afternoon reading along with the two sun lounge chairs.

Fortunately, there's also a covered pergola built over one end of the deck, because the sun out here can get punishingly hot. The occasional break for shade is a must. With a table and chairs, it's also a choice spot to set up for breakfast or dinner via room service.

conrad bora bora nui outdoor space at overwater villa 

These outdoor decks have some privacy fencing on each side, but the reality is you're quite exposed to all your neighbors. And when kids are out playing or adults are jumping into the water, the sound carries far and well. No matter: It just adds to the joy of the place.

conrad bora bora nui outdoor space 

While certainly on the smaller side – at least compared to the accommodations on land – the interior of the villa is no slouch.

It's designed with the same rich, earthy woodgrains and black accents as other villas throughout the property. In this overwater villa, though, there were far more signs of wear and tear: Nothing major, but more scuffs in the furniture, gouges in the flooring, and marks on the walls.

The villa opens into a small entryway with a shelf, some nice artwork, and a full-length mirror.

entryway in overwater villa 

From there, the villa opens up on the to the left. There's no separate living room here, and that's OK: The outside is your living room, right? Again, look at that view. What a sight to wake up to!

interior of conrad bora bora nui villa 

At the center of it all is a big king bed flanked by nightstands on either side, each with international power sockets handy plus controls to turn the lights throughout the villa on and off. And check out that overhead accent lighting. It's a sharp look.

conrad bora bora nui bed 

At the foot of the bed, there's a mysterious black cabinet. But with the push of a button on a remote at the nightstand, a TV raises up. How smart of the Conrad to not block the view with a TV at all times, right? The TV stand also rotates, so you can watch from the couch or even while sitting outside.

conrad bora bora nui tv 

On one side of the villa, there's a small sitting area with a couch and a small table. There were also two extra beach towels waiting for us here, which was a nice touch. But the blinds here were nearly broken, yet another sign of just how much more worn some of these overwater villas are.

sitting area in conrad bora bora nui villa 

On the opposite side of the villa, there's a small table and chair as well as the entire minibar setup, including a Nespresso machine.

conrad bora bora nui villa

conra bora bora nui minibar 

Through a small door in the corner of the room you'll find an expansive closet. While it's spacious and had everything we need – hangers, robes, an ironing board, and a safe – it also felt a bit like an afterthought, design-wise. Oh, and there's a desk in here?

closet inside conrad bora bora nui villa 

The bathroom, though, was gorgeous. Located just behind the bed, it was nearly identical to the bathroom in the Tropical Pool Villa that we loved so much – just on a slightly smaller scale. But there are still dual vanities, separate rooms for a toilet and shower, and a laughably large soaking tub in the center.

conrad bora bora villa bathroom

a large circular bathrub 

Honestly, what's not to love about this villa? Want to be overwater? Check. Want to go from sitting on your bed to snorkeling within a matter of seconds? Check. Or simply watch schools of fish pass by feet in front of you in the unbelievably crystal blue water? Check that, too.

Any other complaints about the size, closet, or a scuff here and there are trivial compared to the location. Along with the Maldives, Bora Bora is practically synonymous with bucket list overwater villas like this one. I'm glad (and infinitely grateful) I checked it off my list here.


Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort Grounds & Amenities

While it's tempting to stay in your villa all day, there's plenty more to explore.

The Conrad Bora Bora Nui resort grounds are huge and sprawling, easily a 15- to 20-minute walk from end to end. It spans from a pair of presidential villas on the far west end of the property – where the Kardashians famously stayed (and briefly lost an earring) more than a decade ago – to a viewpoint of Bora Bora's mighty Mount Otemanu on the other.

And seemingly every square foot in between has something new to see, an activity or amenity to enjoy, restaurant to pop into, and more.

Thanks to its size, the Conrad Bora Bora Nui has gratefully positioned bikes throughout the property for guests to hop on and pedal around. While they're free to use, they're first-come, first-serve – aside from a handful that are reserved for specific villas.

conrad bora bora nui bikes 

While many were somewhat rickety and fairly rusty, they got the job done. Biking from end to end, soaking it all in, was one of the highlights of our days. And considering the walk from our overwater villa to breakfast was a good 15 minutes or longer, they cut down considerably on our morning commute.

biking at conrad bora bora nui


The Conrad Bora Bora Nui has not one but two pristine beaches at the center of the property, divided by the main dock.

On the right side as you face the ocean, there's a beach for all guests with plenty of sun loungers under umbrellas. The fine white sand never got too hot. Further down the beach, you'll find a volleyball court and the stand where you can check out non-motorized water equipment, like kayaks and paddleboards – more on those later.

conrad bora bora nui beach

conrad bora bora nui beach 

And on the other side, there's a dedicated beach reserved for Hilton Diamond and Gold members: The guests with black wristbands (other guests' wristbands were red). Sand is sand and water is water, but this beach setup had individual cabanas with sun loungers as well as poufs with umbrellas.

conrad bora bora nui beach 

The beaches were lovely and regularly maintained, with staff cleaning up coral and seaweed as it washed ashore daily. But best of all, they were almost always empty – both of them. I can count on one hand the number of guests I saw laying out at either beach each day, instead hanging at the pool or in their villas.

One thing I absolutely loved here was that the resort offered free sunscreen (both SPF30 and SPF50) for all guests to use – including small containers to fill up and bring with you. With the strength of the sun here, it was practically essential … but resorts in other parts of the world would gladly charge a king's ransom for a small bottle of sunscreen.

Sunscreen was available at the small stand on the Honors members' beach or just outside the pool. Speaking of that pool…



Near the center of the resort you'll find Conrad Bora Bora Nui's pool: A massive, two-tiered infinity pool.

conrad bora bora nui pool

conrad bora bora nui pool

conrad bora bora nui pool 

Many fellow guests seemed to like to spend their days here rather than on the beach or in the ocean. Yet it's so big that it never seemed crowded. Those four cabanas – which are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis – always seemed to fill up quite fast, though.



If you're not one to wile away each day reading, swimming, snoozing, or all three in the sun, there's plenty to keep you busy on resort grounds.

For starters, the Conrad Bora Bora offers a rotating schedule of free daily activities, from dance and aerobics to coconut leaf braiding, lei making, and lessons on how to play the ukulele, open a coconut, or speak Tahitian.

But the best activities here involve the water, and there are plenty of free options, too.

  • You can grab free snorkel gear from a helpful staffer behind the pool stand
  • On the far end of the main beach, there's a small hut where you can check out paddle boards and kayaks for free – though a motorized E-Board will cost you.

Kayaking around the resort is a must, as there's so much to see and the water is as calm as can be. And why not grab a snorkel and jump into the water? There's healthy coral all around.

kayaking around conrad bora bora nui 

There's also a long list of paid activities both on and off the property you can book through the Conrad, though we didn't book anything.

That includes the Swing Suite: Yes, there's actually a golf simulator on site. A one-hour session for up to six players costs 16,000 XPF – about $145 USD, as of publication. Something tells me this rarely gets used…

conrad bora bora nui swing suite 

There also used to be a mini golf course, too, built onto the large pier of overwater villas on the west end of the property – it's still marked on the map, in fact. But by the time we made it here, it was long gone.


Hina Spa

This is a five-star resort in the South Pacific, so of course there's a spa onsite.

It's Hina Spa, located up the hill on the far east end of the property. It's a beautiful location, perched over the entire resort with the aquamarine sea below. Heck, even the lobby is gorgeous.

conrad bora bora nui spa

conrad bora bora nui property 

My wife and I skipped spa treatments in favor of simple relaxation, but here's the Hina Spa menu if you want to scope out prices. A 60-minute massage clocks in at about $200 as of publication – certainly spendy, but not quite as bad as I'd expected.


Mount Otemanu Viewpoint

Steps away from the spa is one of my favorite spots on the property. I'll let the photo do the talking.

mount otemanu  

Much of the resort faces to the west and away from the main island of Bora Bora, so you can't see the towering Mount Otemanu from everywhere you go like you can at many other resorts on the island. But you sure can from here. Even on a cloudy day, it's stunning.

mount otemanu 

The viewpoint is up a series of steep hills on the east side of the resort. It's well worth the walk.


Fitness Center & Tennis Court

On the west side of the property you'll find the fitness center, built into the lower level of a block of rooms. And while it's fairly small, it's probably got what you need to get a quick workout in.

The gym is divided into two rooms. In the first, you'll find a few bikes and some weight machines along with some free weights and medicine balls. Through to the next room, there's more cardio equipment including some treadmills, ellipticals, and more weights. There's water and towels readily available.

conrad bora bora nui gym

conrad bora bora nui gym 

There's also a ping pong table outside.

conrad bora bora table tennis table 

Another minute or two away, there's even a full-size tennis court! I went in optimistic we'd play a game or two … but the punishingly hot sun had me rethinking that within an hour or so of arrival.

conrad bora bora nui tennis court 

Still, it's a nice feature you won't find everywhere. If you want to play a match or two, you can check out rackets and tennis balls from the main pool stand.


Kids' Club

Right next door to the gym, there's a dedicated Kids' Club.

We don't have children so I can't tell you exactly how it works. But it's there!

conrad bora bora nui

Free Shuttle to the Main Island

Depending upon how you travel, this might just be the best feature of the whole resort.

When you're in the Maldives, you get to your resort … and that's where you stay. In Bora Bora, you've got a bit more freedom. The Conrad Bora Bora Nui operates a shuttle between the resort and the main island – and it's (mostly) free.

The shuttle drops off at the main port of Vaitape, which is where most of the action in Bora Bora is. To be clear, there's not a ton going on around the main island. But if you want to check out some small shops, grabbing a meal offsite, or picking up some snacks or wine at a cheaper price, the shuttle makes it possible.

Conrad's shuttle operates three times a day … but only the morning and afternoon rides are free. That means if you want to grab dinner at a restaurant on the main island, you'll have to pay for it. And if you try to take the shuttle from Vaitape in order to check-in (or out) of the Conrad rather than the dedicated airport service, it's even more expensive.

conrad bor 

The resort asks that you reserve a ride at least 24 hours in advance, which you can easily do via text.

We left the resort just once for an excursion. And it was arguably the highlight not just of our stay in Bora Bora, but the entire trip: A four-hour boat rental from La Plage Bora Bora, which allowed us to take our own boat and cruise around the island at our own speed. You don't even need a boat license for this!

conrad bora bora nui boat ride 

The complimentary morning shuttle dropped us off just in time to be picked up by car off the docks at Vaitape and head to the office and out to sea. After returning our boat, we headed down the street to grab some lunch at The Lucky House, returned to Vaitape to stock up at the super market, and hopped on the 4 p.m. shuttle back to the resort.


Dining & Drinking at Conrad Bora Bora Nui

If there's one place the Conrad Bora Bora fell a bit short of expectations, it was with dining and drinks.

Don't get me wrong: Nothing we had here was outright bad. Everything was good, and some dishes were even great. And while everything certainly skewed expensive – you're at a luxury resort in the middle of nowhere, after all – it wasn't quite Maldives-level pricey. Think of what you've paid for nice dinners in New York or Los Angeles … then maybe add $10 or $30 more.

But when you're paying $36 for a pepperoni pizza, $120 for a moderately sized platter of sushi for two, or $100-plus for steak at the French restaurant, you'd be forgiven for expecting an unforgettable meal or two, something worth raving about. Instead, it was all just … pretty good!

One thing to note: While there are four separate restaurants onsite, they're not open every night for dinner. Here's a link to the Conrad's schedule.



It certainly helped that we got it for free instead of forking over $100-plus each morning, but breakfast was the real standout when it came to dining at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui.

Breakfast is held each morning from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. inside Iriatai, on the upper level. There was a choice each morning between ordering a la carte items like eggs and french toast or picking the continental breakfast buffet. But the word “continental” might be a misnomer.

The breakfast spread was massive, with tons of hot and cold dishes to pick from each morning. And it started with the pastries, which were on par with some of the best I've had in Europe. After all, this is French Polynesia.

conrad bora bora nui 

The selection varied daily. Standards like flaky croissants, pain au chocolate, biscuits, and cookies were always out. But then there was a daily filled croissant – think raspberry or nutella – as well as cruffins (if a muffin and a croissant had a baby) and tons of other tasty treats. Every morning was a surprise, and every morning was delicious.

raspberry croissants at conrad bora bora nui

conrad bora bora nui pastries 

Beyond that, there was an expansive selection of cheeses, cold cuts, salads, yogurt, and fruits to pick from. That included small jars of the classic Polynesian ceviche-like dish poisson cru.

conrad bora bora nui cold cuts

conrad bora bora nui fruits 

But then there were also a few displays with hot breakfast dishes – and not just scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, and potatoes but fried rice, noodles, and some local dishes like a curry chicken. While “continental breakfast” might make you think these were off-limits, there was nothing separating the stations. We never paid an extra dime for any of them.

conrad bora bora nui breakfast 

I was a bit apprehensive about the breakfast situation going into our trip – and the confusion at check-in didn't help. Yet it wound up being one of the highlights of our stay.


Lunch at Tamure Beach Grill

Other than room service, the only option for lunch is Tamure Beach Grill, located next to the pool and the pool bar. It's open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

It's a real vibe: An open-air restaurant with a sand floor and a series of sunken, circular booths inside a small pool overlooking the beach and ocean.

seating at tamure beach grill 

And the food was quite good, too. We had lunch here a few days, including a tasty “poor boy” fish sandwich with fries.

fish sandwich and fries at conrad bora bora nui 

They also have some decent pizzas with a surprisingly great crust. And yes, it is acceptable to eat pineapple on a pizza … if only when you're somewhere they grow on trees.

pizza at conrad bora bora nui 

The poisson cru (literally “raw fish” in French) was good, too … but at nearly $30, the portion felt fairly skimpy.

poisson cru at conrad bora bora nui 

Here's a link to the full Tamure Beach Grill menu.

Tarava Pool Bar and ‘Golden Hour'

If you need an adult beverage, prepare to pay up at the Conrad Bora Bora, where a small bottle of beer will cost you about $10 and a cocktail is $27 or more …

… except from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. That's when the Conrad hosts happy hour – they call it “Golden Hour” – at the Tarava Pool Bar, where you can sit down (or swim up!) and enjoy half-off alcoholic drinks.

It's not half-off everything on the drink menu, but a set menu. But there are some good choices. Here's the menu from our stay.

conrad bora bora nui tarava happy hour  

The local Hinano beers are tasty – and at 475 XPF (or about $4.30) during Golden Hour, very reasonable. The bartender made a mean Mai Tai. But if you want some bubbly, you'll be hard-pressed to beat a bottle of Billecart Salmon: At 8,645 XPF or roughly $78, it's shockingly close to the price you'll pay at a liquor store in the states.

pool bar and drinks at conrad bora bora nui 

Thrifty Tip: While you can easily charge everything to your room, you can also pay separately with a credit card … if you want to use up some credits on a *Hilton Surpass*, for example.

There's also a limited food menu available at Tarava. Here's a link for the complete Tarava Pool Bar menu, including the normal drink prices.


Sushi at Upa Upa Lounge & Bar

As night begins to fall, the main dock and reception area transforms into Upa Upa Lounge and Bar, where you can grab sushi and other snacks for dinner. It's open most nights (except Tuesdays) from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

There's both indoor and outdoor seating. Talk about an incredible setting to have some sushi.

conrad bora bora nui upa upa lounge

conrad bora bora nui 

The sushi itself, though, was … just fine, but fairly forgettable for the price. We had dinner here twice, each time getting a smattering of sushi rolls and nigiri.

sushi at conrad bora bora nui 

While the fish was fresh and the rolls were done fairly well, I wouldn't say it was substantially better than sushi I easily can get at home in Minnesota at a much lower price. For example, the “Lovers in Bora Bora” platter with 24 pieces of sushi – two rolls, several slices of sashimi, and a handful of nigiri – cost nearly $120.

There are other hot dishes on the menu, including the chicken katsu we ordered. While flavorful and filling, it was overcooked.

conrad bora bora nui katsu 

Here's the full Upa Upa Lounge & Bar menu.



Iriatai is the Conrad's flagship French restaurant. If there's a spot to go for fancy fine dining, it's here. Located in the resort's main building at the center of the property, it's open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. – but not on Fridays or Saturdays, as of publication.

It's in the same space where breakfast is served daily, which is nice and airy. It doesn't exactly give off “classic French restaurant” vibes, though.

conrad bora bora iriatai 

Reservations are encouraged, so we messaged the staff one day to book us dinner for the following night. After a big lunch earlier in the day, we weren't starving so we just split a few dishes. The Iriatai staff started us off with a huge slab of fresh baked bread as well as a small amuse bouche.

We split the house made ricotta with green peas, garden mint, and smoked egg yolk, which was both beautiful to look at and delicious.

conrad bora bora nui dish 

We also split the mahi mahi, which was also creative and tasty with citrus and an herby oil drizzle.

conrad bora bora nui 

Presentation was clearly stellar. But even on a small appetite, the portions seemed quite small. I guess that's fine dining, right?

The menu at Iriatai is fairly limited, including a $75 or so beef tenderloin, veal, duck, and plenty of fish. Here's the full Iriatai dinner menu.


Tamure Steak House

By night, the beachside Tamure Grill turns into a steakhouse for dinner. It's also where the Conrad Bora Bora Nui hosts a weekly special Polynesian show with dinner, each Friday night.

Sadly, that show didn't line up with our travel dates. And we didn't pop into the restaurant itself for dinner, either.



This is the Conrad's onsite Chinese and seafood restaurant, located just across the way from Iriatai in the resort's central building.

It was closed for renovations during our stay, though it appears to be back open for dinner. It's open most nights (not Sundays and Mondays) from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Here's the Banyan menu.



Overwater villas are nice, but service is what really sets apart the great properties from the merely good ones. And service during our stay at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui was spectacular from start to finish.

From the restaurants to room service and settling up our bill, every employee we interacted with was warm, attentive, and genuine. You couldn't walk more than a few yards without passing an employee greeting you with a big smile and a cheery “la Orana” – Tahitian for hello.

I like nice resorts as much as the next person, but I want to feel a sense of the place, too – not just a five-star property that could be in either the Bahamas or Bora Bora. The staff at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui channeled the essence of the islands and threaded that needle pretty perfectly.

While you can always pick up the phone to call the front desk or walk (a long ways) down there, the Conrad also offers a pseudo-butler service to handle requests via text. Exactly who would handle your questions seemed to rotate daily, but they always signed their name – and always responded within 15 minutes or less, in my experience.

And the nightly turndown service was great, too: Housekeeping would close the shades, restock water, and lay out slippers. There's even a dedicated incense menu at the bedside, which you can fill out to request a particular scent you'd like to return to.


Bottom Line

The Conrad Bora Bora Nui is special. How can you complain about a place like this?

A trip to Bora Bora is on countless travelers' bucket lists, and booking the Conrad is one of the easiest (and best) ways to keep things thrifty by booking with points. But it's not just a bargain: It's genuinely a stellar property in an extraordinary location. The freedom to leave the resort grounds and explore the rest of the island on our own meant a lot to me, too.

So to me, the Conrad in Bora Bora lived up to the hype: It's easily one of my favorite hotel stays ever. If the dining options took another step up or the prices came down a bit – hey, a man can dream! – it'd claim the top spot on my list, no question.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Responses

  • Great detailed review! Looking forward to our upcoming stay at this resort in a few weeks. We are lucky enough to have nine nights on points and certificates! Please note that the hotel links in your review are not working for some reason.

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