Pearl Beach Resort and Spa – Bora Bora – French Polynesia March 2018
Over the Water Villa 43
Polynesia Beauty and Nature at its Best
Summary – Snapshot Review:
Resort: Pearl Beach located on a motu Tevairoa surrounding the island of Bora Bora.
Suite: End of Pontoon Overwater Villa. Great view and well maintained.
Views of Sunrise and Sunset: Good view of sunset and sunrise.
Sunset Bar: No.
Service: Good. Staff is excellent. A bit slow on service for poolside and dining.
Dining: Tevairoa (general breakfast and dining), Miki Miki (poolside, lunch and dining), Taurearea Sushi
Dress Code: Casual.
Breakfast: Usually included. Good selection of buffet offerings. Made to order eggs.
Food Quality: Breakfast good. Lunch, dinner, and sushi, average.
Lagoon Water Quality: Amazingly clear. Lots of fish to see, and snorkel right off your villa. Rays and sharks (the docile ones). Probably the most wildlife available to view at any resort.
How to get around resort: Walk. Everything is a 5-10 minute walk.
Over-the-water Villa: Yes. With good view of Bora Bora and Mount Otemanu.
Booking: Book through website or directly via email to reservations at the resort. Confirm pricing by checking Expedia.
SPA: Excellent staff.
Didn’t Work in Villa: Everything worked well. There was a shortage of outlets (more is better), but you can manage without too many devices.
Needed as part of the Experience: Hammock on the villa deck would be great.
Website: Excellent information and white background. Easy to navigate and good user experience.
The Pearl Beach Resort and Spa is a solid authentic Polynesian (family owned versus a chain) resort located on a motu Tevairoa surrounding Bora Bora.The location, staff, and feel, is great. The location in the crystal clear blue water, put you in touch with nature. The sugary white sand beach and lagoon bottom welcome you to incredible vistas, and evening fish watching.
Overall Impressions: My primary reason for visiting the Pearl Beach was to experience and review the electric boat which is located there, completely solar and battery powered. While I generally do only high-end luxury travel, this is a gem in the Bora Bora resort offerings, and I highly recommend a stay there.
Check-in: The still antiquated check-in still exists. Even though I had already provided my credit card (paid a deposit for stay in advance) and had emailed passports, they were still requested at time of check-in. I don’t know about you, but when I arrive, I want to get right into relaxation. The Four Season’s and The Brando are the only top-end resorts which take you directly to your villa. This is one opportunity the Pearl Beach could learn, for a better guest experience. A better process would be to have the guest complete that information via email, prior to arrival. I would recommend organizing the check-in prior to arrival, and provide a seamless experience.
End of Pontoon, Mountain View, Overwater Villa: We had four in our group, so we actually got two of the end-of-pontoon overwater villas. It’s a long walk out to the end, but you are so enamored by the beautiful water and colors as they play with the sky, that each walk is pleasurable. The villas are efficiently organized to one main room which has a bed, lounge/couch (which can also be used as a bed), glass coffee table (for direct viewing of the mystical green/blue waters below) and small desk. There is a small bar fridge (empty) and a coffee machine. The bathroom with two sinks is in a separate room behind the main bed area, with a enclosed toilet and bathtub, and also a separate shower. While the resort is trying to promote the eco-tourism feel, I always felt we needed more towels. There was one 110/220V outlet and one French outlet under the sink area for the hari dryer. The outside deck had two loung chairs and small outside table for dining. Below the main deck level is the swim deck, and a swim ladder which went down reach the water. The depth is only 3 feet, and crystal clear. The white sand bottom is great at night for a good backdrop to view the fish, ocassional ray, and sharks.
For Couples and Families: The resort is great for couples and for families. There were plenty of activities for all ages.
Feeding the Fish: While it’s probably not the best for fish food, bread worked pretty good. As an evening activity, fish feeding and observing is fun and entertaining.
Sea Life: The Pearl Beach Resort offers one of the best for viewing rays during the day, and small fish and sharks at night, and the water at the resort was very clear and great for snorkeling. The water is much clearer than the Four Season’s (which is a murky clarity below the over-the-water villas).
Dining: You have multiple options.
– Tevairoa Restaurant: Dinner and where they serve breakfast. 6:30am-10:00am breakfast. 6:30-9:30pm dinner. When it’s open for dinner, the sushi bar is closed, and vice versa.
– Miki Miki Pool Bar and Grill: Pool drinks and lunch. 11:30am-4pm lunch. 4pm-9:30pm dinner.
– Taurearea Sushi Bar: Dinner 6:30pm-10pm dinner.
– Room Service: Available 24 hours.
SPA: The spa has excellent treatments, and highly recommended. The facility is beautiful, with an amazing water lily pond with eels. Very relaxing. One glaring eye sore is the lockers (most which don’t work) that have masking tape with the locker numbers written in pen. Presentation is everything.
Wifi: The Wifi connections throughout the resort are very good, and good bandwidth, and worked consistently througout our stay. The signal worked so good that I was able to even use it at the Yacht Club Restaurant, some distance away.
Cell Signal: Excellent. There was also good 3G data. Save the roaming and just use the resort Wifi.
Activities: While you can do many island tours, we elected to just stay on the resort, and enjoy the beach and watersports.
Electric Boat: What originally got my attention to this resort was the availability of the only (as far as I know of) electric boat in all of the South Pacific. I chartered the boat for two sunset cruises, and for transportation to our next resort review/stay at the Conrad Hilton. The boat is amazing, and by itself a stay at the Pearl Beach.
Staff: The staff was friendly, helpful, and always with a smile. Service was a bit slow at the pool bar. There is a mix of local Polynesian staff, and interns from France.
The Beach: Clean, sugary white, and inviting.
Front Desk: Friendly and very courteous.
Housekeeping: Usually there is morning service, and then a evening turndown service. Housing keeping was excellent.
Transportation: To and from the airport, there is a boat to transport you and your luggage dock-to-dock (wet but fast ride). There is another (free) shuttle boat that goes to and from Viatape, the main village and port on the mainland of Bora Bora. The ride is only about 5 minutes and very close by. The stop is about a 10-15 minute taxi or bus ride to Viatape.
Buying Suggestions (extras): There is a resort store, that is expensive. When you land in PPT there is also a store you can buy suntan lotion for about $35 Euro a bottle (yes, it’s that expensive). If you’re going to buy anything, go into Viatape on the main island of Bora Bora, and go to the Chinese owned market, where you can buy suntan lotion for $5 Euro, and buy any type of more expensive items for 1/5th the price. The main market is Chin Lee’s Market located a few blocks from the main shuttle drop-off dock, which sells fresh vegetables, soda, bottles of wine, sundries, and just about anything you want for a small store.
Suggestions: While this resort ranks very good in my list, there is always room for improvement.
– Broom. Would be nice to have a broom to sweep up any sand, before housekeeping can take care of it. Since you can snorkel and walk in the waist-deep water off the villa, we found there to always be some amount of sand in the room. I’m happy to sweep it up, as long as you provide a broom in the villa.
– Towel hanging line or bar outside for pool towels, swimsuits, and snorkel gear.
– Hammock: On the balcony. Replace one of the two sunbathing lounges with a hammock.
– Solar or Wind Power: I would like to see more solar PV and wind as well. The resort already has an array of solar PV, and of course the electric boat (which is amazing).
– Small washer/dryer: This would be a great add-on for each villa, and make the guest experience even better.
Greetings in Polynesian:
Good Morning: la ora na (pronounced ur honor)
Thank You: Mauruuru (prounouced ma ru ru)
Thank You Very Much: Mauruuru roa (prounouced ma ru ru rowa)
Good-bye / Until We Meet Again: Nana (prounouced nana)
Cheers: manuia (prounouced manueea)
LAX-PPT: I used to exclusively fly on Air Tahiti Nui, but their service has fallen recently, and I suggest trying Air France, which has more comfortable (and newer) aircraft, and better on-time service. If you’ve ever had to wait three or more hours at the Papeete terminal in Tahiti, you’ll understand. Air France has a app which makes booking easy, allows seat selection, buying upgrades, etc. Air Tahiti is very old school, and really needs to invest in better on-time flight management, and convenient booking. Make it easy, and you’ll get more customers.
PPT-BOB: You basically only have two fight options, Air Tahiti (local commuter turboprop) or private charter. For private charter, expect to be price gauged. There used to be helicopter service, but now there is only a KingAir Turboprop, and a soon to start service using a Cessna Caravan seaplane.
Waiting in PPT for your next flight: If you get stuck on a later flight, take a quick 5 minute taxi to the Intercontinental for some breakfast or lunch. The taxi takes US cash, and Euro (but expect any change in French Polynesian Francs or just leave as a tip).