I was up early to enjoy my final Tahitian sunrise before driving to the airport to return the rental car and catch my Air Tahiti flight To BOB. Even though I couldn’t wait to get to Bora Bora, I really enjoyed the IC Tahiti and would have been perfectly content relaxing a few more days at the nearly empty resort.
FAAA airport was fairly quiet, as most international arrivals and departures are either very early in the morning or very late at night. I would be taking a small propeller plane so after returning the rental car, I proceeded to the Air Tahiti check in counter to reluctantly check my bag. A quick trip through security screening later and it was time to board.
The packed flight was a short 45 minutes and before I knew it we started our descent.
The BOB airport is very small, and located on a separate atoll with no other way to get anywhere other than by boat or ferry. Hilton offered a convenient pick up option with their house yacht that would take you directly to the resort on a 20 minute ride – RT cost: 10,179 xpf ($117) Or, I could take the free Air Tahiti ferry to the main island then catch the hourly resort shuttle from Viatape for RT 720 xpf ($8.) An easy choice! There was a representative there to greet me at the airport who tagged and collected my bag. It rode on the yacht, I took the complimentary ferry.
The ride to the main island took about 15 minutes and once I arrived, the Hilton house shuttle boat was waiting to take me (and several staff members) on the additional five minute ride to the resort.
The first view of the resort gave me butterflies.
The boat parked in its reserved spot at reception, (its own large overwater bungalow,) and I was offered a cold towel and some juice while check in formalities were attended to. I had been assigned cliff side villa bungalow #409, up a hill and with sweeping views as far as you could see. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, being so far away from the water, but the location had amazing views, and was especially quiet. I’m pretty sure I was the only one up there! It was also close to the spa, gym and chapel (though I wouldn’t be needing that this trip!)
Bungalows on the property all appeared to be designed the same, spacious with separate sleeping and living areas, a huge bathroom with his and hers sinks, separate shower and toilet room, and very large balconies.
There was a beautiful pool centrally located with lounge chairs and bar service. I was surprised that it was the only one on the resort. The property is 85% over water bungalows with private decks and bathing areas, so I guess most guests stayed in to enjoy them.
The grounds were amazing, and there were many beach front areas to lounge and snorkel, though with the ultra low occupancy, most were deserted.
The design of the resort is ideal for snorkeling, with its protected reefs and calm waters. One could have easily been in the water all day without making it to every area. Most just popped out of their bungalows for some underwater exploration.
Breakfast was served in the beach side Tamure Grill. There was a decent variety of foods from typical western scrambled eggs and bacon to fresh tuna served with sauteed vegetables. Not the best or most elaborate spread I’d ever seen at a Hilton, but I loved the fresh fruit and tuna every morning!
I was there off season and on a weekend, so things were especially quiet. I wanted to do a little more exploring on the main island, including renting a bike to ride around the circumference, but when I was finally ready to book, discovered everything was closed on Sunday. Other businesses were closed seasonally so this is definitely a downside of going off season.
Even though I was enjoying my cliff side bungalow, I decided to request a move to an over water the final night. I was told there would be an upcharge to do so, but with a big smile, I nicely reminded them of my diamond status and of the empty resort. Being nice always pays off, and I was confirmed for the move to over water bungalow 305 the following morning.
It was laid out just about exactly the same as my cliff side, though with a different view!
There were also really cool end tables on either side of the couch with hatches that open up to the water below. Both bungalows were great, though I think I preferred this one. I was really happy to have had the opportunity to try out both.
My flight back to Tahiti wasn’t until 6:20 pm, which somehow Hilton already knew (only one airline to search, I guess.) I proactively received a check out letter informing me that they would be pleased to offer me a 5pm late checkout. A nice touch!
I again chose to take the shuttle back to Viatape and catch the complimentary ferry back to the airport. It was the last flight of the day, and the plane was empty. I collected my bag in PPT, and proceeded to check in for my flight home on TN 102. After clearing security, thanks to my Priority Pass, I was able to use the one and only lounge to freshen up for the red eye flight home. My “last man boarding’ strategy paid off again, and I scored an empty middle row of four seats for the ride home. We left on time and before I knew it we were landing in LAX.