Set on the private island of Motu To’opua, nestled between the exuberant green hills and clear blue waters of the lagoon, is the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. Previously known as the Hilton Bora Bora, it was relaunched in February 2017 after a complete renovation of their villas and infrastructure. With 114 total rooms, and 250 full time employees, the resort features modern over water villas, with amazing views of the horizon and unique design. “It is basically a brand new resort”, says General Manager Sebastien Pisano, “It is a true blend of state of the art accommodations and true Polynesian environment”. During their first years of operations, they have managed to maintain 75% occupancy on average, a feat that speaks to both the strength of the Conrad brand, as well as the service they provide.
The Conrad Bora Bora Nui offers over water villas with either hillside views or horizon views, which are a perfect spot to watch the sunset. The location also features the longest stretch of white sand beach in Bora Bora, and a new swimming pool which was recognized as one of the top ten hotel pools in the world. “We are the only resort on this island”, says Mr. Pisano, “Only locals live here, so it is a true retreat. What we have is the perfect picture of calm and relaxation”. Other newly renovated features are the fitness center and the Hina Spa, which is perched on a hillside and offers a breathtaking view which is often referred to as the Hina View. Six different restaurants and bars offer fine dining experiences for all tastes, from a signature French restaurant to a unique swim-up bar. “We want our guests to be able to customize their experience”, explains Mr. Pisano, “Travelers today know what they want, and we want to offer exactly that”.
The vision to tailor the experience for each individual guest also went into the new design of rooms and infrastructure. In the over water villas, guests can relax on the terrace, take a dip in their own pool, or have direct access to the lagoon for swimming and snorkeling. “We made fully retractable windows, so you can have the deck become an extension of your room”, says Mr. Pisano, “You also have large catamaran nets and hammocks over the water, so you can enjoy the place in different ways”. A great part of the design was focused on offering modern accommodations with state of the art technology that wouldn’t collide with the natural setting. “All rooms have integrated Bluetooth sound systems”, adds Mr. Pisano, “And the televisions are hidden in the bedframe. When you press a button on the remote, it comes up, so it doesn’t obstruct the view”.
Among a vast range of activities that the resort offers, the visit to the Motu Tapu private island is perhaps the most exciting. “It is a small island for customers”, explains Mr. Pisano, “Guests can experience complete privacy in the cabana, and not be bothered by anything”. The islet is ten minutes away by boat, and the resort offers guests the chance to be alone, or to have a chef cook for them and set the table on the water, a truly unique feature and part of what defines the Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
Having been operative for slightly more than two years, the plan set in motion by the resort was designed to address the needs of the future. “Our plan in the coming years is to establish the Bora Bora Nui as a flagship for the Conrad brand”, says Mr. Pisano, “So far all feedback from guests and partners has been really positive. We want to maintain this perception and keep growing in recognition”.
“Our plan in the coming years is to establish the Bora Bora Nui as a flagship hotel for the Conrad brand”.
The only project that wasn’t implemented at the time of the inauguration, and is expected to come to life before 2020, is an island tour that will take guests on a journey to the history and legends of Motu To’opua. “This place is very rich in terms of history and tradition”, explains Mr. Pisano, “We want guests to experience the ancient tales of what happened here. We are working with the local community so they can be the guides, and share their heritage directly”. This program would not only benefit guests, but would contribute to the conservation of an important oral tradition for the community. In fact, the resort regularly opens its doors to children of the area so they can visit the grounds and learn about their heritage. “Community is very important to us”, adds Mr. Pisano, “Most
of our employees are from Bora Bora. They are incredibly friendly and joyous persons who are passionate about sharing their culture”. The resort offers internship and apprenticeship programs to young people of the community that have an interest in the hospitality industry.
In addition to their work with the local community, the Conrad has also implemented serious measures for the preservation of the environment, with aims at reducing energy consumption and waste, as well as improving the conditions for marine wildlife to flourish. “We have been working with BioRock, an American firm, since 2010”, says Mr. Pisano, “It was a program implemented when this was still a Hilton hotel and we have given it continuity”. The BioRock technology uses under water structures to help coral grow faster and healthier. Corals are known to attract fish and improve the overall quality of the marine ecosystem. “In terms of energy, all our rooms are fitted with solar panels”, adds Mr. Pisano, “They don’t allow us to be self-sufficient yet, but we hope that in the near future we will create a surplus of energy than can be shared with the community”. The resort has also implemented a strong policy to eliminate the use of plastic, and has been equipped with waste management systems. “We have an eco-digester for compost, a cardboard compactor and a glass crushing machine”, explains Mr. Pisano, “This way we have significantly reduced the waste that has to be shipped out to Tahiti or elsewhere”.
“We are the only resort on this island. What we have is the perfect picture of calm and relaxation”.
As they strive to position the Conrad as the top luxury resort in French Polynesia, they have expanded their focus and are now looking for partners interested in event planning. “We have done some events with American companies in the past”, says Mr. Pisano, “We are open to find more of these activities in the future even though we understand that our main business is leisure”. Although Bora Bora has for decades been identified as a destination primarily for honeymooners, during the past two years the Conrad has received
many kinds of guests with different tastes and needs, which is why they have insisted
on the vision of the tailored experience. “We are seeing many families that choose this as a place to reunite”, says Mr. Pisano with a smile, “People that maybe spend long parts of the year apart, and can come here to concentrate on being together and don’t have to worry about anything else”.
Fully aware of what makes them unique, the Conrad Bora Bora Nui is set to continue growing and harvesting awards and recognitions. With their blend of modern design and true Polynesian hospitality, as well as a stunning location, they will surely be around for years and years to come. “This is a destination in which you can really switch off from every day life, and you can feel reunited with nature and culture”, says Mr. Pisano, “People usually leave having rested and learned a lot, with a strong desire to come back”.