Bora Bora is a relatively small island, and the question of where to stay on Bora Bora is immediately transformed into a more broad and interesting question: what other islands — aside from Bora Bora — are worth visiting if you are staying in that part of the world?
This guide covers three other islands which, although not as popular as the jewel of French Polynesia, are definitely a shame to miss.
The 4 Best Places to Stay in Bora Bora
Bora Bora usually overshadows the other islands near it for a reason. That being said, the other islands are quite worth the visit too. Each of them offers something unique and interesting that you won’t find anywhere else in the Pacific.
- Bora Bora: Boasting some of the most beautiful coral reefs and beaches in the world, Bora Bora is a great city for shopping and dining while being able to choose from a multitude of high-end, luxurious hotels.
- Raiatea: The biggest island in the area is not the best place if you are looking for beaches, but it’s great for hiking and learning some history and archeology.
- Taha’a: Also offers great coral reefs and beaches where you can swim and relax, but Taha’a is mostly famous for the so-called Vanilla Valley and the pearl farms.
- Huahine: Another great place for history and archeology buffs, full of relics and museums, it also boasts a great pearl farm and offers the cheapest hotels.
The Best Areas and Hotels in Bora Bora
Bora Bora is the place where you’ll find some of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in the world.
From the on-water bungalows, hotels with multiple swimming pools and restaurants, and accommodations with their own private beaches — almost every accommodation in Bora Bora offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But staying here on a budget is not an option. If you want cheaper or even budget accommodation, you should turn to the other islands in the wider area around Bora Bora.
All of them — Raiatea, Taha’a, and Huahine — offer cheaper options than Bora Bora. Raiatea, for example, is the biggest island on the list and offers the most accommodation options in the general sense.
Taha’a has less, but it’s also quite affordable too. And finally, Huahine offers the cheapest hotels in the area. If you’re traveling on a budget, make sure you pick this place.
1. Bora Bora
There’s no need to further emphasize that Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful and elite tourist and holiday destinations in the world.
From the cobalt and crystalline blue water, extremely clean beaches, and diverse flora and fauna to the unique overwater bungalows and fantastic hotels — Bora Bora simply offers an unforgettable experience.
Most of the fun in Bora Bora is connected to the indescribable natural beauties that surround you wherever you look. The first thing you should definitely do is to go to Matira Beach — the only public beach on the island (and selected as the 2022 Best of the Best Travelers’ Choice).
Aside from the water and the sand, it offers a couple of boutiques, shops, bars, and hiking trails. Only when you step from the beach into the water does the fun really begin.
Almost everybody wants to go on a snorkeling safari since it’s so fun, safe, and part of organized tours. Probably the best attraction of this kind is located close to St. Regis retreat, and it’s called the Bora Bora Lagoonarium. It’s great for children too.
Here, aside from sharks, you’ll see stingrays, spy turtles, eagle rays, parrot fish, and even — if you’re lucky — some dolphins.
If you prefer an even more organized and institutional place but nonetheless distinctive, visit the Bora Bora Turtle Centre, where you can pet some huge turtles.
Lovers of high places and hiking have two additional places to visit: first, the mountain-slash-extinguished-ancient-volcano called Mount Otemanu; second, Mount Pahia, whose top offers one of the best views of the Lagoon possible.
Bora Bora is full of elite and highly rated restaurants — there are around 15 Travelers’ Choice selections and a couple of Best of the Best.
The quality of the accommodation is basically the same, with only one problem: almost all of them are quite expensive, and that means that traveling to Bora Bora on a budget is not an option.
Bora Bora Budget Hotels
- Sunset Hill Lodge is definitely the cheapest accommodation in Bora Bora, and truth be told, its price is really not high for an island of this stature. Located just five minutes from the Vaitape, it’s close to all the shops on the island. Every apartment has a kitchen with a stove and a microwave and a private bathroom with a shower.
- Oa Oa Lodge is the second cheapest accommodation option in Bora Bora. A great three-star hotel with a pool, it also offers free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning and rooms equipped with flat-screen TVs and kitchenettes. There’s a rental car service, diving facilities, and massage facilities within walking distance of the hotel.
Bora Bora Mid-Range Hotels
- ROYAL BORA BORA is a three-star hotel that can be considered a mid-range option only in Bora Bora because it offers much more than a traditional hotel of its kind and costs much more. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, a terrace, a restaurant, and a bar. Every room has a desk, private bathroom, and flat-screen TV.
- Villa Yrondi is another three-star hotel that can be considered as a mid-range option only in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There’s a fabulous outdoor swimming pool on the premises, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, and rooms with private bathrooms and a patio. Some rooms even have a kitchen.
Bora Bora Luxury Hotels
- The St Regis Bora Bora Resort is a very, very lavish five-star resort that’ll make your trip to Bora Bora unforgettable. There are two swimming pools, two bars, and four restaurants in the area of the resort, as well as a private beach and a spa and wellness center. The rooms are decorated with Italian marble, decorated wood, and Polynesian sculptures.
- InterContinental Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa, an IHG Hotel is another extremely upscale five-star hotel. It offers a wide and extensive private beach and villas located on top of the water. The hotel also has a swimming pool, a spa and wellness center, a bar, and a restaurant on the premises.
Just to the southeast of Bora Bora lies the huge island of Raiatea. The biggest and the central of the so-called Society Islands, it has its own small town with administration, a school, a hospital, a government, and an airport.
Uturoa, as the town is called, is located on the northern tip of the island and offers much-needed urbanity in this part of the world.
We recommend Raiatea to those travelers who don’t prefer a “classical” trip to the Pacific — like the one Bora Bora offers — and want something completely different. Before we proceed — a disclaimer: Raiatea doesn’t have beaches.
Marae Taputapuatea is the only white sand beach, but it’s man-made and artificial, so it practically doesn’t count. As we said, people don’t go to this island for a classical beach holiday — for that, there’s Bora Bora or Taha’a.
Raiatea, on the other hand, offers two things: hiking and archeological and historical adventures. Located right in Uturoa is Mount Tapioi, your highest and most interesting hiking destination.
The hike is pretty safe, but it’s best if you do it with a designated guide. It shouldn’t be a problem to find one in the city of Uturoa. The first archeological site — and probably the most important place on the island — is Taputapuatea Marae.
Located in the southeastern part of the island, it’s listed on the UNESCO heritage conservation list, and it’s one of the largest and most important religious sites in Polynesia.
Surrounded by two forests, a coral reef, and a lagoon, this piece of 1000-year-old history is as much part of nature as it is of culture. A few more things about the accommodation, restaurants, and transport…
You shouldn’t have a problem finding a hotel since the island is huge and full of accommodation options of any kind — much cheaper than Bora Bora.
The same holds for the restaurants. There are a bunch of high-rated and popular places to have a bite. Finally, the best thing you should do is to rent a car: there are practically 60 miles (100 kilometers) of road on the island.
Raiatea Budget Hotels
- Pension Temaeva is a very cheap two-star holiday home that you’ll get all to yourself. It’s an accommodation located in a quiet area, perfect for those who prefer a more relaxed and calm area. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, free Wi-Fi throughout the premises, and free continental breakfast every morning.
- Pension Les Trois Cascades is our second two-star accommodation choice in Raiatea, located on the eastern side of this huge island. It offers a barbeque on the premises, a terrace, and a children’s playground. Some of the rooms have sitting areas and private bathrooms. There’s a shared lounge with a flat-screen TV.
Raiatea Mid-Range Hotels
- Océan Studio is a great three-star accommodation that comes at a decent price. The apartment includes rooms with a view, a nice garden, free parking and Wi-Fi, one fully equipped kitchen, one bathroom, and one bedroom. The place is particularly suitable for couples.
- Ocean Breeze Bungalow is another decent three-star accommodation, located on the western side of the island, around 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the Raiatea airport. Again, it’s particularly recommended for couples and has one bedroom, one bathroom, and a comfortable sitting area.
Raiatea Luxury Hotels
- Hôtel Atiapiti is a great four-star hotel located on the east side of the island. It’s right on the sea and has a designated private beach area where you won’t be disturbed while swimming and snorkeling with the fish. There’s a French restaurant on the premises that serves tasty breakfast and a bar offering a wide range of cocktails.
- Ocean Breeze Villa is a private four-star accommodation that has immediate access to the beach. Located on the west part of the island, it offers sports facilities, a great garden and a terrace with a view, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a sitting room.
Just to the east of Bora Bora, and a few miles to the north of Raiatea, you’ll see the small and very calm island called Taha’a (in older guides and travelogs, you’ll also find the name Oataha).
With an area of around 50 square miles (90 sq km) and a population of no more than 5,200 people, the island is special and unique for two things: being a renowned producer of vanilla in this part of the world and the quality of its pearls.
The biggest attraction on this island is the Vallee de la Vanille, or the Vanilla Valley, located in the eastern part of Taha’a. The place — aside from its productive and practical aspects — is very popular with tourists.
You can see the almost chemical procedure that is involved in producing the vanilla we all know and love, and you can also try the vanilla tahitensis in its purest and most authentic form — it simply tastes like paradise.
On the complete opposite of the island (on the west side), you’ll find the second biggest attraction: the Iaorana Pearl Farm.
You’ll learn everything about the whole harvesting and growing process and the real magic and effort it includes. As some visitors like to say, you’ll never look at pearls the same way after you’ve learned everything about it.
Finally, after you’ve acquired the necessary knowledge, you can even buy some of them and take home an authentic Polynesian Pearl. Accommodation on Taha’a is scarcer than Bora Bora and Raiatea but also less expensive.
There are a couple of budget options, a lot of mid-range villas and apartments, and a few five-star hotels. The same holds for the restaurants, as there are not as many of them as in Bora Bora and Raiatea.
Taha’a Budget Hotels
- ROYAL Tapo-Tap is decent and not very cheap accommodation with a garden and free parking. It also offers a tasty breakfast in the morning, but its biggest strength is that it’s located very close to the most famous attraction on the island — the Vallee de la Vanille.
- BUNGALOW BORD LAGON is another relatively budget option that’s perfect for two travelers. Located on the southern tip of the island, it offers a nice view of the sea and Raiatea island, a terrace, free Wi-Fi, a shared lounge, and a beautiful garden.
Taha’a Mid-Range Hotels
- La Perle Tahaa is a great three-star hotel located just opposite the coral garden. It’s also set between a coral reef and a private beach — it’s its own private beach, by the way. It offers an airport shuttle, a restaurant and a bar on the premises, and a nice tasty breakfast every morning.
- TAHAA – Villa Tehere Dream is a great four-star villa that has a lush garden and private parking. It offers two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room with a TV, and a fully equipped kitchen that includes a refrigerator.
Taha’a Luxury Hotels
- Le Taha’a by Pearl Resorts is a very expensive and very luxurious five-star hotel that offers three restaurants, two bars, a fitness center, and a swimming pool — among other things. Every villa suite has a sitting area, a private bathroom, a private outdoor shower, and flat-screen TVs. Finally, the hotel has a private beach too.
The last island on our list is called Huahine, which — in rough translation — means either “woman’s sex” or “pregnant woman.” The island got this unusual name because Mount Tavaiura’s relief looks like a pregnant woman lying on her back.
Anybody who has seen Disney’s “Moana” will know what we are talking about. Either way, Huahine is a small place with a population of roughly 6,000 people, and it’s like a combination of Taha’a and Raiatea while being more affordable than Bora Bora.
An interesting fact about Huahine is that it’s filled with history, culture, and ancient monuments.
If you’ve planned to spend your trip here, you’ve probably arrived to see some of the interesting and quite important historical landmarks. After that, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the sea and (again) buy some pearls at the pearl market.
The most important thing you should visit is the Sito Archeologico Di Maeva. You’ll see almost 200 historical stone structures, remains of temples, horticulture, and other things connected to the everyday life of our ancestors.
We also recommend that you take a look at the Marae Anini. We are talking about the remains of a temple or a sanctuary, which according to some stories and archeological findings, served as a place where humans were sacrificed for some religious rituals.
Finally, if you want to have your knowledge systemized and put into order, you had better visit the Fare Potee maeva huahine — the history museum of this area.
We mostly talked about history, but there are other things you can do in Huahine.
For example, you can take a look at the Huahine Pearl Farm (a Travellers Choice selection), or you can experience its natural beauties by visiting either Three Bays Pass or Fare, in Huahine, FP — or even take a hike on the Mont Taitaa and enjoy the view.
Considering the accommodations, we can say that Huahine is the perfect choice for those travelers who prefer to stay either in the budget or the mid-range category.
There are luxurious accommodations on the island too, but the small one, two, or three-star places are the ones that are worth booking.
Huahine Budget Hotels
- Franky’s Fare is decent two-star accommodation with a huge garden and a large outdoor terrace. Every room has a private bathroom, a small fully equipped kitchen, and a dining area. Finally, there’s free parking, free Wi-Fi, and an organized airport shuttle.
- Camping Hiva Plage is a very cheap one-star accommodation (the only one in our whole guide) that’s located in the utmost southern tip of the island. The accommodation has direct access to the beachfront, serves a nice breakfast every morning, provides an airport shuttle, and has a barbeque on the premises.
Huahine Mid-Range Hotels
- Pension TUPUNA is a great three-star hotel with a terrace, a garden, and a bar on the premises. Located just 6 miles from the local airport, it also provides an airport shuttle for its visitors. There’s also free Wi-Fi on the premises and private bathrooms with showers.
- Huahine Beach House is a three-star accommodation located just on the beachfront, offering a great garden, barbeque facilities on the premises, free Wi-Fi and parking, and units equipped with mountain views. In addition, there are fully equipped kitchenettes and private bathrooms with showers.
Huahine Luxury Hotels
- Hotel Le Mahana is a fabulous three-star hotel located directly on the beachfront, offering direct access to the coral reef. Other things that you get if you plan on staying in this hotel are: outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant and a bar on the premises, traditional Polynesian decor in the rooms, and satellite TV.
- Bienvenue au Mati House is a one-of-a-kind, four-star, elite, and quite large chalet. The accommodation offers free parking and free Wi-Fi, a bar on the premises, a garden, and glorious mountain views. There are two bedrooms in the chalet, two bathrooms, a living room, flat-screen TV, and a fully equipped kitchen with a refrigerator.
So, Where Should You Stay in Bora Bora?
Now that we’ve reached the end of our guide, let’s do a short recap of Bora Bora and help you make your final decision.
|🍽️ Best for Shopping & Dining
|🥾 Best Area for Hiking
|⛱️ Best for Relaxing on the Beach
|🏛️ Great for History Buffs
However, as you can see, there’s technically no bad place to stay when visiting Bora Bora. While we’ve rounded up what we think are the best areas for different travels, the ball is now in your court to decide where to go. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!