Hotel Online  Special Report


 The 80-villa InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa on Bora Bora
Providing New Dimensions to Ecotourism, Escape and Wellness
Over the Water Villas Air-Conditioned by Deep-Drawn Seawater
May 1, 2006 - The 80-villa InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa will make a soft opening on Bora Bora starting May 1 as French Polynesia’s first 21st Century hotel.

And from all indications, the world appears ready for this revolutionary accommodation that takes the nearly 60-year-old hotel industry in Tahiti and Her Islands to a new, pathfinding level never before imagined.

10,000 Villa Nights Already Sold thru Dec. 31

Before the first guests set foot in this new luxury resort world, literally thousands of people from all over the world have already made reservations to stay in one of the 80 over-the-water villas before the end of the year. Precisely, there have already been 10,000 villa nights sold from May 1 through Dec. 31.

As the resort’s brochure claims: “The slumberous spell cast by cliché picture postcards on the white beaches of Bora Bora is about to be broken. . .”

Guests will be staying in villas, making people forget the 20th Century terms of rooms and bungalows. Guests will be visiting a hotel and fitness center, the term hotel being one of the few carryovers from the past.

1st Thalasso-Spa in Southern Hemisphere

And this is not just any fitness center. It’s “the very first Thalasso-spa ever built in the southern hemisphere”. And it’s “the first in the world to administer care using water drawn from the bottom of the ocean”. The Deep Ocean Spa, however, will not open until Sept. 1. 

Notice the word “spa” is no longer sufficient. This is a Deep Ocean Spa, operated by Algotherm, because it is the world’s first “to harness the virtues of sea water from the ocean’s depths”—3,000 feet (900 meters) down into the deep blue Pacific Ocean, to be exact.

Algotherm, a French company, designed the Deep Ocean Spa, drawing on its 30 years of experience in developing spas and thalassotherapy centers around the globe. This means guests at the newest of four InterContinental Resorts in French Polynesia will receive unique sea water treatments “available nowhere else on the planet,” according to the hotel. 

Only Villas On Earth Air-Conditioned by Deep-Drawn Seawater

Guests will discover their villas will be the only ones “on earth to be air-conditioned by this deep-drawn seawater, without the slightest threat to the environment”. 

Incorporating this 21st Century approach to the fullest, the InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa Bora Bora will offer guests much more than a “room with a great view”. Instead, the hotel plans to nurture “complete harmony between mind, spirit and nature”, which goes miles if not light years beyond the previously traditional “enjoy you stay”. 

But before guests even get a chance to look at the view, they will realize that they are standing on a “motu”, or islet, within Bora Bora’s famous lagoon. The hotel describes the view as “a universe of tranquility overlooking the majesty of Mount Otemanu”.

From inside the 330+ square foot (100 sq. meter) villas, guests will not have the classic “spectacular” views. Instead, the hotel says, they will have “dazzling views”. And the villas are named after three precious stones, each depending on the view. The 21 “Emerald” villas have a view over the beach and the motu. The 24 “Sapphire“ villas have a view over the lagoon and the island of Bora Bora. The 35 “Diamond“ villas have a view of the lagoon and Mount Otemanu. There also are three “Motu family suites”. 

The hotel also plans on “giving ecotourism, escape and wellness a whole new dimension”. Welcome to the 21st Century in Tahiti and Her Islands.

The soft opening will last for May and June as the hotel and its staff of some 125 employees swings into full gear with real guests for the first time. To make the transition smooth for all concerned, General Manager Silvio Bion is only opening 40 villas on May 1, increasing to 60 on June 1 and then finally the full 80 on July 1.

Richard Bailey

Richard Bailey is CEO and principal shareholder of Tahiti Beachcomber S.A. He is also the project manager of the IC Resort and Thalasso Spa Bora Bora. He was born in Lafayette, in Louisiana, studied at Stanford and Harvard (MBA), and has lived in Tahiti since 1986. Richard has accomplished several hotel projects both as proprietor and operator and has a good all-round view of both the challenges and the great potential of the industry in French Polynesia. He is currently working towards the 2008 opening of a luxury new eco-hotel on Tetiaroa, Marlon Brando’s private island.

Philippe Brovelli

Vice-president of operations for InterContinental in Polynesia, Frenchman Philippe Brovelli is a former pupil of the Ecole Hôtelière in Strasbourg. He has been living in Tahiti since 1983 and in 1987 he took command at the legendary "Tahiti Beachcomber", now the InterContinental Tahiti. Since then, he has added three hotel-resorts to InterContinental’s portfolio in the region. He heads up operations and manages the chain’s development in this area.

Silvio Bion

The General Manager of the InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa Bora Bora previously spent 8 years as General Manager of the InterContinental Moorea. A loyal member of the group for 15 years, he had formerly held top management positions in different companies in the South Pacific, particularly in New-Caledonia.

Good Summer Occupancy Already Anticipated

Want a villa during May and June? Sorry, sold out. How about July, August or September? Maybe a few dates are still open, but generally, if a “No Vacancy” sign were permitted, it would probably be used.

There are even dates in October, November and December already sold out, said Pierre Lesage, InterContinental French Polynesia’s regional sales and marketing manager. 

This charming Frenchman who manages to support a full beard in the tropics tries really hard to be modest about the advance booking success of the new IHC facility on Bora Bora. When pushed, however, he admits that bookings from May 1 through to Dec. 31 and even into next March have gone “very well”. 

“Advance booking has been good and we just reached today 10,000 room nights sold from May 1 to Dec. 31,” Lesage wrote in an e-mail message from New Zealand on April 26, five days before the soft opening begins. 

“Bookings are following the same trend as other resorts, with a majority of North Americans, followed by Japanese and Europeans. Australians and New Zealanders are in smaller numbers,” Lesage wrote.

“Expectations for summer are excellent and already most dates are sold out until mid-October, and forward sales for winter are looking very good,” he wrote.

The soft opening of the new InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa will occur a month before the scheduled June 1 reopening of the 67-bungalow InterContinental Le Moana Resort Bora Bora, which has been closed since last October for major renovations. 

The two other IHC hotels in French Polynesia are the 263-room flagship InterContinental Resort Tahiti and the 143-room InterContinental Resort Moorea on Tahiti’s sister island. 

Regional Director of Sales and marketing
InterContinental French Polynesia
Bora Bora - Moorea - Tahiti
17°33'08 South - 149° 36'59 West
Po Box 6014 - 98712 Faaa-Tahiti-French Polynesia
TEL OFFICE  ++ (689) 86 52 08
FAX OFFICE ++ (689) 86 51 20
Also See: The $70 million InterContinental Resort and Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora Set to Open May, 2006 / April 2006
The French Polynesian Atoll of Tetiaroa, Owned by the Late Marlon Brando, To be the Site of a new Eco-hotel Called The Brando; Development Being Overseen by Tahiti Beachcomber SA / March 2005


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