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“Wonderful, wonderful wonderful.”
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Excellent
8 reviews
Living Room
Lagoon View
Kitchen
Terrace and View
Bungalow
Living Room
Kitchen
Kitchen
Desk
Doors to Bedroom
Bedroom
Bedroom
Bedroom
Bathroom Door
Bathroom
Bathroom
Terrace and View
Terrace and View
Terrace
Terrace
Evening View
Complex Private Dock
Lagoon View
Complex Private Dock
Complex Private Beach
Stand Up Paddle Boards
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Overview
Holiday Rental House -
1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 2
Bora Bora, Society Islands

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Excellent - based on 8 reviews
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Reviews from our community

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sally l
Aptos, California
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wonderful, wonderful wonderful.”
Reviewed 21 February 2016 for a stay in February 2016
1
person found this review helpful

We chose this particular bungalow based on photos and reviews. We much prefer a home setting rather than a hotel and Ed and JoAnne's Bora Bora home is beyond any other we have experienced. They've put so much thought and love into every aspect. We never felt like we were renting a vacation home - we felt privileged to be there. Previous reviewers covered all the basics - amazing kitchen, perfect use of space, wonderful shower and bed, all the amenities: wifi, large TV with BluRay, local hosts on hand to help with any issues, and of course the view from most of the house and especially from the balcony. We chose the rainy season to visit and that's what we got. 5 of the 7 days it rained, often heavy and with high winds. Though it would have been nice to see a little more sun, we were very content sitting on the balcony with a good book and a cup of coffee or wine depending on the time of day. Watching the water change moods and all the activity that continues rain or shine was so relaxing, I'm sure we would have spent a good deal of time doing just that even if the sun was always shining.
Not to say we didn't explore the island. We drove from end to end many times, discovering lots of wonderful restaurants, several based on Ed's recommendations. MiaKai was amazing, Bloody Mary's was touristy but fun. For casual food Aloe Cafe in Viatape is fantastic and The Lucky House in Matira has a terrific lunch including wood fired pizza.
Took some nice walks between rain showers. The locals are very warm and friendly, even if we don't speak the same language.
Only managed to snorkel one day, though that was one of the main reasons for the trip. We went out with Puresnorkel and in spite of the inclement weather had a good time. They offered to take us again at half price since it wasn't the best experience and we would have taken them up on it if the weather had improved.
If we ever manage to make it back to Bora Bora we will definitely want to make Here Moana our home base, even if it rains every day.

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Liked best: The balcony. Couldn't wait to get out there in the morning with the sun rise.
Liked least: Dim lighting on all fixtures - hard to read at night.
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 65+
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bryanweav...
Ramona, California
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“This is THE best way to experience Bora Bora”
Reviewed 1 October 2015 for a stay in September 2015
21
people found this review helpful

This is NOT just another run of the mill rental property in an exotic location. This bungalow is without a doubt, a “best in class” winner. The photos just do not do it justice and when comparing this rental to the neighboring bungalows, easily confirms this claim.

But it may not be for everyone, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just a reflection of what your expectations are. For us, it was everything we were looking for and more.

What Here Moana Isn’t
What you won’t get at the Here Moana is an artificial resort style experience where you have a huge support staff, restaurants, pool and bar with other loud (typically American) guests, along with a feeling of being totally isolated from the rest of the island. If that is more your style, you need to stop right now and look across the lagoon at the St. Regis or Four Seasons. You will be happy there. But, if you’re looking for something different, then read on.

To qualify my perspective, we’ve stayed at places like the St. Regis (not in Bora Bora) and we actually toured the Bora Bora St. Regis property and talked with some of their guests, so I believe this is a fair comparison. If you’re a fan of cruise ships, the resorts are probably more to your liking since everything is confined to the facilities at hand. Just like a cruise, you sign up for the various excursions and tours, all in a nicely packaged Disney-like environment.

If hanging out at the pool all day isn’t your style, or the thought of being confined in one place makes you antsy, the Here Moana should be a serious consideration. In general, being on the main island gives you many more opportunities to explore and experience Bora Bora up close, and the bungalow makes it possible.

About Here Moana
Situated in a small community of similar matching bungalows, Here Moana is one of the units not directly over the water. At first blush, this would seem to be a strike against it, but we came appreciate the privacy and the views only available from being up above. Renters have direct access to the lagoon and small beach area that is private for the homeowners to use. So while not directly on or over the water, you have access to the lagoon.

Initially, our attraction to Bora Bora was the awesome snorkeling, not the famous over-water bungalows, so we opted to forego the over-water experience and have no regrets. The bungalow is situated up on a hillside, providing a spectacular view of the lagoon, and the pics provided by the owner just can’t seem to capture the feeling of actually being there.

Getting the Most out of Bora Bora

The best decision – going with the bungalow instead of a resort

A home away from home has its advantages. It won’t be a “waited on hand and foot” kind of vacation, but, if you’ve gone on enough vacations and have started to realize that the overpriced mini-bar or dining out for every meal has lost its “wow” factor, you are in luck. With a fully furnished, full size kitchen, along with well stocked grocery stores down the street, you are all set. There is even a new propane Weber grill provided with the bungalow for your private use.

Of course, sampling the local food and trying different restaurants seems more like exploring the local culture than just having to find a place to eat for every meal. A full sized fridge with snacks, drinks and fresh fruit somehow seems so much more appealing than a roadside stand or a fancy dining room when all you really want is something to munch on.

One of the simplest, yet one of the most enjoyable memories, was being able to get up at sunrise and have a cup of coffee on the deck and watch the day begin. Just an FYI, the roosters will help you get up without an alarm clock.

The bungalow itself has an interesting celebrity history, and this enclave of bungalows seems to be one of the few privately owned groups of vacation homes on the island, well ahead of its time.

This unit was totally remodeled in 2014 and easily could have been a two bedroom, but the owner designed the bungalow for his personal use, and having only one bedroom makes it perfect for a couple and provides spacious living areas throughout. The bungalow is big enough that you could entertain 20 people with room to spare. Try doing that in one of the resort hotel rooms.

When you first enter, it is obvious that every effort was taken to show off the natural wood where possible. The floors are original, sanded down and refinished in a light natural tone. Interesting scars in the floors create a unique reminder of past eras, and make you wonder who else walked on those floors.

The entire vaulted ceiling appears to be solid tongue and groove planks and is either new or has been totally refurbished and clear coated, and the lineup of retro-modern pendant lights giving the entire bungalow a spacious feel. Carrying the natural materials theme, a built in desk in the office area is made from a branched tree trunk slab. Pretty cool, especially if you have to do some work.

As you look around and start noticing more details, you realize that everything had to be shipped in. There are no appliance stores or lumberyards on Bora Bora. That alone must have been a daunting task. Quickly, you notice that this is no budget build-out vacation rental. Herman Miller chairs at the desk, high end appliances like Miele in the kitchen and Hansgrohe Axor in the bathroom are what you can see, but there are some things only a builder would notice like Hafele hardware or a heavy duty air conditioning system.

This is a home that would rival a designer home anywhere. But considering that you are on a little island in the South Pacific, literally thousands of miles from any continent, the Silestone countertops, deep recessed sink, dishwasher and built in refrigerator seem to take on a little more awesome feel. Rare by American standards is the full sized induction cook top, while Europeans will think ho-hum, few Americans actually have one in their homes.

A unique thing about the Bora Bora airport is that nobody can get to it by car. Everyone has to travel by boat. The resorts have their guest boats, and the airline provides two huge ferry boats to the main island dock. This sets the stage for island life. The boat ride itself provides some pretty stunning scenery, and it is free, can’t beat that.

Here Moana has local managers who will meet you at the main dock with flower leis and then take you to the bungalow to show you how everything works. They gave us their personal phone numbers in case we needed any assistance, gave some tips and pointers on where to go and the best part, they didn’t bother us during our stay. We really had no need to call, and when we left, they met us at the dock to hand over the keys and give back the car. We got traditional shell necklaces as parting gifts and thanked us for visiting. Great hospitality.

The second best decision – get a car and be mobile

Yes, the island is small, but Here Moana is on the north tip, while the main grocery stores are on the western side. The smaller convenience stores (magasin) are too far to walk, and are just that, convenience stores, but not that convenient without wheels. The main road (actually the only road) always has very little traffic and almost no traffic at night, maybe a few scooters and a couple of trucks.

There is no real public transportation to speak of so don’t plan on relying on the bus. However, just exploring and sightseeing, you will really appreciate having a car. We briefly considered trying to get by with just the bicycles, sort of an eco-minded approach, but being from Southern California, the car is “king”, and on Bora Bora it is no different. That idea was quickly discarded at the advice of previous traveler posts, matched by the owner’s advice. We did ride the bikes to one of the convenience stores and bought a couple of baguettes, so it is possible.

You will be hate-ing your vacation on Bora Bora while staying at Here Moana (or anywhere else on the island for that matter) without real transportation. I’m willing to put money on that. Fortunately, you can rent a car from the owner of Here Moana, or you can rent a vehicle of sorts from Avis (cars, buggies, mini-cars, even electric bikes) but they all scream “tourist” since nobody except tourists drive some of these mini-cars. I like trying to fit in with the locals, yeah, I know it really is impossible but I try to think that I am anyway. Most of the locals all drive cars, trucks or scooters. They also all speak French and Tahitian, neither of which I can speak, so I get called out every time as a tourist. We just rented the car from the owner. The owner provided a nice late model Renault to zip around in. With a/c, automatic, 4 doors it is just big enough and at the same time just small enough to be ideal.

The third best decision – rent a powerboat for the day

This really doesn’t have anything to do with the bungalow, but if you are still reading, you probably are the type that would rather take control of your vacation and do things on your own. If you don’t want to rent a motor boat, then just grab the stand up paddleboards or kayaks that come with the bungalow. After all, you are on an island, surrounded by crystal clear water with a lot of marine life.

We wanted to explore at our leisure, and renting a motor boat was by far the best way to see Bora Bora. Even if snorkeling isn’t your forte, at least give it try, the bungalow comes with masks and fins. A day with our own power boat (they are small, 6hp or 15hp engines, and not difficult to operate) was so good that we rented the boat for another day.

Conclusion -
Here Moana gets a resounding recommendation from us; Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. If you have not noticed, I have not made any cost comparisons between a resort and Here Moana because they are completely different experiences. We did not pick the bungalow on the hill because it cost less (in fact we could have gotten an overwater bungalow for the same or less); we picked the Here Moana because it provided the most features along with the most flexibility to do what we wanted when we wanted.

Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Reviewed 23 March 2015 for a stay in February 2015
9
people found this review helpful

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Liked best: The comfort of home while traveling
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
duckster2...
Cape May, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Honeymoon in Heaven”
Reviewed 21 October 2014 for a stay in October 2014
23
people found this review helpful

My wife and I stayed here the first week in October 2014 as part of a 2 week honeymoon. We stayed the first week here and the second week at the Pearl Beach Resort. I feel like this was the way to do it. 10-14 days is perfect for Bora Bora. Since we traveled 20 hours to get there from New Jersey, we wanted to stay long enough to enjoy ourselves without feeling rushed. We are 31 and 28 years of age. This place was amazing! We were definitely nervous renting this property site unseen and it only having one review. We gambled and we won big time!

First, let me tell you that the photos on the website are exactly like the place looks. It is amazingly clean, modern and laid out perfect for a couple on their honeymoon. The kitchen was modern with an induction stove and all the cookware you need. Eating out in Bora Bora is expensive. Having the kitchen allowed us to go into town to Chin Lee or Super U grocery stores and get stuff to cook our own gourmet dinners. Furthermore, the view from the balcony is the ultimate place to sit down and enjoy your dinner and some drinks.

The owner Ed was extremely helpful. We were able to communicate with him daily via email if we had any questions. The wifi in the house was an added benefit that allowed us to stay in touch with the rest of the world if we so desired. Download the Viber App before you go so you can make phone calls using the wifi connection on your mobile phone. Ed also provided us with a rental vehicle for the week which was our most valuable asset during our stay. Having the vehicle allowed us to come and go at our leisure whether it was running into town to shop, driving down to Matira Beach for the day or headed to a restaurant for the evening. You will need a car to be able to do what you want, when you want without waiting on scheduled buses.

Activities: The house comes with two stand-up paddle boards, snorkel gear and two bicycles. We didn't use the bicycles because we witnessed too many times the dogs that wander the street chase after cars. It happened twice to us. We brought our own snorkel gear so we were good on that. The stand-up paddle boards were a lot of fun but just be prepared to carry them down the steep driveway and back up when you are done.

That brings me to the driveway. If you are afraid of driving up a steep incline and turning around in a small parking lot like Austin Powers then you might want to leave the driving up to someone else. The parking spot for the bungalow is atop a steep driveway. Once you do it once or twice you get a good handle on it. I found it to be adventuresome.

Staying at the bungalow allowed us to see the mainland of Bora Bora and how the people of Bora Bora really lived. We were able to make our own meals which definitely kept the price down on our vacation. We had a stunning view to look at each morning, day and evening.

The best advice I could give to someone looking to come here is to do what we did. Stay at this breathtaking bungalow for a few days to learn the layout of Bora Bora, eat meals at a reasonable price and enjoy the view. Then I would head to a resort and stay in an overwater bungalow for the rest of the trip.

Tip: Check with Ed to see how long you can rent the car from him. We were fortunate enough to rent the car from him while we stayed at Pearl Beach Resort. Each resort (even the ones on the motu's) have a parking lot where you can keep your rental car parked. We made friends with another couple from our resort that did not have a car. We took them to places they never would have gone easily if having to arrange travel through the resort. They said meeting us and going places by using the car was the highlight of their trip.

best breakfast: cook it at the bungalow looking out at your beautiful view
best lunch place: Snack Matira
best place to eat dinner: Mai Kai Marina & Yacht Club Restaurant

activities: Maohi Nui tours (6 hour shark and stingray snorkel with lunch)
make sure you tell them that you are staying at the condominiums and they will give you a deal and come pick you up by boat.

Without a doubt, hands down, I would recommend this bungalow to friends and family.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The kitchen
Liked least: the rooster cocadoodling each morning haha
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SF Travel...
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Luxurious, modern hillside bungalow with great sunset views of Bora Bora lagoon”
Reviewed 2 July 2014 for a stay in June 2014
21
people found this review helpful

I doubt you'll find a more modern and wonderfully located private residence to rent in Bora Bora, unless it’s at one of the luxury hotels that charge ten times more than this vacation rental. And the view is breathtaking…much better than the view from the few bungalows on the water! Plus, we were able to cross the street to snorkel and ride bikes from our location.

The owners have designed the most efficient and luxurious bungalow, with an amazing view of the Bora Bora lagoon. The bungalow is fully air-conditioned and has beautiful newly remodeled finishes in the kitchen, bath and living space with lots of light wood and the most modern appliances. We loved the new indoor and outdoor furniture - especially the padded lounge chairs with ottomans on the large deck overlooking the lagoon, plus the dining table with padded chairs for outdoor dining on the deck.

The provided BBQ, bicycles, paddle boards, washer and dryer and snorkel equipment were just icing on the Tahitian cake. The bungalow is less than 15 minutes by car from the main town and ferry dock in Viatape, so you have easy access to the grocery store, restaurants and shops.

If you want to stay in touch with the world or be entertained, the bungalow provides satellite cable, a really cool 3-D television, Blu-Ray player and sound system, all stuff not found in many people's permanent homes. The WIFI was dependable and robust throughout our stay.

Also, the local caretakers speak English and greeted us upon arrival on the island, helped us pick up our rental car, showed us the way to the property and spent time showing us how to work everything and give us tips on area. A wonderful personal touch!

Staying at this private bungalow was an much more amazing and special experience than staying at one of the very expensive resorts! We were more than pleased.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
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Liked best: Modern, clean, all the conveniences, great views!
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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