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InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa, Bora Bora 

Motu Piti Aau , Bora Bora
French Polynesia
Tel: 689 607 600
view web site ›'s insider take:

Whimsical bright colors and modular 60s-style designs meld with Polynesian décor at this sexy, adult beach resort. It's the youngest—in both years and sensibility—of the InterContinental resorts in French Polynesia, with a casual approach to five-star luxury. It's not the St. Regis, but then thoughtful amenities like day rooms for tired travelers who arrive before check-in are often of more use than Italian marble. The first Thalasso Spa in the southern hemisphere draws guests for the day from other resorts and includes a wide selection of Algotherm treatments, including the Bora Bora Deep Blue Massage with desalinated, purified ocean water pumped in from offshore for the various pools. Scoring some eco points, this same icy-cold deep sea water is used to cool the two wishbone-shaped wings of the 80 overwater bungalows ("overwater apartments" would be a more apt description). The largest space is the living room, with access to your swim-out balcony. Through one set of doors is the bedroom with the bed facing a large window with a terrific view of the lagoon, and through another set of doors is the modest but sexy bathroom. The toilet is actually in the walk-in closet off the bedroom, which sounds odd, but it provides a nice bit of privacy. Another first in French Polynesia is the overwater chapel with a clear glass aisle to see the water below.

Appeared in the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List, a directory of the world's best hotels and resorts, in 2010, 2009
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:

The strikingly contemporary InterContinental consists of 80 identical overwater villas, which extend into the warm lagoon like two claws, with the only differences being the views—of the lagoon, the beach, or Mount Otemanu. Floor-to-ceiling windows, Lucite ceiling fans, big tubs overlooking the water, and bathrooms with black slate floors reflect the clean modern aesthetic throughout, culminating with the Philippe Starck–inspired, all-white Bubbles bar. The atmosphere, too, is more South Beach than South Pacific, down to the stylishly clad reception staff and shirtless tattooed cabana boys by the infinity-edge pool. At the one-of-a-kind Deep Ocean Spa, the first thalassotherapy center in French Polynesia, you're given a pareu and flip-flops as an alternative to the staid robe and slippers. In a savvy environmental move, the resort pumps in cold seawater to feed the air-conditioning system and for use at the spa.

—2007 Hot List

Amenities: Beach, Pool, Spa, Tennis, Water sports

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