If Bora Bora is your dream destination, you probably have your sights set on one of the overwater bungalows at a beachfront property, and for good reason! But if you have an extended stay—perhaps you’re writing a book alone or spending time hiking and exploring the island—then you might want a more accessible and affordable place to stay. When we visited Bora Bora, because of our flight schedule, we needed a room for one night before our stays at the Intercontinental Le Moana and the Intercontinental Thalasso. For this night we were delighted to find Villa Rea Hanaa, a quaint French style home with an artistic ambiance.
From $140/nt plus fees, 1 bedroom
Villa Rea Hanaa is a large home on Bora Bora, located halfway between Vaitepe and Matira Point, in the Pofai Bay. The home is the residence and studio of artist Garrick Yrondi, whose work is all over Polynesia. His sculpture Vahine e’ia is the first thing you see when you exit Bora Bora airport. The property consists of six apartments situated around a large courtyard with a pool. Each apartment has its own outdoor living space, and a shared second level balcony with a stunning view of Mount Otemanu and Pofai Bay. Each individual apartment is available to rent, or you can rent the whole house. For our one night stay, we rented the smallest room, which is actually not listed on airbnb but is available to book on booking.com right here.
Upon arrival at Vaitepe, we did have some trouble with the address of the villa. The first address we were given was incorrect according to Google Maps, and our taxi driver had to call the property to get directions. The host ended up driving over to Vaitepe to get us, and in hindsight we probably should have arranged the airport pickup with her from the beginning. It turns out she had emailed us to ask for our arrival time, but we didn’t have data service and didn’t see her email. But all was well, she drove us to the property, showed us around the villa, and arranged for us a taxi driver for the next morning.
The studio apartment sits at the back of the property, on the far side of the courtyard. It’s a small room with a double bed, a bathroom with a walk in shower, and a closet which had a safe, refrigerator and a water pot with some instant coffee and tea. The large sliding door looks out into the shared outdoor space, but also has a heavy curtain for privacy. The first thing you’ll notice about the room is that it seems less like a hotel and more like a private residence, with family photos on the wall next to souvenirs from their travels, and old framed letters in French. There are also many original paintings and a bookshelf with lots of art books, also all in French. The room was plenty cool with an air conditioner. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom was clean, and there were plenty of electrical outlets. Overall a fine place to spend the night!
The rest of the house was empty while we were there. If there had been other guests, I can imagine that most everyone would spend the mornings and evenings on the shared rooftop balcony, as that is where we spent almost all of our time. The view of the bay and Mount Otemanu, with bountiful bougainvillea and other flowers in the garden below, is simply stunning. We watched the sun set over the bay while we read books and then watched the sun rise the next morning with our coffee. Once the sun becomes too hot, you can retire to a covered patio area as each apartment has a small outdoor living area. But these spaces are not very private, so there may be other guests coming and going around your outdoor space.
Breakfast was offered for the next morning at 1500CFP each (about $14). We declined, so once the hosts left the office at 5pm, we were the only people on the property. They told us to just leave our key in the door the next morning when we left, and though checkout was at 10am, they had no problem with us staying on the property until our taxi arrived at noon. We expected to see a maid arrive at 10 to clean our room, but no one did, so we really had our room until noon as well.
There is only one major road that rings the island. This house is located on that road halfway between Vaitepe and Matira Point, a 45 minute walk or 6 minute car ride from either direction. There is a grocery store next door, and they also serve burgers and snacks. A burger with fries and a coke cost us 1255CFP (about $12USD). Bloody Mary’s Restaurant is the nearest sit-down restaurant, and it’s about a 20 minute walk from the villa. However, if you call ahead, they do have a shuttle that will pick you up and drop you back off at your hotel for free. We enjoyed the long walk along the road that evening to get to the restaurant, though we did have to use our phone flashlights so as not to step on any crabs! And then after dinner we took advantage of the shuttle to get back to the villa. The ambiance is very touristy, but it was a nice intro for our first day in Bora Bora, and our dinner there cost us 7950CFP (about $73USD).
We’re used to trading credit card points to cover hotel stays for free. But every once in a while, a bnb is just right for those odd one night stays. Honeymooners should opt for the resorts, but families seeking adventure on the island, or artists seeking solitude may really enjoy the quaint hospitality of a villa. If you’ll be there more than one night, we also recommend renting a car, atv, or bikes so you can explore the island and get to the restaurants and beaches more easily!
Ready to start planning your trip to Bora Bora? Be sure to start with:
How We Booked A Week In Bora Bora For Less Than $200 Each
Click below to start planning your trip with $40 of free Airbnb credit!