When I was planning my own Bora Bora trip, I must have spent hours trying to choose between these two resorts. Ultimately, I ended up choosing the Four Seasons Resort.
Keep reading to find out all the key differences between them so you can decide which one suits you best.
Table of Contents
Summary – InterContinental Thalasso vs Four Seasons
Both resorts provide that once-in-a-lifetime chance to stay in an overwater bungalow and vacation in one of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious locations.
But which hotel is better? How do they differ?
Here’s a quick overview of the key differences between the two resorts:
- The Four Seasons resort is regularly voted as the number 1 resort in Bora Bora.
- Four Seasons is more expensive than InterContinental Thalasso. You’ll spend a lot more on both your nightly rate and food + drinks.
- The service is better at the Four Seasons as it’s more personalized and the staff regularly go above and beyond to make your stay more memorable.
- There are more things to do at the Four Seasons and it’s much better for families.
- There’s more choice when it comes to food at the Four Seasons as there are more restaurants and a wider range of food options.
- The Four Seasons has a slightly more high-end and luxurious feel.
- The Four Seasons property is much bigger than InterContinental Thalasso but this does mean it isn’t very walkable (you have to order a golf cart to get anywhere).
Overall, if you want to save a bit of money but you still want to experience all that Bora Bora has to offer then InterContinental Thalasso is a great choice.
If you have lots of money to spend and don’t mind paying more for a few extra amenities and a more luxurious feel then the Four Seasons Bora Bora is perfect for you.
As I said, I ended up booking the Four Seasons Resort over InterContinental Thalasso for a variety of reasons.
I liked that the Four Seasons felt like the ultimate luxury choice as that was what I was looking for.
It was definitely a great choice as I had the best time staying at the Four Seasons. The staff regularly went above and beyond and the grounds are just breathtaking.
It was a tough choice though and if I returned to Bora Bora, I’d definitely consider staying at the Thalasso.
(I also spent a couple of nights at the St Regis).
The locations of the two resorts are similar. They both look out onto Mount Otemanu and Bora Bora’s famous blue lagoon.
The views at both resorts are absolutely beautiful and probably some of the best views you’ll ever see.
The Four Seasons is closer to the airport but staying there over InterContinental will only reduce your transfer time by about 15 minutes.
Here’s a bit more information…
- The InterContinental Thalasso & the Four Seasons resorts are located fairly close to each other on Bora Bora’s lagoon.
- They are located on the islands that surround the main Bora Bora island, with the InterContinental Thalasso sitting to the east and the Four Seasons sitting to the northeast.
Check out the locations of the 2 resorts in the image below:
- The Four Seasons is slightly closer to the airport but only by a short distance.
- The Four Seasons is 15 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from the main island.
- InterContinental Thalasso is around 30 minutes from the airport and also just 10 minutes from the main island.
Amenities & Things To Do
You’ll generally find that the service is better at the Four Seasons compared with InterContinental Thalasso as it is more personalized and you’ll not be left wanting for anything.
There are plenty of amenities and things to do in each resort however the Four Seasons is bigger and does have more options.
As the Four Seasons is a large resort, it isn’t very walkable and you have to order a golf cart to get around.
I did find this a bit annoying because it wasn’t easy to just nip back to your room if you forgot something.
InterContinental Thalasso is much more walkable.
Let’s take a closer look…
Things To Do
- In Bora Bora, the main things to do are snorkeling, swimming with sharks and rays, relaxing on the beach and taking a dip in the lagoon. You can do all of these activities at both resorts.
- As both resorts sit along Bora Bora’s lagoon, it’s easy to access from either resort and they also both offer free kayaks and paddleboards so you can easily explore the lagoon.
- You will generally find that InterContinental Thalasso has the most fish out of all of Bora Bora’s resorts as it is the last resort in a long line of resorts and has an open lagoon to one side.
- Overall there are definitely way more things to do at the Four Seasons resort compared with InterContinental Thalasso.
- The Four Seasons will arrange pretty much anything you can think of from cooking classes, flower crown making classes, water sports and even village visits.
- InterContinental Thalasso is definitely tailored more towards couples.
- Kids will likely prefer the Four Seasons as there’s more to do for kids. For example, they have a kid’s club with different activities every day.
- InterContinental Thalasso offers a free shuttle service to its sister resort on the main island so it’s super easy to access the main island where you’ll find a wider range of restaurants and things to do.
- The Four Seasons does charge a fee of $37 per person each time you use their shuttle service so it’s harder to access the main island.
- Both resorts have impressive infinity pools which look out onto the lagoon and Mount Otemanu.
- The pool at Four Seasons is also heated (not that you’ll need it).
- As a whole, the service is better at the Four Seasons when compared with InterContinental Thalasso.
- The staff often go above and beyond at the Four Seasons and try really hard to make your stay more memorable.
- One thing that makes the service better at the Four Seasons is that they have an app which you can use to contact the staff for any requests.
- You can use the app to order room service, ask for dinner recommendations or even order a flower crown.
- The service at InterContinental Thalasso is still excellent but it’s harder to contact the staff (you’ll have to call or go in person).
- At the Four Seasons, you also get a dedicated concierge who will periodically check-in with you and is always happy to help with any requests like excursion bookings or spa appointments.
- This is also something that InterContinental Thalasso doesn’t have. The service is still great but much less personal.
- Both resorts have breathtaking views of Bora Bora’s turquoise lagoon and the iconic Mount Otemanu so if this is important to you then both are perfect.
- Overall it feels like a lot more care and attention has gone into the design of the Four Seasons compared with InterContinental Thalasso.
- Every little detail at the Four Seasons is perfect. For example, as you walk onto their private beach, you’ll find deck chairs with clean, fitted towels just waiting for you.
- The Four Seasons also feels a bit more luxurious and upmarket compared with InterContinental. Everything from the decor to the service makes it feel this way.
- The Four Seasons also feels a bit newer as well as it was actually the last resort to be built in Bora Bora.
- The Four Seasons resort is much bigger than the InterContinental Thalasso.
- You’ll generally find that due to its size, the Four Seasons tends to feel very vast and more spread out but InterContinental Thalasso has more of an intimate feel.
- This does mean that the Four Seasons isn’t very walkable though. To get around, you’ll have to call the concierge and ask them to send a driver on a golf cart.
- This can be a downside as you have to plan a little ahead of time and can’t just get up and go as the golf carts require a 15 minute wait.
Tip: If you do stay at the Four Seasons and prefer being able to walk everywhere, request a room that’s closer to the center of the property.
- Both resorts have a fitness center. The one at Four Seasons is much better as they have better equipment and it is more spacious.
- They also provide free towels, bottled water and headsets.
- The fitness center at InterContinental Thalasso is still great but it’s a bit smaller compared with the one at the Four Seasons.
- Both resorts have a fantastic spa with InterContinental Thalasso’s spa being slightly better.
- Their spa is world-renowned however the spa at the Four Seasons is also absolutely heavenly and you won’t leave disappointed.
To budget for a massage, check out my guide on how much a massage costs in Bora Bora.
- Both resorts also have a tennis court that you can use for free. The Four Seasons do offer paid lessons too.
Here’s a few things that InterContinental Thalasso has that Four Seasons doesn’t have:
- A free stingray feeding session each day at 2PM where guests can get up close and personal with the stingrays that live in the lagoon.
- If you’re looking for a place to get married then InterContinental Thalasso could be a better choice as they have an overwater wedding chapel with a glass bottom floor.
Check out the best Bora Bora wedding packages.
Here’s a few things that Four Seasons has that InterContinental Thalasso doesn’t have:
- A dedicated concierge to service any requests.
- Free sunscreen and aloe vera available by the beach and pool.
- A swim-up bar so you can order food and drinks without even leaving the pool.
- Free guided snorkeling tours of the lagoon so you can see the range of tropical fish and coral that live there.
- A free laundry service. This comes in pretty handy due to the heat in Bora Bora. It’s nice to freshen up your clothes.
- There are lots of fun activities and classes that you can book onto for a fee including a flower crown making class, cooking classes or a palm weaving class.
- The resort has an in-house marine biologist who will tell you all about the fish and corals that live in the lagoon.
- A private island that you can walk in the water to from the beach.
Staying in an overwater bungalow is arguably one of the main reasons why people visit Bora Bora.
You’ll get more privacy at the Four Seasons due to the layout of their overwater bungalows which I really valued.
Most of the overwater bungalows at InterContinental Thalasso do face other bungalows due to their positioning (there are a few that don’t though!).
The overwater bungalows at Four Seasons are also slightly bigger than those at InterContinental Thalasso.
Let’s take a deeper dive…
- Both resorts offer overwater bungalows with incredible views. Most bungalows look out onto Bora Bora’s famous turquoise lagoon.
- You can also pay to upgrade to a room with a mountain view at both resorts (pricey but worth it!).
- You will get a bit more privacy in your overwater bungalow at the Four Seasons due to the design. This is more ideal for couples (especially honeymooners!).
- At InterContinental Thalasso, you’ll get less privacy overall as many of the rooms face other bungalows.
- This means that, if you’re out relaxing on your deck, you might be facing other people out on their decks.
Tip: If you do choose to stay at the InterContinental Thalasso then book a diamond overwater bungalow as these don’t face other bungalows (they do cost more though).
- The InterContinental Thalasso is virtually all overwater. They don’t have any options to stay on solid ground.
- Whilst the Four Seasons do have beach villas available on land, they each have 2 or 3 bedrooms and are intended for larger families so they are very pricey.
Extra Info: Depending on the time of year you visit, the beach villas at the Four Seasons can cost anywhere between $5,000 and &10,000 per night!
- The overwater bungalows at the Four Seasons are a bit bigger compared with those at InterContinental Thalasso.
- To compare, the standard overwater villa at InterContinental is 1,023 sq ft and the standard overwater villa at the Four Seasons is 1,076 sq ft.
- At both resorts, all of the overwater bungalows feature glass panels in the floor so you can look down into the lagoon.
- The water surrounding the overwater bungalows is shallower at the InterContinental Thalasso. I cover the exact water depths here.
- This is great if you’re not a super confident swimmer as the water only comes up to chest-level if you’re standing up.
Check out my list of the best overwater bungalows in Bora Bora.
Food & Drink
Whilst food is often very subjective as different people have different tastes, the general consensus is that the food is better at the Four Seasons.
I know this because I spent hours reading through hundreds of forums and reviews so you don’t have to.
Overall you’ll spend less money on food at InterContinental Thalasso however there’s also less choice available compared with the Four Seasons.
Let’s take a closer look…
- Overall the food is better at the Four Seasons compared with InterContinental Thalasso.
- There are more restaurants available at the Four Seasons and also the menus tend to have a slightly wider variety of food.
- The Four Seasons has 4 restaurants compared with 3 restaurants at InterContinental Thalasso.
- Both resorts mainly offer French and Polynesian cuisine however they do also both offer some international options including Asian and Mediterranean cuisine.
- At the Four Seasons, you can have your breakfast delivered to your room by a Polynesian canoe decorated with flowers. This isn’t available at InterContinental.
- At both resorts you can also enjoy a traditional Polynesian dance show and fire dancing on selected nights at the restaurants.
Find out what type of food they eat in Bora Bora.
Food & Drink Cost
- Food and drink costs at both resorts are pretty expensive for what you get but that’s the same with pretty much every resort in Bora Bora.
- Overall, Four Seasons charge more for food and drinks than InterContinental Thalasso.
- For example, a coke costs $6 at InterContinental Thalasso and costs $7 at the Four Seasons.
- Breakfast is also much more expensive at the Four Seasons as it costs $48 per day. Breakfast is just $35 per day at InterContinental Thalasso.
- Dinner costs more at the Four Seasons too. A standard main course costs between $35 and $44 at InterContinental but will cost between $50 and $60 at Four Seasons.
For more information, check out my complete guide to food & restaurant prices in Bora Bora.
You’ll find a similar atmosphere at both resorts however overall the Four Seasons resort feels just a little bit more high-end and luxurious.
This one of the main selling points for me and ultimately one of the key reasons why I picked the Four Seasons.
Here’s a little bit more information…
- Overall, the Four Seasons resort has a more higher-end, upscale feel compared with InterContinental Thalasso.
- This is mainly due to some well thought out finishing touches and excellent, personalized service.
- One thing to note about the Four Seasons though is that they often cater to some very large groups like corporate trips. These can sometimes be up to 100 people!
- This does mean that, at times, the resort feels super busy and you’ll find certain areas crowded with groups who all seem to know each other.
- This does create a great social scene if you like that sort of thing but for couples and honeymooners, it may be a little annoying.
- Of course, you can always find some peace and quiet in your overwater bungalow or on the beach.
- You’ll also find that the Four Seasons has more of a Tahitian feel. They try harder to feature Polynesian and Tahitian decor throughout the resort.
Four Seasons Bora Bora is much more expensive than InterContinental Thalasso. You’ll spend more on both your nightly accommodation and food & drinks.
Let’s take a closer look…
- In general, the Four Seasons is more expensive than InterContinental Thalasso.
This does, of course, depend entirely on which room you choose but for the same room at each location, the Four Seasons always charges more.
- You’ll get better value for money at the InterContinental Thalasso so it’s ideal if you want to save some money.
- You’ll pay significantly more to stay in an overwater bungalow at the Four Seasons compared with InterContinental Thalasso.
- For example, the cost of a standard overwater villa at InterContinental Thalasso is between $1,250 and $1,600 per night.
- For the equivalent at the Four Seasons, the cost is between $1,500 and $3,000 per night.
- To put this into perspective, you could book an overwater villa with a private pool at InterContinental Thalasso for the same price as a standard overwater villa (without a private pool) at the Four Seasons.
- Food and drinks do also cost a bit more at the Four Seasons compared with InterContinental Thalasso.
To budget for a vacation in Bora Bora, you can check out my post on how much a trip to Bora Bora costs.
Taking everything into account, arguably the Four Seasons resort is better than InterContinental Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa.
This, of course, also entirely depends on each person and what they value.
If you’re trying to stick to a budget but still want to experience what Bora Bora is all about then InterContinental Thalasso is a great choice.
If you’re happy to pay a bit extra for outstanding service and the absolute best of everything then you’ll likely find that the Four Seasons is a better choice.
The truth is that there is no wrong choice. You’ll have an incredible and super memorable trip in whichever resort you choose.
Thanks for reading this post on the differences between InterContinental Thalasso Spa and the Four Seasons resort.
Hopefully you now know which hotel to choose for your upcoming vacation.
If you’re still unsure then maybe these posts could help: