No pools or spas here: Bora Bora’s best value hotels don’t offer typical hotel amenities (don’t even expect Wi-Fi, TVs, or consistent electricity at some), but they do deliver authentic Polynesian stays for reasonable rates.
Value-oriented travelers seeking a resort experience would do well at Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora. Located on the main island, Maitai Polynesia is within walking distance of a few shops, restaurants, and the famed Matira Beach. Rooms are charmingly decorated with a Polynesian theme, and equipped with amenities like flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges. There aren’t any big-ticket amenities here, like a pool, spa, or fitness center, but there are two on-site restaurants and a lobby bar. A major pitfall is the steep daily charge for Wi-Fi, which doesn’t even work that well once connected.
Pension Alice et Raphael, a rustic two-room guesthouse on a private motu in Bora Bora, doesn’t have typical hotel amenities. Don’t expect a pool, restaurant, spa, or even Wi-Fi or TVs. However, the French owners, Alice and Raphael, welcome guests like family into their home, which consists of two bungalows, a communal living area, and a beautiful beach. Both bungalows have an authentic Polynesian feel, with thatched roofs, wood furniture, and mosquito nets. There isn’t much to do here besides relax and enjoy the quiet atmosphere. Breakfast is included in the nightly room rate, but dinner incurs an extra charge.
For independent travelers on a budget, Bora Bora Ecolodge is a surefire bet. Though it doesn’t offer typical hotel amenities like a pool, spa, or restaurant, Bora Bora Ecolodge attracts guests with its quiet atmosphere and authentic Polynesian feel. Each of the property’s six thatched-roof bungalows has a kitchenette, but no air-conditioning. Rooms are aligned around a straight pathway that leads directly to the ocean. There’s no sandy beachfront here, but guests can lounge on and swim off of the wooden dock. The Ecolodge’s hospitable owners will drive guests anywhere they need to go, but those really looking to explore the island in-depth should probably rent a car. Bora Bora Ecolodge is located on Bora Bora’s main island.
For anyone who’s ever fantasized about being a character on "Lost," staying at Blue Heaven Island will likely be a dream come true. For just about anyone else, a stay here will feel far too rustic (and that's putting it nicely). Though the property is only 10 minutes from the airport and Bora Bora’s main island, it looks and feels worlds away from civilization. Five wooden huts and a few other ragtag structures are scattered across the overgrown grounds, which look as though they haven’t been properly cared for in years. There’s no Wi-Fi, TV, air-conditioning, or even consistent electricity, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that bugs will eat you alive. Blue Heaven Island’s beautiful beach is a saving grace.