- Secluded property located on a private motu
- Rustic, natural setting with little light or noise pollution
- Beautiful beach with great snorkeling
- Five bungalows with rustic Polynesian decor
- Nightly room rates include continental breakfast; other meals available for an additional fee
- Completely unplugged experience (no Wi-Fi, TVs, or air-conditioning)
- Completely unplugged nature of the property might not appeal to everyone
- Getting eaten alive by bugs is almost guaranteed
- No locks on doors or any type of in-room security
- Much of the property is overgrown and unsightly
- Some may find motu life isolating
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 likely its only saving grace; however, nearby Pension Alice et Rapahel is similarly rustic and has a great beach, but feels cleaner and better maintained. Those looking to ditch the rustic charm altogether might prefer Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora — a mid-range hotel on the main island with comparable nightly rates.
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Blue Heaven Island lodge
A rustic hotel with bare-bones accommodations
A typical morning at Blue Heaven Island begins at dawn — or later for those who can manage to sleep through the incessant crows of the motu’s roosters. Guests who have requested breakfast can enjoy some coffee, toast, and jam in the open-air dining room while watching Elie, the property’s manager, chop wood and crack coconuts “en paraeo” (aka while wearing a sarong). After breakfast the day is free for swimming, snorkeling, or just hanging around — as there’s not much else to do. For some, life on a motu can feel blissfully relaxed, but for others it can feel lonely and isolated.
On a private motu in Bora Bora
Bora Bora, perhaps French Polynesia’s most famous island, is known for its incredible beauty; the highlight of which is its crystalline lagoon. Bora Bora’s main island is surrounded by dozens of tiny islands, known as motus. Guests traveling to Bora Bora have two options: stay on the main island, or stay on a motu. The majority of Bora Bora’s most exclusive resorts are located on private motus, while more budget-friendly options are located on the main island. Blue Heaven Island is an exception. Though far from a luxury resort, Blue Heave Island is located on a private motu (tiny island) about 10 minutes from the Bora Bora airport.
The property’s manager, Elie, greets guests at the airport; he'll be easy to spot — just look for the guy who looks like Tom Hanks in "Castaway." He'll then take guests to hotel on his tiny boat. Hopefully guests aren’t apprehensive about getting wet, or aren’t traveling with a lot of luggage, as the boat isn’t big enough to ward off waves or hold much more than an overnight bag.
Outside of the hotel, there is nothing to see or do on the motu, which some guests may find incredibly boring after a few days. Others may relish in the complete isolation from civilization. There’s no light or sound pollution, no cars or traffic, and no hum of air conditioners or TVs. Instead roosters act as alarm clocks, stars fill in for street lamps, and Elie’s gaggle of dogs are the nightly entertainment.
Wooden huts in desperate need of some upgrades
There are five freestanding bungalows at Blue Heaven Island, though the word bungalow might be a bit of a misnomer for the palapa-covered huts that serve as the hotel’s accommodations. The basic wood structures are old, and smell a bit mildewy. Neither the windows nor doors have screens or locks, so you can’t leave them open unless you love getting bitten by bugs. But closed windows and doors create a stuffy, sweltering feel inside of the rooms, which lack air-conditioning and consistent electricity.
Each room has a queen-size bed and a limp mosquito net that doesn’t provide much protection from the incessant critters. Beds are covered in (seemingly) centuries-old sheets and quilts that we refrained from using during our stay. Let’s just say when we woke up with dark red rashes all over our arms and legs a few days later, there wasn’t much doubt about where they came from. It's hard to say anything nice about the bathrooms — we guess at least they’re indoors? The tiny bathrooms have small shower stalls where lizards like the hang out, sinks with spewing faucets, and toilets that flush sometimes. Shower pressure is iffy, and water is heated by solar panels, so consistent temperatures can be hard to come by.
No Wi-Fi, phone service, or televisions
For travelers who don’t mind roughing it, Blue Heaven Island has a few nice features. For starters, its beautiful beach has excellent snorkeling conditions. Just off the shore, snorkelers can see giant eels, crabs, sting rays, the occasional reef shark, and tons of coral. The current can be strong sometimes, so guests should ask Elie about the best times to go out. Though it’s great for snorkeling, the beach is pretty rocky and isn’t ideal for swimming unless guests have water shoes. There are a few beach chairs and a handmade beach lounge, as well as snorkel gear and kayaks for guests to use.
With advance notice, Elie is happy to prepare meals for guests. This is strongly suggested, as there really isn’t any other option. Guests can also ask Elie to take them to the main island to dine at local restaurants, but this can be a hassle, especially at night.
It should be noted that there is no TV, Wi-Fi, or cell reception on the island. Guests who will enjoy staying at Blue Heaven Island are those who are looking for a rustic, unplugged experience.
Balcony / Terrace / Patio
Mini Bar (with liquor)
Supervised Kids Activities
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.