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All reviews full kitchen close to town budget option polynesian life previous guests self catering ocean front high end resort place to stay in bora bora air conditioning public beach water bungalow gerard apartment laundry supermarket rapunzel
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6 - 11 of 285 reviews
Reviewed 11 July 2017

The good:
- fabulous ocean view from the balcony that runs the length of the apartment
- very spacious
- beds and bedding are comfortable and clean
- a/c in the bedroom works well
- Gerard is a nice, helpful guy. He will pick you up and take you to the dock, do your laundry, arrange car rental and lagoon tours at a discount.

The bad:
- BUGS. If you don't like bugs, this isn't the place for you. When we checked in there were ants all over the kitchen counters and floors. Gerard said the previous guests left food out, and that was the problem. We put NO food on the kitchen counters (we only used the island which the ants hadn't found yet) and everyday there were still ants. If you dropped ONE crumb of food, suddenly there were too many ants to count. There were dozens of small flying roach looking bugs on the ceiling. They didn't buzz around much so weren't really a problem. Wasps were the problem. There are no screens on the windows and apparently there's a big wasp nest nearby. We closed the windows when we checked in and left them closed. My husband chased out 15 wasps the first day, and then each day, even though the windows stayed closed, more wasps appeared. I really don't like wasps and these were large. I talked to Gerard about the wasps and how to keep them out. He nicely lectured me on why we shouldn't kill the wasps (we didn't, even before the lecture) and how this was a good time to get over my fear of wasps. Uh … no. I respectfully disagree with Gerard's assertion that we should all live peacefully with wasps and all other bugs. If you went near a wasp nest, do you think they would be at peace with that? No. They don't want you near their home either.
- The whole place needs a little TLC. A coat of paint, replacing burned out light bulbs, etc.
- It's pretty bare bones. We got one bath towel each for our stay, not enough toilet paper, no hand towels.
- NOISE. Someone nearby blasted music every single afternoon into the night.
- There's a gas station right next door. Not a big deal but that's what you see when you look out the kitchen window, and often there are gas fumes wafting your way.
- Wifi was painfully undependable.

The dilemma: Bora Bora is expensive. Gerard offers a budget option. If he were to remodel the apartment, he would undoubtedly have to charge a lot more. So it is what it is. If you're ok with bugs and the cheap motel vibe, this place might be perfect for you. If you feel about wasps the way I do, stay somewhere else.

For the wasps, I'd give it 1 star. For the view, I'd give it 5 stars. Simple, basic accommodations get 3 stars.

Room Tip: Maybe the ground floor ocean front rooms don't have the same problem with wasps. I don't know.
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Tally4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2017

This is the place to stay in Bora Bora. You are close to town and you can walk there, you can get the best deals for car rental services or island tours and Gerard will tell you all you need to know while visiting one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The hotel seems like an enchanted paradise and Gerard is the kindest host. I am definitely going back!

Room Tip: Room with view over the lagoon
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Natália C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2017

Tahiti, and more specifically Bora Bora, has been on my list of must sees for a long time now. One of the reasons I've never been is the cost which can be ridiculous. For the high-end hotels (you know the picturesque grass huts over an azure sea) can fetch upwards of $1000 per night!!! When I stumbled upon the Sunset Hill Lodge I decided it was my time visit. The lodge consists of two properties: one ocean front and the other across the street up a small rise. There was only the mountainside accommodation available so I booked it for one week. Gerard, the owner, picked us up from the Vaitape marine taxi port and drove us the short 5 minutes to the lodge. The unit I stayed in was large with a nice terrace, basic kitchen with adequate appliances for quick meals along with a shower and toilet. The rates compared to other accommodation on Bora Bora are substantially lower (90% lower compared to the ultra luxury resorts) so I knew things were going to be basic. What I was not prepared for was the onslaught of every kind of bug known to mankind: wasps, bees, flies, cockroaches, millipede-type worm thingies and every other type you can imagine. Shortly after check-in I was dodging the dive-bombing wasps until I'd had enough and whipped out my trusty spray bottle of permethrin bug spray. This was effective for about 72 hours. Unfortunately, my spray had no effect on the god forsaken roosters who started their morning love calls at 3 am!!! no joking 3 am. I had no choice but to relegate myself to their cackling, but yet again I was aroused nightly by the stray dogs howling at the moon while chasing up the local female dogettes for a night of fun.

Gerard was super nice and offered to shuttle us to the really nice beach free of charge and was always there for recommendations etc. If you're into camping and the outdoors this place is your place. Cheap and convenient. If not, you may want to save up and splurge on a mid-range or high-end resort where you'll surly escape the creepy crawlies and other vociferous friends found at Sunset Hill Lodge.

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank groovyhawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ggdebora, Propriétaire at Sunset Hill Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 29 June 2017

Good morning Glen,

One of the essential aspects of your journey would have been to learn to live with other living species on this planet. Despite all the warnings that are given to us daily, you (I speak of Western society as a whole) do not still understood that exterminating all forms of life different from yours (and often your fellows) was not "normal", and coming to Polynesia and observing our way of life would have been highly beneficial to you. . You missed this opportunity, console yourself by thinking that (alas ...) you are not alone to act this way ...

Gerard

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2017

My wife and I just spent a week in Bora Bora - perhaps the most strikingly lovely of the French Polynesian Islands. It is also - for tourists at least - an island of two faces. One face - which makes Bora Bora one of the most expensive places to visit - are the over-the-water bungalow resorts that are on the west and south sides of the island, mostly on the smaller islands that border the outer edges of the Bora Bora lagoon. These resorts are nice for people who want a full service, packaged vacation including nightlife, and are willing to pay big time for it. The other face is mostly Vaitape, the commercial center of the island where the Polynesians live in largest numbers, or Matira Beach - 6KM from Vaitape and the only public beach in Bora Bora. We stayed in Vaitape where the lodging is much less expensive (a big plus if you are on a budget) but where filling one's time requires willingness to get out on your own and experience all of Bora Bora first hand - from biking to hiking to snorkeling to swimming to sunbathing to boating to simply walking up and down the Main Street of Vaitape mingling with locals, taking meals at the food trucks, and enjoying sunsets on your own.

If you are the type of visitor that enjoys the latter, then Sunset Hill Lodge is exactly the place for you - but beware, it is small and hosts only a handful of units. Make your reservation well in advance! We stayed in a one bedroom unit that had a back deck overlooking the water (about 150 meters down the hill). The unit is sparsely but adequately attired. Nothing fancy - after all the rental rate is just over $100/day - about 1/5th to 1/20th the daily rate of the Bungalows. It is just under 1km to the town center so expect to do some walking. There is a grocery (2), a couple restaurants, the Alito hot dog stand (not to be missed), and the wonderful food trucks to purchase wholesome meals for $10-15. There are also endless pearl shops and art galleries. If you seek Night Life, this is not the place for you. There is only one bar close by - at the Maitai Marina and restaurant (two blocks from Sunset Hill).

The owner - Gerard - is fabulous. He arranged trips and rentals for us. Plus he handled our laundry at no charge. There is no TV - though there is AC - so enjoy the marvelous view, it's colors, the gradations of blue in the lagoon, and the great sunsets.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Khess4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2017

Gerard was very helpful in getting around and helping us hire bicycles for a day. The place was well equipped with everything we needed and was a perfect base for our stay on the island. We were a quick walk from the Super U and the view from the balcony was great. A few from our group even slept a night or 2 out on the comfy beds on the balcony.

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank tilltwinkles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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