Bora Bora has her bars – but where are the best bars, what do they offer, what are their individual specialities, when are they open, do dress codes apply..…….
Most bars are found in the Matira/Vaitape areas. Not all bars are ‘stand-alone’ operations – there are a number of good ‘watering holes’ in both the resorts & in certain of the better restaurants.
Here’s a run-down on what’s pumping, starting from Matira & ending in Vaitape. None of the bars are far from wherever you may be – just check with any local & they’ll point you in the right direction.
BARS IN & AROUND MATIRA
The bar takes its name from the 1979 Dino de Laurentiis movie ‘Hurricane’ which starred Mia Farrow, Jason Robards, Max Von Sdow, Trevor Howard, Timothy Bottoms & James Keach. The bar is situated at the Sofitel Marara, the hotel built by de Laurentiis to accommodate all those involved in the movie during its shooting.
It’s a great setting overlooking a huge infinity pool & out over Bora Bora’s famous lagoon & there is often good night-time entertainment happening ‘poolside’.
Open from 10.00am -11.00pm, happy hour at 5pm. Bar snacks available through the day.
Comfortable, laid back, table service…..it’s a hard place to beat particularly when the entertainment is humming.
The spot where Matira locals gather – the bar is set amidst a free–flowing restaurant offering a compact yet generous ‘drinks area’ backed by a small pool.
Fare Manuia likes any excuse to party so most ‘occasions’ are celebrated. Staffed by young & knowledgeable team the wooden bar with its extensive list of spirits on display is backed by a large full-screen TV – this is where Bora Bora gathers to watch major international sporting events with an owner/operator sufficiently flexible to ensure the bar is humming irrespective of the time of such events.
Here are some shots from Euro 2016 – all concerned started around 8am with croisssants & beers, pain au chocolat & beers…..& beers! Great day!
The bar tends to close around 10pm other than on ‘big’ nights.
This is perhaps Bora Bora’s closest equivalent to the English speaking world’s ‘pub’ & accordingly offers the corresponding comraderie. ‘Pub’ rather than ‘bar’ prices, it’s a good spot to chill out.
THE BEACH BAR
Not a bar in the traditional sense but worthy of a mention as its the best beach bar in town, the place to sink an ale especially during the Hawaiki Nui:
You’ll find it right on Matira beach 7/7.
Bora Bora’s most famous bar – visited by the rich & famous, by celebrities from all over the world – there’s a honour board at the entrance for all to read.
This is a huge traditional style fare made from local timbers with a thatched pandanus roof & its famous white sand floor. The bar is crafted from coconut, the stools on which you sit bar-side likewise made from the trunks of coconut trees.
The place has a good feel, excellent ambiance & reasonable prices. A must for anyone undertaking an honest bar crawl!
This is a great spot to stop for those cruising the islands by boat with excellent moorings – its here where the $150 million plus club moor. Access to the establishment is simple via the prominent jetty. A good restaurant & a relaxed, casual atmosphere make it a top choice.
THE TIKI BAR
The Tiki Bar opened in July 2015. It is situated virtually opposite Moana Adventure Tours…..so what better place to celebrate a great lagoon tour!
The Bar has been meticulously set-up in a comfortable fare – pandanus thatched roof, local timbers for the bars & other fit-out, subtle useage of local volcanic stone, well thought-out lighting, a great sound system & good music, live entertainment, friendly staff & a wide selection of drinks…..what more could you want!
This is a bar in the true sense of the word, somewhat akin to what english speakers would associate with a wine bar. With a casual yet slightly sophisticated feel & clientele it’s greatly patronised by the local ‘upwardly mobile’ – open from late afternoon (between 3&5pm) until early in the morning (1am at the earliest!). Bar snacks available.
A great place to meet, to chill, to get a feel for life as a local……. easy access from yachts moored off Bloody Mary’s & a top spot to end off a great night out.
St James has a reputation with locals as a great value place to eat – the quality is high & the prices low. It is also home to an interesting cosy bar set virtually at water level with a night-time beach feel (including white sand floor) – the sense of being in a restaurant yet feeling a thousand miles away.
This is an excellent place to kick-back & it has to be the only bar around where you can feed wild stingrays from the deck of the bar. Magic!
Open 8am to 1am Monday to Saturday.
Situated in a large high thatched pandanus roof-top structure that exudes ambience, the bar is a favourite with locals. It’s an inviting open lay-out with a good sized bar & surrounding comfortable seating plus a great open-deck area framing a nice pool.
The bar often promotes live bands & entertainment, pool parties & so on.
Linked to one of Bora Bora’s better restaurants this is a good option for those looking for the complete package encompassing drinks, dining, entertainment, chilling out or kicking back. Free transport shuttle arrangements are available under certain circumstances.
Open 7 days from 8am to 12am
The Recif (Reef) is the only night club on Bora Bora. It has been operating since 1972 so clearly knows what is required.
The format of ‘Karioke from 8pm – midnight followed by a pumping discoteque onwards from mid-night’ is popular with locals & with those looking to party hard!
The Recif is situated along the way to Faanui, just before the Bora Bora Yacht Club.
Open Wednesday & Thursday from 8pm-2am, & on Friday & Saturday from 8pm to 3am. Beer on tap, late happy hours…….
BORA BORA YACHT CLUB
This is a great spot with plenty of history. The bar is situated lagoon-side in a thatched roofed, wooden floored, open ended ‘fare’. Pull up a stool at the wood top bar, sit back comfortably bar-side & under cover or kick-back on an expansive open air deck sitting atop the lagoon & watch the sun go down in what many hold is Bora Bora’s ultimate sunset experience – beer ‘on tap’ at the ready!
If you wish to kick on, then the Bora Bora Yacht Club has a good casual restaurant.
Coming by road the Bora Bora Yacht Club can be found at the Faanui end of Vaitape just before the Farepiti cargo wharf – there’s good parking directly opposite the club. Enquire directly with the clubhouse concerning free transport options.