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  • Lauren Wood

InterContinental Thalasso: Paradise Found in Bora Bora

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

InterContinental's premier property offers exemplary service, spacious overwater bungalows and food you can actually write home about. No trip to Bora Bora is complete without a stay at Thalasso.

You step off the boat, instantly greeted by a smiling face who offers a warm welcome and guides you onto the dock and out toward the property. Around you, waves lap gently onto a pristine white sand beach. The scent of Tahitian gardenia tickles your nose. You listen quietly: only a gentle stream of sounds consisting of birds chirping, a speedboat off in the distance, wind nestling into the tops of the palm trees. The sun warms your face and adds a sparkle to the crystal clear water below. You’ve arrived at the InterContinental Thalasso.

Our experience at Thalasso was essentially perfection from start to finish. We arrived at the InterContinental Thalasso in the afternoon, after being escorted by private boat from the InterContinental Le Moana (where we had stayed previously. CLICK HERE to read my post about IC Le Moana). The two properties obviously worked seamlessly together to arrange our transfer boat, and then when it was time to leave Le Moana, they claimed our bags and had them waiting at the dock for us to take to Thalasso. Naturally, upon arriving at Thalasso, they again swooped up our bags and took them to the reception area, where they held them until our room was ready, and later delivered them directly to our rooms.

On arrival, we were greeted by a man in traditional Polynesian garb blowing a conch shell, and were escorted to the reception area for check-in. We were led to these beautiful blue sunken-in wicker chairs with views of Mt. Otemanu and all the overwater bungalows, where we were handed scented cold towels to freshen up and an iced tea to quench our thirst from the long journey there (*kidding*). They snapped our photo, telling us they like to take a photo of all our guests (which we later found out was for a parting gift that was delivered upon check-out).

The check-in process was similar to that of Le Moana, where you complete check-in from the comfort of your seat, rather than at a registration desk. Guests are handed a clipboard to fill in their passport numbers, loyalty numbers and contact information, and confirm their credit card details. Since we arrived at around 1 pm, our room wasn’t ready, so we were given an access code so we could get connected to the WiFi, and then went to the pool to lounge for a bit while the bellman held onto our bags. We actually weren’t there long, as we received notification that our room was ready less than an hour later. So we finished our beers, collected our things and were shortly escorted by golf cart to check out this incredible room that they had upgraded us to.

How InterContinental Thalasso is protecting its guests from Covid-19

Since French Polynesia is one of the few places where Americans can travel right now—and since Zoom meetings, virtual schooling and being cooped up inside probably has you feeling like you’re about to pull your hair out—you might be getting closer and closer to pulling a trigger on a trip to Bora Bora. But if you’re worried about additional exposure to the novel coronavirus, don’t be: with ample hoops to jump through to even get there (to keep both you and its locals safe) and heightened cleaning procedures at the InterContinental properties, now is arguably one of the safest times to travel.

The safety measures that the InterContinental has put into places to protect its guests from Covid-19 are apparent immediately upon arrival. Guests are required to put on their mask before even entering the speedboat that takes them to the property, and are encouraged to physically distance themselves from other passengers when taking a seat. At check-in, the process is completed in the lounge—at socially distanced tables—rather than have guests stand in line and congregate at the reception area. No credit cards are exchanged and all key cards have been sanitized.

While on the property, all guests are required to wear their face coverings in all public places, except when seated at their table to eat in the dining room, at the pool or enjoying water activities. At breakfast, limited people were allowed in the buffet line at a time, and guests were encouraged to socially distance rather than wait in busy lines. Tables are socially distanced away from other diners and a squirt of hand sanitizer into your hands was required upon entry. Guests were also denied entry to the restaurant if they forgot their mask, but of course, there were surgical grade masks available as a courtesy if you did forget one.

In the rooms at InterContinental Thalasso, the usual items that require a lot of touching from guest to guest were either sterilized or removed. While linens and towels are obviously washed and treated, room fixtures are carefully wiped down and things like TV remotes and hair dryers are carefully sterilized. The usual leather bound booklets with paper menus have all been removed, and you can find all the room service menus directly on your TV. They even had a Covid channel on the TV, outlining all the rules for the property and explaining the myriad ways the hotel is trying to keep its guests safe from additional exposure to Covid-19. Overall, we felt very safe.

You can tell that IHG as a company takes pride in the cleaning measures they have put into place at their properties. Since long before this pandemic began, IHG developed a partnership with leading industry experts Ecolab and Diversey to develop top-of-the-line hygiene and cleaning technologies and services at all of their properties. Since July of this year, all IHG properties have also instituted procedures requiring face coverings to be worn in all public spaces at all hotels in the Americas. In most cases, that also extends to other IHG properties across the globe.

The Rooms