There’s A Lot Of Heart At The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

Stay at a place where they fix your crown. If that isn’t the hallmark of hospitality, what is? I observed this a few weeks ago in Bora Bora where a guest was balancing too many plates from the dinner buffet on her arms while her crown of hibiscus and lotus blossoms started to teeter towards the front of her head, blocking her eyes. “Madam, madam, madam,” said Mr. Teva, the fabulous host of the main restaurant who swooped right up under her. In one flourish, the crown on petals was in its proper place, the plates perfectly arranged on the table before her. “There,” and Mr. Teva floated back into the busy dining room. The guest smiled, and the couple next to her beamed.

I love this story because its one of several I witnessed at the St. Regis in Bora Bora Resort. This property isn’t the newest or biggest within the region, but what it has as an absolute standout is the heart of hospitality. One morning, I was chatting with the cheery waitress and said I was going to snorkel in the lagoon later in the day. She mentioned, “the mermaids will be out then,” and I said, “what mermaids?!” She beamed, “You! You are the beautiful mermaid in the lagoon.” Earlier in the morning, our suite’s butler, Kenny, waved to me from her golf cart. She fully stopped and had a whole convo with me. I insisted she leave because I spotted the coffee tray she must of been in route to delivering. “No, no,” she said. “I love talking with our guests.” I could feel she meant it.

All of these were such small remarks, tiny gestures, throughout my stay. Added together though, they make a mountain the size of Mount Otemanu in terms of an impression, and a rare one at that. I asked the General Manager, Emmanuel Richardet, who has held numerous international posts as a GM at luxury properties, what was happening at this magical spot in Bora Bora, and how he trains people, if at all, for “warmth.” He replied, “This is nothing related to training. It is a philosophy.” Further, he has just three rules: “Rule number one is: You recruit for attitude and then train on skills. This is no secret. The second rule is: Lead your team with respect, fairness, and nicely. Positive attitudes create positive spirit. And lastly, rule three is: Have fun. If you have fun, if you make your team laugh, they will be smiling all day long.” This is a great set of rules other properties should adopt, I added. Richardet ended with, “If you gain their (your staff’s) heart, they will climb mountains for you.”

Speaking of heart, romance certainly draws many guests to this St. Regis. Bora Bora is already well established for its amorous setting, and the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort has two full time employees dedicated to the “romance team.” Last year, this team booked more than 80 romantic events, from wedding proposals to vow renewals. Several packages are chock full of meticulous lovey-dovey details like The Royal Estate Villa Wedding package that comes with a sunset candlelight couples massage and Mr. and Mrs. towels. Even if you’re not on the love boat at the St. Regis, the romantic touches seep through in charming ways. The sugar packets at the breakfast table are in the shape of a heart, for instance.

Sometimes the way to the heart is through the stomach, of course. This St. Regis has this in spades with its LAGOON by Jean-Georges restaurant, a French and Asian flavors over-water establishment considered the best in Bora Bora. Service is crisp but warm, and the “discovery” menu is an elegant experience all around.

You don’t need a wedding or proposal to feel the robust romance of Bora Bora. At the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, simply the warmth of its sincere hospitality is enough to put anyone in a lovely mood. It radiates from the guests, even through sunglasses and sunscreen.

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