HEAVEN ON EARTH! 5 of 5 Stars This is long overdue! My husband and I had the pleasure, no the privilege of staying at this beautiful jewel of a home over the water in Bora Bora. It all started with lots of daydreaming and then conversations with the owner of the Black Perl, Richard, who is an absolute delight.We sealed the deal for 16 days in this beautiful home and when we arrived it was more than we could have even dreamed of! Lovely accommodations, gorgeous setting, wildlife in the blue waters that we played with every day. We loved having our own space. If you want coffee to watch the sunset you make a cup and sit on the house dock. No having to dress to go down to a stuffy lobby in some hotel. We would go to the market and gather fresh fish, greens and bread and whipped up a tasty BBQ for dinner. Truly the best way to travel.Richard, thank you for making this dream come true by sharing your home. This was a present for my husbands birthday and it is one he will always remember. Warmest Regards,Gigi & Paul McDougall Seattle PS If you dive you will love Bora Dive. Ask for Sarah! Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
SO BLESSED TO HAVE EXPERIENCED PARADISE AS SOMEONE WHO LIVES IN IT AND NOT MERELY AS A VISITOR 5 of 5 We stayed at the Marlon’s and Brando’s towards the end of March. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Tiare (Nir was out of town) who gave us the key to the bungalow and a cell phone with her number so we could call whenever we had a problem. We did call her a few times during our stay and she was quick to respond and solved all our problems. It was like having an instant friend in town. The two bungalows are very similar and are exactly as depicted in the photos – spacious, clean, nicely furnished, fully equipped and situated right on the lagoon. The Brando’s gives you a bit more privacy as there’s no house on one side. The Marlon’s has a day bed on the large covered terrace that we took full advantage of. The bungalows are nicely spaced out that we did not feel much difference in terms of privacy. The best snorkeling spot is actually in front of the two bungalows. There’s more to see here than in front of the other three bungalows in the complex. We saw an octopus, shy moray eels, parrot fish, spotted eagle rays (if you stay quiet, they’ll let you swim along with them), giant clams, a school of travelly, and many more…. My favorite times are early mornings and late afternoons when the outrigger canoes and stand up paddlers come out on the water. We went on a snorkel excursion and a fishing trip; got picked up and dropped off at our own dock. We rented a car from Tiare. Without it, we would miss out on getting fresh baguettes in the morning, cruising around to the many postcard perfect picturesque spots, and greeting the fishermen when they came in with their catch of the day. Bora Bora is paradise and you’d feel it the moment you step off the plane. Apart from the money we save, what makes the Marlon’s and Brando’s so unique – especially after seeing where the luxury resorts are in Bora Bora – is how it made us feel. There are only five over water bungalows in the complex, a luxury compared to the rows of over water bungalows in the resorts. It is located on the main island, so we’re connected to what makes the island so special apart from its natural beauty – its people, their culture and way of life, great restaurants and bars.. I truly wish everyone going to Bora Bora will get to experience this. P.S. After going to shops in Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora, we went to visit Wendy at Arc en Ciel at Richard’s recommendation and there my sister finally found her strand of Tahitian black pearls. Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Trip of a Life Time! 5 of 5 Stars My husband and I took our two adult children to Tahiti and Bora Bora as part of our graduation gift to them; our son had just graduated from college and our daughter had just graduated from high school. We were looking for a trip of a life time. We found it here!If you are going to Bora Bora treat yourself to a home like this over the water! Fishing and swimming and snorkeling right from the deck. And so peaceful. When we signed up for tours on the water...the tour guides picked us up in boats right from our deck! Clear teal blue water all around us.We cooked on the grill, relaxed on the lanai, read books, dipped into the water whenever we wanted. There is plenty of room to relax. The kitchen has just about everything you need. The a/c in the master bedroom was ideal for comfortable sleeping.Highlights and must dos: enjoy beautiful Matira Beach, eat at the Matira Beach Restaurant, and absolutely go on the private all day tour with Patricks Tours. Ask for Rapa as your captain guide. Do the full day where you get the Polynesian Luncheon on the motu. Swim with the sting rays and sharks. Our kids said the day we did that tour was a #10! A special thanks to Nir who is the contact person you have on the island when you rent this home. He does everything you need and want. Provides you with a cell phone so you can call him anytime for anything. And we did! When you stay on a remote island like this, and the language is foreign, having someone like Nir was invaluable.Stay at Brando's Over Water Bungalow! You will love it! Source: Trip Advisor/Flipkey
An amazing Place to Stay! 5 of 5 Stars Our stay at Brando's Over the Water Bungalow was absolutely amazing. I am a planner and researcher.I googled everything I could about Bora Bora before traveling there, however, the internet information was very limited.Once we arrived and made our way around the island,I discovered that we made by far the best decision by staying here.This is a complete and full functioning home, not just an 'over the water bedroom and bathroom' as compared to the many resorts. I will honestly say that the pictures posted do not capture the true beauty of the surroundings and views, it exceeded our expectations. We had unlimited access to the island, which is what sets this bungalow apart from most of the resorts with over the water bungalows.The community setting where this bungalow is located is very private, very clean, quiet, and a safe environment. Richard has three of the five bungalows over the water, a home to suit every need! This review can easily be applied to any of three if you are considering Marlon's Over the Water Bungalow, Brando's Over the Water Bungalow or the Black Pearl.Richard was so friendly and welcoming and such a pleasure to work with.Once in Bora Bora, he arranged a local friend, Nir to meet and greet us and provide us with a cell phone to be able to contact him for any of our needs, and we did! Nir was readily available every time we called, and always had knowledgeable responses to our requests, from simple restaurant recommendations to scheduling our excursions. He also had a rental car available for us, which can be a little hard to reserve in advance on the island, and I would highly recommend having a car to get around at your leisure. Nir's recommendation for a private boat tour around the island was the highlight of our trip. Patrick with Maohi Nui gave us a real experience we will never forget! Sharks, stingrays, coral, sea life, and amazing snorkeling locations which are only accessible by boat! It was a trip too good to be true! Thanks Richard!! Source Trip Advisor/Flipkey
Heaven exists right here on earth... 5 0f 5 Stars It's been a few days now since I returned from my 8-day, 7-night vacation paradise in Bora Bora. I miss it with all of my heart already!! My girlfriend and I stayed at Richard's bungalow as a 50th birthday gift to the both of us. We were in Nirvana the minute we got there (and all along, I thought we were in Bora Bora)! The bungalow is actually big enough to fit six if the third couple brings along a few sleeping pads for the loft located above the bedrooms. As soon as we got there, we were greeted by Nir who is an amazing concierge in addition to being an amazing human being! Nir was available to meet all of our needs in enjoying our stay to the fullest; in addition he set us up with some incredible excursions that will remain in our hearts forever!! Every minute of our island experience was a testament to the wonderful relaxing atmosphere that Richard and Nir, as well as the residents of Bora Bora in general, provides to its visitors!! We soaked up lots of sun and cool evening breezes, mingled with a wonderful array of sea life while snorkeling and diving, and traveled around the island many times to familiarize ourselves with the entire island. The bungalow is absolutely one of the most private on the main island and is an incredible bargain compared to other over-water bungalows offered by many of the hotels. **You should have a car for your entire stay though, because the bungalow is a few miles north of the main spots in town and not easily reachable by foot or by bike. Throughout our entire stay, we lounged around at our leisure, cooked our own meals in our beautiful kitchen, and ate them on the patio overlooking the peaceful and spectacular lagoon with all of the amazing scenery right in front of us!! I will be coming back to Bora Bora many times over and am already looking at ways that I can make this spectacular island my permanent home once my daughter is out on her own. Being in Richards over water bungalow, it already felt like home to me!! Thank you Richard and Nir for an experience that will last in my heart and soul for the rest of my life!! Source Trip Advisor/Flipkey
The Best way to shake off a pandemic!5/5
Stayed Jun 2021
We loved our stay at the Black Pearl. The pilotis is amazing and beautiful, and we were very comfortable spending some days just hanging out and relaxing there. It was wonderful to wake up slowly in the morning, put on snorkel & fins, and swim off the lanai, with coral and fish awaiting me. Two weeks was an excellent length to stay, because we had enough time to do everything we wanted, yet plenty of decompression time. We never figured out how to use the TV, but it was not really needed. Nir took care of tuning up the gas grill pronto, although we never got to meet him. We had missed the first boat to town from the airplane (trying to dig sunblock out of my bag! Silly.), so an hour later, we found help contacting Nir's wife to come back an hour later with the keys, and she provided the cellphone that got us started. It's amazing making friends right off with local folks, who were astounded to meet an American that spoke French easily. Vive la différence ! After French Polynesia's lockdown, everyone was extremely glad to welcome visitors back to the island, although they take all precautions to keep their current COVID rates at zero. Taxis were a fantastic way to get around--drivers are fabulously helpful there.
Published Jul 21, 2021
This property catered to our travel style5/5
Stayed May 2021
Jon & Ellen P.Highlands Ranch, CO
There are basically two ways to experience Bora Bora. The first is by staying at a luxury resort paying huge dollars to be on a scenic island Motu where your time and money are spent doing resort activities and eating resort food. For a honeymooning couple, this is just right.
For more seasoned travelers a better way is to rent a private home. You experience the beauty, culture, and soul of the place by meeting local people. You can count on a once-in-a-lifetime experience staying at the Black Pearl Bungalow. It offers you a local experience and a luxurious base camp for doing it.
You have an overwater location where you can swim, snorkel and kayak without leaving the property. You experience ocean life up close as you are visited by colorful fish and sting rays that swim up to the lanai. A multitude of interesting boats passes by all day.
You have a bungalow recently upgraded to very high standards with a large living area, a huge bedroom and a lovely custom kitchen, all tastefully decorated with authentic Tahitian art. It has air conditioning and a huge ceiling fan. The interior combines tropical hardwoods, bamboo and glass tiling the color of the lagoon. The kitchen has everything you could want. The bedroom has a beautiful canopy bed and plenty of space for your clothing. The bathroom has huge shower and a washer. Each room is lighted with fixtures that appeared to be professionally designed by a lighting expert.
There is an entertainment center and guides for activities to do, places to visit and historical information about Tahitian culture including a Polynesian cookbook full of authentic recipes.
Staying at the Black Pearl provides you the services of Nir and Tiare, the on-island caretakers of the property. With their hospitality you will leave feeling you've made new lifetime friends.
For the cost, the Black Pearl is a bargain compared to resorts. Because it is on the main island you have complete control of your time without needing pricey shuttles. Much of our trip wouldn’t have been possible from a resort. Instead, we used the savings to pay for activities we love.
The Tahitian people are so friendly. Many know Richard and Nir and showed even more joy when they heard we were staying at the bungalow rather than a resort. Rest assured you are renting from a well-respected man.
Before you choose where to stay, think about who you are and how you travel.
Note: due to space constraints here the full report is on TripAdvisor.