Turns out that the long-awaited Ritz-Carlton on Bora Bora is going to be a St. Regis instead.
Louis Wane owns this property along with the Sheraton Tahiti, Sheraton Moorea, and Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa — all managed by Starwood.
This latest property should be even more over-the-top luxurious than Bora Bora Nui, where I stayed in June.
The Nui is already the most expensive points-redemption property in all of Starwood-dom. Will Starwood have to create a whole new redemption category for the St. Regis? Or will the hotel build a low-end ‘points room’ for SPG guests?
Interestingly, Bora Bora Nui was originally intended to become a St. Regis. Two stories explained why this didn’t happen. One was that Louis Wane visited the St. Regis Monarch Beach and St. Regis Los Angeles and was appalled, he didn’t want his property associated with the brand. Another was that the Nui simply couldn’t meet brand standards, since service wasn’t up to par (and it didn’t offer butler service).
Neither seems plausible anymore — Louis Wane is building his newest, best property as a St. Regis so he couldn’t have detested the brand that much and while service does want at times at the Nui it appears possible to meet brand standards in French Polynesia since there’s going to be one.
In the end perhaps the Nui didn’t become a St. Regis because they were negotiating the branding for this new property.