Sunset Hill Lodge – Unpretentious, unconventional, convenient, and affordable for families.
The two buildings are unsigned on either side of the main road, on the northern edge of the only town on the main island. One building – slightly up a hill and offering distant and partial sea views – contains two one-bedroom apartments, each with a kitchen, pocket garden, and two extra single beds. Better is the blue house over the road, with studios and a magnificent two-bedroom apartment featuring enough beds for eight people. The apartment kitchen is enormous, and the balcony juts over the water, but the pink doors, yellow walls, and garish curtains are a tad tasteless.
Sunset Hill Lodge – The Basics
Location: Based in two buildings: one (blue) alongside the Total petrol station, and another (crimson) just up a lane opposite – but neither are signposted. About 1.2 km from the terminal for boats to the airport, 8 km from Matira (the main beach region), and 20 minutes by boat and taxi from the airport.
Guests: For those on a budget, including families, who don’t necessarily need to be in a resort area.
Beach: No beach in front or anywhere else in Vaitape. About 300 further north (e.g. near the yacht club) are some swimming spots, but still no beach. Otherwise, ask the staff for a free transfer to the main beach at Matira.
Views: Distant sea views from the building up the hill. Faultless panoramic views of the ocean from the studios and apartment in the blue house over the road.
Wi-Fi: Free throughout for guests, although a bit hit-and-miss at times.
Parking: Secure off-street parking next to all rooms.
Nice Perks: Free laundry service. Also, free transfers to the boat terminal for the airport, and usually, to Matira beach.
Pool, Spa & Fitness Center: Not expected or provided at this sort of low-key lodge.
Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided.
Sunset Hill Lodge – Food and Drink
Restaurant & Bar: Not expected or provided.
Breakfast: Not provided. Rooms have a kitchen for self-catering.
Room Service: Not expected or provided.
Sunset Hill Lodge – Rooms
Room Types: Sunset Studio • Garden Bungalow • Moana Villa • Moana Apartment
Smoking Rooms: Not permitted in the rooms, but allowed elsewhere.
Best Room: Easily the best is Moana Apartment on the second floor of the blue house. It provides enough space to comfortably accommodate 8 people, and has an extensive balcony over the sea.
Sunset Hill Lodge – What’s Nearby?
Best Nearby Restaurants & Bars
Restaurant St James (40 67 64 62) – Cocktails, sunsets, seafood, and waterside tables. Popular among locals for the wine and dessert menu. About 400m down the road towards the town center.
Le Panda d’Or (40 67 62 81) – Affordable and popular Chinese cuisine, with huge serves. Some wines and beers also available. Almost opposite St James.
Aloe Café (40 67 78 88) – Popular expat hangout for breakfast, salads, pasta, pizza, and pastries. About 1 km away, opposite the church in the middle of Vaitape.
Chez Pam – One of several very casual street-side options. Basically, a caravan selling pizzas and burgers. About 300m further up, away from Vaitape.
Nearby Market or Grocery
Two pleasingly well-stocked supermarkets are in Vaitape, just a 500m walk. Chin Lee’s is open on Sundays.
There is no public transport anywhere on Bora Bora. Taxis (unmetered) can be organized through the lodge, but rates are extortionate. Otherwise, rent a bicycle, car, or scooter to reach Matira, but it’s walkable to Vaitape and the terminal for boat transfers to the airport. Best of all: staff at the lodge can provide free transfers to Vaitape and Matira.
Sunset Hill Lodge – The Hotel
The lodge is divided into 2 separate buildings, with 1 up a slight hill.
The building up the hill is quietly distant from the main road and faces a small garden.
Rooms in this building are simple but spacious and colorful.
Walls of the rooms are lined with Polynesian-style art.
Better are the studios and apartment in the blue house, almost opposite the other building.
The Moana Apartment in the blue building features a massive kitchen.
The apartment contains 2 bedrooms, and with several beds also in the lounge area, it can comfortably accommodate 8 people.
The bathroom in the apartment is also large.
The décor in the apartment is remarkably garish, with the colors of the linen, curtains, and walls not remotely matching.
There is nothing fancy about the décor and furnishings in the second bedroom of the apartment, but it’s comfortable enough.
The advantage of staying in the apartment is the balcony that juts out over the water.
The blue building faces the sea and provides lovely views across the lagoon.
About 300m further up the road from the town centre is the MaiKai Restaurant, part of a classy yacht club.
An easy walk towards town is the Restaurant Saint James, ideal for views, sunsets, and seafood.
Almost opposite the Saint James is this modest but popular Chinese restaurant.
All rooms at the lodge feature kitchens, and 2 well-stocked supermarkets are within a 5-minute walk.
One advantage of staying at the lodge is its proximity to the boutiques and bistros in Vaitape, the only town in Bora Bora.
From the lodge, it’s an easy walk into Vaitape.
Vaitape is a pleasant laidback town – touristy, but with a few amenities for locals.
A fun way to explore the main island is by the sort of buggy car available for rent in Vaitape.
The staff is usually able to provide free transfers to the main beach region at Matira.
Bora Bora is about 45 minutes by air from the Tahitian capital, Pape’ete.
The airport is on an atoll and linked to the main island by free boat transfers.