BORA BORA: Paradise Unveiled
If you want to get away from it all, infuse extra romance into your life, dine on fine cuisine and feast your eyes on spectacular scenery, look no further than a trip to Bora Bora. Called both the most romantic island in the world as well as the most beautiful, Bora Bora lives up to its reputation and will not disappoint!
In this breathtaking island lush, tropical foliage covers the sky-high peaks of the castle-like Mount Otemanu. The turquoise lagoon that surrounds the island is shallow and clear, teeming with tropical fish, playful turtles, big manta rays, and vivid coral reefs. The beaches are framed with swaying palm trees, creating intimate areas to bask in the warm, white sand.
Spending a day on Bora Bora’s legendary and romantic Matira Beach is a unique and memorable experience. The beach offers some of the island’s best snorkeling in its shallow water and white sandy bottom. Follow the shoreline, past Matira Point, to the shore of Povai Bay, where you can expect to catch some of the most breathtaking views of Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia. Finish the evening with dinner at Bloody Mary’s Restaurant and Bar and be prepared to run into celebrities.
For a unique experience, visit the farm at the Bora Bora Pearl Company, where you can dive for your very own black Tahitian pearls. Regardless of whether the oyster you pick does or doesn’t contain a pearl, you will leave with a very beautiful loose pearl. Another unique experience at the Bora Bora Pearl Company is designing your own one-of-a-kind jewelry and watching a master jeweler create it for you.
Take a helicopter ride over the beautiful island for a stunning bird’s-eye view! Polynesia Helicopters charges approximately $400 per person for a 15-minute sightseeing flight over Bora Bora and its majestic lagoon. The company requires a minimum of four passengers per flight.
If you prefer something more physical, you can bike around the island. The only road on Bora Bora is 19 miles long and you can easily ride your bike there for a memorable day trip. Find hidden beaches as the road twists in and out of coves, stop and have a picnic, take a swim, and then continue riding.
For those of you looking for a more extravagant and lavish affair, take a cruise on a private yacht with ROA Yachting. Offering day trips as well as four and seven-day-long sea excursions, you call the shots. It doesn’t get any better than watching the sunset from a yacht while enjoying a fine meal and the company of good friends. The day cruise starts at $750 per person, with a minimum of four people per trip. The four-day cruise starts at $4,000 per person. Other sailing options include renting a Hobie-Cat or taking a half-day sunset cruise on a giant catamaran with music!
For those who are scuba-certified, take your marine exploration outside the lagoon! Bora Bora has amazing dive sites in its deeper waters teeming with diverse sea life amid magnificent corals, including sea turtles, barracudas, tuna, jackfish, red snappers, Napoleon fish, enormous moray eels, dolphins, some varieties of sharks, and even humpback whales if you visit in August.
If you are looking for some exciting nightlife, you may be disappointed as this is a honeymooners’ island and it can be pretty quiet and peaceful at night. However, you may enjoy your evenings listening to a Tahitian band or choose from any of the luxury resorts to watch an authentic, hip-swinging Tahitian dance show.
Where to Stay
If you are going to travel halfway around the world to this charming island, it would be a shame not to splurge on an overwater bungalow! Starting at approximately $1,650 per night and going up to $6,210 per night, these bungalows are a quintessentially French Polynesian experience that you will always remember. The view from the bungalows at each location is a little different, and each luxury hotel company has their own special amenities including spa facilities, fine dining, Polynesian cultural performances, and other personal touches. Stay in one hotel, or stay in them all. Below is a breakdown of ‘the best of the best.’
St. Regis Resort Bora Bora
Situated on a 44-acre private island, this super luxurious resort opened in 2007 on the northeastern side of the lagoon. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were one of the first couples to stay here in the 13,000-square-foot Royal Estate, which is comprised of three separate pavilions that revolve around a private pool. It boasts three bedrooms, two luxurious living rooms, a chef's kitchen, and a dining room with a sunset terrace. This suite also features a private spa area with treatment room, sauna, hammam and whirlpool. Magnificent tropical gardens border its private white sand beach. Many of the bungalows at the St. Regis have swimming pools and Jacuzzis built into the overwater decks with butlers on-call for all units. This resort is over-the-top in all respects, and, of course, the views are amazing.
The Miri Miri Spa at the St. Regis is 13,000 square feet and is one of the world’s best! Treat yourself to some pampering in one of seven lavish treatment rooms, or have a massage in the gentle air and peaceful atmosphere under a cabana. The spa treatments are a fusion of ancient traditions and freshly prepared natural ingredients.
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa
If you have a spa treatment scheduled at this luxury spa, you may use many of the spa amenities, some of which are found nowhere else on the island, such as the Relaxing Pearl Rain Massage, Deep Sea Hydromassage Bath, Deep Chiller and Arctic Plunge, among others. We recommend indulging in a massage at this spa, and while you are laying face down, enjoy watching fish swim by through the glass floor.
Le Meridien Bora Bora
Le Meridien Bora Bora has the best views of fish under your overwater bungalow. Peer through the glass to see manta rays and schools of colorful fish gracefully gliding below your hut. This hotel also has the best view of Mount Otemanu, and boasts a turtle sanctuary. Rise early to watch the morning feeding of the turtles and later swim among them in the lagoon!
Four Seasons Bora Bora
This hotel offers a breakfast delivered by a canoe! Imagine gazing out your balcony to see a canoe filled with Polynesian staff, adorned with flowers, gliding through the water towards your overwater bungalow, carrying fresh fruit, juice and pastries to start your day!
Here, you can rent a kayak and paddle out into the calm waters or relax at the spa nestled on the edge of a lagoon surrounded by lush tropical forests. Inspired by the kahaia tree, the spa has a very earthy, organic Polynesian feel to it. Feel the tropical scents of frangipani and sandalwood fill the air as you walk along the welcoming sanctuary. This spa uses holistic Osea products and 100% certified organic seaweed harvested from the purest waters on the planet. Prior to your spa treatment, you can enjoy the facilities, which include a steam room, outdoor vitality pool with a shaded lounge area, a sensory experience shower, and a drench shower.
Sofitel Bora Bora
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach and Private Island encompasses both an exclusive private island and a stunning white sand beach. Luxurious and expansive, it features 95 bungalows in a variety of styles, including overwater and hillside, plus an exquisite restaurant, bar, cigar cave, wine cellar, day spa, infinity swimming pool, and recreational facilities.