Perfect Paradise Perched in the South Pacific!
If Bora Bora had synonyms, they’d be adjectives along the lines of “romantic,” “majestic,” “sublime,” “stunning,” “awesome”… Even stepping off the short 160-mile Air Tahiti flight from Papeete, you stare at Mount Otemanu towering over the turquoise waters of the atoll and you feel the stresses of the world casting off to sea!
The small island of Bora Bora is in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. Often rated as the most romantic island in the world, Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its “aqua-centric” luxury resorts. Even 18th-century British explorer, James Cook named it the “Pearl of the Pacific.” In 1961, Hotel Bora Bora opened its doors and pioneered the “overwater bungalow.” Today there are a number of fine resort options on the island.
We were invited to the Four Seasons Bora Bora, which is widely regarded as the best hotel in all of French Polynesia. If you get invited to Bora Bora (especially to the Four Seasons), do not look at the calendar — simply accept and pack your bags! The island offers an exceptional tropical experience.
Frontiers is a “Preferred Partner” with Four Seasons, which gives our clients exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Our clients love Four Seasons properties internationally. Why? It’s because Four Seasons gets it! They simply specialize only in experiences of exceptional quality with a deeply instilled ethic of personal service. Their staff at each hotel has a service culture that is rarely equaled in the hospitality industry.
The open-air Bora Bora Airport has planes on one side and boats on the other – being the only transportation to the hotels. On arrival, we were met and welcomed by a gracious Four Seasons staff member with a flower lei. We were then led to their boats and presented with a moist towel and an ice-cold bottle of water for the short 20-minute cruise to the hotel property. When we saw the Four Seasons boats and compared them to those operated by the other properties, we know already that we were one big click ahead in terms of quality.
The Four Seasons Bora Bora opened in September 2008. With 100 overwater bungalows, some of which have two bedrooms and plunge pools, and all at over 1000 square feet — plus seven beachfront villas, there are lots of accommodation options. We can help you determine which option is best for you. Some guests like to be closer to the pool and restaurants. If traveling with younger children, the villas are a great fit. There are four restaurants with cuisine ranging from a nice sandwich poolside to sushi on the beach at the Sunset Bar to finer dining at Arii Moana! The food quality, presentation and variety were remarkable – especially considering Bora Bora’s remote island location! There are also weekly Polynesian shows, beachfront BBQ’s and in-bungalow dining on your own porch! They will even bring you breakfast via outrigger canoe.
Our one-bedroom villa had nice views of the lagoon and the beach. There is a spacious living room with a mini-bar and exceptional wifi, a gorgeous bathroom area with views to the water below and lovely king bedroom with water views and a nice deck with a ladder down into the water for your swim. Without question the accommodations far exceeded our expectations.
There are lots of activities. You can book a jet ski tour around the entire island (which was a ton of fun and allowed us to see a number of the other hotels), sea kayak, paddle board, offshore fish, take the water taxi to the major settlement of Vaitape for a great lunch and shopping, learn about black pearls with a private presentation, parasail, have a private picnic on a beach with your own captain and boat, climb Mount Otemanu. Whether you want to relax poolside or fill your day with outdoor pursuits, Bora Bora has plenty to offer.
One of our favorite excursions was snorkeling with rays and sharks. We were met by our guide (who is quite a character) and taken to three great snorkel sites. The first stop was to swim with the rays, which was incredible. There were lots of sharks in the area too. Once we figured out that they were not a threat, it was a delight to be with both species in the shallow lagoon. We then went to the reef and loved swimming with the myriad of tropical fish. Our last stop was in deeper water just off of the reef where we enjoyed a lot more shark time! Afterward, we had a delightful lunch on a private island with a couple of glasses of cold white wine!
There is also wonderful snorkeling right at the resort, which is home to the Ruahatu Lagoon Sanctuary, a research facility and home to over 100 species of marine life. An on-staff marine biologist conducts ongoing research, teaches the principles of conservation to guests on daily tours and grafts coral in effort to further the development of the lagoon.
The resort also offers a full-service spa, which was named the #1 Spa in French Polynesia, by Condé Nast. The spa facilities, adjacent gym and private relaxation pools are among the very nicest we have ever experienced. We highly recommend a couples treatment in the Lagoon Suite. There are glass floors over coral heads and you can watch the tropical fish during your massage….truly incredible!
The Four Seasons Bora Bora was a wonderful way to end our South Pacific Sojourn. Whether you want to stop on your way home from New Zealand or if you want to take in the Four Seasons Bora Bora as a standalone holiday, we highly recommend this Pacific gem!