Bora Bora is the perfect destination for leaving your cares far, far away at home. Jet with us as our luxury life explorer Jill Skinner takes us to paradise for fun, frolic, and adventure on a honeymoon trip that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Photography courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Let’s face it: Bora Bora is the most beautiful island in the world. With crystalline waters, a vibrant, colorful barrier reef serving as home to an abundance of exotic marine life, and a twin-peaked volcanic backdrop, few could argue. The island’s reputation has been captured in art, books and films for decades. It enticed both Gauguin and Michener and they, in turn, inspired countless others to explore French Polynesia’s sandy shores. When deciding upon a honeymoon venue it didn’t take much searching once we learned the myriad of opportunities that French Polynesia has to offer its visitors. Friends had traveled there, and raved about the South Pacific’s sunny disposition, so we were set.
We decided on the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. Built in harmony with the island’s natural beauty, the resort is surrounded by white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, and a lagoon the shade of a million blues. Bora Bora also boasts the moniker the romantic island. Perfect for newlyweds like us looking for a peaceful, secluded locale that would makes us feel as if we were the only people in the world. In other words, paradise perfected.
Our trip to this perfect paradise, began when we first stepped foot onto the private Four Seasons launch for our 15-minute ride from the airport across the lagoon to the stunning resort. With sparkling, turquoise water surrounding us, silence filled the air. We were truly speechless as we approached the entrance to what, for the next six days, would be our very own South Seas escape.
Arriving at the entrance of the resort, we instantly stepped from the boat into a tropical utopia. Welcomed in true Polynesian style, we were greeted with a traditional floral necklace made of fresh Tiare, a type of gardenia native to the highland shores of the South Pacific, with a sweet, floral fragrance that beckons visitors to stay awhile. From there, we were escorted to our plush overwater bungalow suite, where we were ensconced in true Four Seasons luxury. Epitomizing a true South Seas resort experience, the bungalows are individual cottages with beautiful, high thatched roofs, traditional teak furnishing, and three sides of glass doors, including one tub-side and one in the bedroom, opening up to a private deck. It was the ideal backdrop for glorious views, and in the morning, the rising sun. In the bathroom, there were two glass bottom floor panels, making it easy to viewing our friendly neighborhood stingray. The serene setting of the island, paired with the dreamy comfort of our bungalow, immediately lends way to peaceful relaxation.
There is also plenty to do for those seeking a little more adventure like we did. One of our favorite excursions was the snorkeling expedition led by a local Tahitian diver, who introduced us to manta rays, black tip sharks, and as an added bonus, the amiable eight-foot lemon shark. For any nature and aqua loving soul, swimming within arm’s reach of these magnificent creatures is reason alone to visit this majestic island.
The Ruahatu (God of the Ocean) Lagoon Sanctuary, nestled within the grounds of the resort, is a definite must for those fascinated with the underwater world. On a tour led by marine biologist Oliver Martin, we explored the home of over 100 of the most incredible marine inhabitants, including the pufferfish, Picasso trumpetfish, parrotfish, firefish, and even the octopus. Sea urchins, anemones, and shrimp can also be found here, along with many other native species. It’s more than just a spectacular snorkeling location, though. It is a research haven where the marine environment not only thrives, but also grows, furthering a delicate and wondrous ecosystem. Upon the completion of our underwater tour, Martin presented us with an Adopt-A-Coral Program certificate, stating our support to the coral nursery and reef restoration program being undertaken at the Four Seasons. If you do nothing else while in Bora Bora, do this because it is a magical experience.
Looking for a little more speed in your luxe adventure? Look no further by obtaining an entirely different view of the island by taking an exhilarating WaveRunner excursion, where your guide will take you on a high-speed tour of the lagoon’s most idyllic spots while carefully navigating the protected and pristine coral reef. It is an amazing experience and easily the best way of discovering more of the beauty of the island.
While there are many other fun-filled activities offered, including wind surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, and several adventure and discovery tours offered aboard the resort’s Catamaran, we found the lure of the lagoon and the sand too much to resist.
We secured our favorite beachside spot on the day of our arrival, and returned every day that followed. There is something to be said about being a creature of habit, especially in the tropics Our two lounge chairs were shaded by a small thatched overhang, and situated right between the infinity-edge pool and the Fare Hoa Beach Bar, it was the perfect setting for mid-day snacking on fresh salads, sandwiches, and sipping on their refreshing made-to-order cocktails. Paradise found.
There are three other restaurants on the resort all known for exquisite French and international cuisine with a Polynesian Flare, which made deciding where to dine the most difficult decision of the day. The romantic Arii Moana overlooks the tranquil waters of the lagoon and features breathtaking views of distant Mount Otemanu. This is the perfect place if fresh seafood suits your culinary fancy. The beautifully seared Ahi-tuna, succulent King crab legs, and the savory scallops were some of our favorites. For a more casual evening, the Sunset Restaurant & Bar with over-water seating and a view of the setting sun is an excellent choice. Definitely with a more eclectic menu, this restaurant offers many Asian-inspired specialties, with a huge selection of fresh sushi, sashimi, and nigiri. We loved sharing a selection of small plates and sipping craft cocktails while watching the sun slipping behind the horizon. Tere Nui features farm-fresh breakfasts, hearty lunches and weekly themed dinners, including popular Grill and Mediterranean nights where you can have anything your heart desires. You’ll have to ask yourself what kind of a mood you’re in, because they are all equally fantastic.
If indulgence is your motivation, no one does it better than the Four Seasons. Situated between the glistening lagoon on one side, and the Pacific Ocean on the other, the Spa can only be described as a haven of blissful tranquility. At the full-service spa, treatments incorporate organic seaweed-based Osea products and French Polynesia botanicals. The spa also features an outdoor vitality pool, an aroma hammam area, and separate relaxation areas for men and women. Our couple’s massage, set in a room on the side of the Pacific with its waves crashing on the shore and a light breeze coming through the open door, was heaven personified. If you’re looking to restore wellness and balance to your life, there is no better place than an escape like this with premium treatments offered by skilled hands.
Bora Bora is the place of which dreams are made. The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is where those dreams come true. The staff makes sure of it. With impeccable service, attention to every detail, and the friendly Tahitian hospitality, this resort exceeded all of our expectations. Michel Volk, the Four Seasons General Manager, sat down with us for coffee one morning and when I asked him what made this resort unique to him, he simply said, “The staff. Our staff thrives on the happiness of our guests.” A happy staff and happy guests make a dynamic combination for island bliss.
Our days of sinking our toes into the white sand, and sipping champagne on our private deck overlooking the turquoise lagoon came to an end. The week felt like months of time had eclipsed with plenty of time made for sun, surf, reading and relaxation on the perfect honeymoon. It was time to head home. We boarded our boat back to the airport as we waved goodbye to the friendly faces of the Four Seasons. We will miss you, but we will be back. Very, very soon.