Bora Bora is the ultimate spot for Romance in Paradise. It’s no surprise it is the number one sought after luxury Honey Moon destination. We visited the island in May 2016 to celebrate our newfound successes that year. After 22 hours of travel time from Seattle, a couple of layovers, and the red eye, we awoke to the most pristine oceans and bad breath, ha! We came in on a small plane from a layover in Tahiti and I saw this:
I instantly revived and took a snapshot of this beauty. Besides its remote location, why is Bora Bora the ultimate romantic getaway? From our experience, it’s because of these 5 reasons: Location, Accommodations, Unforgettable lagoons and ocean, Tropical food, and Romantic activities. Each reason having its own rarity and uniqueness to this incredible island wonder. Bora Bora is a must do bucket list experience for sure!
1. Location: Where is Bora Bora and how to get to it?
The location is off to a faraway paradise in the South Pacific that not everyone would be able to reach in their lifetime. This alone makes the island feel exclusive, as it doesn’t feel crowded at all. If you in any way like Hawaii, you’re going to love Bora Bora. It’s a small French Polynesian island located in the South Pacific near Tahiti. It is known as the “Romantic Island.”
The iconic dormant volcano, Mt. Otemanu, is the center of attention of awe and beauty of the island due to its unique shape. It has 3 villages, Anau, Faanui and Vaitape. As seen in my photo, it is surrounded by a captivating, vivid blue motu that makes for an unforgettable sight to behold. From Los Angeles, it’s about a 10-11 hours flight time to Papeete, Tahiti. From there a small plane takes you to any of the French Polynesian islands, like Bora Bora, Mo’orea, Taha’a, Nuku Hiva to name a few. The small plane ride was short, about 45 mins to the island. It lands on a small motu where you’ll need a boat or use the ferry to get to the main island of Bora Bora.
Most reputable resorts will meet their guests at the airport to privately transfer them to their own private islets. Pictures do no justice in this part of the world. It is quite a haul to get there, but more than worth the trouble. Just laying our eyes on the truest blue waters in the world was incredible.
2. Accommodations: Four Season’s (FS) Bora Bora
Since the travel expenses and time are high to reach Bora Bora, I looked into the best accommodations the island had to offer. It had to be a resort that had the overwater bungalows on stilts. I decided on the Four Seasons because it happens to be my favorite hotel brand. I’m familiar with their quality of standards and high level of service. It was important to me to get the ultimate experience traveling this far.
When we finally disembarked at the Bora Bora airport, we easily found our resort host. The FS got us leid, and then off we went to the highly anticipated resort in the cutest luxe boat.
The ride over to the resort was really clean and comfortable. Refreshments were offered during the short 15 minute ride.
As we approached the resort and saw the overwater bungalows, my heart was so excited like a kid seeing my childhood crush on each first day of of the new school year.
Our room was not yet ready, so he headed over the pool for lunch. The fish poke was super fresh along with the fish sandwiches and sides. The views of the infinity pool were relaxing and the grounds were perfectly manicured.
Exhausted after a delightful lunch, we happily chilled here until our bungalow was ready. After a couple of hours enjoying the poolside, a staff member found us and escorted us to the bungalow. We walked on the overwater pathways with magnificent views at every angle.
We entered our first ever one bedroom overwater bungalow and it was nothing short of fabulous. We had a lovely welcome of tropical goodies awaiting for us in the living room. They have excellent mock-tails if you don’t drink alcohol. The fruits were always fresh and delicious throughout our stay.
At this point, it had been well over 30 hours since we showered. The spa tub was calling my name. It was spacious and included essential salts to relax my body. It’s really all I need in life, is a spa tub and the beach.
My hubby loved the attached deck and had plenty of down time lounging, listening to music, reading, and taking in our surroundings. The deck came fully equipped with furniture, snorkel gear, and a personal shower to rinse off. It seemed they really thought of everything.
3. Water Activities: Snorkeling and Swimming with Sharks!
We snorkeled everyday and fed the fishies in the surrounding lagoon, taking tons of pictures of colorful corals and many exotic species of fish. The resort encouraged it among the guests. FS has a manmade lagoon sanctuary called The Ruahatu built by biologist , Oliver Martin, known as the “Fish Whisperer.” The coral gardens below were danced with all species of fish like the Picasso Trumpetfish, Parrot Fish, and Puffer Fish. I felt like
Disney’s Arial the Little Mermaid as they cycloned all around me. If you have food, they will come!
The colorful lagoon wraps all around the FS resort and we rarely bumped into any other snorkelers. It’s design and spacious body made us feel secluded in this water world of Eden.
Swimming with Sharks!!
For thrill seekers and curious shark spectators, this is a MUST in Bora Bora. These are the friendliest shark infested waters to swim in. I was so frightened at first when we pulled up to the site, but it quickly dissipated as I saw groups of locals and tourists alike just casually interacting with the “ferocious” creatures below. My hubby watched the locals grab onto a shark fin to dive with it and he actually did it too! Wish I caught a video of it, but it was too awesome to witness bare eyed. I did not want to miss the moment, and it was crazy! Our guide helped him with the timing of grabbing a shark and then it quickly took a deep nose dive to shake him off. It worked of course, and my hubby’s ears suffered mildly from the pressure, but said he’d totally would do it again. Our guide was a local and his lungs must have been the size of air tanks because he and others alike could hold their breaths for abnormally long periods of time. We saw other tourists scuba diving and it inspired me to get my diver’s certification. The video of the shark swim is a must see.
For the most pristine waters in the world, Bora Bora has warm Pacific waters because it is located near the equator, unlike the cold temps we get in North America. Here, you can do any water sport comfortably as if you were in the Caribbean. After the Shark encounter and seeing beautiful reefs here, I was inspired to obtain my scuba diving certification. Since then, a whole new world of adventures opened up to us on our travels. My only regret in Bora Bora was to not be able to scuba dive.
4. Food: Fresh and Delicious Tropical Foods
Lets get to the food shall we? I don’t know where to begin. Everything we had at the resort and offshore was delicious. Every morning at the FS, there was a fancy breakfast buffet on the open terrace of Tere Nui with almost everything you can think of. What we enjoyed about it was the local cuisine it was made after. There was plenty of seating with fantastic views of the motu, pool areas, and the legendary Mt. Otemanu.
There are several restaurants at the resort. Each having their own style cuisine. We frequented to The Sunset Restaurant and Bar that had amazing sushi and other Asian fare. It was an overwater bungalow restaurant with killer views and only open for dinner. It was too dark to take any good pics by the time we dined.
A not to miss feast is their once a week Polynesian Night, where the food is served family style and they have lively entertainment with traditional and fire dancers. It costs extra to attend, but so worth it for the festive experience.
It’s a great opportunity to meet other visitors as the seating is shared with other guests. We loved how international it was talking to families from Angola and China. Everyone had a blast and loved the food.
Dessert was not to be missed. I love coconut and this dessert did not disappoint!
During dinner, we were entertained by local dancers giving us a taste of their traditional dances and pulled random guests like us to participate. It was tons of fun learning their moves.
After dinner, the party was moved outside to a private beach area where dinner guests were entertained by fire dancers. The acrobatics with flames was thrilling to watch. The evening ended perfectly under the stars.
For dining off the island, FS arranged our round trip visit to a restaurant in Vaitape, the largest city in Bora Bora. I made reservations to La Villa Mahana, “The World Famous 7 Table Restaurant in Paradise.” This place is booked out at least 4-6 months, advanced reservations are definitely recommended. It was the smallest restaurant we’ve ever been to, but it was incredibly intimate and did not feel claustrophobic.
We enjoyed Owner and Chef Damien Dovio’s tasting menu. We were disappointed that he was on vacation that evening, but his Sous Chef was there to make sure guests had a great evening.
The menu was pretty simple and standard. It wasn’t anything exotic but approachable to anyone. The menu included familiar items such as lobster, beef, chocolate lava cake, and macaroons.
It was a pleasant evening to do something separate from the resort. The food was good, not great, but the experience was wonderful. The restaurant keeps a diary of guest comments that commemorates your stay at this lovely place.
The room service at FS is everything to be expected. We loved eating on our bungalow’s deck anytime of day. It was such a convenient service when we just wanted to hang out in our bungalow. I must have ordered the Coconut Pineapple Rice sitting on the table everyday we were here. On this evening the Chef noticed and gifted me the recipe!
The one service we learned about too late was breakfast could be delivered to a guest overwater bungalow in a canoe complete with islander costume.
If you never want to leave your awesome private overwater bungalow, you don’t have to. The FS will take care of everything for you in style.
5. Romantic Activities
Romance can be found everywhere on this island without trying. The atmosphere itself is alluring enough. Adding a couple’s massage though, we made it epic! The FS has a spa that does all kinds of island style massage techniques. What adds to the appointment are the plunge pools overlooking the ocean side and a private massage bungalow made just for couple’s when booking the Kahaia Spa Suite Package.
The private Kahaia Spa Suite is a large overwater bungalow for couple’s with private showers, baths, and comfortable massage tables that look down to the swimming fishies. Our service came with a prepared milk bath, candles, and treats. The massage was so relaxing and exactly what was needed after a long journey to the island.
We also enjoyed exploring together. There are little hiking trails for leisurely walks. The oceanside of the resort was naturally beautiful and looked untouched.
Mike knows I love coconut and he found a fresh one for me to drink. The only challenge was to break through the exocarp to get to the seed containing the precious coconut water. It was pretty funny watching him do this, but he prevailed and we took it back to the bar where they opened it for me to drink.
What could be more romantic than just hanging out at the beach? If you want some sand between your toes, the FS resort has a serviced beach area where you can just taking in the views and relax. They even have SPF and lotions on site so you can travel lite. I can spend hours on cushioned chairs and being under an umbrella reading or napping.
The resort has plenty of water toys you can borrow for snorkeling and paddle boarding which we did plenty of as well. They have jet skis and other equipment for rent.
Bora Bora is a trip of a lifetime. We will definitely return to visit the other French Polynesian islands. Next time, I will be prepared to do a lot more scuba diving. A week stay was not long enough for us unless you just want to lounge around. With all of the water and hiking activities as well as the island hopping options, we wish we could have stayed longer!
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Common Tahaitian Expressions Around the Island. They also speak French.
- Ia Orana (yo-rah-nah) – Hello.
- Maeva (mah-yeh-vah) – Welcome.
- Maururu (mah-roo-roo) – Thank you.
- Nana (nah-nah) – Bye/See you later.
- Manuia (mah-nwee-ah) – Cheers / To your health.
- E (ay) – Yes.
- Aita (eye-tah) – No.
- Uua here vau ia oe (oo-ah hay-ray ee-ah oh-ay) – I love you.