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Checking In: Four Seasons Bora Bora

With gorgeous waters and so much to explore, Bora Bora makes for a great escape.

We took a redeye, LA to Tahiti, then connected on a 45 minute flight to Bora Bora.  On the boat ride from the plane to the Four Seasons, I found myself closing my eyes and opening them again.  Lulled by the crystal waters lightly sprinkling against my face as we sailed.  Amazed by the scenery, I felt like I was in a dream.

No pollution.  A pristine environment.  Paradise

The island was named Pora Pora by its original Polynesian settlers, meaning “first born.” The European settlers got the name wrong, heard b’s instead of p’s, but the original name fits. The world feels untouched, hopeful, and loved.

ALL ABOUT THE HOTEL

Bora Bora is paradise and The Four Seasons is complete luxury. Not a bad combination.

The Four Seasons is located on its own island, Maru, in the shadow of  Mount Otemanu. Travel around the island is by foot or golf cart and boats are arranged for travel to the other islands.  A boat even picks guests up from the Bora Bora’s small airport and before immediately sweeping them away to the resort.

The accommodations consist mainly of over-water bungalows.  These private floating villas are built (as you could guess form the name) right over the water.

The resort is great for couples or families, with gorgeous decor, restaurants, spa, an extremely helpful staff, and, my favorite part, a private lagoon sanctuary.

THE BUNGALOW

Bora Bora is known for these over-water dwellings, but the Four Seasons adds a touch more paradise. Glass windows are built right into the floor so guests can glance down into the sea life below.  Snorkel gear is also included in the room so you can easily explore the environment firsthand.

We booked an Otemanu one-bedroom which included a private plunge pool and incredible ocean views.  The room was a sanctuary, with calming whites and wood floors, colored by patches of turquoise from the ocean viewing windows.

I felt worlds away, almost as if the room itself were submerged underwater!  Such a cool way to connect to the surrounding environment and feel part of the ocean experience.

THE ACTIVITIES

The island has a lot to do — jet skis, tennis, kayaking, paddle boarding and on and on. So many actives it’s hard to decide which to pick!

Our first morning began with a helicopter ride, gazing down at Bora Bora from the sky.  It was an incredible way to begin the trip, providing some perspective to the area we were visiting.  Plus the lush green and aquamarine views were breathtaking.

Underwater activities are especially popular, and I recommend taking advantage of them while on your stay.  You can do a million things, from helmet dives to underwater scooters.  We took a private diving session with Top Dive.  Now, I love diving, but that never stops me from getting nervous.  The staff put my mind at ease, really making sure I felt comfortable.  Our instructor even held my hand until I was ready to explore on my own! After the initial nerves subsided, I challenged my fears even more.  We swam with lemon sharks!  The dive was insane — so gorgeous, thrilling and educational.  The waters suck you right in with their inviting warmth.  You have to jump in!

With so much beauty to take in, pictures are necessary.  We booked a private photographer with Bora Bora Dream Pictures to help out capturing our experience.  A photographer accompanies you on a boat ride, taking shots all around Bora Bora.  It’s a great idea for couples looking for some professional photos.

My favorite spot on the island had to be the Lagoon Sanctuary.  Right within the resort, there is a private lagoon filled with all sorts of marine life.   Over 100 different species thrive in this ecosystem including the octopus, spotted puffer fish, unicorn fish, sea urchins and clownfish!  Its colorful and exotic, a great spot to snorkel and really witness underwater life.

Finally, there’s no better place to day drink… sipping on piña coladas is definitely considered an activity and one I highly recommend.  Kick back and get a day buzz!!

THE RESTAURANTS

 The resort has four restaurants, with a ranging menu and atmosphere. There’s Arii Moana for a finer dining experience, focusing on Polynesian and French cuisine, and Fare Hoa Beach Bar & Grill, built right on the beach, featuring Polynesian BBQ, kebabs and table-side grilling.

But my personal favorites were the Sunset Restaurant & Bar and Tere Nui.

For dinner try Sunset Restaurant & Bar — an overwater restaurant serving Japanese inspired food, which I love! Enjoy Sushi and sake (my favorite liquor!) and watch the sunset over the island.

Delicious breakfast is served from 6:30 AM to 11AM at Tere Nui.  A buffet with an omelette station, freshly baked goods, and an Acai corner. I could not get enough of their coconut marinated raw tuna.  Sometimes I even had it twice a day. Tere Nui is also worth a stop later on for dinner, with a casual menu and fire dancers scheduled a couple times a week.

Then of course, there is Bungalow dining — an appealing option as it can get difficult to leave the luxury of your room.  A great menu can be delivered to your door for a lazy or romantic night… whichever mood you find yourself in!

SPECIAL RECOMMENDATIONS

  •  Bring a book, bring your significant other (especially honeymooners)
  • Get PADI-certified before your trip! You will not want to miss out on the diving.
  • If you do stay at the Four Seasons, check out the other hotels for some of your meals.  We had dinner at the St. Regis.  Compare and contrast hotels to see where you’d want to stay for your next visit.
  • Wear flowers — the leis they place around your neck upon arrival, but also put flowers behind the ear.  Left ear for ladies in a relationship, and right ear for ladies single and looking.
  • Most importantly, keep your bathing suit on under your clothes.  You’ll immediately want to dive in.  Relax and play, snorkel and explore.
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