Hello, hello, friends! I hope you’ve had a great week so far! Sloan is away on a school retreat (such a cool way to kick the year off, right?!), and Mr. College is headed back to campus tomorrow. It seems Summer Break is officially over! Well, Mr. Sugarplum and I are taking one last get-away next week, but more about that soon!
Last month I shared the first half of our trip to French Polynesia… the secret gem of Le Taha’a (see it HERE), and today it’s all about dreamy Bora Bora… more specifically, the island’s crowning jewel, the Four Seasons Bora Bora.
Bora Bora has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember… I mean, who hasn’t dreamed of those overwater huts and clear-blue waters?! And as it turns out, it exceeded my wildest dreams and was the perfect spot for our 25th wedding anniversary!
Is it pricey? Absurdly so! Is it far? Only 7.5 hours from Los Angeles, so it’s not too bad! Is it worth it?! ABSOLUTELY! In fact, on our way home, we both wondered if any place would ever top French Polynesia!
There are actually over 100 inhabited islands in French Polynesia, totaling 1600 square miles (basically the size of Europe)! We split our trip up into two islands, each with their own personality, but fairly accessible to each other. Our first stop, Le Taha’a Resort, was a secluded paradise surrounded by turquoise waters and lush landscapes, just off the coast of the sleepy island of Taha’a. Be sure to check out that Trip Report HERE. The second half of our trip was at the Four Seasons Bora Bora.
GETTING TO BORA BORA //
Papeete, Tahiti (PPT) is the only international airport in French Polynesia, so all flights first arrive there. We flew American Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Los Angeles (LAX), then Air Tahiti Nui from LAX to PPT (allow ample connection time, as the walk to LAX International terminal is 30-45 minutes).
Many of the flights from the US arrive too late to catch the smaller connecting flights to neighboring islands, so an overnight in Papeete is required. We arrived around 10pm, grabbed a 5-minute taxi to the Hilton Hotel Tahiti, a beautiful, beachside spot with comfortable beds, a huge breakfast buffet, and easy proximity to the airport. It actually allowed us to get a great night’s sleep, and we woke up feeling rested and ready for our anniversary adventure!
The next morning we jumped on an Air Tahiti flight to Taha’a (see that part of the trip HERE.) After our time in Taha’a, we returned to Raiatea Airport for the 15-minute Air Tahiti flight to Bora Bora. You can also flight directly from PPT to Bora Bora.
Bora Bora has one of the most picturesque and unique airports we’ve ever seen! It’s a tiny island with just a single airport runway, and boat docks for shuttling to the individual hotels. As soon as we arrived, a representative from the hotel greeted us with leis and a flower crown, and whisked us to the Four Seasons in their private boat.
For our return, the hotel took us back to the Bora Bora airport by boat, and from there we caught an Air Tahiti flight to PPT, and then back to the states via LAX on Air Tahiti Nui.
Sugarplum Travel Tip: Many of the flights back to the States depart very late at night (ours was at midnight!). We opted to stay at the Four Seasons all day, and take a 7pm flight back to PPT. We had to check out of our room at noon, but the hotel allowed us to stay on property and use the spa to clean up for our flight. Other people returned earlier to PPT and spent the day exploring Tahiti, or doing a day pass at a local hotel there.
FOUR SEASONS BORA BORA // THE PROPERTY
We loved the laidback and authentic vibe of Le Taha’a Resort so much, we were actually a little apprehensive that the Four Seasons Bora Bora would feel too slick and boujee. We got over that reservation the moment we laid eyes on the large overwater bungalows, backed by lush gardens and views of Mount Otemanu and blue waters! It’s the most jaw-dropping entrance we’ve ever seen!
The majority of hotels in Bora Bora are perched in the lagoon around Mount Otemanu, and while we could see the St. Regis in the distance, the Four Seasons felt very private. It also has the most unobstructed views of the iconic mountain.
There are 115 all-suite style bungalows and beach-side villas, each the epitome of luxury, with four restaurants, a full-service spa, large pool, and an abundance of water activities. Plus, tennis and sand volleyball courts, and a large coral garden for easy (incredible!!) snorkeling.
The large property is immaculately groomed, and the staff is not only beyond friendly, but goes above and beyond to ensure your stay is perfection. It’s truly a tropical paradise, and impossible to leave.
Sugarplum Travel Tip: The hotel had a range of specials when we booked, including free breakfast and 4th night free! We booked through my friend Elevate Travel for the most perks.
Straw Hat (code SUGARPLUM10)
FOUR SEASONS BORA BORA // THE ROOMS
We stayed in the dreamiest overwater bungalow with a plunge pool and incredible views of the mountain. The 1100 square-foot, suite-style room had a spacious bedroom and bathroom, with separate living area, all leading to a private deck with a private, fresh-water plunge pool.
The deck had direct access to the lagoon, where we spent hours floating and staring at the flaming sunsets. Truly magical!
Room amenities include a Nespresso machine, daily-stocked mini-fridge, luxurious bath products, and beach tote.
Sugarplum Travel Tip: The price of the rooms is based mostly on the view. Mountain View is the highest, and faces the iconic Mount Otemanu, while Lagoon view faces the open water or back towards the beach. We spent the bulk of our time on our own deck, so we loved the view, but you really can’t go wrong. And there are spots all over the property to hang out and take in the views.
FOUR SEASONS BORA BORA // THE ACTIVITIES
The views and setting of the resort are so insanely picturesque, we honestly spent much of our time simply staring out over the lagoon! There’s also a beach-side pool, a lovely spa, top-of-the-line fitness center, tennis courts, as well as kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkel gear all available for guests! Not to mention, a beautiful coral garden with a soft, natural current for incredible on-site snorkeling.
There’s also an activities and concierge desk for booking a range of off-site activities and adventures.
FOUR SEASONS BORA BORA // THE FOOD
There are four restaurants on the property, but we only visited them for breakfast… the rest of the time we ordered room service (I’m not kidding when I say we rarely left the room!!), or ate on the beach (they have full-service at the beach and pool).
The breakfast buffet is huge and has everything you can imagine, plus a full made-to-order menu.
La Villa Mahana // A quant restaurant on the main island of Bora Bora, and quite possibly the best meal of my life!! It’s nice and romantic, without being fancy or pretentious, with genuinely good food, prepared and presented with perfection. The hotel boated us to Bora Bora, and from there, the restaurant picked us up. Email for reservations.
FOUR SEASONS BORA BORA // THE REST
French Polynesia is a collectivity of France, so while most people speak English, everyone speaks French (and Polynesian). Their currency is also the CFP, and all prices are quoted in Francs (which is shocking at first, given the amount of zeros!). Everything at the resort is charged to the room, and paid with a credit card, so no cash or converting was necessary.
It’s located in the South Pacific, so the weather is similar to Hawaii… with cooler temps and constant trade winds. The sun is warm and intense, but we never felt hot! The water is also surprisingly refreshing considering how shallow it is!
We traveled in June, and were surprised the sun set by 5-5:30pm, and it was pitch dark by 6pm, which made the days feel fairly short! But with literally nothing for miles around, the stargazing is unmatched. Thanks to the 5-hour time change, we were often asleep by 9pm, and up by 6am for the glorious sunrises.
We absolutely loved our stay at the Four Seasons Bora Bora, and pairing it with Le Taha’a Resort was the perfect mix of luxurious and authentic, and I would highly recommend it!
I hope this Trip Report has been helpful and inspired your own travels! Let me know if you have additional questions in the comments! You can see a full video highlight of our trip HERE.
[MORE SUGARPLUM TRIP REPORTS]
Le Taha’a Resort | A Gem in French Polynesia
Great Stays | Hotel Esencia
Great Stays | Belmond Maroma
Great Stays | Casa de Sierra Nevada (our San Miguel hotel!)
Trip Report | Holbox, Mexico
Trip Report | Whidbey Island, Washington
Trip Report: Maui, Hawaii
Trip Report | Pine Cay, Turks & Caicos
A Day in Santa Cruz
Snapshots from Big Sur
Trip Report | Vieques, Puerto Rico
What to Pack for a National Parks Trip
Trip Report | Santorini, Greece
Anna Maria Island
Trip Report | Exuma, Bahamas
Swimming with Pigs in Exuma
All Cruise Posts HERE