This is the one. This is the place you’ve been hearing about your whole life. That little piece of paradise located somewhere in the South Pacific. The name alone brings about thoughts of exotic paradise and hedonistic dreams. I am here to tell you that Bora Bora does not disappoint. It is that good. It is by definition, paradise.
Arriving by air at the old World War II airstrip located on its own little island, you see the lagoon. The contrasts in colors make your senses start to explode with excitement and wonder.
As you’re met by your accommodation and swept away by private boat to your little slice of paradise, you race over coral and different shades of blues, emeralds and purples.
You can’t help but see the goliath in the middle of Bora Bora that is visible from everywhere; and everywhere on the island it looks different. It is Mt. Otemanu rising up some 2400 feet like a sheer emerald and rock cliff out of the Pacific. It is spectacular.
But then when you arrive at your other wordly hotel, of which there are several of the top names in luxury; you realize why the rich and famous have called Bora Bora their playground for 50 years.
The Le Meridien Bora Bora, the original of the true luxury hotels on Bora Bora, was my gracious host during my stay. My overwater bungalow buried any bungalow I had ever stayed in before. Renovated just two years ago, they are spacious, luxurious and most importantly transparent.
You can see through the entire floor into the azure water below and you are surrounded by windows looking out into the lagoon and up ahead at Mt. Otemanu. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
The best part was that the back deck was about 15 feet up from the water below and the water itself was about 15 feet deep. So therefore, being the pillar of maturity that I am, I naturally would dive flip several times a day into the water; including as soon as I woke up! I had to keep those honeymooners on either side of me on their toes.
Aside from some of the most luxurious hotels on the planet, the true highlight of a trip to Bora Bora is the lagoon boat tour. It circles the island, stopping at all sorts of great view points and water colors.
You get to feed sharks and rays and swim amongst them. Much to the chagrine or terror of some of my boat mates but it was funny to watch them squirm. Obviously, gleefully jumping into water with sharks circling around isn’t exactly a natural instinct; but hey, when in Bora Bora!
It’s hard to put into words how beautiful Bora Bora is. Seeing it from the boat was one of the most incredible trips I have ever been on. The sudden change from crystal clear to dark blue to green to purple to emerald water was breathtaking.
All of the different views of Mt. Otemanu, from all different angles reminded me of looking at the Empire State Building in New York from all different sides. It never looks the same twice.
Our guide and boat captain were great guys and aside from being really funny, they played a damn good ukulele and even offered lessons. I passed on learning but was thoroughly entertained watching some Japanese people try to learn.
After a full day tour they took us to this private little island and cooked us a delicious fish lunch that included this amazing raw fish salad with a tangy sauce. It was perfect. It was a perfect day. I honestly couldn’t have expected anything better. Bora Bora lived up to the hype. That’s rare.
The only other thing to do on the island really is to eat. Eating fish is a right of passage on Bora Bora and every restaurant you go to will have great fresh fish from wahoo to tuna to mahi mahi. Where you go is the important choice.
All the hotels have a fancy restaurant and there are several scattered around the main island. But the one restaurant that everyone goes to is Bloody Marys. It has been a celebrity haunt for decades and was even just featured on Kim Kardashian’s show for her honeymoon (I know because it said it on the website).
That debacle aside, it is just one of those places you have to go. It is an all sand floor and serves some pretty good food and wine. There are celebrity pictures everywhere and a list of about 500 names right out front when you walk in. Marlon Brando ate there for god’s sake when they filmed ‘A Mutiny on the Bounty’ way back when. It’s worth checking it out and besides the women’s bathroom has a cool name on Bora Bora.
I had always saved French Polynesia on my list of countries to visit as I try to achieve this record of visiting everywhere at the youngest age. I always figured maybe it would be my last stop or it would be my honeymoon. Then this opportunity to come here came up and I couldn’t say no, especially as I am mixing in Pitcairn Island with it.
However, I now know where one day I will be coming back to for my honeymoon. Of all the great beach or island honeymoon destinations in the world; this is my favorite.
So as I am sad to leave Bora Bora, I am excited because I know I will be back. I have no idea when or with whom; but I know I will be back.
April 6, 2012 by 27 Comments