If there was to be a competition for the world’s most beautiful and romantic destination then the winner would most surely be Bora Bora. This stunningly idyllic island is the jewel in the crown of Tahiti, and one of the most sought after luxury destinations in French Polynesia, if not the world. Its crystal clear azure waters, golden-white sands and stunning array of marine life make Bora Bora a true paradise on earth. On top of the exquisite location the resorts on the island are equally incredible – we have handpicked three of the very best: one over-sea bungalow, one spa and one perfect for honeymoons. Which one would you choose?
Best over-water bungalow – Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Learn more about the Four Seasons Bora Bora
The quintessential tropical South Seas paradise, Bora Bora is a byword for all things beautiful. Below the deep-green towering peak of Mount Otemanu and its neighbour, the more rounded Mount Pahia, lies a ring of vivid green and blue – a mesmerising lagoon teeming with colourful fish. That this should be the island of your over-water dreams seems almost inevitable. The beauty of Bora Bora owes much to the varied hues of its shimmering lagoon waters and as you gaze out from your over-water bungalow, towards the mist-shrouded mystical peaks, you could be forgiven for thinking that you had discovered your very own heaven on Earth.
Learn more about Bora Bora as a honeymoon destination
Set on a private motu (islet) amid the string of coral islets in Bora Bora’s enchanting lagoon, this divine resort has elevated the South Seas over-water experience to a whole new plane. Each over-water bungalow is a spacious romantic hideaway perched on stilts over the lagoon. Polynesian-inspired, the bungalows are a celebration of local architecture and style – traditional teak wood furnishings, high ceilings and roofs thatched with pandanus leaves. Special touches include striking works of art and deep bathtubs behind sliding doors, which open to reveal panoramic views of the lagoon. The outside deck extends the length of the bungalow and
a ladder provides direct access to the water.
Four large glass panels, including one in the floor looking down into the lagoon, flood the bathroom with light by day and invite the moonlight to sparkle and reflect off the waves of the ocean by night. A few bungalows have private plunge pools on the outside deck – the ultimate in over-water indulgence. Away from your lagoon oasis, the resort’s ultra-sensuous kahaia tree-inspired spa defines the unique setting of Bora Bora: a meeting point of the surging Pacific Ocean with the tranquility of the turquoise lagoon. The pampering treatments use local ingredients such as the prized monoi (scent-infused oil), native vanilla, kahaia f lower and black pearl powder, bringing a sense of place to French Polynesia’s most famous leeward island.
Best for spa – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Learn more about the InterContinental Le Moana Resort
This utterly stunning and romantic hideaway has placed Bora Bora firmly on the map alongside the world’s leading spas. Polynesian-inspired yet strikingly contemporary, it poises serenely on Motu Piti Aau on the edge of Bora Bora’s legendary turquoise lagoon, with the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean behind. The centrepiece is the one-of-its-kind Deep Ocean Spa – the first Thalassotherapy Centre in the South Pacific and the only Thalasso Spa in the world to embrace the virtues of seawater and minerals drawn from the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
Designed by Algotherm, it’s French Polynesia’s first destination spa and uses cutting-edge technology in all of its innovative signature treatments. Derived from the Greek thalassa (sea) and therapeia (therapy), thalassotherapy has always been lauded for its effectiveness. Body scrubs, deep radiance facials, marine mud treatments and relaxing deep massages are all on offer, designed to ease you into an ocean of wellbeing. A real highlight are the glass-floored over-water spa suites through which you can admire the marine life while your body shimmers in a state of bliss.
And when not being pampered, your romantic haven is one of 80 over-water villas – another winning feature of this resort, as it’s the first in Bora Bora to feature only over-water villas. All have direct access to the dazzling lagoon from a split-level sundeck and boast such breathtaking views that no would-be Robinson Crusoe could ever want to be rescued. The Sapphir Over-water Villas enjoy beautiful vistas of the main island of Bora Bora, while the crème de la crème Diamond Over-water Villas offer an awe-inspiring panorama across the lagoon to Bora Bora’s highest peak, dramatic Mount Otemanu. There is a clean, modern aesthetic throughout, culminating in the all-white trendy Bubbles bar. The atmosphere, too, is more South Beach than South Pacific. The infinity pool along the beach blends seamlessly with the lagoon. Don’t miss the must-have breakfast delivery by a traditional flower-decorated outrigger canoe straight to your over-water deck – pure decadence, Bora Bora-style.
Best for a private romantic escape – Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa
Learn more about the Hilon Bora Bora Nui Resort
Honeymooners from around the world are captivated by Bora Bora’s legendary charm. Known as the Pearl of the Pacific, James Michener is credited with describing Bora Bora as the world’s most beautiful island – it is undeniably the most romantic. Its dazzling lagoon is dotted with a string of pearl-like sandy islets, known in Tahitian speak as motu. Imagine being marooned on one of these tiny pristine motu with nothing but a romantic table for two set in the blue lagoon waters or on the beach: suddenly shipwrecked takes on a whole new meaning. This dream can be very much a reality when staying at the contemporary-meets-Polynesian-chic Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa.
Just five minutes away by boat, the resort’s very own private Motu Tapu provides the perfect romantic island escape. Would-be Robinson Crusoes can even overnight under the stars in a Polynesian-style canopy bed. From the moment you land at Bora Bora airport (also on an islet in the lagoon), you’ll fall under the spell of this South Pacific jewel.
A boat will be waiting to whisk you away to a beautiful cove of white sand on the lush, mountainous volcanic islet of Motu Toopua, southwest of Bora Bora’s main island, where an enchanting welcome awaits at the resort’s unique over-water lobby. An ambience of casual elegance pervades throughout. Your romantic refuge is an utterly spacious villa with a separate living area. Some are set amid verdant greenery with lagoon views, others hug the hillside, while the majority are perched Bora Bora-style over the glistening water. Paying homage to the lagoon’s iridescent aquarium below, the over-water villas boast custom-lit glass f loor panels – Tahitian television at its absolute best.
Relax and be pampered at the hilltop spa with a menu of blissful treatments and while your body reinvigorates, take in the breathtaking views of Bora Bora’s majestic Mount Otemanu and the neighbouring islands of Taha’a and Raiatea. If gazing to the horizon is high on your honeymoon wish list, the over-water villas face the ocean, with not a single building in sight as far as the eye can see.