Bora Bora's a place that I've been wanting to go to for years and I'm planning on making that a reality soon. I'm not really sure where to even start with this, but I figured finding a good place to stay would be a good starting point. Does anyone have any suggestions? (I would say that I want something by the water, but I'm sure everything's by the water, if not on it!)
Good choice in destination! I too had always wanted to go to Bora Bora and finally made it happen about 4 years ago. It is a magical and dreamy place -- truly the most beautiful destination I've ever been to.
Most of the resorts in Bora Bora are on the outer ring of the atoll. You can't visit any other resort (unless you want to hire a boat ($$)) and some resorts won't allow outside guests to visit the grounds. So choose wisely ;)
We stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora and couldn't have been happier. I actually booked through Costco Travel (yup--true story) and was very happy with everything. We had an over-the-water bungalow (the only way to stay in Bora Bora) that faced Mt. Otemanu(the ancient volcano that rises up from the center of the island). You should request "mountain view" at any resort you stay at -- it has an incredible silhouette against the sky. The great thing about over-the-water bungalows is that you can swim right off your room and even swim underneath!
We ate most of our meals at the resort and in hindsight I should have purchased the all-inclusive meal package from costco travel. Food and drinks were very expensive. I'm not sure if they still offer a package like that--but it's worth looking into.
The next resort over from the Four Seasons was the The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. We really wanted to see the grounds but alas, we weren't allowed to go on their property. The movie Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau was filmed there.
Bloody Mary's Restaurant - This is a fun "must see" restaurant on the main part of Bora Bora. It's very low key (beach sand floors) and the food is pretty decent. Just remember, to get over to the restaurant, you have to take a water taxi that will run you about $50 RT (or more).
Enjoy your trip! Oh, and remember to book your trip outside of the rainy season!
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I really enjoyed my stay at the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort. The hotel was great, but you do need to take a boat to get to anywhere on the island (as you do from all the good resorts). Was particularly amused by the half price happy hour drinks for *only* $10.
We stayed at the InterContinental Le Moana during our honeymoon which turned out to be a perfect choice. We wanted to be able to get around easily without having to rely on transportation from the resort. It's located near Matira Point on the southern end of the main island, which also happens to be home to a bunch of local restaurants that were within walking distance ( Fare Manuia and Roulotte Matira were literally right next to the hotel, Snack Matira, Restaurant La Bounty, Matira Beach Restaurant, and the two restaurants at Hotel Maitai were up the street). In general, we found the food outside of the resort to be more interesting, more delicious, and less expensive than what the resort restaurants had to offer.
One thing to note is that restaurants are not open for the whole day like most places in the US. Each location varies but lunch is generally served between 11-2 and dinner from 5-8.
There was even a grocery store up the street where we bought drinks and snacks to keep in our hotel room. Everything in Bora Bora is expensive, but this definitely helped keep frivolous costs down.
You can also rent a scooter or bicycle from Roulotte to explore the island, and Vaitape - the only "city" to speak of on the island - is a pretty quick bike ride away at only 5 miles. There are more Tahitian pearl shops than anything else, but it's nice to visit once or twice. We ate at Aloe Cafe a few times for breakfast/lunch and would recommend it.
If you're going to Bora Bora, an over-water bungalow is a must, and the Horizon bungalows at the Intercontinental were worth the upgrade as we had some truly unforgettable views from our deck. There is also a coral formation under each bungalow which attracts a decent amount of tropical fish. You can see them from the comfort of your room through the glass coffee table, but for the full experience the resort provides free snorkeling gear to use.
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