As my new husband and I entered the gardenia-scented customs line in the city of
Papeete, Tahiti, a balmy tropical breeze enveloped us like a soft quilt. After the 7 hour plane ride aboard Air Tahiti Nui, we honeymooners were ready for a cozy bed and a stiff
Pina Colada, before our morning 45 minute flight to the mystical island of Bora Bora.
When our quick flight came to an end the next afternoon, our eyes feasted on the scrumptious palette of royal blue, turquoise, and azure waters every direction the eye could see. Several smiling staff from our private Four Seasons yacht greeted us with chilled towels and champagne, and congratulated us on our recent nuptials. As we climbed aboard, we were impressed with the buttery, white leather seats, recessed lighting, and teak wood interior. From our first interaction with the brand new resort, every aspect of service was impeccable. As we darted across the stunning South Pacific, immediately we relaxed into what can best be described as a dream-like sense of nirvana.
The author James A. Michener declared Bora Bora to be the most beautiful island in the world in his 1940’s novel
Tales of The South Pacific
. This stunning oasis was born from a volcanic eruption four million years ago and a beautiful coral reef protects the inner warm, shallow lagoon. The Polynesian culture is still vibrant around the port of Vaitape and throughout its 8800 inhabitants. Although Bora Bora became a French territory in
1842, and French is the main language spoken, the Polynesian flavor has been absorbed by both its European and Tahitian residents alike. The locals give a greeting of” Ioarana!” to all who pass by along the resorts many board walks.
Nestled on a private small island called a Motu, the heavenly Four Seasons retreat is the ultimate in luxurious seclusion and modern upscale beauty. The resort just opened its doors in September 2008, so the entire property is equipped with the most opulent, elegant amenities available, to appeal to the most discriminating visitor. The unsurpassed tropical beauty of nature emanates from every view the eye can see. From the white secluded beaches, to the star-filled warm nights, to the poetically blue lagoon, every hour brings a new breathtaking vision. Every time my husband and I walked the ten minutes from our beautiful suite to the magical oceanfront infinity pool, we gasped in awe at the shifting colors of the cobalt and ultramarine blues surrounding us from every angle. The mother-of-pearl encrusted walls of the bungalow, and ultra-luxurious open-air soaking tub created a perfect synergistic blend of tropical seclusion and chic, sophisticated modernity.
The resort offers 100 thatched over-water bungalows and seven beachfront villas, four restaurants and bars, an outdoor infinity pool and whirlpool, a full-service 5 star spa, an
oceanfront fitness center, a separate island for teens, a complimentary program of kids activities with clubhouse and pool, a wide range of daily activities, and the option of a private candlelit romantic dinner specially prepared by French Executive chef Gilles
Arzur, complete with champagne and private entertainment anywhere on the resort’s 54 acres of beachfront property.
Nothing can compare with waking up in the morning, seeing the turquoise light pouring through the floor windows, and jumping into the warm water from your bungalow deck for a morning swim. Many guests enjoy ordering breakfast items from the 5 star room service menu, or dining in the L.A. style, ultra-hip restaurants. The eggs with goat cheese are to die for. Or, the Wellness breakfast with egg whites, spinach, and sautéed wild mushrooms, accompanied with a pineapple carpaccio and sumptious tropical fruit are both health-conscious and delicious. The Four Seasons attention to detail is uncanny with each oceanfront in-room meal complete with a vase of exotic flowers, and every staff member guaranteed to greet you by name.
After breakfast, you may want to head to the state of the art spa. We received the two hour signature black pearl ritual, called Kahaia Heaven, one of the newest and most unique treatments, invented by the world renowned spa director, Rachelle Moulai, in the spacious couple’s suite. Before our treatment began, we relaxed in the tranquil, outdoor
Jacuzzi, overlooking the yoga sun deck, pandanus trees, and azure waters. The spa is equipped with an experiential shower, which offers a wide array of options of colored lights, healing music, and shower pressure buttons, such as tropical rain or cool mist. As our treatment began, my husband and I were given a tasty mint infusion with relaxing herbs from our two friendly therapists. We melted into the skin-smoothing body treatment where crushed black pearls, Tahitian vanilla, and fragrant kahia flowers sloughed our dead skin cells. Then, designed for inner and outer equilibrium, the ancient
Polynesian art of
or volcanic hot stone massage, was luxuriously applied. Finally, a sunset holistic facial of rose and ylang-ylang oils concluded our idyllic experience. We rested in the chill room with a cup of tropical tea, too blissed out to move, before slowly wandering back to our room like two wet noodles.
The most exciting adventure we partook in was the Moana Jet Boat shark and sting ray feeding excursion. Although I was petrified to board the small boat, not convinced that swimming in shark infested waters was an ideal way to spend the last day of my honeymoon, after much reassurance from the Four Seasons concierge, I began to believe that no one had ever been attacked (even women at that time of the month) from the wellfed and very mellow South Pacific variety of sharp-toothed predators. After coming face to tail with migrating hump back whales, we reached our crystal-clear reef destination.
The nine foot long finned fish circled our boats, and even the five men aboard had nervous laughs and trepidation in their eyes. The laid back tour operators jumped in, snorkels and masks in tow, to prove how friendly the creatures were when eating the bait from their hands. After several minutes and no bloody massacres, the braver ones in the group, (myself included) finally jumped in, and after muffled shrieks, eventually relaxed into the experience of complete harmony with nature.
Whether you are celebrating an important milestone or just indulging in a fabulous family vacation, the new Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is considered by many to be the most magnificent resort in the world. Many of the friendly guests we vacationed with left with tears in their eyes. Inspirational and healing, the bold masterpieces of Paul Gauguin, do not begin to truly capture the indescribable beauty and serenity of Bora Bora. One must be there to know it and the experience will form memories to last a lifetime. Check out: http://www.fourseasons.com/borabora/ for more information.