Bora Bora is a “Wow” place. It looked stunning from the airplane as we approached. The water was an unreal turquoise color as we stepped onto the boat to be transported to our resort. For six days we marveled at what a beautiful place this is. We couldn’t help making favorable comparisons with the most beautiful places we’ve ever been — the Maldives, Capri, Torres del Paine in Chile, Sardinia.
And it didn’t hurt a bit that the St. Regis Bora Bora is a truly world-class hotel, one of the best we’ve ever stayed at. The facility, rooms, service, food, and grounds all came close to perfection. The place comes with prices to match, but we were able to use the gazillions of Marriott hotel points we’ve earned to snag a beautiful over-the-water bungalow at a fraction the normal cost. There’s reason we’ve been hoarding those points.
The main island is formed by an extinct volcano, from which rise two dramatic peaks called Pahia and Otemanu. The island is surrounded by a lagoon enclosed by barrier reefs on all sides. The nicer resorts live on little islets along the barrier reef, affording spectacular views across the lagoon to the peaks of the volcano.
What does one do here? If you are Mark and Jim, the answer is not too much. We are more than content sitting on the lovely white sand beaches, reading and marveling at the brilliant colors of the water and the lush green scenery. Because our resort sprawled expansively across several of the islets, each room came with two dedicated bicycles, which we’d use to traverse the hefty distances between our bungalow, the beach, the restaurants, and the gym. Every time I got on that bike, I was amazed at how beautiful everything was in every direction as I rode.
We did venture into the main town of Vaitape on the main island one day, taking a complimentary hotel shuttle boat to get there. It was a pretty dusty little town with locals going about their business and a scattering of tourists checking out shops selling black pearls and assorted other touristy finds. After running a couple of errands we’d quickly had enough of the town and stopped into the one restaurant that had sounded good for lunch. Coming off the hot and dusty main road, we were amazed at the loveliness of the patio and the gorgeous views toward the water and the islets.
It was a heavenly little lunch. Other than that, we did very little more than enjoy being in one of the most beautiful places on earth. And naturally, this post come with a lot of pictures!