It took an old friend from college calling the other day, asking for recommendations in French Polynesia, to prompt me to post some photos from our second anniversary trip to this stunning and magical place. Our trip took us to three islands: Bora Bora, Tahiti, and Moorea. Each of the islands were very different, and had their own pros and cons, which is a big part of what I wanted to share. Without question, the most special of the three was Bora Bora. The topography of the island is what makes it so incredible, with a central volcano surrounded by a lagoon and a circumferential string of small islands or motus (check it out). The best hotels sporting the signature overwater bungalows are located across the lagoon from the volcano on these small islands.
The Four Seasons is universally hailed as the place to stay, however, I'm here for making an argument for the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, which is located on the same stretch of land across the lagoon from the volcano. This location means it shares the same views, same water, and a wildly similar experience for much less coin, allowing you to spend more nights in the dreamy bungalows. The bungalows at the Intercontinental were stunning, with 360 degree turquoise lagoon views (ask for one with an unobscured volcano view), beautiful comfortable beds overlooking the water, and spacious personal decks. Without question, you must stay overwater for at least a portion of the trip. Personally, I didn't feel that a trip to French Polynesia would be worth the effort and expense without this experience.
The included breakfast buffet at the hotel was lovely, with everything from pastries and omelets to the freshest ahi sashimi you've ever tasted. We even splurged one morning and had breakfast delivered directly to our bungalow by boat, which was so much fun! The pool was insane. Like, next level beautiful. The picture of Adam reading in a poolside hammock below is one of my favorite travel photos. I can't say enough about the experience we had here; both Adam and I list it as the most beautiful place we've ever been. More to come on the rest of the trip!
Transportation from the tiny airport to the hotel is by boat! This was our only dodgy weather of the entire vacation.
Suit: Mara Hoffman (similar one here)
The spa boasts private, glass-bottomed treatment rooms where you can watch the fish swim below you while enjoying a massage.
The grounds of the hotel are immaculate, and each view seems prettier than the last.
Morning views from the foot of our bed.
Brunch spread of fresh smoothies, sashimi, and an Asian noodle stir fry.
A turquoise color so intense that it seems like a filter.