Oh Bora Bora…this is the trip that started it all! While watching a Discovery Channel show that briefly mentioned this island, I immediately worked my way through the internet, wikipedia-ing, google-ing and concierge-ing my way through all the photos, maps and guides. I just had to go there; the beautifully constructed bungalows that appear to almost hover over the ocean, the unbelievable views of the Island’s most unmistakable feature, Mount Otemanu, and just the shear thought of being on this teeny tiny island, so far from anywhere I had ever been or ever thought of going. It all seemed too perfect to be true. And as any reasonable traveler, I know that there’s usually never a “perfect” trip, and you always have to plan a trip expecting something may not go as plan, but aside from all that…I just had to go!
The Island of Bora Bora is rather small, so there are obviously not a million hotels vying for your attention. Despite this, there is a good range of hotels and resorts to fit all budget needs. From the InterContinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora and the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, where the views will cost you
well over a $1000, to the Sofitel Bora Bora Motu Private Island where the average year-round price will only put you back $105 according to TripAdvisor (or the cost of that new Coach wallet you’ve probably been eyeing). So the big question then is…Wallet or pure unadulterated beauty?…Heck, i’ll take my K-mart wallet proudly to Bora Bora, thank you very much! Regardless of whether you’re in the $1000 range or in the $100 range, the best things really do come for free; gorgeous views all around you, fiery sunsets, access to the largest natural pool, a.k.a the Pacific Ocean, friendly people, and of course, walking and exploring the area)…All free people! Now if you want some really out-there, secret celebrity massage featured on E! news that promises to make you look 20 years younger, then yes…you just might have to go up to a hotel in the $1000 range 😀
As embarrassing as this is, I have been daydreaming about this trip for at least 6
years now..I know, it’s sad! So where is the place I go when I imagine myself getting off of the helicopter from Papeete, dressed to impress, hair blowing in the wind, and looking a good 30 pounds lighter (Hey, if I’m going to dream, it’s going to really be a dream :D)? The place I go is, drum-roll please…..Le Meridian Bora Bora. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s the best place to stay on the island, but it’s the first place I saw and
fell in love with, and the one that I’ve held onto for a good number of years (so if there’s anyone out there that’s been here, and can give a good review, that would be wonderful!). The hotel, which falls about midrange in terms of price (Average year-round price: about $600) offers the same views and seclusion promised by pretty much all the hotels on the island. The Over-the-water bungalows are quaint, with all the necessities, and
more. There is even a glass-bottom floor in the main suite that is a constant reminder to you that you really are over the water!
Ok, so now you’re here…Welcome to Bora Bora, you’ve been garlanded by a welcome party, and now you’re waiting for your room service to come rowing over to your private over-the-water bungalow. All the while you’re sitting out on the balcony and trying to remember how long it’s been since you have been anywhere as relaxing (Meetings? Projects? Bills? What? No no…Do yourself (and you’re travel companions) a big favor and keep those thoughts packed away in a tiny box (then put that in a bigger box, then the largest safe known to man-kind) in the back of your head, and only think about it when you get back to work Monday morning :).
Now really sit back, relax, pinch yourself, you really are in paradise (and people like me are completely jealous, by the way!) Now you can start thinking about how you want your vacation to go. Do you want a week or pampering and spas? Do you want a week filled with adventure? Do you want to shop until you drop? The list of
activities are truly endless. If relaxation and shopping is the route, you could possibly spend an afternoon getting a thorough rub down in one of the many spa’s on the island or maybe you could hire your own Private cruise to take you on a tour of the lagoon. For the Food-loving-shopping-fiend, nothing says vacation then exploring some nice local shops and resting your feet while inhaling the local cuisine (Diet? What’s that?!). For those who need to be out and about to have fun, being on the ocean offers the usual menu of activities: Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Water-skiing, Windsurfing, Deep Sea Fishing, to name a few.
For those who want something that is unique to Bora Bora, why not try a lagoon excursion? Or maybe go horseback riding along the beach, or take a helicopter tour of the island, or make a trip to the Lagoonarium?
Although the Island of Bora Bora might be mighty small covering just over 40 km2, it still draws a large share of the travelers on a yearly basis. Always popular with
honeymooners (When do you think I was planning on making this trip?? :D) and a good percentage of celebrities looking for a private getaway, Bora Bora has something for everyone. Although the trip might not be a great budget trip or ideal for the penny pinchers out there (Come on, you are traveling all the way around the world!), It is definitely a place to go at least once in your life! That’s why it is on my Travel Bucket list!