5 Days in Bora Bora
The End of a Rainbow is at Bora Bora
Day 1 - InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora
As our boat approached our resort - the InterContinental Le Moana, a shirtless young man wearing a pareu blew into a conch shell to welcome us. It's a French Polynesian tradition to alert others that guests are approaching the island or Motu. They also blow into the shell when a guest leaves the resort. After a few blows, we were offered a big, gleaming smile that is natural with Bora Bora hospitality.
The resort offers 60 Junior Suites Bungalows. We were assigned to an overwater bungalow #19. Located on the most beautiful beach on the island, Matira Beach, our room had a sitting area with a glass table that looked down to fish and a coral garden in the lagoon.
The bedroom offered a King Size bed and views of the nearby Sofitel motu. The bathroom had a soaking tub and open shower. There were two televisions, however most of the channels are French speaking shows.
We unpacked, put our swimsuit on and jumped into the lagoon from our bungalow. Later we climbed up the ladder from the water onto our dock and took a shower outdoors to clean up after playing in the lagoon.
It was time to explore the resort.
Many New Resorts in Bora Bora
Breakfast Brought to You in an Outrigger Canoe
Exploring the InterContinental Le Moana
After a swim we explored the resort's two restaurants - The Noa Noa Terrace and the Vini Vini Bar.
Each morning there is a scrumptious breakfast buffet out on the sunny patio of the Noa Noa Terrace Restaurant. The indoor and outdoor seating offers Polynesian décor. In the evening the resort offers themed dinners with live entertainment at least twice a week. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Near the beautiful infinite pool is the Vini Vini Bar and Restaurant serves snacks, tropical drinks and a casual lunch. There is a pool table and board games inside the bar to entertain guests.
Guests can take out an outrigger canoe, kayak, paddle board, snorkel and fins for as long as they like. Or guests can lie under an umbrella on a lounge chair with a good book or take a nap.
The Most Beautiful Island
Weather in Tahiti
Bora Bora is part of French Polynesia and about 11,250 miles from France. It is included in the 120 islands over five archipelagos in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Bora Bora is part of the Leeward Islands that includes Tahiti, Moorea, Maiao, Tetiarua and Mehetia.
Tahiti is an 8 hour flight from Los Angeles, then visitors fly for 45 minutes to Bora Bora on a smaller plane to a motu. Once on the motu, a boat awaits to take visitors to their resort.
The hot season is often the rainy season from December through April. The dry season is July through October.
Weather is Sunny with Some Rain
Ride around the Island
Day 2 - Ride a Bike Around Bora Bora
Outside of the InterContinental is a tour and bike rental shop offering bicycles to ride around the island for $18 a day.
We started our ride at Matira beach to admire it's crystal clear water. From there we rode past the closed Bora Bora Hotel to the Bloody Mary's restaurant and bar. Opened since 1979, you check your shoes at the door and walk on the sandy floor. This hot spot has attracted a VIP and celebrity crowd. In front of the establishment is a board listing the names of many of the famous guests who have visited. It's closed on Sundays. Be sure to visit the Men's bathroom - It's one of a kind. The Women's has a waterfall sink with a ring to pull to activate the water. Very cool.
On to the city and port of Vaitape. This is where the Paul Gauguin, WindStar and Celebrity Cruise lines anchor and tender into town. There are a few banks, restaurants, stores and pearl shops.
Riding back to our resort, we stopped at the Sofitel and Maitai Resorts for lunch. Sitting on the sand at a table under a coconut tree and gazing out to the Sofitel Motu, we nibbled on Ahi tuna burgers and drank Hinano beer.
We reached our resort and took photos of the fiery sunset as it melted below the horizon. It was a great day.
At night we ate a special Tahitian buffet dinner and saw a Tahitian dancing show on the interior patio of the Le Moana.
Day 3 in Bora Bora
We took an outrigger canoe and paddled to a popular snorkeling spot. Then we paddled over to a Motu to enjoy the white powder sandy beach and shallow clear water.
Back at our resort, we walked over to the local store and bought a baguette and cheese for lunch. We sat on our deck and had a light lunch, read a book and took a nap.
In the evening, we took a free cab ride to Bloody Mary's. After checking in with the hostess, we walked over to the bar and met Herman the bartender. He fetched us a Bloody Mary and Mai Tai, while sharing with us the history of the ownership of this world renown bar and restaurant. The owner, Sir Dexter from Southern California bought the hot-spot in 1981 from the original European owner.
After our cocktail, we walked over to the fresh fish boat to order our appetizers and entrees. We had the choice of grilled fish, chicken, steak and baby back ribs for dinner. Appetizers range from fried shrimp, raw fish marinated in citrus and spices to steak kabobs. Entrees were mostly fresh fish that was caught that morning that included Marlin and Ahi tuna. It's served with steamed vegetables, fruit and white rice.
Save room for the warm chocolate cake with coconut ice cream.
We got into a small bus with other diners for a complimentary ride back to the Le Moana.
Complimentary car service waits to take guests back to their resort or boat.
Bloody Mary's Restaurant and Bar
View from a Four Seasons Overwater Bungalow
The Four Seasons Spa
100 Overwater Bungalows at the Four Seasons
Four Seasons Chapel
Day 4 in Bora Bora
After our lovely breakfast buffet, we took a kayak in the morning over to Matira Beach and out to the old Bora Bora Hotel. We saw two large stingrays in the shallow water on the way over to the point. We paddled out to the reef and swam in an area where the fish were very friendly.
Back at the resort, we showered and took a cab to Vaitape to board a Four Seasons boat to their private motu for a tour of the resort and dinner. The boat ride was about 35 minutes long.
The Four Seasons Bora Bora has 100 overwater bungalows. Cindy Grigaut met us at the dock, placed floral leis over our heads, gave us a shot of fresh mango juice and a cool washcloth, before whisking us in a golf cart to see some of the accommodations.
We saw one luxurious bungalow with a beautiful wooden deck, and another bungalow with a plunge pool on the deck. "Our guests like the comfort of being in the water to relax and enjoy the views and sun without having to worry about the current," said Grigaut. There are four bungalows with plunge pools and direct lagoon and mountain views.
All the rooms are identical, except for the views - There are beach, lagoon and mountain views. The bungalows will accommodate three adults or two adults and two children under 12. Every room has snorkel equipment and life preservers in a wooden storage unit on the deck.
They also offer family bungalows that have two bedrooms connected by a deck. They will child-proof the decks with plexiglass so a young child can't fall into the lagoon.
The resort offers 6 private beach villas that are over 3,000 sq. ft. The Presidential Suite is 5,000 sq. ft. with three bedrooms and an infinite pool.
The clientele for the Four Seasons Bora Bora are mostly Americans ranging in age from 35 to 50 years old.
Guests can take a complimentary boat to the main island of Bora Bora at 11:15 a.m. to enjoy lunch, shopping or a tour. The Four Seasons boat waits at 2:45 p.m. to take guests back to the private motu. For those who would like to go to Bloody Mary's at night, a boat leaves the resort at 6:45 p.m. and delivers guests to Vaitape. A complimentary cab ride whisks guests to the restaurant and returns them to the dock at 9:45 p.m. for a boat ride back to the Four Seasons. In the evening the boat ride is $35 per person roundtrip.
Guests enjoy the cathedral style spa at the Four Seasons. It is the soul of the resort made of teak wood. There are 7 treatment rooms using French brand products. The separate ladies and mens locker rooms offer enchanting relaxing pools with Polynesian views.
Thinking of getting married or renewing your vows? The Four Season chapel offers the best view of Mount Otemanu and the lagoon. It's magical.
Resorts in Bora Bora
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort
Intercontinental Le Moana
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
On the most beautiful beach
On a private Motu
Sunset Restaurant and Bar
Dinner at the Four Seasons
After our tour, Cindy took us to the Sunset Restaurant and Bar for drinks and dinner. We sat on a comfortable couch and sipped a pineapple mojito and glass of Tattinger Brut Rose while eating a Thai beef with cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, red onion and mint salad and 12 pieces of sushi that included 2 Salmon, 2 Tuna, 2 Swordfish, 2 Eel, 2 Octopus Nigiri, and 2 California Rolls.
For dinner we enjoyed an Asian bento box with teriyaki salmon, sweet & sour pork, steamed Jasmine rice, and stir-fried vegetables. Before catching our 6:45 p.m. boat back to Vaitape, we shared a pineapple Tart Tatin with vanilla ice cream and rum chantilly cream.
Boating back we looked up into the sky and admired the stars and constellations in the black night sky. It was an extraordinary evening.
InterContinental Thalasso Spa and Resort
Day 5 in Bora Bora at the InterContinental Thalasso
Since we had to check out by 11 a.m., yet our flight from Bora Bora wasn't until 6:30 p.m. to fly to Tahiti and then to Los Angeles, we asked the front desk if we could take an InterContinental boat ride over to the InterContinental's sister hotel, the Thalasso Resort and Spa on a private motu. We wanted to tour the resort and have a late lunch. The boat ride is not complimentary to the Thalasso Spa and Resort, however they would take us to the Bora Bora airport after our visit.
This resort is unique in Tahiti because it uses alternative resources of energy by developing a SWAC seawater air conditioning system. They take the deep sea water cooled by the ocean to save 90% of electrical energy running the air conditioners.
The Thalasso Spa is one of the largest on the island located in three overwater bungalows with a see-through floor to see the fish.
The resort opened in 2006 with 80 overwater bungalows in 5 categories. Guests are usually from California, Texas, New York, Brazil and China. The InterContinental offers a loyalty program offering upgrades, 4 p.m. check out and other benefits.
The enchanting wedding chapel has a floor made of glass to see the coral gardens and fish below.
Dancing With Stingrays
A 2 p.m. daily, the guests at the Thalasso can swim and dance with gentle stingrays. A staff member in a pareu with a bucket of Ahi tuna throws pieces next to the shoreline. Forty stingrays of all different sizes come and glide next to guests standing in the shallow water.
Don't be surprised if a stingray gracefully glides up your leg and up your stomach. They are as soft and smooth as silk and as friendly as a puppy dog. They don't have teeth, but cartilage, so keep your hands away from their mouth.
The stingrays swim in a choreographed dance. When I turned in a circle in the water, they turned with me. It's beautiful to sit, swim, stand or snorkel with the school.
Incredible Views from the Thalasso Spa and Resort Chapel
Dining at Thalasso
Guests enjoy dining at the Reef and Sands Bar. The Reef offers gourmet meals with two weekly Polynesian shows. Monday is French Night and Wednesday night is Japanese Night. Friday offers cuisine "Around the world" in a buffet setting.
The Sands is a casual International restaurant located nest to the infinite pool. Tables are on the patio and in the white sand. The menu offers sandwiches, salads and burgers.
The Le Reef Restaurant offers tropical Polynesian style with relaxed sophistication and fine gourmet cuisine. Breakfast is served early, and dinner features dishes such as the "Foie gras with pear Williams and hazelnuts, marmalade peach and pear with thyme" or the "Pan fried scallops, and pumpkin risotto with bacon emulsion." Eating on the terrace overlooking the lagoon and beach is a great setting.
Try a gourmet experience at Le Corail's air conditioning restaurant overlooking the lagoon with unique panoramic views. There are only 14 tables available for dinner with the largest wine cellar of French Polynesia. The Corail is open Tuesday to Sunday from April until November each year. Closed December to March.
Bubble Bar has three lounges overlook the beach, the pool and the lagoon. Comfortable and cozy, it is the ideal spot to meet and relax at any time of the day. Drinks, exotic cocktails and light snacks are served from 3pm to 11pm. Daily Happy Hour is from 5pm to 6pm with 2-for-1 cocktails.
Polynesian Shows Entertain Guests
Tahiti's Official Language
French is spoken, however many Tahitians speak Reo Mao'hi. English is spoken too at many of the resorts.
Here are some of the Tahitian words that we used throughout our trip:
Hello - Laorana
Goodbye - Nana
Thank You - Mauruuru
Welcome - Maeva
House - Fare
Tabu - Off limits