Four Seasons Bora Bora Resort

  • 01 of 11

    Four Seasons Bora Bora Honeymoon

    ••• Four Seasons Bora Bora’s overwater bungalows are not your ordinary beach colony. © PeterVitale/Four Seasons.

    Poised on 54 tropical acres of palm-shaded Polynesian beachfront and crystalline lagoon, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is a breathtaking and welcoming resort for honeymoon couples (three-quarters of the resort’s guests are newlyweds; the rest, incurable romantics).

    Guest quarters are private overwater bungalows built right atop Bora Bora’s calm, turquoise lagoon. The resort's dining, spa, and water sports are as good as it gets. And the service is exceptional.

    Ever since Four Seasons Bora Bora opened in 2008, it has inspired raves from travelers and “best of” awards from top travel magazines. Ready to sign up for a perfect Polynesian idyll? Be aware that a Four Seasons Bora Bora honeymoon exacts a high price in both expenses and in travel time.

    But for just-marrieds committed to going the distance — in the air and on the credit card — a Four Seasons Bora Bora honeymoon can fulfill every tropical fantasy that engaged twosomes can conjure.

    Get Your Bora Bora Bearings >

    French...MORE Polynesia’s main island of Tahiti is reached via flights from Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, and Auckland on Air Tahiti Nui.

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  • 02 of 11

    Where is Bora Bora?

    ••• The parking lot of Four Seasons Bora Bora in French Polynesia. © Barbara Kraft/Four Seasons.

    Scribe James Michener called Bora Bora — an 11-square-mile patch of land lorded over by two extinct volcano peaks — the world’s most beautiful island, adding “anyone who has been here wants to return.”

    Bora Bora is in the Society Islands archipelago of French Polynesia, a French-speaking South Pacific island nation. Perched just below the equator halfway between Peru and Australia, French Polynesia is one of the most remote countries on earth, a fact that appeals to adventurous honeymoon couples.

    Bora Bora is ringed by smaller islands, or motus, that form a necklace around the main island. Bora Bora’s airport and some of its resorts, including Four Seasons Bora Bora, are set on these motus, providing dramatic views across to the central island and its jagged, jungle-carpeted peaks.

    The motus surrounding Bora Bora part to form only one deep-water channel leading to open seas. This creates a warm, tranquil, fish-filled lagoon between the motus and the main island. The water is Tiffany-blue...MORE in hue and alive with brilliantly colored tropical fish.

    Overseas visitors to Bora Bora must fly into Faa’a International Airport in the country’s capital, Papeete, on Tahiti island. (Air Tahiti Nui is “first in flight” to French Polynesia.) From Faa’a, Bora Bora-bound travelers hop an Air Tahiti inter-island flight to travel the 140 miles northwest.

    Some visitors discover Bora Bora as a port of call on a French Polynesia itinerary aboard a ship such as the Paul Gauguin. True to Michener, many vow to return.

    See an Overwater Bungalow >

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  • 03 of 11

    Overwater Bungalows at Four Seasons Bora Bora

    ••• Mt. Otemanu forms the bathtub’s backdrop in Four Seasons Bora Bora’s overwater bungalows. © Barbara Kraft/Four Seasons.

    Four Seasons Bora Bora’s seven walled and gated beachfront villas offer extreme privacy, but its 100 overwater bungalows epitomize the South Seas resort experience.

    The bungalows, individual cottages joined by boardwalks, are built on pillars right atop the lagoon. Oversized decks feature ladders that extend into serene, chest-deep lagoon waters.

    Overwater bungalows at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora resemble luxurious thatched huts. These artfully designed, 1,100-square-foot units have air-conditioning, hardwood floors, and every imaginable amenity. Bungalows are configured as suites with a living room and bedroom, with a spacious bath area in-between.

    Sliding doors, including one tubside and one across from the bed, open onto the bungalow deck and glorious views. Decks are partially shaded, with chaise lounges, dining table and chairs, and a shower. They are constructed in two tiers; the lower deck sits just above the lagoon waters. A few of the resort’s bungalow decks feature an infinity...MORE plunge pool for a “water, water everywhere” experience.

    Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora bungalow niceties include:

    • King-sized Four Seasons featherbed with plush linens and pillow selection
    • Deep oval tub for two
    • Skylit, pebble-paved rainfall shower
    • Partitioned john
    • His-and-hers closets, sinks, robes, flip-flops
    • Massive shelf and storage space
    • Couches and lounge chairs
    • Two large plasma TVs (showing mainly French sports channels, alas)
    • A mini-fridge with complimentary bottled water
    • Coffeemaker
    • Safe
    • Desk, two phones, wi-fi (at a daily rate)

    Find Out About the Fare >

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  • 04 of 11

    Dining at Four Seasons Bora Bora

    ••• Arii Moana restaurant at Four Seasons Bora Bora provides tropical tastes and dazzling décor. © Barbara Kraft/Four Seasons.

    Dining at Four Seasons Bora Bora is deliciously concocted by French chefs. Romantic tables for two are set at:

    • Arii Moana, for French-Polynesian fusion cuisine strong on fresh-caught seafood. Couples can opt for a table in the festive, blue-floored dining room, on a lounge-like deck, or beside the tranquil lagoon
    • Sunset Restaurant and Bar, for seductive moonlit sharing of house-infused spirits, sushi, and Asian tapas
    • Tere Nui, for a delectable breakfast buffet ranging from custom omelets to rare tropical fruit to coconut-bathed Polynesian sashimi called poisson cru. Tere Nui also hosts festive weekly Tahitian, Mediterranean, and barbecue dinners, with chef’s stations
    • Faré Hoa Beach Bar, for lunching and snacking on salads, light bites, and island cocktails
    • A’hi Ma’a, a Polynesian feast slow-cooked in a fire pit, and served on a tiny island, for traditional dining at Four Seasons Bora Bora
    • Canoe breakfast, the resort’s version of room-service breakfast in bed: a meal paddled to your...MORE overwater bungalow, and set on your lagoon deck
    • Taurua Romantic Beachfront Dnner: a tiki torch-illuminated chef’s tasting at a table on the sand (or on your deck). It begins with a Champagne toast and ends with chocolate and fruit desserts to feed each other

    Marrying Here >

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  • 05 of 11

    Weddings at Four Seasons Bora Bora

    ••• One Four Seasons wedding-ceremony option: in a Polynesian outrigger canoe. © Four Seasons Hotels.

    Weddings at Four Seasons Bora Bora hosts one or two weddings a week and sometimes more in June, but never more than one a day. Because Bora Bora is so far away, and possibly because Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora carries a luxury pricetag, most weddings consist of parties of two, the bride and groom.

    Tying the knot in French Polynesia is much simpler now than in the past, when only French citizens qualified. But marrying here still requires a time-consuming, document-intensive French bureaucratic process that must be initiated five months in advance. There is a French Polynesia residency requirement of one or three days, so couples, in effect, start their honeymoon before their wedding.

    Tahiti Tourisme provides the details (and downloadable documents). And two on-site event planners for weddings at Four Seasons Bora Bora guide twosomes through the planning.

    The resort offers several customizable wedding packages with various mix-and-match options. Most ceremonies at Four Seasons Bora Bora...MORE invoke one or more of these Polynesian wedding traditions:

    • White wedding pareo togas (most couples prefer their own festive clothing)
    • Polynesian marriage blessings in English
    • A Tifaifai blanket wrapped around the just-marrieds
    • Marriage certificate on tapa bark paper
    • Bora Bora musicians, singers, and dancers
    Dramatic ceremony locations for weddings at Four Seasons Bora Bora include:
    • The resort beach at sunset, with a postcard panorama of the lagoon and Mt. Otemanu
    • Two private, pandanus tree-shaded motus (mini-islands)
    • The Four Seasons Navigator, an elegantly appointed boat for up to 16 guests
    • Aherenoa (“Eternal Love”) Chapel, with a cathedral ceiling and glorious view
    Joyous tropical receptions following weddings at Four Seasons Bora Bora are typically held outdoors on the beach or a grassy grove surfside. The resort’s culinary team creates delectable customized menus for the bride and groom as well as a decorative French patisserie cake. Lifelong memories will be sweet.

    For Lovers Only >

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  • 06 of 11

    Honeymoons and Romance at Four Seasons Bora Bora

    ••• Life’s a beach for couples on a Four Seasons Bora Bora honeymoon. © John Russo/Four Seasons.

    This tranquil, refined tropical resort is a honeymoon haven. Four Seasons Bora Bora makes new couples feel pampered and honored, but still grants them the privacy they came all the way to the South Seas to revel in.

    Numerous romantic gestures are extended to “with this ring” guests. Some of these amorous touches are accorded without the asking, and some need to be pre-arranged (and added to your tab).

    Honeymoon couples can expect a welcome amenity of Champagne and coconut sweets. Another night, they will be graced with a kumu hei, an intricately hand-woven floral garland intensely scented with tiaré, lily, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood. Traditionally it is worn by Polynesian women to set the stage for seduction.

    These Four Seasons Bora Bora adventures for two need to be reserved in advance:

    • Couples’ treatments followed by private hours in the spa’s Kahaia romance suite
    • Room-service breakfast brought to your overwater bungalow via canoe, and savored on your deck
    • Sunset cruises and...MORE catamaran sailings
    • Semi-private snorkeling excursions
    • The Taurua chef’s dinner for two, served on a torch-lit swath of beach or on your bungalow deck

    Spa Services >

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  • 07 of 11

    Spa at Four Seasons Bora Bora

    ••• The Kahaia spa suite at Four Seasons Bora Bora is reserved for couples. © Barbara Kraft/Four Seasons.

    With its soaring design, shafts of sunlight, and scented air, the spa at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora reminds visitors of a church or temple. And like a place of worship, it draws acolytes devoted to its rituals.

    The spa at Four Seasons Bora Bora offers an array of face and body treatments that meld modern therapies with Polynesian ingredients. These indigenous substances include vanilla bean essence, tamanu tree extracts, and calcium-rich powdered black pearls. Facials utilize organic Osea potions made with curative gigartina seaweed from Patagonia. (The line is available for purchase in the spa boutique.)

    Massages are a special treat at the spa at Four Seasons Bora Bora. Clients may choose from a quartet of lusciously scented body oils based on monoi oil, made with tiaré gardenia blossoms. In the Polyesian massage, the masseur adapts the graceful hand movements of taurumi island dance.

    Hot-stone massages at the spa at Four Seasons Bora Bora are performed with your choice of heated...MORE seashells or lava pebbles from Bora Bora’s dormant volcano, Mt. Otemanu.

    The spa’s secluded, view-laden Kahaia suite is reserved exclusively for couples. Here they undergo their chosen treatments side-by-side, and are then left to frolic in the suite’s soaking bath.

    Resort guests have complimentary use of the spa’s lounges. Its attractions include hydrojet showers, aromatic steam room and sauna, sun chaises, and an infinity whirlpool that seems to float over the resort’s lagoon. Two lounges are segregated by gender and are clothing-optional. The spa’s yoga deck is co-ed.

    A fitness pavilion a few steps from the spa offers gleaming new cardio and weight machines and other equipment. Water, fresh fruit, individual TV monitors, and headphones are gratis, and the pavilion is accessible 24 hours.

    It's in the Water >

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  • 08 of 11

    Water Sports at Four Seasons Bora Bora

    ••• “Paddle boating” is just of many aquatic adventures at Four Seasons Bora Bora. © John Russo/Four Seasons.

    French Polynesians live the life aquatic, and so do guests at its island resorts. Water sports at Four Seasons Bora Bora are the mainstay of resort activities.

    The varied water sports at Four Seasons Bora Bora are made all the more alluring by the warm, caressing, crystal-clear waters of the island’s aqua-blue lagoon.

    Four Seasons Bora Bora’s property is bisected by a thriving natural inlet, Ruahatu (Ocean King) Lagoon Sanctuary. Tended by the resort’s full-time marine biologist, it is lively with sealife and with a natural current. The result is an engrossing (and cost-free) on-property snorkeling escapade.

    The resort encourages guests to borrow snorkel masks and fins on the house. Kayaks, WaveRunners and so on are available for rent. Off-property scuba diving, snorkeling, and ray-feeding expeditions may be booked either in advance or at Four Seasons Bora Bora’s reception desk.

    The resort’s unforgettable “reef discovery” snorkel trip whisks participants to several choice Bora Bora reefs....MORE French-born expedition leader Christophe Poch brings baguette bread that is nibbled right out of snorkelers’ hands by schools of tropical fish.

    Four Seasons Bora Bora’s large, undulating infinity pool is an alluring relaxation station. Children are permitted, but a separate “splash pad” is where miniature guests and their keepers are encouraged to dip.

    At Your Service >

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  • 09 of 11

    Staff and Service at Four Seasons Bora Bora

    ••• Transportation within Four Seasons Bora Bora is festive, friendly, fast, and free. © Karen Tina Harrison.

    Service at Four Seasons Bora Bora is exceptional. Its competently English-speaking staff seems to feel as fortunate to work here as guests do to honeymoon and vacation here. Couples are treated cheerfully and respectfully, but not obsequiously.

    Four Seasons Bora Bora’s pitch-perfect service begins aboard the elegant boat that transfers guests from the island airport to the resort. Bora Bora’s stirring tropical scenery and milky-turquoise waters are remarkable. But so is the welcoming attitude of the young staff members aboard.

    This gracious vibe continues throughout the resort. Housekeeping and room service are smiling and swift, restaurant service is eager and informative, and reception personnel — whether at the front desk, concierge, spa, or aquatic center — are unfailingly friendly and helpful. Any glitches that arise in a couple’s stay are handled quickly and decisively.

    Guests who recognize and expect genuine hospitality will be gratified by the service at Four Seasons Bora Bora....MORE After all, honeymoon couples want to be celebrated. Discreetly, of course.

    The Vibe >

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  • 10 of 11

    Is Four Seasons Bora Bora Right for You?

    ••• A gracious reception awaits at Four Seasons Bora Bora’s front desk. © Barbara Kraft/Four Seasons.

    The high cost of staying at (and getting to) Four Seasons Bora Bora takes it out of reach of many couples. But for those who can afford it, Four Seasons Bora Bora equals honeymoon perfection.

    Four Seasons Bora Bora is for you if:

    • The honeymoon nest in your mind’s eye is an ultra-comfy private bungalow set amidst a tropical lagoon
    • Your honeymoon hotel wish list also includes atmospheric dining, a dazzling spa, complete gym, and warm service
    • You relish water sports and like the idea of a swimsuit trousseau
    • You two are up for meeting other honeymoon couples
    Four Seasons Bora Bora is not for you if:
    • You seek a honeymoon destination within a few hours’ fiying time (Bora Bora is two flights and nine hours away from Los Angeles)
    • You don’t love beaches or water (the resort’s overwater bungalows are built atop a lagoon, and most activities are aquatic)
    • You desire a completely child-free environment (there are likely to be a few tots and teens at the resort)
    • You prefer an all-inclusive hotel...MORE rate (nearly everything here is a la carte)
    The bottom line on Four Seasons Bora Bora: if you can swing the cost, this exquisite resort is the essence of romance.

    “Every morning we woke up in paradise,” said Four Seasons Bora Bora honeymoon guest Lauren, from Arizona. “Everything we did was so romantic, from looking at the fish through our bungalow’s glass floor panel, to breakfast room service with flowers, to the gorgeous spa, to the tropical sunsets. David and I were at Four Seasons Bora Bora for six nights and it was not enough.”

    Info and Reservations >

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  • 11 of 11

    Four Seasons Bora Bora Information and Reservations

    ••• Peel yourselves a cabana at Four Seasons Bora Bora. © Barbara Kraft/Four Seasons.

    Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
    Motu Tehotu, 98730 Bora Bora
    French Polynesia
    Phone: 800-819-5053

    Official Hotel Web Site

    French Polynesia’s main island of Tahiti is reached via flights from Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, and Auckland on Air Tahiti Nui.

    As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodations and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, TripSavvy.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.