When Jennifer Hawkins visited Bora Bora
three years ago, the Four Seasons resort there was being built. On her recent visit with Getaway
she was able to see the finished product. "Spectacular" was her description. In such a beautiful setting it could hardly be anything else.
A 30-minute flight from Papeete, Bora Bora is one of 118 islands in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France. Surrounded by a lagoon and barrier reef, its centre has the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two sheer black rock peaks: Mt Pahia and Mt Otemanu.
The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora has already been named in Condé Nast Traveller as one of the world's best hotels.
Of its 121 spacious accommodations, there are 100 over-water bungalows and seven beachfront villas. Everything is nestled around the lagoon and its outer beaches, with views of the dramatic peaks and endless turquoise waters.
Inspired by local architecture, the resort has a restful, airy ambience with teak furnishings, high ceilings and thatched pandanus leaf roofs. Works of art, private pools and deep bathtubs with views of the lagoon accentuate the Polynesian ambience.
Otemanu Beachfront Villa is perfect for families. It has three bedrooms, four bathrooms and private pool. It has been an island escape for the likes of Salma Hayek, Vince Vaughan and Kirsten Dunst. The villa is on a white-sand beach and is surrounded by tropical foliage.
Otemanu Over-Water Bungalow has one bedroom and a plunge pool. Its spacious living room opens to a deck with ladder access to the lagoon. The living room has a dining area and a queen sofa bed for chilling, maybe with something from the stocked bar.
The spa at the lagoon edge is surrounded by tropical groves and the Pacific Ocean. The air is fragrant with frangipani and sandalwood and treatments use natural ingredients of French Polynesia.
The resort has an open-air fitness centre, seven air-conditioned treatment rooms and an overwater sunrise yoga platform. For tennis enthusiasts, there are two all-weather courts with lights for night games.
Water sports abound and the resort's catamaran offers relaxing cruises, adventurous island discovery tours and gourmet dining excursions. You can even sail to the airport! The craft has a full bar, dining area and sundeck.
For some local culture, there's a Polynesian dinner show each week and you can treat yourself to a traditional tattoo. They are usually black and always have symbolic meanings.
Bora Bora, an hour's flight from Papeete in French Polynesia.
Elegant Resorts & Villas has a seven-night Four Seasons Bora Bora Getaway Package starting at $5565 per person twin share. It includes five nights at the Four Seasons Resort, Bora Bora in a Resort View Overwater Bungalow, full breakfast and dinner each day, two nights at the Radisson Plaza Resort in Papeete and return airfares with Air Tahiti Nui from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to Bora Bora via Papeete.
Air Tahiti Nui has return airfares to Bora Bora via Papeete from:
- Sydney $1880
- Melbourne $2011
- Brisbane $2031
- Adelaide $2291
- Perth $2480
Sale and validity dates and other conditions apply.
Prices correct at July 2, 2011.
For further information
Air Tahiti Nui
1300 732 415
Elegant Resorts & Villas
Ph: (02) 8270 4850
Four Seasons Bora Bora
Motu Tehotu BP 547
Ph: +689 603 130
Tahiti Tourisme Australia
Level 8, 25 Bligh Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: 1300 655 563
Fax: (02) 9233 4906
Visa: Australians may stay in French Polynesia for up to three months without a visa.
Electricity: 110V or 220V at 60Hz, depending on the island, but 220V is the most common. Plugs are circular with two female and one male point, the same as France.
Time zone: GMT -10.
Currency: Pacific franc.
International dialling code: +689.
It is recommended travellers to French Polynesia see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there may be specific vaccinations recommended. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended. For further information, visit www.smartraveller.gov.au and www.welltogo.com.au.