Guests arrive at the Four Seasons Bora Bora via private yacht. // © 2011 Four Seasons Bora Bora
Wedding Options at Bora Bora
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora www.fourseasons.com/borabora
Through Dec. 17, the Family Plan package includes 50 percent off a second overwater bungalow and daily breakfast buffet for two adults and two children.
To say I had a grand arrival on Bora Bora, Tahiti, would be an understatement. From my window seat, I watched the South Pacific Ocean change in color from sapphire to unquantifiable shades of turquoise and aquamarine. A waft of taire flowers hit me as I stepped off the plane, and the weight of heavy humidity slowed my pace. I had arrived at Bora Bora's diminutive, open-air airport and so had my "taxi" -- a mahogany and cream-colored yacht provided by Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.
The resort's three private yachts were inspired by classic New York City commuter boats used in the 1920s to transport Wall Street executives to their homes on Long Island. While I'm anything but the Wall Street elite, I certainly felt like I was in the right hands. Sipping on a mango puree, wearing a fresh flower lei and cooling my neck with an ice-cold towel, I had a suspicion that my short stay at the Four Seasons Bora Bora was going to be hard to forget.
"From the beginning, our guests are cared for and looked after by us within this magnificent setting," said general manager Rajiv Malhotra, who has worked with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts for a decade. "A large number of our guests are romance travelers celebrating weddings, honeymoons or anniversaries. That being said, we also
attract family business and, the way the resort is put together, these segments do not interfere with each other."
Chill Island -- a teen clubhouse and private beach, where young adults can snorkel, stand-up paddleboard or play pool, table tennis and foosball -- is a five-minute walk from the main beach. Younger children have a haven of their own with the Kids for All Seasons program. The program, for children ages 5 to 12, centers around a kids-only clubhouse and splash pad, which is located in close proximity to the resort's infinity-edge pool and private beach on Bora Bora's inner lagoon.
By day, most couples could be found snuggling in the oversized poolside cabanas, drinking Hinano beers in the Jacuzzi or swimming to the resort's sunset motu (small island), where weddings and other events take place. I lazily passed the afternoons on a shaded chaise lounge with magazines and a tropical cocktail (try the archipelagos, a mix of vanilla-infused rum, coconut water, Malibu Rum and coconut ice cream, served in a coconut) that was a meal in itself.
The mood at the resort shifts around sunset as guests head either to the decks of their overwater bungalows or to my favorite spot, the Sunset Restaurant and Bar, for sushi and tapas. Although the views from the bungalows are stunning around the clock, not all accommodations face the west. On the contrary, the Sunset Restaurant and Bar is angled just right for watching the kaleidoscope of colors as the sun eclipses the peaks of Bora Bora's main island.
Early nights and mornings are the typical Tahitian fashion -- it's hard to sleep in when it's so bright and gorgeous outside. From the comfort of my signature Four Seasons bed, I gazed out at the lagoon and Mount Otemanu, the sunlight filling my thatched-roof hut. Views were equally impressive from the oversized soaking tub in the bathroom where there was also a glass-bottom panel for watching tropical fish swim below.
An idyllic way to ease into the morning is with an in-bungalow Polynesian breakfast delivered via canoe. Another dining experience not to be missed is a romantic beachfront dinner for two, complete with champagne and candlelight.
The Tere Nui restaurant offers all-day service and a daily buffet breakfast featuring freshly baked coconut bread, pineapple pancakes, omelets and a build-your-own poisson cru station. The Arii Moana, with its impressive tear-drop lighting and chandeliers crafted from intertwined driftwood, is the spot for upscale regional cuisine.
After living like a queen for a few days, it was difficult to say goodbye, a sentiment only eased by my intention to return.
"When guests leave us, it is always bittersweet for us and them," said Malhotra. "The ultimate goal is for them to feel that they have experienced something magical."