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Four Season Resort Bora Bora: The Ultimate Bucket List Destination

There are 118 islands in French Polynesia,

yet only one of them finds a place on every traveler’s bucket list.
Bora Bora is a place so nice, you’ve got to say it twice. South Pacific author James Michener called it the most mesmerizing island in the world. Indeed, visiting Bora Bora is like living in a dream. Its marine palette of cobalt, turquoise and sapphire is unrivaled in any sea.


So it comes as no surprise, really, that Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora rests right at the top of any bucket-list resort compilation. Indeed, in its 2023 Awards of Excellence, “Luxury Travel Advisor” named the property the “Best Luxury Beach Hotel Worldwide.” In other words: There’s no real competition.


The over-water suites have a magnetic draw. There are 108 of these thatched bungalows, as well as seven beachfront villa estates of two and three bedrooms. As the Four Seasons rests on its private motu, or islet, every one has a spellbinding vista of mystical Mount Otemanu rising in the near distance.


Every bungalow has a private balcony and a large soaking tub overlooking the waters of the South Pacific. Each accommodation features traditional teak furnishings, local artwork, a flat-screen TV, a bar and a Nespresso machine. And every day, before breakfast, I could wake up and plunge into the warm waters of the lagoon outside my bungalow.


All dining options are exceptional. Arii Moana is the open-air Mediterranean option. Blending the cultural traditions of Asia, Vaimiti is my personal favorite, with a locale that provides eye-popping sunsets. (The crispy pork belly is to die for.) Breakfast is served at Tere Nui, overlooking the lagoon and Mount Otemanu. On Mondays, Tere Nui hosts a Polynesian dance show, giving guests another glimpse into Polynesian culture.


Beneath its cathedral roof, Te Mahana Spa pampers and revitalizes guests with traditional Polynesian treatments. The verdant lagoon views are remarkable, no moreso than in a couples’ suite in a bungalow — with a glass floor allowing a tranquil view of fish swimming below.
The resort caters not only to couples on romantic getaways but also to families. “We are seeing more and more families joining us, especially over the holiday season,” confirmed general manager Romain Chanet.


For those who want to do nothing at all, Four Seasons has you covered. But there are activities enough to fill every hour of every day. Water sports include paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling — in two lagoons or directly from your bungalow — as well as a popular jet-ski tour. There’s an open-air fitness room open 24 hours, for those who like to pump iron at 3 a.m. There’s an exclusive Kids Club for 4 to 12-year-olds. Daily shuttles transport guests to off-property shopping or sightseeing, and a daily lunch shuttle visits the Bora Bora Beach Club.


But once you’ve arrived on your private Polynesian motu, you won’t ever have to leave — at least, not until your French visa expires. Four Seasons guests are picked up at the Bora Bora airport and taken by boat to the island, a 15-minute voyage. Most American guests arrive directly from Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle on nonstop nine-hour flights.


Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora redefines the word “relaxing.” It exceeds all expectations of a private island resort. The serene setting — over-water villas, accented by impeccably manicured grounds, before one of the most stunning backdrops on the planet — lends a refined superiority that I’ve seen nowhere else in my far-flung travels.
I’m left to contemplate only one remaining question: Why didn’t I stay longer?


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