Fans of Four Seasons' impressively consistent resort amenities and top-notch service will find much to love at the two-year-old Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, the island's newest luxury property. Not only are the accommodations spacious and welcoming, but the setting on a 54-acre, lagoon-bisected motu (small island) facing Bora Bora's towering Mt. Otemanu also makes it a dreamy oasis for an intimate honeymoon, fun-filled family vacation or memorable destination wedding.
Bora Bora’s Newest Luxury Bungalows
At 1,100 square feet, the majority of the Four Seasons' 100 Overwater Bungalows are not the island's largest (those at the neighboring St. Regis Bora Bora Resort are), but they are certainly among the most well designed. Laid out in three sections - you enter into the living area, then walk through a spacious central bathroom to the king-bedded bedroom - and all linked by sliding wooden doors, they easily accommodate a couple, three adults or two adults and two children (the living room has a queen sleeper sofa) with adequate levels of airy openness or efficient privacy.
Refreshing, too, is the décor, which is highlighted by pale wood walls and floors indicative of driftwood or coral that showcase rather than compete with the brilliance of the lagoon visible through sliding glass doors leading to the deck.
In addition to the traditional thatched pandanus-leaf roof, Polynesian-inspired artwork featuring mother of pearl and palm leaves lends a true sense of place. The multi-area bathroom features a central section with double sinks and separate, enclosed shower and toilet areas, while a deep soaking tub sits front and center in its own area with a fabulous lagoon view. The bed, as expected, is ultra-comfortable and is situated with a convenient closeted dressing area to its rear.
A Family Oasis
Offered in four categories - Resort View, Beach View, Lagoon View and Mountain View - the bungalows, set on two separate wooden pontoons, are identical except for location and view. In addition, Overwater Bungalows with Plunge Pools, located toward the end of the pontoons, have a private plunge pool on the deck and the best Mt. Otemanu views. Even larger at 1,576 square feet, four Otemanu Overwater Bungalows with Plunge Pool feature an indoor dining area, extended outdoor deck and larger plunge pool.
Seven two- and three-bedroom Luxury Beachfront Villas (3,228 to 5,380 square feet, with each bedroom having an en suite bath) are ideal for families or anyone seeking extra seclusion, as they are set along the shore and have their own private pool and private beach.
Because it is a Four Seasons, the guest mix includes a lot of North Americans and a fair number of families. That's due to the fact that it has a dedicated Kids For All Seasons clubhouse (for ages 5-12, located near the main pool), plus Chill Island, a private beach and lagoon for teens with clubhouse, volleyball and water sports, such as stand-up paddle boards and snorkels. There are lifeguards, instructors, guides and a marine biologist on staff to ensure both a fun and safe experience. Cultural activities, such as pareu painting and Tahitian dance and drumming, are also available.
Yet because of the resort's spaciousness and design, couples seeking romance will not feel overwhelmed by kids and teens - except, perhaps, during peak holiday and spring/summer holiday times when families tend to converge en masse.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner With a View
A variety of custom dining options - from room-service breakfast to a romantic sunset dinner for two on the beach (with entertainment) - are easily arranged, while four restaurants and bars offer up French-Tahitian fusion cuisine as well as familiar American favorites.
The main restaurant, Tere Nui, (meaning "great voyage") features 180-degree beach and lagoon views and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfast buffet ranks among the best on Bora Bora, while the lunch menu is a mix of creative sandwiches, healthy salads and local dishes. Dinner menus range from a la carte selections to theme nights, from Polynesian Dinner Show (with music and dancing) to Mediterranean Night (featuring a made-to-order pasta station).
For haute seafood, head for Arii Moana (meaning "King of the Lagoon"), where South Pacific seafood is the star, served in one three areas: the blue-floored dining room, the lounge-like terrace or al fresco at lagoon's edge. Here you can try moonfish, parrotfish and even barracuda, all prepared with a gourmet hand and flavored by fresh tropical ingredients.
For lighter items, the Fare Hoa Beach Bar (meaning "among friends") serves a casual lunch menu, mid-afternoon snacks and cocktails, while the Sunset Restaurant and Bar has a chic vibe and is the spot to watch the sunset while enjoying drinks (try the signature Mahana cocktail) and light bites such as sushi and Asian-fusion tapas.
The resort also has a private function area, the open-air Otemanu Pavilion, which can accommodate up to 100 for a seated dinner as well as cocktails on a private beach.
An Inspired Spa
While all aspects of the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora are flawlessly executed, it is the Spa that is most apt to take your breath away.
Melding the pure drama of a soaring 72-foot kahaia-wood structure with the rhythmic calm of the Pacific Ocean's reef break just yards away, it is a sanctuary of wellness infused with the soothing powers of South Pacific ingredients such as monoi oil, sandalwood and frangipani.
Set at the back of a sheltered lagoon, with men's and women's relaxation areas/whirlpools (plus a fabulous yoga platform) overlooking the calming blue water and Mt. Otemanu just beyond, the Spa is a must-visit, especially for couples.
Wooden walkways lead to a variety of treatment rooms, including the exquisite Kahaia Spa Suite, with a glass floor suspended above the lagoon and private relaxation deck, which couples can book for the Kahaia Haven Ritual, a two-hour treatment that includes an exfoliation, hot stone massage and facial à deux. If you have any energy left, you can head for the Fitness Center, with its state-of-the-art equipment, or better yet, back to your overwater bungalow for a refreshing dip in the lagoon as the brilliant Tahitian sun sets behind mesmerizing Mt. Otemanu.