The best spas in Tahiti do not disappoint when it comes to pampering visitors with luxurious treatments. Most of the top resorts on Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and the Tuamotu Atolls feature spas that blend the latest in technology with local ingredients-such as monoi oil and vanilla-in treatments ranging from soothing massages to invigorating body wraps. Spa lovers will find nirvana in facilities that range from intimate to expansive and indigenous to high-tech. You may be tempted to spend all your time in your overwater bungalow, especially if you are honeymooners, but you should head to the spa. Here are the best:
1. Deep Ocean Spa at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
The only spa in French Polynesia to harness the healing powers of ocean water pumped from 3,000 feet below the Pacific, the spacious Deep Ocean Spa at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa offers a striking setting and a variety of unique treatments based on nutrient-rich marine elements (seawater, seaweed, marine mud). The spa, which opened in 2006, has overwater treatment rooms with massage tables placed strategically over glass floor panels so you can ogle tropical fish during your back massage as well as rain showers, plunge pools and several Jacuzzis well located for privacy and offering direct views of Bora Bora's iconic Mount Otemanu peak.
2. The Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Like a cathedral to well-being, the serene, two-story Spa at the three-year-old Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora rises above the palm trees, constructed of dramatic kahaia wood and smelling of aromatic local ingredients such as frangipani, vanilla and sandalwood. The focus here is on the natural resources of Bora Bora in treatments and signature spa rituals. Couples can indulge in a two-hour Kahaia Haven, a black-pearl powder and vanilla scrub followed by a massage, in the dramatic Kahaia Spa Suite with its private whirlpool and stunning lagoon views.
3. Miri Miri Spa at The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
Located on its own island next to a tranquil Lagoonarium designed for snorkelers, the Mira Miri Spa at the five-star St. Regis Bora Bora Resort specializes in Tahitian and Pacific Rim treatments. Ingredients include local natural herbs and flowers as well as monoi oil, mother of pearl and luminescent pearl power (used in the Illuminating Pearl Facial). International techniques include Balinese, Ayurvedic and Table-Thai massages.
4. Helene Spa at the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa
Authentically Tahitian in both its structure and treatment menu, the intimate Helene Spa at the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa (which debuted in 1999) is tucked back amid lush foliage and offers a range of massages, body scrubs, baths and facials using nature as inspiration. All treatment rooms are open air or fan cooled and the treatments are derived from traditions of local Tahuas (Polynesian healers). Treatments have Tahitian names like "Here Nui" (Eternal Love) and "Moe Moea" (Sweet Dreams) and there's an invigorating stream-fed cold plunge pool.
5. Le Spa at the Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti
Tucked away on the second floor, Le Spa at the Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti is not as visually impressive as some of the other spas in Tahiti. And yet it harnesses its natural resources - including the fine black sand right outside on Lafayette Beach - to deliver an exceptional spa experience for guests. The black sand is mixed with fragrant monoi oil and used as a soothing exfoliant in the Matavai Exquisite Raindrops Treatment, which leaves skin looking and feeling magnificent.
6. Le Spa at the Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Resort & Spa
Set on the beach close to the lagoon with an open-air construction that incorporates seven treatment rooms and two Jacuzzis situated amid gardens and ponds, Le Spa at the Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Resort & Spa derives its inspiration from a mix of international influences as well as local traditions. Some of it signature treatments include the Moroccan Caress (a relaxing massage featuring circular movements) and the Ancestral Paradise (a flower bath followed by a traditional Tahitian massage).
7. Manea Spa at the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa
One of the prettiest and most serene spas in Tahiti, the Manea Spa at the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa is set amid lilly-pad studded lagoons and flowering gardens fully embraces the traditional Tahitian "taurumi" philosophy in such treatments as the "Taurumi Royale" for couples in the secluded,lagoon-surrounded Royal Spa Suite. The Manea Spa also has a resident tattoo artist who will create a lasting memory of your Tahitian vacation.
8. Manea Spa at the Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa
The only resort spa in Tahiti with its own Watsu pool (where the Rumiavai Aquatic Massage is given), the Manea Spa at the Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa specializing in Tahitian-inspired treatments using scented monoi oil and other indigenous ingredients. Specialties include a VIP Steam Bath Package giving clients private access to the steam and whirlpool areas and a Relaxing Flower Bath accompanied by Champagne.
9. Hina Spa at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa
Set on a hilltop, the Hina Spa at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa offers serene treatment rooms set amid lush vegetation and black basalt boulders. (It's also where Bachelorette Ali gave the final rose to Roberto.) A new focus is on locally sourced, all-natural products and one of its popular treatments is the "Million Dollar View" Experience, a two-hour, open-air treatment (foot bath, body polish, massage and post-treatment snack) in a secluded pavilion with views of the lagoon.
10. Spa at Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa
Polynesian traditions are again on display in the secluded lagoon-side Spa at Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa, which is located on its own private motu off of the island of Taha'a. Taha'a is known as Tahiti's "Vanilla Island" and the fragrant bean plays a lead role in many of the treatments, as does monoi oil, frangipani, sandalwood and ginger.