Bora Bora

Under a one hour flight from the island of Tahiti or Moorea, the island of Bora Bora, with a lagoon resembling an artist’s palette of blues and greens, is love at first sight. Romantics from around the world have laid claim to this island where the castle-like Mount Otemanu pierces the sky. Lush tropical slopes and valleys blossom with hibiscus, while palm-covered motu circle the illuminated lagoon like a delicate necklace. Perfect white-sand beaches give way to emerald waters where colored fish animate the coral gardens as they greet the giant manta rays. This could be easily be described as the center of the romantic universe, where luxury resorts and spas dot the island with over water bungalows, thatched roof villas, and fabled ambiance.

Truly, the most romantic island in the world. From the dramatic scenery to the privacy and amenities of the overwater bungalows, everything in Bora Bora equals a 10 on the romance scale. Resorts have been welcoming couples for over 40 years and their special amenities have been fine tuned to perfection. From sunrise to sunset, each resort has designed their own blend of unique romantic experiences for their guests to choose from.

 

DON’T-MISS WATER ACTIVITY
Le Méridien seems like a high-end aquatic playground, with snorkeling, kayaking, Jet Skiing, and parasailing. You can also take a sunset cruise on a catamaran, swim with sea turtles, or sail a Hobie Cat. But the best way to splash around is to go for a gondola-like ride in a traditional Polynesian dugout canoe.

BEST BETS FOR PRIVACY SEEKERS
Steal some solitude at the rugged entrance to the Pacific Ocean or in a shaded hammock on the palm-fringed stretch of beach that bisects the lagoon.

BEST ALTERNATIVE TO A DAY AT THE BEACH
Arrange a private sportfishing sail aboard the 50-foot Taravana. Captain Richard Postma knows all the best spots. A full-day excursion to Tupai includes snorkeling at a reef that could easily have been the setting for Finding Nemo.

SUREST WAY TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF
Take the hotel’s free boat shuttle to the main island for pearl hunting. The winding roads are dotted with almost as many black-pearl traders as fuchsia hibiscus trees. But consider paying a little more for a pearl from reputable dealer Nyco’s, located in the main town of Viatape. They’ll customize any piece of jewelry and offer free transportation from the dock, to boot.

BEST MEAL
Be forewarned: Despite its obvious supply of fresh fruits de mer, Bora-Bora’s culinary reputation is deservedly poor. The locals have one secret: La Villa Mahana. The seven-table restaurant books two months in advance.

BRING YOUR OWN ENTERTAINMENT
Your nightlife will more likely involve watching DVDs in your sexy room (vaulted thatched ceilings, beds draped in romantic netting). The hotel’s movie library is a bit perplexing, though, so you might want to bring your own.

WHEN YOU GO
November to April is French Polynesia’s summer (read rainy season). Winter (late June to early September) is marked by frequently gray skies. So try to go during spring (late September to late October) or fall (late March to early June).

WHAT TO PACK
Bora-Bora is less fashionable than you might think. Even at dinner, the dress tends to be very casual: Stick to simple