Today (June 12, 2017): Top 10 most luxurious hotels in French Polynesia.
I previously published top 10 lists of the most luxurious resorts in the Indian Ocean (Maldives, Seychelles, and Mauritius) and the Caribbean. Today, I am heading to the South Pacific for another paradise destination that should be on the bucket list of every discerning traveler: French Polynesia.
The unspoiled coral reefs and lagoons that make up the captivating views around French Polynesia have remained virtually unchanged since 18th-century sailors first reported sightings of these stunning islets. While Tahiti and Moorea are stunningly beautiful, Bora Bora is the most famous and photogenic of French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands, its ancestral name meaning “created by the gods”. It is a one of the most scenic islands in the world, thick with coconut forests, colorful villages, and jagged green peaks that cascade down to miles of fine, white sandy beaches and crystal clear, turquoise water as far as the eye can see. No wonder that some of the most stunning hotels in the world are located here, some of them managed by the world’s most exclusive hotel brands. I hereby present you my list of the 10 best luxury resorts in French Polynesia, all but two of them located in Bora Bora.
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Adorned by white sand and turquoise water, the InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort is located to the south side of the main island, at the famous Matira point. The latter is formed by two white sand beaches, a windward beach on Taahana Bay and a leeward beach on Matira bay. The hotel, situated only 5 miles (8 kms) from the main village of Vaitape, offers a breathtaking view of the lagoon, but also of the impressive Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia. The 64 beach and overwater bungalows all feature a large sun terrace, living room, bedroom and beautiful bathroom with bath and dressing area decorated with live vanilla plants. In the overwater bungalows, the glass coffee table in the living room looks into the natural aquarium of the lagoon, with its clear turquoise water and sand bottom, illuminated at night.
- Hotel website: Intercontinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort
Sofitel Bora Pora Private Island, managed by Accor Hotels, is located on a lush islet in the crystal-clear lagoon of Bora Bora. From the private island resort, you enjoy 360-degree views of endless ocean, the island of Bora Bora and Mount Otemanu. Nature meets stylish luxury in the design of each of the 21 luxurious and refurbished beachside, water or hillside bungalows. Pandanus thatch towers over sumptuous beds and plasma screen TVs, and stone tiled bathrooms offer up luxe French bath elixirs. Soak up lush surroundings and beautiful botanic gardens, then succumb to the resort’s signature restaurant and delight in fine food and panoramic views across your table. For weddings and other private events, the island and its bungalows are available for exclusive bookings.
- Hotel website: Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island
Since its opening in July 2002, Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa has gathered its share of industry honours and has been included in the prestigious Relais & Châteaux collection. Located on the secluded Motu Tautau islet, facing the lush island of Taha’a on one side and the majestic silhouette of Bora Bora on the other side, the resort welcomes you to a world of immaculate beauty, a timeless universe of sophistication and authenticity. Inspired by traditional Polynesian architecture, the hotel has 57 remarkable suites and villas. Defined by the Relais & Chateaux philosophy, Le Taha’a is the promise of a total change of scenery, a way of life of its own, in harmony with its preserved environment, people and local culture.
- Hotel website: Le Taha’a Island Resort
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, 75 euro spa credit, Vanilla beans from Taha’a as a farewell gift, one cocktail voucher per person to be used at the Tehutu Bar, and Chef’s treats in room upon arrival).
Featuring a spectacular view of Bora Bora’s Mount Otemanu, the resort enjoys an idyllic location on Motu Tevairaoa. The 80 thatched-roof Polynesian-style bungalows are scattered in lush tropical gardens and across the turquoise water. The hotel has 3 restaurants, 2 bars, 2 meeting rooms, 1 boutique, an on-site diving centre, a prestigious spa and a fitness center, a fresh-water swimming pool, a floodlight tennis court, mini-golf, table tennis, volley-ball and bocce ball courts, billiards and a wide variety of activities and excursions. The luxurious accommodations, delicious cuisine and indulgent spa treatments guarantee an unforgettable experience at this resort, that is part of the prestigious ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ collection.
- Hotel website: Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort
This 115-room resort, formerly known as Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, re-opened in March 2017 as the Conrad Bora Bora Nui after undergoing a multimillion-dollar refurbishment. The hotel is located in a private cove on Motu To’opua, an islet off the coast of Bora Bora, about 20 minutes by boat from Bora Bora Airport. Offering panoramic ocean views, access to sea sports, coral reef dive sites and hiking trails, the beachfront Conrad Bora Bora Nui features 29 tropical garden and beach villas and 86 overwater bungalows, including the destination’s only double-story Presidential Suite. Guests here can look forward to inspired experiences, which marries Tahitian culture and charm with Conrad’s intuitive, discrete, and seamless service.
- Hotel website: Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Recently renovated in a contemporary and elegant design, this luxury resort is set on a magnificent islet surrounded by the world’s most beautiful lagoon and offers stunning sights over Mount Otemanu. Guests stay in beach bungalows under coconut trees, or in luxurious over-water bungalows, built on stilts above the lagoon, where they can spot marine life through a glass floor with a clear view down to the water. All bungalows have chic and modern furniture, full facilities and the flavour of the Polynesian culture. A turtle sanctuary at Le Meridien Bora Bora is the only one of its kind in French Polynesia, and allows guests to experience swimming with the magnificent hawksbill sea turtle.
- Hotel website: Le Meridien Bora Bora
Opened in May 2006 as one of the 4 French Polynesian hotels managed by the Intercontinental Hotel Group, the resort is located on a virgin beach on the Motu Piti Aau, a coral island on the barrier reef along the eastern side of Bora Bora. The view of the main Island from the resort is unique, especially towards Mount Otemanu, rising majestically across the blue crystal waters of the lagoon. The resort features an eco-friendly air-conditioning system by using the cold of deep-sea water extracted from the Pacific Ocean. Whilst the award-winning Deep Ocean Spa is the centrepiece of this French Polynesian paradise, there are countless other activities to enjoy, including diving, canoeing or kayaking in crystal clear waters or working out in our glass-walled fitness centre.
- Hotel website: Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
The Brando is a unique luxury resort on French Polynesia’s breathtakingly beautiful private island of Tetiaroa – an atoll composed of a dozen small islands surrounding a sparkling lagoon 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Tahiti. The Brando offers carefree luxury in the midst of pristine nature. With access to the island by private plane, the resort features 35 villas on white-sand beaches frequented by sea turtles, manta rays and exotic birds. The resort is designed to reflect Polynesian lifestyles and culture. It was in this natural wonderland that the legendary actor Marlon Brando settled down, and finally found his home. Room rates start at 3000 euro per night for the cheapest room category (one bedroom villa), inclusive of food & beverages.
- Hotel website: The Brando
- Other accolades: The Brando also features in my top 10 lists of the most expensive hotels in the world and luxury hotels with private airports.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and 100 euro resort credit).
Wrapped by majestic views, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is surrounded by sand-fringed islets on an outer coral reef that enclose a turquoise lagoon. The resort offers 121 spacious hideaways with 100 over-water bungalows and 7 beachfront villas, all overlooking the lagoon’s crystal clear waters and some with spectacular views of Mount Otemanu. Inspired by local architecture, all guest accommodations offer a restful, airy ambience; complete with traditional teak wood furnishings, high ceilings and thatched roofs made from pandanus leaves. Special touches that accentuate the feel of Polynesia include striking works of art, private pools and sliding doors by deep bathtubs for panoramic fresh-air views of the lagoon.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Bora Bora
- Other accolades: Four Seasons Bora Bora also features in my top 10 lists of hotels rooms with a spectacular view, the world’s best honeymoon resorts, and the most spectacular hotel bathrooms in the world.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, $100 USD spa credit, and complimentary WiFi).
Reaching out across 44 acres of lush landscaping edged by powdery white sands and a crystalline lagoon, The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort represents the epitome of carefree elegance. Its 100 exquisitely designed accommodations feature the largest over-water villas in the South Seas as well as stunning beach villas, showcases for the warm glow of exotic woods, handwoven fabrics and regional art. Rising in the distance, the towering majesty of Mount Otemanu is an ever-present symbol of the lofty luxury and impressively personalized service that are the hallmarks of St. Regis. There is something for everyone here … endless pleasures set against a backdrop of jaw-dropping beauty.
- Hotel website: St Regis Bora Bora
- Other accolades: St Regis Bora Bora also features in my top 10 list of the most beautiful hotel beaches in the world.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, 20% discount at spa, and 50% discount off the costs of roundtrip airport boat transfers).