The birthplace of the overwater villa, Bora Bora has been called the most beautiful island in the world. Rising sharply from the Pacific waters of Polynesia, Bora Bora’s volcanic Mt. Otemanu is lapped by a broad lagoon necklaced with a series of “motus,” or small islands. The blue-green lagoon is a diver’s paradise, with clear shallow waters lapping over pristine reefs that shelter colorful tropical fish, rays and small sharks.
Many of Bora Bora’s motus are inhabited by luxury resorts that have bid “maeva,” or “welcome,” to generations of honeymooners. The Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa has dozens of thatched-roof bungalows fanned out across the lagoon off-place to begin and end a tour of the island. Set out by bike or rented 4x4 to famous Matira Beach to see historic World War II relics and ancient marae temples, perhaps taking in some boutique shopping or lunch at the popular Bloody Mary’s restaurant along the way.
The “Romance Menu” at The St. Regis Bora Bora serves up much of what’s best about this honeymooners’ paradise. Guests can take a half-hour boat ride to a private motu for a day of sunbathing, gourmet picnicking and jet skiing in the lagoon.
For a truly extraordinary memory, arrange for a private fireworks display, dive for one of Bora Bora’s distinctive black pearls, or indulge in an evening massage on the beach by candlelight. Or just lounge around watching the stingrays glide between the stilts of your villa before sampling the cuisine at Lagoon, the heralded restaurant from chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
> Written by Bob Curley