Ever since I saw a photo of the over-water bungalows many years ago, I knew I had to go one day. The crystal clear blue water, stunning mountain in the background, wooden boardwalks leading to private villas you can wake up and just jump into the water, everything about Bora Bora seemed like a dream. It quickly became my number one place on my bucket list to visit. However, it always seemed like a distant idea since it seemed so far away and expensive.
I decided this summer was finally the time to go visit, or at least seriously look into it if it was a realistic option. After researching it non-stop, from the hotels to which flight routes you could take, it became within reach and within budget. The dream was becoming a reality.
How to get there
We were coming from Toronto, Canada, so we took a flight to LA first (about a 5 hour flight), stayed overnight, then took an overnight flight from LA to Tahiti (about 7 hours) then a 40 minute flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora. We also took the overnight flight back (there are daytime options as well). The airline we took is Air Tahiti Nui. There are several flight options I saw from Hawaii, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, etc., but LA seems to be the best connection if you are coming from North America.
The over-water bungalows – which room to choose
I decided on the Four Seasons Bora Bora for it’s reputation, reviews, familiarity with the FS brand, photos i’ve seen, etc. The second option would have been the St. Regis (which is right next to the FS actually). The Four Seasons Bora Bora is stunning all around and there are no bad “rooms”. The cheapest “room” is a large over-water bungalow that faces the beach (versus the mountain). The villas that face the mountain are the same villas just the different view, but a few hundred dollars more per night. There are about 130 separate private villas. 13 of them have their own plunge pool. You really can’t go wrong with any option, just depends what your budget can handle. I would recommend the mountain view if you have the choice.
There are 4 different style restaurants on site at the hotel, and 24 hour room service. All were great and the most casual one is a sushi restaurant that has very fresh sushi! The breakfast is a luxury buffet style but you can order anything specific you want from the staff (like any eggs benedict or omelet), and something I looked forward to everyday. Make sure to ask for their coconut water drink which comes right in coconut form! You can also get a boat taxi to go to the mainland and check out the restaurants there but we decided to stay and enjoy our hotel instead.
If you love water and the beach you will love this place! There is everything you want to do here. From snorkelling, scuba diving, paddle boarding, deep sea fishing, jetskiing, kayaking, parasailing, windsurfing, etc.
- Snorkelling: On property, there is a lagoon that has a ton of different tropical fish and is considered a fish sanctuary and has a marine biologist visiting every week. The fish come right up to you and aren’t afraid at all, and the water is crystal clear. It literally feels like you are swimming in an aquarium.
- Sharks & Stingrays: There is a popular excursion right from the hotel to go swim with wild black-tip reef sharks (and possibly lemon sharks) and sting rays. This is a MUST DO! I haven’t seen/heard of an excursion like this anywhere else in the world and the water is so clear and the sharks are so amazing. They are used to people and have no interest in taking a bite 🙂 I would go back just to do this again!!
- Paddleboarding: There are several complimentary paddle boards available to take out into the lagoon and is definitely fun for any standup paddle board lover or even for a beginner!
- Jetskiing: You can book a private or group jetski tour around the island. This was really fun and you should do it if you want to see all the views of the island from every angle, and the guide will answer any questions you have. We went on a pretty windy/wavy day and it was quite rough so you should be in pretty good shape if you want to do this!
When to go/Weather
The high season (most busiest, most expensive) time to go is during July/August. Even though that is considered their winter (they are located below the equator) and temperatures average 27 Celsius high everyday (Dec/Jan is around 31Celcius), the rain is what matters most. The average rainfall per month in July/Aug is 1-3inches per month, whereas Dec/Jan is 11-13inches! So you could go during off season but it might rain every single day.
As one of the most sought after hotels in the world, it is not cheap. Expect to pay at least $2,000usd a night including all the many taxes, which only includes breakfast in the room rate (if you are looking at $/night online, make sure you look at the absolute total price including taxes!). The food and drinks are pricey as well. The flight between LA and Tahiti you can book way in advance and get a cheaper rate but anything within a few months is quite high as well, check the Air Tahiti Nui website for quotes. If you are looking to keep costs down during your holiday this is probably not the place to go!
Things to take note
- Try to get a mountain view villa!
- Try to get the overnight flights to and from Bora Bora so you can make the most of your days there
- Try to go in the summer (June-August) when there is the least rain
- Download the Four Seasons app before arriving at the hotel, they will give you a code for your stay and you can make restaurant reservations, any requests, check the property map, check all the possible excursions, golf cart pickups to go to your villa, right from your app!
- Ask for the coconut water drinks
- Pack lots of bikinis 😉
Last but not least check out my Youtube video I made from the Four Seasons Bora Bora!
If you plan to book a trip to the Four Seasons Bora Bora, you will not regret it. It’s voted one of the best hotels in the world, and seeing it first hand, I can easily see why. I definitely want to come back one day, hopefully soon!