TRAVEL GUIDE: BORA BORA

Continuing with Wedding Week here on the blog, today I’m chatting about honeymooning in Bora Bora. We spent our first week of married life in a bungalow nestled on top of the water, tucked all the way in the French Polynesia. It truly was an incredible experience that I am thrilled to share. Just as an FYI, this is not a sponsored post, just truly fell in love with the resort, culture, and people and want to share our trip with you all.

While it is not easy, nor quick to get to, Bora Bora is well worth the trip and multiple plane rides to get there. It is a small South Pacific island surrounded by turquoise water and filled with over the water bungalows. At the island’s center, Mt. Otemenu, a dormant volcanic is nestled lending for a truly spectacular view. As soon as you get off the plane, you will be welcomed by a boat from your respective resort that will take you on a breathtaking journey to where you will be staying. Seriously, after seeing how insanely blue the water is, you will not be able to stop smiling (or taking pictures) while en route to your resort.

If you missed following along via Instagram, a few of my favorite Bora Bora memories can be found here: one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen

St. Regis Bora Bora

Where to stay:

While there are multiple resorts on the lagoon as well as the “mainland”, we opted to stay in a bungalow at the St. Regis. From the moment we arrived we were blown away by their hospitality, the layout of the resort and all the accommodations that followed. You can either bike around the resort (they keep bikes everywhere) or ask to be picked up in a golf cart. Our entire stay I kept taking a moment to reflect on where we were and what an incredible experience it was. One night in particular we were having a drink on our dock before dinner and I looked up into the sky which was filled with stars. Living in New York City, it became such a surreal and special moment to take in and enjoy.

Bora Bora Huts

Bora Bora Resorts

coconut sunblock

honeymoon destinations

Huts in Bora Bora

Justin Bieber Bora Bora

<Scoped out Justin Bieber’s diggs which was a few huts down>

Lagoon Restaurant Bora Bora

<Lagoon restaurant at the St. Regis – hands down the best rice cracker ahi tuna ever!>

Light Blue Water

Pool Bar

Our Bungalow:

Seriously the bungalow was incredible! It was so much bigger than I thought it was going to be. I kind of figured it would just be one big bedroom, but it actually had a bunch of separate rooms and a great size dock.  I didn’t get that many pictures, but if you want a really good idea of the villas at the St. Regis watch the movie Couples Retreat – the whole thing was filmed there, and they do a scene in the movie where each couple tours their bungalows. Also, funny fact, the resort plays this move on repeat on one of the two tv channels you get in the rooms –  you will know it realllllly well by the end of your trip.

Bora Bora_

Bora Bora bungalow

styled snapshots honeymoon

best honeymoon destinations

hut on water in bora bora

morning coffee on the water

Hut on water

<Matt diving off our dock, this was a daily ritual, morning, noon and night>

bungalow life

Tips:

  • Everything is imported and difficult to get on Bora Bora, which means that costs are high. Stop at a Duty Free shop and pick up whatever you like to drink to cut back on alcohol costs when at the resort. Your bungalow makes an incredible backdrop to enjoy a cocktail before or after dinner! Almost everyone heading there has a Duty free bag they are carrying…or two. We stopped at the Duty Free shop in LA which is a common layover when heading to Bora Bora.
  • Bring your own rafts that are easy to blow up manually and don’t forget string to tie yourself to your dock! The current carries you pretty fast and it is a little bit of work to paddle back in, so a string will come in handy if you are looking for total relaxation. We picked up these rafts from Amazon and just left them behind when we left (one//two – the cup holder came in handy).
  • We also packed our own snorkels which made exploring quick and easy. I believe the St. Regis has this if you decide not to bring it, but we loved the convenience of snorkeling all around the property and off our dock.
  • We also bought waterproof protectors for our kindles so that we could read a book while floating away.
  • The sun is extremely strong so make sure to constantly load up on sunblock. As you saw above the St. Regis has complimentary sunblock, but I would also recommend bringing some of your own.

Moana Adventures

For Matt’s birthday I surprised him and rented a private Boston Whaler for 4 hours. This came recommended from a friend who honeymooned in Bora Bora and it was 100% worth it! I worked with Moana Adventure Tours and our captain/tour guide was Warren. He picked us up from the St. Regis at our start time and treated us to such an incredible day. He gave us complete free range of what we wanted to do and knew all of the hot spots to go. We swam with sharks and stingrays, snorkeled and enjoyed all the coral reefs and drank local beers and jammed out to his ukulele. It was one of the best days!

swimming with sting rays

picnic basket

<The St. Regis put this basket together for us which was awaiting us on the boat>

boston whaler boat

Where to eat?

While we dined several evenings on the resort property (the food was delicious), we did venture into town a few  nights. One night we ate at Bloody Mary’s (insert Kardashian episode) and the other night at a more upscale, very well known restaurant called La Villa Mahana. We were warned that it was on the pricer side, but an absolute must. It is nestled high on a hill and there are only six tables in the restaurant. You need to make reservations way in advance, yet by some miracle a worker at the St. Regis was able to get us in (I had tried three months out and was told they were booked). A very quaint and romantic evening, worth every penny.

To get into town, the St. Regis offered a boat shuttle that took you from the resort across the water to town. From there a car from each restaurant would come and pick you up and take you to dinner. Everything is very time structured, from the boat times to dinner reservations, you don’t really have a choice in timing. As you maybe can tell, it was a bit of production to go to town, but well worth it so that you can experience the island off the resort.

La Villa Mahana

Please let me know if you all have any questions at all, if you couldn’t tell, I am already asking Matt when we can go back! It was so sad to leave, but we headed off to Hawaii for another week which I will chat about tomorrow.

  • What an incredible trip! Bora Bora is definitely on my travel list and I love all the tips you included!

  • I was seriously DYING over all your Instagrams during your trip! Sounds like such a memorable and incredible destination and so glad you had such a wonderful time! What a great way to spend the first week of married life – if only they were all like that. A girl can dream right?! 😉

    xo Mary-Katherine | http://www.goldhattedlover.com