Laorana! Welcome to Bora Bora, French Polynesia. This island paradise is in the South Pacific – 2500 miles south of Hawaii and about a 20-hour journey from Ocean City.
The island was recently featured in the Vince Vaughn comedy “Couple’s Retreat” which was filmed at the St. Regis Resort. We thought that resort would be an amazing place to spend Christmas!
The flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora took an hour on a small plane. The view from above is stunning. Protected by a barrier reef and its splendid crystalline lagoon, the island is surrounded by a multitude of small motus (islets). The St. Regis Yacht was there to greet us at the airport and escort us to the resort which is only accessible by boat or helicopter. This resort sets the standard for opulence on the beach. Our bungalow over the water included glass floors to watch the fish, luxurious Jacuzzi tub & showers & a waterfront porch with steps into the lagoon. Our “standard’ bungalow was the size of most suites in a stateside hotel. The exclusive Bungalows had hot tubs built into the decks. Their ultimate sanctuary is the Royal Pavillion. Honeymooners Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban and most recently JZ and Beyonce forked over $14,000/ night for the estate.
Complimentary Stand Up Paddle Board, Kayaking, Snorkelling, Volleyball and Windsurfing kept us active. Guests ride around the island on community bicycles that are stashed all over the vast resort. We enjoyed demonstrations on how to open & milk a coconut and how to prepare Poisson Cru (a local delicacy of raw fish, coconut milk, lime & veggies). Our favorite demonstration was the Champagne Sabering. It is a tradition in French speaking countries for the Sommelier to open the bottles with a rapier sword on Christmas Eve – what a show! They popped at least a dozen bottles for the guests before a nine course epic presentation at Lagoon by Jean Georges. This French/Asian masterpiece may be the finest in the South Pacific. We enjoyed watching small sharks swim lazily under the glass while sampling some of the best food on the planet.
No doubt this is one of the best resorts in the world. The views of the lagoon and Mt. Otemanu are sensational. The accommodations are unrivaled in the Americas. It’s a true “Bucket List” destination!
– Sean Rox