BORA BORA: A GUIDE TO A ONCE IN A LIFETIME TRIP
You know how they say dreams can come true, well mine did when I woke up on Christmas morning in Bora Bora! You loyal followers will be familiar with the ritual of yours truly and Dr. C jetting off somewhere each year for the festive period, well a couple of years back we undertook the most epic trip of our lives TO DATE may I just highlight!! We took a couple of months off work, purchased an ‘Around the World’ ticket, packed our bags and started an adventure. The most special part of that adventure was we meticulously arranged to spend Christmas on the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora.
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I know right about now, I’m going to be the most envied woman in the blogosphere but please forgive me whilst I reminisce with you how we spent the most perfect six days in what I can only describe as sheer, unadulterated paradise. Are you ready folks, strap in for the most magical time of the year….
Bora Bora, known as the â€œPearl of the Pacific, sits in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, between the Americas and Australia. Surrounded by a vast coral ring, its lagoon is considered the most beautiful in the world, and its many islets are lined with coconut trees and white-sand beaches. Offering amazing activities, from jet-skiing, sport fishing, para-sailing and glass-bottomed boats, to jeep safaris, tank dives and swimming with sharks, Bora Bora has to be the ultimate holiday destination.
How to get to Bora Bora
Flights to Bora Bora from the UK take around 31 hours, with two or three stops in places such as New York, Los Angeles and Tahiti. Bora Bora’s airport is on the nearby islet of Motu Mute, and Bora Bora is just a short boat ride away
Christmas in Bora Bora
Welcome to Christmas in Bora Bora. This is the view! Mainly hues of blue and green! It’s warm, its balmy, there may be a storm brewing, there’s no over commercialism or gluttony in sight. On the menu is a plethora of seafood, fruit, vegetables and coconuts. There is no smell of cinnamon or festive berries but instead the air exuberates with the fresh smell of salt water and perfumes that should be bottled from the frangipani trees. Christmas day, well, it’s a regular kind of day that the French Polynesians celebrate with family and friends, eating drinking and being merry.
Arriving in Bora Bora
We boarded our flight from Auckland to Tahiti, the capital of French Polynesia, on Christmas Eve, which seemed like an eternity but actually only eight hours. After a restful night’s sleep we took a much shorter flight to the island of Bora Bora, approximately 50 minutes with the most breath taking views consisting of a medley of blue and lush green hues, not forgetting the coral loaded ocean.
Arriving at Bora Bora is like no other airport experience. For starters there’s the aroma of the Frangipani flowers coupled with the fact that your on a small part of the island totally surrounded by water. Customs and baggage collection is stress-free as we were met by representatives from our resort with stunning fresh flower leis and shell necklaces. The first hints of exclusivity prevail you as you see the different resort boast waiting to collect their guests from the airport jetty.
Private Island Life
Ia Orana and Maeva to Bora Bora
(hello pro. yo-rah-nah and mah-yeh-vah)
We were met by our captain and crew from Sofitel Private Motu or Island Bora Bora and were whisked through shimmering blue waters on a 20 minute cruise about to embark on a literal dream of a lifetime.
As we approached the motu, we could see our hosts standing on the jetty with brightly coloured sarongs and then we heard the conch shell welcoming us to the island and Bora Bora. As we alighted, fresh coconut drinks were pressed onto our hands and our necks were adorned with beautiful leis.
It was a moment of utter speechlessness, 360 degree views of literal endless ocean with shadow of the great Mount Otemanu in the distance.
Overlooking one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world, Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island is located in the heart of the exceptional Matira Bay, nestled on a private islet facing the main island of Bora Bora. This is a secret hideaway, a peaceful and romantic retreat, with emphasis on the privacy and intimacy that is created by the 31 villas that serve as abodes on this motu surrounded by native vegetation and turquoise water and beautiful coral gardens.
There are many luxurious resorts in Bora Bora however, we opted to stay at Sofitel Private Island overlooking Bora Bora mainland for the reasons above and for its very authentic French Polynesian feel in terms of décor, styling, staff, a second to none hospitality and individuality and that it felt very unique to some of the other resort style abodes we’d researched. The island surpassed all our expectations and is true testament not to believe everything you read in reviews.
Overwater Bungalow & Island Life
We took to island life like fish to water (excuse the pun)! Obviously we splurged excessively on a luxury overwater bungalow, the most quietest one in fact on the island (No. 112), which faced an incredible coral reef with panoramic views that were literally to die for. Think sunken bath, double sinks, Tahitian TV on tap, a filled drinks cabinet, a huge bed, a stunning terrace for breakfast and your very own stairs that take you right into the lagoon. Oh and not forgetting the glass bottom villa floor to watch the fish through! It was literal perfection.
It was here that we awoke on Christmas morning and in all honestly, this was the best Christmas present ever. Breakfast was bought to us in a canoe by our hosts and consisted of a medley of fruit, juices, bakery items and hot items were available from the main restaurant Manu Tuki with delightful vistas of the lagoon.
Things to do
Island Life is very much what you’d expect. Long chilled days on the deck of the overwater bungalow, dipping in and out of the lagoon, snorkelling and looking at the marine life, taking a trip around mainland Bora Bora to discover some of what the locals get up to during their vacation time. I was eager to support some of the cottage industries out there and we visited a local house where the ladies made and dyed Pareos, the traditional sarong like attire.
Back on the private island there was an abundance of water activities to try out such as canoeing, sailing, paddle boarding and diving. Infact the Sofitel Bora Bora private Island has some of the best coral diving spots in French Polynesia.
Forget the roast and trimmings because in paradise, there is only one way to enjoy cuisine and that’s fresh. Fish as fresh as it comes, barbecued preferably but us veggies are not forgotten with rainbow salads, rice dishes, pastas and so much more. Wines are as crisp as they come and juices well, so many exotic fruits.
There are many local bars and restaurants including the very famous Bloody Mary’s, which is quite the celebrity hangout on mainland Bora Bora
The Queens speech and the Christmas edition of EastEnders was well and truly substituted for some traditional French Polynesian dance. With the fire burning, a soft sea breeze and the beautifully elegant French Polynesian ladies swaying with fresh frangipani in their hair and supporting the dances of their warrior partners, there was no better way to end an evening!
Christmas was made extra special with the fabulous butlers who tended to outr every need, from arranging water sports and activities to sorting our luggage and delivering delicious breakfast to our room!
If you didn’t fancy entertainment there was always the Pointe du Vue, a viewpoint at the top of the Private Island, a perfect place to relax with sundowners and of course watch the stunning sunsets that are absolutely unique from day to day!
The following few days in paradise were a balmy blur treated to sunsets, private boat rides, romantic sundowners and some serious unplugging time.
Lets just say this was one festive period I didn’t want to come to an end. As they say at Sofitel
‘Life is Magnifique!
Nana (Pro. Nah Nah) Bora Bora, it was hard leaving you….
Christmas in paradise! How and where would you spend your ideal? Let me know in the comments below.
- Address: Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island BP 516 Nunue 98730 French Polynesia
- Tel: +689 40 60 56 00
- Website & to book for best rates: Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island
- Reviews: Read what Travellers are saying about Sofitel Private Island Hotel
Know Before You Go
- For Visa & Entry Requirements take an assessment at the French Polynesian Tourism Site
- Flight time from UK: 31 hours
- Languages Spoken: French & Tahitian
- Time Difference: GMT -10 hours
- Additional advice for visiting French Polynesia can be obtained from the French Polynesian Embassy UK
- Easily convert the US Dollars here at Google Currency Converter
- Vaccination and medication information at Fit for Travel
- Flights: Check the best flight rate for your Bora Bora Trip
- Bora Bora Tours: Pick from a large selection of Bora Bora tours and attraction