Your next bucket list go-to destination: Bora Bora

Bora Bora simply equates to all of your tropical dreams come to life. Clear blue waters, sparkling white sand, and majestic bungalows at every turn. Over 4 million years ago the island was formed by a volcanic eruption. For a time, it was uninhabited and desolate, until people from the Tongan island came. They are believed to be the first people to lie foot on the island after the volcanic eruption. At that time, the island was known as Vava’u.

Below are some more fun facts about Bora Bora.

  • Conrad Bora Bora Nui is where Kim Kardashian lost her earrings in that one infamous episode (cc: Season 6, Episode 12)
  • Bora Bora is one of the most secluded islands on the planet. To demonstrate this, sample this; the Island of Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than the whole of French Polynesia gets in a whole year.
  • In the Tahitian Language, from which the word Bora Bora was picked does not have a B. Rather, it has letter P. Therefore, the Island is called Pora Pora which is translated to mean “first born” in English.
  • Bora Bora’s St. Regis Resort was the scene where the movie Couples Retreat was shot. It appeared on screen as the Eden Resort.
  • If you put a flower on your left year, it indicates that you have someone special in your life. If on the other hand you put it on your right ear, it means you’re on the prowl and Bora Bora natives will spoil you with flirts 😉
  • The US chose Bora Bora as a supply outpost for its South Pacific Fleet during World War II. It acted as an oil depot, airstrip, seaplane base, and defensive fortifications were constructed around it.

Fast forward from over 4 million years ago to 2017..This trip was built around the Conrad Hotels & Resorts’ concept for the Stay Inspired initiative, which immerses guests in a destination by providing them with 1, 3 and 5 hour itineraries that explore local food, art, culture and adventure.

During this trip, I had the opportunity to discover Bora Bora’s culinary scene and enjoy daily cultural activities selected by a group of highly influential global travelers, who assisted Conrad Bora Bora’s onsite concierge team with developing new itineraries that speak to the passions of Conrad’s guests and take advantage of an intimate look at authentic Bora Bora. From the resort’s soft sand beaches, luxury accommodations overlooking a world-famous lagoon, thriving culture and soaring backdrop of Mount Otemanu, there is a lot to see so be sure to plan accordingly.

This majestic beachfront property is precisely what you envision when you imagine a South Pacific resort, with palapa-roofed bungalows atop a candy like turquoise sea; posh grounds embodied with winding paths; and a glistening white-sand beach studded with coconut palms and accompanied by calm, clear water. This is primarily a couples’ haven and honeymoon hotspot with a yet casual, romantic and away-from-it-all vibe fostered by Insta-worthy sunsets.

The resort presides over a half-mile-long white-sand beach (the largest of any Bora Bora hotel) on the southwest end of Motu To’opua, a small islet 20 minutes by boat from the main island. Guests arrive (usually from Papeete, Tahiti) at Bora Bora airport, from where they board the resort’s motorboat for the 20-minute journey.

The staff are capable and friendly, unfailingly calling out “Ia ora na!” (“hello” in Polynesian) as they pass in purring golf carts. They readily go out of their way to help, not merely showing you where you need to go, but taking you there. A hilltop spa and 18-hole mini golf course are worthy land diversions, but most guests flock to the tiered oceanfront pool (Bora Bora’s largest) or the sea, enjoying complimentary stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and snorkel gear. Conrad’s “Stay Inspired” program offers a variety of activities and excursions, from flower-crown making to snorkeling with stingrays.

Of the resort’s 114 suites, 83 are the coveted over-water bungalows; 22 of those have infinity pools on oceanfront decks. Families usually book hillside suites or either one of a pair of beach villas, which also have private pools. The resort also boasts French Polynesia’s only two-story over-water villas, known as Presidential Suites, with two master bedrooms, a pool, hot tub and sauna, as well as butler service.

All resort rooms feature contemporary interiors in a neutral palette of beige and brown, accented with fresh flower arrangements. Expect king- or queen-sized beds with lighting, electrical and USB sockets integrated into the headboards; a minibar and Nespresso machine; a living area with a sofa and coffee table; and a TV that emerges from a cabinet and swivels so you can watch from bed or outside. Bathrooms have walk-in showers, double sinks, a freestanding bathtub and separate WC.

Here are some more suggestions in regards to what else you can do while on the island:

  • Get up close and personal with a round-island tour  for an intimate look at authentic Bora Bora
  • Tour a private museum of exquisitely crafted model ships/atmospheric town of Faanui
  •  In-water massage treatment at the Conrad’s own Hina Spa
  • Snorkeling Excursion to Bora Bora Lagoonarium
  •  Visit one of the world’s premier dealers in cultured Tahitian  black  pearls
  • Picnic on Conrad’s exclusive Island, Moto Tapu and dine on fresh-caught fish and tropical fruit
  • Enjoy a traditional Polynesian night show at Tamure Beach Grill
  • From hikes on Bora Bora’s main island to the annual Hawaiki Nui Va’a canoe race, there’s so much to enjoy on land and sea when you stay at Conrad Bora Bora Nui.

Here are some more local attractions:

  • Mount Otemanu
  • Matira Beach (large public beach area)
  • Heiva (yearly festival with traditional songs, dances and sporting events)
  • Bora Bora Lagoonarium (private park for snorkeling with sharks and sea turtles)
  • Vaitape boutiques (sarong fabrics, coconut soaps, vanilla beans and other local goods)
  • Swimming with rays and sharks
  • Jet ski island discovery
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