Silver Anniversary Celebration on Bora Bora

DSC_0022Landing at the Bora Bora airport, a boat was waiting to whisk us to the InterContinental Le Moana resort. Skimming along the aquamarine water, the majestic Mount Otemanu is still as dramatic as it was in 1989.

Twenty-five years ago, my husband and I honeymooned in Bora Bora. We vowed that we would return to Paradise on our Silver anniversary.

Approaching the resort a shirtless young man wearing a pareu blew into a conch shell to welcome us. It’s a French Polynesian tradition to alert others that guests are approaching the island. After a few blows, he offered us a big, gleaming smile offering a glimmer of the warm Bora Bora hospitality.

DSC_0033The resort offers 60 Junior Suite Bungalows. We were assigned overwater bungalow #19. Located on the most beautiful beach on the island, Matira Beach, our room had a sitting area with a glass table that looked down into fish in the lagoon. The bedroom offered a King Size bed and view of the nearby Sofitel motu. The bathroom had a soaking tub and open shower. There were two televisions, however most of the channels are French speaking shows. Outside the deck had two lounge chairs and a built-in table with two chairs. Below are stairs and another dock to jump into the water to snorkel and swim. There is also a fresh water outdoor shower on the dock to clean up after playing in the lagoon.

DSC_0159During the day, guests enjoy using the complimentary non-motorized kayaks, outrigger canoes, paddle boards, snorkel, fins and masks.

There are two restaurants at the Le Moana – Noa Noa Terrace Restaurant and the Vini Vini Bar. Both offer indoor and outdoor seating with Polynesian decor. In the evening the resort offers themed dinners with live entertainment at least twice a week.

Nightly a Bloody Mary’s taxi comes to the resort to whisk guests to the famed restaurant and bar. Since opening in 1979, this hot spot has attracted visitors and VIPs.

On our anniversary date, we were invited to take a tour and have dinner at the Bora Bora Four Seasons. It’s not on the main Bora Bora island, but on a private Motu, about a thirty minute boat ride from the main town of Vaitape or from the Bora Bora airport.

The Four Seasons has 100 overwater bungalows in various categories perched on low stilts above the clear lagoon with DSC_0103views of the turquoise water and majestic Mount Otemanu. The bungalow suites have traditional teak furnishings, high ceilings and roofs thatched made with pandanus leaves.

The one-bedroom bungalows offer a spacious living room that opens onto a deck. A few of these have a decadent private plunge pool.

The resort offers a breathtaking spa, two tennis courts, kayaks, paddle boats and stand-up paddle boards. There are some great snorkel spots to see fish and sting rays.

We learned that many of the guests are from California and range in age from 45 to 70 years old.

DSC_0141After dinner at the Sunset Bar and Restaurant, we took a Four Seasons boat back to Vaitape. Two cruise ships were anchored in the harbor. The WindSpirit sails for seven days from Papeete to Moorea, Tahaa, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Huahine, and back to Papeete.

The graceful yacht has the trade winds fill the sails to legendary islands to swim and snorkel in crystal-clear lagoons, meander through lush rain forests, and experience the fascinating Polynesian culture.

Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Holland America, Oceania Cruises, and Celebrity Cruises all make stops in Bora Bora.

Twenty five years after our first visit to Bora Bora, we both agreed Bora Bora is still one of the most beautiful destinations we have ever visited. We vowed that we would return to Tahiti before our Golden Anniversary, maybe on one of the sleek ships that visit the island throughout the year.

This article was published in the December 2014 issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY!

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