Picture this: pristine, azure blue waters, the finest white sand beaches, dramatic green mountains, and palm trees gently swaying in the warm breeze. Welcome to French Polynesia — also known as paradise. There are only a handful of places in the world where the bucket list activity also happens to be the accommodation. The overwater bungalows at the Four Seasons Bora Bora are one of the elite few.
This bucket list hotel is on the top of many honeymooners, travel lovers, and vacationer’s lists — and it’s easy to see why. Having spent a week here, I can testify that the Four Seasons Bora Bora lives up to the hype and more. If you’re looking for the full paradise immersion treatment, this is the place to be. But before you pack your bathing suits and lather on your reef-friendly sunscreen, read about what you can expect from your luxury getaway in my Four Seasons Bora Bora review.
Four Seasons Bora Bora Review
Imagine waking up in a cloud-like bed, sliding your door open, and jumping directly into the South Pacific Ocean. Every standard room at the Four Seasons Bora Bora immerses you into French Polynesia’s natural beauty. For this reason, it’s easily considered one of the best resorts in the world. Postcard-perfect views aside, the staff at the hotel are committed to pampering and spoiling you as soon as you set foot in French Polynesia.
Getting to Bora Bora
French Polynesia is an 8-hour direct flight from Los Angeles. You’ll first arrive in Tahiti, where French Polynesia’s only international airport is located. From there, you’ll board a 45-minute flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora. Upon your arrival, you’ll be greeted by a Four Seasons representative who will handle your luggage. They’ll escort you by yacht to the resort on a 15-minute scenic boat ride. The staff at the resort will be waiting to welcome you with a traditional Polynesian lei and a delicious glass of pineapple water before walking you to your overwater bungalow or villa.
Accommodations at the Four Seasons Bora Bora
Unlike most hotels, there really isn’t a bad room at the Four Seasons Bora Bora. Every room is an overwater bungalow, with the exception of the larger beach villas. Each room is decorated with traditional teak-wood furnishing and artwork that emphasizes Polynesia’s identity. Additionally, you’ll find sections of glass-bottom floors that’ll allow you to take a peek at stingrays, fish, and other aquatic life swimming right below your room.
Each bungalow is furnished with a queen or king-sized bed, a living area, a large outdoor deck, and a luxurious bathtub. And for the utmost comfort, you’ll find fluffy towels, robes, and flip-flops to complete your “out of office” look. Depending on the type of bungalow you book, your room might even feature a plunge pool.
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of bungalows and their pricing:
- One-bedroom overwater bungalow suite (mountain, lagoon, or beach view) – from $1315 to $2367 USD per night.
- One-bedroom specialty overwater bungalow suites with plunge pool (mountain or lagoon view) – from $3580 to $3823 USD per night.
- Two-bedroom overwater bungalow suite with plunge pool – from $5240 to $6423 USD per night.
- Beachfront villas (one, two, or three bedrooms) – from $5523 to $20,531 USD per night.
Keep in mind that the mountain view rooms generally err on the more expensive side. But if you have the budget for it, those iconic views of Mt. Otemanu are worth the splurge.
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Dining at the Four Seasons Bora Bora
If the price per night for lodging is an indication of anything, it’s that Bora Bora is not a cheap destination to visit. Food and drink, no matter which resort you’re at, will be costly. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay $100 USD per person for dinner at one of the on-site restaurants, and that’s without alcohol. As for drinks, a glass of wine will cost you around $20 USD, and a cocktail around $25. For that reason, I suggest opting for a cocktail which are to die for.
Now that you know how much to expect per meal, here are the 4 on-site restaurants at the Four Seasons Bora Bora:
- Arii Moana – an ultra-chic dining experience featuring traditional French and Polynesian dishes.
- Fare Hoa Beach Bar & Grill – barefoot luxury vibes and a great place to enjoy a tropical cocktail.
- Tere Nui – open-air breakfast buffets (now a la carte for safety reasons) with sprawling views of Mt. Otenamu.
- Vaimiti – overwater Asian cuisine, perfect for a sunset dinner.
And although it might not be much, ordering room service could save you some money. Wake up to breakfast delivered by a Polynesian canoe, or enjoy a midnight snack on your private deck. Besides, with an overwater bungalow and gorgeous views all around, there’s really no reason to leave.
Activities at the Four Seasons Bora Bora
Most people flock to Bora Bora to relax in paradise. With that being said, the island encourages a slower-paced life. You won’t find a ton of adrenaline-pumping activities at the resort. Instead, you’ll find yourself enjoying your surroundings whether you’re taking it all in above or under water.
Get close to the marine life using the complimentary snorkeling gear provided by the Four Seasons. You could also schedule a Lagoon Sanctuary Experience, where a marine biologist will teach you all about the coral eco-system and the marine life that call it home. Or explore the open waters by renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. But if you want to ride the waves of luxury, hire a catamaran for the afternoon through the resort. And if you’re ready to relax but don’t want to fall off your fitness routine, check out the fitness center, volleyball and tennis courts, or the infinity pool.
Bora Bora is the type of destination that’s best experienced without a full itinerary. In fact, I was perfectly happy spending a day wearing my fresh flower crown ($50 USD) while sipping a cocktail between dips in the ocean.
Four Seasons Bora Bora Spa
Whatever you choose to do during your stay at the Four Seasons Bora Bora, do not leave without spending a day at the spa. Book one of their luxurious body treatment and massages, like their Polynesian Massage or their Ofai Stone Massage. You could also book an Earth and Sea Scrub, which will exfoliate and condition your skin.
There are also a number of facial treatments that you could book. Whether you’re looking for balance restoration or repair treatments, the Four Seasons Bora Bora Spa has you covered. Additionally, their relaxation lounge allows guests the opportunity to unwind through their aroma steam room, outdoor vitality pool, and drench showers.
What to Pack For Your Visit
Before you go ahead and book your stay at the Four Seasons Bora Bora, there are a few important things to keep in mind while packing. It is essential to wear reef-friendly sunscreen, especially if you’re planning to spend time in the ocean. Doing so will protect the delicate coral eco-system. And since Bora Bora is a tropical destination, packing bug spray is a great idea. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with sandals, bathingsuits, sunhats, and light flowy dresses.
Four Seasons Bora Bora App
French Polynesia is currently one of the few places that remain open to US travelers. Their strict protocols and requirements make traveling to Bora Bora feel safe and secure. Not only do you have to go through a series of steps prior to taking off, but the Four Seasons Bora Bora also allows for contact-less concierge services through their app. The app will allow you to chat with staff, order room service, make reservations, and even order a flower crown — making your trip to Bora Bora safe and worry-free.
Is Bora Bora on Your Bucket List?
I had to pinch myself several times during my stay at the Four Seasons Bora Bora. Between the top-notch service and beautiful views, I found myself asking “is this real life?” quite often. Yes, a trip to Bora Bora is expensive, but it’s worth every penny if it means being able to disconnect and enjoy a stress-free life for a day or two. And if you’re already heading to paradise, book a stay at the Four Seasons, where their luxury 5-star service will only enhance the experience.