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Part 1: Bora Bora – French Polynesia

One of my most asked about destinations have been French Polynesia, and Bora Bora specifically. I wanted to dedicate this post entirely to the beautiful island of Bora Bora.

View of Mount Otemanu from our St. Regis Bora Bora Overwater Bungalow Villa

When is the BEST time to visit:

May to September. This is when there is less chances of rainfall and wind. You could go during the shoulder months of April and I have read that October is the end of the high season. Of course I love the phrase “island life.” So don’t be shocked to see the occasional sprinkles/rainfall during May to September. If it does start to sprinkle/rain I suggest booking a massage! Just a FYI we traveled during the third week of May and I saw 0% rain in Bora Bora.

This doesn’t mean that if you head there during February or the other months it would be a horrible time to visit. You may be very lucky with the sun shining the entire time or 90% of the time. I have heard it can be humid and you may be bitten quite a bit from mosquitos.

From forums, people have complained about the wind during off peak times. I am not the strongest swimmer so I didn’t want to float away if we went during times that the winds are strong. Also, I don’t want to be shivering on my bungalow’s patio lol.

I have read that the peak months are July/August and in general during this few months it may be difficult to book a room last minute if you are wanting an overwater bungalow. So be sure to book in advance (I booked six months in advance). You have to remember that many honeymooners around the world are wanting to come to Bora Bora.

When to book:

Coconut beach paradise

If this is your criteria: Overwater bungalow, peak period, 4 days or more in duration, and this is your dream vacation. I would book at least 3 to 6 months in advance. Why? More potential to get better deals AND you don’t have to risk not staying in your ideal hotel.

How do I know this? I booked our stay at the St. Regis Bora Bora about 6 months in advance and my room cost (before tax/gratitude/fees up the wooha) about $1400 a night (there are cheaper rooms but I wanted a premium location). When we were there they were 98% occupied the first night and 100% occupied the other nights. Well I checked the prices of the 2% unoccupied room and the CHEAPEST room was about $2500 a night. Oh my gah! My type of room was all sold out, but I’m pretty sure it would have been higher (we had the view of sunset and sunrise + Mount Otemanu).

What about the risk of not staying in your ideal hotel? I met some honeymooners that tried to book 2 months in advance and had to split hotel accommodations because their ideal hotel only had vacancy for half of their trip.

Can I go on a budget regarding accomodations:

For sure, there are pensions, airbnbs (receive $40 off your first trip of $75 or more by clicking this link) and vrbos. What is a pension? Click here to learn more!

Why did I choose St. Regis Bora Bora: 

St. Regis Bora Bora

At the time the InterContinetal Hotel Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa – IHG was undergoing renovation, and I didn’t want to deal with that. The Conrad Bora Bora Nui didn’t provide any villas with the view of Mount Otemanu but the hotel looked beautiful! I just really wanted a mountain view from my villa. Then it came down to the Four Seasons and St. Regis Bora Bora. Soo I kinda knew we wouldn’t venture off the resort much because we already did that in Moorea and I truly wanted to just relax and not have to take water taxi to different restaurants (this would eat alot of time + money). And honestly, I’m just there lay around and enjoy the sun. If I’m going to be “stuck” on an island though, I do want the best food and hands down from the reviews I’ve heard St. Regis fulfilled that for me.

Plus I loved the idea of having a butler service! I’ve never experienced anything like that before. As well as having a beautiful resort with the ability to snorkel in our own lagoon. The Four Seasons does look amazing, and I already told myself I probably will venture back to Bora Bora one more time. So maybe next time!

Any useful tips about St. Regis:

I need to dedicate a post about the hotel in its entirety. But I’ll tell a few.

  • Book the  Lagoon Restaurant by Jean-Georges in advance if you want to dine outside during sunset
  • Tip your butler
  • Bring lots of $1. The resort is massive. There was no way we could have walked to each destination throughout the day. We were always tipping the drivers lol
  • The Miri Miri Clarins Spa is amazing and its own little oasis
  • The jetski tour – book it with the concerige or butler (it was super fun)
  • Buffet breakfast was $50 per person
  • Pizza was $38. This will give you an estimate of how much the items cost at the resort.
  • If you don’t want to pay for the luau you can watch it at the bar

Do I think Bora Bora was worth the time and money:

Okay no lie, I was already apprehensive about this island. Was it really the dream destination that many people say it is? Is it worth all that $$. Ok well that is a loaded question. I would say yes because we mixed it with Moorea. We were able to enjoy the outdoor adventure of that beautiful island and then straight chilled in Bora Bora. Would I have thought differently if we ONLY went to Bora Bora? Yea, I prob would have been having mixed reviews. Partly because if you stay at one of those luxury accommodations, it adds up to get off the resort to head to other restaurants and tours. And from what I read/saw Moorea was way more lush than Bora Bora. It doesn’t have the perfect white sands like Instagram may have been showing you. Yea it’s nice but not super white and fine.

To me it was perfect because we experienced Moorea, wanted to just chill after all that adventure, and enjoyed the view of a mountain from our villa. It was a perfect way to wrap up our French Polynesia trip.

St. Regis Bora Bora private shuttle service

Interisland flights:

There was only ONE airline  (Air Tahiti) that flies between all the popular islands (used to have more options). Sucks. But make sure you book it in advance. Their website was so wonky! I booked flights about 2-3 months out and it would say the flights were full and when I checked again the site said it had available seats. Okay, well I am thinking maybe it is one of those 12 passenger planes like the one we used in Belize. Well comes to find it it is a pretty big plane! And each plane I was on was NEVER full. From what I researched it could possible be due to the fact it tries to hold seats for local passengers and opens up later? I really don’t know what is going on with their system. I called to get waitlisted and eventually did get onto the flight. I’m pretty perplexed about this situation to tell you the truth.

Let me know if you have any more questions! Part 2 will be coming soon.

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