If hiding out in your own hut perched over crystal-clear turquoise waters with a vista of Mount Otemanu and having breakfast delivered by canoe sounds like paradise right about now—that reality can be easily accessed on the idyllic island of Bora Bora after a 15 hour from Los Angeles.
The naturally distanced South Pacific enclave began welcoming back its A-list clientele July 15 and what better way to stay away from others than in one of the unique accommodations at the destination’s top property Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.
Named the No. 1 hotel in French Polynesia by Tripadvisor and “Best for an Epic Stay” by Afar magazine in its annual Travelers’ Choice Hotel Awards, the rich and famous flock to French Polynesia. Recent guests of the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora include Jennifer Anniston, Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Handler, Shayne Lamas, Courtney Cox and Jason Bateman.
Known for its relaxed style and as an ultimate honeymoon destination, Lamas favors the resort when she wants to get away from it all with her family.
“When you go on an island vacation, you aren’t looking for a hotel in Paris. You’re looking for something comfortable,” she says. “The color of that water is outrageous. You have to see it for yourself at least once in a lifetime.”
And even if you don’t normally live like a celebrity, this is a great taste of the good life.
Located on a private motu and accessible only by boat or helicopter, it doesn’t get more distant than Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.
The experience starts as you land at the airport, greeted with a tiare flower lei, cold bottled water and a chilled oshibori towel and are whisked away via private water taxi directly to the resort.
The cruise on the custom-crafted Andreyale Bateux Taxis takes about 20 minutes and the vessels are inspired by the commuter boats of New York City of the 1920s, used to transport Wall Street executives from their homes in Long Island to the Manhattan Financial District. If you prefer to arrive by air, the resort offers a private helicopter landing pad.
“You step off the boat and into the Four Seasons and are greeted with champagne and all of a sudden there is just calmness,” says Lamas who visited the enclave with her husband Nik, and children Press and Lyon, in summer 2019.
Lamas says the most difficult choices she had to make was between one of 108 huts, also known as overwater bungalow suites, or seven beachfront villa estates. She favored the estate for a trip with the kids. The design was Polynesian perfection—traditional teak wood furnishings, high ceilings and thatched roofs made from pandanus leaves, punctuated by striking works of art.
Perfect for a honeymoon or a couples’ vacation, eight newly renovated overwater bungalow suites were recently unveiled with six of them showcasing their own plunge pools as if the ocean wasn’t enough. Solar panels have been installed on each bungalow’s thatched roof, providing a natural and sustainable power source for heating water.
“We had the entire beach at our fingertips. The sand goes forever,” Lamas says. They even took advantage of the moment with an adorable family photo shoot by local photographer Damien Gobron.
While the Lamas spent most of her time on the beach, a good amount of the action takes place in and around the water—snorkeling, diving, boarding and there is even a marine biologist on staff, Denis Schneider. The Lagoon Sanctuary, led by Schneider, is a research facility dedicated to preserving marine life through education of guests, interaction and coral grafting. One such experience capitalizing on these jewels is the private snorkel adventure, visiting the Coral Garden, where you’ll see colorful reef fish amid dreamlike coral structures; the shallow waters, where you’ll interact with mesmerizing stingrays; and the Pacific Ocean, where schools of blacktip reef sharks and lemon sharks roam.
As an experienced traveler, Lamas says she has been just about everywhere but she hadn’t really ever been anywhere like Bora Bora. “This is hands down one of the ultimate trips. You can go anywhere with your spouse but it’s very hard to find a resort that’s kid friendly that also feels like a honeymoon,” she says. “It is a very spiritual place.”
From a wellness scrub in the temple-like Te Mahana Spa environment—surrounded by native trees and the scene of kahaia blossoms—leaving feet baby soft after a long day of traveling to the fresh flavors of the clean seafood centric cuisine punctuated with selections of lagoon fish and fresh island fruits, Bora Bora is a time to explore and discover.
On top of the mind and body wellness, happy family time, beautiful views, great shopping and renewed psyche, the resort’s commitment to the environment—no plastic straws or bottles and refillable amenities within the rooms—melded perfectly with Lamas’ do good, feel good ethos.
“I found it very calming and relaxing. It is just to-die-for,” she says.