Tropical Tranquility: Luxe Bungalows at The Four Seasons, Bora Bora

There are some places you go to and wonder, “who made this place?” Bora Bora is one such spot. The water is a constant celeste hue, the temperate seems 76 degrees every day, and Mount Otemanu, the skyscraper dormant volcano in the center of the island, is a stunning emerald backdrop for every photo. No wonder Bora Bora, part of the French Polynesia islands, is so fawned after. And, unlike other island destinations around the world, there’s now a strategic cap of how many people can visit a year. The place feels lost in the lucky kind of way, how one feels when there aren’t throngs of people fighting for a glimpse at a view or a chance at a photo. It’s hard not to feel gleefully isolated in your own found paradise in Bora Bora.

Of course, a good ‘ol volcano made Bora Bora. But one group also “made” Bora Bora from a luxury accommodations standpoint: the Four Seasons. The Bora Bora island region is now famed for its thatched roof overwater bungalows, and the Four Seasons counts no less than 108 at its resort, one of its jewel properties it manages amid its global collection of 126 properties.

The “bungalow strategy” is hardly a hard one to comprehend: There’s something about plopping into crystal warm water at sunrise right from a private deck that dazzles and delights anyone. Or maybe it is the sly joy in knowing it’s not anywhere you get to watch puffy white clouds brush Mount Otemanu from your giant indoor tub at twilight.

Beyond the bungalows, the grounds of this Four Seasons property are unmatched. (I visited several other properties in Bora Bora and stand confidently by this claim.) The fauna at this Four Seasons are meticulously manicured, from the plumeria to the oleander bushes, and I loved a daily stroll in the morning to hear the birds in the Polynesian chestnut trees and ocean waves lapping over the private beaches of the eight villas. There’s a beckoning swing you have to sit on that overlooks Mount

Otemanu nearby the reception hut. Towards the restaurants, a private sand dune, known as the Sunset Motu, is booked out weeks in advance for those seeking a truly private island dining experience, two palm trees and a canoe ride included.

Most notably on these Bora Bora grounds is the Four Season’s pristine Vaitea Lagoon Sanctuary which loops around the entire property via bridges and private beaches. The waterways offer glimpses of more than 100 fish species including cute clown fish and parrotfish that flap like birds through the water. Guests are welcome to view the sea life up close via snorkeling and can wander into the lagoon from a staircase near the back of the property. Thanks to the resort’s marine biology team from WiseOceans, the lagoons hold dozens of coral species that have been growing since 2008, a major draw for the cornucopia of fish. Eager eco-minded guests can partake in a “coral graphing” experience that further help the staff grow and maintain the delicate coral.

Out of the water, a fantastic way to view the array of the resort’s fish is through the peek-a-boo overwater windows from a massage table. The massive couple’s “spa villa” within the cathedral like spa is reason enough to come to this Four Seasons. After a one hour Polynesian massage which uses wave like strokes, couples are granted another hour to take a coconut bath and nimble on a fruit platter. I could live in that spa suite, and no wonder the spa attendants have to gently nudge guests out of there. Another great massage option, as I’m a sucker for an intense massage, is the “mana” treatment which uses powerful pressure and “positive energy.” My runners’ legs will take that energy any time.

What else is there to do besides marvel at the mountain of Bora Bora, watch the rainbow of fish swim by, and ponder who made this place? There’s not too much, and that’s perfect. The Four Seasons of Bora Bora helps you discover that wonderful perfection.

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