I have to remind myself to write this post before my honeymoon memories are lost amidst a busy wards month! So…Bora Bora. I get lost into a dream world just thinking back to the stunning turquoise blue waters (reminds me of blue gatorade!) and the fantastic experience at The St. Regis. You are in for a real treat my friend. Here’s the scoop!
The CliffsNotes version:
- Go to Bora Bora during the latter part of your trip because any other island pales in comparison to this gorgeous place
- The St. Regis with its butler service and amenities was the best resort I have ever stayed at, hands down. HIGHLY recommend a honeymoon stay here! It’s worth it!
- If you are a foodie, make reservations at La Villa Mahana now. We heard Chef Damien works wonders with French cuisine and many of our friends say it is easily the best meal they have ever had in their lives. Of note, it is pricey (~$450 for 2 people). Other great options: Lagoon by Jean Georges at the St. Regis and the Bora Bora Yacht Club
- If you go to the main island: rent bikes to explore and get a cheeseburger at Snack Matira
- Buy alcohol at the duty free stores in the airport and bring it to Bora Bora! We paid around $20 per slightly-watered-down cocktail at the bar (for comparison, water was $9 per bottle). It would have been nice to have spent that money on a big bottle of champagne to drink on our balcony instead.
- Don’t forget to bring: 2 bottles of waterproof sunscreen, bug spray, beach reading, snacks
So I’ll be honest, M and I spent the Bora Bora portion of our honeymoon entirely at the St. Regis because it was so comfortable and wonderful. Bora Bora has a main island with a few hotels, a small tourist area, restaurants and shops, and then there’s resorts scattered on islands on a rim around the main island so you have to take a water taxi to get from one to the other. We missed all of the free hotel water taxis because we were too busy enjoying the endless brunch buffet or snorkeling during fish feeding time! So this will be a very St. Regis-centered post.
To put it simply, we loved the St. Regis! Our overwater bungalow came with a personal butler who surprisingly popped up at random times everywhere in the resort just to say hi. In fact, I kind of miss good ol’ Federico now. Our overwater bungalow was really special, with a separate living room, foyer, bedroom, large bathroom, and partially covered balcony. (For SPG members: we found a discount for ~$890 a night with an upgrade to a deluxe bungalow with gold status. Definitely look online for SPG discounts before you book! These rooms could go for > $1000 per night easily) We could jump right off the balcony into the turquoise water which was around 10 ft deep. If you don’t feel like walking to get around the resort, you can use bikes or call for golf cart pickup.
There wasn’t much snorkeling around the bungalows, but at the St Regis, you can get your snorkeling fix at the Lagoonarium. I highly suggest going snorkeling during fish feeding time on Mondays because that’s when you’ll see hundreds of fish all in the same area. They’re not even the least bit scared of you so they’ll swim right up to your mask and you’ll see every scale on their bodies. You’ll even catch glimpses of the two elusive “Napoleon” fish, which are a deep shimmering teal color and 5′ long! If you snorkel outside of feeding time, expect to see fish clustering under bridges and not in the open lagoon.
There are four dining options – Lagoon by Jean Georges, a sushi place, an Italian place, and the main eatery. The reason why I only remember the name of Lagoon is because that is the only good place to eat there! It is a Jean Georges restaurant after all, so expect to pay around $200 per couple per meal if you get wine. The food is amazing, and be sure to book the sunset balcony tables early so you can eat right on the water. Even if you eat inside, the floor has clear panels so you can watch sharks and fish swim below you as you dine. This place is much more worth it than the other three eateries where you pay around $100 per couple for dinner but the portions are small and the food is lacking in quality. The Japanese restaurant had some of the worst expensive sushi I’ve ever had, so I don’t recommend trying it ($25 for a very average spicy tuna roll…hmm…no thanks.)
Also important: DON’T MISS BRUNCH! That is served at the main restaurant by the pool and it is an endless supply of goodness. You can order unlimited servings of hot entrees from a menu (waffles, crepes, omelets, etc.) and then there’s the buffet portion as well, with baked goods, American and Polynesian breakfasts, and a huge tropical fruit bar. There was a deli meat and cheese section so we even made sandwiches for afternoon snacks. Why pay an extra $100 for lunch if you can eat free sandwiches courtesy of a late brunch?
Anyways, it goes without saying that Bora Bora was one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been in my life, and The St. Regis made the experience that much closer to paradise on Earth. Hope you enjoy your stay!