bora bora hotel

Bora Bora is an inactive volcanic island in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. This small, stunning island has several mountains, a dormant volcano, and a lagoon, and is surrounded by coral reefs. It’s one of the top destinations within French Polynesia and has the nickname as the “jewel of the South Seas.” Explorer James Cook called the island the “Pearl of the Pacific,” and author James Michener called it “the most beautiful island in the world.” Anyone that visits this island immediately falls in love with its natural beauty. This island is particularly popular as a romantic destination for couples looking to escape to a tropical paradise. 

If you’re considering a trip to Bora Bora, here’s your complete guide on where to stay, what to eat, and what to do. 

View of Bora Bora

Where to Stay

Essentially all of the resorts on Bora Bora are luxurious properties that strive to make guests feel pampered and well taken care of. Most of the hotels offer over-the-water bungalows that bring a whole different meaning to “ocean view.” Honestly, every resort here is a winner, but we’ve picked out three that stand out. 

Best Luxury: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

There’s one thing Bora Bora knows how to do well, and that’s luxury. And the five-star Four Seasons Bora Bora resort offers up one of the most upscale accommodations on the island. You can stay in one, two, or three-bedroom water bungalows that come with your very own private plunge pool. The staff are always around the resort to tend to any need that you need and supply ice-cold water, fresh fruit, or help with booking your next activity. Some of the services available on the resort include private charter jet service, personal training and yoga classes, a resort doctor on-site, luggage services, and tennis instruction. This will be one pricey vacation, but you’ll feel like royalty while staying here. 

Via @fsborabora on Instagram

Best Price: Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts Bora Bora

Let’s be clear, this isn’t the cheapest option on Bora Bora. You can easily find much more affordable hotels further from the beach that offer casual accommodations. But, the InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora is the best price for what you get. This is still a luxury-stye resort, right on the water, for a lower price than most of the other bungalow-style resorts. The Intercontinental comes with a daily breakfast, an outdoor pool, and dozens of activities you can book. This is a vacation price tag that will feel like it’s worth it, we promise.  

The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort
Via @intercontinental on Instagram

Best for Families: Le Meridien Bora Bora

There’s no denying that Bora Bora is a romantic destination, so most resorts focus on catering to couples. That means finding a family-friendly resort that’s accommodating to kids can be a bit more challenging here than most places. If you’re coming here with your children, Le Meridien Bora Bora is your best accommodation option. Cribs and safety gates are available upon request. Children can enjoy the two pools and turtle sanctuary available on-site. And, your kids can stay in the overwater bungalows with you. This resort has a lot of the accommodations as the other resorts nearby but has some extras that any family will appreciate. 

Le Meridien Bora Bora Resort
Via @lemeridienbora on Instagram

What to Eat

Bora Bora’s location and history have created a rich and unique culinary mix. The culinary flavors here combine traditional South Pacific cooking with Japanese, French, and Italian influences. You’ll find this wonderful fusion of food at high-end restaurants to street food carts. 

The island offers a lot of dishes that focus on fresh fish, chicken, pork, pineapples, bananas, papaya, and mangoes. 

Most visitors purchase a meal plan from their resort to save money and time. Whether you’re sticking to resort restaurants or going out to explore the island, make sure you try these three meals. 

Poisson Cru

Poisson Cru is a traditional Tahitian dish of raw tuna marinated in lime juice and coconut milk. The recipe is light and tasty but is extra special here because high-quality, local tuna is used to make it.

A couple enjoying several dishes and a glass of wine at the Arii Moana restaurant.
Via @fsborabora on Instagram

Mahi-Mahi with Tahitian Vanilla Sauce 

Mahi-mahi can be found in great abundance in Bora Bora, so it’s a must-try when you’re here. The famous local dish is Mahi-Mahi with Tahitian vanilla sauce. The fresh Mahi-Mahi is grilled until perfectly golden brown and served with a rum, vanilla, and coconut cream sauce. You’ll usually have the fish served with a side of rice and vegetables for a filling and delicious meal. Vanilla sauce and fish might sound weird, but you’ll love how these flavors work together! 

Po’e 

Lastly, you have to try the classic Bora Bora dessert of Po’e. This famous Tahitian fruit pudding is made with bananas, coconut cream, and brown sugar, cooked until warm and soft. Po’e is a wonderful dessert because it’s not overwhelmingly sweet but still helps you satisfy that sweet craving you have.  

What to Do

The list of things to do on the island could be incredibly long, but in an effort to not overwhelm you, here are our top three activities. 

Tackle Mount Otemanu

They say no visit to Bora Bora is complete without visiting and exploring Mount Otemanu. Mount Otemanu is one of the two peaks of the extinct volcano located in the middle of Bora Bora. The mountain stands tall at over 2,400-feet above the lagoon. 

There are many ways you can tackle Mount Otemanu. You can hike, take a boat tour, a 4×4 tour, or even a helicopter tour around the mountain. Once you reach the top, you’ll see stunning views of the entire island and beyond. We highly recommend trying to time it so you reach the top at sunset. 

Snorkeling

Bora Bora was made for snorkeling. The calm lagoon waters have gorgeous coral gardens and hundreds of marine species. If you’re feeling courageous, you can even book a tour to snorkel and feed sharks or stingrays. There are multiple spots on the island that are great for snorkeling and your resort can help by offering their recommendations. 

A woman snorkeling underwater, surrounded by fish

Visit Bora Bora Turtle Center 

The Bora Bora Turtle Center is located in the Le Meridien Bora Bora resort. The center started in 2000 when a guest brought an injured turtle to the hotel to care for. The hotel quickly took on the project and invested in an ecological center to protect and care for local marine life. By 2012, the Ecological Center was up, working closely with Bora Bora’s Ministry and the Delegation of the Environment.

Guests of the resort, and visitors on the island, can come to the Turtle Center to observe turtle behavior and learn about the turtles. 

A turtle going through leaves

With this guide, you should have all the details you need to feel confident about booking your trip to Bora Bora. So, what are you waiting for? Time to take the leap and commit to visiting this tiny island of paradise!