Bora Bora, French Polynesia
"Stunning Waters, Turquoise Lagoons and pristine Sandy beaches
…. this is French Polynesia"
French Polynesia (Bora Bora) is one of the most beautiful places in the entire world.
This is indeed no exaggeration. A true tropical paradise in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean.
Once you step aboard the vessel en route to your private Island Resort, the pampering all begins.
Sit back, enjoy the ride, and start winding down to what will be days of lazing around the pool,
endless activities and without a doubt copious amounts of eating - If you do it the right way!
Bora Bora has become synonymous with overwater bungalows. Some of these floating villas even
have glass floors... from inside your villa you can watch the marine life swim by under your Villa.
About Bora Bora
Bora Bora is an island within French Polynesia located in the Pacific Ocean. Located about 230
Kilometres (143mi) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the
center of the island sits an extinct volcano with two (2) peaks - Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu.
A major tourist destination most well known for its aqua-centric luxury resorts.
Bora Bora was an independent kingdom until 1888 when its last Queen Teriimaevarua III was
forced to abdicate by the French who annexed the island as a colony.
Currency: (XPF) CFP Franc (US $1 converts to 111 CFP)
Offical Language: French
Time Zone: UTC -10
GPS Coordinates: 16° 29′ 39.84″ S, 151° 44′ 11.04″ W
HINT on Gratuities:
If you were to TIP the service staff (let’s say about US$3-$4 for each instance),
340 - 450 (XPF) CFP Franc would be sufficient.
DID YOU KNOW?
It is common to put a tiare (Tahiti's national flower, a fragrant white blossom) behind one's ear
-- left side you're 'taken', right if 'you're looking'.
Great Gift Ideas local to Tahiti
Do not forget to take a look at the local Tahitian black pearls.
They are indigenous only in the Tuomotu Islands of French Polynesia.
Perhaps a great gift that will always remind you of your Bora Bora vacation.
Getting there and Tourist Visa's
The main International Airport closest to Bora Bora is Papeete (Fa'a'ā International Airport) on the
island of Tahiti, French Polynesia. The airport is 5 km (3.1 mi) west southwest from the town center
of Pape'ete, the capital of French Polynesia. The airport is small but well-equipped with souvenir
and duty-free shops and eateries.
From Papeete, there is an additional 50-minute domestic flight to Bora Bora via Tahiti.
Upon arrival in Papeete, all passengers clear customs before continuing to Bora Bora.
You shall then arrange with your chosen Resort your boat shuttle from Bora Bora to your Island.
Tourists are issued a 30-day visa on arrival. A valid travel document is necessary.
Double check here to see if you require a visa in advance. Chances are you will mostly likely
just get it on arrival, but it is good to be prepared nonetheless.
Choosing a Suitable Resort
The resorts in Bora Bora are very typically high-end resorts, and mostly over the water bungalows. Choosing the right one is in fact, still difficult. The larger name-brand Resorts will undoubtedly live up to their supreme standards, you can be guaranteed that your stay will be almost unrivalled. However, do not be concerned that a boutique Resort will not offer sublime standards or facilities. Read the reviews upon booking your stay, and research Accommodation types, variety of Restaurants available and recreational facilities. These 3 aspects will typically give you a good idea of the standards offered by the Resort.
Search for a Resort here, or use our Search Tool to the right for your
Accommodation in Bora Bora or French Polynesia.
If you have a family with little people, ensure to choose a resort based on the Activities
available for children. Many Resorts have Children’s Clubs and suitable activities suitable
for all ages of children, however, some resorts take pride in catering for very small children.
Prior to booking your Room, search for the Kid’s Club facilities, children’s activities and
water-based outdoor fun for the children to enjoy. Most importantly, before you have your
heart set on a particular Resort, ensure that Children are actually welcome at the resort.
There are many resorts that do not allow children at all. Similarly, some Resorts have
restrictions on allowing children in the over-water Bungalows. Before you confirm your
booking, consider what type of Accommodation you wish to stay in, most Resorts have
the combination of over-water Bungalows, Garden and Sea-view Rooms, and then confirm
if your children are permitted to stay in the Room.
Remember to confirm with the Resort
the number of people in your party.
Ensure that your room is suitable for extra beds or cots.
Arriving at your Island
You will be greeted at your Island with incredibly warming hospitality.
As you are arriving, you will pass your awaiting Bungalows and take in the view of the
spectacular scenery that will encompass you for your coming vacation time.
What to Expect, and making the most of Precious Time
Chances are, you are staying at a Tahitian Island for a shorter time than you wish. You may have the sudden temptation to unpack the suitcases
the moment you arrive.
Try to avoid this compulsion, have everyone change into something very comfortable and take a walk around the Island.
Explore the Activities Centre, walk along the beaches via the pools and discover the themes and codes of the Restaurants.
The children will no doubt be hounding you to take a look at the Kid’s Club Facilities. This is your chance to introduce the fun that can be had by them during their stay. Remember early on to take a look at the Activities Calendar. This will ensure that you maximise everyone’s time throughout your time.
Remember to check out the Kid’s Clubs on the first day (if there is one on your Island). Use this time wisely.
If your little one is not keen on staying at the Kid’s Club alone, perhaps stay there with him/her on the first visit,
and then try again the next day with a short stay by themselves with the caregivers (15 minutes or so).
Activities on your Island
Regardless of which resort you choose to stay, you will be welcomed with a myriad of Activities - Water and Land based.
Most Bora Bora Resorts will have an abundant supply of equipment that will allow you to enjoy hours of water-based fun. You can choose to snorkel, scuba dive, jet ski, kneeboard and some Resorts can have you sailing your own small boat or kayaking over the ocean.
Whatever you choose to do, you can guarantee that it will be immensely pleasurable
as the Bora Bora Islands are incredibly heaven-like and the waters are safe and calm.
One of the most unique things you can do in Bora Bora is snorkel and scuba dive in
the stunningly clear waters and swim amongst the local marine life.
Remember to invest in an Underwater Camera, even if this just means
buying a disposable underwater Camera.
Do not forget the water-proof sunscreen. One day of sunscreen neglect
could have you bathing in Aloe Vera and hiding from the Sun from the
remainder of your vacation.
What to Pack?
Our advice is, as little as possible!
The items that you should make sure to include are the obligatory comfortable beachwear, suitable shoes and modest casual clothing (Remember the comfortable walking shoes). The vacation may be considered casual, however, there is every chance that you may dine in one of the Resort Restaurants, which could have a strict dress code. In any case, you want to feel comfortable and not under-dressed when you indulge in the atmosphere of fine dining.
Pack an "Arrival Survival Kit"
Inside your luggage, pack a small bag for all members of the family that you can easily access as soon as you arrive in your Room.
Let this be your arrival kit, and pack the items that you wish to change into as soon as you arrive. This will allow you to relax and not bother about unpacking immediately. You may wish to pack this onto your carry-on just in case your bags to disappear with the airline.
Preparing for Remote Island Vacation with Babies or Small children
If you have babies or small children, there is every chance you will be nervous about the baby items you need to bring with you. Remember, with your Island remoteness, you may not have access to essential baby items (such as nappies or even baby food). Upon confirmation of your Resort booking, confirm that availability of such items, and investigate the likelihood of accessing these items through a store should you need them. You may find that these items are provided in a ‘baby kit’ in your room. Ensure that
you give the Resort your details and requirements.
Comparably, consider the menu options of the restaurants and Room Service options.
You may be able to access this through your website.
Recommendations for "alone Mum and Dad time"
Most of the Island Resorts will offer Romantic Dining packages. The “On the Beach Dining
Package" will cost you, however, it is an experience that you will simply never forget.
We recommend booking the night early on in your stay (just in case the weather conditions
change throughout your stay), and give the Resort plenty of notice to call in a babysitter.
If you’re not keen on spending up big for the Beach Dining Package, just dine together in one
of the Restaurants, and similarly, your alone time together without interruptions, food stains
and spilled drinks on the fresh linen will be enough to make you smile adoringly at each
other and sigh.
High on the list of “me-time" opulence during Family Getaways are the greatly desired
Spa Treatment, be it a head and shoulders massage or my all-time favourite type of spoil,
an anti-ageing facial treatment. A vacation to Bora Bora is not complete without a visit
to the Spa for a spot of immense indulgence. The family always thanks me for this.
For most parents, a recurring irritation can be meal time, especially whilst travelling.
By dinner time, whilst our stomachs are crying out for dining options, we find ourselves getting
anxious about what to feed the children. Will they eat what we order? “Must they eat pizza for the
fifth night in a row?” or will there be an outcry of “i don’t feel like this tonight”. All whilst being
concerned for their nutrition and your wallets.
Whether you spend most of your time choosing to dine in the room, or you wish to dine in the onsite
Restaurants, there will be many food options for the children. Even though the local cuisine is stunningly
delectable and possibly spicy, it is also very typical that there are many food options for the children that
are not so exotic.
Hints for Children and Dining
* On the first day of your stay, study the in-room dining menu and on-Resort dining options.
Become familiar with what they have available, and always consult the kitchen on what varied meals
may be available to you throughout
* From your breakfasts each morning, collect a piece of fruit, yoghurt and/or a bread roll or pastry for each
of the children. This is a great way to fit in a snack during the day without having to have a sit-down meal
because the children are hungry.
* If you have a small baby or toddler, consider bringing with you the typical fruit and vegetable food pouches,
just to ease your mind about in-between meal snacking.
* Generally, the Chefs and Kitchens of In-Room dining and also the restaurants do not mind making slight
changes to the children’s meal. For instance, if the children (or you) would prefer mashed potato instead
of fries, then always ask when you are placing your order if they have these options available. It is a good
way to mix up the meals each day.
If all else fails, consider relaxing on their dining options just for this holiday period.
We found that if they want to eat pizza for the 5th night in a row, just let them eat it, and ensure to return
to better and healthier eating when they return home.