April 2015 was a big month for the Hill’s. Not only did it mark our ten year wedding anniversary, but it also commemorated T’s fortieth birthday. Oh. And we impulsively decided to move from our Maryland townhouse back into D.C. and had about 20 days to do it.
No big deal.
We knew we had to celebrate big. But what constituted as BIG? We travel frequently and typically to faraway places, so we knew wherever we chose had to be a bit different from our norm while simultaneously being luxurious, exotic, and celebratory. We narrowed it down between the Maldives and Bora Bora–both so similar in the sense of beauty. We ultimately chose Bora Bora because of better flight schedules and flight times, and we’re so happy that we did. The moment we arrived at the airport, we were struck by the island’s beauty. Yes, even the airport’s setting is gorgeous, as it’s located on its own small islet, Motu Mute. Once we retrieved our bags, we immediately boarded our boat transfer to sail across the lagoon to our resort.
Bora Bora is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and for good reason. A volcanic island, it is surrounded by coral reefs, with a large lagoon and a spacious harbor on the west side. The island’s highest point, Mount Otemanu, looms over the stunning crystal-clear waters.
After about a twenty-five minute boat ride, we arrived at the fabulous Intercontinental Bora Bora Le Moana resort where we stayed in an incredible over-water hut. Everything you’ve seen and heard about the over-water huts is true. They are freaking glorious; truly one of the best accommodations we’ve ever experienced. Our hut was spacious and stunning, and yes, you can (and we did) feed the numerous fish swimming underneath your living room by sliding over the glass atop of your coffee table. Our favorite part of the hut was undoubtedly its balcony/deck, where we spent countless hours of me beating T in cards and in Backgammon (T might say otherwise–don’t be fooled by his charm and lies, people), drinking, lying under our natural planetarium of stars, and of course, swimming and snorkeling off of. We have never felt so remote in our entire lives. You really do feel like you are floating in the center of the world–far away from everything and everyone. It was comforting, peaceful and downright eerie all at the same time.
Bora Bora is absolutely stunning–it’s truly the most beautiful place we’ve ever been. There isn’t a ton to do–and that’s what is so appealing to so many. It is the perfect place to marvel and truly appreciate how gorgeous our planet really is. Because its population is less than 9,000, there is little to no air, light and noise pollution. This absence of pollution is why you see thousands of stars every night, why the turquoise water is so crystal-clear, and why the lush green landscapes are so prevalent throughout the island.
So what did we do during our week in Bora Bora? The typical island activities that most people do: we kayaked, snorkeled, paddle boarded, swam, went for runs, and read. Oh, and I might of did some (read: many) fun yoga poses for the camera. That might of happened.
Oh and T spent some time being shirtless while looking pretty for the camera. Yep, you’ve seen this type of behavior by T before. And you will undoubtedly see it again. And again. And again.
Some of our favorites:
*Watching the sunset at the Bora Bora Yacht Club
*Dinner at Bloody Mary’s
*Spa day at the wonderful Thalasso Spa
*Snorkeling excursion with Pure Snorkeling (more about this in an upcoming post)
*Exploring the island by dune buggy
*T’s birthday dinner at the incredible La Villa Mahana
Morning runs aren’t so bad when you’re surrounded by these views
Sensational sunsets at the Bora Bora Yacht Club
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort’s spectacular Thalasso Spa (sister resort of Le Moana)
Dinner at Bloody Mary’s
Celebrating T’s big 4-0 at the fabulous La Villa Mahana: Bora Bora’s finest restaurant. With only seven tables, I made sure to book our reservation months in advance. This world-renowned restaurant lived up to the hype and was the perfect place to celebrate my favorite guy’s birthday. If you’re lucky enough to score a table, absolutely go!
Renting a dune buggy was an excellent way to explore Bora Bora. Only 11.3 square miles in size, it takes about an hour to travel around the circle island road. A fun, affordable, and of course, beautiful way to see this incredible island.
My one and only disappointment with Bora Bora is its limited yoga options. Sure, you can find various yoga retreats in Bora Bora, but I was only interested in taking one or two classes. I was so looking forward to practicing there and was shocked to learn that a one hour class was $100 USD. One. Class. Wait, whattttt? So absurd–I was convinced that I had misheard and asked the receptionist to repeat the price multiple times. Yep, still $100. Needless to say, I didn’t sign up for the class. Clearly I would have to improvise…
So is traveling all the way around the world to Bora Bora worth it? Is the cost worth it? Yes and yes. I can honestly say that we have never experienced anything like it and its beauty and magnificence is incomparable. With that said, for the majority of people, Bora Bora doesn’t seem like a very practical choice for just any old trip. I suggest that if you do decide to go, go to celebrate a milestone, like a honeymoon, an anniversary, or a big birthday. Because the truth of the matter is, there are plenty of Caribbean destinations that are much closer and also beautiful, and at a fraction of the price. But for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I think many of us would be hard-pressed to find many places as truly incredible and unique as Bora Bora.
While it is unlikely that we will be returning to this gorgeous slice of heaven any time soon, its awe-inspiring beauty will surely stay with us forever.
Where We Stayed:
Where to Eat:
Go Ahead. You Deserve It: