25th Anniv in Bora Bora and where else?


Jun 4th, 2009, 11:15 PM
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25th Anniv in Bora Bora and where else?

My husband and I will be going to French Polynesia for our 25th wedding anniversary in August 2010 (I hope August isn't a bad time to go there!) We can probably only get away for 7-9 days. We know we want to spent part of the time on Bora Bora but aren't sure which other island(s) to visit. We'd greatly appreciate suggestions for other islands to add to our itinerary and also which hotels and activities we should consider.

With respect to our particular "likes", we love to explore, hike, see and photograph beautiful places. We love the beach but don't just want to sunbathe and swim the entire time (though part of the time is fine). We're probably more into snorkelling than diving.

I've always wanted to go to Bora Bora and we've been saving miles from American Airlines for quite some time so we can fly first class for free and splurge more on accommodations and activities (within reason.). Any ideas for a particularly romantic dinner would also be great for the actual date of the anniversary.

Thank you! I have posted twice before in the past five years and have gotten the most wonderful suggestions each time! You folks are the best!

- Lori
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Jun 5th, 2009, 01:44 AM
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I have stayed at Hotel Bora Bora and the Pearl Resort. One of the choice you have to make is whether to stay on the island or on motu. Each has pros and cons. I thought staying on a motu was more laid back but also confining that I had to synchronize my visit to the island to the shuttle boat schedule if I didn't want to pay additional charge. Hotel Bora Bora had much better snorkeling in front, however, you probably want to go to even better place by boat.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that Bora Bora, especially the Vaitape side, is heavily visited by huge cruise ships. Having visited Bora Bora years before the cruise ships as well as after they started coming to Bora Bora, I see changes to Vaitape to cater to the cruise ship passengers.

Also, the island is a very popular with honeymooners. When I started visiting Bora Bora, there were mix of honeymooners, families, and older folks. As we have gotten more "mature", I noticed that most visitors are honeymooners from Italy, Japan, and the U.S. There were hardly anyone close to the 25th anniversary age group.

I have also visited Moorea and Rangiroa. Moorea is another island-barrier reef combination but with smaller lagoons, taller mountain, and more developments.

I love Rangiroa. I don't dive. Since it is an atoll, there is not much to do on land, so snorkeling and explore places by boat is the main activity. It is more laid back and had more diverse group of visitors. For a even more remote experience, there is Kia Ora Sauvage. I have not done this. There are several posting in this forum.

One thing you need to keep in mind if you plan to visit both Bora Bora and Rangiora is that the Air Tahiti,, has one direct Bora Bora to Rangiroa flight a day, but there is NO direct Rangiroa to Bora Bora flight. You have to back track to Tahiti.
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Jun 5th, 2009, 06:43 AM
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I really enjoyed Rangiroa, but there's very little to do (perhaps nothing to do) other than snorkeling (great drifts) or diving. I stayed at Relais Josephine b/c I prefer more intimate, personal accommodations, and for me it was preferable to the Kia Resort, which I visited to change money and from where a snorkeling trip departed.

Most of the restaurants on Bora Bora are in hotels, so I at the Hotel Bora Bora. Only non-hotel meal was at Bloody Marys, which is very touristy, not very good, but seems that everyone dines there at least once. I know the Hotel Bora Bora is undergoing refurbishment, so I don't know what will become of the restaurant, which was very nice. If you don't stay on a motu, dinner on one may be the way to go.
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Jun 19th, 2009, 09:23 PM
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We spent 3 weeks in FR. Poly. Visited Raiatae, Tahaa, Rangiroa, Bora Bora. We loved Rangiroa, but we are divers and snorkelers and others are correct, there's not much else to do. However, I will say that staying at Relais Josephine right on Taputa Pass, sitting on their deck, watching the sun go down, with a great bottle of French wine, while we watched a pod of spinner dolphins play in the changing tide for over an hour -- is without doubt, the best travel experience of my life.

Visiting the pearl farm and taking an island nature tour on Tahaa were amazing. You can kayak up Raiatea's fabulous Faaroa River or spend lazy days on motos all alone to snorkel on pristine reefs. We are sailiors and we chartered our own boat and sailed the islands alone. It is an unforgettable way to see French Polynesia. On Bora Bora we had one dinner ashore at La Villa Mahana. It is very sexy; difficult to get to, but worth the effort. Make reservations.

Mr. and Mrs. Alain and Christina PLANTIER
P.O. Box 124 Haamene- TAHAA,
Telephone- (689) 65.62.46, Fax- (689) 65.68.97
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 09:36 AM
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Since you mentioned hiking, you may want to consider pairing Moorea with Bora Bora. Moorea is a more populated island (like Bora Bora) and you will have more hotel choices, as well as restaurants. Also, Moorea is only a 30 minute ferry from Tahiti, so if you wanted to venture back and explore Papeete without spending a nigh there, perhaps something to consider.

Personally I really enjoyed my time at Le Tahaa Island Resort & Spa paired with Bora Bora (there are lots of hotels to choose from in Bora Bora).
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Jun 29th, 2009, 09:14 PM
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Thanks to all of you for these excellent suggestions and insights. They are just what I need to get the most out of our short but much anticipated anniversary trip next year! Thanks again!!
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Jun 30th, 2009, 05:28 AM
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You want to be in the islands for 7-9 days? I would say add Le Taha'a to your itinerary just for R and R, I would say only 2 nights. I have stayed there twice and LOVed the whole time there. Hotel Bora Bora is closed and was to demolished last February but due to rules etc it hasn't happened.
Restaurants, on Moorea LeMahogany Moorea Curry Shrimp to die for...Aito is a must especially on a Monday or Friday for the excellent live band, The Villa Mahana, Honu iti on Cooks Bay, Te Honu Iti Isn't bad,on Bora Bora Bloody Marys has great seafood and to some touristy (but Bora Bora is), Top Dive and La Bounty are good as is the InterContinental Resort & Thalasso Spa http://www.boraboraspa.intercontinen...GE=8&Langue=en

You will be going during high season which mean a lot more $$$ then off. It is the perfect time and weather for the Tahiti Islands. I have been there 7 times. Last trip was March 2009 ( we stayed at all the Pearl Resorts) and it was the only trip there that I experienced rain
If you want to hike the islands are Tahiti and Moorea. The hikers on the islands tell you there the 2 best islands. I have been to all the Society Islands. Keep in mind the future north you go the more beauty you will see.
I did feel all the islands offer something very different
from each other. Hope you enjoy the Islands Beyond the Ordinary!

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Jul 5th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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In 2000 we spent 5 weeks in French Polynesia visiting Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Rangiroa, Manihi and the Marquesas (Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva)

We liked all the islands but were disappointed by Bora Bora ( HUGE SAS cruise ships were in the lagoon EVERY day of the week which was a great MINUS!)

We were staying at some of the Pearl Resorts as well as the Meridien in Bora Bora.

In the earlier days you could get "drunk" by the beauty of the BB lagoon - but obviously that's not the case anymore.
It's not only that the vessels distroy the view, it's also that 3000+ pax spit out on to the island has an impact on to the feel itself.

The Le Meridien on BB is wonderful.
All Pearl resorts we visited were excellent.

Rangiroa I would choose for diving! They have a great shark dive in the "shark alley" which is a thrill!

Moorea or Tahiti for hiking.
Manihi, Huanhine for relaxation - there is not so much to do besides snorkeling and diving.

Have you considered a cruise in a small dive boat starting from Fakarava?
Just a thought..........

Happy Planning!

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Jul 27th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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Spassvogel - my husband and I went to Tahiti in June 2000 for our honeymoon! Not sure what month you were there but I suppose there's a chance we crossed paths. We went for 2 weeks split between Bora Bora and Moorea. We thought we'd return for our 10yr anniversary but we're worried it will be a totally different place. That is what happened when we returned to Playa Del Carmen, MX 8 years after our original visit. I was wondering how the island may have changed. We didn't like Moorea as much maybe because the accomodation (park royal) was a huge disappointment. On BB, we stayed at Sofitel Marara. In our 5 days on BB, we only noticed cruise shippers on one night. It does give the island a whole different feel but did not really impact our experience. For the most part, we felt like we were on a very quiet, remote tropical island. Have you been back? For curtandlori, it has been 9 yrs since we were there, but I would highly recommend Bloody Marys or the Bamboo House.
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Aug 11th, 2009, 07:05 PM
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Thanks again to everyone for these wonderfully detailed posts. I'm printing out everyone's responses and using it for our travel guide as we make reservations...
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Oct 22nd, 2009, 11:14 AM
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Have you figured out your itinerary? I'm planning a trip for Oct 2010 and would love to hear what you've decided on after all the advice!
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Jul 6th, 2010, 10:54 AM
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So sorry, w351! I didn't see your post from last Oct. until today. Although your trip is surely finalized by now, here is the answer to your question: our final itinerary is 6 days is Bora Bora and 3 in Moorea. We leave Aug 7, 2010. If you want more details, please see my current post of 7/5/2010 where I am soliciting advice for our 25th anniversary dinner in Bora Bora. Enjoy your trip!
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