Head to Bora Bora with getaway girl bekah wright
French Polynesia is a world of blue with cerulean skies colliding against turquoise waters. Located in the South Pacific between California and Australia, the territory is comprised of 118 islands scattered across five archipelagoes. Legend has it one of these islands, Bora Bora, was created by the gods and considered the “firstborn” of the Society Islands. Perhaps this accounts for the island’s exotic beauty.
Beauty can be found at every turn at the St. Regis Resort, Bora Bora. Settled on a motu, or islet, just outside mainland Bora Bora, the 44-acre property encompasses lush flora, powder-fine white sand beaches and a pristine lagoon. The resort, which opened in June 20, 2006, quickly gained a reputation for exclusivity and luxury with the arrival of honeymooning celebrities Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban coinciding that of Eva Longoria and Tony Parker on a romantic getaway. Indeed, making a statement amongst the 100 Over Water and Beach Villas is the opulent $15,000 per night Royal Estate.
Like these famous couples, all guests at the resort receive butler service. Upon arrival, butlers escorts guests to accommodations such as a Premiere Over Water Villa. The thatched roof is deceptive, for the resort’s villas are anything but primitive with two 42-inch plasma screen televisions, a Bose DVD/CD player and wireless high speed Internet access. The décor is warm with yellow willow floors, regional artwork and handwoven textiles. A canopied bed appointed in Pratesi linens offers views of the lagoon and Bora Bora’s Mount Otemanu. Those with a fascination for sea life can peer through windows in the floor to the ocean below. More enticing, though, is diving right in to the bathtub-warm waters off the terrace. Afterwards, lounging is called for in the deck’s private Jacuzzi or swimming pool.
The St. Regis is all about relaxation. Set up camp at a private daybed cabana at one of two pools — the Oasis pool with its hot tub nooks or the resort’s main pool with its swim-up bar. Another “island” getaway to be experienced is Spa Miri Miri. Situated on its own island in the lagoon, the St. Regis Resort’s spa indulges guests with Tahitian and Pacific Rim-inspired treatments. Hide away in the couple’s suite with its own private courtyard and soak in the Tahitian sun from an outdoor bathtub of pure marble. Also available, a Jacuzzi or private Hammam steam room. Succumb to the able hands of a spa therapist with the Poemana Body treatment, where the body is massaged with warmed black pearls, covered in mother-of-pearl powder and tamanu oil then cocooned in a wrap, followed by a scrub of indigenous elements.
After a period of recuperation, it’s time for some action. Guests of the St. Regis Resort have access to the property’s private yacht, jet and helicopter. A whole host of adventures can also be arranged from an aquasafari helmet dive, deep-sea fishing, touring the lagoon via jet ski, SCUBA or Snuba diving to parasailing or exploring the Abyssal zone of the lagoon from a submarine. Couple romance and adventure with a sojourn to a private isle during a six-hour private motu picnic. The day begins with visits along area reefs to feed sharks and stingrays and snorkel with tropical fish. Next, it’s time for a something more carnivorous – a barbecue. The boat drifts into a secluded cove where a feast is set at a table partially submerged in the ocean.
Another itinerary must – exploring the main island of Bora Bora. A Vavau 4X4 Tour is a great way to get the lay of the land and learn about the island’s history. Spectacular views can be found at every turn of the 20-mile island, including that from “Hiro’s Thumb.” Stops are made along the way at an ecological fish farm, World War II bunkers and armaments, ancient marae or archelogical sites and a local pareo makers’ establishment for observing art in action.
Guests can also explore Bora Bora on their own. Water taxis run several times a day between Vaitape and the resort. Stroll through town taking in the art galleries, shops and pearl stores. Highly recommended is Matira Pearl Fashions in Matira with its stunning collection of Tahitian black pearls. Later, stop in at L’Appetisserie for breakfast or lunch. Order the French pastry shop’s specialties — chocolate croissants and coconut jam.
While there, inquire about a tour of Tereporepo, a local vanilla farm in the Faanui district. Here, the bounty of the island is in full bloom with banana and coconut trees, aubergine eggplants and luscious mangoes.
Before heading back to the resort, pop into the notorious Bloody Mary’s for cocktails or dinner. Other restaurants to experience are the Villa Mahana, Bamboo House and Bora Bora Yacht Club. The St. Regis Resort has several outstanding dining venues, each with their own ambience. Te-Pahu is an open-air restaurant on the beach offering Mediterranean fare under the glow of tiki lamps. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Lagoon is located on the resort dock, where guests are entertained over cocktails by watching visitors from anchored yachts and other resorts sail in for French- and Asian-influenced cuisine. Opening at the resort in early 2007 – Sushi Take – the island’s only sushi restaurant.
As night falls, another shade of blue emerges in this region of the South Seas – the crisp cobalt blue of the horizon accented by a smattering of stars and the silvery moon. Heaven, indeed.
For more information visit http://www.stregis.com/borabora. Contact the St. Regis Resort, Bora Bora or call (689) 60 78 88 or 877/787-3447 Rates range from $950 to $15,000 per night.
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