by Lisa Vanderpump
FOUR SEASONS, Bora Bora
It was the week of our thirtieth wedding anniversary. I wanted an escape from Los Angeles so I ventured into the task of looking for a destination where we could regroup and remind ourselves of what brought us together thirty years ago. I wanted to surprise my husband and leave him out of the arduous task of all the decision making. We have travelled extensively and it has been an education. I was fully aware of the responsibility to make this a trip of a lifetime…thirty years doesn’t come around too often!
I had a hard time pondering the plethora of choices that were available to us. I finally decided upon the French Polynesia. I didn’t want to deal with significant changes in hours and the three-hour time difference seemed perfectly manageable. So, after much consideration, I decided upon the Four Seasons.
The journey from Los Angeles is remarkably convenient as you can have dinner and board the flight to Tahiti at midnight with no problem sleeping all the way there. When you arrive, you need a connection to Bora Bora that was a little more laborious as we had a few hours to wait but once we arrived in Bora Bora, our experience reached new heights. The Four Seasons staff met us with a splendid water taxi and were so sweet and helpful.
A necklace of delicate tropical flowers like jewels strung to gather to form a lei are placed around your neck. Your experience has begun…the simplicity of arriving straight into the foyer from the boat was a luxury greatly appreciated. We were then greeted by Thomas, one of the managers who looks like he stepped out of the pages of GQ (the staff’s attitude can make or break somewhere – so far so good).
The Four Seasons of Bora Bora is a tribute to excellence in the way the property has been created…it has an intimate feel. Although there are a hundred bungalows, one is never aware of all the guests ever congregating in one space.
One of the primary reasons I chose Bora Bora was the little bungalows on stilts situated in the middle of the lagoon. I was anxious that perhaps they had the potential of being on the primitive side but reassured myself that the Four Seasons would be sure to maintain a certain standard.
We were delighted as we checked into the bungalow, which I would recommend. Facing West, it was surrounded by water that looked as turquoise as one could only imagine. The velvety white sand was clearly visible with little vegetation that often makes the ocean so daunting. It opened totally to a spacious deck with stairs down to the water, a bath filled with petals that opened onto the balcony, and a fluffy bed that the Four Seasons always delivers. The space was beautifully designed and we really marveled at the privacy as each bungalow stands alone.
I observed that most of the guests were honeymooners or people seeking a romantic vacation, but as the hotel has the – in my opinion – essential children’s pool and club, families are also welcome.
Every morning we chose to breakfast on our terrace but a monumental buffet is included in the main restaurant. We then would walk to the gym that has a wonderful spa and every amenity one could wish for. I always swam in the lagoon in total solitude straight after. I could never understand where all the guests were…that suited us perfectly, though. The lagoon was my favorite part of the day. There was little current, azure sparkling water and I was greeted with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and my favorite tea on the little private beach. Nothing is too much trouble for anything that is requested!
As we immersed ourselves in the tranquility of the lagoon, surrounded by its powder beaches, the gentle spirit of the Polynesian people, and the decadence of the Four Seasons, I wished that this was a one-way trip. This hotel has to be the jewel in the crown of French Polynesia.