The most spectacular of the Society Islands has long been synonymous with honeymoons. Conrad Bora Bora Nui, the only resort on the pristine islet of Motu To’opua, lives up to Bora Bora’s reputation for romance, while encouraging guests to explore its unique culture and geography.
TABLE FOR TWO
Enjoy a picnic à deux on the Conrad’s private islet, Motu Tapu; your charter boat captain will prepare traditional dishes such as poisson cru, served on freshly picked palm leaves. Other romantic options include dinner on the veranda of Iriatai French Restaurant, paired with a delicious Bordeaux, or sushi at Upa Upa Lounge and Bar, where musicians serenade guests at sunset and a glass floor provides a tantalizing peek at the lagoon’s coral reef.
For an indelible (if somewhat painful) souvenir, the resort can arrange for authentic Polynesian tattooing by artist Marama Olsen, who uses a comb made of boar tusk to tap ink into skin. Tamure Beach Grill hosts a weekly Polynesian show with fire throwers and dances tied to local lore.
A Balinese massage at hillside Hina Spa can release stress; book the open-air treatment room to soak in the lagoon views.
Hike two-plus hours up the steep slopes of iconic Mount Otemanu to explore Bora Bora’s only cave and revel in breathtaking views toward Raiatea, or circle the isle on a Matira Jet Tours wave runner. The Conrad concierge can book both guided excursions.
The 114 rooms — 86 overwater and 28 garden villas with lagoon views — start at 1,087 square feet and offer king beds, wall-to-wall sliding doors opening onto large decks, and a modern South Pacific aesthetic. Overwater villa decks sport catamaran-style hammocks above the turquoise lagoon; some also have their own infinity plunge pool. Rooms start at $698. boraboranui.conradhotels.com
ARRIVE IN STYLE
Since you’ll need to overnight in Papeete en route from San Francisco (via Los Angeles), reserve a lagoon-view room at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, less than two miles from the airport, and awake to magnificent views of Mooréa. Maximize the honeymoon mode with Conrad’s private boat transfer from Bora Bora’s airport ($134 round-trip).
Travel and features writer Jeanne Cooper fell in love with Marin and the Bay Area as a graduate student at Stanford University. After 20 years as an editor and writer for the Washington Post, Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle, she began a freelance career that has taken her from the Austral Islands to Zimbabwe, with many visits to Hawaii in between. Her stories have appeared in numerous national and regional magazines, including Hemispheres, Sunset, San Francisco and Nob Hill Gazette, as well as Marin and Local Getaways. The author of several Frommer’s guidebooks, she now lives on the Big Island, where she’s active in animal rescue. She still enjoys exploring Northern California with her husband and friends.