Scattered across the Pacific Ocean like marbles cast from a child’s hand, the 118 islands that constitute French Polynesia are divided into five diverse archipelagos commonly referred to as Tahiti.
Richly inhabited by lush forestry and multi-hued beaches, the overseas country shares much of its culture with France, including its penchant for languid romance. Nestled in the cluster of the Society Islands, Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island and Sofitel Moorea Ia Beach Resort are two hotels that revel in an atmosphere of seclusion and intimacy.
Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island
Hugging the curve of Motu Piti ‘U’u Uta’s shores, Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island is completely encircled by a crystalline lagoon and combines the best of French boutique and Polynesian subtlety.
Scenic Suites and Villas
Never too far away from the embrace of the golden sands, an attractive selection of thatched roof suites and villas follow the crescent groove of the island. Some of the bungalows run up into the verdant greenery of the island, shaded by the trees for privacy, while others drift out on stilts over the lagoon in a semi-circular formation; offering direct access to the waters below. This experience is very much about castaway luxury, combining the plush Polynesian accents of the interiors with the solitude of a private island. Each suite and villa is outfitted with artisan wood features and a terrace, while others feature a Jacuzzi sundeck. The Island Luxury Overwater Bungalow also features a glass floor panel for your own private views of the sea. It is a real treat to spot the marine life swimming so close beneath your villa for your eyes only.
Wine, Dine and be Merry
Dining at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island is about the mood as much as it is the flavours; you will find excellent cuisine in a sensual, relaxed setting. The pandanus-sheltered Manu Taku is a restaurant that stays true to the delights of Polynesian flavours with fish being an expected staple; often infused with coconut milk. Whatever is served you will be invited to choose a speciality from the all-too-tempting wine cave. Before or after your meal pay a visit to the Maku Bar, delicately shadowed by a mesmerising waterfall.
Get Active, be Pampered
Judging by its own sea-breezy design, Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island is very much in favour of an easy-going holiday experience. The hotel’s spa is located just above the mint-leaf waters of the lagoon and looks out towards the fringes of the island and the Bora Motu Reef. Personalised treatments and therapies are given by trained masseuses, who also know traditional Polynesian massage techniques. That’s not to say that there aren’t any opportunities to get your feet wet and your heart pumping. Water based include kayaking, parasailing and water-skiing, while a multi-hued coral reef can be found nearby. We recommend the eco tour, to snorkel with stingrays, fish and even sharks with personal and friendly guides.
Live and sleep
This charming resort is a scattering of delightful, thatched Polynesian bungalows; some snuggle into the gentle lower slopes of the soaring, green-velvet mountains behind, whilst others sit unobtrusively along the white sand beach; the remainder perch on stilts over the turquoise lagoon extending a permanent invitation into the warm crystal clear water beneath. The traditional simplicity of the exteriors however, belie the chic sophistication within; here you’ll find rich polished wooden floors, central canopied beds and high beamed ceilings. Overwater bungalows incorporate a glass floor area with a direct HD view to the fishes swimming below. For more expansive living there are 2-bed villas with sprawling indoor and outdoor space and a personal wine cellar.
Eat, drink and chat
Reconnect your feet with the earth, wiggle them in the sand, warm them on the bleached wooden decks and gaze out over the vast Pacific to the horizon while you wait for your chilled island cocktail. Dining is island-elegance, exquisite yet easy-going with entertainment to match, think flowers in the hair, swaying in the body and music with the rhythm of the sea.
Relax and revive
Days at Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort can be as animated as you choose, snorkelling amidst coral gardens, kayaking on glassy water or scuba diving with rich marine life can all be easily arranged. On land, an ATV excursion or cycling is a fun way to discover the inner beauty of the island or maybe golf is your sport – 9 or 18-holes of stunning lush greens sandwiched between mountain and ocean have been cleverly designed by the maestro Jack Nicklaus. Complete your day in paradise with a calming Jacuzzi, a hot stone massage or a tropical body wrap, in semi-open tranquil spa suites – side-by-side, now that’s togetherness!