Bora Bora, perhaps French Polynesia’s most famous island, is known for its incredible beauty, the highlight of which is its crystalline lagoon. Bora Bora’s main island is surrounded by dozens of tiny islands, known as motus. Most of Bora Bora’s top resorts are located on private motus, while more budget-friendly options are located on the main island. The Bora Bora resorts that we ranked the most luxurious are set — surprise, surprise — on the private motus, making them all the more secluded and exclusive.
One of the island's best resorts, the 115-room Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora attracts both couples and families. Overwater and beachfront bungalows -- beautifully appointed with luxe Polynesian decor -- come with flat-screen TVs, Nespresso machines, fully stocked (and free) minibars, and fantastic bathrooms. Resort features are equally impressive; there are four on-site restaurants, a stunning infinity pool, a beautiful beach and protected lagoon, and a top-notch spa and workout facility. Plus, it has both kids' and teens' clubs with a host of daily activities. Freebies like Wi-Fi, non-motorized water sports, and snorkel gear are nice perks, but hardly outweigh the mighty costs of everything else.
This is about as good as it gets in French Polynesia. The luxurious InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa's 80 overwater bungalows, beautiful infinity pool, and stunning beach are real standouts, but its piece de resistance is the spa. World-renowned for its incorporation of ocean elements into every spa ritual, the 43,000-square-foot Thalasso Spa is simply magnificent. Other amenities include three restaurants, two bars, a sundries shop, and a small protected lagoon. Plus, guests have free access to sister property, InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort and all of its amenities.
It’s hard to find fault with the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, a luxurious 44-acre property with stunning views of Mt. Otemanu. Its 89 overwater and beachfront bungalows are the largest in French Polynesia, and are richly appointed with modern island decor and thoughtful amenities. Four on-site restaurants, including a Jean-Georges outpost, two beautiful pools, a large beachfront and a protected lagoonarium, and a Clarins spa are a mere sampling of the incredible amenities here. Further setting the St. Regis apart are a romance concierge and bridal boutique, which creates custom itineraries for couples on romantic vacations and plans exclusive weddings and parties.
When it opened in the late '90s, Le Meridien Bora Bora was the first luxury hotel of its kind in the area. Since then, it has consistently remained one of Bora Bora’s most exclusive resorts. Its two pools, large beach, and protected lagoon are on par with amenities at similar hotels, but there is no full-service spa, and rooms are noticeably smaller than competitors’. What sets the Meridien apart is its on-site turtle sanctuary, where guests can visit rescued turtles and learn about the hotel’s efforts to rehabilitate them.