Bora Bora and the Society Islands


Bora Bora

Bora Bora resorts

Bora Bora and the Society Islands (French Polynesia) are commonly thought of as “Tahiti.” Are you thinking over water bungalows and lagoons? Then that’s likely Bora Bora. Tahiti is the location of the International airport in the Society Islands.  Read on for what many consider the most romantic island destination on our planet!

Boro Bora is part of the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The most commonly thought of island is Bora Bora.   Next is the island of Moorea; we’ll take a look at these idyllic islands in and highlight some of  the fabulous one-of-a-kind resorts.




Another day in Bora Bora.

Another day in Bora Bora.


Quick Insider travel tips:

  • The island of Tahiti in the Society Island is where the int’l airport and cruise-port are located.  The airport is in Pappeete (PPT, but no, not “Powerpoint”).
  • Flights depart from Los Angeles (LAX) on Air Tahiti Nui (not to be confused with Air Tahiti, the local inter island air carrier.
  • Depending on your arrival time on Papeete, you may need a “day” room or one overnight stay prior to traveling to other islands or beginning a cruise.
  • Bora Bora is about a one hour flight from Tahiti (Papeete)
  • Moorea is about a 30 minute ferry ride from Papeete.
  • The movie “Couples Retreat” takes place on the St. Regis Resort on Bora Bora.

While reviewing some resorts for a client, I had the privilege to work with Michael Cottam of Visual Itineraries who is an expert on French Polynesia/South Pacific.   Michael has some great insights into the  resort on Bora Bora and Moorea; you can read his insights below.

CLICK NOW for a quick “visual vacation!

The Bora Bora Intercontinental Thalaso and La Moana resorts are good choices for us.   Key question: does the higher price of the Thalaso make the experience that much better? What are the wow factors?

The Thalasso is more luxurious, more modern-feeling, bigger restaurant space, bigger bungalows, and a technological masterpiece of a spa, plus the amazing A/C provided for the resort from cold seawater sucked into a pipe that goes 2 miles into the sea. It’s very impressive, but for me, it feels a little too cold/chic and not Polynesian enough for my personal tastes. Everything about it looks expensive; you’d feel uncomfortable going to dinner in the restaurant in a shirt that hadn’t been pressed. It feels to me like there’s too much glass and steel and marble in the resort for it to really be in French Polynesia. Having said that, it’s got tremendous appeal for many people. I’d say it feels like high-end NY chic/luxury, with views of French Polynesia.

The Le Moana is more traditional and Polynesian in feel. I really liked it, but it’s a great basic Bora Bora resort without anything in particular to amaze you. Smaller feel, more personal, more authentic feeling.

The Bora Bora Pearl is really my absolute favorite, in that you get the full Polynesia style, with absolutely amazing bungalows both overwater and garden, a super dramatic approach to the resort with the vaulted ceiling on the entrance on the dock, more impressive restaurants and grounds than the Le Moana Intercon. And in my opinion, the spa at the Pearl is much more stunning and spectacular, despite not having all the high-tech goodies that the Intercon Thalasso has.

Bora Bora Lagoon Resort is like the Pearl, with a little less fancy spa, well-done grounds that make you think of an Asian garden.  I really like this property. Great Polynesian feel.

The Sofitel property (Moorea) is really, really well done. I’d say it’s the rock star of Moorea, for sure. Great spa there too.

How does this island stuff make YOU feel?  Did you look at the maps, photos, and videos? Finally, what’s on your bucket list?  Do tell so I can start long range planning for you!


  1. […] Rosenthal of Daydream Excursions wrote this terrific overview of Bora Bora, which includes a short interview with Visual Itineraries founder Michael Cottam. This entry was […]