The Islands of Tahiti are the epitome of romance and luxury travel. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to these island paradises and experience the luxury—the romance would have to wait for another time as I was travelling to French Polynesia for a work trip and to attend a conference without my husband. It was going to be a grueling week of touring resorts, tasting food, and making sure the cocktails were just right for my agents and clients.
From the moment you step onto the Air Tahiti Nui’s Dreamliner, you know you’ve entered the realm of luxury travel. I was also lucky because I was given the last exit row seat available, I may not have been in business class with the lay flatbeds, but I felt pretty swanky. The colours of the aircraft are bright and vibrant, getting you ready for the tropical islands you’re about to step foot on (after 10 hours from Los Angeles and several movies). Before takeoff, the flight attendants hand out the tiare flowers to all the passengers, the beautifully fragrant national flower of Tahiti. After takeoff, I noticed the crew had a wardrobe change; they were no longer in their sleek uniforms, but more traditional Polynesian dress—another reminder that I was on my way to luxury islands in the South Pacific.
All of the staff and managers that we met while touring the resorts were warm and welcoming. Every time guests pulled up in the boat transfer to the resorts, the managers would greet them and introduce them to the resort. There was usually a shell horn blower or ukulele player accompanying the manager. The service is so personal you do not feel like you are at a resort but your own private lodging where everything is tailored to your needs and wants. The way most of the resorts are laid out you hardly see other guests outside of meal times. There was no waiting in line for buffets or waking up early for sun beds. In fact, you do not even need to leave your bungalow.
I was able to experience an overwater bungalow at the Four Seasons Bora Bora. This bungalow was actually two separate bungalows attached by a deck. Each bungalow had a living room, large bathroom, and bedroom. In between the bungalows on the deck was a large outdoor dining table. However, the pièce de résistance was the infinity pool on the deck that overlooked the lagoon.
The Conrad Bora Bora Nui gave me my next overwater bungalow to try out. This time I had one all to myself. The entire front wall of the bungalow was glass and opened up completely, giving the most amazing view of the lagoon. There was a TV at the end of the bed. However, with the push of a button the TV disappears to reveal a better source of entertainment: South Pacific seas as far as the eye can see. The bungalow was equipped with bluetooth speakers and the deck had an overwater hammock for relaxing in and for taking the perfect Insta photos.
The last overwater bungalow I stayed in was at the Le Taha’a Private Island Resort. Le Taha’a offers a different feel to its luxury experience. It had traditional Polynesian design and architecture paying homage to the beautiful surroundings and culture. As opposed to modern elements with stark white and sleek shapes, Le Taha’a weaves natural elements into its design. The bungalow had thatching on the walls, wood throughout, and rope as pull handles. Le Taha’a is an exclusive resort on a private island offering privacy and traditional Polynesian luxury. My bungalow had an amazing view of the lagoon, a neighboring island and the sunset. A multi-level deck wrapped around the bungalow, with sun loungers and a small dining table with a thatched covering. It was the perfect piece of Polynesian luxury and romance. My husband agreed via video chat—he wasn’t jealous at all….
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