Since the dawn of the nineteenth century, Tahiti’s magnetism has been the subject of nearly 15,000 books and articles. While the timeless rapture of its verdant panoramas remains, Tahiti has fallen victim to destructive, anthropogenic realities, forcing travelers to venture deeper into the Society Islands to discover the South Seas’ renowned magic.
Following the gospel of Pulitzer Prize winner James Michener, opulence arrived in nearby Bora Bora by the 1970s, endowing the idyllic island with five-star resorts that matched the beauty of Michener’s words. Bora Bora was the birthplace of the overwater bungalow, later popularized in Tahiti and perfected in the Maldives. This concept of luxurious accommodation straddling the ocean floor, immersed in natural azure and emerald hues in the shadow of jagged mountains, revolutionized the travel market and fostered a paradigm that made the Polynesian gem synonymous with such terms as “paradise” and “heaven.”
Forty years later, Bora Bora is still a bastion of exclusive and definitive romance with more options than ever for indulging in French Polynesia’s bountiful endowments. The hotel that started it all, Hotel Bora Bora (amanresorts.com), currently is undergoing a massive facelift, scheduled to rekindle the honeymoon magic in late 2012. In the meantime, perennial favorites like the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa (hilton.com/frenchpolynesia) and welcomed newcomers like The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort (stregisborabora.com) dutifully deliver our expectations of “paradise.”