Arrival/Check-In: It does not get much better than the greeting by The St. Regis Bora Bora staff at the Bora Bora Airport. As soon as we were in the terminal, Glenn from the resort met us, offered a cold towel and instructed us to board the St. Regis boat. No worries about luggage — the resort team took care of it. From the deck of the beautiful 55-foot boat, we watched other travelers boarding their water shuttles, and one woman yelled, “Nice boat!” We were the only guests on board. During the 20-minute ride, Glenn checked us into the hotel. At the dock, Carmen, our butler, and Richie (butler-in-training and three days on the job) greeted us with cold tea and towels.
Carmen and Richie took us in the club car for a tour of the resort and then to our beautiful overwater villa. You can call any time for a pickup to the restaurants or activities, but give yourself a window of time, as there can be demand at certain hours. Our butler unpacked our clothes and laundered a few items at our request.
Guest Quarters: If you catch the movie Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn and Jason Bateman, you’ll get a sense of the villas. They are spacious and tastefully appointed, with a deck and ladder off the back so you can swim. That is the magic of Bora Bora. Our large bedroom featured a kingsized bed with a canopy and a built-in headboard which incorporated nightstands and ample light for reading. The floors were rich cherry wood throughout, complemented with bright red and orange rugs in geometric patterns. The room included an overstuffed chair with a reading lamp in one corner, an overhead fan and a 42-inch flat-screen TV.
The bathroom was equally massive with a sunken tub and shower adjoining in an open concept. A long vanity had two sinks and lots of room for bath amenities. The St. Regis was thoughtful enough to supply cotton swabs and cotton balls in a jar. The commode was in a separate room.
The focal point of the living room was a glass coffee table over a large plate-glass area in the floor with a view of the lagoon below, where we often saw fish swimming. A large modular sofa followed the theme of bright colors, this one green. The room included a small desk-like table, a 42-inch flat-screen TV, a comfy chair and a round table with chairs. Double doors led to the deck, which featured a covered gazebo with a teak table and two chairs. On the open side were two sturdy teak sun loungers with cushions. The villas are so nice, you will never want to leave!
Services/Amenities: The St. Regis is all about service, and whatever we wanted was there for us. The main restaurant, Te Pahu, offers a daily buffet breakfast with hot dishes served by wait staff, lunch and dinner. You can order something simpler from the Aparima Bar.
The signature restaurant, Lagoon by Jean Georges (crafted by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten), is spectacular. Request a seat over one of the glass sections of the floor overlooking the shark preserve, where the resort nurses injured sharks back to health for release. It’s a hoot to watch sharks swimming beneath you while dining. I ordered diver scallops, followed by red snapper, and ended with a French-style chocolate cake. Plan to arrive early for a drink outside at the bar; you can look at the lagoon while enjoying impeccable drink service. The sommelier, from Burgundy, is helpful with a wine selection for dinner. We really enjoyed all the restaurants, particularly Lagoon and Sushi Take, a Japanese restaurant serving sushi and sashimi.
There is so much to do, from hanging out at the beach to using the free water sports gear (kayaks, paddle boards, snorkel gear sans flippers and two Hobie Cat sailboats). Jet skis and other options are available for a fee. I took a half-day deep-sea fishing trip on the Luna the last morning of our stay. Everyone enjoyed using the complimentary equipment, and there appeared to be no hogging. “Beach bikes” are available first-come, first-served; we used them to go to lunch, the spa or tour around.
At the Miri Miri Spa by Clarins, we had a wonderful 50-minute Polynesian couple’s massage, including a volcanic mud foot rub and a choice of seven scented oils.
The Experience: Does “Wow!” cover it? It would be a perfect stay if free snorkel flippers and in-room WiFi were included. This has to be on your list of “must-visit” resorts.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Separate tub and shower
- Large vanity
- High-quality towels
- Powerful, unattached hair dryer
- High-quality bed linens
- Large, flat-screen television
- Large desk with convenient outlets
- Large, complimentary laptop safe
- Complimentary in-room WiFi
- Complimentary bottled water
- Stocked minibar
- Ample lighting
- In-room coffeemaker
- Iron and ironing board
- On-site restaurant and bar
- 24-hour room service
- State-of-the-art fitness center
The St. Regis Bora Bora
Motu Ome’e Bp 506
Bora Bora 98730
tel 689 60 78 88
Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
United Airlines is making international travel more accessible. United announced the largest trans-Atlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new destinations including Amman (AMM), Jordan; Bergen (BGO), Norway; Azores (PDL), Portugal; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Spain; and Tenerife (TFS) in the Spanish Canary Islands. All new routes, set to begin in spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The countdown to Halloween weekend is on! Are you are still unsure about plans? Do you go to a house party? Stay in to hand out candy? Try something different this year and join Philadelphia’s The Mütter Museum at its 6th annual Mischief at The Mütter.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Walker Hotel Tribeca is blushing pink with an exclusive offer benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Throughout the month, guests can book an all-pink guestroom, among additional amenities.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Insight Vacations, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland are offering the chance to win a free trip to Ireland for two, valued at $6,000. Oct. 18–22, The Road to Ireland contest page will be updated daily with a new clue and question that contestants will need to answer for a chance to win a trip for two on Insight’s Country Roads of Ireland tour in 2022. Contestants have until 11:59 p.m. PST Oct. 29 to submit answers.