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
Istanbul Airport added 25 sleeping cabins for passengers to nap between flights. The IGA Sleepod rents out cabins for €6 ($6.50) an hour between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and for €9 ($9.70) an hour between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
ForwardKeys.com found an increase of 4.5 percent in 2019 was significantly slower than the 6 percent growth in 2018 and the average over the last decade of 6.8 percent per year. The increase last year was less than expected, but projections for quarter one of 2020 is more optimistic. Bookings are expected to grow 8.3 percent when compared to the same period in 2019.
oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.
Château Élan Winery & Resort reopened in Braselton, Georgia, following a $25 million comprehensive renovation. The first major refurbishment since the resort’s inception in the mid-1980s pays homage to the estate's 16th-century charm, while taking the property into the future. Now, the resort offers 251 brand-new guestrooms and 24 suites, four new food and beverage venues, an immersive spa, pool terrace and new lobby. The winery likewise received a facelift.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
JetBlue kicked off service to Guadeloupe (PTP) this month. Flights began Feb. 1 from New York City (JFK). JetBlue is the only airline to offer flights between the Northeast and the Caribbean island. Flights are around four and a half hours.