In the South Pacific lies Bora Bora, a volcanic island that is also the most famous island in all of French Polynesia. Bora Bora is a magical place with moonlit beaches, pink hued sunrises, tropical flowers and views to infinity. On the white shimmering sand, sits The Four Seasons Resort. Lots of sipping, surfing, sunscreen and sunworshipping happens here.
We had a really fun group of world wanderers who went on this seaside adventure to The Four Seasons Resort. Our crew was composed of two Venue Reporters (Donny and I), Katie from Ever After Honeymoons (the organizer of the trip) and her beau, the Grey Likes Weddings duo, Jose Villa behind the camera lens and Joel Serrato behind the Super 8 lens. We all met at LAX, grabbed champagne and embarked on one of the most fantastic trips I have ever been on. We arrived to the scenery above, it pretty much looked identical to the way I imagine the walkway and doors to heaven looking. I am pretty much certain that Bora Bora is the definition of "heaven on earth".
This magical island has majestic views from every vantage point. The Four Seasons Resort is surrounded by sand-fringed islets that enclose a turquoise lagoon. The resort also has overwater bungalows. Yes, you sleep in a modern hut directly over the water. Views to infinity at this serene seascape with the soundtrack of the ocean enveloping you.
Lagoon and Motu Discovery + Jet Skis
If you host an event, wedding, retreat, corporate getaway or celebration here, you are probably wondering what the experience for your guests will be like, right?! Well let me tell you that we pretty much lived in the water like mermaids and mermen (except with snorkel gear of course). The Four Seasons offers truly top-notch amenities and activities. On our first day we circled the island on waverunners, it was such a great way to experience the unparalleled beauty of Bora Bora’s lagoon, while touring the island from a different vantage point. We stopped twice to stand on sandbars in the middle of the blue bath waters while the balmy breezes enveloped us. This was quite magical in itself.
The next day we embarked on another underwater adventure, with two snorkelling stops in the crystal-clear lagoons, followed by a traditional barbeque lunch on a deserted island. Cruising the sparkling waters here puts you into auto-pilot, where constant grinning and relaxing comes more naturally than ever. Quite honestly its almost impossible to feel a tinge of stress on this island, especially swimming around in waters this flourescent. The resort constantly gets asked the question, "do you dye the waters here?" Yes, that is how piercingly blue they are. It's also hard to put your camera down when you witness these baby blue waves rolling and rippling seamlessly into the horizon. The sky and the sea almost become one here. I've come to the conclusion that cameras, cannonballs and cocktails are a must for any trip to Bora Bora.
Continuing on our motu journey, I kept envisioning how an event here would be incredibly unforgettable. The resort doesn't just rely on the beauty of the island and water, they truly deliver on the experience here. On one of our stops to the island we donned snorkels and flippers as we slipped into the water to watch the Tahitian divers hand-feed black-tip reef sharks and bat rays. We swam with sharks! It's a thrilling experience. Look at Ever After Honeymoons diving right on in like a mermaid (below right) AND her striped suit matched the striped fish. Could you have anyone cooler plan your honeymoon?
And then the real fun began... Sparkling water and so many black fish swimming about that they looked like little polka dots or fishfetti! This black tipped reef shark was a big one, and even had a little baby on her back as she circled around. Is it strange that I kept thinking it was cute? I am not sure if baby sharks are called cute, but it kept popping into mind. The flippers above? Again, those belong to our very own honeymoon planner, Katie from Ever After Honeymoons.
Happy Sharks come from Bora Bora
Just like happy cows come from California, Happy sharks come from Bora Bora. You can trust me on this one, because I DO in fact come from California. So toss your fears aside, because these sharky poos are on island time! They could have cared less about us. Check out all of our fins below. From the left: Donny (The Venue Report), our guide Stephen in his Tahitian sarong, Cortnie (The Venue Report), Summer (Grey Likes Weddings), and Katie!
The shark experience was thrilling. We also spotted eels and other exotic sea life. Being underwater for long periods of time is otherworldly and peaceful. It somehow always reminds me of how giant planet Earth is.
If you host a celebration here, I cannot recommend this experience enough. It's a great way to bond with guests over something extremely unique. I also recommend asking for Stephen to be your local Tahitian guide. He's the one playing the ukelele below. He calls himself "The King of Bora Bora" and is hilarious! He reminds me of a Bora Bora Santa Claus. Jolly, happy and just full of fun. He sang and played his ukelele on the boat ride to and from the deserted island. It went something like.. "la, la,la, la, la, la, HEY! la, la, la, la, la, la banana!"
When we arrived at the deserted island, my event planning radar went into overdrive and started furiously beeping. I wanted to come out of event planning retirement just to plan a party here. Imagine your guests arriving to these picnic tables sitting in crystal clear waters with tropical fish swirling around their toes! We were also treated to delicious local fare prepared by the Tahitians on the island. All of the food, including the groups favorite, Poison Cru (a local fish, coconut and lime dish) was served in hand woven baskets. They taught us how to tie sarongs the Tahitian way and how to crack open coconuts. Put your cool bottled coconut waters down, because nothing compares to drinking from the actual coconut itself! Very Gilligans Island, but in the luxury kind of way.
Let's Talk Venues
There are a lot of places to throw events or get married here. Now that that foreigners are permitted to marry in French Polynesia without having to apply for a visa and 30 day residency, Bora Bora has become an even hotter wedding destination! For starters how glorious is Aherenoa Chapel below? When inside of this waterfront Polynesian wedding chapel you will have spectacular views of the blue lagoon and the majestic mountains beyond. After your marital bliss, you can move the party on to many venue options. Affirm your bond on a pristine coral beach or on a small nearby island, aboard a catamaran. There is even a mini penninsula of white sand jutting out into the ocean called Fare Hoa Beach. Summer from Grey Likes Weddings and I were envisioning a long feasting table extending the length of it. It was very hard not to race around and do a photo shoot here. It really would be a brilliant dinner setting.
More venue options? How about right smack dab on the sandy beach with the water lapping at your toes? Your guests will be served by the sweetest smiling locals with platters full of fresh fruit juices and aromatic tropical flowers. An evening on the beach wraps you in twinkling stars and gentle sea breezes. Gather up to 480 guests for a moonlit cocktail party that features indigenous treats, or invite them to a culinary-inspired reception under the stars.
Another option? See that hut? That is called Otemanu, and right next to it is Otemanu Beach. This is another idyllic tropical space that's perfect for Polynesian events. Treat your guests to musical entertainment, a fire-dance show or fireworks display over the lagoon..... It sits over the water and is perfect for sushi feasts. We ate sushi on the sand here and it was insanely good. It's also perfect for after-parties, should you and your guests want to continue the fiesta on into the night. Oh, and that little island.. That magical island can be set with a table from 2 - 10 guests. They even kayay you out there for your own private island dining experience!!! Soul cleansing sunsets happen here.
After the celebration at Four Seasons Bora Bora, your guests get to stumble back to their over water cottages. It's really not a bad scenario. We got the best sleep in these overwater huts, which was the entire reason we were able to drink like fish. No pun intended. Each morning we woke up with pep in our step and giant smiles as we got our caffeine fix at the waterfront breakfast spot. Good morning gorgeous!
We ended each evening grabbing drinks by the pool. Another great gathering spot if you host an event here. It's such a fun place to hangout OR host a beach bash. We drank mango mojito galore.
In addition to the major venue reporting we did. We always take field notes wherever we go. Here are our reporter notes from our awesome journey.
FIELD NOTES: FOUR SEASONS, BORA BORA
1. Always wear makeup around Jose Villa and Joel Serrato. Their cameras are everywhere.
2. Don't make claims like "i never get sunburned". Trust me, you will get lots of sun here.
3. Buy bottles and bottles of the local lotions.
4. Always put your hair in a ponytail or bun when you go jet skiing. Unless you love to rock giant knots or are growing out dreadlocks.
5. If you embark on any boat excursions ask for Stephen. Trust us. Then ask him to play his 'la banana' song on his Ukelelu. Again, trust us.
6. Put your fears aside and go swimming with the sharks. Remember happy sharks come from Bora Bora, they could care less about you. They are on island time.
7. Order the mango mojitos. Ask for a triple.
8. After drinking lots of these mango mojitos, get a massage. You will fall asleep the moment the magical hands of the masseuse touch you. The rooms are perched on the ocean so you will hear real waves crashing. Not the recorded wave sounds that you find in most spas.
9. Try the Poisson Cru. It has Red Tuna, vegetables, coconut milk, lime and white rice. It's delicious.
10. Order a bottle of champagne. Drink it while sitting in the hot tub, and watching the sun set on the ocean.
11. Be prepared for the warmest, cleanest and most turquoise water you will ever see, followed by soul cleansing sunsets.
12. Jump off of your water bungalow into the ocean like Ariel the mermaid. Take a tip from Grey Likes and go skinny dipping at nighttime.
13. Be ready to come back more refreshed and glowing than you have ever been. It's truly magical at The Four Seasons, Bora Bora. You will feel like you have special super human powers upon return.
"I just wanna go on more adventures. Be around good energy. Connect with people. Learn new things. Grow."