Honeymoon Part 2- Bora Bora
We said goodbye to Moorea and hopped on a plane to Bora Bora. The plane landed and we went to get off of it. While collecting our carryons we heard "next stop Bora Bora" over the speaker. Apparently planes there work like our trains here! Once we landed in Bora Bora, we had a boat waiting to take us to the hotel. I think that its a v-nice touch that the hotel sends private boats to pick up each of their guests. +10000 points and we hadn't even gotten to the hotel! The fresh flower leis didn't hurt the arrival points either!
I have the mental reel of us pulling up to the hotel engrained in my mind for forever. The iconic huts jut out into the water, the insane mountain was showing off, and the water was the most crystal clear and blue water I have ever seen BY FAR. It sh** on Moorea's water, which was the clearest I had seen. Prior to the trip, I was worried that photos would overhype the destination. There are so many filters and ways to boost color when editing pictures. We purposely didn't look at any photos of our destinations and did not follow the hotels on Instagram in order to not become 'immume' to the beauty before arriving. Even if we had, the photos would not have done it justice AT ALL. The same can be said for my photos. It was just so much more spectacular in person and that water was just so much more vibrant.
We were greeted on the dock of our hotel, the St. Regis, by a butler who handed us drinks and walked us into the lobby. He then gave us a tour of the property via golf cart. We were SO pleasantly surprised by the property. We expected to be obsessed with our room and to not want to leave it. We didn't expect to be so in love with the resort property in general. It was freaking unbelievable! It was like a whole other world, tucked away right on this Motu (little island inside the barrier reef). The property was huge and was 98 percent nature and 2 percent buildings. There was so much to explore and so much beauty to soak in everywhere that we turned.
Our last stop on the tour was our villa and it was everything that I hoped that it would be. It was the size of our apartment and was truly what honeymoon fantasies are made of. I wish that I could live there permanently. I'd have to swap out some of the bright colors if I did for some white decor but it was cool to have Tahitian decor for our vacation.
The coolest thing inside was our shower. The bathroom had sliding mirrors at the vanity that could be opened up so that it was an open flow between the rooms. I loved how you could shut the mirrors because it gave the option for privacy. Most of the time we kept them open though because you could look straight out and see the blue water off of our deck! The shower didn't have any doors and was just an open rain shower. That means that we got to stare at the insane view outside while in our shower...WIN!
The best part about our villa was obviously the outdoor space. It was SICK to have this place that we could be alone and experience paradise together. We had two cushioned lounge chairs (cushions are the first thing that I check for in pictures of hotels now sadly haha but they are game changers for even ‘normies’). We also had a table and chairs, which was perfect for ordering room service. We looked out at the amazing water and it was insanely peaceful. It was a little less private than we expected it to be. There are walls on either side of the area with the lounge chairs, so your neighbors can’t see you from their villas. However, everyone on jet skis, canoes…can see you from the water. There were a few times when boats would just stop in front of the villa and the guys would look over at us. I think that they are maybe looking for celebrities and hoping to get the Bieber d*** pics part 2. This only happened a couple of times and besides that, it was really secluded feeling.
The first morning I woke up to find my cute husband reading out on the deck for sunrise. Generally speaking, I thought that the sunrises and sunsets were a little anticlimactic considering we were in this beautiful tropical place. It was definitely beautiful to see but the sky wasn’t putting on a crazy show. I think that it has something to do with how the atmosphere is different there (same reason as to why the clouds are so low). Suddenly I’m a hard core scientist who knows things?! I know nothing haha.
Breakfast was included with our room and it was a legit buffet spread. One of my favorite parts of vacation is the breakfast buffet so I obviously went IN on it. I attribute most of my vacation weight to the endless croissants that I ate. They also let you order things off of the menu, which is perfect for someone who values freshness and hot food to an extreme like I do.
The hotel provides complimentary bikes that are part of a shared program, like in Amsterdam. You can grab any bike that you see, as long as someone did leave their belongings in the basket and mark it as theirs. I haven’t really gone on bikes since my accident and was scared but it was good for the flat surfaces. I held onto one of the bikes for the duration of our stay because it was the lightest and easiest to maneuver. The bikes were perfect for exploring the large property. You can also call a golf cart at any time, but I quickly learned that I could be in increased pain if I got a bad golf cart driver so we walked everywhere and sometimes rode bikes.
We explored all of the little canals and different areas of the lagoonarium. We got our bearings for where everything was and oohed and aahed over everything. There is something to be said for wandering around aimlessly in a new place with your partner. My favorite memories from when Jay and I studied abroad were from the times when we would just walk around for hours discovering new things. We got lost CONSTANTLY, but it was okay because we just discovered new alleys and canals in Venice, for example. Well, our first day in Bora Bora was a lot like that. I feel mega grateful that I got to wander around a new place with this guy as my husband.
You guys, the people there literally SING their greetings. Everyone is just so happy there because how can you not be?! The staff was all so friendly and helpful. They learned our names, which was SO impressive!
The marine biologist at the hotel does an educational fish feeding and shark feeding twice a week. We went to the fish feeding at the lagoonarium and were shocked to see how many fish there were. There is a net with holes in it where the private property begins. The fish can swim in and out at their leisure. One fish (this crazy blue one) is the only one that can’t leave because he is too big. He came when he was only a baby but never swam out when he was small enough. Clearly they like the lush life at the St. Regis and the endless supply of food…I’m with him!
Jay made fun of me a lot for being an “8 year old in school” at the shark feeding. He does a pretty good imitation of me saying, “do fish sleep?” FYI the answer is that some do and some don’t…this lemon shark never stops moving because he has to move to get oxygen but he sometimes swims slower to rest and the lagoon shark sleeps on the bottom of the ocean. I learned a lot…as in we stayed after the session for a solid 20 minutes chatting with the sweet marine biologist about everything. I feel bad for the sharks there because they were originally trapped by other fisherman by accident and brought to the hotel. They are treated really well and they do their best to not interfere with their natural way of life. I wish they could be free and treated well, but it seems like there are a lot of problems with Tahitian tourist culture with how they use sharks as entertainment and let people swim with them (sharks are supposed to be afraid of humans but they are being positively reinforced to want to be near them since they are getting fed by the humans).
We spent the afternoon at our villa and then went to this ‘secret spot’ on the beach where the staff lives, to watch the sun set. We literally chased down the sun across the property and got to watch it pop through the trees and disappear below the horizon. It was a magical collection of moments that I will never, ever forget.
My friend, Michelle, gifted us tickets to the Polynesian Show for my bridal shower. We had Tahitian food and then the show began. I know that they do this stuff for tourists but it was so cool to see and experience. I pretty much want one of the grass skirt things that make twerking look cool.
Our travel agent was able to get us a free couples massage at the spa since we were on our honeymoon. The hotel makes you send a copy of your marriage license to them in order for you to get the benefits, which is crazy! It makes sense though since SO many people there were on anniversary trips (more than honeymooning maybe). After breakfast we posted up at the beach in front of the spa. It was my favorite spot at the resort because it had SUCH a cool view of the mountain and it was always super secluded. You can go to the spa beach and use the spa facilities at any time during your stay at the hotel, which is cool. We snorkeled in the lagoonarium and I sucked at it. I was being stalked by a school of fish and basically spent my time swimming away from them like a baby. Jay kept getting water in his snorkel from laughing so hard at me.
The massage was awesome! They give us disposable thong underwear (yes, US), that you can wear during the massage. I thought that it was weird that they were thongs but it made sense after we saw how intensely they massage your glutes. Let’s just say that Jay was a fan (roll eye face).
That night, we took a boat to the main land and went to Villa Mahana, which our travel agent, Lauren, told us is a must. The boat left from the main dock of the hotel with other people who were going to dinner on the main land. The boat part was the easy part in comparison to the car ride on the windy roads once we got there. Jay and I tried asking the driver to take it easier because of my back injury but he didn’t speak any English and our poor signaling didn’t work. It was a damper on the night but I put on a good face like a champ as best as I could because it was such a romantic place. We sat out in this back garden that felt like we were in Tuscany with lots of candles. It is a tasting menu so Jay got a variety of carnivore dishes and they had a vegetarian friendly tasting menu for me (this is rare and usually pushes us away from places with fixed menus so it was awesome). Jay also did the wine pairing, which was cool. Half way through our meal it suddenly started to POUR. The restaurant didn’t have any tables inside so while the guests ran inside, the staff lifted all of the tables and brought them inside the tiny indoor space. I felt so bad for them as they hustled hard. By the time they brought everything in, the filets were floating in water and the linens were soaked. They changed out everything from the tables as we all laughed about it. There is only one boat that leaves the resort each night and one boat that comes back to the resort so they had to rush to serve us the rest of our food in time. We finished our meals inside and they kindly comped everyone’s bills for the inconvenience.
My friend, Lubin, got us a yoga class for my bridal shower. It was awesome to do yoga right on the lagoon. We saw fish swim right in front of us and we heard birds chirping. Who needs a yoga playlist when you have real life nature? Instead of closing my eyes each time that the teacher instructed us to, I looked up at the palm trees swaying in the breeze. It was such a cool experience that I will never forget. It was also the only exercise that we did the ENTIRE trip...whoops! Annddd I did it supppperr modified. There wasn't any time to waste working out so I don't have any regrets, as soft as it made me.
The other nights we went to dinner at the resort. People say that a downfall of going to Bora Bora is that you can’t leave the resort easily to go out at night and that it’s pretty quiet and dead at the resorts. I personally thought that it was an upside because we love the simplicity of walking to dinner. One of the reasons that we don’t want to move out of a city is because we love just strolling to dinner. We didn’t mind that it was quiet at night because we are used to not staying out late with my injuries. We also liked getting to bed early because it meant that we woke up early without being tired. It’s Bora Bora’s winter during our summer so the sun is out for less hours. We wanted to make sure that we enjoyed every second that the sun was up. We prioritized the daytime and loved it.
One night we got back from dinner and I went to take off my makeup and walked into our living room to see Jay like this. He was staring at the fish through our floor for an hour! And he called me the 8 year old about the fish…
My one complaint about the trip was that it was WAY too short. We spent 6 nights in Bora Bora, but we traveled during two of the days, which sucked up our time but also hurt my back for the day. So, we had four full days there, which was not even close to enough. The reality is that we would never have enough time there and would always have been sad to leave. I don’t think that I could get sick of that lifestyle with Jay, I’d only get sick of the bill.
One night we decided to just order room service to our deck. It was SUCH a great decision because we got to stay out in our bathing suits for longer and not rush to get ready for a dinner reservation. We rushed every single day getting ready for dinner because we just didn’t want to leave our deck to get in the shower! On the night that we stayed in, Jay put on his robe after he showered and I was like “DOWN!” I laid fresh towels on our lounge chairs and we laid down staring at the stars and listening to music. We ordered dinner and they set it up so nicely for us, with a candle and flower arrangement.
We both agreed that while Moorea was awesome, it felt a lot like a really legit vacation that we were taking right after getting married. It was fun to talk about the wedding and just bask in that newlywed feeling. We were majorly in love in paradise, so it was obviously awesome. However, it didn’t feel SO much different than the trip where we got engaged (dare I say that the trip that we got engaged during actually felt more different than any other awesome vacation that we could take together). This changed when we got to Bora Bora and I don’t know exactly why. It just felt more special and different. I think that most of it was because it was iconic and it was this dream that we both shared for as long as ‘we’ were even a thing. I also think that the awesome luxury lifestyle didn’t hurt. The level of service was insane and we got to just sit back and chilllllllll. I think that the secluded feel of the villa deck with the amazing view was also to thank.
I truly have to say that the best part of all was getting so much time alone with Jay. We both thrive with alone time and all of that individual attention. We were in full obsession mode and just having the best time being along with each other. Other honeymooners at the hotel tried to be friends with us and we would chat briefly but we were then kind of rude and unfriendly (which is the opposite of my M.O. in life), because we just wanted to spend all of our time alone together. We smiled non-stop and just obsessively talked about how happy we were in each moment. We tried our best to soak it all in and continuously talked about how we were living out our dreams and we couldn’t believe it.
It was made tenfold more special by the fact that we were honeymooning. We straight up abused the words wife, husband, Mr. Robinson and Mrs. Robinson. We couldn’t get close enough to each other, even with all of the space that we had to ourselves. Basically, we were mega annoying so I won’t drone on about it. I have been struggling with how to not make the whole thing sound cliché when people ask how it is because it just WAS amazing and it WAS insanely romantic and it WAS a dream come true. So, there you have it. It felt so special and crazy to know that this man was now my husband. We spent way too much time staring at his wedding band. I think that he looks like such a MAN with it on and it’s alarmingly hot.
I have one more post coming with our boat tour and snorkeling pictures so stay tuned!
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Our AWESOME travel agent, Lauren, can be reached at: Lauren@smartflyer.com