Bora Bora over the sea villa

Luxury in Paradise: An Inside Look at French Polynesia’s Top 5-Star Resorts

As we journey across the globe, our quest for luxury and tranquility leads us to a paradise in the South Pacific Ocean – French Polynesia, situated halfway between California and Australia.

Boasting serene blue lagoons, thriving coral reefs, awe-inspiring mountain terrains, and luxurious overwater accommodations, French Polynesia represents an epitome of tropical paradise attracting globetrotters from every corner of the world. Renowned locations within the archipelago include Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and the pristine, unspoiled beauty of the Marquesas Islands.

From some of the world’s most spectacular luxury resorts, we present you some of the top 5-star resorts/hotels that French Polynesia has to offer. Four of these resorts are already listed best by this year’s Travel + Leisure Readers survey.

Tahiti, the vibrant center of the South Pacific, is the biggest among a series of islands constituting French Polynesia. The term “Tahiti” can denote either the primary island or the entire region. Often recognized as The Islands of Tahiti, French Polynesia comprises 118 islands and atolls dispersed over an impressive nautical expanse equivalent to the size of Western Europe. Despite this, these minuscule islands — many of which continue to be uninhabited — only form a combined landmass of a mere 1,600 square miles (4,100 sq. km).

The islands lie at a midpoint between Los Angeles, California, and Sydney, Australia. They share the same time zone as Hawaii and are situated as far south of the equator as Hawaii is north. While the word “islands” often evokes images of a remote, untouched paradise, many mistakenly believe they are located far away. In truth, Tahiti is merely eight hours away from Los Angeles, debunking the notion of it being a distant destination.

5 Best Resorts in the French Polynesia

st regis bora bora resort

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort: Bora Bora, French Polynesia

You can stay in the largest overwater villas in French Polynesia and the South Pacific, starting at 1,550 square feet, and marvel at the turquoise blue waters visible from the glass panel floors. For ultimate privacy, you could reserve a secluded beach villa surrounded by palm trees. There would be no request too small or unattainable for the Butlers, the Signature St. Regis service, available around the clock.

Visitors could sail around Bora Bora’s azure waters, or dive under to meet black tip reef sharks and rays up close. After your island adventure, you could swim in the Lagoonarium, work out in the fitness center or unwind with a spa treatment.

Guests might order a cocktail at the swim-up bar, or sample international and Polynesian-inspired cuisine at the four restaurants.

The luxury resort offers an awe-inspiring backdrop for destination weddings, honeymoons, and company retreats in Bora Bora.

Check availability and compare prices on the hotel’s webpage, Booking.com, Tripadvisor


Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora: Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Spacious overwater bungalow suites, beachfront villa estates and underwater adventures welcome you at this sand-fringed idyll in the heart of French Polynesia.

Take in the island’s best views of Mount Otemanu and toast sunsets from your overwater villa’s private plunge pool, marvel at the Tahitian night sky, or simply lose yourself in our lagoon, where the waters teem with exotic reef fish and colourful corals.

Check availability and compare prices on the hotel’s webpage, Booking.com, Tripadvisor


Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Conrad Bora Bora Nui: Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Situated at the southwest extremity of Motu To’opua, a petite islet nestled between Bora Bora’s mainland and coral reef, the resort gazes outward toward the open sea. The majestic Mount Otemanu presents a stunning backdrop to the hotel when viewed from the water. The rooms and villas are privileged with vistas of the lagoon and a limitless blue horizon.

The Conrad Bora Bora Nui offers a spectrum of guest accommodations, featuring garden villas, infinity villas, and overwater pool villas. Guest facilities encompass three restaurants, three hotel bars, an infinity pool, complimentary water sports gear, and an exclusive private island known as Motu Tapu, which is accessible by boat and exclusively available for guests. The tranquil Hina Spa, located at the pinnacle of the hillside, delivers stunning panoramic views of the resort’s breathtaking surroundings.

Check availability and compare prices on the hotel’s webpage, Booking.com, Tripadvisor


InterContinental Bora Bora Resort

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa: Bora Bora, French Polynesia

The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is a waterborne sanctuary in the South Pacific, offering exclusively spacious overwater villas.

Located on the southeastern flank of the coral reef, these lavish abodes overlook the magnificent Mount Otemanu and offer breathtaking panoramas of Bora Bora.

Within the resort, contemporary architectural design intertwines seamlessly with the traditional Polynesian aesthetic, accentuating a color palette that mirrors the lagoon’s sapphire blue expanse.

Check availability and compare prices on the hotel’s webpage, Booking.com, Tripadvisor


Le Bora Bora

Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts: Bora Bora, French Polynesia

As a part of the esteemed Relais & Châteaux Collection, Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts proudly offers some of the most authentically designed accommodations in Bora Bora. Situated at the southernmost point of Motu Tevairoa, the largest islet speckling the outer reef to the northwest, the resort boasts an ideal location. Merely a ten-minute boat ride from the airport and a fifteen-minute journey across the lagoon from Vaitape, it holds the distinction of being the most conveniently situated resort among those positioned away from the mainland.

Check availability and compare prices on the hotel’s webpage, Booking.com, Tripadvisor


When is the best time to travel?

French Polynesia, with its tropical climate, is an all-year-round getaway destination. The Tuamotu Islands of the archipelago see about 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, making it one of the sunniest places globally. The islands experience mild, fairly stable temperatures, cooled by Pacific trade winds. In the northern islands, the average ambient temperature aligns with the calm, turquoise lagoon waters at around 78°F/25°C, while the southern islands, Austral and Gambier, experience cooler climates.

The region doesn’t have traditional seasons but rather two distinct weather patterns: the dry and humid seasons. The dry season, from May to October, features mostly clear skies, with occasional showers, and temperatures between 71°F and 80°F/21°C and 27°C. However, the stronger trade winds during this time can disrupt water activities and cause some disturbance in overwater bungalows. The humid season, from November to April, is slightly warmer, with temperatures ranging from 77°F to 95°F/25°C to 35°C, and accompanied by frequent, albeit usually brief, tropical showers. These showers often lead to stunning rainbows and sunsets, but the risk of prolonged downpours and cyclones is also heightened during this period.

How to get there?

Traveling to French Polynesia usually involves air travel as the primary method of transportation due to its remote location in the South Pacific.

Accessing The Islands of Tahiti by airplane is straightforward from numerous countries along the Pacific Rim. Direct flights are available from regions like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii, other parts of the United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, France, and Chile, all of which land at Faa’a International Airport (PPT) – the sole international airport in The Islands of Tahiti. Several airlines provide flights to this airport, including Air Tahiti Nui, Air France, French Bee, and United Airlines, among others. Flights are typically available from major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, Paris, and Auckland.

Once you reach Tahiti, you can take local flights to other islands in French Polynesia. Air Tahiti operates regular flights from Tahiti to many of the outer islands such as Bora Bora, Moorea, and the Marquesas.

Another option to reach or move between the islands is by sea. Several cruise lines offer cruises to and around French Polynesia, and ferries also operate between some of the closer islands.

Visa Requirement

It is the sole responsibility of all travelers visiting The Islands of Tahiti to ensure they possess the required documents, such as visas and special permits, for entry and full compliance with all legal requirements based on their nationality, country of origin, final destination, transit conditions, and the regulations of the transportation carrier.

Furthermore, travelers must diligently verify the validity dates of their travel documents and arrange for renewals as needed. It is advisable for travelers to carefully consider visa processing times and locate the appropriate application forms in advance, should a visa be necessary for travel from their country.

Take the visa wizard to check if you need a visa.

Top 5 Tours in French Polynesia

 

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