There are 118 islands in French Polynesia, yet only one of them finds a place on nearly every traveler’s bucket list. Bora Bora is a place so nice, you’ve got to say it twice. South Pacific author James Michener called it the most mesmerizing island in the world. Indeed, visiting Bora Bora is like living in a dream. Its marine palette of cobalt, turquoise, and sapphire is unrivaled in any sea. 

bora bora overhead

So it comes as no surprise, really, that Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora rests right at the top of any bucket-list resort compilation. Indeed, in its 2023 Awards of Excellence, Luxury Travel Advisor named the property the “Best Luxury Beach Hotel Worldwide.” In other words: There’s no real competition.

overwater bungalows

The over-water suites have a magnetic draw. There are 108 of these thatched bungalows, as well as seven beachfront villa estates of two and three bedrooms. As the Four Seasons rests on its private motu or islet, every one has a spellbinding vista of mystical Mount Otemanu rising in the near distance.

Each bungalow has a private balcony and a private plunge pool overlooking the majestic waters of the South Pacific. Each accommodation features traditional teak furnishings, local artwork, a flat-screen TV, a bar, and a Nespresso machine. Guests are invited to awaken each morning before breakfast and plunge into the warm waters of the lagoon outside their private paradise.

As expected, dining options at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora are exceptional. Arii Moana is the open-air Mediterranean concept. Blending the cultural traditions of Asia, Vaimiti is my personal favorite, with a locale that provides eye-popping sunsets. (The crispy pork belly is to die for.) Breakfast is served at Tere Nui, overlooking the lagoon and Mount Otemanu. On Mondays, Tere Nui hosts a Polynesian dance show, giving guests another glimpse into Polynesian culture.

Beneath its cathedral roof, Te Mahana Spa pampers and revitalizes guests with traditional Polynesian treatments. The verdant lagoon views are remarkable, no more so than in a couples’ suite in a bungalow — with a glass floor allowing a tranquil view of fish swimming below.


The resort caters not only to couples on romantic getaways but also to families. “We are seeing more and more families joining us, especially over the holiday season,” says General Manager Romain Chanet. For those who want to do nothing at all, Four Seasons Bora Bora has you covered, but there are activities for families, individuals, and couples to fill every hour of every day. Water sports include paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling — in two lagoons or directly from your bungalow — as well as a popular jet-ski tour. There’s an open-air fitness room open 24 hours a day, for those who like to pump iron at 3 a.m., and an exclusive Kids Club for 4 to 12-year-olds. 

Daily shuttles transport guests to off-property shopping or sightseeing, and a daily lunch shuttle visits the Bora Bora Beach Club, but once you’ve arrived on your private Polynesian motu, you won’t ever have to leave — at least, not until your French visa expires. Four Seasons guests are picked up at the Bora Bora airport and taken by boat to the island, a 15-minute voyage. Most American guests arrive directly from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Seattle on nonstop nine-hour flights.

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora redefines the word “relaxing.” It exceeds all expectations of a private island resort. The serene setting — over-water villas, accented by impeccably manicured grounds, before one of the most stunning backdrops on the planet — lends a refined superiority that even the most seasoned and far-flung travelers have encountered. It stands in a class of its own.

For more information about Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora and to book your stay, visit