Widely known as honeymoon destinations, the islands of French Polynesia see more vacationing couples than families, and with their serene atmospheres and super-romantic features (overwater bungalows, adult-only pools, fine-dining restaurants), these seven luxury hotels are no exception. In fact, most of the resorts on this list are located on their own private motu (island) and many have a dedicated on-staff romance concierge, who can help guests plan private candlelight dinners and sunset sails, or even proposals, weddings, and vow renewals. Without further “I do,” we present the most romantic hotels in Bora Bora, Taha’a, and Tahiti, dream destinations in French Polynesia.
Overwater bungalows -- many with stunning views of Mt. Otemanu -- are the only accommodation option at the InterContinental (not that we're complaining). The 80 bungalows feature flat-screen TVs, Bose sound systems, and open, spa-like bathrooms with two-person rainfall showers and large soaking tubs next to floor-to-ceiling windows. Property features include a beautiful infinity pool, a small protected lagoon that's great for snorkeling, and a large beach with hammocks and free non-motorized water sports. But the piece de resistance is the spa. World-renowned for its incorporation of ocean elements into every spa ritual, the 43,000-square-foot Thalasso Spa is -- in a word -- magnificent. Other amenities include three restaurants and two bars, plus guests have free access to sister property, InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort and all of its amenities. Almost all guests at the InterContinental are couples, many of whom are celebrating anniversaries or honeymoons.
The luxurious St. Regis is one of the most popular hotels for weddings and honeymoons in Bora Bora. The 44-acre property has an exclusive romance concierge that regularly creates custom honeymoon, anniversary, and wedding itineraries for couples: private candlelit dinners, moonlight cruises, and private cooking classes or picnics. The romance concierge also arranges weddings (including underwater ceremonies), proposals, and vow renewals. The hotel's 89 overwater and beachfront bungalows are the largest in French Polynesia, and are richly appointed with modern island decor and thoughtful amenities. Four on-site restaurants, including a Jean-Georges outpost, two beautiful pools, a large beachfront, and a protected lagoonarium are a mere sampling of the incredible amenities here. The spa -- one of Bora Bora's best -- offers traditional Polynesian beauty treatments. All hotel guests have free access to the spa’s whirlpools, steam room, and sauna, as well as the 24-hour fitness center, and two tennis courts.
One of the best resorts in Bora Bora, the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is located on a private motu off of the main island. While couples are certainly the majority here, the Four Seasons is the only luxury resort in Bora Bora that manages to feel both romantic and family-friendly: The quiet grounds feel private enough for honeymooners, while the list of daily activities and fantastic kids' club also attract families. But couples won't be aware of other guests in one of the 115 overwater and beachfront bungalows, each beautifully appointed with luxe Polynesian decor. The overwater bungalows -- far and away the most popular room option -- are set above the crystalline lagoon and are perfectly positioned for watching the sun rise or set. The resort also features a stunning infinity pool, a beautiful beach and protected lagoon, a top-notch spa and workout facility, and four on-site restaurants.
The Brando is one of the world's most exclusive private island retreats. (Arriving at the resort via a private plane adds to the resort's exclusivity, and its high price.) Named in honor of actor Marlon Brando, who purchased the island after falling in love with the destination during the filming of "Mutiny on the Bounty," the resort harbors 35 private eco-friendly villas with spa bathrooms, plunge pools, and direct access to empty stretches of pristine white-sand beach. The no-expenses-spared all-inclusive services include cuisine from a Michelin two-star chef, one treatment per day at a holistic spa, and unlimited activities, from exploring the crystalline lagoon in a Polynesian outrigger canoe to attending lectures about local marine life and Polynesian dance lessons.
Located on a private motu, the luxurious Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa -- a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux collection of hotels -- is a favorite of honeymooners and anniversary celebrants, as well as a few A-list celebrities looking for seclusion. (Families with children may feel out of place at Le Taha’a, where the atmosphere is pin-drop quiet and overwhelmingly catered towards couples.) The exclusive hideaway has 57 overwater and beach bungalows with authentic Polynesian decor; overwater bungalows have large outdoor decks with cushioned lounge chairs and ladders that lead straight into the lagoon below, while beach villas have private plunge pools and an exclusive beach area. The resort’s three restaurants and bars make great use of local ingredients, especially famed Taha’a vanilla. Besides a weekly Polynesian show, there isn’t much to do here in terms of nightlife. And though the resort offers a free shuttle to the main island of Taha’a, there isn’t much to do there either. But most guests are happy spending their days lounging around the freeform pool, snorkeling in the shallow waters off-shore, or relaxing at the on-site spa.
A stunning luxury resort with beautiful views of Mt. Otemanu, Le Meridien Bora Bora caters primarily to couples. Guests tying the knot or celebrating a honeymoon or anniversary can plan custom romantic itineraries with the on-site romance concierge. The romance concierge can book private sunset sails, romantic dinners under the stars, or arrange for flower petals to be scattered across beds or soaking tubs. Although guests cannot be legally married at the resort, Le Meridien can host symbolic ceremonies and lavish events. There are six designated spots used for weddings and vow renewals across the property, including the gorgeous overwater wedding chapel. Le Meridien's two pools, large beach, and protected lagoon are on par with amenities at similar hotels, but there is no full-service spa, and rooms (the majority of which are overwater bungalows) are noticeably smaller than ones at competing resorts.
For many travelers, the 62-room, four-pearl InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort strikes a nice balance between amenity-packed luxury and small-resort privacy. Like other top Bora Bora resorts, Le Moana has gorgeous overwater bungalows, a beautiful beach, a nice pool, and a few quality restaurants. It doesn’t have a spa, a turtle sanctuary, a romance concierge, or its own protected lagoon -- but here, fewer amenities translates to fewer crowds, a quiet atmosphere, and plenty of privacy. Plus, as one of the only upscale resorts on Bora Bora’s main island, Le Moana is within walking distance of local shops, restaurants, and famed Matira Beach. Le Moana is significantly cheaper than sister property InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, but Le Moana guests can use its (much nicer) amenities for free.