Your Complete Guide to a Luxury Honeymoon in Bora Bora

Celebrate your union on this dreamy South Pacific island.
Bora Bora's lush greenery with overwater bungalows in the distance
Photo: TriggerPhoto | Getty
Suzie Dundas - The Knot Contributor.
by
Suzie Dundas
Suzie Dundas - The Knot Contributor.
Suzie Dundas
The Knot Contributor
  • Suzie is a freelance writer for The Knot, with a focus on honeymoon content and couples’ travel.
  • She’s written for publications like Outside Magazine, TripSavvy, Insider, Playboy, Forbes, SkyLife Magazine, Popular Mechanics, the SF Chron and more.
  • Suzie is an avid traveller, and she’s both stayed in luxury over-the-water villas in the Maldives, and slept in the plastic tube of an indoor playground at an airport when he...
Updated Feb 12, 2024
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In the heart of French Polynesia, the beautiful island destination of a Bora Bora honeymoon has been a travel trend for glamorous, jet-setting Americans since the 1950s. After all, when it comes to top honeymoon spots, nothing conjures up a more romantic or exotic appeal than Bora Bora.

The first Americans to visit Bora Bora were actually servicemen stationed in French Polynesia during World War II. When they came home, they started spreading the word about the impossible beauty of the island, and celebrities soon followed suit. Hotel Bora Bora opened in 1961 with the world's very first overwater bungalows and it didn't take long for nearly every luxury resort in the lagoon to innovate with these new accommodations.

Today, Bora Bora is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world for couples who want privacy; both Jennifer Anniston and Justin Theroux and Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban opted to honeymoon in Bora Bora. The main island has an absolutely stunning (and extinct) twin-peaked volcano in the center: Mount Otemanu. The rocky peak looks different from every side of the island, inspiring animations even featured in Disney's Moana. With reefs and barrier islands surrounding the volcano, plus lush jungle creeping up the volcano's sides, it's unlike any other place on earth.

Here's your quick and easy guide to a Bora Bora honeymoon for the romantic getaway of a lifetime.

Bora Bora Honeymoon Tips in this article:

Two lounge chairs on a beach in Bora Bora
Photo: Levent Bodo | Getty

Best Time to Visit Bora Bora

The best time to visit Bora Bora really depends more on your tolerance for hotel prices and a bit of rain. Temperature-wise, the average daily highs and lows in Bora Bora don't change that much; you'll always find warm weather. The "coldest" months are June and July (reverse of the US summer) with a daily high of around 82 degrees. Visit in the warmest months (January and February, more or less) and you'll have high temperatures peaking around 88. Because the daily temperature doesn't change much, neither does the ocean temperature, and you can expect water in the lagoons around 82 degrees year-round.

The high season for Bora Bora travel is during the US summer, during which time prices are at their highest. The "sweet spot" for travel to Bora Bora is April or November (when it's not exactly high season but the odds of perfect weather are high). The rainy season is December to March. Though prices are at their lowest, you'll have to contend with a slightly higher risk of rain, and probably a good deal more mosquitos once you step away from the beach. It may also be a bit hotter and more humid.

Best weather: May to October.
Festival highlights: Heiva I Bora Bora, usually held in July, celebrates Tahitian culture with traditional dance, music performances and sports competitions. The Hawaiki Nui Va'a, an annual canoe race that takes place in late October or early November, connects Bora Bora with other islands in French Polynesia through a challenging long-distance race.

Bora Bora Honeymoon Planning Tips

When planning a honeymoon in Bora Bora, booking well in advance is crucial—especially during the peak season from May to October. Doing so will help you to secure the best spots and take advantage of early booking discounts or honeymoon packages.

Bora Bora is super luxurious without being pretentious. Overwater bungalows are the de facto norm and many hotel suites come with private butlers, but there's no pressure to be flashy or show off. You can dress up if you want for a romantic dinner, but you can also toss on a swimsuit coverup and flip-flops and be good to go.

The destination is perfect for adventurous types: scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, cycling, and more are all on the proverbial menu. You can be as active (or not) as you'd like. While honeymoon packages are fairly common, they may not be called "honeymoon packages." You'll find deals at many resorts that bundle your room with everything from couples massages to romantic dinners and jet ski rentals. Buying your room as part of a resort package will usually save you a few dollars.

That being said, here are a few things to keep in mind while you're figuring out your plane tickets and other logistics:

Entry requirements: A US passport that is valid for at least six months is required. A visa is not required if you're entering on a regular tourist passport and staying no more than 90 days.
Language:
French and Tahitian are the official languages of French Polynesia, with French being the primary language spoken in Bora Bora. English is widely understood in tourist areas.
Location:
Bora Bora is an island in the South Pacific, located about 143 miles northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia.
Currency:
The currency used in Bora Bora is the Pacific Franc (XPF). US dollars may be accepted at some tourist-oriented businesses, but it's best to have local currency for everyday transactions.
Flight time to Bora Bora:
From Los Angeles, the flight time to Tahiti (Faa'a International Airport in Papeete) is approximately 8 hours, followed by a shorter domestic flight (30-50 minutes) to Bora Bora's Motu Mute Airport.
Getting around:
Car, bicycle, scooter, boat or by foot.

Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to join your vendor team. Browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Bora Bora honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

Best Bora Bora Honeymoon Hotels & Resorts

Finding the best Bora Bora honeymoon accommodations starts with deciding on the type of experience you're hoping to have. This gorgeous island getaway is renowned for its luxurious overwater bungalows that offer direct access to the crystal-clear lagoon waters, providing an intimate and unforgettable setting for newlyweds. These accommodations often come with amenities like private decks, glass floor panels to view sea life and personal plunge pools.

For those looking for a blend of luxury and traditional Polynesian ambiance, you can also find beachfront villas surrounded by lush tropical gardens. You'll want to consider what kind of view you want, whether it's a stunning sunset over the ocean or views of Mount Otemanu. Here are some of the best Bora Bora honeymoon hotels and resorts to get you started.

A dock leading to a beautiful bora bora resort at sunset
Photo: Mint Images | Getty

Le Bora Bora

Recently refurbished to be even more luxurious than it was, Le Bora Bora is one of the original resorts on Bora Bora and one of the first to offer overwater bungalows – and they have no shortage of them, with curving walkways spread out over the lagoon leading to lux private suites. However, if you'd prefer beach access, you can also choose from suites on land (without forgoing your private pool.) While no one would call Le Bora Bora (owned by Pearl Resorts) inexpensive, it's one of the island's best resorts for less than $500 a night (in low season, of course), especially as it offers all the luxury of even pricier hotels. They also host the occasional Polynesian fire-dancing sunset show for guests.

5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort has just about every luxurious feature you could imagine in an over-the-water honeymoon hotel. But what keeps it a cut above most other resorts is its "lagoonarium," a dedicated swimming area filled with seawater. The resort has huge floating platforms placed around the lagoon to make it easy to snorkel and jump in whenever you want. The protected area feels like a lagoon within a lagoon and is at your disposal when you stay here (as is a luxury spa with options for couples massages and treatments). The St. Regis also houses several gourmet restaurants and downright massive villas styled with traditional Tahitian influences.

5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Conrad Bora Bora Nui

The Conrad Bora Bora Nui is probably one of the most luxurious resorts in Bora Bora. The over-the-water villas have entire sliding glass walls you can open to remove the divide between your bed and views of the lagoon and coral reef, and you'll have a dedicated private butler if you spring for the Royal Pool Overwater Villa. To make your honeymoon fund go a bit further, consider booking a garden view room and moving into a fancier villa for just the last few days. No matter what room you're in, you'll have access to the resort's lux features like an open-air spa and opportunities for Ahi Ma'a, a traditional Polynesia dinner feast cooked in an underground oven.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora combines ultra-high service standards with the laid back vibe of Polynesian culture. They offer overwater bungalow suites with private plunge pools, a full-service spa and four restaurants, so you'll have all you need for a relaxing and luxurious honeymoon in Bora Bora.

5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Pro tip: If you're looking for accommodation that'll provide you more privacy or lower prices, you might also want to consider staying at a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

Things to Do in Bora Bora for Couples

The things to do on a Bora Bora honeymoon can go beyond relaxing on white sandy beaches, if you want it to. Snorkeling and scuba diving provide an up-close experience with vibrant coral reefs and colorful marine life—you could even sign up for a shark and ray feeding excursion, where you can swim with these incredible creatures (under the guidance of experienced professionals, of course).

Canoeing or paddleboarding offers a tranquil way to explore the calm waters of the lagoon, while a sunset cruise can provide a romantic backdrop to enjoy each other's company. Hiking, shopping for local crafts and enjoying traditional Polynesian food are fabulous options to explore, too.

Colorful fish underwater in Bora Bora
Photo: MaFelipe | Getty

Tour the Lagoon

American soldiers wrote home about how beautiful Bora Bora's lagoon was during WWII, and it doesn't look a darn bit different today. The deepest spot in the turquoise-blue lagoon is only about 150 feet, with an average depth of around 15 feet. That makes it borderline perfect for snorkeling… or swimming with sharks.

There are a few places along the lagoon where you can snorkel in water only about four feet deep with black-tip sharks and stingrays. Treat them with respect, but they're very used to people and won't bother humans one bit. Several companies around the islands run lagoon tours with usually three or four stops in great snorkeling spots or near hidden white-sand beaches.

Underwater Scooter Adventure

Explore the wonders of Bora Bora's sea floor with a tour that allows you to zip around on your own underwater scooter. A panoramic dome on the underwater scooter will keep your head dry, allowing you to breathe naturally as an electric motor propels you forward.

Take a Scenic Helicopter Flight

If you thought Bora Bora was stunning from sea level, speak again when you see it from high above. While on Bora Bora, spring for a private helicopter tour to see both the islands of the Bora Bora atoll and nearby Tupai (famous for its perfect heart shape). Tours run around $350 per person and up and are only around 30 minutes long. It's a great item to add to your Bora Bora honeymoon registry fund. Tahiti Nui Helicopters is the primary tour operator in the area and runs a variety of tours, including some shorter and more affordable options that tour the Bora Bora lagoon.

Set Sail on a Sunset Cruise

Have you really been to the islands of Tahiti if you haven't set out on a sunset cruise? Well, yes. But they're such a given on the island that nearly every resort offers some version of a daily evening cruise, though you can book third-party options that are sometimes more affordable. The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora (which happens to be on a private island) can arrange private couple's sunset cruises with snacks and champagne.

Pro tip: Find some Bora Bora honeymoon activities you'd like to do and add them to your gift registry. This way, loved ones can give you one of these memorable couples experiences.

What to Pack for a Bora Bora Honeymoon

A long dock leading to an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora
Photo: Matteo Colombo | Getty

If you're staying in a resort on Bora Bora, your room will have likely all the amenities you'd have at home—probably more luxurious versions too. You don't need to pack hairdryers, snorkel gear, or even beach bags in your honeymoon luggage since nearly every resort provides all of that for you.

In most Bora Bora hotel rooms, you will need a plug adapter. Most hotels in French Polynesia use European-style (type E or type C) plugs. Save space by bringing an adapter with extra USB ports.

You may want water shoes for snorkeling in French Polynesia or crossing coral reefs. Most of the beaches and swimming areas have sandy shores, but if you're planning on being more adventurous, it's good to protect your feet from cuts. Sunscreen can be expensive on the island, so bring as much as you think you'll need.

Bora Bora's weather is quite warm year-round, so the odds of ever needing a sweater are slim. However, you may want to add a lightweight rain jacket or poncho to your packing checklist if you plan to cycle, hike, or explore markets (though downpours usually don't last very long).

Otherwise, Bora Bora is as casual or as formal as you'd like. At the gourmet restaurants at hotels, you'll often see men wearing collared shirts and women wearing sundresses, but it's rare to find a hotel that has strict dress code regulations. You'll likely have to take a small boat to reach your hotel as most are on private islands, so a good bag or backpack with secure pockets can be useful when climbing in and out of boats.

Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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