FRENCH POLYNESIAN ISLANDS  

(Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti)

 

The French Polynesian Islands are the most romantic place we have been.  You can expect honeymooners from all over the globe.  Also, very few places in the world have the topography for over-water bungalows. And besides, the french cullinary influences and wines were delightfully beyond what we expected on the islands.

 

 

Bora Bora

Bora Bora was made famous by author James A. Michener who declared it “the most beautiful island in the world.” It was awarded the title of “the best island in the world” by U.S. News.  Sand-fringed motus (small islets) on a coral reef dot its perimeter, surrounding a turquoise lagoon. It hosts two towering volcanic peaks.  Bruce’s favorite activity was an open-water swim with black fin sharks (a lot of them!).  Insert pic.  Bruce was so inspired that he got his ankle tattoo a couple days later.  Check out the pedicure pics for a good look at it!  Also, remember that line in Lost when Dr. Jack says that the island is calling him back?  Bora Bora does that to us.  We hope to get back there again soon.  

Hotel: 

Le Méridien Bora Bora is a "Polynesian paradise offering extraordinary views of the island and overlooking Mount Otemanu as well as the Bora Bora lagoon. You will have two infinity swimming pools, snorkeling equipment (fins, masks), kayak/outrigger canoes, pedal boats, ping pong, billiards, beach volleyball, stand-up paddleboards, and shuttle service to Anau.  Le Méridien Bora Bora also offers the Turtle Sanctuary, a unique opportunity to meet, greet, and learn about marine turtles in their natural environment. Guests can enjoy an abundance of other activities, including jet-skiing, a catamaran cruise, a lagoonarium, parasailing, water skiing, shark and ray feeding, deep-sea fishing, an aqua safari, and more. For an ultimate moment of relaxation, pamper yourself at the Wellness Centre with a menu of therapeutic body treatments, massages, and feet and hand treatments."

 

RESTAURANTS 

Bloody Mary’s - Don’t miss Bloody Mary’s in Bora Bora!

It is surely a wild and crazy restaurant.  Enter in on white fine sand floors, sit on coconut stools under a thatched roof and be surrounded by island vegetation. It is a barbecue joint and a steakhouse. The presentation of food for choice is a party in itself.  You pick your meal from a large display of fish and meat.  O.K., it’s pretty touristy, but it’s been around since 1979 and we think it’s a wonderful way to spend an evening.  

La Villa Mahana - Honeymooners go crazy over this dining spot.  The food is brought out beneath silver platters. Chef Damien Rinaldi Dovio trained at restaurants all over France. Make sure you book your reservation very far in advance, because this quaint gem of a restaurant is the highlight of many visitors and locals. Consider the ahi tuna marinated in local vanilla oil.

Kaina Hut - This is another sandy-floored restaurant.  Enjoy pastas in fresh sauces, delicious breadfruit gnocchi, and meats from nearby New Zealand. 

La Bounty - We LOVED this one.  Enjoy Italian and French cuisines.  It is super casual.  You can go for authentic Italian pizza or a variety of pastas, with a wide selection of sauces.  The French menu provides a variety of steaks and fish.  We like that the prices are very reasonable.    

 

 

MOOREA

Moorea is a quiet, romantic and charming island that happens to be in the shape of a heart.  It is known as the 'Island of Love'. It was formed when half of a humongous volcano crumbled to the blue-green sea.  The island of Moorea is a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers wanting to encounter face-to-face interaction with the sea life that darts among the coral.  Don’t miss a chance to see dolphins and whales with Dr. Poole's educational tour.  You can google him at: dwwe@mail.pf.  

   

We stayed at the Hotel Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. We highly recommend it.  

 

RESTAURANTS

Toatea Crepes Restaurant & Bar (On campus at the Hilton Moorea)

Our favorite happy-hour spot to watch the sunset!!  This crepe bar is built on a platform over a natural open aquarium and appears to float on the ocean.  Here you will smell the delicious crepes and partake in sweeping views over the lagoon and Moorea's majestic peaks. 

Le Mayflower - It is most famous for its house special, lobster ravioli. Tracy loved the tuna steak with tomato, basil, and garlic cream sauce; also, consider the mahi-mahi with ginger and lemon sauce.

Le Mahogany - This bistro is near the romantic Cook's Bay. It is just as popular with the locals as it is with foreigners. The restaurant has a charming tiki-hut setting, with colorful artwork and windows that open up to the surrounding tropical gardens. The menu is interestingly both Chinese and French.  Check out the French onion soup. 

La Plantation - At our hotel during happy hour, we met a group of honeymooners as we were watching the sun go down.  They began to ask us how we have stayed married for so long. We ended up inviting them to join us for dinner at La Plantation to finish our conversation.  Expect French and Cajun food while listening to a jazz band. Check out the crab cakes and Cajun gazpacho. The decor is plantation style with white cane chairs and tables. 

 

 

TAHITI

Tahiti is a location necessary to make it on your way onto the other French Polynesian Islands.  

 

Le Belvédère Restaurant 

We chose to spend our final meal/evening at Le Belvédère, before our red-eye flight home.  By far, the most spectacular view from 600m (2,000 ft.) up in the Fare Ape Valley above Papeete. The restaurant provides round-trip transportation through a winding road that leads to the restaurant.  Get there early enough to watch the sunset! We had them drop us back at the airport. We ordered the specialty of the house, a fondue Bourguignonne served with six sauces.  The food is mediocre but trust us....the view is worth it! Reservations are required.

For more OUTSIDETHENEST ADVENTURES click here.