Whether you stay one night or one week, there are many great resorts in Tahiti from which to choose. Here are the best resorts in French Polynesia:
1. Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Nestled in a private cove of white sand and lava rock, the 5-star, newly renovated Conrad Bora Bora Nui rises from the middle of crystalline waters protected by a string of small islets. The overwater bungalows are a dream, with soaking tubs and indulgent comforts opening up to serene waters. The 3,330-square-foot infinity pool of the resort blends into views of the lagoon. The resort features four restaurants, a fitness center, a hilltop spa with al fresco treatment areas, WiFi, and a Kids’ Club. The King Pool Overwater Villas come with a private pool and deck.
At the Polynesian Dinner and Show, French Polynesia’s culture is brought to life in a spectacular fire and dance show presented alongside a buffet dinner. On some nights, you can partake in the Ahi Ma’a dinner, made in a Tahitian oven in the sand.
2. Paul Gauguin Cruises
Designed specifically for Polynesia, the Paul Gauguin is a deluxe vessel offering all-inclusive small-ship luxury to just 332 guests. Flawless, friendly service from a European-trained staff emulates the delightfully unhurried and unregimented Polynesian way of life. Spacious ocean-view staterooms, most with balconies or verandas, open to sweet-scented tropical breezes and lush island vistas. Fine international and French cuisine is served on an open-seating basis in three restaurants. Polynesia’s translucent, shimmering aqua lagoons are begging to be explored and there is no better place to do so than from the Paul Gauguin’s retractable watersports marina.
3. Four Seasons Resort
The five-pearl Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora has broad appeal for all types of luxury travelers. It’s the only resort in Bora Bora where families, honeymooners, and friend groups all manage to peacefully coexist — and it’s not hard to see why. The resort’s 115 overwater and beachfront bungalows are beautifully appointed with luxe Polynesian decor, and standard rooms can accommodate up to four people thanks to a pullout couch. Features are impressive here as well. The resort is home to a stunning infinity pool, a beautiful beach and protected lagoon, a top-notch spa and workout facility, and four on-site restaurants. Plus, it has both kids’ and teens’ clubs with a host of daily activities. Freebies like Wi-Fi, non-motorized water sports, and snorkel gear are nice perks, but hardly outweigh the mighty costs of everything else.
4. The Brando
The Brando Resort combines luxury and environmental sustainability to create one of the finest eco-friendly resorts in the world. Located on the Tetiaroa atoll, also known as Marlon Brando’s private island, this resort is meant to carry out his vision and his legacy. It is 100% energy independent and supports a number of research and conservation initiatives.
5. Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa
Bora Bora is synonymous with French Polynesia, but there are islands of equal tropical paradise status. Take this private islet close enough to see Mount Otemanu and the vanilla island (Taha’a) but refreshingly remote feeling with only 58 overwater bungalows, suites, and beach villas. It’s one of only three Relais & Chateaux property in the country, which is like a stamp of approval indicating the cuisine is incomparable. Indeed, from Polynesian-themed buffets and live grill that come with a side of traditional Tahitian music and dance to quieter French-Polynesian fusion dinners at Ohiri and seaside lunches of poisson cru, it’s mouthwatering.
The design throughout is special, incorporating elements signature to the islands—think a lobby that echoes an outrigger canoe, coconut handicrafts, and a verdant treehouse-like restaurant. Deep-sea fishing, sailing, diving and waterfall hiking are on offer, but a morning snorkeling through the coral garden—which feels like floating through the best aquarium in the world—is the most awe-inspiring use of your time.
6. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
Around the bend from the Four Seasons, The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort boasts the largest overwater villas in the South Pacific, starting at 1,550 square feet. Of the 89 villas, the crown jewel is the Royal Estate, a 13,000-square-foot compound surrounded by coral with its own private beach, a hideaway which made an appearance in tabloids worldwide back in 2006 when Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban chose it for their honeymoon. They could also have chosen another beach villa in the 44-acre property with a private helicopter pad.
Like other St. Regis resorts, 24-hour butlers are ready when you are. And brand names are on view throughout the resort: Among the four restaurants is the French/Asian Lagoon Restaurant by Jean-Georges, and the spa is affiliated with the French skin care company Clarins. And like the Four Seasons, there is a separate inner lagoon called the Lagoonarium; it provides guaranteed snorkeling because the resort stocks it with a rainbow assortment of fish.
7. Intercontinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort
Adorned by white sand and turquoise water, the InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort is located to the south side of the main island, at the famous Matira point. The latter is formed by two white sand beaches, a windward beach on Taahana Bay and a leeward beach on Matira bay. The hotel, situated only 5 miles (8 kms) from the main village of Vaitape, offers a breathtaking view of the lagoon, but also of the impressive Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia.
The 64 beach and overwater bungalows all feature a large sun terrace, living room, bedroom and beautiful bathroom with bath and dressing area decorated with live vanilla plants. In the overwater bungalows, the glass coffee table in the living room looks into the natural aquarium of the lagoon, with its clear turquoise water and sand bottom, illuminated at night.
8. Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort
The Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort is set on a secluded beach within a protected marine area on the eastern side of Moorea, close to the Temae airport and Vaiare ferries. It offers 113 sleek bungalows, built with natural materials, directly over the water, on the beach, or in the gardens. The overwater bungalows are some of the largest on the island, coming in one- to two-bedroom villas with multiple bathrooms, a lounge, deck, outdoor Jacuzzi, and direct access to the lagoon.
The Pure restaurant puts on traditional dance shows nightly, and guests can dine barefoot in the sand at the K restaurant under a cathedral ceiling made of Kahaia wood.
9. Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa
The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is centrally located on a sandy beach between Moorea’s two iconic bays. This northern placement creates the perfect setting to admire both the sunrise to the east and the sunset to the west from the comfort of your own overwater bungalow. The resort is also easily accessible by scenic drive from the airport or ferry dock, taking ten or fifteen minutes respectively.
10. Le Meridien Bora Bora
When it opened in the late ’90s, Le Meridien Bora Bora was the first luxury hotel of its kind in the area. Since then, it has consistently remained one of Bora Bora’s most exclusive resorts. Its two pools, large beach, and protected lagoon are on par with amenities at similar hotels, but there is no full-service spa, and rooms are noticeably smaller than competitors’. What sets the Meridien apart is its on-site turtle sanctuary, where guests can visit rescued turtles and learn about the hotel’s efforts to rehabilitate them.
11. Vahine Island Resort
A true South Pacific paradise island surrounded by crystal clear waters and lively coral gardens. Vahine is both pristine and serene. The food is exceptional and the bungalows are vast. And the sunsets? Some of the very best in the world.