Author: Jill Weinlein
Date of Trip: October 2014
On to the city and port of Vaitape with a few banks, restaurants, stores and pearl shops.
Riding back to our resort, we stopped at a few snack shops, saw the Island dump and a few parking lots for locals to park and take a boat ride over to the the resorts on the various motus.
I was told the Mayor of Bora Bora allowed these resorts to be built on the motus as long at they only built 100 or less overwater bungalows. They also had to hire locals to build the grass thatched roofs and to help staff the resorts.
We stopped at the Maitai Resorts for lunch. Sitting on the sand at a table under a coconut tree and gazing out to the Sofitel Motu, we nibbled on Ahi tuna burgers and drank Hinano beer.
When we reached our resort, we turned in our bicycles and admired the fiery sunset as it melted below the horizon.
After an evening swim, we dressed and walked along the beach to a sushi restaurant near the Matira Beach hotel for dinner.
We took an outrigger canoe and paddled to a popular snorkeling spot after breakfast. Then we paddled over to a Motu to enjoy the white powder sandy beach and shallow clear water.
Back at our resort, we walked over to the local store and bought a baguette and cheese for lunch. We sat on our deck and had a light lunch, read a book and took a nap.
In the evening, we took a free cab ride to Bloody Mary’s. After checking in with the hostess, we walked over to the bar and met Herman the bartender. He fetched us a Bloody Mary and Mai Tai, while sharing with us the history of the ownership of this world renown bar and restaurant. The owner, Sir Dexter from Southern California bought the hot-spot in 1981 from the original European owner.
After our cocktail, we walked over to the fresh fish boat to order our appetizers and entrees. We had the choice of grilled fish, chicken, steak and baby back ribs for dinner. Appetizers range from fried shrimp, raw fish marinated in citrus and spices to steak kabobs. Entrees were mostly fresh fish that was caught that morning that included Marlin and Ahi tuna. It’s served with steamed vegetables, fruit and white rice.
Save room for the warm chocolate cake with coconut ice cream. We got into a small bus with other diners for a complimentary ride back to the Le Moana.
Near the resort is the Nono Tour Teremoana tour company. They offer an around the island boat tour with stops for snorkeling, shark feeding, swimming with stingrays and lunch on a private motu. Janko was our guide and entertained us from 9:30 am to 3:30 p.m. singing songs with his small guitar and sharing stories about Bora Bora. The majority of the other guests were French, yet Janko always made sure to speak in English, as well as French in telling his stories.
Everyone loved Janko, including the slippery smooth stingrays. They would swim up his body and kiss him on his face as he fed them raw fish. He made us an authentic Polynesian lunch with grilled Marlin, raw fish marinated in coconut and spices, baked taro and tapioca, a delicious coconut cake, fresh papaya and pineapple.
He told us about how the U.S. set up a base in Bora Bora in 1942 with over 5,000 servicemen staying on the island for four years. The United States built the Bora Bora airport, paved a road all around the island, strategically placed canons and lookout towers, built a church and deep harbor.
After our day with Janko we had a new appreciation of the island. We showered, swam off our dock and walked to a casual pizza restaurant about one block away from the resort.
We had to check out by 11 a.m., yet our flight from Bora Bora wasn’t until 6:30 p.m. to fly to Tahiti and then to Los Angeles, so we asked the front desk if we could take an InterContinental boat ride over to the InterContinental’s sister hotel, the Thalasso Resort and Spa on a private motu. We wanted to tour the resort and have a late lunch. The boat ride is not complimentary to the Thalasso Spa and Resort, however they would take us to the Bora Bora airport after our visit.
This resort is unique in Tahiti because it uses alternative resources of energy by developing a SWAC seawater air conditioning system. They take the deep sea water cooled by the ocean to save 90% of electrical energy running the air conditioners.
The Thalasso Spa is one of the largest on the island located in three overwater bungalows with a see-through floor to see the fish.
The resort opened in 2006 with 80 overwater bungalows in 5 categories. Guests are usually from California, Texas, New York, Brazil and China. The InterContinental offers a loyalty program offering upgrades, 4 p.m. check out and other benefits.
The enchanting wedding chapel has a floor made of glass to see the coral gardens and fish below.
We had a late lunch at the Sand’s bar before showering and boarding our boat to ride to the airport.
While waiting for our flight, my husband and I agreed to come back to Bora Bora for our Golden Anniversary or sooner. It is truly paradise.