Asia & Australasia

Far away sun and paradise – Moorea and Bora Bora

I can’t believe how quickly time goes by and to how many places I have been to since my fantastic honeymoon. Being a special occasion, we decided (another) amazing trip would fit the bill, and why not around the world for a couple of weeks or so?

Moorea - stunning island

Moorea – stunning island

From Lisbon, where we got married, we flew via London and Bangkok, to Sydney, where we stayed for 4 days. The definite highlight? Our 10-day stay in French Polynesia, where we visited 3 islands – Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora.

Not particularly easy to reach – Air Tahiti Nui (who codeshares with Qantas on some routes from Auckland, New Zealand and Los Angeles, for example) is the national airline and, I have to say, a pleasant surprise. The planes were modern, business class was very comfortable, adored the L’Occitane toiletries but loved the incredible cabin crew outfits (with 5 or 6 changes on each flight!). Very elegant and different from most! For this trip we flew with British Airways, Qantas and Air Tahiti Nui in a handy Oneworld Round-the-World ticket.

A happy landing at Moorea (possibly not international) airport

A happy landing at Moorea (possibly not international) airport

We stayed overnight in Tahiti, and were able to see a bit of what its capital Papeete had to offer.

The next morning, we boarded an Air Moorea flight – which must have taken 15 minutes. Not a fan of smallish airplanes, but the other option would be to swim (or possibly by boat).

We were so happy by the time we landed 🙂 I have no problems with flying, but give me and Airbus or a Boeing any day 🙂

Stunning views at the Hilton Moorea from the Clubhouse

Stunning views at the Hilton Moorea from the Clubhouse

We stayed at the Hilton Moorea, and were delighted with our over water bungalow – the nicest room I have ever stayed in my whole life. Must be said that when we booked our stay, the hotel was managed by Starwood under the Sheraton brand, and in the meantime was transferred over to the Hilton. Having booked with points (part of a Starwood Vacation Ownership super mega wedding gift – for which we will always be thankful), we were worried with what room we would be getting, and were delighted that the Hilton still upgraded us. How good was that?

The sun!

The sun!

The hotel was very nice, having been recently refurbished and not just full of honeymooners, which was great. Not very keen on competitive PDAs and grateful that many French use this territory for their annual holidays. It was indeed a big surprise to find out that French Polynesia is, in fact, part of the EU – and our passports didn’t get stamped!!

The first time anyone called me Mrs O'Reilly

The first time anyone called me Mrs O’Reilly

Most hotel guests go on full board packages and I must confess I am not a great fan of these. The best part of travelling is the ability to get out and about and meet locals, go to restaurants and of course, help the local economy! Hiring a car is particularly difficult (and expensive), so we found a great solution, with the help of the hotel’s concierge. There is a system: from a great selection of restaurants, you book different ones each night.. and the restaurant sends someone to pick you up (and then drop you back). The listings are very straightforward and there are at least 30 options. Chez Roger was our absolute favourite.

A special mention also goes to the Creperie at the Hilton where you dine with incredible views, in the middle of the bungalows and watch the sharks.. and other wonderful fish right below you.

Black pearls

Black pearls

“Tahiti and her islands”, is also the home of something wonderful – black pearls. Tahitian black pearls are  characterised by natural dark colours, with the most predominant being green.  Although reference may be made to a Tahitian black pearl, black is a very rare colour and they are more often charcoal or a dark silver.

After a wonderful 5 days, we moved on to the our next destination, Bora Bora – having flown with Air Tahiti for around 40 minutes.

Always struggled with our luggaage.. on RTW flights we had 3 bags each allowance.. which turned into 20kgs.. painful

Always struggled with our luggaage.. on RTW flights we had 3 bags each allowance.. which turned into 20kgs.. painful

Bora Bora Airport was incredible and very different from the usual suspects.. you don’t actually land on the main island.. make sure you organise with your hotel a boat pick up. We were welcomed by a nice crew from Le Meridien, with flowers too!

Hello Bora Bora!

Hello Bora Bora! You can just see the side of the boat!

As mentioned previously, we stayed at the Le Meridien Bora Bora, which was lovely. Our little water bungalow was outstanding.

We found that the same dining system worked in this island too, but with a slight difference – you have to take a boat transfer every time you leave the hotel.. oh the problems with being on an island! They worked brilliantly there and back.

The turtles were hungry!

The turtles were hungry!

The Meridien had a turtle sanctuary and every day we feed the little buggers – it was a different experience for me and glad I had the chance to try it and learn something about this interesting conservation project.

A word of warning – for which we will be eternally grateful to our travel agent’s advice. Drinks at hotels are incredibly expensive – we are talking around €20 for a gin & tonic… so very pleased we bought a bottle of Bombay Sapphire at Auckland Airport and with some ice, lemon and tonic were able to enjoy incredible sunsets from our private balcony.

Not a bad view!

Not a bad view from our Le Meridien overwater bungalow

We promised ourselves we would go back for our 5th anniversary.. only 18 months to go, but who’s counting?

Mrs O

PS. From here, our last stop was of course California, one of our favourite places in the world. You can read about it all here.

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View Comments (47)


  1. Ian Hodgkiss

    November 5, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Simon – Tahiti looks nice!

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  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures

    April 9, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Beyond words amazing!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..Andi’s Pick: Old Edwards Inn And SpaMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      April 9, 2013 at 8:17 am

      It was amazing, Andi!

  4. Pingback: My Top 10 places in the world | Mrs. O Around Portugal

  5. Pola (@jettingaround)

    August 22, 2012 at 3:06 am

    What a beautiful place and honeymoon! Of course I also appreciated the paragraph about the plane. 🙂 Oh, L’Occitane products? Nice!
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo of the Week: A street in Oaxaca City, MexicoMy Profile

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      August 22, 2012 at 8:25 am

      very nice indeed 🙂 one of those once in a lifetime moments, m thinks 😉

  6. the lazy travelers

    August 20, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    i mean, this is unreal. is every other island ruined for you?
    the lazy travelers recently posted..laws to travel by – #23My Profile

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      August 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Nope, I want to go to every other island in the world so I can make an informed decision!

  7. Charu

    August 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Sounds like a winner of a honeymoon to me! And I don’t like small planes either but my fear wore off…those black pearls look unbelievable!
    Charu recently posted..Travel Blogger Spotlight Series: A Moment with Ayngelina from “Bacon is Magic”My Profile

  8. lola

    August 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    i’m am such a sucker for the turquoise blue water. one day i will get there! island life was meant for lola. you can tell me everything i need to when i finally get around to this trip 😉
    lola recently posted..Cambodia Countdown – week 1My Profile

  9. Leah Travels

    August 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I am seething with jealousy right now. I’d take any of these spots in one second flat. What an amazing adventure you had for your honeymoon. That’s the stuff of legends. 🙂
    Leah Travels recently posted..Costa Brava,TBEX & an Unexpected Trip to SpainMy Profile

  10. Wends of Journeys and Travels

    August 20, 2012 at 4:47 am

    This is just an awesome post. I love the view of the waters and glad to share with you that my sister works for the Starwood Hotels and Resorts and is based in Canada. I believed Hilton is one of their affiliates out here.

    I just love the photo of the turquoise 🙂 and the black pearls, amazing!
    Wends of Journeys and Travels recently posted..Photo Sunday: The harder I prayMy Profile

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      August 20, 2012 at 8:12 am

      Hi! Hilton is their competitor.. but the Moorea hotel used to be a Sheraton. Keeps changing, apparently. The water was indeed amazing 🙂 and the pearls, wow

  11. Francesca

    August 20, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Wow, now THAT is a honeymoon! I’d like to stay in one of those over-water bungalows – just once. Not asking for much, right? Good tip about bringing your own booze 🙂
    Francesca recently posted..My annual trip back in timeMy Profile

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      August 20, 2012 at 8:12 am

      Once in a lifetime, why not? 🙂 It was truly amazing

  12. Craig Zabransky

    August 19, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I’d love to see one of those sunsets too… what a place, truly a dream trip.
    stay adventurous, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted..Two Local Drinks to Enjoy in AmsterdamMy Profile

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      August 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      A very special place for a special occasion. I hope I can go back on 5th anniversary but somehow don’t think so…

  13. Kieu

    August 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Man, look at the color of that water.. stunning! I’d love to stay in one of those bungalows on the water.
    Kieu recently posted..GQ trippin’ Turns 1 Year Old!My Profile

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      August 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      We loved it, so unique – obviously a special occasion 😉

  14. John

    August 18, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    There is a St. Regis in Bora Bora that I have been dying to make it to (only on hotel points, of course). It looks like such a beautiful and incredible place.
    John recently posted..Ten Facts I Learned About GreeceMy Profile

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      August 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      That would be the next one to trt, for sure!

  15. Pingback: My favourite photos of the week – Paradise « Mrs. O Around the World_____ not just another travel blog

  16. Tushar

    April 19, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Blue – crystal clear. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Jyoti

    February 28, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Your heooymonn looks amazing!! I’ve always dreamed of staying in a hut like that. So beautiful. Glad to have found your blog. I’ll have to stick around to see all these gorgeous wedding and heooymonn pics that I’m sure will be coming this summer.

  19. Yossi

    February 28, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Oh my god, that looks so aswmoee! I can’t wait to hear all about it! I’ve always wanted to stay in one of those things (not sure what they’re called…) Yay for booking your honeymoon!

  20. AbsolutelyFaaabulous

    February 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I also went there.. like 15 years ago. So nice to be able to see pictures of these amazing islands again. Amazing blog Mrs O!

  21. Liz Litzow

    January 16, 2012 at 3:46 am

    All looks rather gorgeous Mrs O – beautiful photographs as usual

  22. Jeff Titelius

    January 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Stunning photos my friend! Makes me want to pack my bags right now.

  23. Mauibrad

    January 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm


  24. Mira

    January 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    What a FABLOUS Honeymoon. Go for it again for your 5th!!!

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      January 15, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      working on it!! share pls!!

    • Yadu

      February 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

      OMG!!! We have to talk/email. My huasbnd and I had our honeymoon in Moorea and then at the Intercontinental Thalasso Spa that you just posted and we stayed in those bungalows. The best trip of our entire lives. You have NO idea, those pictures do NOT do it justice at all. It is truly paradise!

  25. Kathryn

    January 15, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Looks beautiful – the sea is stunning and the turtles are gorgeous, 🙂

  26. Courtney Mara

    January 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Wow! My fiance and I went to Tahiti and Moorea for our EngagementMoon. Did you like Bora Bora better than Moorea? In other words, is it worth it to take another trip out that way to go to just Bora Bora. We are trying to decide or if maybe we should try another island group like Fiji for our honeymoon.

    Courtney Mara

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      January 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      Hi Courtney! To be honest, I prefered Moorea – more options and livelier than Bora Bora. Both were lovely of course and glad our travel agents suggested it as I had never heard of it… Never been to Fiji.. or at least yet, but heard good things too! Oh the world is such an amazing place! We are just back from Rio in Brazil and can’t recommend it enough! Ana

      • Esteny

        February 28, 2012 at 1:23 am

        O.M.G. I am tltloay dying right now….how freakin amazing!!!! I cannot wait to hear about your experience in those little huts. I’ve always been so curious about them. It looks absolutely breathtaking!!

  27. Katharine

    January 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    that is a perfect place for a honeymoon trip!
    absolutely beautiful view, and I can never get enough of those crystal clear water!
    I hope, when i get married, I get to spend my honeymoon in a place like that 🙂

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      January 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      it is a must do!! but i liked a bit of culture before and after – Sydney and LA were perfect!

  28. Mrs D

    January 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    What an amazing place! Me, being who I am, I’m particularly curious about the outfits you mention the cabin crew wore? 5 or 6 changes? OMG!

    • mrsoaroundtheworld

      January 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      i dont have photos 🙁 try googling – will actually ask them!!

      • Mrs D

        January 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm

        I’ll try google then 🙂

      • Sandy

        February 28, 2012 at 2:53 am

        wohooo! how amazing! what a great way to start your lives together! Let me know if you make it to Bora Bora, I know a few peeps that work at the posh St Regis 🙂

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