Ana & Alon: From Canada to Heaven
Bora Bora had always been a dream destination for Ana & Alon, a young couple from Ontario, Canada, who were now planing their honeymoon. They knew that they wanted something special, a “once-in-a-lifetime” vacation they would remember for the rest of their lives. Our 10 day package at the St Regis was the perfect choice to turn their dream into lifelong memories, we were so glad to be a part of it!
Ana: Bora Bora continued to be a dream even when we got off the plane and boarded the boat to take us to our hotel. It wasn't until we stepped into our over water Bungalow that is finally hit us, this was real, we were no longer dreaming!
One of the reasons we chose the St. Regis is because of their amazing bungalows. They are huge (1500 square feet) with views from almost all points. When we stepped into ours I was awe struck as we sat on our deck, sipping our first (of many) glasses of champagne, looking out at the crystal clear water below us, it was stunning!
The bonus of the St. Regis (compared to other hotels) is the huge deck. In fact its a double deck, with lounge chairs, a table and another deck on a lower level closer to the water. We felt completely secluded and spent more of our afternoons there, after a morning on the beach.
The St. Regis is also a resort that knows how to spoil its guests. From the moment you step into the Bora Bora airport, the pampering begins. Our host greeted us at the dock with a cold towel and an Evian. You can forget about lining up for your suitcases here – our suitcases were brought on board by the staff as we got our first glimpse of Mount Otemanu. When we arrived at the hotel, a short 10 minutes later, a warm welcome from hotel staff awaited us on the dock. Once again, no line up to check in – each guest received a personal butler who took care of their check in and provided a tour of the grounds. Its as if the St. Regis took away all our travel pet-peeves! I also really loved the bottle of champagne that awaited us in our room upon arrival – perfect start to our honeymoon!
To get around the resort, you have the option of calling for a pickup in one of the golf carts or using the resort’s bikes. More on that – the St. Regis doesn’t bother with the commonly annoying sign-out systems for anything on the resort – bikes, snorkeling gear, and even towels are all free for your use without hassle. For someone who hates the towel cards system, this was something I really loved. The beach is just breathtaking, with the clearest water I've ever seen. You can take out a canoe or a paddle boat and ride around the property. We even saw a stingray floating right by us on the beach one day. The hotel also offers a shuttle boat to the main island twice a day (free), in the morning and in the evening. We used the evening one to get us to dinner on the island, and the morning to stock up on a few things from the grocery store.
The breakfast was fabulous. Its not the huge buffets that we are used to in North America, but everything was incredble quality. There is a general buffet and items made to order from the waiter. Lots of pastries, eggs, waffles, smoked salmon, cheese, meats and some salad is the offering. We loved that the entire restaurant faces the ocean, and there are no walls, so you get to enjoy the fresh air.
The best meal of our trip however was at the Villa Mahana and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. This place is just amazing and its not only about the food - the candle-lit courtyard of this villa sets the perfect mood, so romantic, the soundtrack is pure pleasure, and the service is impeccable. Every course was better than the previous, Chef Damien is a magician! Yes, its expensive, but the only regret you'll have is that you weren't able to eat more! I would strongly recommend the 5-course Epicurean tasting menu, which lets you sample many of the Chef's creations.
Our package from Pacific for Less included a Shark and Stingray excursion. I was a little skeptical at first – we’ve done these types of things in the Caribbean and usually it included a lonesome shark at the bottom of the pool, and a couple of fish from time to time. This, I assure you, was nothing like that. There were fish of every colour in the water, nearly bumping into us as they swam in every direction around us. The sharks and stingrays were leisurely floating around us, seemingly satisfied from the feeding. Apparently these sharks are so used to being fed by humans that they have stopped hunting for their meals. Daily, they await the boats of tourists to come and bring the food straight to them.This experience was completely surreal and I would highly recommend it to everyone. In addition to the snorkeling in a few different stops, the boat circled the main island, giving us a glimpse of other resorts and beaches in the area.
We booked our package with Claudia - she is the best! We did quite a bit of research but her prices were just unbeatable, and she threw a few extra freebies in there - breakfast included, a shark and stingray tour, and a dinner at the Lagoon restaurant on the property, and a couples massage at the Miri Miri Spa. Bora Bora is not cheap, so these freebies add up to quite a bit, so we were quite happy with Claudia's offerings!
We couldn't have asked for a better honeymoon because St Regis Bora Bora was just a dream come true, as close to Heaven as you will get on this Earth!
For pictures and more of my review, visit my blog at http://traveladdictions.wordpress.com/
Ana & Alon