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Bora Bora - Pearl of the Pacific

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort
Le Maitai Polynesia
Top Dive
Bora Bora Motel

Bora Bora is, to many people, the quintessential tropical paradise. It, along with Maupiti, are the oldest of the Society Islands. The island has eroded further than Tahiti or Moorea, and the outer reef is therefore further from the shore line. The lagoon that the reef encloses is without a doubt the most beautiful in the world - whatever anyone else may tell you! The varying depths of the lagoon, plus the different kinds of seabed - sand, coral or a combination of both, plus the play of light and wind across the surface, make for an ever changing and beautiful display of colours, from the deepest of azure blue to the most delicate pastel turquoises. Like the rocks of the Grand Canyon, the colours change by the minute.

150 miles north west of Tahiti, the central island of Bora Bora is topped by the twin peaks of Mounts Otemanu and Pahia. Mt Otemanu is a classic example of a volcanic plug, the softer rocks that flanked this long extinct volcano having been eroded away, leaving the solidified lava within as the only remains. The flanks of both volcanoes are covered in thick forest. On cool mornings you can watch clouds form and swirl round the high peaks, evaporating once they have passed. Legends and history tell of the people of Bora Bora fighting those of neighbouring Raiatea and Taha'a, Bora Bora finally taking control. The lagoon itself is anything from a mile wide at Matira Point to 3 miles wide opposite Vaitape, the bustling capital. The reef edge is dotted with low lying coral islands or motu, some uninhabited, some private, some location of hotels. There is only one navigable pass through the reef, Teavanui.

Bora Bora offers a huge range of hotels, from the deluxe to the basic. We offer a variety to suit all budgets. Hotels are essentially located in one of two places - on the main island itself, or on one of the motus offshore. Those on the main island provide easy access to local shops and restaurants, but usually do not to have such a good view of Mt Otemanu as it tends to be in the background. Also, the main road that circles the island lies quite close to the shore line, and so hotels are either squeezed in a narrow strip between the beach and the road, are bisected by the road or have no direct beach access because they are built located on the inland side of the road. The road can be quite busy and times, and particularly garden bungalows close to the road can be quite noisy. The motu resorts have spectacular and uninterrupted views across the lagoon to the main island, and are much quieter and more private. Access back to the main island is provided by a regular and free shuttle boat service that runs from early morning to late evening.

The airport, which was built by the Americans during World War II, in anticipation of Japanese advances that never materialised, is located on Motu Mote in the northwest corner of the lagoon. Most resorts provide a boat service from the airport direct to their own private docks, but in some cases you would need to take the public shuttle boat to Faanui or Vaitape from where you would be picked up by your chosen resort and taken there by road.

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BORA BORA PEARL BEACH RESORT

This is our favourite resort in Bora Bora! Located on Motu Tevairoa on the west coast, this luxury resort boasts all the creature comforts one could desire for a fabulous holiday. The main reception area, built in grand and traditional design, is situated directly in front of the beach, with the main restaurant built above and to the side, overlooking the largest fresh water swimming pool in Bora Bora. The Tevairoa Restaurant serves wonderful buffet breakfasts and sumptuous dinners, including a Polynesian and Seafood Buffets twice weekly. A blend of French and local cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and fine fresh meat flown in from New Zealand, complimented by a selection of excellent French and Antipodean wines makes this a gourmet's delight! The Teavanui Restaurant and Bar, located by the pool, serves lunch and snacks under an open-sided, palm roofed gazebo. The Taurearea Bar, above the reception, is a perfect place to appreciate an exotic cocktail or fine cognac before dinner, while enjoying the sunset over the lagoon.

The resort has 20 overwater and 30 premium overwater bungalows, built on stilts above a shallow sand bank that projects out from the beach into the lagoon. All overwater bungalows are the same size and with the ame facilities, but the 20 standard bungalows look back towards the motu while the premium bungalows face out towards Bora Bora. All are accessed via wooden walkways over the lagoon. The bedrooms each have a king-sized bed and a sofa that also acts as a single bed. Bedside tables are made of glass as is the coffee table located in the centre of the room. This allows you to admire the bustling fish below, and at night you can turn on lights to attract fish, slide back the lid of the coffee table and feed the fishes! Because of the cooling sea breezes, air conditioning is not required, but a ceiling fan is provided for still nights. The en suite bathroom has two basins, bath and separate shower & loo. The sundeck is accessed through large sliding doors, and features sun loungers, a shaded seating area with table and benches and steps to a lower deck from where you can access the sea via steps. After an enjoyable dip you can rinse off under the freshwater shower located on the lower deck! Guests in the overwater bungalows can enjoy breakfast delivered to them by outrigger canoe!

10 beach suites are located along the shoreline. These vast suites have a private fenced garden at the back, with open air shower and twin basins, sun deck with loungers and jacuzzi. The bedroom has a large double bed and has air conditioning for those who so desire. In front of the bedroom is a sitting room with a deep sofa that can act as a bed. A sliding door and panoramic sliding shutters offer both access and views to the beach, which is about 10 yards away. Sun loungers are also provided beach side, so you can relax in the shade of a palm tree, while reading or soaking up the atmosphere.

6 Garden and 14 Premium Garden Suites make up the remainder of the hotel's accommodation. These rooms are similar to the beach suites, but have plunge pools instead of jacuzzis, and are scattered amongst the neatly tended gardens at the back of the beach. The Premium Garden Suites offer slightly more capacious accommodation than the standard suites.

Suffice it to say that all the rooms have TV, stereo, IDD telephone, coffee/tea facilities, mini bar, hair dryer and safe.

Behind the bar is a games room with billiard & ping pong tables, and a variety of board games. Behind the reception is a 40-seater cinema where movies and educational films about Polynesia are shown.

While you could relax by the pool or on the beach all day, the resort has plenty to offer the more active person. A floodlight tennis court, badminton courts, petanque pitch, beach volleyball and mini golf course can keep the land lubbers happy.

Free use of snorkelling equipment, sea kayaks and outrigger canoes are available from the activities hut located by the Teavanui Restaurant. Waterskiing, sailing jet skiing and other activities can be arranged on request through the reception.

The resort's own dive operation, Blue Nui Diving is located along the beach, beyond the main dock. Daily trips take divers to the varied dive sites of Bora Bora; two dives are offered in the morning, and one in the afternoon. A full range of equipment is available for hire, and PADI & CMAS courses are provided through the dive shops qualified instructors. Blue Nui are always the first dive operation to a dive site in the morning, before the really popular ones become a little too crowded. Their boats are also less crowded than some of the competition's. We can arrange in advance for pick-ups from other hotels if you wish to dive with Blue Nui.

The Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort is a world class hotel in a stunning setting.

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LE MAITAI POLYNESIA
Built in 1998 and recently extended The Maitai (Tahitian for "All is Well"), as it is locally known, offers excellent and varied accommodation at a reasonable price. Situated on the south-east coast of the main island, looking out across the lagoon to Motu Piti Aau and beyond the outer reef to the distant islands of Taha'a and Raiatea.

The Maitai is set along the wonderful beach on the eastern side of Matira Point, where 7 beach bungalows and 19 overwater bungalows provide spectacular views of the sunrise over the waters of the lagoon. The overwater bungalows are set in 3 clusters along the beach, and offer exceptional value - almost 300sqft in area, with glass table, large double bed and sofa, en suite bathroom, TV, IDD telephone, ceiling fan and air conditioning, the sun deck with outside shower provides easy access to the pretty coral gardens just yards from the wide sandy beach. The beach bungalows offer a comparable style to the overwater bungalows, but are located amongst the swaying palms along the shore line. Above and behind the reception area can be found a total of 48 air-conditioned ocean and garden view rooms built in 2 storey blocks. Each is simply furnished with double bed, en suite shower room and balcony. The oceanview rooms offer commanding views down to the lagoon, and as they are about as "high rise" as you can get in Bora Bora, they give an excellent panorama of the shades and nuances of the lagoon. Finally, 120 yards down the road from the main hotel are the 10 villa suites, self catering chalets with separate bedroom, sitting room and kitchenette. Set in well tended tropical gardens, they are excellent for families or those looking for a self-catering style holiday - though you are, of course, more then entitled to use the facilities that all the other guests enjoy!

Located beyond the reception, the Manuia Bar is an excellent place to enjoy a cocktail before heading to the Haere Mai restaurant, located next door. Here a choice selection of French and Polynesia cuisine is available, and there is a seafood buffet on Wednesday nights. During the day lunch can be taken at the Tama'a Maitai Restaurant, located right on the beach.

The Maitai does not have its own in-house dive operation; the resort works closely with Top Dive, but if you wish to dive with Blue Nui or another operator, let us know in advance and we will arrange the necessary pick-ups from the hotel. The hotel can arrange a variety of other tours on request, and a range of watersports toys are available on the beach.

The Maitai offers excellent value, but we temper this with one word of caution - the main island road splits the resort in two - the reception, main restaurant and bar, villa suites and standard rooms are located on the island side of the road, and the beach & overwater bungalows are located on the seaward side of the road.

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TOP DIVE RESORT
Top Dive is situated just 5 minutes north of the main town of Vaitape. Owned by two Swiss gentlemen with a penchant for fine win and food, Top Dive has a deserved reputation for offering fine dining and fine diving! Just 3 overwater bungalows and 6 garden bungalows, a freshwater swimming pool and a restaurant and bar are all that make up this small and friendly resort! The main reception leads to the bar and large restaurant, which has fine views west across the lagoon. Next to the restaurant is an "infinity pool" - a swimming pool that cascades over the ledge and thus looks like it carries on for ever! Beyond the pool are the rooms. Land-side of the pool is the dive shop. The rooms are large and tastefully decorated in bright colours, with en suites; overwater bungalows have baths, garden rooms have showers. All rooms are air-conditioned, and have TV, IDD telephone and min bar.

The restaurant offers superb diving and fine wines, including personally imported clarets from Bordeaux and light Sancerres. The high vaulted ceiling gives a bright airy feel during the day, and with well-positioned lighting, becomes intimate and casual at night. Such delicacies as grilled mahi mahi (dolphinfish or dorado to some!) and roast duck with a honey glaze make this a popular eating place for hotel residents and locals alike.

The dive shop is one of the most well known in Bora Bora and offers a range of courses and dives for certified divers, but we would forewarn that some of their dive boats are larger than others, and tend to be just a little crowded. Again, if you wish to dive with Blue Nui or another operator, let us know in advance and we will arrange the necessary pick-ups from the hotel.

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BORA BORA MOTEL
The Bora Bora Motel (also known as the Bora Bora Beach Lodge) is located on the beach next to the Sofitel Coralia Marara on Matira Point. A clean and comfortable family run self-catering motel with a lovely location right on the beach, the motel has 3 classes of accommodation. 4 studios and 3 apartments with kitchenette and dining area, air conditioning and private shower rooms, and one beach bungalow with kitchenette, ceiling fan and private shower room. A grocery store across the road can provide most supplies. Local restaurants are in plentiful supply nearby, and you can always go and spoil yourself at the Sofitel! For those on a limited budget this is an excellent choice in a fine location. The motel has no dive centre on site, so if you wish to dive with Blue Nui or another operator, let us know in advance and we will arrange the necessary pick-ups from the hotel.

 

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