I could go on and on about how in love with the St. Regis Bora Bora I am, but if you’ve seen Couple’s Retreat, you’ll already know this as “Eden West”. C’mon, for a hotel to be featured in a movie and dubbed “Eden” anything should already tell you that this place is uh-friggin’-mazing! If you’ve seen the movie, you can stop reading now and just drool at the pictures.
I was jumping up and down like a little girl when I found out that we were upgraded to a premium overwater villa. From what I heard prior to arrival, there were several room types but the best rooms are those facing Mt. Otemanu (the view is out of control) – after all, why travel all the way to French Polynesia only to be in an overwater bungalow facing the resort, right? At least that’s what our travel specialist told us (and it was a special occasion so I bought it – I’m a sucker like that).
Check out how insane our villa was:
I’ve been in suites and villas before, but this room really upped the bar and surpassed any expectations I had. I mean, usually I’ll look at the hotel pictures to get a general idea of what to expect, but with the full understanding that published hotel pictures are not what they seem (tip: check out this site if you want to see what your hotel really looks like in all its undoctored photographic glory). The St. Regis, however, somehow manages to look even better in person than on its website, and if you’ve seen the pictures, you know that is no easy feat.
Our villa also came with a butler, who was (I swear, no exaggeration here) the most pleasant and helpful hotel staff I’ve ever come across. Yes, ever. That is saying a lot considering I have been to ~150 different hotels. He showed us to our villa and helped us plan out our entire itinerary for the week we were there (much like doing one of those brain teasers where you’re trying to figure out how to get some people across a bridge but for whatever reason there are some ridiculous restrictions on who can and can’t cross together), surprised us with a trail of rose petals that led from the front door to the bed (which girl hasn’t had this fantasy before?), and then gave us rides on his golf cart whenever he saw us walking around the resort (the resort is massive so you either need to grab a bike in the morning to get around for the day or else smile a lot and hope you get offered rides from the staff in their golf carts). If I had the money, I’d hire him to be my butler everyday.
Anyway, back to the hotel. The place is sprawling with a main pool, an oasis pool, beach activities, water equipment to rent, a spa, and a lagoon (with fish you can swim with and feed!). The best part is there are only about 100 or so villas so even if the place is booked solid, you still feel like you’re one of the only guests there. Talk about feeling like a rock star!
Finally, if you do go, you absolutely need to have dinner at Lagoon by Jean-Georges (make reservations for sunset and ask to sit outside). I don’t think I’ve ever been to a restaurant with such an insane view as this place at sunset. As the sun dips behind Mt. Otemanu, the sky glows in fiery red, pink, and orange hues, and that contrasted with the almost neon turquoise water is a ridiculous sight. Don’t even try to dream up a more perfect setting – it’s just not possible.
As if that weren’t enough, the restaurant sits above the water so if you’re like us and didn’t get a table outside, you can look through the glass on the floor and see sharks and rays swimming below (not a bad consolation prize for indoor seating, eh?).
On top of all of that, the food at the restaurant was so, so, so amazingly delicious, although what else would you really expect from Jean-Georges, anyway? We had dinner at Villa Mahana (supposedly the best restaurant in Bora Bora), but the food and ambience at Lagoon really blew Villa Mahana out of the water.
Here are some pics of the restaurant:
Sigh. All things considered, this really is the best hotel ever. I want to go back but I’m secretly scared the next time I visit the experience won’t be as impeccable as it was this time – it’s pretty hard to out-do perfection.