When you think of the perfect family vacation, the dreamy island of Bora Bora may not be the first place that comes to mind. Well, I’m here to tell you that it should be. Sure, it’s a bit of a schlep to reach this little slice of paradise, but once your clients are there they will quickly shake out the travel cramps and thank their lucky stars!
The longest part of their journey will be the flight to Papeete, Tahiti, which is accessible via direct flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco. Once in Tahiti, it’s a short walk to the domestic terminal for a 40-minute flight to Bora Bora. If they have little ones in tow, it might be a good idea to book a night or two in Tahiti to break up the travel and help them adjust to the time change.
Bora Bora is best known for its divine overwater bungalows, some of the most unique and luxurious hotel rooms in the world. Everything about them spells off-the-grid, privacy, romance, adventure—and in the case of family travel—fun. At the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, the overwater villas are so spacious and lavish that they simply cannot be called bungalows. Book one of only four 2-bedroom Brando Suites on property for the ultimate family escape. Both bedrooms are outfitted with sumptuous king-size beds overlooking a wall of windows with direct views of Mt Otemanu for the most memorable sunsets.
On the second floor, you will find a loft with a workspace and private solarium. Lounge on the expansive deck with your own private pool and direct access to the turquoise waters of the lagoon. The villa is complete with two large bathrooms built to pamper—heated toilet seats, rain shower heads, and stand-alone bathtubs with lagoon views make a trip to the bathroom just another part of your island getaway. A stay in the Brando Suite also comes with a variety of perks—a minibar stocked daily with snacks and beverages; three different safes, including a large one that can accommodate laptops and camera equipment; complimentary breakfast and daily treats served at the villa.
The InterContinental Bora Bora is a great place for families because the resort and the kind staff make it easy for guests to be flexible, meaning they can do as much or as little as they like to ensure sure their time away fits your vacation needs. The resort prides itself in being true to the nature of Bora Bora, so clients can experience lush landscaping and an authentic Polynesian feel throughout. You will find a Secret Garden of Love, a tropical version of the Pont des Arts in Paris; here guests can choose which of the five Polynesian love spirits would best define and protect their relationship, or in our case our family, and attach a lock to the respective palm tree.
The hotel property boasts a sizable infinity pool with panoramic beach and ocean views. Located at the heart of the property is the Deep Ocean Spa, an award-winning tranquil oasis where guests can enjoy one of the signature Polynesian treatments while overlooking a lagoon abounding with sea life. And for ultimate relaxation, they can soak in the outdoor jacuzzi or use one of the steam baths.
Little ones are also looked after at the InterContinental Bora Bora. They are welcomed with in-room gifts, such as sand toys, treats and candies, and a “Planet Trekkers” booklet with activities and games to play during their stay. But the true appeal to children, and in turn for families, is the plethora of adventures that Bora Bora and the InterContinental have to offer.
Adventure & Activities
Traveling as a family often requires a bit more planning, to ensure that your client’s children will have age-appropriate activities and entertainment available. But they can rest easy when they head to Bora Bora as the InterContinental Bora Bora has something to keep every member of the family engaged. The onsite Dive Center makes it a breeze to gear up for all of their aquatic adventures, like snorkeling in the Lagoonarium, a snorkeling excursion with reef sharks and stingrays, or a dive excursion. The treasure hunt excursion is a great way to incorporate boating and snorkeling for kids with an exciting search for clues that ends with a prize.
Want to experience the crystal blue waters from above? Book a jet ski tour, a sunset cruise, or go even higher for aerial views of Bora Bora from a helicopter. For more locally inspired activities, authentic Polynesia events, such as crown braiding, raw fish preparation, and coconut shows, are held daily by the pool.
After an action-packed day, settle in at the Sunset Theater to watch a magical Bora Bora sunset, while the kids build sandcastles on the beach.
The cuisine at the InterContinental Bora Bora is as varied and engaging as the activities. The Reef Restaurant serves breakfast and themed dinner buffets in an indoor-outdoor dining Polynesian-inspired setting. Or bury your toes in the sand as you dine at the Sands Restaurant with direct views of the lagoon and Mt Otemanu. Sands restaurant serves a variety of gourmet and seafood dishes, paired with creative cocktails, and it often has live music. For a truly intimate dining experience, book a table at Le Corail Restaurant, where one can enjoy a degustation menu of fine French cuisine and accompany it with a bottle of wine from the largest wine cellar in French Polynesia. Clients might want to book a babysitter for this one though; unfortunately, you will not find kid-friendly options on the set menu. However, all other dining outlets on property offer a proper kids’ menu with a good variety of choices.
Our family was lucky enough to have spent four nights at this gorgeous resort in October. We felt very well cared for, and entirely safe in terms of the precautions that were being taken for COVID-19. We are grateful for the memories we made during our visit, despite the pandemic, and we hope to have a chance to return someday. After all, you shouldn’t have to choose between a family vacation and a vacation in paradise, when you can have both at the InterContinental Bora Bora.
This story originally appeared in worldstompers.com, a family travel website created to inspire families with kids to expand their idea of adventures. You can follow the adventures of the Bazavilvazo family @worldstompers on Instagram and The Worldstompers on Facebook.