Our Honeymoon in Moorea and Bora Bora

Sometimes you need to leave home to understand what home really is.  After the 1.5 years of wedding planning, we decided we needed a honeymoon that was relaxing and rejuvenating.  We contacted a travel agent, Melanie D’Souza (melanie@divinedw.com), that my cousin and his friends recommended.  We had a nice long conversation with Melanie and ultimately chose Moorea and Bora Bora as our honeymoon spot.

Planning
Melanie’s been to Moorea and Bora Bora many times over the years.  She recommended staying at the Intercontinental Resort in Moorea for 4 days and the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso for 8 days.  She said Moorea is a great island for outdoor activities and a good appetizer to the main course of Bora Bora.  She gave us a list of restaurants/activities with comments from both her and past travelers.  She even made reservations for the restaurants and activities.  It was really nice having someone with experience plan the whole trip for us, especially after planning a wedding.

Moorea
Our first stop was Moorea.  When we arrived, we were given lei’s and escorted to a shuttle for a 45 minute ride to our hotel.  We checked into our Beach Premium Suite Junior Bungalow.  We decided on this room type because Melanie told us the overwater bungalows were not truly overwater and we should save it for Bora Bora.  The overwater bungalows are connected to land with one portion sticking out into the water.  We’re glad we listened to Melanie.

View from our deck

At the Intercontinental, they allowed free rentals of their kayaks and paddleboards, including life jackets if needed.  We rented both almost everyday.  We tried to keep the days light and relaxing.  Our days were filled with hanging out at the pool, chilling on our deck and eating.  We did some activities but made sure we didn’t overload ourselves.

View from Pool


View from breakfast


Intercontinental Resort

Our favorite activity in Moorea was snorkeling with the sharks and sting rays.  The sting rays were like domesticated pets.  They’d come up to you and rub their body across your legs like a cat or swim right up next to you and beg for food.  The sharks weren’t as friendly and just minded their own business.  It’s definitely an experience I’d recommend to any first timer on the islands.

Tour guide with sting ray


Me snorkeling with sharks and sting rays

The food outside of the hotel was amazing! My foodie wife was in love with the French food and fresh seafood.  She couldn’t stop raving about it all trip.  The free breakfast at Intercontinental was actually decent but everything else there was overpriced.  Intercontinental makes it easy for you to eat at other restaurants.  If you already have reservations,  go out to the lobby and the restaurant will have a driver pick you up and later drop you off.  If you do not have reservations, have the concierge book it for you.  It was nice not having to worry about transportation.

Our three favorite restaurants were Snacks Mahana, Le Plantation and Mayflower.  I would recommend getting pretty much any seafood item.  Everything was so fresh!

Le Plantation


Snacks Mahana


Mayflower

Bora Bora
Bora Bora was a short flight from Moorea.  When you arrive to Bora Bora, you’ll be given lei’s and taken to a dock.  Each hotel will have a speed boat waiting for you.  They’ll grab your luggage and off you go on a 20 minute boat ride to your hotel.  We checked in and they drove us to our Sapphire room.  The views were amazing and just as magical as Melanie stated.  The whole experience made you feel very VIP.

Driving to our room


Pano from deck

View from bedroom window


Champagne!

We spent the whole time in Bora Bora just relaxing by the water.  We’d hang out on our deck while tanning and reading.

We got a couples massage on tables where you can watch fish swim beneath you as you’re massaged

Everyday at 2pm they had sting ray feeding.  These sting rays were like clockwork and came about half an hour before feeding everyday.

We’d eat snacks by the pool or on the beach

As honeymooners they gave us one canoe breakfast experience

We also had a relaxing time taking pictures together with our tripod

And of course we indulged on the restaurants outside the resort.  This was a more difficult task than in Moorea.  All the restaurants are located on the main island of Vaitape.  Intercontinental Thalasso is located on an outer island that is facing Vaitape.  For dinner on the main island, you have to take a boat to Intercontinental Le Moana, their sister resort.  The cost is $20 per person roundtrip.  The restaurant will have a driver pick you up from Le Moana.  If you want to forego paying the $20, you have an option of taking an early boat to Le Moana and hanging out there until dinner.  Any boat ride before 2pm is free.

Our favorite restaurants were La Villa Mahana (make reservations 3-6 months in advanced), Matira Beach and Bloody Marys.  We wanted to try St. James but unfortunately it was booked up.

La Villa Mahana


Matira


Bloody Marys

Final Thoughts/Tips
Looking back, I would skip the hotel luau.  I’d rather use those nights to eat at a restaurant outside the resort.  We actually went to luau’s in both Moorea and Bora Bora.  The food and show was better in Moorea than Bora Bora.  The dancers in Moorea seemed to have more experience and were more engaging.

Try and make reservations for restaurants as soon as you can.  A lot of restaurants have limited seating and can fill up fast.  Also in Bora Bora you may run into a time crunch if you book a late dinner.  The last boat leaving back to Thalasso was around 10pm.  If you miss that boat, you’re stuck at Le Moana until the next morning.

I was very happy with the rooms we chose.  In Moorea the overwater bungalows were an extra $100 a night.  Being not truly overwater, it was definitely not worth it.  In Bora Bora, they had three levels of bungalows: Emerald, Sapphire and Diamond.  The only difference in rooms is the proximity from the shore.  You would pick Diamond for more privacy.  More privacy does equate to a longer walk from the shore.  Sapphire was a happy medium.  Emerald is closest to the shore with the least amount of privacy.  The positives for Emerald are a shorter walk from the shore and shallow water.  From your deck, you’d be able to walk out onto the water ans stand.  Sapphire and Diamond had a water depth that seemed to be over 8 ft.

Other Tips:
– I highly recommend going on your honeymoon within the same week you got married.  There’s no feeling in the world that can replace the natural high you got from your wedding.  Taking that with you on your honeymoon makes it 100 times better.
– I recommend bringing a large blow up floatee to lounge on the calm, blue water off your deck.
– Bring some wine and lots of snacks.  Snacks are expensive on both islands.
– Bring a reusable water bottle and fill up it up at the gym.
– Bring mosquito repellent.  We were bit in Moorea in our room because we only used our repellent on excurions.  We used this natural insect repellent: http://amzn.to/2jQam7F

Overall we had an amazing time.  It was just nice being able to relax and recap the wedding in such a beautiful place.  Looking at our pictures definitely made me miss our honeymoon and brought back many wonderful memories.  Hopefully one day we can go back and relive those moments!

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