Even though I live in Northern California, which has moderate temperatures, it can often get a bit chilly around here, sometimes dropping into the 30’s at night. So, being the fair-weathered California girl that I now am (I grew up in Colorado so I shouldn’t be whining!), I dream of warm climates about this time of year.
My dreams manifested into reality in my email yesterday, as an ad came to me for a resort on the island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia.
The islands in French Polynesia were created when volcanoes erupted, then sank back into the ocean, leaving a string of islands in their wake and forming coral reefs. Those reefs are easy to see from the air, as are the barriers they form, separating ocean from lagoon. Bora Bora is made up of one main island — where those volcanic peaks are — surrounded by a ring of smaller islands, called "motus". Scattered among these motus are the most incredible resorts in French Polynesia.
The InterContinental Resort and Thalasso Spa in Bora Bora is situated between the "two hearts" of Motu Piti Aau (Islet), a coral island on the barrier reef. The resort’s 80 bungalows are arranged to look like two horseshoes floating over the water.
With year-round sun and spectacular emerald peaks soaring over the clear blue lagoon waters , Bora Bora combines the best elements of nature to make any visit an unforgettable one.
The Entrance to the Intercontinental Resort.
This is the first hotel in the world to use seawater air conditioning (SWAC) to cool the entire property via a 1.4-mile-long pipe (the deepest ocean pipe in the world) that draws water from 3,000 feet under the reef of Bora Bora. The pipe pumps ice-cold water through a titanium heat exchanger, transferring the cold into the fresh-water circuit, which then powers the air conditioning throughout the hotel. The system is quiet, produces no carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases, and saves 90 percent of the electricity that would be used by a traditional cooling system of the same size.
The modern design of the resort is courtesy of architect Philippe Grandou. French-born Grandou, who has lived and worked in Tahiti for more than a decade, is a photographer as well as an architect, so all of his work looks as if it belongs on a postcard. The all-white Bubbles Bar lounge above boasts Bauhaus furniture, such as the George Nelson marshmallow sofas on the left and far right and the Eero Saarinan tulip tables.
A must is breakfast delivery by flower decorated outrigger canoe (to order the day before and weather permitting) straight to the terraces of the overwater villas.
One of the living rooms with the open balcony overlooking the gorgeous blue waters.
Each spacious villa encompasses more than 1,000 square feet, and features separate living room, bedroom, bathroom, sundeck and solarium with all the amenities expected of a luxury resort and more. Unique to French Polynesia, a glass-bottom coffee table allows guests to view sea life of Bora Bora's lagoons.
Modern bathrooms with tubs that have a view of Mount Otemanu.
The bungalows have double decks, one shaded and one not, but are fairly close together.
More of the incredible architecture and interior design of Grandou.
One of the restaurants at the resort, complete with thatch roof and modern light fixtures.
Dinner on the beach, complete with champagne.
At the bungalows you can enjoy breakfast overlooking the lagoon and the beautiful motus.
Of course when you go to beautiful French Polynesia, this is the kind of people that you will see on the beach, right? Perfect bodies, great tans and the perfect white linen clothes to show off those bronzed bodies!
The resort’s fitness and aerobic room, Hammam a l'oriental.
The resort’s Deep Ocean Spa by Algotherm, where seawater, seaweed and marine mud are used in many treatments. It’s a Thalasso Spa, meaning it uses as much from the ocean as possible, making its affiliation with French beauty company Algotherm a natural. All of Algotherm’s products are marine-based and paraben-free, for those concerned about the carcinogenic potential of this chemical.
Room rates start at $960 a night, so prepare to pay a pretty penny for this luxurious resort. But, it looks like you won’t regret it!
Hmmmm….. 30 degree nights in Northern California or Bora Bora?