Dreaming of a vacation in the South Pacific? From Tahiti & French Polynesia, home to places like Bora Bora, to Fiji, the Cook Islands and beyond, the choices for an idyllic, tropical escape are practically endless, but if you’re hoping to stay in a resort that offers the best of the best, these luxurious options are sure to fit the bill.
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The St. Regis Resort in Bora Bora boasts 91 private, overwater villas, the largest of their kind in French Polynesia, located on the secluded northeastern side of the lagoon. Each features its own gazebo and private terrace as well as showcasing the warm glow of exotic woods, handwoven fabrics and regional art. Expect the best in amenities too, including plasma screen TVs, Bose audio systems, iPod docking stations, luxurious bathrobes, slippers, twice-daily maid service, butler service and more. The property is also home to a Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant, swim-up bar, onsite dive center, two pools and a private saltwater lagoon. Complimentary snorkeling equipment, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and bicycles are also available.
Over a half-century in the making, Marlon Brando’s plans for a sustainable private island paradise were finally realized in the form of The Brando, the most extraordinary eco-friendly escape in French Polynesia. This unique luxury resort set upon the magnificent private island of Tetiaroa, an atoll made up of a dozen small islands surrounding a glistening lagoon 30 miles northeast of Tahiti, features 35 villas on strikingly white sand beaches that are frequented by exotic birds, manta rays and sea turtles. Most villas are spacious one-bedroom retreats with a modern design that brings the outdoors in. They boast large bedrooms with king-size beds and dressing areas, a lavish bathroom with an outdoor bathtub and an impressive media room. Each includes a terraced decking area that stretches for more than 600-square-feet over lush island terrain, leading to a private plunge pool. The Brando is also home to two restaurants and two well-stocked bars.
The posh Le Meridien Bora Bora offers the ideal blend of Polynesian charm and French chic, located on the northern tip of Motu Piti A’au, a small islet along the eastern coral reef. The resort faces the main island of Bora Bora, offering a spectacular view of Mount Otemanu. Stay in overwater bungalows featuring the largest glass floors of any other resort in French Polynesia, or select from private pool villas and beach bungalows, ideal for families. The property includes an interior lagoon which provides protection and care for endangered sea turtles, as well as an interactive touch pool with starfish, hermit crabs and sea cucumbers. Guests also enjoy sipping cocktails while watching glorious sunsets from the Miki Miki Bar, designed to resemble the prow of a ship, pointing straight toward Mount Otemanu.
At Hiva Oa Hanakee Pearl Lodge you can get up close and personal with nature and classic Polynesian hospitality. Set across from majestic Mount Temetiu, scenic Traitors Bay, the Bordelais canal and the volcanic island of Tahuata atop a ridge above the eastern Tahauku Harbor, it offers incredible sweeping views of the island’s wild beauty. Each room is decorated with creative Polynesian accents from skilled local artisans, and features Wi-Fi as well as satellite TV. Guests can enjoy dining at the onsite restaurant with breathtaking views of the tropical surroundings, enjoy sipping beverages at the cocktail bar, take a refreshing swim in the pool, explore the stunning, unspoiled beauty of the island by hiking or mountain biking as well as participating in a host of other activities and excursions.
Many say Outrigger On the Lagoon is one of the very best island resorts in the world. Set across 16 hectares of pristine Coral Coast beachfront on Viti Levu Island and modeled after a traditional Fijian village, you’ll enjoy perks like complimentary arrival drinks, Champagne with canapés in the afternoon and luggage service. Enjoy a private white sand beach as well as lush surroundings, including soaring palms and tropical, landscape gardens. Amenities in the thatched bungalows include vaulted ceilings lined with hand-painted masi bark cloth, balconies, hammocks, Wi-Fi access and satellite TV. Boredom is impossible here, making this resort ideal for families with teenagers. Teens can take part in tennis tournaments, fishing and hiking specifically designed for their age group as well as outdoor movies, watermelon cracking and egg throwing. Some of the options for adults include an intro to yoga course, golf training and tournaments, kayaking, snorkeling, pool aerobics, a kava ceremony, cooking lessons and more.
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is tucked between two bays on the heart-shaped island of Moorea, often referred to as the “Island of Love,” set against a stunning mountain backdrop that melts into a crystal clear lagoon. This idyllic beachfront resort features stylish bungalows decorated in contemporary Polynesian style with gorgeous beach or garden views from a private terrace. Lavishly furnished, you’ll enjoy claw foot bath tubs in elegant marble bathrooms as well as flat-screen televisions. Spend your days visiting the lagoon, filled with friendly tropical fish or unwinding under the shade of a swaying palm tree at the outdoor infinity pool. Indulge in treatments at the spa using 100% organic ingredients, derived from exotic fruits and precious barks.
With 24 beaches at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, and accommodations for just 40 couples, Lizard Island Resort is in a category all its own. The open-plan suites are done up in the blues and whites of the sea, with hammocks and decks discreetly hidden from view. Accessible only by private plane, guests can enjoy snorkeling the coral gardens right off the beach as well as world-class big game fishing. Choose from rooms with a view to the magnificent “pavilion” that’s perched high above the Coral Sea offering total seclusion and unsurpassed panoramic views as well as a private plunge pool with day beds and a sun lounger. Indulge in 5-star dining from sunrise to after dark, including private romantic dinners, a picnic for two on an empty beach and sunset beachside libations, with all meals included. A long list of activities are also included, like exploring the bay on a glass bottom boat, snorkeling gear and lessons, nature walks and paddle ski tours. Diving and snorkeling excursions to the inner or outer reef as well as game fishing and sunset cruises are also offered. If that’s not enough, the onsite Azure Spa offers a full range of treatments too.
Dolphin Island is a stunning 14-acre private retreat offering the ultimate luxury “castaway” experience available to a maximum of only eight guests on an exclusive-use basis. Located just 30 minutes via private boat from shore on the tip of Viti Levu, you’ll be immediately enveloped by scenic beauty, including crystal clear blue waters, golden sand, palm trees and fragrant flowers – as well as the incredible hospitality that Fijians are so well known for. Delicious meals feature the freshest of produce and ingredients unique to Fijian cuisine. Freshly caught fish is brought daily to the island, allowing guests to select their favorites from the catch. You’ll stay in bure suites, perfectly suited for the Pacific Island lifestyle with timber floors, stone tiles, high ceilings and wooden shutters. The well-appointed bathrooms feature a traditional shower as well as an outdoor shower and a sculptural free-standing tub.
The Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa offers an idyllic escape, nestled on a white beach and blue lagoon, 10 minutes from Vaitape village. You’ll arrive by private hotel boat before soaking up the tranquil seclusion of a suite or villa set over the water, in the garden or on the hill. Rooms include Italian marble bathrooms as well as satellite TV and high speed Internet. Spend your days relaxing by the pool or on the beach, interspersed with beauty treatments at the hotel spa. Enjoy a spectacular finale watching the sunset with cocktails from the Polynesian-style beach bar and dining on local or Mediterranean cuisine at Iriatai Restaurant, boasting more stunning vistas.
If you’re looking for more affordable indulgence in paradise, this boutique island resort may be ideal. Here you’ll find plenty of Fijian hospitality as well as 34 luxury villas and burres, surrounded by lush, tropical gardens with fabulous views of South Pacific sunsets. Sunset Pool Villas blend elevated views with the privacy of a horizon edge plunge pool and a daybed. Enjoy snorkeling the brilliant coral reefs and diving with the PADI 5-Sar Gold Palm Dive Team as well as exploring all sorts of interesting sites, including a Giant Clam Farm. If you just want to relax, indulge in the day spa or soak up the sunshine next to the horizon edge pool. Dining options abound, including romantic oceanfront decks, underneath the shade of swaying palms or a blanket of stars after dark, with meals that feature Asian and South Pacific influences with a modern international twist.
The Four Seasons Resort in Bora Bora features exotic overwater bungalows that allow guests to watch the schools of fish below, as well as 107 different rooms scattered across the beachside and lagoon of its private small islet. Walls are made of volcanic stone, while thatched-roof spaces are decorated with teak and timber furnishings along with mother-of-pearl accents. All offer amazing views over the cerulean-hued South Pacific, some also include a glimpse of the black-rock peaks of Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia. Enjoy outings on the resort’s catamaran as well as passion fruit mojitos at the pool bar. All of the food, at four different restaurants, is magnificently prepared, though the Arri Moana serves especially delectable French and Polynesian cuisine. The spa is also a highlight, surrounded by awe-inspiring views of lush tropical valleys and Mount Otemanu.
The Intercontinental Moorea Resort & Spa is nestled between scenic mountains and a tropical lagoon, in an ideal location for experiencing authentic French Polynesia. Stay in elegantly appointed rooms or bungalows, all located between fragrant gardens, a white sandy beach and on the lagoon, each equipped with a balcony or terrace. Dine on local and international cuisine at Fare Nui or Fare Hana. You’ll also find a swim-up bar at the large infinity pool which serves light meals, snacks and drinks. Spend your days doing everything from kayaking in the surf to swimming with dolphins and diving or snorkeling the azure waters. A variety of excursions are also available, including going to a nearby islet for ray feeding and 4X4 Safari tours.
This all-inclusive, internationally award-winning resort and spa offers true paradise among Namale’s pristine beaches in luxurious accommodations set among a stunning tropical setting, in Fijian bures and villas overlooking the Koro Sea. Honeymoon Burres are designed for maximum privacy, with one-bedroom villas featuring a raised king four-poster bed with a sunken sitting room that opens to a private deck. It also includes a large two-person shower, Jacuzzi, hot tub and a mini-plunge pool. All meals are included as well as beverages, including liquor wine, beer and champagne as well as treatments in the spa’s hydrotherapy room. Activities available for all ages, include freshwater pools, snorkeling, horseback riding to a hidden waterfall, guided reef walks and scuba adventures in the sea. Right onsite you can take a dip in the pools, play a game of volleyball, basketball, Frisbee golf or tennis, go knee boarding or reef and tide pool exploring.
Stays at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, built on the site of a former coconut plantation, are in 25 spacious free-standing thatched-roof huts built of local timbers, providing plenty of privacy, comfort and personalized service. You’ll enjoy 5-star lodging combined with the best in Fiji Island serenity, with each accommodation including a plush king size bed, rattan furnishings and a private deck with ocean or garden views. All meals, based on Fijian cuisine, South Pacific and Asian-inspired delicacies, are included in this all-inclusive resort, served in its onsite restaurant overlooking the bay, or al fresco poolside. Musicians serenade guests with traditional Fijian songs and you’ll even have the opportunity to participate in a Kava Ceremony.
Situated on the secluded Motu Tautau islet in the Society Islands facing the lush island of Taha’a on one side, and the majestic silhouette of Bora Bora on the other side, this resort, inspired by traditional Polynesian architecture and style, boasts 57 remarkable suites and villas. All are built in the Polynesian tradition which exquisitely blends thatched pandanus roofs, exotic woods, stones, corals, bamboo, tapa cloths and woven coconut, or “nape,” ropes, located either above the glistening lagoon or on the beach. You’ll be steps away from pristine waters and a spectacular coral garden that allows you to get close to the multitude of sea life. Choose from a wide variety of excursions, from hiking, scuba diving and snorkeling to exploring virgin islets, wave runner adventures, jeep safari tours, nature discovery, sunset cruises, helicopter tours and more. When you want to relax, head to the spa, tucked within a beautiful, exotic garden offering an array of massages, wraps and other treatments.
Laucala Island is a beyond-five-star, luxury, private island resort set on 3,200 exclusive acres in the Fijian Pacific archipelago. Set among coconut plantations, lush green mountains, sandy beaches and turquoise lagoons, some refer to it as the veritable Garden of Eden of Fiji. The 25 villas, all glamorous versions of traditional Fijian dwellings, offer unparalleled privacy in various locations throughout the northern coast of the island. Eleven can be found amid a coconut grove adjacent to a private beach, while four villas are perched atop a mountain at the heart of the island, framed by a rainforest and providing uninterrupted sea views. The remaining seven line a powdery white beach, with the Overwater villa set above an emerald-hued lagoon. Activities include everything from horseback riding on the beach to golfing, all types of watersports and more. Meals, which are included, can be enjoyed at five restaurants and bars featuring everything from fine dining to beachside barbeques.
Located on a private island 400 miles southwest of Tahiti, the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort is the only resort in the Cook Islands with overwater bungalows, direct access to the lagoon and all types of activities, including snorkeling, kayaking and motu walking, or wading through the shallow, clear waters between islets. The panoramic vistas from this luxurious property are hard to beat anywhere else on earth. Champagne-colored beaches are perfect for a romantic stroll as well as for watching glorious sunsets, with the lagoon transformed into a blaze of pinks, yellows, reds and oranges playing across its surface.
Dine on fresh, innovative cuisine at the Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill, with a quintessential island-style sand floor and more stunning views across the lagoon. Enjoy island nights which features a lively show of Cook Islands culture, singing, drumming and dancing. A variety of activities are included in your stay, like complimentary kayaks, bicycles, outrigger canoes and snorkeling gear. Join in on hula dancing lessons, lei making, crab racing and fish feeding too.