Growing up, I dreamed about visiting Bora Bora someday, lounging on the deck of an overwater bungalow, and swimming in the crystalline water with all of the vibrant marine life. Fast forward 20ish years and that dream became more of a reality once I got engaged and had a honeymoon to Bora Bora.
When I, Olivia, began planning my honeymoon, I realized that a vacation of this caliber would not be nearly as impossible as I had once previously thought. Let’s be honest, there is definitely a reason that many people think the Tahitian islands are reserved for celebrities and icons who have more money than they know how to spend. It can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be.
As two nurses who live a comfortable life, my (now) husband and I became tasked with the responsibility of booking a Bora Bora honeymoon to remember for the rest of our lives without demolishing our savings. I spent countless hours researching how so many “normal”, non-celebrity individuals like ourselves could afford a trip to the beautiful island of Bora Bora.
As a chronic over-planner and perfectionist with entirely too much free time, I have compiled some of the most helpful tips and tricks into a guide for you to use when planning your honeymoon to Bora Bora. Everything from this guide is from my personal experience as a first-time traveler to Bora Bora.
Why Bora Bora Is A Good Spot For A Honeymoon
My husband and I chose Bora Bora because we knew we could simply never find a better or more romantic place for a honeymoon. Nothing can beat walking on white sand beaches with shiny new wedding rings on while watching the sunset over the beautiful turquoise waters and feeling that “so this is heaven” feeling.
We only plan on getting married once, and so that means our honeymoon needed to be as “once-in-a-lifetime” as our marriage. During the initial research process, we discussed many options for the destination of our honeymoon, and none of them even remotely compared to the idea of visiting Bora Bora. While the trip can be rather expensive, we ultimately decided that the experience would be worth the money. Bora Bora is the only destination that we found to not only excel in tourism but also in genuine hospitality.
As a tourist, it can be daunting to visit an island that someone else calls “home” and not worry about the implications of your presence in that environment. The people you meet in Bora Bora (both at the resort and in the local town, grocery store, etc.) are kind, helpful, and welcoming. Smiling faces, waving hands, and a cheerful “la Orana!” are always found when you step foot on the island of Bora Bora.
For any potential couple, it’s always great to celebrate a new marriage in a location that is not only beautiful and luxurious but also boasts and respects the land, people, and overall ecosystem.
Where To Stay In Bora Bora For A Honeymoon
There are plenty of places to stay in Bora Bora when visiting for a honeymoon. You can read this guide to find a list of all-inclusive resorts in Bora Bora. Making a list of “must-haves” and then comparing that list to each resort can help you make the final decision of what place is right.
When looking at resorts for a honeymoon, our “non-negotiables” were plenty of coral to snorkel around, overwater bungalows, water activities, and a focus on the preservation of the natural ecosystem. We chose to spend our honeymoon at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui and loved it!
The Conrad Bora Bora Nui resort is located just south of the mainland of Bora Bora. Upon landing at the tiny island airport, you’re greeted by the fresh smell of the Tahitian national flower, tiare mā’ohi, handmade into leis.
The hotel has airport pick-up and once arrived, we were escorted to our reserved boat by Conrad’s welcoming staff and chauffeured to the private island resort. When you arrive on the resort’s premises, you learn about the hotel’s current initiative to rebuild some of the surrounding coral that lies just beneath the check-in desk and scattered throughout the shallow waters surrounding the resort.
Marine biologists created a process to enhance the natural ecosystems and allow the regrowth of coral at an increased rate. The best part about these structures is that colorful fish of many different types cluster around them in droves. This makes for an excellent snorkeling spot right there on Conrad’s property.
There are a few other resorts in Bora Bora that bring focus to conservation efforts as well, but I can only speak on my personal experience at the Conrad. After gushing over seeing all the different types of aquatic wildlife at the check-in dock, you’re escorted by the private butler via golf cart to the incredible rooms. We pulled up to villa number 324 and were in awe of how lucky we got when assigned to this villa.
We chose a deluxe overwater villa with a sunset view, but what we got felt like the presidential suite. The overwater bungalow rested atop beautiful handmade wooden beams that suspend you 10 feet or so above the crystal-clear water below. Every detail of the underwater ocean below is visible right from the entryway.
As you open the door, you’re greeted by the AC (which is not very common in many of the common areas of Tahiti) and the beautiful view of the suite. A massive main room, equipped with a Bluetooth sound system to play music and a huge Alaskan King bed with gardenia flowers arranged beautifully.
The overwater bungalow bathroom features a 300-liter bathtub that’s just waiting to be used. Everything was planned and perfected in the suite. The Conrad Bora Bora Nui is truly an idyllic place to spend the first week of marriage.
Since we only stayed at one resort, I may have a biased opinion on the quality of amenities offered. We booked through Costco Travel Agents and our vacation package included breakfast. Let me start by saying that breakfast was my favorite part of the day every single day.
My husband and I would wake up at 5:30 AM and have complimentary espresso in our suite while watching the sunrise. We would count down the minutes until the breakfast buffet opened so that we could hop on our complimentary bikes and cycle through the resort grounds to the breakfast restaurant, the Iriatai.
You get seated at a table and given a menu to choose from, as well as a free range of the massive breakfast buffet. There were authentic and freshly baked pastries, gluten-free bread options, fresh Tahitian raw fish (also called Poisson cru), an egg-making station that was staffed by a chef, and many Asian, American, and French influences of food on the breakfast buffet.
As self-proclaimed foodies, it feels like an absolute paradise. Eating our mounded plates of food every morning while staring out at the ocean and beautiful sunshine was by far my favorite memory of the island.
Other amenities to look out for when choosing a resort is the complimentary use of all watersport activities. Some resorts will give you a free snorkel, mask, and fins to keep at your overwater bungalow. We definitely got some use out of that everyday snorkeling around the villa. We also used a tandem kayak one day, which put our new marriage to the test at some points. Paddleboarding is a fantastic thing you should try, which allows you to see the wildlife beneath from an entirely new angle.
During the day, we would frequent the pool in the middle of the resort. The pool employees are some of the nicest and most fun-loving guys you will meet at the resort. Throughout the day, there are many planned activities around the pool. The employees will show you how to open a coconut, demonstrate traditional Tahitian dances with drums and ukuleles, and teach Tahitian dance lessons.
The pool cabana also provides complimentary detox water as well as sunscreen and aloe to guests at the resort. They definitely make you feel like royalty around the grounds because every experience at this resort is tailored to your honeymoon experience.
Things To Do On A Honeymoon In Bora Bora
We highly recommend making reservations for some fun excursions and tours you want to do before coming to the island. While the resort’s concierge staff can always help book them, it’s better to be extra prepared to ensure there is availability when you’re here.
We chose to do a snorkeling excursion with a local tour guide. The snorkeling tour takes you with a group of 6-7 people to go swim with various sea creatures, such as 12-foot manta rays and groups of eagle rays from a safe distance to respect the wildlife. There are also sea turtles and vibrant fish.
The excursion also has complimentary non-alcoholic beverages, and the tour guide is a local who has grown up on Bora Bora. They give you so much insight into the culture of respecting the land and appreciating its beauty.
Another tour I highly recommend is this ATV excursion on the mainland of Bora Bora. My husband grew up riding ATVs, so this was especially fun for him and equally as terrifying for me as the passenger on the ATV. The tour guide leads you up the rocky trails to get a clear view of Mount Otemanu, the steep mountain in the middle of Bora Bora.
You can also have a lot of fun traversing around the mainland and seeing all aspects of island living. At the top of the summit, the tour guide brings you to the old World War II cannons that are still in place today.
Although they were never used in the war, the cannons still represent a huge part of the culture and how Bora Bora became such a well-known vacation spot for Americans especially. You can find a list of romantic tours for Bora Bora with this guide.
As you admire the views from the cannon lookout, you also get a snack of coconut bread (“ipo”), fresh fruit, and juice. After returning to the main city, across from the shuttle dock, we went to the local grocery store called Chin Lee. We stocked up on some local Tahitian rum, as well as other snacks that we wanted to try.
Since Bora Bora is a French territory with influences from Europe, there are fantastic baguettes baked fresh daily and sold at the Chin Lee. We even saw our favorite bartender from the Conrad at the local grocery store, proving that the island is small after all!
Beyond water activities and ATV rides, it’s also quite a romantic thing to just lounge around the villas and lie on the hammock netting on the deck. At night, the stars are much more visible on Bora Bora than anywhere else. You can download an app to identify the constellations and keep you busy after dinner one night.
You may also want to try and sleep outside on the hammock before moving back into bed. You honestly can’t beat the nightly breeze when the air gets cooler, and the ocean waves are lulling you to sleep.
Visiting your resort spa or any spa around the island is another must-do. The first wedding present I received from my husband was a trip to the spa, and it was one of the most incredible parts of the trip for me. You get personally picked up via a golf cart by a spa attendant and whisked away for your own day of relaxation.
The Hina Spa in the Conrad Resort is found at the top of the summit and has the best views of the entire island. From the entrance of the spa, one can see Mt. Otemanu. From the back deck of the spa, the entire lagoon is within view and a spectacular one at that.
After gushing over the views, you can look at the spa services available. While choosing a service, a spa attendant offered me complimentary tea to begin my day of ultra relaxation. I personally chose the Hina signature treatment, which is 60 minutes of pure heaven. The masseuse ushered me to an air-conditioned room overlooking the lagoon, where my massage takes place. She then used pure Tahitian vanilla-infused oil to initiate the aromatherapy aspect of the massage. Overall, the spa experience elevated my vacation to an entirely new level of relaxation, which is why I highly recommend it as something to do on your honeymoon.
Bora Bora Honeymoon Cost
With everything considered from this honeymoon of a lifetime, I think the overall cost was very manageable for two nurses from Tennessee. We did book this trip through Costco, which helped with the cost aspect greatly. The flights were bundled into the package, as well as breakfast and a 3-course dinner every night while at the Conrad. All you need to do is buy lunch, which we only did 2 times while staying at the resort because we brought ramen noodles to hold us over until dinner.
We may have also borrowed some from the breakfast buffet and kept it in our room for when we got hungry. Food and alcohol were two things that were not included in our travel package and they were very expensive. You can expect $30 for a Mai Tai and $100 for two burgers with fries for lunch.
If you don’t drink much alcohol from the resort bar that can help shave off some cost greatly. We did bring in 2 bottles of rum in our checked bag from our local liquor store in the US so that we could use fresh juice from the resort to mix with!
All of these little loopholes with the cost kept our bill much lower than it probably should have been. After totaling up the total cost of the trip, including the flights, accommodations with breakfast and dinner, and excursions, the cost for a honeymoon in Bora Bora ends up around $13,000 USD.
Keep in mind, we decided to elope at a courthouse and forego a traditional wedding that can cost upwards of 3 times that amount. We are so grateful we decided to spend the money and visit Bora Bora instead because it truly is a trip of a lifetime where pictures truly do not do it justice. We’ll always remember this romantic honeymoon and feeling like we were truly the only two people on earth while there.
It’s impossible to ignore how romantic Bora Bora is in its entirety, and makes you question how a place like this even exists. Every bite of food tastes fresher, the colors above and below the ocean’s water are brighter and more vivid than ever before, and the air smells like fresh flowers, coconuts, and the salty breeze of the sea. Spending honeymoon bliss in Bora Bora will forever be my most romantic experience with my husband.