In Bora Bora
It's a quick 45-minute flight from Papeete to Bora Bora. Make sure you select your seats on the left side of the plane for incoming views of the island and Mount Pahiathe tallest point set in the middle of rings of the blue sea, which ranges in shade from turquoise to sapphire.
I chose the Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa for its complete privacy, and because it has its own cove, set apart from the other hotels in the area that seem stacked side by side and on top each other. The Bora Bora Nui also has the highest peak spot of all the resorts, with views of Mount Pahia. I decided straight away that the peak was the perfect place for my husband and I to re-marry.
Destination Brides take note: The hotel staff is all yours and will accommodate where you choose to wed. From the beach and sacred cove, to the small chapel on property and even up to where I re-married on top of the hill, it's all about romance and your wishes for the special place for your nuptials.
Luckily for us, the Bora Bora Nui is an all-inclusive property, which we highly recommend in Tahiti, since meals with the exchange rate are unfavorable to the U.S. dollar and can end up quite pricey. Aside from this, my favorite aspect of the hotel was the large overwater bungalows with bathtubs for two. Try to book bungalow number 6 with a view of Mt. Pahia and optimum privacy.
Getting re-married, Tahitian style
The morning of our re-nuptials dawned bright and sunny. To lessen any nerves, we chose to swim with the sharks and feed the stingrays, an awesome adventure arranged by our concierge.
Later that evening, we were re-married by a Tahitian chief, in a ceremony complete with Tahitian dancers and drummers. At one point, we were wrapped in a marriage cloth, and the chief renamed our "family name" in Tahitian. . To round out the perfect evening, we took a water taxi to one of the most beautiful restaurants in the world, Villa Mahana. My friend John suggested that we spend the evening there because he had said: "when I brought my girlfriend there, she cried. She thought it was the most magical place she had ever been to. You'll cry, too." He also added this important information: "Book ahead; it's a two month wait list."
Villa Mahana is indeed an enchanting place and a dining experience so unique that it's difficult to put into words. The intimate resaurant is run by Damien Rinaldi-Dovio, a chef from France who is now a permanent Bora Bora resident. Damien opens his home each evening to cook for only 6 tables. What is freshly caught that day is what is on the menu that evening. Choose a la carte or the chef's tasting menu, but either way it will be a most memorable foodie experience. Don't miss the chocolate desserts; you will thank me for it.
My trip might be over, but yours doesn't have to be! For tips on traveling to the Marquesas or Tahiti, check out all of my stories on the area:
· Adventure Girl Ships Out to 'Un-Cruise' The Marquesas Islands
· Curried Goat and a Rainbow: Adventure Girl's Marquesas Islands Adventures Continue!
· Adventure Girl Finds Gauguin, But No 'No-Nos' in the Marquesas Islands
· A New Name and Meeting Marquesan Royalty: Just Another Day for Adventure Girl
[All photos: Stefanie Michaels]