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Our First Impression of Bora Bora at The Four Seas...

Our First Impression of Bora Bora at The Four Seasons

BORA BORA, but far from boring. It’s a place that’s truly regarded as a dream destination. And having spent 8 sweet nights there, I can confidently report back that it is, in fact, a dream. Although it’s a popular honeymoon escape (and rightfully so) I found it to be a really special place beyond the surface-level honeymoon appeal. Not that I wasn’t expecting to like it, but I didn’t quite know I’d have a connection with it beyond it just being an exquisite Instagram backdrop.


 

I have been describing it to friends and family as feeling as if a little chunk of untouched Hawaii broke away and drifted a couple thousand miles south to form nothing short of a small blissful island oasis. I’ve always felt a special connection to Hawaii, and I felt the same feeling here. The air is sweet and heavy, and the water is like warm sparkling bathwater leading to colorful underwater universes below. I don’t know. Maybe there’s just something in the air.

Bora Bora is centered by a magnificent dormant volcano that’s then surrounded by a cluster of islets, with crystal-clear impossibly turquoise lagoon water in between. Said dormant volcano, Mt. Otemanu, makes an appearance in just about every photo we took here as you will surely notice. We couldn’t help it, both because it’s probably the most magnificent sight you can imagine, and also because it’s visible from almost every angle of Bora Bora’s circling islets, so it’s delightfully hard to avoid.

When I say crystal clear water, I don’t want it to sound like I’m exaggerating for the sake of more vivid travel blogger-y language – no – it’s actually the clearest water I think I’ve ever personally witnessed that’s not of a swimming pool. It’s also impossibly still water (hence the water portion of Bora Bora being a “lagoon”, which is essentially ocean water that’s cradled in between islets and coral reef.) And speaking of coral… wow.

Snorkeling in a lagoon is the most peaceful and extraordinary way to take a peek into that colorful underwater world. There’s something almost tranquilizing about snorkeling in a place where you can see 360 degrees around you clear as day, no questionable murky drop-off in the distance, no huge waves thrashing you around – it’s quiet and clear and special. Even in the deeper portions of Bora Bora’s waters where we were lucky enough to swim with sharks later on (more on that coming soon!), I was both amazed and comforted to be able to clearly see the sandy seabed below even on a cloudy day. There’s certainly thrill and adventure to be found in the open ocean, but the waters of Bora Bora have a certain stillness to them that really leave you feeling immersed and enchanted by what’s happening around the coral below.

And while we spent a lot of our time in and under the water, it’s clear that we barely even began to cover some of the most fantastic snorkel-tunities that Bora Bora has to offer (or scuba, if you prefer). While snorkeling one day we ran into a photographer who was literally staying on a boat for an entire month, living on and in the water as he jaunted around Bora Bora’s gorgeous oceanscape. Zack and I were both very inspired by his method of experiencing the island, and let’s just say we have a few ideas in mind for our next trip…

But, the land portion of Bora Bora is where we stayed, and let me tell you, it rocked.


Our first 4 nights were spent at one of Instagram’s most admired destinations, The Four Seasons Bora Bora. As this was our first impression of Bora Bora right after a less than restful red-eye from LA, we weren’t quite sure where the dream ended and reality began. Bora Bora is a place that really hits you like a tidal wave the second you arrive (ironically, as there aren’t really any waves there), and the Four Seasons has arguably one of the most scenic views of Mt. Otemanu, so you’ll be sure to have trouble forming sentences when you first arrive. It really is that beautiful, but as always, photos will do a better job at explaining this than I can. And although it’s impossible to take a bad photo here, the truth is that there is nothing that can really compare to gawking at this place with your own eyeballs.

If you’re looking for absolute island luxury, this is your hotel. It’s groomed and pruned and gorgeous, with immaculate attention to detail in it’s tropical gardens, private swimming lagoons and thatched overwater villas. With multiple restaurants from sushi to French-inspired island cuisine, we loved having so many dining options.

Beyond simply basking in actual 5-star paradise and enjoying the finer things in life, which this place is alllll about, there are so many water activities, excursions and beautiful underwater life to be explored and enjoyed. With natural private lagoons on property, you are able to snorkel in enclosed areas that still offer outstanding coral reef and marine life – really perfect for leisurely exploring and especially suitable for kids (we constantly thought of Zack’s niece and nephew and how this would be an absolute paradise of a playground for them).

The infamous overwater bungalows of the Four Seasons Bora Bora are just as dreamy as pictured, with all the modern luxury amenities of a 5 star hotel room that just so happens to be perched on stilts over calm turquoise water. I was somehow lucky enough to spend my 25th birthday here, and as you can imagine, it was wonderful. I stuffed my face with sushi in paradise, and I’m not sure how much better a birthday could possibly get.


 

As far as first impressions go, this place wowed us. Tropical, picturesque, luxurious island paradise.

Huge thank you to The Four Seasons Bora Bora and all the lovely staff there for having us for my birthday and making it such a special and memorable experience, and to Bora Bora itself for producing the single-best sunset that a place could possibly conjure up on the evening of my 25th birthday. I’ll never forget it.



 

 

Stay tuned for another post on the second half of our trip, including sharks, stingrays and a liiiittle more adventure. And if you’re curious about the bikinis / outfits / brands I wore this trip, you’re in luck cause that’s coming too! x


  1. Cassi

    12 February

    Hi Helen! Bora Bora is one of my dream destinations, and I would also really prefer to stay at the Four Seasons since I saw how great it was from your blog and Instagram stories. However, I am a broke college student going through nursing school and a bedroom for 2 people at the Four Seasons costs around 2.000/night (I looked through hotels.com). I looked at the Sofitel private island rates and they are much more affordable, however I would like to experience both and I’m not sure if I can even swing that on a nursing salary. Do you have tips? Is traveling to Bora Bora possible when you’re on a budget? Thanks! :)

  2. Vanessa

    30 December

    Love your photos! It would be great is you could do a post or a tutorial on how you edit your photos. Thanks! xo

  3. Ann

    29 December

    Hi Helen! Where are your white romper and your red bathing suit from? I checked your latest blog post and didn’t see them listed. You’re so talented and your blog is so well written! Thank you for sharing the details of your trip.

  4. Malina Ray

    28 December

    How did you get into modeling ? I’ve always been interested but never had the guts to do anything about it hahha.

    • Helen Owen

      28 December

      Hi Malina! I actually never really got into modeling in the traditional sense, and I’m not even technically a model now. Any type of modeling I do all stems from the brand I’ve built myself online rather than going to castings, working with an agent, etc etc. I wish I could give better advice on modeling but I honestly was never drawn to modeling and it still doesn’t appeal to me very much now, although I totally admire so many people who commit to it! I will say that the impact that Instagram alone has had on the modeling industry is tremendous and it’s certainly a way to get your foot in the door these days, or even build an entire career. Hopefully that was a little bit helpful! Sending you love and the best for 2018! xx

      • Malina Ray

        28 December

        Yeah when I️ say “modeling” I️ am meaning more of the business side of it I️ guess. Like how did you get to the point of traveling and taking photos for a living? I️ love to travel and I️m really into setting up cool Instagram shots or just photos in general to show my passions and interests. ☺️

  5. […] I mentioned in my previous post, Bora Bora is comprised of islets (i.e. mini islands) surrounding one central peak, Mt. Otemanu. […]

  6. disicouture

    27 December

    OMG, Helen! This post is soooo beautiful. Breathtaking pictures and you two complete the magical Bora Bora views. <§

    http://www.disicouture.com/

    xoxo
    Hugs from Vienna
    Edisa

  7. thekcorinne

    27 December

    Wow this makes me want to adventure with you two so bad! This is beautiful, your writing is beautiful and it’s so nice to see all the pictures, which are beyooooond gorgeous. Can’t wait for me 💛

    • thekcorinne

      28 December

      Lol for more* not me what the heck

    • Helen Owen

      28 December

      Thank you so so much beautiful! Means a lot to me, and I’m excited to share MORE! ;) Haha

  8. Hi Helen .. I’m glad to find you have a blog to share a more detailed story about your trip. I don’t want to ask anything because my questions are mostly answered. Although, I don’t mind if you think to create some kind of tutorial to edit photos and other tips related to photography and travel next time. I can’t wait for your other travel stories. Happy christmas and Happiest New Year for you and Zack..

    • Merry Christmas and Happiest New Year for you and Zack 🤗🤗 i’m sorry for typo 😀

    • Helen Owen

      28 December

      Hi Fha! Thanks so much for your comment, even though you didn’t have a question getting a comment at all is exciting for me. I really appreciate it! I love that idea, and I’m going to plan out a post that addresses how I shoot and edit photos for the new year! Thanks again for reading. Hope you had an amazing Christmas and have a great New Year too! xx

  9. Caroline

    21 December

    Your external beauty ALMOST pales in comparison to your intelligence and beautiful writing <3

    • Helen Owen

      21 December

      THIS MADE MY DAY. Such kind words, I surely don’t deserve them. Thank you so much, sending you my love!

  10. Pearle Dae

    20 December

    Love the pictures !! These My favorite inspiration photos !!
    You are so pretty Helen

    • Helen Owen

      21 December

      Thank you Pearle! :) Appreciate the love so much!

  11. Mile High Dreamers

    20 December

    This is insane. Bora Bora is totally a dream destination for us. We’ve ALWAYS felt like a little island couple (okay, let’s be honest, Ben feels at home anywhere that shirts are optional), so I have a feeling that we’d be in heaven here. How do you even come home from a place like this?!
    You guys look so ridiculously happy in your pics, and happy 25th birthday! What a perfect place to hit that milestone.
    I’m having serious travel envy, so I think a beach needs to be in our very near future! Even if it’s not as perfect at this one!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    • Helen Owen

      21 December

      Ah thank you Susie! YES you and Ben would LOOOOOVE Bora Bora. It has that same island magic as Hawaii, except there isn’t an inch of Bora Bora that isn’t absolutely beautiful. I love how under-developed it is, even though there are super fancy pants resorts (like this one) the islets are all so naturally gorgeous. Please go experience Bora Bora sometime soon! x Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happiest New Year!

  12. TERA

    20 December

    This post is so well written, and the photos are insane! Can’t wait for part two, thanks for sharing!

    • Helen Owen

      21 December

      Thank you so so much! Means so much to me that you read it. Part two coming soon! x

  13. Shivani

    20 December

    Would love to know a) who you get to take your photos or what camera you use and b) how you edit them on the go!
    My fiancé and I are avid travelers and headed to the South Pacific for our honeymoon and would love to treasure our photo memories if they look even half as amazing as your photo quality!

    • Helen Owen

      21 December

      Hi Shivani! We use a Sony A7SII for almost all our photos, but some are taken with an iPhone X. As for who takes our photos, a lot of them are created just by us! By whatever means possible. Sometimes we travel with friends or a photographer, but for this trip we were alone. We have to get creative with it, and we love getting creative so luckily it doesn’t make it too much of a struggle to set up shots. We also aren’t shy to ask for help from anyone we meet during our travels or hotel staff, etc! Wishing you and your husband an incredible honeymoon! xxx

  14. Alison

    20 December

    God, I envy your lifestyle and the things you get to experience. Lucky you!

  15. Kelley

    19 December

    This is absolutely amazing sweetness! Can’t wait to visit and your pictures are insane!! Do you need an assistant at the moment? I’m also based in LA but love love travel.

  16. Madalina

    19 December

    Great pictures! Keep it up :)

  17. Liberty

    19 December

    What lens were you guys using, and did you have a photographer or did you use a tripod? These pics are magical as the way you described it!

    • Helen Owen

      21 December

      Hi Liberty! We are using a 55mm f1.8 for tighter shots and 24-70mm f4 for scenic shots / more versatile shooting.
      On this trip we did everything ourselves! Getting creative to set up shots is a welcome challenge for us :)
      Thanks SO much for reading and for your comment! Means a lot to me. xx

  18. Lynda Brock

    19 December

    This is such a beautifully written and intriguing post, I could not stop reading and dreaming of this place you so perfectly captured. Always impressed Helen. I’m excited to read the upcoming blogs!!!♥️

    • Helen Owen

      21 December

      Hi Lynda! Thank you so much for your kind words, it means so much that you read the post and took the time to leave a comment! More posts coming soon :) Sending you my love back! x

  19. Juliette

    19 December

    Those photos are AMAZING!!! What camera do you use to take them?

    • Helen Owen

      21 December

      Hi Juliette!! THANK YOU!!! We shot most of the photos in Bora Bora on a Sony A7SII, but a few of them are just taken on my iPhone (x) :)

  20. Shamira Solana

    19 December

    OMG what preset or editing software are you guys using for your photos???! Incredible pics and loks like you had an amazing time!!!! 💚💚💚

    Xo, Shamira
    http://www.bebeshamo.com

    • Helen Owen

      21 December

      Hi Shamira!! Thanks so much for the love! We don’t have a particular preset, but we tend to edit in Lightroom and then use VSCO filters, a lot of these are filtered with A4 in VSCO. Hope that helps! We had the best time, thanks again for reading and for your comment! xx

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