Bora Bora

When a trio of American hoteliers envisioned Tahiti’s first overwaterbungalow in the 1970s, they did morethan create euphoric accommodations. By mounting traditional Polynesian grasshuts onto stilts in aquamarine lagoons,the “Bali Hai Boys” established aromance icon.

Bora Bora has become the image ofamorous Tahitian escapes where dreamydestination weddings and honeymoonsembrace this tropical splendor. Thegorgeous South Pacific paradise seduceswith majestic Mount Otemanu, neonbluewaters coveted for snorkeling, vividsunsets and fantasy hideaways.A scenic 20-minute water shuttleride from Motu Mute Airport (BOB),Le Meridien Bora Bora emerges asthird of four stellar international brands including Four Seasons, St. Regis and InterContinental. Don’t let that fool you. Placing a premium on privacy, each is perched on an individual motu (Tahitian islet) accessible by boat.

Le Meridien accommodates couples and wedding parties with overwater and beach bungalows, plus four luxe villas with private swimming pools and direct beach access. What sets this resort apart from others are its overwater bungalows’ massive glass panel floors considered the largest in French Polynesia. When you tire of gawking at marine life through this oversized private portal, you can bask on the deck or walk down steps leading directly into the pristine lagoon.

As difficult as it is to leave these self-contained, air-conditioned havens, couples are drawn to enjoy complimentary snorkeling, kayaking, infinity pools and outrigger canoe sailing. The on-site Bora Bora Turtle Center welcomes guests to swim among hawksbill and green turtles in their natural environment. Surcharge activities include Manahau Wellness Center spa treatments, scuba diving, jet skiing, parasailing and waterskiing.

Le Meridien also serves an international buffet, gourmet dining room and beachfront toes-in-the-sand fare. At Miki Miki lounge, signature cocktails are garnished with live entertainment and spectacular sunset views of Mount Otemanu.

Ceremony plans range from exchanging vows in the wedding chapel, at private beaches or on Tupai Island that’s accessible by helicopter. For receptions, you can keep it low key and intimate or add splash with a Tahitian tamaaraa feast, dancers and musicians.

Visit lemeridien-borabora.com and tahiti-tourisme.com/islands/borabora/bora-bora.asp.

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