When it was finalized that I would stay at the Four Seasons Bora Bora, my second thought, after the initial feeling of euphoria, was doubt: what to pack.
I was hesitant whether I could drop in wearing my usual shorts, T-shirt and hiking sandals. After thoroughly going through my wardrobe, I picked two nice dresses, carefully ironed them and packed them with a pair of lovely sandals into my suitcase. I imagined myself showing up at reception all elegant and chic.
Well, my arrival could not have been more different.
As I spent the previous night in a small guesthouse and signed up for a half-day snorkeling trip, I cleverly solved the problem of how to arrive at the motu where the resort is located. I was picked up in the morning at the guesthouse by the snorkeling boat, then spent the first half of the day swimming with colorful fishes, manta rays and sharks before asking the boatman to drop me off at the Four Seasons.
So my grand arrival was simply me, soaking wet, in a swimsuit and plastic sandals full with sand, with snorkeling gear also in hand. However, the staff at reception did not seem to mind: they greeted me with a warm smile.
As I arrived before check-in time, my bungalow was not quite ready, but I got a nice tour of the premises by a lovely lady, also called Ewa. When she appeared from behind the front desk, we stared at each other in surprise. We realized, that we had met nearly two years earlier on a hiking tour in the Cantalope Canyon in the USA. I was even a witness (and an impromptu photographer) of her surprise engagement in a romantic section of the breathtaking canyon. Such a small world!
We jumped into a small golf cart and Ewa showed me all the important facilities at the resort: the restaurants, the chapel, the tennis court, the spa, the lagoon and so on.
By the time we arrived back to reception, my room was ready and I got shuttled to my bungalow far on the water.
The modest looking bungalows are all splendid elegance inside. They include a spacious living room, a bedroom with wardrobe area, plus a bathroom with both a shower and bathtub.
But the jackpot is the terrace with its own plunge-in pool. I did not even leave my little castle for the rest of the day and admired the sunset from my own pool. Moments I will never forget.
I then spent the next day exploring every single nook and service at the resort. I chilled by the pool, snorkeled in the reservoir, and kayaked in the otherworldly blue water.
I especially loved the small sandbank with its own palm tree, which is a popular spot for weddings.
And the fine print?
That is the best. While in many cases all the disappointing details about an offer is in the fine print, here the details are just as great as the big picture.
The staff often called me by my name, which came as a surprise as it was my first day in a Four Seasons resort. They must have the know-how to master this.
You do not find tiny plastic tubes in the bathroom, but ceramic jars for shampoo – great for the environment!
You will also have no trouble connecting your electronic devices.
In addition to towels, you will find books and sun lotion by the pool.
If you need to stay a few hours after check-out due to a late plane, you can do that in the sweet, comfortable cabanas by the pool area.
The waiters walk around with ice-cold water, so there is no need to worry about dehydration.
When I finally had to say goodbye, I was transferred to the main island by an elegant boat. We received a refreshing towel and small bottle of water even for this 15-minute trip. I stepped off the boat, waved goodbye and walked to my next destination. As I glanced back, I saw the captain carefully wiping off the drops of water that had been sprinkled on the windows by the big waves – in order to wait for the new clients with a perfectly clean boat.
Apart from the grandiose setting and the luxury bungalows, this attention to detail and service is, for me, what truly defines the “Four Season experience”. No matter who you are, you are treated as a royal, as a very precious guest. No wonder they operate close to full house despite the not so modest price tag. They definitely won me over as their new fan!