Tahiti & Bora Bora: Go Beyond the Ordinary

Hi Fox Friends. My name is Chelsea Sarauer, Vacation Travel Advisor out of the Oshkosh office.

My passion for travel has taken me all over the world, and I feel so lucky to be able to share my travel passion and experiences with you.


I recently returned from beautiful Bora Bora, where I conquered one of my deepest fears of the ocean to snorkel and swim with sharks in open water. The most impactful part of my experience was learning about the history of the Polynesian culture. While the service was exemplary, it was also awesome to witness the effort put forth to preserving the marvelous island ecosystem through sustainable practices. Bora Bora was truly a trip of a lifetime!

When your bucket list trip calls you to the elusive tropical paradise of Bora Bora, allow my travels and review aid you in selecting the perfect resort for your trip of a lifetime.

First, a short geography lesson! Feel free to skip if you’ve passed this course!

Tahiti and Bora Bora are not same; while near one another, they are very unique islands.  Both are a part of the Society Islands of the French Polynesia in the south Pacific Ocean.

Flying into Tahiti (PPT) is the single most common means to Bora Bora, the much smaller and more private of the two. While Tahiti offers a wide variety of shopping, restaurants and bars, Bora Bora tends to feel quieter and more secluded. For more on the differences of the two famous island dream destinations, give me a call!  I’d love to chat and find the BEST experience for your unique style.


Ok, now on to the resorts!


Intercontinental Tahiti

This resort is the only resort in Tahiti that has overwater bungalows. The average stay at this hotel for most guests is one to two days.

Tahiti is a harbor city with cascades (waterfalls) all over the island and plenty to explore. Guests are recommended to rent a car or a scooter to explore the island. Hint! The hotel concierge can aid in this booking.

Hotel Highlights

  • Concierge – 2 Les Clefs d’Or – is one of the highest rankings – a key designation in quality
  • Zero entry swim up bar with a sand bottom
  • Onsite luxury spa
  • Adventure activities including onsite snorkeling, jet skis, and paddle-boarding
  • Panoramic view suites
  • Eight beehives on-site that produce 100% of the honey for the hotel

Intercontinental La Moanna

The personal-touch hospitality here is phenomenal. After being personally greeted by the manager, you’ll be escorted to front reception for check-in with welcome drink and cooling towel. While the resort itself is a little older, they prioritize annual updates and maintenance on each of their 60 bungalows, which includes 12 beachfront bungalows!  Each bungalow is the same, so your only difficult selection is your view!

Hotel Highlights

  • Al fresco dining available for breakfast and dinner
  • Complementary non-motorized watersports equipment
  • Onsite snorkeling featuring their exclusive coral garden and coral nursey
  • Coral under each bungalow so guests can see the fish from their glass table
  • Access to Thalasso Spa for a $35 day pass

Thalasso Resort and Spa

As you arrive at the Thalasso, you are greeted by the sound of the conch shell being blown, calling your senses to the luxury and appeal of this amazing five-star property.

The hotel boasts three on-site restaurants where you can customize meal plans with the hotel that is universal for both Thalasso and La Moanna.

With more than 80 spectacular overwater bungalows, ten recently had renovations to extend and add onto the bungalow a private deck swimming pool. If you are looking for even more room, the resort also offers four Teramoana Suites which consist of two bedrooms accommodations.

Hotel Highlights

  • High-end handcrafts and boutique shopping including traditional Tahitian black pearls
  • Fine French dining, hosting the largest wine selection in the French Polynesia, including onsite sommelier and three, five or seven course meal offerings
  • Wedding chapel and destination wedding services
  • Onsite snorkeling tours with Lagoon Services

Ray was the best! I am not comfortable in large bodies of water, and Ray never left my side. I am so grateful to him and the amazing experience. A memory I will cherish forever!

A ‘not-to-miss’ experience

The 43,000 square foot spa offers an impressive 14 treatment rooms utilizing both organic and holistic products and practices, including a swimming spa where you can swim against the current; 107 jets of hydro bath massage; and a relaxation room adjacent the ocean, with tranquilizing sounds of the pacific waves crashing down as you meditate both pre and post-service.

Looking for a unique service?  Try the Algospa water treatment therapy, which includes a seaweed wrap, color therapy and sea water massage by water pulled from 3000 feet deep!


The Brando

Prepare to be whisked away by your small, private airplane, seating only yourself and up to 13 others as your short 15-minute flight delivers you to The Brando, your private island paradise.

I recommend sitting at the front of the plane for amazing views. The pilot saw me taking a picture and offered to take my phone to get a picture from his point of view along with a video.

You’ll be greeted by cultural music and festive dancing with reception by the management team.  The island and resort are small and ecologically intentional.  Each guest receives their own refillable water bottle, sandals, and beach bag to take with them as a gift. With a minimalist culture and sustainability at the core, each villa has their own bikes to use throughout the island.

You’ll enjoy a great variety of dining onsite including fine French cuisine, Bob’s beach bar, snacks and drinks from the infinity pool, or private dining at your own personal gazebo.

The Beachbody House provides boat tours, snorkeling and paddle boarding.

Immerse yourself in the tours and cultural heritage of the Polynesian people and learn how they respect and work with nature in leading ecological ways.

And the spa is included. Leading with a holistic mindset, the spa offers a steam bath, waterfall, cold plunge, yoga, and many other offerings.  The most popular treatment is called the Fare Manu, which is a three-hour treatment including massage and flower bath just to start.

Hotel Highlights

  • This resort top-of-the-line. The ultimate in authentically luxury retreat
  • Intimate with only 35 villas on the private island
  • Babysitting services are available for families of all ages
  • The island includes a Pickleball court and fitness center
  • Privacy is paramount as guests sign a non-disclosure agreement to ensure respect for privacy.

Wherever you stay: Don’t miss the Polynesian Dinner Shows

Seeing this traditional, cultural Polynesian display of artistic art expression should be at the top of your bucket list, wherever you stay.  Dinner shows at most properties are once or twice a week and may include buffet style and authentic cuisine.

I hope this overview was helpful and if you have over-the-water-bungalows and aqua-blue paradise at the top of your bucket list, please reach out to myself or any one of our experienced travel advisors for assistance.  A trip to these famous south pacific islands is truly a dream come true!  We look forward to assisting you!

Ia Ora na!







  • Would
    Like to see a price for 2 people if there is an all inclusive . Also include airfare from either Milwaukee or Chicago for Dec 9-16 2023. Thank

    • Great questions! There are many variables depending upon your airport, time of year, etc. It is best to reach out to Chelsea or another travel advisor for recommendations and pricing.

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