Maldives or Bora Bora?!!

posted 5 months ago in Travel
Post # 2
2013 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

Bora Bora, they’re so similar and Maldives is so far away

Post # 3
1121 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

For what it’s worth – my sister was a travel agent, and she would vote Maldives any day of the week, as it’s better value for money

Although both are super expensive, Bora Bora is prohibitively so, and your dollar won’t go anywhere near as far there as it would in the Maldives.

Post # 5
1121 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

alexaj12 :  Sorry I should have been clearer:

Both places are extremely similar for what they’re selling, and the target audience they’re selling it to

Maldives can offer what Bora Bora offers at a lower cost (i.e. you can get a nicer room in the Maldives for the price of a lesser room in Bora Bora). Sure it may only save you a few hundred, but that’s a few hundred better in your pocket

Also depends who you book through etc.

Post # 6
658 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

While planning for my honeymoon, I’ve asked my friend this same question. She’s a travel blogger and she claims that Bora Bora is more expensive than Maldives so she recommended me to go to Maldives so I vote Maldives. Good luck deciding, they’re both beautiful places!

Post # 7
9042 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

While a hotel room might be slightly less depending on where you visit in the maldives the transfers can be very expensive whereas Bora Bora has ferries which are much cheaper. I have been to both and yes both are extremely expensive. I prefer Bora Bora but I am active so my take is based on the nature I can enjoy both in and out of the water. 

alexaj12 :  

Post # 8
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I second (third, fourth?) Bora Bora. Although I’ve never been to Maldives so my opinion may be biased, but for our honeymoon I looked EXTENSIVELY into both (like… researched for almost a year).  What made Bora Bora/ Tahiti more appealing to us was the following:

-the flight to Maldives was WAY too long, so that was a factor in itself.

– prices in Maldives were SLIGHTLY cheaper for Over water bungalows, but you also have to factor in that most resorts are located on their own islands, so you need to price out what transportation would be to and from the island as well.

-Also, because most resorts are on their own island.. you’re somewhat limited to what you can do and there aren’t many land activities. If you’re a beach bum then no big deal, but if you like a bit of adventure then Maldives might be a bit too “boring” by the end of your stay… otherwise you will be paying to take a sea plane/ speedboat to other islands or land to do stuff.

and my #1 reason: Maldives is lots of shallow, flat islands with crystal clear sandy bottom water where lots of the coral has been removed (depending where you stay). Bora Bora is known for its snorkeling/ coral reefs, so if you love snorkeling then that is reason alone to go… it’s some of the best in the world.


* ALSO* seriously check out Mo’orea. It’s Bora Bora’s sister island that no one seems to know about!? We stayed there for our honeymoon. The prices are slightly cheaper (a couple hundred cheaper per night depending on where you stay) for an overwater bungalow than on Bora Bora. The snorkeling is actually BETTER than Bora Bora, especially because they have begun replanting coral to restore the ecosystem, and there are more land activities to do. You can rent ATV’s, hike to a waterfall, go visit the pineapple plantation and try some local juice! We also found that the locals are suuuuuper friendly on Mo’orea and it’s not as “built up” as Bora Bora. It has this really lovely island charm where everything closes between 2 and 5.. it makes you feel like you’re truly on vacation. We stayed at the Hilton Mo’orea for half of our stay, and a bed and breakfast called Villa BellaVista for the other half. Something you may want to look into, and then it will give you that sense that you are staying somewhere that your friends haven’t already been, too! 

Here are some photos from our stay

Hilton Mo’orea

Villa BellaVista (has an infinity pool that overlooks the water)

Random photo I took when we were paddle boating lol (YES the water really IS that colour in real life!)

Post # 10
1400 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

It’s my dream to go to Bora Bora someday, so I say go there!! Especially with the shorter air travel time.

Post # 10
11 posts

First things first, a disclaimer: I have never been to the Maldives, only to French Polynesia (Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea), so my opinion will be biased. However, I have done lots of research on both places and know just enough about the Maldives to be dangerous … Here are some thoughts.

In terms of accommodation and cost, you have a wider range of choices – not to mention more choices overall – in the Maldives than French Polynesia (at least, Bora Bora and Moorea, which I visited). You can stay at hotels for $50 a night, or luxury overwater bungalows for $900 and above a night. In Bora Bora and Moorea, you should expect to shell out at least a couple hundred a night, and with fewer options and types of accommodations to choose from.

In terms of location, resorts in the Maldives are more isolated – essentially, many hotels and resorts own their own private island, so you’re basically captive on that island unless, like brittnamrogo mentioned, you venture out on a seaplane or speedboat …

In terms of scenery, French Polynesia has high islands (like Bora Bora and Moorea, with mountains) as well as flat, low-lying atolls, whereas the Maldives is formed of atolls. I personally think the verticality of mountains affords more visual interest to the landscape, but that’s just me …

In terms of things to do, you definitely have a greater variety of activities at your disposal on bigger islands like Bora Bora and Moorea, such as hikes, ATV rides, pineapple-plantation visits, and a smattering of historical sites. In the Maldives, it seems you’re mostly limited to water activities – which is fine if you’re a water baby!

And in terms of water, well, the bath-warm, crystal-clear turquoise waters at either of these places are hard to beat! Bora Bora’s lagoon is truly spectacular, though – on a sunny day, it looks like a turquoise mirror, with streaks of indigo and Klein blue.

In terms of snorkeling/diving, Bora Bora and Moorea have lovely coral reefs – and I hear the Maldives is spectacular. I can’t begin to imagine what that must look like as I really enjoyed snorkeling in French Polynesia. We saw some fantastically colorful coral and fish, as well as blacktip reef sharks, lemon sharks, manta rays, and eagle rays. If you’re a hardcore snorkeler/diver, the Maldives would probably win out in this arena – but not being so discerning, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the snorkeling in both Bora Bora and Moorea.

In terms of culture, obviously, the Maldives is in Asia, just off India and Sri Lanka. Islam is the state religion, and locals are not permitted to drink alcohol – but that shouldn’t affect you as a tourist, as hotels are allowed to sell alcohol. The culture of the Maldives has been influenced by Indian, Sri Lankan, Arab, and North African traders down the centuries. French Polynesia has a similarly interesting mix of cultures, mostly French, Polynesian, and Asian. Thousands of years ago, aboriginals from Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia sailed in outrigger canoes using sophisticated, but sadly lost, navigational methods, settling in French Polynesia and other islands in the South Pacific. (They were probably seduced by the balmy breezes, swaying coconut palms, and sparkling turquoise waters like so many tourists are today!)

In terms of food, the Maldives offers more Asian cuisines (Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, along with Western), whereas French Polynesia is mostly Polynesian, French, American, and some Chinese. Food in the Maldives, similarly to accommodations, ranges from cheap to expensive, whereas in French Polynesia, food was almost unanimously costly – most produce and meat is shipped from overseas. I heard quite a bit of criticism about the food in French Polynesia, but I personally enjoyed it – lots of rice and fresh lagoon fish topped with vanilla sauce, and you’ll encounter plantains, sweet potatoes, taro, and other starchy root vegetables. A lot of poisson cru (which is like poke or sashimi, raw tuna marinated with crunchy vegetables, lime juice, and coconut milk).

In terms of service, honestly, I have to say, having been to places like Korea and Japan, where customers are treated like gold, service in French Polynesia was lacking to disappointing. I hear that service in Maldives is great. If that’s important to you, this is also something to think about. But most people, even busy New Yorkers, quickly convert to island time once you get there …

In terms of timing and weather, when would you be going? Maldives has dry, sunny weather in our winter (so December-February), whereas French Polynesia has relatively drier, sunnier weather in our summer (May-September).

Hopefully, this post isn’t too late (or long lol) to be useful … Would love to hear insights from anyone who has visited the Maldives!

Post # 11
2967 posts
Sugar bee

I’ve been to Vilamendoo in the Maldives. Fantastic and with a wonderful house reef. We could get up in the morning and snorkel at the edge of the reef before breakfast. Great place although I might suggest somewhere quieter for a honeymoon.

We chose a beach villa rather than an over water villa, but each to their own. 

We also went for all inclusive. On these small iluxurious slands you have a wide choice of food and drink but don’t want to be caught put by exorbitant prices.

Like everywhere else climate change is having an effect. The sea level is rising thanks to polar ice melting, and the reefs, although still full of fish, have suffered intermittent bleaching. The Maldives are wonderful. Go while you can.

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