- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2014 - Pleasantdale Chateau
Hey Bees! I wanted to share with everyone my amazing honeymoon that was literally the best trip I have ever taken in my life and I planned it with help from you guys!
We decided to do 3 nights in Moorea and 5 nights in Bora Bora. We booked through Pacific for Less and they had the absoloute best deal you could get for a trip to the Pacific. I checked with at least 5 travel agents and no one could beat or match the deal I was getting from Pacific for Less. Also, we set up a honeymoon registry at ZankYou.com. Since we already lived together and had all the necessities we decided doing a honeymoon registry for my bridal shower was the best way to afford the over-the-top, luxurious honeymoon I wanted.
We got married on Saturday, 9/13/14 and left for our honeymoon on Monday morning, 9/15/14. Since there is no direct flight to Tahiti from NY we flew to LA and spent the day there. I purposely tried to break up the flight from NY to LA and the flight from LA to Tahiti since my husband doesnt like to fly. We rented a car in LA and hit up all the tourist spots (Rodeo Drive, Chinese Theater, Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills, including some other neighborhoods my husband was interested in). We then took the 12AM red eye from LA to Tahiti which was about 8 hour longs. We slept the whole way and woke up in Tahiti.
From Tahiti we took a ferry to Moorea (all arranged by Pacific for Less). We even got a lei upon arrival to the airport in Tahiti. On the boat ride over you see the mountains and water and you start to realize that you are entering paradise. When we arrived in Moorea we took a van ride (also arranged by Pacific for Less) to our hotel – the Hilton. According to my research, this is the best hotel in Moorea. I decided I wanted to save the over-water bungalow for Bora Bora and decided to get a bungalow in the garden with a private plunge pool at the Hilton. I was satisfied with this decision. Our room was nice and our little “yard” was private with our own little pool. Our stay included the breakfast buffet which had a nice amount of options. There was champagne waiting for us in our room upon arrival. I was kind of glad that I didnt get a bungalow here since they were kind of high up from the water and also at nights the sharks literally hung out by the bungalows since they feed them at the crepes bar which is right over there. We spent our first day lounging at the beach, kayaking, and waterboarding. On the ferry ride, they had a man there pitching his tour company and we called them from our front desk. We booked a jet ski tour for the day we arrived which included swimming with the sting rays off of a private beach and then with sharks kind of in the middle of the ocean but in a shallow place where you can stand!
I refused to get off of the jet ski because I was too scared. But my husband went in and took some pics with our underwater camera (which is a must have!). We went to dinner at the Moorea Beach Cafe overlooking the water. It was DELICIOUS. The owner used to live in NYC and was an amazing chef. I highly recommend.
The next day, we went on an ATV tour which we booked through that same company we learned about on the ferry boat over to Moorea. This was SOOO much fun although a little scary (I am a big wuss but even my husband told me he was afraid on our way down this huge mountain). We wished we had a GoPro though. A lot of other couples had a GoPro and attached it to their heads to record the ride. Super cool, I bought one immediately upon returning home.
As you drive up the mountain you stop along the way and the tour guide, who was a firefighter on the island, took pictures of you and told you the history of the mountain.
The view was absolutely breathtaking. We parked our ATVs and walked to the very top. Check out the view:
We got really muddy on our way down and I wished I was wearing sneakers (didnt pack any). Other girls were wearing leggings and t-shirts with sneakers and I kind of wished I was too.
When we got back to our hotel we relaxed for a while, swam in the ocean, and then headed out to the Tiki Village which was pretty much the only thing they had available to book at night. I booked this months ahead of time from home by e-mailing Tiki Village from their website. I don’t know if that was necessary or not, but want to give you fellow Bees a heads up just in case. Tiki Village was lots of fun although we were so exhausted from our long day in the sun and water. You realize that you start to fall asleep super early and wake up really early too – you are on island time! They had a little show where they showed you how to took a traditional tahitian meal in the ground, then took you through kind of like an outdoor museum where little buildings were set up displaying their art, history, and culture.
Then we headed over to a traditional Tahitian dinner buffet. I didnt love the food but I am super picky. They played instruments while we ate, singing Tahitian songs.
After dinner, we got to watch a live dancing show. This was really cool. We even got picked to participate in the show and they taught us traditional Tahitian dances!
We had a really great experience at Tiki Village and highly recommend. The next day we had a horrible experience. We rented scooters through the front desk. We thought we would rent some scooters and drive around the island and visit the shops and eat out a restaurant (the food at the hotel was nothing to brag about). The second my husband got on the scooter he did not not how to break, the man who rented to them couldnt speak English to properly instruct us, and he wound up taking off and going right into the street almost getting hit by a car and crashing nearby. I nearly had a heart attack and he got a nasty cut on his arm. He could have died. Afterward, I did some research and some tourists have actually died on scooters in Moorea. They island roads are seriously dangerous and we had no business being on a scooter anyway. We had to pay the guy for the damage to his bike. I was kind of traumatized after this so I decided we would stay in the room. I went to the front desk and ordered a romantic surprise. It was called a romantic turndown. Candles, flowers, music. And cake, cause why not? They even drew a bath and filled the tub with flowers. Super romantic.
One warning: there are lots of bugs. If you leave any food out at all it will get swarmed with bugs! We kind of wished we brought ziplocs because we bought snacks and stuff in town and once anything was opened it had to be eaten and thrown away or the bugs got it. We even had bugs in our leftovers wrapped in aluminum foil and in our fridge! They are tiny little bugs smaller than ants, not scary, don’t bite, but gross near food. Also, make sure you feed the sharks at the crepe bar at the hotel around dinner time they feed the sharks and it is super cool. The next morning we left Moorea and flew to Bora Bora (about 45 mins).
When we arrived at the airport in Bora Bora, there were different stands for each hotel. You need to take a boat to your hotel since everything is on the water. I did some serious research and felt that the St. Regis (from the movie Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn) was the absolute best of the best. They have the largest overwater bungalows in Bora Bora. Plus you have your own butler… seriously! We were the only ones getting on the boat to Bora Bora which made me feel totally exclusive and VIP! LOL. They get your bags for you, give you some leis, and you are off to the St. Regis. The views here are so beautiful I still wonder if it was real or all just a dream. Moorea was great but there is no comparison – Bora Bora is PARADISE!
When we got to the St. Regis our butler greeted us with champagne and a tour of the property. So beautiful. Gorgeous beach, nice restaurants, oh and they drive you everywhere on golf carts. You dont have to walk anywhere if you dont want. Our bungalow was so amazing! There is glass in the floor all over so you can see the water underneath. I literally was swimming underneath our bungalow waving up at my husband in our room. We had a sliding glass door off of the bedroom and another one off of the living room both which led to our own private deck with the most insane view of the mountain (pay for this upgrade, so worth it!). We spent most of the time lounging on our deck jumping off into the water. It was so private and incredible. Let me show you some pics of the room:
You walk down the dock to get your personal (huge) villa
This was the living room, with glass underneath the coffee table. Also, champagne and macaroons (delish!) waiting for us!
View from the living room window:
Our gorgeous bathroom, with gacuzzi, and more glass in the floor to see the fish:
Best part? Our deck, check out this view guys!
Oh, hey, this is just me swimming underneath the cofee table!!!!
The room was so nice we cancelled our dinner reservations we made when we checked in and ordered room service which we ate on our deck. The next morning we headed out for our boat tour to snorkel which included one stop to swim with sting rays, one with sharks, and then another stop in the ocean (the others are in the lagoon) to swim with huge sharks, and then a final stop on a private island. This was part of our package with Pacific for Less. Although, one couple got a private meal on this island cooked for them and we were jelous we didnt get that. Ask for that option because we were not aware of it. Here are pics from the tour which was about half a day:
Yes, those are sharks behind me!!!
The next day we got a couples massage which was also part of our package with Pacific for Less:
We spent the rest of the day on our deck. We hardle went to the beach since our deck was so private and had the best view of the mountain. What better way to spend the day than soaking in the sun on your own deck with super comfortable lounge chairs? If you get hungry or thirsty just call your butler and he will bring you whatever you want! Then when you get hot jump into the clear, warm water!
I brought my underwater camera with me and took some pics. Here is one of our bungalow and the deck where we spent so much time
That night we had dinner at Villa Mahana. Super fancy, expensive french restaurant. We did the pairing menu. I ate things that were gross but fancy people might like them (caviar, foi gras). It was expensive but really romantic. Make sure you reserve the top floor (Pacific for Less will do this for you and book your reservation for you). If you dont book well in advance forget about it.. there are only a few tables in the whole place. All outside. Beautiful ambiance.
The next day I did the most fabulous thing I have ever done in my whole life. TRASH THE DRESS PHOTO SHOOT. Our photographer, Wim Lippens, was amazing. This was like $600 for 1 hour booked through the hotel. I think if I would have booked it on my own before I left it would have been cheaper. I mistakenly did not book anything in Bora Bora from home and it was not like Moorea where you can use there phone and call tour companies on your own. Everything booked through the St Regis has a serious premium added on. I also had a makeup artist come and do waterproof makeup. CHECK THESE OUT!!!!
I am so obsessed with those pics! Literally love them more than even my wedding photos! Worth every penny! The next day we went to the hotel next door and swam with the turtles. We got some nice pictures but this was kind of scary. You have a marine biologist give you a tour of there exo system where they are saving coral and then swim with scary, huge turles in foggy water. No thanks. The water with the coral is clear and beautiful though.
Ohh the free breakfast buffet is really good. Check out the cool turtle bread they have
They have bikes you can ride around the property too!
We went on a picnic lunch on a private island. This was probably a big waste of money. My husband almost killed me when he saw the bill! $700! For lunch! Yea, I know, what was I thinking?? It was nice though, we had lobster, chicken, steak, and champagne. This guy drove us out on his boat and sang beautiful tahitian songs on his ukulele.
We bought fish food at the gift shop and at night sat on our deck feeding the fish
On our last night they did a flower turndown and left us a beautiful note
On the morning we left I arranged to have breakfast delivered to our deck by canoe! Coolest thing!
Well that was my amazing honeymoon in French Polynesia! Hope you enjoyed my pics! Thanks to all the Bees who helped me plan by answering my posts, private messages, and just posting about their awesome trips!