It was an easy 40 minute flight to Bora Bora, on a very nice new airplane (I'm trying to demystify the whole getting there experience), and as soon as we landed, we spotted the St. Regis boat. Ten minutes across some of the most perfect turquoise water, and we arrived at the St. Regis.
It's pretty much as perfect as you might imagine it to be--insanely sweet staff, elegant decor, a lovely spa, bungalows perched over the water, excellent food. For the first couple of nights, we stayed in a beachfront villa, that had its own pool. Matt wanted to be in the over-water bungalow, but I loved the beachfront, because Clara was able to run down the beach, jump into the little pool, and not feel constricted, like you end up feeling in the bungalows. Not that I wouldn't want to stay in those if I was there without a child, but I would definitely go beachfront villa if travelling with a family.
In our room when we checked in was one the most perfect welcome baskets ever--made of palm leaves, it had arm bands, sunblock, pool toys, and a whole lot of bath products and rubber duckies.
Food choices are Te Pahu, which is where breakfast and lunch are served daily. One of the first questions they asked was what Clara would like for lunch, assuming she wouldn't want the adult menu, and she asked for ravioli. Not only did they whip it up right then, they asked her every day from then on if she wanted ravioli for lunch. And they asked us what she would like for dinner, and no matter what restaurant we were going to eat at (there are three), they would have the order put in there. It was probably the most thoughtful food ordering moment I have ever had with Clara. I almost cried. Not that I want her to be a princess that gets whatever she wants, off menu, but I loved that the management was so thoughtful, and keen to make the experience way beyond expectations.
I could go on and on about the food, and how great the staff are--everything was so not resort-y. It felt like the best of Tahitian and French, yet with a complete understanding that people will want their egg white omelettes too. There were the best juices I have had in my life at breakfast, and they also did a killer raw fish with lime and coconut, called Poisson Cru. We loved the Jean Georges restaurant there, and the sushi restaurant too. The only issue with food there is that it gets very expensive, because almost everything has to be imported. So if you go, get the meal plan.
We swam in the Lagoonarium, and snorkeled, and saw the most beautiful fish ever. And the kids club had very sweet programs, like cooking with the chef, in the kitchen, and making leis.
Here's my list from my journal about my favorite things from the resort:
*Food: fantastic chefs that use the local product whenever they can--they don't cook in a complicated way--they source well and are given the means to get the best product. So much variety in the restaurants that we never got bored.
*Excellent wine list: mostly from France, and when we were there, the sommelier was Florent Bzik, and he was super knowledgable.
*Everyone knew Clara by name, and remembered what she liked. I don't know if this was memory or computer, and I don't care. It was sweet.
*Superb therapists in the spa--excellent Thai massage.
*No overly gratuitous luxury--staff was just so well trained--attentive and thoughtful and kind.
*Best views ever of paradise.