Postcard perfect Bora Bora


Our bungalow in Bora Bora sits right over the water. Across the lagoon is Mt. Otemanu, a dormant volcano. The Pearl resort is actually on a motu, one of a string of islands that circles Bora Bora like a necklace.


Guests are welcomed to the resort at the reception area with a lei, a cold drink and a warm greeting. If your room isn’t ready, ours wasn’t, they offer day rooms while you wait. There you can rest, take a shower, or change into your summer clothes.

Every once in a while, a weary traveler steps into a world that is exactly what she hoped it would be. For me that’s Paris at sunset, the cloud forest in Costa Rica, a sailboat on the Magothy River.

As lovely as those are, I’m not sure anything can top Bora Bora. Just the name makes me sigh with delight.

To celebrate 35 years of marriage this year my husband and I decided to go away — far away. Three days in Bora Bora, 10 days in New Zealand.


Every drink is garnished with flowers.

It takes 20 hours to fly from home to Los Angeles to Papeete to Bora Bora in French Polynesia. The last leg took us over mounds of clouds that had been pouring rain on this tropical paradise. Along the way we flew over three rainbows. I felt like Dorothy — but without the tornado. When our visit began with rainbows, I knew it would be special.


One of my butterfly fish friends is visible at the bottom left corner. This photo is taken through the glass inset in the bungalow’s floor.

We stayed at the Bora Bora Pearl Resort, in an over the water bungalow that faced a dormant volcano called Mt. Otemanu. The lagoon, its color shifting from palest green to aquamarine to lapis blue,  was crystal clear. Underneath us were tropical fish in a rainbow of colors who lived in a cluster of coral. Two yellow butterfly fish were so quick to appear when I jumped in the water I started calling them Patricia and Angela.


Home — and heaven — for three days.

And the bungalow was perfect. Plenty of room to relax, a little desk for writing postcards, a big bathroom and dressing area and a day bed. Outside there was a deck with two lounge chairs and a small dining table and down a few steps were an outdoor shower and the swimming deck right above the water.

With that view, that gorgeous bathwater warm lagoon, and the cool breezes that offset the hot sun, I knew I had found a place where I could stay forever.


The view from the restaurant was always captivating. The food and the service were terrific, too.

I did leave my little piece of heaven for meals, a quick paddle boarding adventure, a Polynesian show, and two trips across the lagoon to Vaitape to go to church and another time to visit the black pearl shops.

But I always looked forward to getting back to my wonderful bungalow. There was so much to do! Enjoy the view, read a book, swim with the fish. Watch the sunrise or sunset. R-E-L-A-X in a way I never did before.

Coming up in coming weeks:  New Zealand.

Photos and text Mary K. Tilghman


5 responses to “Postcard perfect Bora Bora

    • The waters were so beautiful I found myself just sitting there staring so I’d remember when I came home.

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