BY TRACI DINWIDDIE
Looking for something extra special with which to woo her this holiday season? A trip to “Tahiti” should do the trick! (Bora Bora, to be exact.) If you love Hawaii, imagine all of its exotic romance and adventure minus the overwhelming tourism.
Need a perfect place to stay? Le Meridien Bora Bora, nestled on an islet and surrounded by an exquisitely-hued turquoise lagoon, is a dream-come-true destination. Once landed in Bora Bora, you taxi by boat for 20 scrumptious minutes to your elegant home away from home. There, you will find white sandy beaches, an abundance of coconut trees and giant leafy tropical plants. There is lagoon swimming and snorkeling, decadent food, private spa for two, over water, glass-bottomed bungalows, melodic greetings of “Ia Ora Na”, walking paths, and an underwater chapel. Of course, you can find many variations of these luxuries throughout all of French Polynesia’s hotels. (Tahiti, Bora Bora, Tikehau, etc.)
Turtle Rescue 1So, what sets Le Meridien apart from the rest of Bora Bora’s gorgeous choices? Along with its alluring romantic vibe, it is also the home of Bora Bora Turtle Center. In addition, Le Meridien has a fully-staffed Ecological Center with informative, hands-on lectures about sea life via their Touch Pool, Museum, & Educational Aquariums. They aim to help visitors participate in saving and protecting coral reefs, turtles, and more.
My partner and I fell in love with this place. It not only caters to the romantic, but also the animal lover and environmentalist in both of us. We spent an afternoon swimming with rescued turtles in their sanctuary. Our guide was a strict, but kind marine biologist, who half-jokingly threatened harm upon us if we touched any of “her” creatures. Rest assured, we did not. We did, however, capture some gorgeous photos & videos!
Le Meridien Bora Bora’s website boasts that it is “the preferred protection of marine turtles in French Polynesia”. We had first-hand experience of this great respect when the French Navy arrived just as we were heading to the dock. They released 17 captured turtles used as “pets”, and brought 3 malnourished young turtles to the awaiting staff for immediate care. Clearly, Le Meridien Bora Bora is the place to be rescued (in so many ways). But, don’t take my word for it. See for yourself! #StockingStuffer
Double Dip Tips: Feed two love birds with one seed, & set the getaway dates for the week of Valentine’s. REALLY surprise her with an extra “secret getaway” by taking a quick puddle-jumper to the remote pink-sand island of Tikehau for some of the BEST snorkeling & diving around! Need proof? Check my Facebook Page for some Tikehau action!
For more on what the Islands of Tahiti have to offer, go to: www.tahititourism.com