Fabulous Four Seasons Service Bora Bora

There are times I am completely astounded by excellent service – and on multiple occasions at a Four Seasons Resort  I’ve been the recipient of an extraordinary effort by a hotel team member.

My first afternoon in Bora Bora, I hopped aboard one of the hotel boats to explore the village of Vaitape, Bora Bora’s largest town and wharf. It supplies the villagers with groceries, local commerce is transacted at the Banque de Tahiti, colorful stamps can be purchased at the Post Office, and besides a black pearl emporium on every corner, there are a few interesting tourist shops and small cafes, and a Protestant church. Lots of dogs, actually more free roaming dogs than I have ever seen – all friendly and curious, no nasty snarling.

Many more interesting sights were discovered on the local lanes swarming with young friendly children who wanted to see their images on my camera. Kids whose main apparel seemed to be undies or swimsuits – hot humid weather certainly reduces  clothing needs. The scene was so not home – when was the last time you saw kids untethered and undressed with not a care in the world other than who could scurry first to the top of a dirt pile?

On my travels, I frequently look for local art as my son and my daughter-in-law decline hats, bracelets and exotic salt and fragrant spices from my travels. My last stop on the fleeting circuit was at a home design shop that yielded an oil painting of a striking Tiki face – a Picasso-esqe Cubist rendering of a Tiki…and in my favorite tones. Black and silver with a dash of red…it spoke to me and just as importantly, it would fit in my suitcase. I had already been lectured by Tahiti Nui air on my bags and forced to downsize a carry-on for the short hop…small acquisitions were imperative.

Happy with my treasure, I strolled back to the idling Four Seasons motorboat. I was early and the two boatmen welcomed me aboard, as I stepped across the rail, I handed them my camera bag and accidentally dropped my purchase into the sea…. barely a block away and my one prize was in the drink….Tea, quickly reached down between the boat and the pier and fished out the dripping wet bag… unfolding the bubble wrap we both smiled as we discovered Tiki power withstood the sea, it was barely damp. His boat Captain, Apera, said let me go back to the shop and have it repackaged – just like that- not even a moment for me to ask for help or shed a tear; they both jumped to action beyond the call of kindness and responsibility. Moments later he appeared with a freshly wrapped bag with my Tiki Picasso ready for airline inspection.

Tea & Apera- Four Seasons Heros

Tea & Apera- Four Seasons Bora Bora Heroes

These random acts of kindness don’t materialize at every hotel property – trust me; the Four Seasons team members are truly courteous, kind and exceptionally interested in providing sensational service.

That evening, I emailed their photos to Michel Volk, the hotel GM,  with my highest praise. My Tiki is in my office watching over me, reminding me a gorgeous day on the beautiful Bora Bora seas, in a lovely port and the generous spirit of two delightful and caring Tahitian boatmen.

Maururu Roa Tea & Apera! Apera


The Brando – The Art of the Welcome

I am passionate about The Arrival to a Property. Some might say, I am obsessed  with the arrival; I truly expect a guest should be welcomed as a friend is to your home. It sets the stage for the remainder of the trip. I like to think of our Journeys as a play and the arrival is the opening act – what transpires should unfold with a perfect first act. The Brando IslandHotel management never knows if a traveler may have missed their flight  and has barely sipped an espresso before catching the 9.30 am Tahiti to Tetiaroa flight.. In the case of my escape to The Brando, my plane did break, which meant I spent an unplanned nine hours on the ground in Los Angeles forcing me onto a midnight flight – landing weary and prepared to be pleased by paradise.

No matter the circumstances, I feel the welcome sets the stage and tone for a visit. The VIP arrival at the Brando Resort surpassed my expectations. The island of Tetiaroa was chosen by Tahitian Royalty as their summer home; I felt like a royal as I was warmly greeted by Polynesian performers and a handsome tribal chief – evocations of the island’s ancient history. I like the fact that on arrival, we are presented with a hint of the historic Polynesian Island roots. I learned later of the passing of legends in storytelling in song, dance and poetry.

We were offered chilled towels and a gloriously fragrant lei as we traveled ever so quietly by golf buggy to a villa – off we go! The quiet jungle is an intimation of your days as they unfold in blissful serenity, lacking urban intrusions- background noise consists of gently rolling surf and the fluttering of pandanus and coconut fronds.

Paradise Indeed!The Brando Resort The stage was set for idyllic days of continuously positive guest experiences.


Welcome Team- Chilled Towel and the fragrant Tahitian Gardenia

I learned that the delicate white Tahitian Gardenia is the country’s national flower. A beautiful icon at the resort; worn by staff, behind one ear and placed on your pillow every evening – I found it induced sleep. Subtle touches – all add up to a wonderful visit.

Welcome Me!

Welcome Me!

Add to the ambient noise- melting ice in a bucket of Champers and frothy cocktails!

I’ve Arrived!