Bora Bora Four Seasons Spa

Where to begin – many whirlwind escapes this year; yet despite the accelerated pace, vivid memories remain from each unique resort.

One memorable location – Bora Bora in May, the month usually denotes the travelers are Honeymoon Couples. I am comfortable everywhere and I’m always working when I visit these glamorous settings, thus an over-water bungalow office is just peachy, even if lovebirds surround me!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI will write soon at great length about the magnificent, in every detail, Four Seasons Bora Bora – honestly, it is heaven on earth and actually a very efficient jaunt from our coast.

My very last day of a delightful 9-day excursion to Tahiti, which included working every morning and evening skyping with Benjamin tweaking client itineraries, rendered me    weary.  Yes, Paradise can be exhausting! My new friend Arnaud Dieutegard, Four Seasons spa director, who had been at the divine lunch at Yrondi’s home – rang me and said you haven’t experienced a Polynesia massage yet, I am sending a buggy for you!

Arnaud is the warmest and most generous guy – he loves the hotel, he loves their products, he is truly imbued with the hospitality gene! You might be surprised that many in the travel industry lack the hospitality gene.

I had wandered the gorgeous spa a few times for photos and lingered on the to die for view relaxation decks, but hadn’t yet indulged in the services. Everything about the spa whispers rest and unwind – the cathedral like wooden building is sandwiched between a tranquil lagoon and the edge of the sea. Dappled sunlight and shadows play on the lacquered floor – the quiet is truly church like, people passing in robes and soft slippers, disappearing behind enormous dark doors. Sandlewood and frangipani perfumes the space. Arnaud encouraged me to try the traditional Polynesian massage using the hotels exclusive monoi oil that contains flecks of 24-carat gold –            E Mauruuru- (Ay mah-roo-roo) is Tahitian for yes, thank you.

Monoi oil is considered a holy oil, priests use it in worship ceremonies to anoint newborns and purify objects. Traditionally used the “sacred oil of the Polynesians,” is cultivated by soaking fragrant Tiare Tahiti blossoms (an exotic gardenia) in refined coconut oil, producing a light and aromatic oil with immeasurable soothing and moisturizing properties. Staff  tuck the sweet-smelling blossom behind their ear and leave a creamy white bud nestled on pillows at evening turn-down. I found the scent blissful and sleep inducing.bora-boraThe signature spa experiences reflect ancient traditions, therapeutic disciplines and Western practices – linked together to nurture and re-balance the body. Begin with the Maeva foot ritual to purify both mind and body while renewing the spirit. Your feet are thoroughly exfoliated and massaged with a detox oil to cleanse the body of impurities and prepare you for the transformative treatments to come.

Polynesian Massage: inspired by the culture of the French Polynesian Islands, this type of massage draws on rich therapeutic traditions and uses the graceful, soothing dance-like style of taurumi to achieve a deep state of physical and emotional relaxation.

Balinese Massage: a skill passed down through generations, features long strokes, gentle skin rolling, stretching and thumb pressure. It aims to relieve tension, improve blood flow, ease stress and calm the mind.

Arnaud insisted I try the Polynesian massage, I was a willing volunteer; my afternoon schedule included an early evening flight and late dinner in Papeete before the slog home via LAX and onward to SF. Why Not? My newfound phrase to everything lately – Why Not?

I’m not sure when I passed from groggy and wilted to comatose on the massage table – certainly a combination of travel fatigue and massage magic- my masseuse,  Moeana Moetaua, is an expert Polynesian practitioner; the gentle massage pressure rendered me motionless.  I know I was awakened and led down the hall to the relaxation room i.e. recovery room – with a view of the jungle like lagoon, calming music and a comfy warm chaise. Floating, really, barely cognizant of the soft music and muted whispers of other guests, but I could also see myself from above – an out of body experience – I heard soft murmurs but felt I was hovering above the lounge looking down at my resting body. I think an hour passed and I woke with a start, but quite rested!On my farewell  with GM Michel Volk and the lovely group of staff who gathered for my departure were not at all surprised when I uttered: I think I had an out of body experience in the spa! I mentioned Moeana’s name – everyone in unison: oh yes, Moeana… apparently a traditional miracle at Four Seasons Bora Bora Spa- I was rested and ready, fragrantly oiled with specks of 24 carat gold for the trip home.

Miracle Massage at Four Seasons Bora Bora, Mauruuuru Arnaud!








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