On a cold, snowy and slushy day in New York City, we met up with some representatives of the St. Regis Bora Bora. Director of Sales and Marketing Tracey Fentem and General Manager Michael Schoonewagen came by our offices to show us some pictures of sunny beaches and lots of greenery and make us eager to get to the South Pacific as soon as possible.
The resort has made some notable enhancements over the past year, including the Miri Miri Spa by Clarins (it is the only St. Regis to have a spa under this brand). The five-room spa is on its own private island (perfect for a real escape), and looks out over Mount Otemanu. Treatments can include Polynesian, Asian, and Clarins Touch therapies.
Then there’s the new Italian restaurant, Far Niente, the fifth eatery to open at the resort. And while it isn’t new, were definitely intrigued by the Lagoon Restaurant by Jean-Georges, a fine-dining restaurant suspended over water with a glass floor looking down onto the sea life below. (And yes, when we say Jean-Georges we mean that Jean-Georges, as in Vongerichten.)
Another development from the past year is the creation of a dedicated “Romance Concierge,” who maintains a menu of romantic activities and excursions that the resort team can arrange--many of them on short notice. A popular pick is a helicopter flight over a neighboring island, where coconut shells in the sand can be arranged in advance to spell out a message. (“Will you marry me?” is a popular pick, of course, but honeymooners or second-honeymooners can have any kind of phrase appear on the beach.) Private sunset cruises and firework displays can also be arranged. For something truly over-the-top, the concierge can arrange an excursion to collect fresh oysters...and plant an oyster with a ring inside to be discovered by the bride.
At the same time, the resort opened an on-site Bridal Boutique (pictured above), where guests can rent one of 40 dresses in 13 styles (through a partnership with Norwegian designer Cecilie Melli) for a wedding or special event--rather than paying thousands to purchase a dress elsewhere and then paying more to have it shipped to the resort ahead of the big day. (Of course, if the bride really takes a shine to the dress, she can always purchase it and take it home with her.) The boutique includes changing areas, a hair and makeup area, interior photography area, an indoor and outdoor lounge area with food and beverages. The rest of the bridal party, including groom, attendants and families also can be outfitted.
Good to know for couples considering a destination wedding to Bora Bora: Legally recognized weddings in French Polynesia must include a civil ceremony at the Town Hall. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort’s wedding planner can help arrange relevant paperwork, booking the Bora Bora Town Hall, coordinating an official translator’s presence and arranging boat transfers to and from the Town Hall. Unofficial ceremonies without the legalities can also be arranged.