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Journeys: True Lagoons: Bliss in the Banyans

Patricia Harris

A giant banyan tree—symbol of serenity, wisdom, and longevity—grows next to nearly every temple ruin in Polynesia. In erecting its new Marù Spa, a shrine to such virtues, the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort went the ancients one better, placing two of the treatment rooms atop a high canopy of entwined banyans.

Opened in August 2004, the Marù Spa maintains an eclectic menu of specialty massages, baths, and skin treatments based on Asian, European, and Polynesian techniques. The aromatic baths, one of which combines sea salts with heady Tahitian vanilla, prove an effective emollient, but the spa’s most ethereal experience is a Bora-Bora fruit and plant-extract facial administered in the dappled shade of a tree-house treatment room while mynah birds hop from branch to branch outside.

In addition to its treetop quarters, the Marù Spa includes three treatment rooms that face the lagoon. The spa’s main building—made from local woods, bamboo, and stone—blends discreetly into its corner of the Lagoon Resort, which occupies 12 acres on a large motu directly across the channel from Bora-Bora’s rugged twin peaks.

The resort, in conjunction with Bora Bora Cruises, now offers a Motu Miti (Island and Sea) package that consists of four days on land and six aboard Ti’a Moana. The land segment includes a daily couple’s massage at the Marù Spa. For maximum effect, schedule your treatments for late enough in the day to catch the sun setting over the lagoon from your perch atop the banyans.

Bora Bora Lagoon Resort & Spa, 800.860.4095, www.boraboralagoon.com

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