Considered the birthplace of the overwater bungalow, French Polynesia is renowned for its luxury resorts, which run the gamut from eco-friendly private islands to posh retreats from international brands. For travelers looking for five-star accommodations, these resorts are also the primary options in the region since, for the most part, the private home rentals in the islands skew more rustic. One property aiming to change that: Bora Bora One, a five-suite estate (available as a single booking) located across from the main island of Bora Bora. Set on a private beach bordered by a quiet lagoon, the estate is relaunching this week with a totally redone look—as seen in these exclusive first-look photos—as well as upgraded services that now provide a truly resort-level experience.
Located on Motu Piti A’au, the same island that’s home to the St. Regis and Four Seasons resorts, the independently owned and managed Bora Bora One is spread out over seven-and-a-half-acres of a secluded peninsula that’s about a 20-minute boat ride away from the Bora Bora airport. The property was originally built in 2015 and underwent renovations from the spring of 2019 until earlier this year. In addition to design upgrades including the addition of local Tahaa stone walls, teak floors, sliding glass doors and solar panels, the revamped estate features new tennis courts, a state-of the-art gym (stocked with such equipment as a Woodway Wattbike, a Concept 2 rower, and a boxing area with punching and speed bags) and a pool deck outfitted with daybeds, hammocks and teak chaises.
The interior of the main house has been upgraded with new finishes, millwork, furnishings and art—the latter including pieces by local craftsmen, photographs from the owner’s own collection and commissioned works by local artist Teva Victor, known for his use of native woods and volcanic stone. Each of the five suites has its own lagoon-facing terrace, while the spacious living room opens up to outdoor lounging spaces, the main swimming pool, an outdoor pool table and a beachside traditional Tahitian thatched structure complete with a bar and sound system—making it ideal for sunset cocktails. The renovated kitchen looks out over the gardens, which includes an organic vegetable and herb plot from which the estate’s chef pulls fresh ingredients.
The addition of the private chef—who will craft three meals a day for the guests, to be served anywhere on the property—is among the services introduced with the renovations. A dedicated housekeeping team will keep things running smoothly, a resident masseuse can be arranged upon request (the new gym also has a massage room) and the estate concierge and head butler can arrange such on-site activities as a garden-to-table cooking class, yoga classes, volleyball and soccer matches and game nights under the stars. For an additional fee, the team can also arrange such off-site fun as motu picnics, wine tastings on a yacht, trips to Bora Bora for shopping and dining, plus scuba diving, kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing, swimming with manta rays and more. Tech such as SONOS sound systems, Apple TV and on-demand movies will also help keep you entertained, while the WiFi has been upgraded to accommodate large file transfers and Zoom calls—in case you’d like to make Bora Bora One your WFH base for a while. Rates start at approximately $18,191 per night in low season, and $21,828 per night in high season, for up to 10 guests; a four-night minimum is required. Rates include the services of the staff, as well as all on-site activities; an approximately $121 per guest food and beverage charge will be added per night.