© Grégoire LE BACON
Of course, it’s no fluke the world’s biggest stars choose to come to French Polynesia; for there’s nowhere else on Earth that ‘does’ romance quite like French Polynesia.
The islands of French Polynesia are surely the prototype for the very concept of the far-flung, south seas romantic escape: archipelagos of volcanic islands isolated in a gigantic blue ocean, protected entirely by barrier reefs that form some of the world’s most fabled lagoons. These lagoons – especially at the world’s most lauded island destination, Bora Bora – are so shockingly blue that staff regularly have to assure guests that nothing has been added to the water. Hundreds of empty white-sand beaches fringe these still turquoise waters, while the forest-covered mountains of French Polynesia’s dramatic volcanic hinterland rise hundreds… sometimes thousands… of metres to the blue skies above. If that’s not enough, then consider that every gentle gust of breeze brings with it the sweet fragrance of frangipani and national flower, the Tahiti Tiare.
The over water bungalow was invented in these very islands just over 40 years ago. In 2014 visitors have hundreds of over-water bungalows to choose from; all with their own private sunbaking decks, where couples can leap directly into the lagoon below, and at night watch the moon reflected on the water outside under a billion stars.
French Polynesia is the ideal location for couples wishing to relax on holiday, but it also offers many rare treats for couples who prefer to fill their days with activities. French Polynesia’s day spas are amongst the Pacific’s best and offer numerous traditional Polynesian massage techniques using local coconut and vanilla oils. The world’s freshest seafood at some of the South Pacific’s most prestigious restaurants is served right beside lagoons – or can come delivered right to you (by outrigger canoe, if you wish) on the deck of your over-water bungalow. The more adventurous holidaymakers can scuba dive in some of the world’s clearest oceans or swim with playful sting-rays and inquisitive whales and reef sharks, while romantic horse rides across empty beaches are also available. There’s also deep sea fishing in waters teeming with game fish like tuna and mahi mahi, private boat charters or you may wish to take a scooter or bicycle into traditional Polynesian villages, or across the quiet roads that circumnavigate French Polynesia’s islands.