Best travel portal on the web featuring best travel sites, travel packages, travel guides, travel tips, weekly travel newsletter, travel webcams, and much more!
November 12, 2008

Home * Travel Deals * Website of the Week

Webcams * Travel News

WHERE'S JOHNNY JET?                                 Four Seasons Bora Bora

HOUSE KEEPING: Remember when you click on the pictures in "Where's Johnny Jet," they will open up in another window. Just click the "x"(close) in each picture to get back to the newsletter. This should alleviate complaints about closing Johnny Jet. Thanks again for your support, and remember: If you book trips on the web, please go through (It will save you money).

Web Resources

Page 1 | 2 | 3

Greetings! This is my last report from paradise. I know ... but unfortunately, I had to leave some time and get back to reality. We left off last week from the secluded island of Taha'a. From the posh Le Taha'a Resort you can see the famous island of Bora Bora off in the distance; it's about 20 miles away. Natalie and I were scheduled to take a helicopter from the resort's helipad directly to the Four Seasons Bora Bora. You know that would have been a breathtaking, 10-minute ride but unfortunately, there was a mechanical issue. So instead, we took the 35-minute boat transfer back to the Raiatea airport. Although it meant our trip would be 10 times longer, it was still pleasurable. We showed up just 30 minutes before our Air Tahiti flight, which was more than enough time to check in. The plane came in from Moorea and it was on time. They fly an ATR 42-500 that holds 50 passengers, not some little puddle jumper fortunately. Since Air Tahiti only offers open seating, I asked the flight attendant which side offered the best views. The left-hand side won again, just like when we came in from Moorea. Unfortunately, the plane windows were dirty and the seats were really tight but for a 14-minute flight, who's complaining?

I had the chance to either stay at a standard (read: affordable) resort or get an inside peek at where the rich and famous will be vacationing from now on -- at the brand new Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. Of course, I jumped at the chance to check it out for myself and report on it. I realize that this resort may not fall within the limits of many people’s budgets but it’s always great to daydream or plan for a special getaway. Either way, I hope you enjoy the journey with me!

I came to Bora Bora five years ago just for the afternoon to do a shark and ray feeding tour. However, the weather was so bad that everything but lunch was cancelled. This experience was completely different; not only was I here for a few days but the sky was a clear and beautiful blue. What a difference nice weather can make. Since Natalie and I sat at the back of the plane, we were one of the first ones off. Inside the sophisticated arrivals area are booths from each hotel where guests check-in for their boat transfers. The airport is on an island so everyone has to take a boat to wherever they are going. Because we were so quick to get inside, we beat the Four Seasons rep to the booth -- but we found her three minutes later and she greeted us and another couple with a welcome lei. You have to love that. Luggage came out within 10 minutes. Our greeter said the Four Seasons boat was running about 20 minutes late so he said to just relax in the airport. I thought that was odd but as we walked toward the airport bar, the Four Seasons rep grabbed us and said that the boat had arrived 10 minutes early.

The Four Seasons uses two different plush boats for their guests. They both have indoor and outdoor seating and the ride takes about 25 minutes. The water is so incredible that I seriously wanted to just jump off the side but I restrained myself. On board, the Four Seasons representative handed out cold aromatic towels and bottles of water, a welcome treat. The only thing they could improve on is possibly having customers check-in while on the boat so there's no waiting around at the lobby. Perhaps the reason they didn't do this was because the rooms aren't guaranteed to be ready until 2pm and we had a few hours to kill. It's amazing: in this economy and considering this is a brand new hotel, they were sold out ... but then again, this is the Four Seasons.

Everyone knows that the Four Seasons is one of, if not the best hotel chains in the world. This property is their newest luxury resort and it opened in September. Pulling up to their private motu (mini-island) off the coast of the main island, was surreal. The water is an indescribable shade of blue, the sand is so white and the lush green jagged Mount Otemanu is just across the way with the usual small cloud, hovering just above its peak like a halo. To say it's picturesque is an enormous understatement. The resort has 100 of the absolute nicest overwater bungalows I've ever seen (the minimum size is 1,000 square feet!) and seven two- or three-bedroom beachfront villas, one of which is 5,000 square feet. It's unreal and like all Four Seasons, it's kid friendly, though I didn't see any around. This might be because the resort wasn't 100% finished, including the kids' center. However, by Christmas it's scheduled to be fully functioning. For detailed information on Bora Bora's kids' club (for children between the ages of five and 12) and the private Chill Island, just for teenagers, click here.

For those who arrive before check-in or check out early before their scheduled departure, the resort provides a changing room facility with showers and of course, they'll watch your bags. To kill time, Natalie and I took a tour of the resort and saw all their development. The property is so large and spread out that most guests call for an on-demand golf cart pick-up to take them wherever they want to go. This is just one of the ways that the Four Seasons is making strides against their competitors: service. In most island destinations, it's difficult to get good service but here it's impressive. Most likely it's so good because many of their staff have been flown in from around the world from other Four Seasons properties. It's evident the moment you sit down at the pool or in a beach chair because within seconds, out pops a pool butler with cold bottles of water, a food and drink menu and even a water spritzer to cool you down from the blazing sun.

For lunch I ordered a serrano ham panini sandwich with fresh mozzarella, tomato and pesto. It comes with addictive French fries for 2,700 CFP ($29 USD). I also had a Paradise Island smoothie (banana, cinnamon, honey and milk) for 1,200 CFP ($13 USD). Obviously, this place isn't cheap but then again, is any Four Seasons? The good news is that the food is top notch. I later found out from an executive that the hotel actually loses money on food and beverages, even on the 4,300 CFP ($46 USD) per person breakfast buffet. BTW: The breakfast buffet is awesome and every other day, they have the best French toast and chocolate-filled Madeleines. Anyhow, my point is, it just shows how crazy expensive French Polynesia is. Speaking of food, the hotel has two restaurants: Arii Moana (haute seafood cuisine, only open for dinner) and Tere Nui (continental cuisine and where breakfast is served). There are also two lounges; Faré Hoa Beach Bar and Sunset Bar and there's also bungalow service.

Now let's get to the best part ... the overwater bungalows! Holy cow! These things are seriously insane! I've been fortunate enough to stay in an overwater bungalow several times but these take the prize. First of all, there are two main sets (50 on each) and they are so far from one another you'd better bring binoculars if you want to spy on your neighbors across the way because you definitely won't be able to see anything without them. To access each set, there is a long bridge with a series of pathways that break off and create separate "streets". Once you wave the magnetic key to your door handle, your home awaits. Wow! This place is infinitely nicer than my home. You enter into the living room, which has a huge flat screen TV. There are actually two televisions, which I turned on only once to see what they had; mostly French TV except for CNN International and the cartoon network. Also in the modern Polynesian-style room was a working desk and a mini-fridge with free bottles of O Tahiti water. You can get it stocked with whatever you want (for a charge) but they all have espresso machines ... presumably to keep the Europeans from going ape.

Each room has wooden floors and situated between the living room and the bedroom is the bathroom. It features two sides (his and hers), a large, white marble shower and a two-person bathtub that is quick to fill but slow to drain. There are sliding windows to create an open-air effect or you can close the plantation blinds for some privacy. The shampoo and conditioner are refilled in ceramic jars, which is a nice eco-friendly touch and they provide generously sized bars of L'Occitane soap. The bedroom has a killer bed with comfortable pillows and a heavy duvet and more than enough storage even for the most high-maintenance traveler. There are small sections of glass on the floor throughout the bungalow so you can see the water below but they can't be lifted to feed or yell at the fish ... probably wise since it's not good to feed the fish ... or yell at them, come to think of it. Actually, I didn't see any fish (unlike in Moorea and Taha'a) but I did see a couple of rays swimming by.

The farther away your bungalow is from land, the more exclusive your space is and the deeper the water gets. Natalie and I were near the end so the water out back had to be a good 20 feet deep. That's perfect if you like to dive (like me) but if you aren't a strong swimmer (like Natalie), it might make you a bit uneasy. The good news is that the back deck is huge and includes two lounge chairs, a covered dining or working table and an outdoor shower with a swim-up ladder. Just like the ladder at our bungalow in Taha'a, this one was also covered with algae, making it quite slippery. It must not be environmentally friendly to clean them. On the deck is a storage box with two sets of snorkel gear and life preservers. There's also a hidden secret gate, which must be for the staff to use to clean the windows but I used it as a diving platform (shhh ... don't tell anyone) and made Natalie walk the plank when she misbehaved.

This is for all you techies who freaked when you found out that Blackberry email service doesn't work in French Polynesia. The comforting news is that the Four Seasons is one of the few resorts to offer in-room Wi-Fi (1,000 CFP [$10 USD] for 24 hours). I seriously tripped my family out when I toured them around our bungalow using my webcam on Skype and made them guess which country I was in. They got it on the first try ... maybe I shouldn't have sent them my itinerary. The only flaws I found with the rooms are that there was a whistling noise whenever the wind blew and whenever a golf cart went by outside, the room shook like there was a mild earthquake. Another disappointment is that Bora Bora is such a popular island, you don't have much privacy like you do in Taha'a. There's so much traffic right outside the bungalows; all the kayakers, paddlers, shuttle boats and load jet-skis are kind of annoying. Also, for a hotel that just opened, the service is great -- however, the night maid needs some more training. He/she didn't do a thorough job as they didn't pick up my wet towel from the deck, replace the soap I'd pocketed or empty the trash bin.

If just hanging out and relaxing or swimming off your bungalow, in the pool or at the beach bores you, then you'll be delighted to know that the hotel offers a wide variety of activities. If you want to work off the calories you consumed at the breakfast buffet, the resort has a state-of-the-art fitness center. But who wants to work out when they're on vacation? There are lots of other ways to stay active. Instead, play tennis on the artificial grass tennis courts or see if you can rustle up enough players for a game of beach volleyball on the sand court. There's also windsurfing, kite surfing, jet-skiing, water-skiing, jet boating, deep sea fishing, canoeing, kayaking and sailing. If land-based activities are more your style, there are jeep safaris, all-terrain-vehicle (ATV) tours, black pearl farm tours or you can hike Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia. Prefer heights? You can arrange parasailing and/or helicopter tours. The only activities that I did (and highly recommend) were the shark/ray feeding (more below) and visiting the spa.

The zen-like spa (near the chapel) with beautiful cathedral ceilings, is a must-visit (It has the best view). After filling out the routine get-to-know-you card and drinking the welcome fruit juice, guests are escorted to their respective locker rooms. Inside, there are separate facilities for men and women: an aroma steam room, a crazy sensory experience shower that has buttons for a "tropical storm" setting and a "polar mist", and a hot tub out back. What's unique about this is that it has a rack that you're supposed to lie down on while the jets are turned on. I'm not sure what the experience is supposed to feel like but I just felt like a lobster being boiled. So I cut that short to stand under one of the two super spouts in the shower, that'll give you a free massage if it doesn't take your skin off first. There are four treatment rooms and the most popular treatment here is the Polynesian couples massage (about $400 for an hour). The Tahitian therapists use all-natural oils for this traditional massage, which uses the soothing and elegant dance-like style of taurumi, to bring about a deep state of physical and emotional relaxation. Translation: they really rub you down and aren't shy about massaging your naked butt either (don't worry – the important parts are covered). When they flip you over onto your back, cucumbers dipped in lotion are used to cover and soothe your eyes.

Rack rates begin at 86,500 CFP ($929 USD) and they are currently offering a "Stay Longer -- Fifth Night Free" package but you can probably get a better deal by going through a tour operator or a travel agent. I use Jean-Louis Delezenne from He's basically Mr. Tahiti. He's a French guy who lives in L.A. but has a house in Moorea and knows and loves the islands so much it's contagious. Jean-Louis' email is

1 | Click to continue | 3

*PLEASE tell us what you think of this week's newsletter!

Copyright 2008 JohnnyJet, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pictures From

The Trip




Raiatea Airport


Air Tahiti


Arriving In Bora Bora


Four Seasons Boat


25 Minutes To Resort


Four Seasons Lobby!


Coral Chandelier




Staff Member




Resort Beach


Pool Boy


Now That's Service


Lunch Is Served


Serrano Ham Panini Sandwich


To Our Bungalow


Inside The Room


Flat Screen




Oversized Tub


Back Deck


Flipping off the Back Deck




Kids Club


The Spa


Inside The Spa




*** Buy Your Johnny Jet T-Shirts/Hats

*Please note that we reserve the right to post excerpts, perhaps edited, from your message on the Johnny Jet website and newsletter. We will not use your full name without your express permission. If you'd rather not have your message posted on the website or newsletter, just say so and it won't be.

This Newsletter is sent by permission only. If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription at any time, please login HERE. If you have any questions or suggestions please send message addressed to

Join Our Mailing List
Johnny Jet

Natalie Bahadur
About JohnnyPublicityNewsletter ArchiveMy MomPhotogalleryContact Us
Johnny's BookBlogBookmark Us BannersSuggestions