Virtuoso Life - September/October 2017 - 108
The hut, elevated, at The
St. Regis Bora Bora Resort and
(below) the writer at ease.
A session in the South Paciﬁc sets the standard for relaxation.
I try to picture French Polynesia's original overwater bungalows as I roll up to mine in a
golf cart at the 90-room St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. Fifty years ago, the Bali Hai Boys (a
trio of Californian transplants) "invented" the first ones at a hotel on nearby Raiatea Island. Inspired by local fishing huts, they built simple structures to give guests easier access to the lagoon, though "simple" isn't the word I'd
use to describe my 1,550-square-foot overwater villa, which has a dining gazebo, an Italian marble bathroom, and
indoor and outdoor showers. But the second I step onto the deck and see the jewel-toned water gleaming below, I
realize that, while some things may have changed, the feeling this experience elicits probably hasn't. I'm in a remote corner of the world, gazing out at a panorama that epitomizes a "Wish You Were Here" postcard, and for now,
this slice of it is mine. I tell my butler I wish I had a pool float, and he returns an hour later with an inner tube and a rope, which he ties to the ladder
so I won't worry about drifting too far. I bob silently in the South Pacific and watch the sun slip behind Mount Otemanu, knowing that floating
will never be the same again. Doubles from $1,238, including round-trip airport transfers and breakfast daily. - Amy Cassell, associate editor
V I RT U O S O L I F E
(BUNGALOWS) ERIC PINEL/ST. REGIS BORA BORA