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Laura and Bryan Leibowitz knew exactly where they would take their first trip as newlyweds: French Polynesia. The photography enthusiasts (Laura’s an attorney and Bryan’s a mechanical engineer) had been captivated by pictures of the islands since college. After their New York City nuptials, they wasted no time in hitting the road, departing the very next day for what turned out to be the vacation of a lifetime.
Here, the couple pose at Moorea’s Belvedere Lookout.
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“Both hotels gave us shell necklaces when we left to remind us of our trip -- not that we’ll forget it!” says Laura.
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Laura and Bryan hopped onto the back of a 4x4 (booked through Albert Transport) for an invigorating jaunt through Moorea. “We stopped at Moorea’s Belvedere and Magic Mountain lookouts, vanilla groves, and pineapple fields,” says Laura.
“Bora Bora caught our eye first -- it’s romantic, exotic, and all about relaxation. Then, once we started researching, we realized that Moorea would provide the perfect balance. It’s equally gorgeous but filled with activities,” says Bryan.
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Bartenders at the Hilton Moorea know their way around a pina colada, an island classic allegedly invented at a Puerto Rico Hilton in the ’50s. “We decided to start there and save Bora Bora for last. We booked a pool villa at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa since it was cheaper and we weren’t going to be in our room much, and splurged on a bungalow at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.”
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These fantasy rooms are the pride of the Four Seasons Bora Bora.
“The overwater bungalow at the Four Seasons was bigger than our New York apartment!” says Laura. “There were glass panels in the floor, so you could see the ocean below, and outside it had a huge deck with lounge chairs.”