The Ultimate Guide to Honeymooning in French Polynesia
It's hard to dream up a more picture-perfect honeymoon locale than French Polynesia. Home to Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, and 115 other dazzling islands, French Polynesia is both far-flung (it's located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean) and beautiful (all around are white-sand beaches, crystal-clear lagoons, and garden-green hillsides). That's what makes it a prime spot for honeymooners: In addition to planning a memorable post-nuptial vacation with breathtaking views and unbeatable weather, when you choose to honeymoon in French Polynesia, you're also guaranteeing that you're far away from any lingering wedding-related stress.
With so many islands to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down just two (or three) for the honeymoon. Most couples choose a circular route that takes them from Tahiti to Moorea and Bora Bora, before returning to Tahiti for the return flight home (it's the only island with an international airport). But that's not to say you have to stick to what's popular; in fact, some of the most unique Tahitian honeymoons incorporate those less-traveled isles, such as Taha'a, Rangiroa, and Fakarava. If you're really lucky, you can even visit the private island of Tetiaroa, which has just one resort in the entire undiscovered area.
If you have your heart set on a honeymoon in French Polynesia, then you've come to the right place. Here, we're sharing the top islands to visit, plus our hotel picks on each one. Get ready to start planning your dream escape. All that'll be left for you to is pack your bags and get ready to relax.
Most couples spend just one night on the largest and most populated island of French Polynesia before jetting off to a more remote paradise. But that's not to say you shouldn't prolong your stay: Tahiti is where you can forgo big-box resort activities in favor of more local experiences. Post up at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, which has overwater bungalows with unobstructed sunset panoramas, before scooting around the island by motorbike, stopping for freshly caught tuna tiradito at mom-and-pop restaurants like Le Coco's.
It's a quick journey by plane or ferry to Tahiti's "little sister," located just 10 nautical miles away. The mountainous island is covered in dense rain forest, filled with pineapple and vanilla plantations, and surrounded by colorful lagoons. From July to November, you can spot humpback whales in the waters just beyond the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, which has both overwater villas and secluded garden suites.
As soon as you catch sight of towering Mount Otemanu, which spills down from its nearly 2,400-foot summit into a glistening blue lagoon, it's obvious why Bora Bora is the crown jewel of French Polynesia. Couple that jaw-dropping landscape with some of the world's most exclusive resorts—like Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, Conrad Bora Bora Nui, and the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa—and you've got a match made in honeymoon heaven.
Centuries ago, the main island in this small atoll served as the summer residence for Tahitian royalty. It was later bought by Hollywood legend Marlon Brando, who fell in love with the place while filming a movie and aimed to preserve it through sustainable eco-tourism. What eventually opened, years after his passing, was The Brando, a 35-villa, all-inclusive luxury haven. While couples can expect every modern convenience (air-conditioned accommodations, full-service spa, imported French wines), it's The Brando's commitment to conservation (local flora, fauna, and wildlife both terrestrial and aquatic) that makes it feel like a land-before-time paradise.
The botanical bounty of French Polynesia is on full display on this less-traveled island, which is filled with banana, watermelon, and coconut groves. It's also one of the biggest producers of the highly prized Tahitian vanilla orchid; the sweet-smelling scent fills the air everywhere you go. To experience the beauty of the island, book a room at its only five-star resort, Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa.
You'll find more fish than people on this totally secluded island, located in the Tuamotus Archipelago, a chain of almost 80 islands and atolls approximately one hour by plane from Tahiti. Scuba-diving couples will want to prioritize a stay at Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa, where the rooms are designed in a traditional Polynesian style and the surrounding lagoon is like a giant natural aquarium, filled with schools of fish, vibrant coral reefs, stingrays, sharks, and more. (If you're lucky, you might even spot a whale shark.)
Located southeast of Rangiroa, Fakarava is home to the second largest lagoon in the Tuamotu Atolls—a place so rich in aquatic life that it was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Only the most dedicated diving enthusiasts make it here, so don't expect super luxurious resorts (many of the island's accommodations are simple guesthouses owned by locals). But low-key hotels like Havaki Lodge have all the basics covered and offer a chance to focus on what you're really here for: the ocean and all its bounty.