Maldives vs Bora Bora – The Best Guide for Couples and Newlyweds 2020

Malives vs Bora Bora

Maldives vs Bora Bora? A tough choice when it comes to choosing a near paradisaical holiday destination. For newlyweds and many other couples, it is a no brainer to holiday in either Bora Bora, an island in French Polynesia, or the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

Both are paradises in their own right. However, depending on the finer details of a couple’s expectations, they may be more suited to one destination over the other. Below, we have compiled a list of everything you need to know about the Maldives vs Bora Bora so that you and your partner can make an informed decision based on your shared tastes!

Maldives vs Bora Bora – Honeymoon Suitability

Maldives Lounging
Lounging on a Tree in Maldives Paradise – Photo by Mohamed Nashah on Unsplash

Perhaps the first thing newlyweds look at in a potential honeymoon destination is its suitability for, well, a honeymoon.

The good news is that both Bora Bora and the Maldives are great choices for a honeymoon. Both locations offer vow celebrations and renewals, in-villa dining, and even honeymoon Instagram shoots! Of the two, Bora Bora is mostly home to fellow honeymooners.

However, you will be more likely to encounter families and friend groups, in addition to newlyweds, in the Maldives.

Maldives vs Bora Bora – The Vibe

You and your partner should also think about the general vibe you are looking for from a honeymoon destination.

Bora Bora is home to a number of similar resorts, whereas the Maldives consists of hundreds of different private island resorts.

For this reason, the Maldives has more of a desert island, off-the-map vibe. You may prefer Bora Bora, however, if you want to be closer to civilisation (more on that later).

Palm Trees in Maldives
Maldives Beach – Photo by https://fshoq.com

Maldives vs Bora Bora – Journey Time

Of course, your home location may also influence your honeymoon decision.

Jet-lag will be worse the further you travel from your time zone, and can hinder your schedule for the first couple of days of your trip (depending on how active you are planning to be).

Papeete International Airport (Bora Bora) is more accessible from the U.S (particularly from the West Coast), Australia and New Zealand, whereas the Maldive Islands are more accessible from Europe, Asia and Africa via Male International Airport.

INTER-ISLAND TRANSFER

After arriving at either airport, couples will have to take a further inter-island transfer in order to reach their resort.

To get to Bora Bora from Papeete, you are looking at an A.T flight plus a 20-minute boat ride to the resort itself, coming in at about $500 per person for the round trip.

Depending on the resort chosen, your transfer to the Maldives could take the form of a speedboat, domestic turboprop flight or seaplane.

Transport will vary depending on the resort, so prices can range anywhere from $600 to $1000 per person for the round trip.

Inter-island transfers are pricey, particular in the Maldives, but treat at this part of your trip as a wonderful sightseeing opportunity, wherever you decide to go.

Sunset Bora Bora
Sunset Bora Bora – Photo by Bob Bradley on Unsplash

When to Travel?

Your wedding date, work schedules and other commitments will dictate the time of year you choose to go away.

Keep in mind that in Bora Bora, high season is from May to October. Rainy season in Bora Bora takes place in wintertime, while peak season is from June to August.

In the Maldives, high season takes place from December to April and monsoon season is in the summertime.

Maldives vs Bora Bora – Accommodation

Overwater Bungalows Maldives
Beautiful Honeymoon Bungalows Maldives – Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

Crucial to your honeymoon experience will be your choice of accommodation.

Bora Bora is home to resorts such as the Four Seasons, St. Regis, Conrad and Intercontinental. Most of these are well established, having been built over a decade ago.

The St. Regis Resort on Bora Bora was where the movie ‘Couple’s Retreat‘, starring Vince Vaughan was filmed in 2009. Interest in the resort spiked after the movie and, to this day, remains a hugely popular hotel destination for those seeking an Eden-like holiday.

If you are looking for something slightly more cutting-edge, the Maldives are home to countless new resorts, all in competition with one another.

Check out the eco-luxe Six Senses Laamu or the Gili Lankanfushi as examples of modern and unique resorts.

Maldives vs Bora Bora – Which destination offers more privacy?

The level of privacy offered by a location will be a deal breaker for many honeymooners.

In Bora Bora, you will often be able to see or hear the neighbouring villas. As well as this, the surrounding lagoon is usually filled with tourists taking part in water sports and tours.

You can expect to enjoy a greater deal of privacy in the Maldives. Most resorts are on their own private islands, where you cannot see or be seen by fellow honeymooners.

This also means that, unlike Bora Bora, you should not encounter tourists or locals on the water surrounding your villa.

Sunset in Paradise
Maldives Sunset – Photo by Mohamed Thasneem on Unsplash

Maldives vs Bora Bora – The Costs

Most resorts in Bora Bora and the Maldives will charge you around $1500 per night, but there are other financial variables to consider.

In Bora Bora, the minimum wage is higher, but it is marginally less expensive than the Maldives.

Unlike the Maldives, the prices displayed in Bora Bora include tax and service.

Not only this, but you will have the option to dine on the French Polynesian mainland, where the restaurants are more reasonably priced than the island itself.

You can also find grocery shops on the mainland. The money saved by dining or buying ingredients on the mainland every so often could be put to use in other areas of your trip, such as the activities.

This is not an option in the Maldives, where there is also a high import tax on alcohol.

Maldives vs Bora Bora – Honeymoon Luxury

Many couples may expect a certain degree of luxury from their honeymoon trip.

If you prefer a more hands-off approach, then consider Bora Bora. As mentioned earlier, the resorts here are simply not as cutting-edge as those found in the Maldives.

More emphasis is placed on grounding oneself in the natural beauty of the French Polynesian landscape.

On the other hand, some may find the level of luxury in the Maldives excessive.

Think villas with private boats, overnight stays in see-through bubble rooms, underwater dining, sleeping and clubbing.

The Six Senses Laamu (which I mentioned earlier) offers outdoor Jacuzzis, rain showers, infinity pools and overwater bathtubs.

Oh, and on-call butlers are pretty much a given in the Maldives. Remember that service in Bora Bora is generally more relaxed, so don’t expect to encounter on-call butlers here.

Bora Bora and Maldives – Dining Out

Food and dining in both Bora Bora and the Maldives is delightful. In Bora Bora, expect fresh, locally-sourced produce.

Although there is less variety here than in the Maldives, the cuisine in Bora Bora is perhaps more authentic, unique, and interesting.

In the Maldives, there is at least one fine dining option in each resort. Both the Conrad on Rangali Island and the Gili Lankanfushi are home to 20,000 bottle wine collections (in cellars that are below sea level).

The Niyama Private Islands and Jumeirah Vittaveli are overwater restaurants located in the middle of the ocean. For the environmentally conscious, the Gili Lankanfushi offers an amazing vegan menu.

The Soneva Fushi also grows its own produce, offers organic food and takes special requests for curated menus (vegan options included).

Perhaps most astonishingly, the Six Senses Laamu offers a zero-carbon meal, which is made using no energy.

Maldives vs Bora Bora – Surroundings and Landscape

Bora Bora sunset and landscape is beautiful
Sunset Bora Bora – Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler on Unsplash

For all the luxury offered by the Maldives, Bora Bora’s true splendour lies in its surroundings.

Its varied landscape, from the azure seascape to the French Polynesian mountains, offers a stark contrast to the bustling French Polyesian capital of Papeete nearby.

The main island is also home to about 9,000 people. Holiday-goers have the opportunity to learn about the local culture, as well as experiencing the natural landscape.

The water in the Maldives is equally stunning. However, tourists are isolated from the local population in Male, so you will be less likely to encounter the local way of life.

Holiday Activities – What to do in Bora Bora and the Maldives?

Snorkelling in tropical waters of Bora Bora
Snorkelling in Bora Bora -Photo by Ibrahim Razzan on Unsplash

Lastly (but not least), an important factor to take into account when choosing your honeymoon destination are the activities on offer.

You can snorkel and scuba dive in both locations.

Bora Bora’s mountainous landscape also provides the opportunity for land-based activities, such a hiking and ATV. Bora Bora is also home to a number of public beaches, such as Matira Beach (which is among the top ten beaches in the world).

The rich culture grants couples the opportunity to participate in traditional activities, such as hat making and weaving.

In the Maldives, you will be limited to water-based activities. The warm water means that you can encounter diverse marine life and there are some beautiful, secluded beaches and diving spots.

The desert island vibe of the Maldives means that the focus of your holiday will be on disconnecting from the outside world altogether and spending quality time with your loved one.

Maldives vs Bora Bora – Summary

Honeymoon in Bora Bora or Maldives
Honeymoon in Bora Bora or Maldives – Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash

Neither Bora Bora nor the Maldives is superior to the other. For this reason, there is no real winner in the Bora Bora vs. the Maldives debate.

Although the destinations may appear identical on the surface, they differ in many crucial ways.

I hope that this article will help you and your partner to make the best decision for your once-in-a-lifetime trip. Happy honeymooning!


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