I have previously spoken for my love of French Polynesia, especially Bora Bora! It is one of those bucket list once in a lifetime destinations! Another place I consider falls into the same bracket are the beautiful islands of The Maldives! As I have been lucky enough to visit both Bora Bora and the Maldives, I thought I would put together this handy comparison guide to help you decide whether Bora Bora vs Maldives makes the better honeymoon, family holiday and once in a lifetime trip! So if you can only go to one Bora Bora or the Maldives – which one should it be?
Getting to Maldives Vs Bora Bora
Getting to The Maldives
Everyone traveling to the Maldives will arrive at Male International Airport! As tourism is the main industry of the Maldives the airport, despite being small is quite well organized. Everyone will need to transfer to their resort either via boat or seaplane after arrival. For those traveling via boat, the jetty is a short walk away! The boat transfers tend to be for resorts closer to the mainland. This is good for those who don’t want long transfers (like us when we travelled there with our baby), and people who want to be closer to the capital. The only negative to this is that it means the water around your resort is likely to have more traffic of the boat variety! For those traveling via seaplane, you will need to check in at the main airport and then take a ten minute transfer to the local airport! This is very efficient! Your resort or agent will organize your transfers! Those who take this option will find that there resort is more likely to have the desert island paradise feel as you are unlikely to see any marine or aeroplane traffic!
Getting To Bora Bora
The International Airport in French Polynesia is on Tahiti! From there you will need to get another plane to the island of Bora Bora! Due to timings, it might be essential to stay on Tahiti for one night prior to travel to your Bora Bora resort! However, the planes at Tahiti to Bora Bora tend to be bigger passenger planes rather than the small seaplanes used in the Maldives! This might be an important factor for those travelers who are nervous fliers!
Top Tip: Get a seat on the left hand side of the plane to get the best views of Bora Bora on landing!
Depending on which hotel on Bora Bora you then choose you may have to transfer again via boat to your resort!
Overall which is easier to get to Maldives or Bora Bora
Out of the two, I think the Maldives has the slight edge as all of the resorts organize their own transport which makes it easier for those traveling in to have a smoother transfer and it means you don’t waste a night of your break staying away from your main resort!
Which has the best luxury accommodation in Bora Bora vs Maldives
The Maldives has a long established tourist industry and is renowned for over the top luxury and over water villas.
Our top Maldives picks are:
The beautiful and family friendly resort of Constance Haleveli:
But for some of the most over the top luxury in the world you need to see Conrad Maldives with its underwater dining experience – this is a hotel that is on everybody’s hotel bucket list! The resort also has a 20K bottle wine cellar! You can check prices and availability here!
With the volume of resorts in the Maldives competition is higher and some resorts look to differentiate themselves by having Michelin starred chefs and having different type of luxury experience such as over the top and also barefoot luxury resorts! Six Senses Laamu now offers a zero carbon meal! The Maldives, overall probably has some more groundbreaking and off the wall resorts by comparison to Bora Bora as there is more competition and the resorts really need to set themselves apart.
Bora Bora, also has great luxury options but has less resorts than the Maldives . In Bora Bora there are definitely options for over water villas but there are more choices of accommodation. Whereas resorts in the Maldives tend to have their island meaning uninterrupted views and privacy, Bora Bora is smaller so overwater villas are not as commonplace and the neighbors are far more common!Resorts, particular lagoon side will often have views of people doing watersport!
Our top picks for staying on Bora Bora are:
Four Seasons Bora Bora
The hotel has a combination of over-water bungalows and beachfront villas! Located on Point Matira in Bora Bora, voted ‘the best island in the world’ by U.S. News in 2012. The Motu Mute Airport is a mere 15-minute boat ride away. This resort is great for those wanting to snorkel as they do free guided snorkelling tours of the lagoon sanctuary.
The Conrad Bora Bora Nui
One of my all time favorite hotel chains! This hotel resort is a twenty minute boat transfer from the airport. One of the oldest over water bungalow accommodations in French Polynesia but its recent renovation means that it feels utterly up to date! They really have thought of everything during their renovations and if you are looking for utter modern luxury this is the place to go!
The St Regis Bora Bora
When I think of Bora Bora, this hotel is always the one that springs to mind having been the setting for the 2009 Vince Vaughn film Couples Retreat! The St Regis Bora Bora Resort is a 10-minute drive from Mont Otemanu and Mont Pahia or a 15-minute boat transfer from Bora Bora Airport. The hotel property boasts beach front villas as well as some of the mist stunning overwater bungalows where you can dive right into the ocean – the perfect accommodation for any honeymooner! ! The hotel has two pools, an unbelievable spa and beautiful beaches, gardens and terraces. For those travelling with kids there is a kids club available as well as a play area and on demand babysitting at an additional cost!
Food on Bora Bora tends to have more local flavors but does not have the variety of options like the Maldives!
What is there to do in Bora Bora vs Maldives
Main difference that on the main Bora Bora island, is a small town! You can go into the local market and even try some local dining options! If you want to meet some locals then Bora Bora is the place for you! You can also go to a Polynesian cultural show to get more of an insight into traditional life! This aspect is missing in the Maldives and I don’t think you learn much about the people or there way of life!
Whereas at the Maldives you are definitely more restricted to your resort (Not that you will want to leave)! If you are a fan of hiking etc then the Maldives doesn’t have the options! The activities here are more limited to water based but all resorts will offer excursions of snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and dolphin watching to name but a few!
Having to rely on resort led activities in the Maldives means you are more likely to spend more money on actives (if not included in the price of the room)! Bora Bora has several independent tour companies so you are likely to get a better activity rate!
What is better value for money Bora Bora vs Maldives?
Let’s be honest travelling to either Bora Bora or the Maldives isn’t going to be cheap! Obviously some of the cost will depending on where you are coming from! For us being based in the Middle East or Europe, flights to the Maldives are definitely cheaper!
In regards to hotels, the Maldives has lots more hotels and as a result also has some more budget accommodations in comparison to Bora Bora!
One great example of a Maldives mid range hotel resort is Bandos Maldives
You can read our full review of Bandos Maldives HERE!
What is better Bora Bora vs Maldives?
There is really no better when it comes to picking Bora Bora or the Maldives! Think about the type of property and feel you would like to stay in versus your budget and what type of activities you want to do! But at the end of the day no Mather which paradise you pick you are sure to have a fabulous time!