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Old Apr 18, 11, 7:00 pm   #1
 
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Bora Bora vs. Maldives

I need to start planning a trip for November for my anniversary. I am looking at these two locations and would like your thoughts from anyone that has been to either/both for recommendations. My wife really wants to stay in an over-water bungalow. Anyone have any experiences that they can share?

Not really looking for hotel advice although if you have any I will take it. I am looking for information as to which place has more things to do, better atmosphere, more romantic, etc, etc. Basically, just general pros and cons.

Hopefully this is the right forum for this. I looked in the luxury forum and there is information on hotels but I didn't get a feel for the destinations from those threads.
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Old Apr 18, 11, 7:05 pm   #2
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are you guys divers and/or snorkelers?
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Old Apr 18, 11, 7:10 pm   #3
 
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We snorkeled quite a bit on our several vacations to the Caribbean. Neither of us are divers.
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Old Apr 18, 11, 11:48 pm   #4
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If you can't afford Bora Bora, then go to Maldives. Otherwise Bora Bora has it beat by every measure. There's a reason that Bora Bora is the single most famous island in the world, for over a century. The scenery is dazzling. As for activities, they are both water small island vacations, and the "urban" parts nearby are not so great, so the real reason to be there is for the sun, sea, sand and snorkeling, swimming, boating. Peace, contentment and isolation. If you want something else (excitement, jet skiing, sky diving, discos with wild parties) then you've picked the wrong destination (that is available, in NZ or Sydney or Thailand, but not here). From US Bora Bora is much easier to get to, while from Europe Maldives are much closer (half a world closer).

The third option is Bali, if you want everything at a lower price. Much better value (bang for the buck) and with your choice of seclusion and privacy or action (changable daily).
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Old Apr 19, 11, 4:40 am   #5
 
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How are those shallow waters at Bora Bora, anything in them that you need to watch out for or keep alert in any way?
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Old Apr 19, 11, 4:44 am   #6
 
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I think that number_6 describes these locations well, although I would be curious as to why he thinks that Bora Bora is better than Maldives for a destination of this type.

I have been to Maldives and not Bora Bora, and really loved it. I thought that I would be bored, but wasn't at all. I stayed most recently at the Four Seasons Landaa Givararu, which has the benefit (or down-side, depending on your perspective) of being one of the larger resorts there -- 100 rooms, I think. I liked this aspect, because it offered a lot of activities, multiple pool and beach areas, four restaurants, etc., in addition of course to just relaxing and snorkeling from the hotel grounds or diving close by. So I was able to have a bit different experience and scenery each day, and I didn't even have time for all of the excursions that I would have liked. The down-side is that the room was not as secluded and private as I would have liked.

I also have been curious as to how Bora Bora compares, and look forward to reading some replies here.
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Old Apr 19, 11, 1:46 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
If you can't afford Bora Bora, then go to Maldives. Otherwise Bora Bora has it beat by every measure. There's a reason that Bora Bora is the single most famous island in the world, for over a century. The scenery is dazzling. As for activities, they are both water small island vacations, and the "urban" parts nearby are not so great, so the real reason to be there is for the sun, sea, sand and snorkeling, swimming, boating. Peace, contentment and isolation. If you want something else (excitement, jet skiing, sky diving, discos with wild parties) then you've picked the wrong destination (that is available, in NZ or Sydney or Thailand, but not here). From US Bora Bora is much easier to get to, while from Europe Maldives are much closer (half a world closer).

The third option is Bali, if you want everything at a lower price. Much better value (bang for the buck) and with your choice of seclusion and privacy or action (changable daily).

Is Bora Bora that secluded? I am not looking for Cancun but some things to do would be nice. While neither of us care about nightlife, I wouldn't be opposed to riding a jet ski and going deep sea fishing for a day, something along those lines. I love the beach as much as the next person but six days with nothing to do might wear on me.

Looks like I have some serious research to do.
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Old Apr 19, 11, 4:06 pm   #8
 
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A vote for Maldives here. You won't be disappointed. Haven't been to Bora Bora, but did extensive research on this board and others when asking the same question you are.

Distance is further to Maldives than Bora Bora, but less so from east coast.

Though the snorkeling is good at both, Maldives is generally considered better. I found it to be unbelievable.

Beaches are much better in the Maldives, but island scenery and culture better in Bora Bora.

Food in the Maldives is generally considered to be better quality. Both Bora Bora and Maldives are expensive, though.

Most Maldives resorts do have fishing and other activities. I wasnĺt bored at all staying nine days at one resort.
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Old Apr 28, 11, 12:54 pm   #9
 
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I have been to Bora Bora recently, on my honeymoon in November, and I can assure you that Bora Bora has loads of activities, including jet skiing, parasailing, snorkel yours, ATV tours, and many other things. It does not have ano sort of nightlife whatsoever but that's ok because you're in paradise and you'll be worn out from being in the sun all day. Both the Maldives and Bora Bora are far away from everything but from the Western US Bora Bora would be easier and from the East Coast it's about the same distance to either place. Good luck!
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Old May 7, 11, 8:59 am   #10
 
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The Maldives is my favourite place on earth

I just got back last week from a trip to Tahiti and Bora Bora. My husband and I stayed for 5 nights at the four seasons in Bora Bora. It was fairly nice and I couldn't really fault it, but we both left feeling a bit disappointed.

Don't get me wrong, it is a nice place.. the hotel staff were all friendly and courteous and the service was great. The overwater bungalow we stayed in was well-kept and nicely designed. There were only a couple of restaurants on the island and they were good, but expensive. The water was clear and blue. I found the water temperature to be a bit cold and there was next to no snorkelling to be done. The main island of Bora bora is nice to go to for a coupe of hours. You can hire out electric bikes like we did and ride around the island. There is a gorgeous beach along the way.

However, it is not the Maldives. I've been to the Maldives twice now and would love to go back every chance I can. I wouldn't go back to Bora Bora though. There's something so magical about the Maldives that Bora Bora doesn't have and to me, there is no comparison. Another couple that we met at Bora bora had also been to the Maldives and felt the same way.

Maldives is just paradise... the water is bluer and so warm I would spend the whole day swimming. The snorkelling is fantastic...there are coral reefs around the islands with plenty of fish and turtles to see. The people there are so friendly. I don't think Maldives is the cheaper option, but I guess it depends where you are travelling from. Bora bora was a lot cheaper for me than the Maldives. I definitely would recommend staying in a overwater bungalow. It's worth the extra money. The view from them is spectacular. I've stayed at Coco palm dhuni Kolhu and Coco palm Bodhu Hithu. The rooms at Bodhu Hithu were much larger than the Four seasons in Bora bora and it had a large private plunge pool. I've heard from several people that Soneva Gilli is fantastic and that's the next resort I'll be staying at in the Maldives!

It's a fairly relaxing holiday.. there's not heaps to do but at a place like that all you want to do is swim and relax. I'm usually the type of person who crams as much as I can into a holiday, but at the Maldives I'm just happy to lie in the sun or swim around and take it easy. There are plenty of watersport activities you can do though.

Maldives is the perfect anniversary location. My husband surprised my with a trip last year there for our anniversary and it was the nicest holiday ever and I'll never forget it.
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Old May 7, 11, 9:48 am   #11
 
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Went to Moorea and Bora Bora for my honeymoon almost 10 years ago to the day. Stayed in an over water bungalow for 10 nights and wouldn't have done it any other way. Wherever you go the bungalows are beautiful, luxuriously furnished, and just downright fun to stay in. Our bungalow had a window in the floor so you could look straight into the water, and the deck had steps leading down to a smaller deck with a shower and a ladder so you could go straight into the water. The lagoon itself is unbelievably crystal clear, warm, and generally shallow - about 4-6 feet deep all the way out to the barrier reef surrounding the island.

The are things like cone shells and stonefish around that you need to look out for. Farther out you'll find blacktip reef sharks and barracuda. We took a shark diving tour and had tons of sharks swimming beneath us, but in general they won't hurt you unless you harass them.

French polynesia is literally paradise on earth. Highly recommended unless you're into city vacations and nightlife.
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Old May 7, 11, 10:15 am   #12
 
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I had been to Bora Bora 3 times (different resorts) and Maldives 4 times (different island resorts) and still love both and will go back anytime to both places without a doubt. However, I do prefer a bit more on Bora Bora. If you love snorkeling, fishes and corals below the water like a underwater forest, then you should choose Maldives. The variety of fishes and corals wins hands down Bora Bora. However, in Maldives you will get stuck in a resort and there are not many options for meals or non-water activities.

In Bora Bora, you will have a lot outdoor activities like hiking, 4x4 jeep tour, visit the Vaitape Village, beaches (Matira Beach right next to InterContinental Bora Bora La Moana has been named the most romantic beach in the world), dine at different restaurants on the island, shark feeding, etc. I personally find the Polynesian culture mixing with the French culture is much richer than the Maldivian culture. There are not much to see if the resort in Maldives offers you to visit the local fishing village or the capital city of male, all you can see is the local people bugging you to buy their homemade souvenirs at ridiculous prices. The seawater in Maldives is nice and gorgeous, but the unique turquoise seawater color in Bora Bora wins hands down Maldives.

November is the beginning of wet season in Bora Bora, and it is the end of wet/monsoon season in Maldives, so both places equally have the small risk of bad rainy days during November.

Whatever you choose between these 2 places, you won't go wrong with either one. Bora Bora is very safe and the local people are friendly and laid-back, and the staff and local people do not have any tipping culture; some do feel offended if you intend to pay them tips. However, few restaurant waiters in Maldives island resort can be aggressive for bugging you for tips by telling you their stories about how little they earn. In addition, there are strikes/protests going on in Maldives and I don't know how long it will last although Maldives is almost as safe as Bora Bora.

Hope the info helps!

Last edited by GordonGordon; May 7, 11 at 11:39 am.
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Old May 7, 11, 11:31 am   #13
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Friends of my parents SCUBA dived all over the world. They said Bora Bora was by far the best place for diving that they had seen. I don't know if they went to the Maldives.
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Old May 7, 11, 10:37 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by GordonGordon View Post
The seawater in Maldives is nice and gorgeous, but the unique turquoise seawater color in Bora Bora wins hands down Maldives.
I used to think a lot of these pictures were "touched up" in Photoshop until I saw my parent's photos form their cruise from Florida to Sydney, where they stopped at numerous little islands along the way. The pictures from Bora Bora were absolutely astounding, and the water really is that paradise-like turquiose colour that you see in mags.
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Old May 8, 11, 3:51 am   #15
 
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We stayed in an over-water hut on Kuramathi in the Maldives and loved it... flew there in a seaplane from Male and had a great experience. We also stayed 2 nights in Male which is a fine little city and very, very clean. I've not been to Bora Bora, but the snorkeling in the Maldives is simply amazing. We were there in January and had no rain.
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