They filmed “Couples Retreat” with Vince Vaughn at the St. Regis, Bora, Bora (released in 2009). And yes, in case you are wondering, they do show the film on a continuous loop in all the rooms and bungalows, 24/7, 365. So, even if you haven’t seen it before you arrive, you will certainly watch it during your stay, especially if it rains nonstop for two days and you don’t happen to speak French (all of the other television stations are in French). Not that we are complaining. There is just about nothing to complain about in Bora, Bora.

The main pool is just as you would expect–the sea nearby, the swaying palms, views of the iconic Mount  Otemanu in the distance:

Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 11.45.12 AM

The ocean a few steps away:


As far as hotel pools in paradise go, it doesn’t get much better. There is a swim-up bar (no-duh!):

St. Regis Bora, Bora pool

And one of our favorite poolside amenities ever, a self-serve sunscreen bar at the supply hut:

St. Regis, Bora, Bora Suncreen

At the other end of the property, closer to the over-water bungalows there is another pool, stunning onto itself:

St. Regis, Bora, Bora Smaller Pool

It’s shady, with lots of nooks and crannies to make it feel private. The vegetation (and maybe the coming rain on our visit?) give it a jungle vibe and the sparkly blue-green, abalone style tile is mesmerizing. There are cabanas at this pool, though no poolside service. The best thing: the cabanas are first-come, first-serve. No reserving. No cording off. If you are at the pool and one is available, it’s yours. How civilized is that?

St. Regis, Bora, Bora cabana

All of the rooms are over-water bungalows with ladders down to the water, so there’s never a lack of swimming space. You can also book a bungalow with a private plunge pool on the deck:

St Regis Bora, Plunge Pools

If you aimed the TV just right and opened the shades, you could probably even watch Vince Vaughn and friends from inside the pool. Not that you’d want to, but it’s always an option.

Click for more pools in Hawaii and French Polynesia.

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