Marù Spa at Bora Bora Lagoon: A French Polynesian Paradise
Marù Spa at Bora Bora Lagoon Resort & Spa, an Orient-Express hotel in the South Pacific's French Polynesia, has been nominated for a Readers' Choice Award for Best International Spa Retreat.
Located on an idyllic little motu (islet) called Toopua in the cobalt blue lagoon, Marù Spa is "the only treetop spa in Polynesia." Its wooden cabins fit elegantly into the lush greenery, waterfalls and lilies that surround it high up between two Banyan trees, tucked away from the over-the-water, pandanu-leaf-topped bungalows below. The resort was built in 1992 and is only accessible by boat. There are no roads or villages on the private isle of Toopua, just pristine beaches, blue water and an extraordinary hotel & spa.
Marù Spa offers the usual traditional fare of massages, body polishes and soaks for individuals or couples and with tropical ingredients like Monoï oils, all with distinctly Polynesian twists. There is a facial "ritual" called Hohoa for women made with fruit, flowers, vanilla and coffee, and Tane, a sandalwood facial for men. Hand, foot and waxing treatments are available, and their hot stone massage uses "energetic stones" from Polynesian volcanoes.
The most impressive treatments are, by far and away, the Signature Experiences. The Marù Spa Experience, for example, involves exfoliation, a tropical rain massage, then body modelage with their exclusive body mousse. Sacred Tamanu is a wrap, massage and facial using the unmistakably fragrant and sensuous oil of the Tamanu tree, which Tahitians have used for centuries, Rouru involves having your scalp treated while a therapist massages your feet, and the three and a half hour Royal Marù Spa experience for couples incorporates treatments for the body, hair and face and treats any remaining areas with a coconut milk and exotic flower bath at the end. The treatments incorporate the Polynesian belief that the sea is the symbol of life, strength and prosperity.
This true tropical hideaway includes elaborate gardens, the largest outdoor swimming pool in Bora Bora, a free water shuttle to and from the main island and complimentary snorkeling and kayaking. If you don't feel like leaving your room in the morning, you can arrange to have a continental breakfast delivered to you by canoe. Video here.
In February, Bora Bora Lagoon was significantly damaged by Tropical Cyclone Oli. The hotel is currently under repair, but will reopen in early 2011.
Cast your vote for your favorite spa until March 31st. Winners will be announced on April 1.