• Spread across five archipelagos in the South Pacific’s French Polynesia, the islands of Tahiti are truly paradisiacal—the romance is off the scale.
  • Sand islets and coral atolls dot the intensely blue, transparent waters, and the islands are verdant with palms and forests, vanilla farms and tropical blooms.
  • Thatched-roof overwater bungalows (farés) propped on stilts are the signature accommodations here—and many of them feature tropical-luxe furnishings and glass cutouts in their floors to watch the undersea life below.
  • New five-star resorts coming: The Four Seasons Bora Bora is set to open in 2008, and the Brando, a long-awaited eco-hotel, remains a work in progress on Tetiaroa, the island once owned by Marlon Brando.
  • Gauguin’s isles are easier for East Coasters to access since Air Tahiti Nui inaugurated a 12-hour New York–Papeete nonstop flight.
  • Good buys: black pearls, vanilla beans, pareus, Monoi coconut oil scented with tiaré, aphrodisiacal noni juice—and tattoos!



There's no high season, though the best, slightly cooler weather is during the May-to-October dry season. Bargains are rare, but newly opened resorts may offer introductory rates.

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