Spa Diary: Te Mahana Spa at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
While honeymooning in Bora Bora, my husband Eric and I spent several nights at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora—one of Tahiti’s premier luxury resorts that has an unrivaled collection of overwater bungalow suites, beachfront villas, fine dining, and more.
The resort is also home to Te Mahana Spa, which is surrounded by tropical groves, native trees, and pristine Pacific waters. Te Mahana, “The Sun,” is the energy of the sky, providing warmth, and adding life to the land and to the water. The spirit of Polynesia is reflected in the sun, and the spa captures its energy and power with a unique sense of simplicity and luxury which defines Bora Bora.
Here’s what you’ll love about Te Mahana Spa at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora:
The spa is surrounded by tropical groves, native trees, and pristine Pacific waters.
Two co-ed infinity-edge vitality pools, one overlooking majestic Mount Otemanu and the other overlooking the Pacific Ocean, are open to all spa and hotel guests.
Soaring 72-foot ceilings create a temple-like environment in the entryway and halls.
The scents of sandalwood, frangipani, coconut, and tiare offer a pleasant sensory experience as you walk along suspended walkways above native trees.
It offers an array of island-inspired treatments that incorporate natural ingredients such as monoi oil, tamanu, vanilla, and black pearls.
Each spa ritual is designed to create a truly personal spa experience, combining ancient traditions, therapeutic disciplines, and Western practices to nurture and rebalance the body.
Luxurious amenities include herbal-scented saunas, sensory showers, men’s and women’s changing rooms, shaded lounge decks, and a co-ed indoor relaxation lounge.
The Fare Miti Spa Suite is an exclusive overwater treatment room with private lagoon views, an outdoor tub, and glass panels beneath massage beds so guests can watch the marine life during their services.
The spa’s boutique carries the Four Seasons Bora Bora signature line of freshly made skin care products, as well as Coqui Coqui products.
Before or after treatments, guests can order room service to be set up in one of the outdoor garden pavilions facing Mount Otemanu.
The spa offers a variety of private and group fitness classes on the outdoor deck overlooking the lagoon.
A state-of-the-art fitness center with Techno Gym cardio-vascular and resistance equipment is open 24 hours a day.
The spa has a separate room that offers beauty services including manicures, pedicures, hair and makeup.
The Nainai Spa menu offers facials, massages, and manicures designed specifically for younger guests between the ages of 11 and 17.
In-room massage is available at a 50% additional charge.
Treatments are also available before or after usual treatment hours at a 30% additional charge.
Upon our arrival to the spa, which was about a 10-minute walk from our overwater bungalow, I was immediately taken aback by the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, which can be seen from the entire west side of the spa, in addition to the 24-hour gym, which is located directly across from the spa entrance.
The reception desk is located in the open-air, breezy entrance area that sits under impressive 72-foot cathedral ceilings. After checking in, we sat down in the lounge and were served water with chilled towels. We were also offered our choice of oil to be used in our services—they all utilized natural native-inspired ingredients ranging from vanilla to monoi. I love them so much that I ended up purchasing several different ones to take home!
I also popped into the spa’s retail boutique, which sells a wide variety of luxury skin care and wellness brands including Knesko, VitaJuwel, Wandertea, and my personal favorite—Coqui Coqui. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Coqui Coqui, I first discovered the brand while getting a massage at The Now in Los Angeles, and fell in love with its intoxicating fragrances, candles, and body products.
The boutique also makes fresh skin care ingredients such as aloe vera gel, Tamanu body balm, and coconut scrub infused with 24k gold—they were all amazing and I purchased multiple jars to take home with me. When you purchase one, they make it then and there so that you’re getting a brand-new, fresh product!
Next, we were greeted by Spa Director Stephanie Cherbakow, who gave us a tour of the spa’s various amenities, which include a relaxation lounge, two infinity-edge vitality pools (more on those in a bit), as well as the luxuriously-appointed men’s and women’s changing areas, each outfitted with their own showers, lockers, and steam rooms.
After changing into my robe and slippers, I headed to the outdoor deck located on the women’s locker room side to meet Eric for some relaxation time before our treatment. The shaded deck has several comfortable lounge chairs, a water station, and an infinity-edge vitality pool that offers the most incredible views of the private lagoon and Mount Otemanu. This pool has the cooler temperature of the two pools—the second pool located on the men’s side is heated and great for relaxing your muscles, while the pool facing the lagoon is perfect for a cool refreshing dip to escape the tropical heat.
Bonus: Both pools are open to resort guests, so even if you don’t have a spa service booked, you can still come to the spa and enjoy access to both. During our last day at the resort, we came back and spent our last few hours in the pools before reluctantly boarding our boat back to the airport.
After cooling off in the vitality pool, we headed over to the air-conditioned relaxation lounge, which also incorporates the spa’s Kahaia tree-themed decor, fusing nature with the indoors. While there, we reclined on the lounge beds while snacking on nuts, dried fruit, infused water, and hot tea.
We were then greeted by our spa therapists, who asked us to follow them to the Fare Miti Suite—a private overwater villa that offers the ultimate couple’s suite experience. It has an expansive private deck with lagoon views, an outdoor tub that overlooks Mount Otemanu, private bathroom and outdoor shower, as well as treatment beds that sit on glass panels above the lagoon, offering an up-close look at the marine life swimming below.
Receiving a massage while watching the fish below is one of the most unique spa experiences that I’ve ever had—I highly recommend it. There’s something so soothing and mesmerizing about watching the beautiful varieties of different-colored fish swimming around in their native habitat, and I was actually bummed when the therapist asked me to turn onto my back—I could have stared at the fish all day long!
Eric received the 80-minute Polynesian Massage, which is inspired by the culture of French Polynesia. It draws on rich, therapeutic traditions and uses the graceful, soothing dance-like style of Taurumi (a deeply spiritual and therapeutic practice inherited by practitioners from their Polynesian ancestors) to achieve a deep state of physical and emotional relaxation.
I got the 80-minute Pareo Massage, which was developed by the spa’s very own massage therapists. I was offered my choice of several different pareos before my treatment, which I also got to keep afterwards as a reminder of my spa experience and trip. A pareo is a popular form of clothing in the islands that features colorful designs and can be wrapped around the body in a variety of ways—it makes for a great bathing suit cover-up and is comfortable and light against the skin, perfect for the tropical heat!
The deep-stretching massage combines oil massage and body stretching using a traditional Tahitian pareo. After massaging various parts of my body, the therapist gently wrapped the sarong around my ankles and wrists, lifting my arms and legs one at a time for a nice deep stretch. The combination of massage and stretching was extremely soothing, leaving a released and relaxed sensation in my body and mind.
When our massages had concluded, our therapists prepared a coconut milk bath for us on the suite’s private outdoor deck. After they had finished setting everything up, we were left to enjoy the bath, lagoon views, and a plate of fresh fruit—talk about the perfect way to end a massage!
Next, we called the spa reception desk and put in our lunch orders from the room service menu, which would then be delivered to us in one of the outdoor pavilions facing the lagoon. It was a short walk from the Fare Miti Suite, and we relaxed on deck chairs under the shaded roof while enjoying stunning views of Mount Otemanu until our food was delivered.
After lunch, we went for a dip in the heated vitality pool that faces the Pacific Ocean. There’s something magical about being up close and personal with one of nature’s most powerful forces—the majestic ocean— and listening to the sounds of crashing waves. As I sat in the warm water while the cool breeze fluttered against my skin, I was perfectly content. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced in my entire life, and it’s one that I’ll never forget.
Thank you Te Mahana Spa, for the spa adventure of a lifetime.
Insider Tip: Arrive an hour before your scheduled treatment to start the relaxation in one of the vitality pools, followed by a steam session to prepare the body and muscles for treatment.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. (Mon - Sun)
Phone: +689 40 603 170
Address: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, Motu Tehotu, BP 547, 98730, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Kamala Kirk is a University of Southern California graduate and has been an editor/writer for more than a decade. She has written for E! Online, Total Beauty, TravelAge West, Malibu Times Magazine, and many more. She resides in Los Angeles and is a proud pug mom. Follow her on Instagram: @kamalakirk
[Images by Kamala Kirk]