By Chloe Sachdev
July 08, 2020
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Courtesy of Turtle Island Fiji

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

With cobalt-blue waters, colorful coral life, and white sandy beaches, the South Pacific feels like a picture-perfect postcard. You can do everything from snorkeling and kayaking to diving and surfing — or nothing at all. The best resorts in the South Pacific give you plenty of either option.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

The honeymooners’ paradise of French Polynesia appears twice on the list, with a pair of properties on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea. Surrounded by gin-clear lagoons and jade-green mountains, both the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa (No. 5) and Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa (No. 4) have room types to suit every preference, from overwater bungalows and beach villas to garden suites. As one visitor to the Hilton swooned, “The views are something from a dream. You can see every tropical fish you can imagine just steps away from your bungalow — or even just below your bungalow!”

Nearby Bora-Bora also lays claim to two spots this year. “Breathtaking sunsets, excellent service, and incredible villas,” wrote one reader about the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora (No. 3). Conrad Bora Bora Nui (No. 2), located on private island Motu To’opua, leaves a deep impression with its half-mile-long white-sand beach (the largest of any Bora-Bora hotel) and thatched-roof villas, all with private pools. And while it’s not the nearest destination T+L readers could choose, as one fan wrote, it’s “worth the trip.”

This year’s winner, the intimate Turtle Island Resort, is the only Fijian property to make the list of the best resorts in the South Pacific. Read on to find out what set it apart.

1. Turtle Island Resort, Fiji

Courtesy of Turtle Island Fiji

Score: 95.81

More information: turtlefiji.com

With only 14 villas — and, thus, a maximum of 28 guests across its 500 acres — this family-owned property reigned supreme among secluded tropical paradises. “There is no other place that can compare to this place,” one reader attested. “The Island family takes you in and takes complete care of you, allowing for relaxation, rejuvenation, and renewal. We have made four visits and have the fifth visit scheduled.” The all-inclusive luxury resort puts a polished twist on could-be-standard packages, offering massages, land activities such as horseback riding, champagne picnics (on any of the 12 beaches), scuba diving, and fishing. “The best resort we have ever been to,” a T+L reader proclaimed.

2. Conrad Bora Bora Nui, French Polynesia

Courtesy of Conrad Hotels and Resorts

Score: 95.06

More information: hilton.com

3. Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora French Polynesia

Courtesy of Four Seasons

Score: 94.88

More information: fourseasons.com

4. Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, French Polynesia

Courtesy of Hilton

Score: 87.53

More information: hilton.com

5. InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, French Polynesia

Courtesy of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

Score: 76.22

More information: tahiti.intercontinental.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.