French Polynesia’s Bora-Bora was the undisputed star of this year’s list, as voted on by T+L readers.
Swaying coconut palms. Warm, crystalline waters. Powdery beaches. The South Pacific looms large in the collective imagination as a true paradise — and the French Polynesian island of Bora-Bora is the ultimate realization of this Edenic ideal. Here, at the destination’s manicured resorts, thatched-roof overwater bungalows appear to float above aquamarine lagoons, and the iconic peak of Mount Otemanu towers in the distance.
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.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
In third place is the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, a perennial reader favorite, not only for its postcard-perfect overwater bungalows but also for its dreamy spa, where Polynesian ingredients (monoï oil, tamanu, vanilla, and honey) are incorporated into signature massages and facials. Other highlights include a vast infinity pool that appears to drop off into the ocean and the Arii Moana restaurant, one of four on the property, which serves up both French and Polynesian cuisine.
Runner-up InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa impresses with an educational “lagoonarium”— a protected marine habitat home to a coral nursery and a colorful array of fish. It’s the ideal place to learn about Polynesian ocean life from the hotel’s marine biologists. Other guests learned about the island’s aquatic life by diving right in (literally). Wrote one reader, “We could step off the sundeck of our bungalow and into the lagoon to snorkel.”
Curious what property took the No. 1 slot? Keep reading to find out.