People are usually surprised to hear that Tahiti is a 6.5 hour flight and 3 hours time difference from SFO. A short ferry ride away from Tahiti is an island called Moorea. Moorea doesn't have the same jaw dropping lagoon views that her more famous sibling Bora Bora does but it's still incredibly beautiful.
French Polynesia has always been alluring to me. It wasn't until United announced direct flights from SFO that I seriously started thinking about going. I had set aside thoughts of going until I was browsing Google Flights for a destination. I was looking for somewhere we could fly directly to, was oriented around being outdoors, and didn't cost a small fortune. The $640 roundtrip plane ticket caught my interest. A 6 day trip in late August quickly materialized thereafter.
SFO to FAA Economy tickets on United Airlines
We booked 1 night in an Airbnb near the ferry port of Papee'te as
4 nights at Hilton Moorea (1 night in a Panoramic Overwater Bungalow, 3 nights in Garden Bungalow with Plunge Pool)
Car rental from Faa'a
Sunset boat cruise
2x ferry tickets plus car ferry ticket
What ended up happening
French Polynesia went into a fairly restrictive tier the night before we left. So all our tours had to be cancelled.
I guess since people cancelled their trip, we were allowed to stay in the Panoramic Overwater Bungalow every night.
Since we had a car, we were allowed to pick up take out and grab groceries. I ate enough tuna for a lifetime, usually in the form of Poisson Cru. For snacks, we had baguettes and ate with Cammembert and duck pate.
Besides picking up food, there wasn't much we could do besides enjoy our resort. We snorkeled a bunch, got some exercise by doing open water swimming to the buoys, and did a little bit of a stand up paddle boarding.
I'm usually the person that over plans their trip so it was nice to have a lot of time to relax. Our balcony out onto the lagoon was a great place to just sit and enjoy the consistent wind that is present in the Windward Islands. A huge bonus of the overwater bungalow is that there are no mosquitoes.
Ecologically, I did feel a bit of guilt because there was no way to build this resort without some damage to coral. I was happy to see that one of the concrete pillars had some health coral growing on it.