April 2021 Update: Tahiti and French Polynesia will reopen to international visitors on May 1, 2021. St. Barts is in the process of a vaccination drive and hopes to reopen to international travelers in mid-May 2021.
French Polynesia, including Tahiti and Bora Bora, as well as St. Barts are closed to visitors for at least two months and potentially longer, per the French government. France cites the spread of COVID-19 variants (such as the UK variant B.1.1.7 and the variants from Brazil and South Africa) as the reason for curtailing leisure travel to overseas French territories, and only permitting essential travel to/from French Polynesia, St. Barts, French St. Martin, Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Bora Bora resorts such as the Four Seasons Bora Bora have closed, with an anticipated reopening of April 1, 2021, although this of course will depend on whether France reopens French Polynesia by then, which seems unlikely given the expected time needed to vaccinate significant portions of the population in France, the U.S., and other key source markets for visitors to French Polynesia.
Early spring isn't the best time for Bora Bora, given higher rainfall; as we wrote in Top Luxury Resorts: Best Places to Go by Month, May-August is a much better time to visit.
The timing of the closure, however, couldn't be worse for the Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth, which was to open in Spring 2021 after an extensive renovation. It also throws a wrench into the plans of our clients who were planning stays at other St Barts luxury resorts, and will now need to look for alternatives in the Caribbean or Hawaii.
In the Caribbean, alternatives we recommend are Como Parrot Cay in Turks & Caicos (ideally in one of the Beach Villas) and the Four Seasons Anguilla (especially the Beachfront Villas), while in Hawaii we recommend the Four Seasons Lanai and the renovated Four Seasons Hualalai.
If you were planning travel to Bora Bora or St. Barths in February or March 2021, where will you travel instead?
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