November 2006 (Bora Bora & Tahiti) – Red and green may be the traditional colors of the yuletide, but in the South Pacific it’ll be pearl black when Le Méridien Bora Bora unwraps its first-ever Christmas Pearl Drop. As the sun rises over the ocean on December 25, guests at the Pearl of the South Pacific’s most enchanting seaside retreat will celebrate by diving for black pearls in the resort’s beautiful lagoon. The gemstones – five in all – will be dropped into the water on Christmas morning, just as Santa Claus is making his final rounds. Any guest lucky enough to pluck a black orb from the sandy floor of the interior lagoon can take it to the on-site boutique and purchase a setting for it. No charge for the holiday fun, of course.
Le Méridien Bora Bora and its sister resort, Le Méridien Tahiti, will set festive scenes throughout the holidays. At Le MéridienBora Bora, Le Tipanié restaurant will light up Christmas Eve with a delightful menu from Executive Chef Jean–Christophe Basseau including Médaillon de fois gras with Garam Masala, Rubharb & Ginger Chutney; Lobster Carpaccio & Tartar with Tahaa Vanilla & Sevruga Caviar; Pistachio Crusted Veal Tenderloin & Perigord Truffle Sauce; and Passion fruit and white chocolate Christmas Log for 13,000 XPF (approx. $138 U.S.) per person.
New Year’s Eve at Le Méridien Bora Bora will unfold with cocktails on the beach, a Tahitian show and a fire dance, followed by fireworks and dancing early into the New Year. An internationally inspired dinner at Le Tipanié will be served buffet style, including Belons and flat oysters from France; New Zealand green mussels; abundant sushi and sashimi; Thai chicken salad with fresh mind an ginger; stuffed suckling pig; venison and red fruits terrine; beef tenderloin with morel mushrooms; wild rice with dried fruits and much more for 30,000 XPF (approx. $317 U.S.) per person, including a bottle of Champagne.
At Le Méridien Tahiti, Executive Chef Sébastien Philizot will ring in Christmas Eve with a pair of feasts at Le Carré and La Plantation restaurants, replete with musical entertainment and visits from St. Nick. At Le Carré, take in beautiful panoramic views of the island of Moorea in a luscious lounge atmosphere while enjoying such seasonal treats as Duet of foie gras; Medley of tartars; Young pigeon cooked two ways; and a Christmas log cake with fruits and chocolate for 13,800 XPF (approx. $146 U.S.) per person, with Champagne.
Meanwhile, at La Plantation, dig into a bountiful Christmas Eve buffet of appetizers such as Cascade of lobsters, squill fishes, shrimp and crab; Sashimi of red tuna and mahi mahi; entrees such as Rack of beef with brouilly wine sauce; Roasted turkey with chestnuts; and Thick roasted salmon fillet with vanilla and green peppercorns; and a selection of Christmas log cakes for 9,700 XPF (approx. $103 U.S.) per person with Champagne.
Both restaurants at Le Méridien Tahiti will be up late on New Year’s Eve, too. At Le Carré, celebrate the calendar flip with orchestral entertainment and savories such as Trilogy of foie gras: terrine with mango, spiced breast fillet and small ravioli; Salmon fillet, papillo and bass topped with a trilogy of emulsion, and escalope and vanilla, pear and gingerbread; and Duet of beef fillet and lobster with Chinese pepper for 18,150 XPF (approx. $192 U.S.) per person with a bottle of Champagne for two. And at La Plantation, enjoy the Elvis the Legend orchestra and the dance show “The Blue Hawaiian” along with an abundant buffet including Fine delicatessen and game terrines, Octopus salad with rougail; Seafood lasagna and lobster flavored with vanilla; Duet of anglerfish fillet and salmon in Champagne sauce; and a marvelous dessert buffet for 21,450 XPF (approx. $227 U.S.) per person with a bottle of Champagne for two and an extra toast at midnight.
Holiday rates at Le Méridien Bora Bora start at 56,590 XPF (approx. $605 U.S.) per room per night, including buffet breakfast for two; holiday rates at Le Méridien Tahiti start at 24,711 XPF (approx. $264 U.S.) per room per night, including buffet breakfast for two. For more information or to make reservations please call (011) 689 47 07 29 or visit www.starwoodhotels.com
About Le Méridien Bora Bora
Set on the “Pearl of the Pacific,” Le Méridien Bora Bora is located on a six-mile-long “motu” islet, facing Otemanu Mountain, within one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world. The hotel has 99 bungalows including 4 lagoon bungalows, 14 beach bungalows, and 81 over-water bungalows – the last featuring glass flooring for stunning views of marine life frolicking in the clear blue sea below. Tipanié restaurant is among the best gourmet dining venues in Bora Bora; Te Ava is a lovely setting for romantic lunches and relaxed dinners on the beach; and the Miki Miki bar resembles the prow of a ship headed for Mount Otemanu. Le Méridien Bora Bora’s turtle sanctuary is a private lagoon that is home to more than 100 species, and the resort is an active participant in environmental efforts to protect marine turtles, which guests can experience on-site in their natural habitat.
About Le Méridien Tahiti
Located along a lagoon on one of the most beautiful – and unique – white-sand beaches of Tahiti, Le Méridien Tahiti is perfectly integrated into the luxuriant vegetation on the island. The thoroughly modern resort offers 138 garden- and lagoon-view rooms and suites, as well as 12 Polynesian-style, over-water bungalows. The gourmet La Carré restaurant offers refined and creative cuisine before an exceptional panorama of the sister island Moorea; surrounded by exotic gardens, the 300-seat La Plantation restaurant presents a mix of Polynesian and international specialties; and L’Astrolabe bar is a splendid setting for sipping exotic cocktails. The hotel offers watersports equipment and family-style activities. There is also a wide array of meeting spaces, including the largest ballroom in Tahiti.
About Le Méridien
Originating in Paris, Le Méridien epitomizes European service culture, with a commitment to offering guests a truly authentic experience, respecting local culture and appealing to the curious and progressive guest. With more than 120 properties in 52 different countries, almost 70 percent of the Le Méridien properties are located in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East with an aggressive growth plan in North American and Asia-Pacific currently underway. For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood® Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien ® and the recently announced Aloft. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
For more on Tahiti at ITKT