Comparing the Maldives and Bora Bora


Alex and I (along with another of my daughters, Kasey) just got back from Bora Bora. I often wondered how it would compare to our trips to the Maldives. We were constantly comparing the two trips. And I must tell you that we weren’t totally on the same page. Here’s our rendition of she said, she said. Let’s get to comparing the Maldives and Bora Bora.


Pam’s Take

First off, who is lucky enough to go to both the Maldives and Bora Bora in the same year?? Someone with credit card points and miles – that’s who! I mean, seriously, though, is this my life?? Credit card points and miles have been life-changing for this wanna-be traveler! I would never have been able to pull off one of these trips, let alone two of them, without this game of points and miles.

Secondly, both were AMAZING trips! However, because they are both islands with crystal clear turquoise water and have overwater villas involved, you do some comparing. Here are the pros and cons when I start comparing the Maldives and Bora Bora.


Hilton Conrad Bora Bora pool

Bora Bora. Alex will say that the villas obstructed the views of the ocean for her. I thought they enhanced it!


Le Meridien Maldives view from the pool

Le Meridien Maldives view from the pool


Time to Travel

It took me 26 total hours to get to the Maldives trip vs. 12 total hours to Bora Bora (I am including connections). Both trips were in business class, so there were no gripes there. However, as much as I enjoy business class seats, I will always pick a shorter trip if both are beautiful destinations.
Winner: Bora Bora


Ease of Finding Hotel Stays on Points

There are many more hotels to stay with points in the Maldives, and some for pretty reasonable rates. The reason it took me so long to go to Bora Bora is that there are fewer hotel options in French Polynesia with points. They really need a good Hyatt hotel! Winner: Maldives


Ease of Finding Flights with Points/Miles

This depends on whether you are looking at business class or economy. If you are looking for reasonable business class seats, it is the Maldives, despite the long haul. However, if economy is fine, then they are probably similar. Winner: Tie (unless you want business class)



To be honest, I wouldn’t rave about either place. Of course, I am a self-proclaimed picky ethnic eater. A lot depends on where you stay, so this will definitely vary. For my Maldives trip, the food was heavily Indian-influenced, and you know how well I would do with that. For Conrad Bora Bora, it was better but VERY expensive.  Winner: Bora Bora (but pricey)



To be honest, Alex and I won’t be comparing apples to apples in this regard, as her Maldives resort was a step up from mine, I believe. Mine was great but not as luxurious as hers was. This, too, will be subjective depending on where you choose to stay.
My winner: Bora Bora



Both resorts had free activities and paid activities. I must say that there were more resort-sponsored free things to do in Bora Bora, though. Although, that deserted island feeling is what most people are going after in the Maldives.
Winner: Bora Bora.


Two girls in bathing suits with braided hats from leaves

Alex and Kasey made braided headbands in Bora Bora

Jet Lag

Okay, we all know I’m older, and the older I get, the harder jet lag takes its toll. It took me almost a week to recover from the Maldives and only a day from Bora Bora.
This is a clear winner for me, too: Bora Bora.


Pam’s Bottom Line

Let me be clear: I loved both trips and am so happy I was able to do them. It’s almost silly to be comparing Maldives and Bora Bora. But, for me, it comes down to this. If I had all the needed points and could find availability, which would I return to sooner? For me, it’s Bora Bora. However, if you want an unbelievable deserted island experience and want to pay fewer points and miles, and don’t mind the distance, go to the Maldives!


Alex’s Take

When I visited the Maldives, I stayed at Le Meridien, and in Bora Bora, we stayed at the Hilton Conrad Bora Bora Nui. If you click those links above, you can see my Instagram highlight stories from each resort and get an idea of which you might like best.

Now, I’m going to be honest, I went into this trip thinking that Bora Bora wouldn’t be able to beat out the Maldives as my favorite of the two, so maybe I was a little biased. But I was right. The Maldives is still my favorite.

I agree with my mom’s take on time to travel, ease of finding hotels on points, ease of finding flights, and on jetlag. The jetlag when I arrived in the Maldives was a little rough for the first day or two, and Bora Bora wasn’t near as bad. But with everything else, we have different opinions. I will say my mom didn’t stay at as fancy of a resort in the Maldives, so I think that played a part. She needs a redo 🙂



I got really tired of the food in Bora Bora. It was really pricey, and some of the meals were just okay. The breakfast was disappointing because you had to pay $12 extra for omelets- I think that should be included. Our breakfast in The Maldives was something we looked forward to every day. I also liked how in the Maldives, you could pay for a food package and then didn’t have to think about the price of meals throughout the day.
Winner: Maldives


Maldives SUP

Had the ocean to myself in the Maldives


I’m going to change the format for how I write this now because my reasons why I liked the Maldives more don’t really fit into the sections my mom wrote above. So, without further ado…


Why I like Maldives More Than Bora Bora

  1. The beach was much bigger, and we had unobstructed all the way out to the horizon. In Bora Bora, the overwater villas were right in front of the beach, and I missed seeing those ocean views.
  2. Bora Bora was more developed with paved paths. In contrast, the pathways in the Maldives were sand…things like this made Bora Bora feel more like I was at a resort that could be anywhere, whereas the Maldives felt more like I was on an exotic island in the middle of nowhere and I loved that.
  3. Le Meridien Maldives was on its own small island, but the villas were spread out, giving you a lot of privacy and we really didn’t see many guests except at meals. Hilton Conrad Bora Bora is on a much bigger island, but the resort is compacted into a smaller area and less spread out.
  4. The staff and service at Le Meridien Maldives were much better than it was at Hilton Conrad Bora Bora.


Alex’s Bottom Line

Both are truly incredible and gorgeous, and I would go back to both. I would love to try a different resort in Bora Bora next time. For me, the Maldives felt more exotic, and I really loved feeling like I was on my own private island at times. In Bora Bora, it felt more like I was at a resort vs., on a private island, albeit not a very crowded resort.

That’s it for our comparing the Maldives and Bora Bora. Both are amazing, but we each had some different thoughts. Have you been to both? Which is your favorite?

maldives with boat

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