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Bora-Bora R&R

Proprietor Craig Goold checks out the list of celebrities who have visited Bloody Mary’s on Povai Bay. Among the famous diners: Dudley Moore, the Carpenters, Johnny Depp and Drew Barrymore. The South Seas restaurant is famous for its seafood: Management buys the day’s catch from local fishermen and serves it that evening. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
“I’d like that one, please”: A diner selects his main course at Bloody Mary’s. A wide selection of fresh fish, beef and chicken is offered at the restaurant, which is run by two Orange County expats. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Guests can pamper themselves with a massage — complete with a fish-viewing window — at the über-luxurious Thalasso Spa, a 13,000-square-foot complex that boasts it has “one of the purest waters on Earth” piped 3,000 feet from the ocean’s depths. Prepare to indulge. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
It may look like something out of a 1960s James Bond movie, but it’s really a place to sit. So pull up a chair in the trendy French-designed bar area at the new InterContinental resort and prepare to do a little celebrity watching. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
A bar area at the InterContinental includes a touch of whimsy — a display of glass candle holders acts as a room divider at the very posh Bora-Bora hotel. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
The mark of Zorro? Perhaps a French designer had the fictional master swordsman in mind when he or she came up with this idea. The chair can be admired — and even used to take a load off — in the bar area at the InterContinental on Bora-Bora. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
The reception area at the very high end St. Regis Resort is understated, with a touch of Tahitian in its decor. The St. Regis and other hotels, both old and new, are scrambling to outshine one another by offering the finest facilities, food and service. But the pampering and the plushness come at a high price. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
A glass opening under the coffee table offers a window on the aquatic universe teeming below the swank villas at the St. Regis. The over-water bungalows are designed to look like Tahitian homes on stilts, but with air conditioning, plus Jacuzzis and swimming pools on the decks. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
The warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream is almost too pretty to eat, but dive right in. It’s served at Lagoon, a chic over-water restaurant at the St. Regis Bora Bora. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Save room for dessert, but enjoy the entree too. At Lagoon, the grilled mahi mahi is served with a white sesame vinaigrette and a crunchy salad. It’s the brainchild of French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Lagoon chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s towering creations include a bacon-wrapped shrimp appetizer. To carry the paradise theme through, it’s served with papaya and a passion fruit mustard at the restaurant, which is in the St. Regis Hotel. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
In the tropical Shangri-La of Bora-Bora, there are gems of the sea too. For instance, Striped Marlin Thai Jewels is on the menu at the exclusive Lagoon restaurant at the St. Regis. The dish is served in a coconut and lemongrass broth. Dig in. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)