The South Seas are all about fantasy islands. Think of the mutinous Fletcher Christian falling head over heals for Polynesian femme fatales. Or Gauguin going native on Tahiti. Or Marlon Brando dropping out on his very own tropical atoll. Even reality-show survivors have come to know the charms of gorgeous white-sand strands, palm trees and turquoise lagoons, with plenty of fish in the sea, fruit on the trees-and maybe just a little bit of rum to wash it all down.
That's the dream offered by posh island hideaways like the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort and Le Meridien Bora Bora in French Polynesia, albeit with modern touches like overwater bungalows, wireless internet, al fresco spas and private plunge pools. Oh, what the boys of His Majesty's Bounty could have done with all that.
But the other hotels and resorts on the Forbes Traveler list of the 10 best hotels in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific-as determined by the Forbes Traveler 400 board of experts-offer up a much different whimsy. All are far removed from the Bora Bora vibe. When it comes to hotels, this is one of the world's most diverse regions.
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