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The Tahiti Overwater Bungalow Guide

by Laurel Samuela,

Owner of 

True Tahiti Vacation

Overview of Overwater Bungalows in Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti and More

 

Overwater Bungalows were born in Tahiti, so it’s only natural that Tahiti and Overwater Bungalows have become synonymous. Tahiti is one of the few places in the world that has Overwater Bungalows and for many, staying in one is a MUST DO! Indeed, staying in an Overwater Bungalow, especially on a Bora Bora honeymoon, is truly a wonderful experience. You can enter the water from your terrace and swim in turquoise lagoons. You’ll enjoy amazing views and fall asleep to the sounds of waves gently lapping beneath your bungalow. Most of the Overwater Bungalows have glass floors or tables that open up, allowing you to feed the fish below.

 

Over the years, the Overwater Bungalows have become quite luxurious. The Overwater Villas at the The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort start at 1,500 sq ft. At several of the resorts on Bora Bora, including the The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, Conrad Bora Bora Nui and The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa, many of the Overwater Bungalows even have private plunge pools. And the Overwater Bungalows keep getting bigger at these luxury resorts. You can now find two and three bedroom Overwater Villas. One of the more extravagant Overwater Villas is the Presidential Villa at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui - made all the more famous by none Kim Kardashian and clan. It’s the only two-story Overwater Villa in French Polynesia and has both a Jacuzzi, swimming pool and even a massage room.

 

The Price of Luxury, Overwater Bungalow Cost

 

Obviously, all this luxury comes with a price tag. Overwater Bungalows are the most expensive form of accommodation in Tahiti. But don’t fret, if you have a limited budget there are ways to make it work. You don’t need to do an Overwater Bungalow the entire time. If you’re doing two islands, save it for your last island. I think, it’s always best to end on the high note! If you’re only doing one island, you can save money by splitting your time with a Garden Bungalow and doing the Overwater the last night or two.

Now having said all that, please don’t make yourself nuts if you can’t afford an Overwater Bungalow. The fact is, these islands are breathtaking all by themselves. You don't need to stay overwater in order to enjoy the beauty surrounding you. Don’t break the bank trying to make an overwater happen. Go for a Garden Bungalow now and save the Overwater Bungalow for your anniversary vacation in Tahiti!

The Myth of a Few Great Overwater Bungalows

 

Whenever someone posts on one of the forums about their wonderful Overwater Bungalow, I inevitably get a slew of emails requesting a specific bungalow number. It’s as if that particular bungalow becomes the sainted bungalow and suddenly everyone is requesting it. This really isn't necessary. These resorts have paid architects a lot of money to make sure all the bungalows have wonderful views. Now granted, some bungalows do have better views than others and I will always be honest with you about that. But really, there are many, many bungalows with wonderful views and there are more things to consider than simply view! You will find that requesting one particular bungalow is very limiting when it has already been requested by every other person reading the same forum. The best is to let me know what is most important to you. For example, the best view of Mt. Otemanu, the most private, the best snorkeling below, most shallow water, etc.

The Best Islands for Overwater Bungalows - Bora Bora and Beyond

MOOREA OVERWATER BUNGALOW RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa

I like the OWB’s at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa best. I think they have the best views and absolutely have the best snorkeling/swimming below. There are three categories of Overwater Bungalows here - Overwater Bungalow. Panoramic Overwater Bungalow and Premium Panoramic Overwater Bungalow. All categories are very good with teh Panoramic & Premium Panoramic being the most requested.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 667 sq ft, King bed and Sofa bed.
Types: Overwater, Panoramic and Premium Panoramic - all recommended.
Glass Panel: Yes, glass panel coffee tables. 
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, Clock Radio w/ MP3, Widescreen Television, Coffee Maker, Hairdryer, Bathrobe/Slippers, In-room Safe, Mini Refrigerator, Mini Bar, High Speed Internet, Telephone and more.
Resort Layout Map:

Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort

The Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort has four categories of Overwater Bungalows — Superior, Superior Horizon, Luxury & Luxury Horizon. The difference between the Superior and Luxury Overwater are size. The Superior are 452 sq ft and the Luxury are 807 sq ft with larger overwater decks. The Horizon bungalows are at the end of the pontoons with more privacy and unobstructed views.Try to get the bungalows in deeper water as some of the more shallow bungalows have huge coral formations directly underneath, making it difficult to enter the water.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 452 sq ft or 807 sq ft, King bed and Sofa bed.
Types: Superior, Superior Horizon, Luxury & Luxury Horizon. All recommended but try to get one in deeper water.
Glass Panel: Yes, in floor.
Key Amenities: Private terrace with sunloungers and direct access to sea, air conditioning, plasma TV, pay TV, rain shower bathroom, Minibar, Radio, in-room Wi-Fi, Telephone, In-room Safe, Hairdryer and more.
Resort Layout Map:

InterContinental Moorea Resort and Spa

The InterContinental Moorea Resort and Spa has two categories - Overwater and Premium Overwater. At the InterContinental, the back end of the bungalows are built on a jetty. Not that big of a deal as you can still enter the water from your terrace but they are not 100% overwater in the true sense of the term. There are four Premium Overwater Bungalows that are totally overwater.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 452 sq. ft, King bed and Sofa bed.
Types: Overwater Bungalow and Premium Overwater Bungalow.
Glass Panel: No.
Key Amenities: Air conditioning and ceiling fans, Cable TV, Telephone, Refrigerator, Mini-bar, Coffee/Tea making facilities,.Hairdryer, In-room Safe, Private Sun Deck and more.
Resort Layout Map:

Manava Beach Resort & Spa, Moorea

The Manava Beach Resort & Spa has Overwater and Premium Overwater Bungalows. Definitely go for the upgrade to Premium. The reason being the regular OWBs face back toward the pool and restaurant and give you limited privacy.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 517sq ft, King bed and Sofa bed.
Types: Overwater and Premium Overwater. Premium recommended for privacy and view.
Glass Panel: Yes, in coffee table.
Key Amenities: Air conditioning + ceiling fan, IDD phone, Internet outlet / Fax line, Mini bar, Coffee/Tea making facilities, In-room safe, Hairdryer, Sundeck with direct access to the lagoon, Satellite 26'' flat screen TV and more.
Resort Layout Map:

BORA BORA OVERWATER BUNGALOW RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

St. Regis Bora Bora Resort 

The Overwater Villas at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort are huge -- starting at 1,550 sq ft and going up to 2582 sq ft. Love the Overwater Villas at the St. Regis.  Simply love them!. There are six categories of Overwater Villas. Some with whirlpools and others with plunge pools. The best villas have a view of Mt. Otemanu but really, don't make yourself crazy if you can’t afford the most expensive. There is no such thing as a bad view at this resort.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 1,550 sq ft (Superior Overwater & Deluxe Overwater), 1,905 sq ft (Premier), 2582 sq ft (Royal 1 bedroom) 3,455 sq ft (Royal 2 bedroom).
Types: Overwater Superior Villa, Overwater Deluxe Villa - Island View, Overwater Deluxe Villa - Otemanu View, Overwater Premier Otemanu Villa w/Whirlpool, Royal Otemanu - 1 bedroom w/ pool, Royal Otemanu - 2 bedroom w/ pool,  

Glass Panel: Yes, in floor.
Key Amenities: Air conditioning, 42-inch Plasma screen TV, Bose DVD/CD player, Espresso/coffee maker, high speed internet access, Minibar, Personal safe, Hairdryer, St. Regis Butler Service and more.
Resort Layout Map:

 

Four Seasons Bora Bora Resort

The Overwater Bungalows at the Four Seasons Bora Bora Resort are beautiful. For me the best part is the bathtub with an open view of the lagoon. There are seven categories of Overwater Bungalows. The entry level is the Beach View. These actually look back towards the beach. The more expensive bungalows have views of Mt. Otemanu. You’ll find one & two bedroom as well as bungalows with plunge pools!

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 1,582 sq ft (2 bedroom overwater bungalows), 1,120 sq ft (Overwater w/Pool), 1,076 sq ft (Lagoon, Beach & Mountain View)
Types: Otemanu Overwater Bungalow with Plunge Pool, Overwater Bungalow with Plunge Pool, Mountain-View Overwater Bungalow, Lagoon-View Overwater Bungalow, Beach-View Overwater Bungalow. 

I recommend skipping the Beach View and going with Lagoon View if you can’t afford Otemanu View.
Glass Panel: Yes, in floor.
Key Amenities: Air conditioning, CD player, DVD player, Hair dryer, In-room safe, iPod docking station, Multi-line telephone(s) with voicemail, Refrigerated private bar, Satellite television, Tea/coffee maker, Thick terry bathrobes, Twice-daily housekeeping service, Wired or wireless Internet access and more.
Resort Layout Map:

 

Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa

The Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa has beautiful Overwater Villas. Although the resort does not face Mt. Otemanu on the main island of Bora Bora, the views are still stunning. You will see the lagoon change from turquoise to sapphire and on top of it, enjoy some really great snorkeling. There are five categories of Overwater and I think all excellent. Of course, the crowning glory is the two-story Presidential Villa. If you can afford this, go for it. Otherwise, I say the hot tip is the Overwater Pool Villa. 

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 1248 sq ft - 3,229 sq ft. King bed or Twin beds, and Sofa bed
Types: Overwater Villa, Deluxe Overwater Villa, Overwater Pool Villa, Royal Overwater Pool Villa, Presidential Overwater Villa.

Glass Panel: Yes, in floor.
Key Amenities: Air conditioning, LCD TV, Telephone, In-room safe, Coffee Maker, Hairdryer, Internet access and more.
Resort Layout Map:

 

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

The Overwater Villas at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa are luxurious and modern. There are eight categories of Overwater Villas. Emerald, Sapphire, Diamond, Diamond Otemanu, Overwater Villa w/Pool, Premium Overwater Villa w/Pool, Prestige 1-Bedroom Brando Suite w/Pool, Prestige 2-Bedroom Brando Suite w/Pool. I think it is worth it to at least upgrade to Sapphire. I’m really not fond of the Emerald Overwaters that face towards the resort entrance.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 1022 sq ft - 3455 sq ft, King bed and Sofa bed.
Types: Emerald Overwater Villa, Sapphire Overwater Villa, Diamond Overwater Villa, Diamond Otemanu Overwater Villa, Overwater Villa w/Pool, Premium Overwater Villa w/Pool, Prestige 1-Bedroom Brando Suite w/Pool, Prestige 2-Bedroom Brando Suite w/Pool.

Glass Panel: Yes, in coffee table.
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, Cable / Satellite TV, CD Player, Color TV, DVD Player, Coffee & Tea Maker, Full Kitchen, Mini Bar, High-speed Internet, Telephone, WorldLink - Power and Phone/Internet Connector, Bathrobe, Hairdryer, In Room Safe and more. 
Resort Layout Map:

Le Méridien Bora Bora 

The Overwater Bungalows at Le Méridien Bora Bora are not large but they have huge glass panel floors. With these glass floors, you’ll have amazing views of the fish below. Just know, it may take a little time to get used to walking on the glass panel. I always find myself always walking around it! The Otemanu Premium Overwater have the best views of Mt. Otemanu and they have the largest decks.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 538 sq ft - 592 sq ft, King bed and Sofa bed
Types: Classic, Motu Overwater, Lagoon Overwater, Otemanu Premium Overwater, End of Pontoon Overwater.
Glass Panel: Yes, in floor.
Key Amenities: Air conditioning, Telephone, Satellite-TV, CD, DVD and MP3 player, Minibar, Coffee and tea amenities, In-room safe, Bathrobes & Slippers, Hairdryer, High Speed Internet Access and more.
Resort Layout Map:

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa

The Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa has four categories of Overwater Bungalows. My recommendation is to go for the Otemanu View. The prices here are quite reasonable in terms of overwater bungalows and I think the Otemanu View is a great value.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 656 sq ft, King bed and Sofa bed.
Types: Overwater, Lagoon Premium Overwater, Otemanu Overwater, End of Pontoon Overwater.
Glass Panel: Yes, coffee table w/movable top.
Key Amenities: Air conditioning, Ceiling Fan, Coffee/tea making facilities, Telephone, 20" LCD satellite television + CD & DVD player, ln-room safe, Private terrace with direct access to the lagoon and more.
Resort Layout Map: View PDF

 

InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora Resort

The InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora Resort is the sister property to the Thalasso Resort. Le Moana has Lagoon and Horizon Overwater Bungalows. It is definitely worth it to upgrade to the Horizon.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 527 sq ft, King bed and Sofa bed.
Types: Lagoon Overwater, Horizon Overwater, Poivai Horizon Overwater, End of Pontoon. Definitely go for the Horizon roverwater.

Glass Panel: Yes, in coffee table.
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, Cable / Satellite TV, CD Player, Color TV, DVD Player, Coffee & Tea Maker, Mini Bar, High-speed Internet, Telephone, Bathrobe, Hairdryer, In Room Safe and more. 
Resort Layout Map:

 

Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island

Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island is located on it’s own motu. It’s a small resort with only one category of Overwater Bungalow. People like the resort for the excellent snorkeling on the back side of the resort. Personally, I find the décor really dated but that is just my personal opinion. 

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 592 sq ft Island Luxury Lagoon View Bungalow, King bed 
Types: Island Luxury Bungalow Overwater 
Glass Panel: Yes, in floor.
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, Ceiling Fan, Minibar, Plasma TV, internet access, In-room safe and more.
Resort Layout Map:

Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach 

Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach is located on the main island. These are some of the most moderately priced Overwater Bungalows on Bora Bora but they are currently undergoing renovations and will be closed through 2019. I’ll give my updated report when they re-open.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 850 sq ft (Luxury Overwater Bungalow ), King bed and Sofa bed
Types: Luxury Overwater Bungalow 
Glass Panel: Yes, in floor.
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, Ceiling Fan, Minibar, Plasma TV, internet access, In-room safe and more.
Resort Layout Map:

 

Hotel Maitai Polynesia

Hotel Maitai Polynesia has the least expensive Overwater Bungalows on Bora Bora. For many, these are the only affordable option. Just keep in mind, these overwater bungalows are close together and you will be able to see your neighbors when you’re on your outside deck. Also, the decks are small and they are relatively close to the main road that runs around the island.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 376 sq ft, King bed and Sofa bed.
Types: Overwater Bungalow.
Glass Panel: Yes, in coffee table.
Key Amenities: Air conditioning, Ceiling fan, Coffee & Tea Maker, TV, Telephone, In-room safe, Mini-bar, Hairdryer.
Resort Layout Map:

TAHA'A OVERWATER BUNGALOW RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa

Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa has five categories of Overwater Suites, the most private being the End of Pontoon. The second most expensive are the Bora Bora Suites, so named because they have indirect views of Bora Bora. People do love this bungalows but they can get windy. I think here you can save a bit of money and go with the less expensive Taha'a Overwater Suites and still be very happy.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 969 sq ft, 1 King bed and Sofa bed.
Types: Taha'a, Taha’a Premium, Sunset, Bora Bora and End of Pontoon Overwater Suites. Taha'a Overwater Suites recommended for value.
Glass Panel: Yes, in coffee table
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, Bathrobes, Cable TV - Movie Channel, CD Player, Ceiling Fan, Direct Access to Lagoon, DVD Player, Hair Dryer, Internet access, Mini Bar, Private sun deck, Safety box, Telephone and more.
Resort Layout Map:

 

Vahine Island Private Island Resort

There are only three Overwater Bungalows at Vahine Island Private Island Resort, and people love the solitude they provide. But really, my personal favorites are the Deluxe Beach Suites. They’re spacious and airy and several even have views of Bora Bora.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 753 sq ft, King Bed.
Types: Overwater Bungalow
Glass Panel: Yes, in coffee table.
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, Ceiling fans, Mini Bar, Coffee and Tea Making Facilities, Telephone, Wi-Fi Internet in room, In-Room Safe and more.

 

HUAHINE OVERWATER BUNGALOW RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

Royal Huahine

The Royal Huahine is the only hotel in Huahine with Overwater Bungalows. Budget and Overwater should never be used in the same sentence but these are most definitely one of the best deals to be found.  Unfortunately, the bungalows do look dated, so please look at the photos to know what you’re getting!

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 590 sq ft, King Bed and Sofa bed
Types: Deep Overwater Bungalow. 
Glass Panel: No.
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, ceiling fan, Coffee/Tea making facilities, Telephone, Hairdryer, Television, In-room Safe, Private terrace / Sundeck and more.
Resort Layout Map:

TIKEHAU OVERWATER BUNGALOW RECOMMENDATIONS:

Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

Go for the Overwater Suites at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort. Much more spacious and spread out than the regular Overwater Bungalows. Also you find the lagoon is better for swimming. Otherwise, my second choice here are the Beach Bungalows.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 592 sq ft - 1001 sq ft, King bed and Sofa bed
Types: Overwater Bungalow, Premium Overwater Bungalow, Overwater Suite. Overwater Suite recommended.
Glass Panel: Yes, in coffee table.
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, ceiling fan, Mini Bar, Coffee/Tea making facilities, Telephone, Hairdryer, Television, In-room Safe, Private terrace / Sundeck and more.
Resort Layout Map:

RANGIROA OVERWATER BUNGALOW RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa

Rangiroa is all about the lagoon, so being in an overwater bungalow at the Kia Ora Resort & Spa really is the dream. There is only one category of Overwater Bungalow and all are 484 square feet and include a bathtub with separate shower. All the bungalows have glass panels, large sundecks and direct access to the amazing lagoon below. My 2nd favorite category here is the Pool Villa!

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 484 sq ft
Types: Overwater Bungalow, 
Glass Panel: Yes, in floor.
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, Bathrobe, Black-Out Curtains, Handicap Accessible by request, In-Room Movie Channel, Sofa Bed, Thermostat (adjustable), TV - flat Panel HD with cable, Work Desk with Adjustable Lamp, Coffee Maker,  iPod Station, Evening Room Service Available, Hairdryer, High Speed Internet Access, Iron/Ironing Board, Mini Bar, Tea/Coffee Making Facilities, Multiple Telephones with speaker & voicemail, Safe.
Resort Layout Map:

TAHITI OVERWATER BUNGALOW RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

Tahiti InterContinental Resort

I personally would save the Overwater Bungalow for any of the outer islands but if you insist upon staying overwater on Tahiti, my pick is the Motu Overwater Bungalow.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 544 sq ft - 1023 sq ft
Types: Overwater Bungalow, 
Glass Panel: Yes, some.
Key Amenities: Air conditioning and ceiling fans, Cable TV, Telephone, Refrigerator, Mini-bar, Coffee/Tea making facilities,.Hairdryer, In-room Safe, Private Sun Deck and more.
Resort Layout Map:

 

Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort by Sofitel

Again, I'd rather see you save the Overwater Bungalow for any of the outer islands. Granted the ambiance from the Overwater Bungalows here is lovely but these bungalows don’t even have direct access to the lagoon.

Overwater Bungalow Details:
Size: 570 sq ft 
Types: Overwater Bungalow, 
Glass Panel: No (and no direct access to the lagoon)
Key Amenities: Air Conditioning, Bathrobe, Black-Out Curtains, Handicap Accessible by request, In-Room Movie Channel, Sofa Bed, Thermostat (adjustable), TV - flat Panel HD with cable, Work Desk with Adjustable Lamp, Coffee Maker,  iPod Station, Evening Room Service Available, Hairdryer, High Speed Internet Access, Iron/Ironing Board, Mini Bar, Tea/Coffee Making Facilities, Multiple Telephones with speaker & voicemail, Safe.
Resort Layout Map: 

Some Final Words of Advice About Tahiti Over the water Bungalows

Keep in mind, the knowledge I offer you here is based on my years of experience both as a Certified Tahiti Specialist travel agent, and as a Tahiti resident and traveler, living on Moorea. As someone who lives here, I'm in a unique position to cater to your needs to help you plan the best Tahiti honeymoon or vacation possible! Feel free to ask me questions by sending me a no-obligation quote request or click to call me and let's have a chat about your dream trip to Tahiti!