Everybody loves photographs of overwater bungalows, especially the aerial shots that show all the rooms lined up over the turquoise lagoon, but obviously those don't really tell you much about what it's like to stay in these glorious hotel rooms.

The good news is that many guests are so thrilled with their bungalow that they've recorded guided video tours of them. There are 9 overwater bungalow resorts on Bora Bora itself, and I've collected the best video for each of them and put them below.

In a couple of cases the best video (by far) has Spanish-language narration, but I feel that gives it an even more exotic vibe. One thing you'll learn from these videos is that ALL of these resorts are fabulous, so don't assume you need to stay at the 5-star deluxe ones to have an epic vacation of a lifetime.

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The best Bora Bora overwater bungalow videos

Narrated walkthrough at the Four Seasons Bora Bora Resort

Time: 3:23


This video is tastefully narrated by a guest who claims this is the nicest hotel room he’s ever seen, and when you watch the video you’ll know why. The overwater bungalows at the Four Seasons Bora Bora are all huge and very well laid out. Notice the Jacuzzi for two overlooking the lagoon, right in the middle of the room. By the way, with 100 overwater bungalows, the Four Season Bora Bora has the most of any resort in the South Pacific, and the second most in the world.


Silent walkthrough at Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort

Time: 2:16


Here’s a silent video of someone showing off bungalow #29 at the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa. The bedroom portion doesn’t look too large, but you do get to see how cool the glass-floor coffee tables are, plus the dual-level sundeck leading down into the gorgeous lagoon. But the best part of this one is to see how huge the bathroom is, with the spa bathtub with special private viewing windows out into the lagoon. Pure luxury.


Narrated walkthrough at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort

Time: 6:59


This is yet another narrated walkthrough of a huge overwater bungalow, this time at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort. The room is very large and luxurious, but the thing to notice about this one is the view, which is even more interesting because the Hilton is located on its own small private island just southwest of the main Bora Bora island.

Guided tour at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

Time: 3:52


This video isn’t terribly well done, partly due to the camera going in and out of the bright sunlight, but I’ve included it for two reasons. First, the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is considered to be the finest of all the overwater bungalow resorts in Bora Bora, and second because the tour guide is a beautiful girl. Note the enormous bathroom in this suite and the huge sundecks as well. The bungalows here are closer together than at many, but from the bed you have a totally private view of the lagoon.


Narrated walkthrough at the InterContinental Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa

Time: 2:53


This honeymooner narrates a tour of his huge suite at one of the two InterContinental resorts in Bora Bora. He doesn’t identify which, but I believe it’s the IC Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa, although both are similar and near each other. This video is yet another that shows how large these rooms all are and the easy access to the lagoon from all of them.


Spanish and French tour of the InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora Resort

Time: 4:27


Here we have a well-shot video of the InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort, which is made even more interesting by the fact that the man shooting it is speaking Spanish (probably from Spain) and the hostess showing him around is speaking back in French. You can see that this is another first-class resort, even though rooms are a bit smaller than at the IC Bora Bora Thalasso Spa video above.


Guided tour at the Sofitel Bora Bora Resort

Time: 1:45


This is yet another guided tour of an overwater bungalow, but what makes this one special, and should give many of us hope, is that this is of the Sofitel Bora Bora Resort, which is actually the most affordable overwater resort on the island. The overwater bungalows here start at US$550 per night in low season (with online specials) and yet this video shows that the rooms are still huge and have all the luxury amenities you’d hope for.


Spanish-language walkthrough at the Le Maitai Bora Bora Resort

Time: 2:06


The Le Maitai Bora Bora Resort is another of the more affordable overwater resorts in Bora Bora, with rooms starting under US$600 per night with off-season specials. There are only 19 overwater bungalows at this resort so the only good video is from a Spanish-speaking fellow. Still, you’ll notice that it’s a luxurious room even though it’s one of the smaller bungalows in Bora Bora.


Mostly silent walkthrough at the Le Meridien Resort Bora Bora

Time: 1:16


The fellow who made this video is not really helping the hotel much with it, as he seems to have partly trashed the place before filming, but still this is a good look at an overwater bungalow at the Le Meridien Resort in Bora Bora, which is another of the more affordable resorts on the island.


14 thoughts on "Overwater villa holidays: How to begin planning yours"

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  1. My family and I live in Asia and we are looking for a trip to anywhere with water bungalows and hopefully clear, turqoise water with snorkelling and water activities available, and is also budget friendly if possible. We are two adults and one child who is a little over 17. Are there any suggestions or recommendations? Thank you

  2. I am looking to plan a family vacation that is budget friendly. I would love to stay in an overwater hut. Can you tell me the best and most reasonable place to stay with a family the kids are 12 & 16

    1. Kris,

      Since you aren’t even sure which part of the world you want to visit, I’d recommend starting with this list of the world’s cheapest overwater resorts on our other site. Most of those resorts only allow 3 guests per room, even though almost all of them have a pull-out couch in addition to a king bed. You might find some good choices in Central America or in Asia other than the Maldives. And of course it really depends on where you are starting from because the cost of flights could cancel out any savings from a cheaper resort. I hope that helps and I’m happy to help with other questions if you have them. -Roger

  3. I would like to attend an over water bungalow resort for me and about 7 of my closest friends to celebrate my 45th Birthday. As most resorts are for honeymooners, are there single friendly resorts that can accommodate a "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" week long celebration. We live on the East coast and realize we will have to fly West for all the bungalows you have described above. All feedback is appreciated to guide me in the planning phrase.

    1. Kim,

      That sounds like a lot of fun. You won’t find many resorts that are great options for “solo” travelers, but groups of singles will fit in with many other groups there. Most of the resorts in Bora Bora and Moorea allow 3 guests per bungalow, and they all have a sleeper sofa in them for that purpose (most don’t allow 4 guests per room though). So if two of your group are okay sleeping on a pull-out couch then you can get by with 3 bungalows.

      It’s true that many of the guests at these resorts will be honeymoon couples or anniversary couples, but there are also families with older children and multi-generational groups. I think your group would have fun at just about any of those resorts, but I’d probably focus on one that has some nightlife each evening such as a band or DJ. Some of the smaller resorts only have a beach bar and it’ll mostly be couples in those. Long story short, I think I’d look at one of the larger resorts on Moorea or Bora Bora or even Tahiti. The places with at least 100 total rooms (including beach and garden bungalows) should also have plenty of things to keep you happy and a diverse clientele.

      If your budget can handle a bit over US$2,000 per night you might even consider one of the Sandals resorts on Jamaica because the flights will be so much shorter and cheaper. The overwater bungalows there are huge (I just toured both resorts recently) and the nearby beach rooms are really wonderful there as well. The beach rooms start at around US$500 per night, but they are premium all-inclusive with even many activities included so they would be really fun for a group. In other words, maybe you could get 1 (or 2) overwater bungalows and a couple of beach rooms, and take turns in each? And you could mostly hang out in the overwater bungalow during the day, which is plenty big enough for everyone. When you add in the cost of flights and all that time flying to Los Angeles and to Tahiti then the Jamaica plan could look even better. Also you have to factor in the cost of meals and drinks and activities. In the South Pacific the room includes breakfast, but everything else is extra, while in Jamaica it’s ALL included in the price. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  4. My wife and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. It would be wonderful to stay at an over water bungalow.

    Is Tahiti, Bora Bora gay-friendly islands? Are any island more friendly than others?

    1. Merchel,

      Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora are all part of French Polynesia, and the French culture there is quite strong. With that in mind, I’d expect that the islands and the resorts in particular would be quite LGBT-friendly. I don’t recall seeing anything in particular that stood out when I’ve been there, but I have a strong hunch that the resorts are all very progressive with that sort of thing. The island people seem to be quite open minded, and French people are famously tolerant. I wish I could give you more certainty. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  5. I am trying to plan our 10 year wedding anniversary. We are both pretty easy to please regarding vacations.

    I do know that my wife would really love to stay at an over water Bungalow for this trip.

    We would be traveling from Wichita, KS to Bora Bora or somewhere similar.(hopefully if price is right).

    I have browsed a bit and can’t find much for our budget (around $3-4k per person). Obviously I would love to be on the low end of my budget and save as much as possible.

    If not in Bora Bora, we would be okay with over water bungalow’s elsewhere.

    Travel dates would be leaving August 26th and Returning September 2nd (can go 1 day either way if needed).

    1. Michael,

      We are simply an online guide to overwater bungalows and not a travel agency. You’ll find the best deals online for these resorts. You can usually get better value in Moorea, which is another gorgeous island right off Tahiti itself. The room rates are a bit lower and transportation is faster and cheaper as well. If you have any specific questions just let us know. -Roger

  6. We our planning our honeymoon and live near San Francisco. We’d love to go to an amazing bungalow but the issue is we have only around 7 days for our trip, so the long flights really eat into our time. Is there an island you recommend we go to which is easy to reach from SFO? Thanks!

    1. Andrew,

      From San Francisco the closest overwater bungalows are in Tahiti, which is only a couple hours farther than Hawaii. It looks like you’d have to fly down to LAX first, as that’s where all the flights to Tahiti start. There are two resorts not far from the Tahiti Airport that offer overwater bungalows. Those resorts are pretty nice, but there are 4 nicer ones on Moorea, which is a 5-minute flight or one-hour ferry ride from Tahiti. If you are going all that way, it’s probably worth going to Moorea, as it’s also a much prettier island than Tahiti itself. Bora Bora is a 60-minute flight from Tahiti, and it has even more options. Those islands are so gorgeous and wonderful that I think it’s worth the flight, even for a week. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  7. Hi
    We live at the Gold Coast, Australia so can fly out of here or Brisbane. For our 20 year wedding anniversary in April we want to stay at an overwater bungalow – this will probably be a one-off so I want it to be in the clearest water with white sand so that the swimming and hopefully snorkelling is great. Maybe even some other water activities like sailboarding nearby? What do you recommend also considering ease of getting there? Thanks!

    1. Margo,

      There are actually a few resorts in the South Pacific that aren’t far from you, including one in New Caledonia. Have a look at our list of resorts in the South Pacific for more details. The next closest to you are in the Philippines and Malaysia. You can find those under the Asia tab on the top of this page.

      But really you’ll find the best affordable resorts in the Maldives, which has 80 different overwater hotels, each on its own island. Click on the Maldives tab for all of that information. And of course Bora Bora, which also isn’t too far from you, has many of the world’s best overwater resorts if price isn’t a major factor. Best of luck and let me know if I can help more. -Roger