Overwater bungalows in Bora Bora – A complete guide
Many of us dream of spending a honeymoon or romantic retreat in an overwater bungalow, and if you’ve seen photos of thatched-huts on stilts overlooking a clear lagoon with striking green mountains behind them, chances are you were looking at Bora Bora in the South Pacific. After a 50-minute flight from Tahiti, you’ll reach an island group featuring 10 overwater-bungalow resorts.
Ranging from 3-star deluxe to 5-star plus, these resorts aren’t exactly cheap, but a stay in any of them is an unforgettable highlight. The more affordable of them feature bungalows that are larger than an average urban hotel room, and the most luxurious of them feature bungalows that enormous by any standards.
Check out an interactive map of all Bora Bora overwater resorts
- High season is generally June through October plus Christmas weeks
- Low season is generally November through May except Christmas weeks
Getting the best deal
- The best rates are usually when booked for a full week, and often include 1 or 2 free days as part of the special rate.
- Many resorts offer up to 25% off for those who book at least 30 to 60 days in advance, so those early-bird discounts are included in many of the rates below.
South Pacific overwater bungalow alternatives
Overwater bungalows were first invented in the South Pacific (in Moorea, off Tahiti, to be specific), and this is still the premiere destination for overwater resorts. But if you aren’t close to the South Pacific then you should probably also consider the Maldives. Water villas in the Maldives, as they are called there, can be found at over 80 different resorts. This string of islands just south of India has most of the world’s water bungalows, and as a result they also have the most competition and the best value.
Bora Bora overwater bungalow resorts
- Overwater bungalows: 24
- Total rooms/suites: 64
The Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach is once again separate from its Private Island resort a short boat ride away, but guests continue to be able to use facilities from both. This is one of the first overwater resorts in Bora Bora, and the bungalows are among the smallest, but still it’s a dependable 4-star facility.
The location makes it convenient to reach restaurants and shops in other parts of Bora Bora, so it’s ideal for those who like to sample different things rather than stay in one secluded resort for their whole stay.
- Low season online specials from US$398 per night
- High season online specials from US$461 per night
- Overwater bungalows: 19
- Total rooms/suites: 74
The Le Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora is considered to be a boutique 3-star resort. It’s another of the earlier hotels in Bora Bora, and its 19 overwater bungalows are fairly modest in size compared to most of the newer properties. Thanks to various promotions, this is one of the most affordable overwater bungalow resorts in the South Pacific.
The location also puts it very accessible to other restaurants and activities on Bora Bora, so this is another good choice for those who prefer to explore their surroundings rather than spend all their time on resort property.
- Low season online specials from US$429 per night
- High season online specials from US$432 per night
- Overwater bungalows: 20
- Total rooms/suites: 31
Starting once again in late 2012, the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island Resort is booked separately from its sister just across the lagoon. The location a 2-minute boat ride from the main resort on Bora Bora island makes it more exclusive and secluded, and the recent renovation and addition of a swimming pool should prove popular.
There is a restaurant and a bar on the Private Island, and guests also get access to the restaurant and bar at the Marara Beach resort as well. For a solid 4-star resort run by a respected luxury chain, the room rates here offer very good value, being among the most affordable of the Bora Bora overwater bungalows.
- Low season online specials from US$751 per night
- High season online specials from US$868 per night
- Overwater bungalows: 50
- Total rooms/suites: 62
The InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort was another of the first overwater bungalow resorts in Bora Bora, though it’s been kept up to date well, and continues with a 5-star standard. The bungalows are of good size, and have all the modern amenities you’d expect from an InterContinental Hotel.
The location just off the southern tip of the main Bora Bora Island gives it a wonderful sense of seclusion, yet it’s not difficult to get to the island to sample other restaurants and shops. Being one of the smaller resorts and being mostly over water, this is a great choice for a honeymoon but less than ideal for a family.
- Low season online specials from US$738 per night
- High season online specials from US$837 per night
- Overwater bungalows: 50
- Total rooms/suites: 80
The Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa is a 5-star resort hotel that offers stunning views of Bora Bora and its lagoon. It’s located on a small islet that is a fast & free 5-minute boat ride to the main island, making it perhaps the best of both worlds, with privacy and seclusion, but also with the ability to get elsewhere on Bora Bora quickly if needed.
The overwater bungalows are reasonably large, and there is a great variety of restaurants, bars, and activities available, so going elsewhere might not be a high priority anyway. The spa here is also among the best in Bora Bora.
- Low season online specials from US$532 per night
- High season online specials from US$822 per night
- Overwater bungalows: 85
- Total rooms/suites: 99
The Le Méridien Bora Bora is a solid 4-star resort with almost all of its 99 rooms being overwater. The overwater bungalows are of moderate size, and nearly all of them feature a glass section of floor which lets guests observe the sea life under their room around the clock. The amenities are all modern, and the resort features a long list of water sports in addition to a full-service spa.
The location is extremely secluded, at the southern tip of a narrow motu (small islet) off the main island of Bora Bora, so this resort might be ideal for honeymooners and those on a romantic getaway. There is plenty to do on site, but getting to the main island is not especially fast or easy.
- Low season online specials from US$725 per night
- High season online specials from US$885 per night
- Overwater bungalows: 48
- Total rooms/suites: 60
Another that is comprised mostly of overwater bungalows, the Le Taha’a Island Resort and Spa is actually on a small islet just off Le Taha’a Island, which overlooks Bora Bora, so this is the most secluded resort on this list. The overwater bungalows are all large, and the price differences are based on the view.
The hotel has 5 restaurants and bars, plus a long list of activities and excursions, so there will be no shortage of things to do for those who are inspired. On the other hand, its location makes it difficult to reach businesses on Bora Bora itself, so it’s probably best suited to the honeymoon crowd rather than those who prefer to explore the whole island.
- Low season online specials from US$534 per night
- High season online specials from US$847 per night
- Overwater bungalows: 85
- Total rooms/suites: 120
While the ‘Hilton’ name isn’t usually considered on the same level as the Four Seasons, the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa is actually a full-service 5-star resort on its own island, and one of the finest in all of Bora Bora. Each overwater bungalow is huge and all the amenities and accessories are first-class, and each features a glass floor section for underwater viewing.
The list of water sports and other activities is long, and the spa is of premium quality as well. The location is somewhat remote, so this is another that’s better for romantic couples rather than those who are set to explore Bora Bora itself.
- Low season online specials from US$681 per night
- High season online specials from US$772 per night
- Overwater bungalows: 80
- Total rooms/suites: 83
Being newer and larger than its sister resort mentioned above, the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa is a solid 5-star hotel with huge rooms and all the luxury amenities you could hope for. Each overwater bungalow has a separate bedroom with its own TV, and most have exception views of the main island and lagoon.
The Thalasso Spa here is one of the largest and best in Bora Bora, so this is an excellent choice for those on an indulgence holiday or a honeymoon. The 5-star prices also make it less popular with families, so this resort is mostly geared toward couples.
- Low season online specials from US$1,041 per night
- High season online specials from US$1,186 per night
>>>More information about the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa
- Overwater bungalows: 77
- Total rooms/suites: 91
Those who’ve seen them all agree that the St Regis Resort Bora Bora is the finest overwater bungalow resort in the South Pacific. Even the smallest of the overwater rooms is enormous, and they go all the way up to a 2-bedroom overwater villa that could be considered a mansion in most places.
The service is 5-star plus and there is a long list of activities and excursions available, so it may not be necessary to leave during your stay, but it’s a quick boat ride to the main island if you want to explore. For those who can afford it, this is as good as things get in the South Pacific.
- Low season online specials from US$858 per night
- High season online specials from US$1,491 per night
- Overwater bungalows: 100
- Total rooms/suites: 121
The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is a stunning 5-star hotel with an isolated location that makes it ideal for romance and privacy. Everything here is of top-standard and the service is excellent as well.
Each overwater bungalow is huge and filled with posh amenities, most having amazing views of Bora Bora and its lagoon. The remote location on its own private islet means that reaching shops and restaurants on Bora Bora is difficult, but there is plenty to do on the property, including an excellent restaurant and a top-class spa.
- Low season online specials from US$1,357 per night
- High season online specials from US$1,951 per night
>>>Check for airfare deals to Bora Bora
Top photo courtesy of gengish skan on Flickr