Overwater bungalow of the week: InterContinental Tahiti Resort
This week's featured overwater bungalow is not among the largest or most glamorous in the South Pacific, but it's an extremely popular resort for a few key reasons that many people will want to consider.
The InterContinental Tahiti Resort has 32 overwater bungalow in addition to over 200 other rooms, making it one of the largest resorts of any kind in French Polynesia. Perhaps its best selling points are that it's quite reasonably priced, and it's very close to the Tahiti Airport without being too close.
This week: InterContinental Tahiti Resort
At only a bit over 500 square feet including the private terrace, the overwater bungalows at the IC Tahiti Resort are quite large compared to most hotel rooms, but a bit on the small side compared to most water bungalows. Still, each one has a kingsized bed and a separate sofa bed in the sitting area, so these will remind most people of suites rather than normal hotel rooms.
There's also that aforementioned private terrace with a ladder going down into the turquoise water just below. These bungalows are each perched just off the edge of the lagoon, rather than in a long row leading out into the water, so the swimming experience is a bit different, though certainly very worthwhile.
Advantages of a large resort
While many honeymoon couples will want to book at one of the smaller, more intimate resorts, there are certainly advantages to a large resort like this InterContinental. It has 4 restaurants and bars, so there's more choice than at most smaller places, and it also has two tennis courts, a large private beach, and two swimming pools. If something is a bit crowded you can go elsewhere at a larger resort, which isn't true at most places.
If you are not familiar with the InterContinental name you'll be relieved to know that it's a large chain of 5-star hotels around the world. You get a hidden advantage at a place like this in that they have to protect their image by keeping quality standards way up. A one-off hotel can cut corners for a year or two to save money, but a respected chain can't do that, so you can book with confidence knowing this is a professionally run resort.
Non-obvious reasons you might want to stay at the IC Tahiti Resort
If you are still in the planning stages of your trip and you haven't checked for flights to Tahiti you may not know that most get in between 9pm and 11pm, so you'll have no choice but to spend the first night on Tahiti, even if you are flying onto Bora Bora or taking the ferry to Moorea.
There are only two resorts with overwater bungalows in Tahiti itself, and the IC is literally just around the corner from the airport. It's not in the flight path, but it's like a 5-minute taxi ride from the airport, while other resorts can be 30 minutes or more away.
And compared to other resorts in French Polynesia, the InterContinental Tahiti is fairly cheap. Many people prefer to book, say, the first two nights at this resort, and then fly onto Bora Bora, Moorea, or elsewhere in the South Pacific for the rest of the week. That allows them to see Tahiti, get a decent night's sleep the first night, and save a bit of money on the week as well.