While Tahiti is by far the most famous of the French Polynesian islands in the South Pacific, and it's the transportation hub for all the islands, the best resorts are actually elsewhere.
Tahiti does have two large resorts offering overwater bungalows, and both are moderately priced and offer great value, but for the rooms way out over the clear blue lagoons you'll want to look into overwater bungalows in Bora Bora, which is only a 50-minute flight away, or overwater bungalows in Moorea, which is only a 10-minute flight or a one-hour ferry ride.
Still, since all long-haul flights come in and out of Tahiti, and many of them do so at very odd hours, these overwater resorts are very helpful for a first or last night on a more complete trip visiting other islands as well.
Among the very first resorts in South Pacific, the InterContinental Tahiti has 258 guest rooms, 32 of which are overwater bungalows. Each of the overwater rooms is perched at the edge of the water, so they aren’t way out into the lagoon as you’d find on Moorea or Bora Bora. Still, the bungalows here offer great value as they are a solid 4-star quality with a reasonable price.
The location just south of the Tahiti Airport means this is the most convenient large resort to get to if your flight arrives late or leave very early, which is quite common in this part of the world. For this reason these bungalows make a great first or last stop on a tour of the South Pacific, yet there are enough restaurants and activities here that you could easily spend two weeks here without getting bored.
Featuring only 12 overwater bungalows at this large and well established 4-star resort, the Tahiti la Ora Beach Resort managed by Sofitel offers great value along with a huge list of activities and available excursions. The overwater bungalows are all large and come equipped with deluxe amenities and furnishings.
The resort’s location on the main island of Tahiti means that guests have an incredible range of choices for restaurants and cultural activities, and being fairly close to the main airport means that transfers are available regardless of what time your flight lands. This is a key factor for many people, and a reason why many book on Tahiti as part of a multi-island honeymoon or romantic tour.