Of all the Leeward Islands, Bora Bora has the most overwater bungalows. Most of them belong to the large luxury resorts that are located on the motus off the main island. Depending on where you stay, the views will be different, sometimes overlooking the mountains, sometimes the lagoon. Which one will win your favor to spend a dream stay? Let’s discover the bungalow in Bora Bora and see what options are available to you.
What Does a Bungalow in Bora Bora Look Like?
The bungalow takes the form of a small picturesque house, whose exterior appearance follows the codes of the Polynesian tradition. The walls are made of wood, while the roof is usually covered with thatch made of dried leaves. While the exterior of the bungalow may look rustic, the interior provides all the Western comforts, including running water, electricity and all the amenities of a modern home. Of course, you will find inside a bedroom, a bathroom, a living room, but also a terrace and even your own swimming pool. In Bora Bora, luxury, charm and perfection are the norm.
The bungalow in Bora Bora is a real institution. It is the main accommodation made available to tourists from all over the world. The first advantage of the bungalow is that it guarantees the intimacy and exclusivity of the place. Indeed, the bungalows are privatized and you will occupy yours entirely. In other words, most hotels in Bora Bora do not offer “rooms” but “bungalows”, which can therefore sometimes be located several hundred meters from the reception.
Depending on the reputation of the hotel, the bungalow can be very spacious: it is possible to stay in a bungalow-villa. There are several ranges of comfort, services and therefore prices. A night in a bungalow in Bora Bora costs from $350 for the cheapest options to several thousand Dollars for the most luxurious establishments. For more information, we invite you to discover our article on the price of a trip to Bora Bora.
Bungalows on the Garden Side, Beach Side or Over the Water?
Several categories of bungalows exist on Bora Bora. To be as close as possible to the hotel’s facilities, you may be tempted by a garden-side bungalow, and possibly on the heights to enjoy a magnificent view. However, a garden bungalow has the defects of its qualities. Less popular and often less well located, this type of bungalow will also make the dream less accessible. The lagoon is the main wealth of Bora Bora and to be deprived of it by a remote accommodation would be a pity.
Another possibility would be a beach bungalow, therefore located in front of the lagoon. This is a practical and ideal option for those who like to feel the earth under their feet. However, if this is your preference, ask for a bungalow that is not close to traffic and restaurants. This would disturb the privacy and tranquility of the area. Also, make sure that your accommodation is not located directly opposite an overwater bungalow.
But among all the bungalows imaginable, it is indeed the overwater bungalow, i.e. built on the lagoon, that Bora Bora owes its reputation as a dream destination. This is also our recommendation. We are not only talking about an accommodation but also about an experience in its own right. Indeed, staying in an overwater bungalow is one of the best things to do in Bora Bora.
The Waking Dream: The Overwater Bungalow
A Little History: The Origin of the Overwater Bungalow
As often happens, everything starts with a love story. That of three Americans who fell in love with the islands of French Polynesia. In the 1960s, the three friends decided to open hotels with bungalows in Moorea and Raiatea. With its direct access to the beautiful white sand beaches, the hotel in Moorea enjoyed an exceptional location. However, for the island of Raiatea, they needed an alternative. Indeed, this island has no sandy beaches.
The idea was to build bungalows on the lagoon itself using coconut trunk pillars. Even better! To better enjoy the beauty of the place, a glass plate covered a part of the floor. The customers could thus see the fish passing under their feet. The innovation is extraordinary and will be used on most of the islands of the Society Archipelago. They were later found in other exotic destinations, notably in the Maldives. Gradually, the overwater bungalows will become the symbol of romanticism and luxury. In French Polynesia, they are now intimately linked to Bora Bora. For the record, the first overwater hotel in Raiatea closed its doors in 2015 while waiting for a buyer.
Lodging in an Overwater Bungalow: How Does it work?
There is nearly 500 overwater bungalows in Bora Bora. Of course, the prices are very different depending on the hotel’s standing and the living space of the accommodation. For example, staying in a luxury suite with a pool will cost more than twice the price of an “ordinary” bungalow. Nevertheless in these hotels, the quality standards are set very high and a basic bungalow already belongs to the luxury range.
More than the question of budget, the question of the orientation of the bungalow and its proximity to the amenities should be given more attention. Indeed, it is likely that a bungalow with a view of the hotel’s facilities will be less convincing than one with a view of the mountains. Of course, the quality will always be there, but we are talking about romance and heavenly landscapes. So, let’s look for perfection and excellence at all levels.
Another thing to consider when choosing a bungalow is the geographical location of your hotel. Most resorts are located on small islets away from the main island. However, not all of them face the mountains. In fact, some resorts face the lagoon entirely. Which hotel should I choose to get the best view? In fact, it depends on your expectations and the answer is personal.
Some Hotels to Stay in a Bungalow in Bora Bora
On the Motus With a View of the Mountains
In the category of very high end hotels, the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort stands out once again as the best hotel in Bora Bora. Decorated with elegance and refinement, the overwater bungalows combine tradition and modernity. They respect the Polynesian style and the accommodation is simply extraordinary, both in terms of quality and space. But it is above all the intelligent layout of the site that we will remember. Few opposite, a preserved intimacy and an incredible view on the main island.
Our advice: choose an overwater bungalow with a view of Mount Otemanu.
On the Motus With a View of the Lagoon
Located on the motu Toopua, the Conrad Bora Bora Nui offers completely modernized accommodations. The overwater bungalows are now more spacious, more comfortable and of course prettier, despite a certain standardization. Most of them have their own pool. Some bungalows offer a view of Mount Otemanu from their private terrace. However, the panoramic view of the lagoon and the ocean is exceptional. If you choose a southwest-facing bungalow, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking sunset every evening.
Our advice: choose an overwater bungalow in the west wing of the complex (300 to 320 series).
On the Main Island, in the Heart of Bora Bora
At Matira Point, the InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort offers travelers nearly fifty overwater bungalows. Less luxurious than the previous ones, they are still comfortable and well equipped. A small terrace even allows you to admire the landscape. Because of the location, the immersion may seem less impressive. However, you will enjoy a remarkable view of the lagoon and the motus facing the hotel. And this at much more affordable rates for travelers wishing to reduce the cost of a trip to Bora Bora.
Our advice: choose an overwater bungalow in the Horizon range.
Have You Found Your Bungalow in Bora Bora?
By following our recommendations, you will certainly find the perfect location for your dream vacation. From the terrace of your bungalow, you can watch the sunset while enjoying a delicious fruit cocktail. The setting is beautiful and the journey has just begun. Then discover the Valley of the Kings while hiking on the main island. And how about a Polynesian massage at one Spa in Bora Bora to add some well-deserved relaxation to the adventure? The romantic island has so much to offer.
Are you ready to book? You can do so online today!
What’s your next stop? The islands of Tahaa, Maupiti and Moorea await you. We are at your disposal to elaborate with you the itinerary of your next stay in French Polynesia. Contact us today and benefit from our personalized advice.