The 5 Best Overwater Bungalow Resorts in Tahiti and Bora Bora in 2021

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The Rundown

Best Boutique: Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island

Overwater Bungalows at the Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach and Private Island

Courtesy of the Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach and Private Island

With only 30 overwater bungalows and luxury villas located on a sandy island surrounded by coral atolls, Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island offers a tranquil stay in a secluded island oasis. With minimal hotel infrastructure, the property takes full advantage of its natural surroundings, with elegant sun lounges, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment available for enjoying and exploring deserted beaches and rich coral gardens.

Calm and warm lagoon waters replace the need for a pool, and a set of steps leads through natural jungle to a scenic viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the island and surrounding seas. The overwater bungalows are constructed out of natural woods and thatch and all come with modern amenities and private sun decks. Both the Manu Tuki restaurant, which features fine-dining cuisine and a well-stocked wine cellar, and the relaxed Mako Bar offer magnificent views of the lagoon and Mt. Otemanu.

Best for Luxury: The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

St Regis Bora Bora Resort in French Polynesia

Courtesy of Ben Thouard / St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

Set on a chain of islands offering spectacular views of Mt. Otemanu, the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort offers guests luxury and opulence while still retaining a strong local flavor. Both overwater and on-land bungalows offer spacious rooms with natural wood and traditional Polynesian designs incorporated into the décor. Two pools deliver different experiences, with the main pool featuring zero-entry ledges and a swim-up bar. The tranquil adults-only Oasis pool is a graceful and secluded free-form retreat that winds between palms and shrubs and features cushioned and covered cabanas.

The large private beach provides excellent views over the lagoon, and water sports equipment such as kayaks and paddleboards are available for use. In the private Lagoonarim, guests can swim with colorful tropical fish and view delicate coral formations. The Iridium Spa offers traditional Polynesian treatments involving local medicinal plants, beauty regimes, and massage techniques. Couples getting joint massages can even enjoy a whirlpool and steam room in their own private suites pre-treatment.

Best for Singles: Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Courtesy of InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Located conveniently close to Fa’a’a International Airport, the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort & Spa is a sweeping, popular resort sitting on the shores of a sheltered lagoon. Rooms feature a range of decor in modern and more traditional styles, with views into the gardens or over the lagoon. Twenty-two overwater bungalows are arranged in two sections, with the Motu bungalows featuring more modern décor. Two sizeable infinity pools arrayed along the ocean edge offer sandy bottoms, hot tubs, and views over the lagoon.

The main pool features a swim-up bar, while the southern pool has waterfalls and an adjacent beach area. Jet ski rentals and diving equipment are available on a second beach to the north. The Le Lotus restaurant serves fine French cuisine in an intimate overwater setting overlooking the ocean, while Te Tiare offers a range of dishes in a casual open-air setting next to the pools and waterfalls. Next door, the lively Tiki Bar pours freshly-mixed cocktails throughout the day and into the night.

Best Spa: Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Courtesy of Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Located on a private island with long stretches of quiet beaches and green tropical vegetation, the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa offers a perfect retreat for discerning visitors. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the stay is its world-famous Thalasso Spa, which delivers specialty seawater therapies in overwater rooms and has soothing hydrotherapy pools set in peaceful private gardens. Outside the spa, other hotel features include an oceanfront infinity pool, water sports equipment, and sun lounges set on the beach and shaded by thatch umbrellas

When it comes to dining, The Reef offers a la carte dining with a strong French influence in a spacious open-air restaurant overlooking the gardens; it also hosts a weekly performance showcasing Polynesian culture and dance. The upscale Le Corail restaurant boasts the largest wine cellar in Polynesia and serves seasonal delicacies in an elegant fine-dining environment. For a more casual, relaxed atmosphere, the poolside Sands Bar and Restaurant delivers Asian and international dishes, signature cocktails, and views over the waters towards Mt. Otemanu.

Best Location: Conrad Bora Bora Nui

A view of Conrad Bora Bora Nui on Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Courtesy of Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Situated on one of the most beautiful beaches in Bora Bora, the Conrad Bora Bora Nui takes full advantage of its superb location, with guests able to choose from overwater, beachfront, or hillside villas. While the overwater villas offer the best views of the crystal-clear lagoon, beach villas ensure easy access to the wide expanse of white sands and other hotel amenities. Hillside villas are also set among lush vegetation and picturesque ponds filled with waterlilies and koi carp.

All villas feature modern furnishings in neutral colors, large bathrooms with rainfall showers and deep soaking tubs, and furnished patios. A stunning two-tier infinity pool overlooks the adjacent beach and lagoon, and complimentary snorkels, kayaks, and bikes are provided. The hotel hosts a French restaurant, with an attendant wine bar, and a casual, sandy-floored beach grill restaurant that hosts weekly Polynesian fire shows. The overwater Upa Upa Lounge Bar serves libations and sushi in a scenic room overlooking the bay.

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