Bora Bora Overwater Bungalows

It Just Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This
By Patti Morrow

When it comes to luxury vacations, few destinations can beat the magical island of Bora Bora.  Dubbed “the most beautiful island in the world,” by  author James Mitchener and “the pearl of the Pacific” by Captain Cook, this tiny piece of French Polynesian paradise bewitches all who venture to her shores.

Just mention to anyone that you are going to Bora Bora and the most likely phrase you will hear is “I’m jealous!”  And with good reason.  Floating in the middle of the South Seas, Bora Bora invokes dreamy images of exotic palm-fringed, sun-drenched sugar-sand beaches and bungalows that hover over a shimmering turquoise lagoon.

Be prepared to be pampered.  The luxury resorts on Bora Bora pride themselves on making sure their guests’ every wish is tended to.  And to make your stay an over-the-top experience, staying in an overwater bungalows is a must.

Here are just a few reasons why…

The Bungalow


Located on the motu – the small islets ringing the main island –   having your own thatched bungalow is the most spectacular place to call home while on Bora Bora.  Be sure to find one with a view across the lagoon to the looming volcanic Mt. Otemanu.

Steps lead from the private terrace perched above the warm, shallow, crystal lagoon where guests can snorkel among the coral nurseries and myriad tropical fish any time of day.  Most bungalows are built with a glass floor under the coffee table for guests to observe sea life passing underneath them.

Paradise, however, comes at a price.  Overwater bungalows are the most expensive accommodations in Bora Bora.  But the pricey rate of up to $1000 a night or more, is worth the splurge, even if it’s only once in a lifetime.  The best deal is at the Bora Bora Pearl Resort and Spa.  While it’s smaller than some of the better-known chain resorts, it is the most authentically Polynesian and offers discounted rates on bungalows booked in advance. There are also other ways to afford this unique experience, such as booking only the last couple of nights in a bungalow.

The Snorkeling
Slip on your swimsuit, strap on your snorkel, and….. descend a few steps.  Voilá!  You can create your own snorkel adventure any day, any time.  The bungalows’ most popular feature is the ability they offer guests to snorkel whenever they want, just by stepping out of their room.  The warm, shallow, aqua water make spotting the myriad tropical fish (and perhaps a stingray) a breeze.

The Shower
No need to worry about getting sand or salt water in your bungalow.  The bungalow decks are equipped with outdoor showers to rinse off.

The Breakfast

You’re on vacation; you do not want to get up and get dressed to get breakfast.  No problem… you can arrange to have breakfast delivered to your private deck in an outrigger canoe.  A server decorated in flowers will set an elegant table with French fare such as crêpes and croissants served along with fresh island fruit and of course steaming coffee. With the pristine water lapping below and gentle ocean breeze to accompany your meal, this is truly waking up in paradise.

The Paddling

For water sport activities right from your own deck, rent an outrigger canoe for a fun paddle through the lagoon. Alternatives include sea kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.

The Spa Treatments
It’s the ultimate in pampering –  various types of massages and spa treatments to be done in your bungalow or on your private deck can easily be arranged by the resort.

The Beach

If you ever tire of the spectacular ocean view from the overwater bungalow, take a short walk on interconnecting piers and within minutes you can be gazing at the beach or taking a reclining on a gently swaying hammock.

The Pearls
If you happen to catch a case of “pearl fever” after seeing the locals’ luminescent jewelry, Bora Bora is the place to find a bargain on the luminescent black pearls that are harvested throughout French Polynesia and renowned for their high quality.  Many boutique shops in the capital town of Viatape will send a boat to collect you and bring you to their shop.

The Helicopter
For an unforgettable birds-eye-view of the world’s most beautiful lagoon, helicopter tours for two can be taken.  If you want to experience celebrity status, for an extra charge they will even come to your resort to pick you up.   Don’t forget your floppy hat and dark glasses!

The Sunset

Again, right from your private terrace, glass of French champagne in hand.  Ahhhh.

The Lullaby
Gentle waves lapping against the bungalow stilts.  If there’s a better way to fall asleep, I haven’t found it yet.

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