Bora Bora’s Best Over-the-Water Bungalows


It’s the ultimate tropical island fantasy. You are ensconced in a thatch- roofed bungalow perched above turquoise waters. Colorful tropical fish flit among the pilings, while across the lagoon an emerald peak is lit by the setting sun. Over-water accommodations are a signature offering in the islands of Tahiti, and no place on earth can equal the magnificent collection that graces the lagoons of Bora Bora. For the ultimate island escape, these prime properties have no equal.

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

The bungalows at the Four Seasons Resort epitomize the over-water experience. Glass floor panels provide provocative peaks at what lies below, verandas and gazebos command unobstructed views of iconic Mount Otemanu, and infinity edge plunge pools and soak tubs blur the boundaries between water and sky. Mornings begin with breakfasts delivered by ceremonial Polynesian canoe; 24-7 butler service provides for every need throughout the day; and intimate personally catered sunset dinners can be enjoyed on private decks or on a remote beach.

Bora Bora Four Seasons OVerwater Bungalows

The over-water bungalows at the Four Seasons Bora Bora include private infinity edge plunge pools and soak tubs, plus direct access to the waters of the lagoon. Photo: Moevea de Rosemont/Four Seasons

A stroll down a connecting boardwalk leads to Four Season’s private 54-acre island, where four restaurants and beach bars offer a range of cuisines and unsurpassed views of lagoon and reef. Equally stunning is the view from the relaxation spaces of the signature spa, which features a number of treatments that incorporate traditional Polynesian ingredients. Guests have exclusive access to an over-water yoga platform and the Ruahatu Lagoon Sanctuary, where snorkel excursions are supervised by the resort’s in-house marine biologist. At night, bedrooms can be opened to the lagoon to invite sea breezes and the gentle sound of lapping waves.

Bora Bora Four Seasons Launch

A complementary shuttle boat brings guests from the airport to the Four Season’s private 54-acre island. Snorkelers enjoy exclusive access to the Ruahatu Lagoon Sanctuary. Photo: Barbara Kraft/Four Seasons

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort

Tucked between an aquamarine lagoon and the sapphire blue water of the Pacific Ocean, Motu Piti Aau deserves its nickname: the islet of two hearts. This small strip of land is home to the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort, where water lovers will indeed have much to take to heart. Here, bungalows don’t just sit over the water; they embrace the aquatic realm in every way possible. Floor to ceiling glass walls bring panoramic views of the lagoon into every room. Glass topped coffee tables give unique views of tropical fish, and even the bathtub offers a picture perfect view of the water.

Bora Bora InterContinental Bungalow Overhead

An aerial view of an over-water bungalow at the InterContinental Bora Bora. Steps lead from the shaded verandah to a sun deck where guests can plunge into the sparkling lagoon. Photo: Tim Mckenna/InterContinental

The décor is a blend of sleek contemporary and traditional Polynesian design touches, leading seamlessly from inside to waterfront verandahs that offer both shaded porches and warm sundecks. The property includes an array of casually elegant restaurants and bars, and the Deep Ocean Spa – is the first seawater therapy spa in French Polynesia. In over-water treatment rooms fitted with glass floors, guests can experience thalassotherapy, which blends modern wellness techniques with ancient Polynesian healing rituals, making use of essential elements exacted from cool, nutrient rich waters pumped from ocean depths of 3,000 feet.

InterContinental Bora Bora Lagoon At Night

Spectacular sunset views of the lagoon and Mount Otemanu come standard with every over-water bungalow at the InterContinental Bora Bora. The resort’s spa also faces the water. Photo: InterContinental

St. Regis Resort Bora Bora

The views may draw your attention outward, but at the St. Regis, inner spaces are equally spectacular. Sprawling over four private islands defined by white sand beaches, lagoons and tidal channels, this resort offers the most spacious and luxurious overwater accommodations in the South Pacific. One-bedroom units offer up to 2,000 square feet of private living space, while the premier two-bedroom Royal Overwater Villa is one of the largest overwater hotel rooms in the world. Waterfront decks and private gazebos flank plunge pools where cantilevered lights hang over the bright waters of the lagoon. Sun beds and heated whirlpools provide additional opportunities for relaxation, while interiors are adorned with custom Polynesian sculptures and scenic paintings by local artists.

St Regis Bora Bora Private Whirlpool Villa

Over-water villas at the St. Regis Bora Bora include shaded gazebos and heated whirlpools. Interiors are adorned with Polynesian sculptures and original works by local artists. Photo: Eric Pinel/St. Regis

Though expansive, the immaculate landscaped resort grounds maintain an intimate feel, and include all the amenities and luxuries associated with the St. Regis brand, including their legendary butler service and a signature over-water restaurant by star chef Jean-Georges. Sitting on its own island is the Clarins spa, which features luxurious Polynesian, Asian and proprietary Clarins Touch treatments.

Bora Bora St Regis

The over-water villas at the St. Regis Bora Bora are the largest and most luxurious of any resort in Polynesia. The property stretches across four immaculately landscaped private islands. Photo: Eric Pinel/St. Regis