Just last month Islands magazine did a fantastic spread on over-the-water bungalows. I couldn’t help but drool as staying in one of these magical bungalows, viewing the water beneath my feet and be able to dive off my porch into the crystals waters when I wake up in the morning, has always been my dream vacation. Here are my favorites and they are certainly solidifying my resolve to get there one day in the near future.
Through my research, I have learned that most of the over-the-water bungalows are located in Tahiti. I also learned why you need to break the bank to stay in one. The main reason for their priciness is the cost of building them and, later, maintaining them. First, you need to find an area with a flat seabed, surrounded by reefs, and with little chance of cyclones or other damaging weather. Second, the environment has to be protected at all cost with studies of the structure’s impact on the local marine life. Lastly, the cost of maintenance is huge, needing new interiors every year as well as painting and varnishing the complete deck and building on an annual basis. It really makes you appreciate these mini-oasis’ more than ever.
1. Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort – Top on my list is this beautiful resort on Bora Bora that picks you up from the airport in a boat and delivers you right to your bungalow! Oh so cool! They have spacious suites, 3 glass panels in the floor for viewing tropical fish, and come equipped with a Jacuzzi and a day bed – whew! Not only do you have access to a gorgeous beach but fantastic views of Mount Otemanu over the crystal blue waters. This resort also has the only two-story bungalows and to top that off was voted #3 on the over-the-water bungalow list by Huffington Post.
2. Four Seasons Resort, Bora Bora – This resort caters to those that want the most luxurious bungalows, some even come equipped with your own private infinity-edged pool. The views are gorgeous with the opportunity to see sunrises over the Pacific Ocean and sunsets over the lagoon. And you can’t miss the spectacular Mt Otemanu rising up in the distance. And if you ever wanted breakfast delivered to you in a canoe along with a bouquet of the freshest flowers, then this is your place. Voted #1 by TripAdvisor & won overall best view from Huffington Post.
3. Le Taha’a Resort on Taha’a – I like to really get away from it all sometimes and this resort will do just that. To get to Taha’a, called the “Vanilla Island”, board a helicopter from Bora Bora and travel 2 miles north of Raiatea to one of three bungalows available for rent. Once you get there, you will find a life of tranquility, an area full of the sweet scent of flowers, and be able to observe the more traditional way of life of native Tahitians. Your bamboo-built bungalow, over a lagoon teeming with fish, features comfortable hammocks, wrap-around porches and a varnished wood tub that you wouldn’t believe.
4. The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is also a dream. Moorea is a 7-minute flight from Tahiti and, once there, you will find your bungalow is perched above a wide, shallow lagoon that surrounds the island. The location on the north side of Moorea puts you in the perfect position for seeing views of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. All the bedrooms feature a glass floor panel, rain showers and an “only in your dreams” golden claw-foot tub. This one is a little more reasonable than most at $790 a night, that is, if you can call that reasonable.
There you have it. One day I will be writing about my vacation in one of these beautiful bungalows but until that day I can dream!
See more on Tahiti bungalows at http://www.islands.com/gallery/best-overwater-bungalows-bora-bora-tahiti