Think of Bora Bora, and you think of overwater bungalows.
With nearly a dozen resorts to choose from all offering over-the-top, over-the-water luxury, the island of Bora Bora is practically synonymous with them for a reason!
Staying in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora is a dream come true for many travelers, one that tops not only the lists of honeymooners but also luxury-lovers everywhere.
And while overwater bungalows have abounded everywhere the conditions are right from them — whether that be more traditional locations like the Maldives or more surprising ones like Panama — Bora Bora overwater bungalows are perhaps the very best of all.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that overwater bungalows originated in the Islands of Tahiti in the first place — but not on Bora Bora, where you might think!
Interestingly, the concept of overwater bungalows began on the island of Raiatea.
A few American entrepreneurs first built a hotel on Moorea and decided to expand their venture to Raiatea.
However, they faced a challenge: attracting visitors to a more outlying and inconvenient-to-access island like Raiatea… and the land they purchased also lacked some of the white sandy beaches found on Moorea.
Undeterred, the entrepreneurs discovered that their Raiatea property had a unique feature—a breathtaking lagoon with a vibrant coral reef brimming with marine life just steps away.
And thus, the ingenious idea of overwater suites with private terraces and direct access to the ocean was born!
Since then, overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and the other islands of Tahiti have flourished — and the idea has also spread around the world.
But at the end of the day, there’s nothing quite like the original.
Here are our top choices for the best overwater bungalows in Bora Bora — primarily, we’re featuring resorts, but there are also a few more budget offerings thrown in the mix, too!
Best Overwater Bungalows in Bora Bora
Most Iconic: InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort
From the first moment you set foot on the beautiful, bright sands of InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort, you’ll know you’ve reached a Polynesian paradise.
From its exclusive white sand beach to its beautiful overwater bungalows, Le Moana is a clear standout.
The resort sets itself apart with a visual flair by landscaping with its iconic flower: bougainvillea. This beautiful plant can be found everywhere on the grounds.
Apart from its enclosed patio, outdoor terrace, and private beach, the rest of Le Moana’s landscaping is stunning too, so be sure to have your camera ready! It also offers luxury experiences in any of its 62 suites and bungalows.
Each bungalow is furnished with amenities, including a sofa bed, flat-screen cable TV, tea/coffee maker, and air conditioning.
Depending on which bungalow you choose, you may not even need to look out the window to enjoy stunning views, as some bungalows feature unique glass tables that allow you to peer directly into the waters below. How awesome is that?
When you’re ready to leave your bungalow, you can enjoy pool, table tennis, canoeing, and other activities, all conveniently located directly on-site.
If you’re feeling the need to relax at a slower pace, the Deep Ocean Spa is your go-to place if you need rest and rejuvenation.
After you’ve worked up an appetite, you can mosey over to one of the resort’s two restaurants for some incredible eats!
Noa Noa Terrace Restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, serving up a delicious French and international buffet as well as à la carte options.
Vini Vini Bar and Restaurant Terrace provides a la carte international cuisine under the shade of the resort’s palm trees.
Just imagine all your cares slipping away as you sip on a cocktail or enjoy a refreshing shrimp salad while taking in views of the beach and the lagoon.
Whether you’re soaking in the atmosphere of the resort grounds or jumping off your private pontoon dock into the lagoon’s azure waters, a visit to InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort gives you the best of Bora Bora.
Best Bungalow Diversity: Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts
If you stay at Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts, you’ll be faced with some tough decisions. But, don’t worry – you can’t go wrong with any of them!
The place is so beautiful that you may feel torn between all the options as you think about where you want to spend your time. If that’s not the sign of a good resort, we don’t know what is!
First up, you’ll have to decide which type of accommodation you want. For example, do you want your own garden suite with a private pool?
How about a beachfront suite with a private hot tub, or an overwater bungalow with a water hammock and direct lagoon access.
Oh, and did we mention that some of the overwater bungalows come with infinity pools?
While the overwater bungalows are the crowning jewel of many Bora Bora resorts, any of Pearl’s accommodations are something to write home about. Every room looks like a photo come to life straight out of a travel magazine!
Thankfully, no matter what you end up choosing, each accommodation has luxury amenities such as a 20-inch LCD satellite TV, free WIFI, and air conditioning.
During the day, will you head out on an excursion, visit the luxurious Tavai Spa, take a dip in the pool, shop at the boutiques, play some tennis, try kayaking or paddleboarding, or just kick back and spend time relaxing at your bungalow? Maybe even a combination of all the above!
When you’re hungry, you’ll need to decide which of the three restaurants you want to try.
We recommend Tevairoa Restaurant, which offers al fresco dining on the terrace overlooking the lagoon, but hopefully, you’ll also be able to try Taurearea Sushi Bar and Miki Miki during your stay.
The one thing you won’t have to make any compromises about is the ambiance. The entire resort is a luxurious feast for the eyes, from its lush gardens and views of Mount Otemanu, to Polynesian architecture (some of the most traditionally styled rooms in Bora Bora) and tiny details such as wrought iron palm frond fans in the rooms.
Whether you’re traveling with family, a group of friends, or your sweetheart, this resort will give you a jaw-dropping experience you’re sure to remember fondly.
Pearl of the Pacific: InterContinental Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa
For a Bora Bora experience that’s the pinnacle of style, stay at InterContinental Bora Bora and Thalasso Spa Hotel. The resort is affectionately called “The Pearl of the Pacific,” and we think you’ll soon see why!
Everything at this resort is upscale in a way that will make each of your days here the crème de le crème.
This is especially true of the resort’s dining experiences!
While the resort does have casual options such as Sands Restaurant and Bar, you’ll want to ditch the T-shirts and Vans if you take your meal at Le Coral.
They’ll ask you to wear business casual to semi-formal attire, and you’ll be glad they did; dressing up will only accentuate your experience at the most extensive wine cellar in French Polynesia.
At South Beach Bar, the views are an entrée in their own right. Picture yourself relaxing on a plush lounger under coconut trees while sipping on an exotic cocktail and enjoying views of the azure waters!
If you’re starting to pick up on the magic of this place, you’re on the right track.
But of course, there are even other ways to enjoy this 5-star resort. Other amenities include a fitness room, Turkish bath, outdoor pool, and top-of-the-line spa.
You can also unwind by taking a yoga class, fishing, walking along the private beach, or attending live music events.
Of course, your room will likely be the most lavish comfort, as it should be! The resort’s private villas have spacious terraces, comfy outdoor furniture, and flat-screen TVs with Sonos sound systems.
You may not even want to watch the TV because the glass-bottomed coffee tables will give you a live tropical fish show. Depending on where you stay, you may also enjoy soaking tubs, a sundeck, and freshwater showers.
Room options are available to meet the size of your group (the Teremona Pool Villa can accommodate up to eight people).
Stay at “The Pearl of the Pacific” and see how luxurious Bora Bora can be.
Ultimate Dreamscape: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Are you awake, or are you dreaming? As one of the most beautiful, relaxing places on the planet, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.
Located on Point Matira, Four Seasons Resort offers stunning accommodations for every group size. Their spacious, beachfront villa estates are precisely that: estates.
You’ll feel like you’ve finally reached celeb status as you sprawl all over the hammocks, outdoor dining and lounge areas, indoor/outdoor pool, and luxurious rooms while a villa host and private chef attend to your every need.
The overwater bungalows are breathtaking in their own right. Constructed with high ceilings, traditional wood furnishings, and thatched roofs, you’ll feel like you’re living in a dream…
… That is, until you burrow into the fluffy blankets and down pillows of your luxury bed and have the sleep of your dreams!
Additionally, some bungalows come with beautiful, infinite plunge pools from which you can watch the Bora Bora sunsets or take in the afternoon rays.
To reach your bungalow, you’ll walk down a long boardwalk, which gives the illusion that you’re staying on a floating island home.
The entire resort, both the accommodations and public areas, features natural wood, stone, foliage accents, and relaxed, natural shapes. You’ll feel like you’re being sheltered in the welcoming arms of the mountain itself.
Four on-site restaurants, an infinity pool, and guided snorkeling tours of the lagoon are just some of the incredible amenities you’ll enjoy in this paradise.
You can also pamper your senses at the spa, where the couple’s tables are located over glass panels that peer directly into the lagoon (talk about an eye massage!)
Once you’re feeling relaxed, why not indulge your inner shopaholic at one of the three retail stores on the property?
Want a souvenir that will reassure you that your trip wasn’t an illusion? Try making a traditional shell necklace or Tahitian organic monoï oil that you can bring home and enjoy long after your stay.
However you choose to spend your time, you’ll return from this living dream rebalanced and refreshed.
Best Attention to Detail: The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
If you’re a traveler with an eye for lines, look no further than the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. St. Regis provides a visual feast of pleasing patterns, from its angular docks to the vaulted ceiling in its lobby.
The attention to detail in this design is no joke. Even the lounge chairs on the beach match the aesthetic!
Their platform style provides crisp, straight lines, which are further accentuated by their positioning.
The chairs are grouped in pairings and all point in the same direction to guide your eye line right out into the beautiful waters of the lagoon.
The overwater bungalows especially appeal to aesthetes: perfectly balanced in their spacing from each other, but also with the contour of the natural landscape.
In fact, they extend the landscape with the help of ramrod-straight piers that jut out into the lagoon.
If you end up staying in the bungalow at the far end of the docks, you’ll have no trouble getting in your steps for the day. Both piers are magnificently long and irresistible to walk on.
Your actual St. Regis experience is bound to be as tasteful as the carefully crafted geometric designs.
When you’re not soaking in the sun on the lounge above chairs, you can relax inside your air-conditioned bungalow or villa or visit Iridium Spa.
Other activities include grabbing a book from the library lounge, enjoying the exotic fare at any of the resort’s three restaurants, or taking a dip in one of the resort’s two swimming pools (one for everyone and one for adults only) – or the lagoon, for that matter!
As you might expect, the pools at St. Regis aren’t simple infinity pools. Instead, they are visual delights full of waterfalls and drop-offs to explore.
Want to enjoy these amenities kid-free? St. Regis offers a Kids Club that your littles will adore while you get some much-needed alone time for rest and relaxation.
Perhaps the most unique feature of St. Regis is its Lagoonarium – that’s right. It’s an immersive aquarium in the lagoon where you swim with the fish.
Add all this to the resort’s free use of snorkeling and windsurfing equipment, and you have a vacation that will exceed your expectations!
Gastronomes’ Delight: Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Want to take your tastebuds for a spin while enjoying the best of Bora Bora? All you have to do is escape to Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
The numerous on-site restaurants and bars are sure to send you over the moon with their incredible food and drinks.
So, want to see the menu? Iriatai, the resort’s signature restaurant, provides classic French cuisine with innovative twists.
If you have a hankering for Chinese food, Banyan is your place. For Japanese, Upa Upa Lounge Bar serves excellent sushi alongside views of coral reefs from its glass floor.
Tamure Beach Grill offers Polynesian and Mediterranean dishes from an open-air kitchen and stone oven, while Tarava Pool Bar is the place to go for cocktails by the pool.
Conrad Bora Bora Nui is also the only resort in Bora Bora to serve Ahi Ma’a: a mixture of meat, seafood, and vegetables cooked for up to half a day in an underground oven of coconut leaves and rocks.
Now that’s a unique culinary adventure you won’t want to miss!
As if all that wasn’t enough, Conrad is also a feast for the other senses: whether it’s live music offerings at the bar, traditional Polynesian dance ceremonies, black lava rock treatments at Hina Spa, refreshing moments in the infinite pool, or the Bluetooth sound speaker setup at your villa.
Yet, despite these plentiful offerings, the overall feel of the resort is soothing rather than overstimulating, thanks in part to the wood and neutral-tone accents that define its decor.
Speaking of accommodations, the villas and overwater bungalows at Conrad Bora Bora Nui are perfect places to unwind after a day of abundance.
Each booking includes a customizable pillow menu, a walk-in closet with a vanity desk, flat-screen cable TV, and a private lounge area.
For the full luxury experience, some villas even come equipped with their own private infinite plunge pools and hammocks!
With a fitness center, free wifi, complimentary kayaks and paddle boards, and a great kids club, there’s something for every member of your group to enjoy.
Don’t miss the chance to have the vacation of a lifetime at the delightful Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
Mermaids’ Paradise: Le Méridien
Picture this: it’s a beautiful Bora Bora day, and you’re craving an afternoon dip in the region’s beautiful waters.
As you grab your swim gear and leave your room, you see Le Meridien’s impressive aquatic triad: a pool that rests on the edge of an inner lagoon, which rests on a white sand beach that rests on the outer lagoon.
You can dip into all three of them within seconds, in an abundance of experiences that’s any swimmer’s dream come true.
On top of all this, add stylish resort landscaping of natural flora and fauna, and you’ll have some idea of what awaits you at Le Meridien.
While this exclusive, chic resort is genuinely a water-lover’s paradise (the resort can only be accessed by boat), we think everyone in your group will have a great time.
The resort offers lagoon and beach villas and suites and, of course, the classic Bora Bora overwater bungalows.
The bungalows have spiral staircases that lead down to the water and what are claimed to be the largest overwater glass floors on the entire island.
For the romantic looking for the perfect destination wedding, if you come to Le Meridien to tie the knot, you can even walk down an “aisle” that looks directly into the lagoon!
Of course, there’s more to this resort than just beautiful rooms and an overwater chapel, so get ready to soak in the lavish comfort of the rest of the property.
To tickle your tastebuds, there’s a beachside eatery, open-air bar, and restaurant beside the lagoon.
Guests also have access to the unique Thalasso Deep Ocean Spa.
It’s also the only Bora Bora resort with a wild turtle sanctuary! Get up close and personal with these fascinating reptiles while learning about their environment.
Best of all, the resort extends all of this to you through sustainable sourcing and at a modest budget! It’s almost too good to be true.
Intimate Ambiance: Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort
If you want an intimate experience on the main island, you can’t go wrong with Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach.
With its excellent location close to Matira Beach and Vaitape Village, Sofitel offers an elegant, Polynesian atmosphere that will help you unwind in no time at all.
The decor makes this resort a world unto itself (and it’s a cozy world!). Combining undressed wood and lush, contemporary decorations gives each abode lushness and artistry.
Each overwater or beachfront bungalow is outfitted with premium bedding, air conditioning, and the unique perk of minibars with complimentary soft drinks.
We’re sure you’ll waste no time taking your beverage outside to enjoy the views from your sun lounger!
If you stay in a bungalow along the private beach, you’ll only have steps between your front door and the water.
The same goes for the infinity pool – all you have to do to reach the lagoon is travel down a few stone steps.
The resort’s restaurant/bars, Latitude 16º and Hurricane, add to the charm.
Both offer lagoon views, local specialties, and theme nights for your enjoyment.
The grounds are also lovely, supplying gardens, terraces, and, of course, palm trees.
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara’s beach is a place where coral is protected, so you can feel good about your stay helping the environment.
However, don’t be surprised if you get caught up in the magic and forget all about the cares of everyday life for the duration of your visit.
Personal Sanctum: Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa
Bora Bora’s beauty naturally exudes calm and relaxation, but if you want a slightly different experience, Le Taha’a Island Resort is a more private and intimate destination.
The resort exudes an exquisite atmosphere of peace, from its spacious suites with vaulted ceilings and panoramic windows to its meticulous landscaping.
Set on beautiful Motu Tautau, the resort rests between Taha’a and Bora Bora, giving you views of both – and the ability to visit both.
Here, you can watch the sun set and rise over two different Polynesian islands: Taha’a for sunrise, and Bora Bora by sunset.
Then, head to the resort’s main restaurant, The Hawaiki Nui, for a delicious breakfast buffet with freshly squeezed juices.
From there, enjoy some water fun with your choice of kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkeling equipment, which are free for all guests.
At lunchtime, stop by Titiraina, the resort’s exclusive lunch restaurant, to enjoy the catch of the day or Bora Bora’s famous poisson cru.
The mid-afternoon slump is a great time to visit the spa, break a sweat in the fitness center, or enjoy the flat-screen TV’s satellite channels in your bungalow.
You may even want to freshen up with a cleanse in your outdoor shower before getting ready for the evening.
When it’s time for dinner, you’ve got the option to return to The Hawaiki Nui or try something new at the fancier Tipairua restaurant.
You could also walk (or swim) to one of the resort’s bars for tapas or light snacks.
With traditional Polynesian architecture and style, all built with sustainable development in mind, this hideaway is a clear stand-out for your next vacation.
Budget-Friendly: Maitai Bora Bora
If you’re minding your pocketbook but still want a Bora Bora vacation, you’ll absolutely love Maitai Bora Bora. Located on the main island, the resort offers the most budget-friendly options.
Don’t fret, though – the style and ambiance of the place might make you question if it’s low budget.
From the beautiful chandelier in the reception area to their thatched roof bungalows complete with stone steps, terraces, and garden views, Maitai Bora Bora’s simple beauty is sure to charm you.
As a guest at this picturesque location, you’ll enjoy air conditioning, satellite TV, and a minibar in your room.
If you stay in an overwater bungalow, you’ll have a trademark glass table to watch the fish swim by.
During the day, you’ll have free use of fishing, snorkeling, and kayaking equipment (all included with your reservation).
After your adventures, you can enjoy French and Polynesian delicacies in the lush garden surroundings of the resort’s restaurant.
You may even catch a traditional Polynesian song and dance while you dine!
Located in a great part of the island, Maitai Bora Bora provides a welcoming travel bargain along the crystal blue waters.
Best Non-Resort: Brando’s Overwater Bungalows
Sometimes the best resort-like properties aren’t resorts at all. And thanks to platforms like VRBO, we have easy access to them!
Brando’s Overwater Bungalows are a perfect example of a fantastic non-resort. They are the cheapest overwater bungalows in price, but absolutely not in quality.
As a result, they open the possibility of a Bora Bora overwater bungalow vacation to a broader demographic of traveler.
If you look at the property site, you’ll notice that Brando’s bungalows are two out of five overwater bungalow private vacation homes.
You can dive into the details with a mini-search on the site to find out which place best suits you (whether one of Brando’s or the neighboring Bungalow known as the Black Pearl).
Brando’s bungalows come with everything you need for a comfortable stay. Like at many of the resorts, the master beds face the lagoon and enjoy expansive views.
But, unlike many resorts, you’ll get a full kitchen and lots of closet space, perfect for those looking for a longer stay.
We also like Brando’s because they can help you get set up with everything you need to make your stay a relaxing trip: rental cars, flights, excursions, water activities, restaurants, whatever you like!
And, of course, most of the top perks of Bora Bora – snuggling up in your bungalow with a good book, taking a plunge into the warm water, and staring out at the lagoon for hours – come at no cost.
You just need a luxurious spot from which to sit and enjoy!
For those who want a non-resort stay while still getting the overwater bungalow experience, look no further than the main island, home of Brando’s Overwater Bungalows.
Allison Green is a former teacher who has been travel blogging since 2016. She has a Masters in Teaching and a B.A. in English and Creative Writing. Her blog posts merge her background as an educator with her experience traveling to 70+ countries to encourage ethical, meaningful travel. She has been a speaker at the World Travel Writers Conference and her writing, photography, and podcasting work has appeared in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, CBC Canada, and Forbes, amongst others. Now a full-time traveler, she has lived in Prague, Sofia, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area.