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1. Best overall overwater bungalow
Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa
The ultimate in decadence has got to be Hilton’s two story Presidential Overwater Villa. Yes that’s right, two stories! These massive, 300sqm bungalows have two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private pool, spa and the upstairs ‘wellbeing room’ featuring a large sundeck and bar area.
2. Best for families
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Thought you wouldn’t be able to fit a big family into an overwater bungalow? Think again! Not only are there overwater bungalows with two bedrooms, but you can even fit another two kids on the fold out sofa, and some of the overwater bungalows have their own pools too! The fantastic kids club takes anyone from 5-17 and includes a special kids pool, daily scheduled activities, and Chill Island, a private island allowing teens from 13-17 a bit of an escape from the younger ones.
3. Cheapest overwater bungalow
With Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti being by far the most visited islands, it should come as no surprise that the quieter islands are significantly cheaper. The Royal Huahine is a boutique resort with just 40 bungalows, the overwater bungalows of which are up to a couple hundred dollars cheaper than Bora Bora and Moorea. Huahine itself is famed for its luminous blue lagoon and lush rainforests which give the island its moniker, the Garden of Eden.
4. Best for short stays and stopovers
InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa
The InterContinental Tahiti is particularly handy to Papeete Airport so is ideal if you’re only stopping over for a couple of nights. They’re also some of the cheapest overwater bungalows available and can hold up to two adults and two children, making the great for families too. If that’s not enough, the resort also boasts two stunning infinity pools with views of Moorea and better yet, pool bars! These are arguably the best pools in the islands.
5. Best all out luxury
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
This is an easy one to choose as the St. Regis is quite simply at the top of their game. Here you’ll find some of the biggest and most tastefully decorated overwater bungalows of all the islands, some even with their own private swimming pools. For meals, take your pick from the French, Japanese and Italian restaurants, or have it delivered to your villa by your private butler service. If you can bring yourself to leave your villa, the resort complex boasts a large pool with swim up bar, and a 1200sqm spa!
6. Best facilities and resort activities
Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa
This spot is definitely great for those with itchy feet, or those with a restless spouse. Along with overwater bungalows with spectacular views of Mount Otemanu, the Bora Bora Pearl has three restaurants, a dive centre, mini golf, health and beauty spa, paddleboards and kayaks, a tennis court, volleyball court, games room, jet skis, glass bottom boat tours, quad bike tours, and more!
7. Best glass floor
Le Meridien Bora Bora
A fun feature of many overwater bungalows are the glass floors which allow you to see right into the lagoon from the comfort of your couch or bed. With most being one pane however, they can be rather small. Not so at the Le Meridien who can take claim to the largest glass floors in the islands. The resort is also home to a turtle rehabilitation sanctuary and when you book through House of Travel we’ll make a $50 donation, plus our clients get an exclusive private tour in which you can swim with these majestic creatures.
8. Best for Honeymoons and romance
Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort
Nothing says romance like an overwater bure in Tahiti. If you and your better half are after something truly special, picture this, Polynesian bungalows floating in an azure lagoon, with glass bottomed floors and views of platinum sand and lush green mountainside poking the clouds... hang on, what clouds? The sky's always a perfect shade of blue. Then there's K Restaurant, famed for its cathedral-style ceiling made from Kahaia wood and sand flooring, guests are advised to dine bare-footed while enjoying the intimate setting and a Polynesian dance show.
9. Best for sunsets
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa
And a decent sunrise too, actually. Sandwiched between Moorea's two stunning bays, Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa enjoys fabulous sunsets as well as enchanting sunrises. In between hours can be spent snorkelling right off your room, using a step and ladder straight into the lagoon, or utilising the complimentary kayaks, paddleboats, and stand up paddleboards. Come evening, enjoy a traditional French crepe at the overwater Toatea Bar, hovering above a natural aquarium and affording picture-perfect sunset views.
10. Best snorkelling and diving
Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort
On its own island in a lagoon studded with coral and teeming with fish is Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort. Whether you just like to potter around with a snorkel, or like to go deep and scuba, this is the place to be. The coral gardens are covered in bright anemones and hide delightful tropical fish inside the safety of the lagoon, while manta rays, turtles, marlin, dolphins and sharks all lurk in deeper waters outside. Importantly, check with your House of Travel agent to ensure your overwater bungalow has direct ocean access, as not all do.
11. Best views
Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island
Another easy choice, the best views in French Polynesia are from the luxurious five star Sofitel Bora Bora. By day, your overwater bungalow stretches out over the bright blue lagoon towards the dramatic green peak of Mount Otemanu in an absolute postcard perfect scene. Then by night, head to a special hilltop viewing area with a bottle of champagne (or two!) to watch the sun set, and stars come out.
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