Tahiti: Home To The Original Over Water Bungalows

bora bora overwater bungalows

Our secret of Tahiti is one of our favorites, and perhaps one of the worst-kept: the over water bungalows. This world-famous hotel room that fills the daydreams of honeymooners and travelers originated in the islands of Tahiti 50 years ago this year!  Experience the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa’s over water pool villas and the over water Brando suites that include multiple rooms, a spacious living area, and an expansive deck and pool with an unrivaled view of Mt. Otemanu. Read more below on the history of these idyllic forms of accommodation that we just can’t get enough of.

Moorea Overwater Bungalows
Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort, Over water Bungalows

Over water bungalows. These two words immediately conjure images of exotic luxury, tropical escapes, romantic seclusion, and the South Pacific. Throughout the years, these traditional huts perched on top of the breathtaking lagoons have come to be the quintessential icon of Tahiti. Becoming a bucket list item for many travelers, the over water bungalows offer first class accommodations in an unrivaled tropical setting. Although originating as simple one bedroom huts placed atop cement stilts in the water, the most exclusive over water bungalows now feature several rooms, plunge pools, Jacuzzis, outdoor terraces, air conditioning, WiFi, and multiple flat screen televisions.

bora bora overwater bungalows
Interior of the over water bungalows at Le Meridien Bora Bora – the largest glass floors in all of Tahiti!

It is fairly common knowledge that over water bungalows trace their origin back to the islands of Tahiti in the 1960s. However, not everyone knows about the origins of the creators, the Bali Hai Boys. The three Bali Hai Boys – Hugh Kelley, Don “Muck” McCallum, and Jay Carlisle – are USC graduates originally from Newport Beach, California. They decided together to escape the so-called rat race and moved to Tahiti and promptly purchased a vanilla plantation. After a failed attempt at growing and selling the Tahitian vanilla bean, they transitioned into the hotel business and created the now-popular over water bungalow concept for a hotel room on the island of Moorea.  Before the island even had air travel to it, the men would strategically place themselves at the dock and entice just arriving tourists to stay at their hotel. News spread of their tropical paradise, leading national magazines such as Life to run feature articles on their story putting Tahiti and over water bungalows on the map!  The rest is history.

tahiti overwater bungalows
The view from your overwater bungalow at Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa

There are many over the water bungalows now in Tahiti, Maldives and Fiji.  It can be difficult to decide which location is the best fit for you on your upcoming vacation. However, can you really ever beat the original? We think not. Which is why, if you are itching to take that dream vacation and stay in an over water bungalow, you have to go to Tahiti!

st regis bora bora overwater bungalow
St Regis Bora Bora – the grandaddy of the Bora Bora over water bungalows

Over water bungalows are the ultimate indulgence, a once-in-a-lifetime experience where travelers can enjoy the breathtaking ocean views in a traditional Polynesian-style hut with a close proximity to nature yet still retain the exclusivity and luxurious amenities of a modern-day high-end resort. The authenticity and differentiation that so many travelers crave, is precisely what these bungalows offer and what makes them so unique. Just as the Bali Hai Boys yearned for an escape from the rat race, many travelers today still yearn for that escape on their vacations. The creation of the over water bungalows has insured that throughout time, there will always be a secluded tropical escape waiting to embrace travelers as they arrive at their destination.

four seasons bora bora overwater bungalow
Over water Bungalow at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Have you stayed in an over water bungalow before? Which one was your favorite? And if you haven’t, contact Donna Salerno Travel today to make that dream vacation a reality.  Donna Salerno Travel;  888.777.7820 or Info@DonnaSalernoTravel.comYou’ll love where we take you!  www.DonnaSalernoTravel.com

Source: TL

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DDonna Salerno, CTC, DS


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