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An extremely popular feature of overwater bungalows is the presence of glass floor panels but, rather surprisingly maybe, not all overwater bungalows have them.
Those that have though allow their guests to stare down hypnotically at the comings and goings of the exotic, teeming sea life below.
They also present a singularly nice photo opportunity - your partner swimming through the bright turquoise waters under your 'house' captured directly from above.
Here are our choices for, and reviews of, the best luxury overwater bungalows & water villas with glass floors in French Polynesia in 2021!
- The low key, 5 star resort of Le Méridien offers perhaps the best value around in terms of luxury overwater bungalows and villas in Bora Bora. It does not have the same show-stopping sense of opulence as some other nearby resorts; the St. Regis or The Four Seasons for example, which feature some really quite enormous accommodation, but though the largest overwater bungalows at the Le Méridien cover not much more than 540 ft², they are just as luxurious, stylish and well equipped. So if you feel having acres of extra space is not worth the extra premium price then Le Méridien is for you. One popular feature of most Bora Bora overwater bungalows are glass floor viewing panels which allow you to gaze directly at the colorful sea life in the waters below. Le Méridien gets extra points in this regard, boasting the largest glass floors of any resort in the whole of French Polynesia. Le Méridien is family friendly but has a relaxed, intimate atmosphere that is more suited to couples. You will also find it noticeably quieter than many of the other resorts, especially in the evenings, something which adds to the sense of a secret, romantic hideaway. THE ACCOMMODATION: Le Méridien doesn’t have the same breath of accommodation choices as some other resorts but what it has are classic overwater bungalows that are cosy and intimate, and blend traditional Polynesian design and decor with modern facilities and features, including the above mentioned large glass floor panels which cover most of the lounge areas. The resort also offers similarly pleasant beach villas and suites, all of which are, including the overwater bungalows, one double bedroom but most of which also have a sofa bed in the lounge area for extra guests if required. The outside spaces have seating and lounging furniture, as well as, in the case of the overwater bungalows, direct access to the water. King size beds are standard at Le Méridien and all of the accommodation is kitted out with modern necessities; AC, WiFi, mini bar, flat screen satellite TVs etc. Room service is 24 hours, there are also concierge and business services READ MORE
- There may be a lot of competition in terms of luxury retreats in Bora Bora and indeed in the broader region of French Polynesia, but the 5 Star InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora is really quite a place. It is located on its own private island, a 20 minute boat ride from Bora Bora Motu Mute Airport, and it is hard to overemphasize the extraordinary setting, with the craggy peak of Mount Otemanu towering above and the most beautifully clear turquoise waters you could ever imagine swaying gently all around. It also has consistently high levels of service, great facilities and a laudable commitment to eco-friendly and sustainability principles, all of which make it stand out somewhat from the rest and lend the place an extra exclusive feel. It is very much a once in a lifetime vacation venue, and smoothly manages to be both family friendly and ideal for honeymoons. THE ACCOMMODATION: The overwater bungalows and villas are in a choice position to enjoy the setting with their boardwalk jutting out right in the middle of the bay. They are also all exceptionally spacious; the smallest cover a minimum of 1020 ft² while the largest, the ‘Marlon Brando Suite’, comes in at a whopping 3465 ft². As you will see there is a great range of accommodation to choose from, most, but not all, of which are overwater. Of those that are overwater they come with glass floor coffee tables from where you can peer down into the coral reef and see all manner of exotic creatures. Many also have their own private, on deck, infinity swimming pools. The design and interior decoration are a pleasing mix of modern and traditional Polynesian and they have all the modern facilities and comforts you would expect from a luxury hotel: air-con, WiFi, cable TV, music system, refrigerator, coffee maker, mini bar, some lovely bathrooms with bathtubs and rainfall showers, as well as plenty of lounging and dining furniture both inside and out. Room service is 24 hours and you can expect the absolute best in service throughout the resort which also has a concierge team. As mentioned above InterContinental Thalasso makes READ MORE
- The 5 Star, Sofitel Moorea Kia Ora Resort is a private enclave surrounded by crystal clear waters and pure white sands near to both Moorea Airport, and to the island’s main ferry dock which has regular ferries running the hour long journey to and from Tahiti. It is a beautiful place, and if you’re coming, as most people are, straight from Tahiti both it and the island of Moorea will really offer the wow factor. The setting ticks all the boxes for a classic Polynesian island stay; balmy turquoise waters, powdery white sands (the beach alongside is consistently rated one of the best in Polynesia) and lush green tropical foliage, while the resort itself is small, intimate and oozes romantic indulgence. Sofitel is family friendly but it doesn’t have much in the way of specific facilities for kids. In general though they will be well looked after by the helpful, cheerful staff. Babysitting/child minding services are also available. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have a range of bungalows and villas, mainly overwater but with a few beach and garden villas too, ranging in size from 450 to 800 square feet. All are sleek and modern in style with lots of polished wood, soft lighting and pastel colored fabrics, though also with that classic, traditional Polynesian look externally. The overwater bungalows at the Sofitel Moorea feel the most traditional in style internally and as such are cosy and romantic. They all come with outside terraces with lounging furniture and direct access to the water, though they are a little on the small side. They are, not surprisingly, the most popular accommodation choice and, though almost double the price of the cheapest, garden based bungalows, are worth the extra. You’ll find all the usual 5 Star hotel facilities at the Sofitel, there is a concierge service here and in general throughout the resort the service is outstanding. PRICES: Check out all the details -prices, reviews & more photos, on the booking page here. FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO: The resort has two acclaimed restaurants; Pure, which offers quality international and local dishes, both buffet and a la carte and has live entertainment on READ MORE
- The family friendly Four Seasons Resort forms an exclusive enclave by the coral reefs to the north east of Bora Bora and offers overwater bungalows, and beach villas, that are spacious, sleek and very well equipped. Their style is more modernist than most and they have the feel of luxury design apartments where everything feels crisp, clean and new. All come with tremendous views over Mount Otemanu and the lagoon, the overwater bungalows particularly, and the resort itself is a pleasure to stroll around with plenty to do and see, and a cosy, friendly, atmosphere throughout. Though the vibe is, this being Bora Bora, generally one of romantic indulgence, The Four Seasons takes care of children better than most with a kid’s club and plenty of organized activities for both youngsters and teens. THE ACCOMMODATION: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora has one hundred over-water bungalows and seven beachfront villas to choose from, ranging in size from 1070 ft² to over 3200 ft², with a maximum occupancy of 6 for the larger units. All are extremely comfortable, spacious and beautifully styled with teak woods and pastel shaded soft furnishings. The outside spaces are expansive and well kitted out, with the overwater bungalows having private access to the water as well as outdoor showers, chaises lounges, circular daybeds and dining tables. All the overwaters have internal glass floor panels to watch the sea life in the lagoon below too and some also have plunge pools on the deck. You can expect king size beds as standard in all of the units as well as plasma screen satellite TVs, DVD players, coffee machines, mini fridges, music stations etc. in the lounge areas. All the bathrooms come with nice, large and deep, baths and with some opening out to the sea via sliding doors. Room service is 24 hours and the service throughout the resort, which also provides concierge and business services, is of the highest quality. PRICES: Check out all the details – prices, reviews & more photos, on the booking page here. FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO: You can enjoy some tremendous food at the Four Seasons, where you have a READ MORE
- Address: St Regis Bora Bora Resort
FranceThe 5 Star, St Regis Bora Bora was the setting for the 2009 comedy ‘Couple’s Retreat,’ starring Vince Vaughan, an extra publicity boost that such a confident, sophisticated resort really had very little need for. THE ACCOMMODATION: The resort is spread out over 44 acres which includes a private lagoon and various beach areas. The accommodation is a mixture of overwater bungalows and beach villas, all of which are extremely spacious; the largest overwater bungalows and villas in Bora Bora in fact. The very smallest on offer at the St Regis are 1550 ft² for example, with the very largest being a quite magnificent 3960 ft². The design and decor are mostly traditional Polynesian; airy and with lots of wood. You will have a large bedroom(s) with a super comfortable King size bed, seating, closet space and a giant flat screen TV. The lounge areas have comfy sofas, another TV and a mini bar, and outside there is lots of deck space with lounging, seating and dining furniture, outdoor showers and, in the case of the overwater bungalows, private access to the water. The bathrooms are suitably luxurious, and large, too. There you have a rainfall shower, a deep bath to sink into and a choice of exotic bath salts and other pampering products. Another very nice feature is that all the overwater bungalows are equipped with glass floor panels in the hallway, living room and bathroom which allows some gorgeous glimpses into life under the water below. The overwaters come in various levels and prices as you will see on the booking page with the top of the range being their Royal Villas which are really quite magnificent and, surprisingly enough, are the only ones which have private pools on the deck. You have a private butler service at your disposal at the St Regis and one of the best concierge teams around. They are particularly adept at arranging grand romantic gestures, for honeymoons or otherwise, via their ‘Romantic Concierge’ service, and they organize weddings too with a bridal boutique also on the premises where you can rent wedding dresses, groom suits etc. PRICES: Check out all the READ MORE
- The InterContinental Le Moana lies along Matira Point at the southern end of Bora Bora’s main island and is, as the name suggests, a sister hotel of the InterContinental Thalasso across the lagoon which has a greater range of facilities, all of which guests at this InterContinental can access via shuttle boat. It doesn’t have the same broad choice of accommodation as its sister hotel and many will consider the Thalasso branch, as it looks directly across the lagoon at the towering Mount Otemanu, to have a more scenic setting. Intercontinental Le Moana also has an extremely idyllic location though it must be said, nestling snugly as it does between the gorgeous white sands of Matira Point and the lush tropical hills behind. It also offers equal amounts of luxury, service and style, and has an understated charm that may be lacking in the larger resort. Its smaller size, more convivial atmosphere, greater access to the main island and lower prices may just make it more preferable for many guests. THE ACCOMMODATION: The Le Moana, as mentioned, doesn’t have the same range of accommodation on offer as the Thalasso, nor are the bungalows and villas on offer as large. Their standard size is 560 ft² with the largest being only a tad larger at 670 ft². That being said they are just as luxurious and beautifully designed and decorated, and have a more intimate, cosy feel. So, if you don’t feel like paying premium prices just for extra space they will work out much better value. The choices are overwater bungalows and beach villas both of which are stylish and sleek, and filled with modern comforts, with the overwaters all coming with a glass bottomed coffee table through which you can peer down into the coral reef. They also have gorgeous views out over the lagoon and the nearby islands of Raiatea and Taha’a, a positive also shared by the beach villas which sit right at the edge of the powder like white sands. All luxury hotel standard facilties are here: air-con, WiFi, cable TVs, music system, coffee makers, refrigerators & mini bars, and the bathrooms are all equipped READ MORE