10 Things To Know About Overwater Bungalows

Our top tips about what it’s like to stay in one of these epic dream accommodations.

You've seen the pictures, you've dreamed the dream and now you're ready to book a trip and stay in an overwater bungalow. To help you get the most out of your bucket-list trip, we're sharing our top know-before-you-go tips about what it's like to stay in an overwater bungalow.

  1. Ia orana loosely translated means good morning, good afternoon, good day, or hello. Maururu means thank you. English is widely spoken on the Islands of Tahiti, but the locals love when guests give basic Tahitian words a try.
  2. In 1967 the original overwater bungalows cost $34 per night and included meals. Today, room only rates start around $600 per night, depending on the time of year, but take your time looking because there are always great deals available.
  3. There are no true all-inclusive overwater bungalows in the Islands of Tahiti, but some resorts offer half board (breakfast and dinner) packages that can help you manage your costs.
  4. Overwater bungalows are typically located on long piers that stretch away from the island and they're usually very close together. Bungalows are not totally soundproof, so you may hear honeymooners, um, honeymooning. Be sure to pack a nice set of headphones.
  5. Bungalows also look alike, especially at night when you've had a cocktail or two, or when you're swimming back to the ladder on your porch. To make sure you're going into the right bungalow, leave a brightly colored towel or shirt on your deck so your room is easy to locate.
  6. Yes, you can walk or stand on the glass windows built into the floor. They're made to withstand the weight of an average adult male.
  7. Splurge on breakfast delivery by outrigger. It will cost a pretty penny, but the moment a staffer in traditional Tahitian garb paddles up to your deck and sets out a perfect morning feast, you'll realize it's worth every cent.
  8. Air Tahiti offers multi-island flight passes that allow you to affordably island hop. Compare the bungalows on Moorea and Bora Bora to those on Taha'a and Rangiroa.
  9. Ten nights is the average stay for travelers from North America, with about half of those nights spent in bungalows. The majority stays on Bora Bora, with shorter stays on Moorea and Tahiti. With flight times of around 16 hours from New York and eight hours from Los Angeles, a week just doesn't feel long enough. And, let's be honest, you'll never want to leave.
  10. Each of the Islands of Tahiti has its own unique vibe. Lush Huahine, the endless lagoon of Rangiroa, and the vanilla island of Tahaa are all magical in their own right, and often overlooked in favor of Bora Bora and Moorea. Visit multiple islands during your trip to see their distinct character or plan a return trip to experience different islands.