Overwater, Beach, or Garden Bungalow in Tahiti?

Known as one of the most beautiful, exotic, and postcard-worthy destinations in the world, French Polynesia is a collection of far-flung small atolls in the South Pacific seas. World-famous islands such as Tahiti and Bora Bora are part of French Polynesia, inducing visions of crystal-clear waters swirling with brightly coloured fish, miles of golden sand beaches, and palm trees swaying in the foreground amid jaw-dropping sunsets. Unfortunately, many may also envision dollar signs when considering a Tahiti vacation.

Enjoying the warm breezes of Tahiti
Enjoying the warm breezes of Tahiti

Although visiting French Polynesia islands such as Tahiti can be considered expensive, choosing the right accommodations may ease your budget-worrying woes. Most lodging options on the islands, nearly 90 percent, are stand-alone bungalows, which are part of the area’s exquisite charm. For many, a Tahitian vacation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so it should be planned carefully, especially the lodging. Typically, three options for accommodations exist — overwater, garden, and beach bungalows – each with their own perks and price tags.

Extra Privacy at a Budget-Friendly Garden Bungalow
In general, most French Polynesian bungalows do not differ greatly in layout, style, or amenities within one resort. Prices are typically dictated by their site and proximity to the beach. When cost is a consideration, garden bungalows may offer the most bang for your buck. As the name suggests, garden bungalows are typically surrounded by privacy hedges and stunning foliage. Many garden bungalows also feature a nearby plunge pool. Although garden bungalows may be off the beach, their secluded place in the jungle is attractive to many. Not only do garden bungalows give extra privacy, but they are also typically less expensive than other lodging options. They are also generally closer the public resort facilities (lobby, restaurants, spa ) than the beach or overwater bungalows.

The island of Moorea is ideal for garden bungalows. Although a shallow lagoon surrounds the island – a setup ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving, the inland area of Moorea features majestic mountain waterfalls and lush jungles. Home to gardens of hibiscus, exotic flowers, and colourful birds of paradise, the small island is ideal for exploring, and a garden bungalow may be an ideal choice.

Moorea Exterior Garden Bungalow, Tahiti

Steps From Paradise at a Beachfront Bungalow
If a beach view is a must-have accommodation when choosing your French Polynesian lodging, then consider a beachfront bungalow. Generally less expensive than overwater bungalows, beachfront bungalows provide beach proximity without the price tag of lodging over the lagoon. Beachfront bungalows afford ocean views, and some have their own private beach access.

If you desire a beachfront bungalow, consider an island such as Rangiroa or Tikehau. Both are excellent options. Rangiroa is actually a string of coral atolls that encircles a jade-coloured lagoon, and its waters offer some of the best snorkeling found in the world. A hidden paradise, Tikehau features white and pink sand beaches, and many consider them the most beautiful of French Polynesia. For those searching for the secluded tropical beach experience, a beach bungalow settled on one of these islands may be the perfect lodging option.

Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa Beach Bungalows, Tahiti

Splurging For An Exotic Overwater Bungalow
We highly recommend you splurge (even for just one or two nights) on your Polynesian adventure by staying in an overwater bungalow, the ideal accommodations for your envisioned paradise. Typically characterized by thatch roofs, and spacious private decks, overwater bungalows extend out from the beach into shallow lagoons. Connected by small piers, many overwater bungalows also feature a “Tahitian Television”, which is a clear glass pane on the floor allowing guests to watch colourful coral fish swim underneath. For more privacy, and the most unobstructed views, vacationers may wish to consider upgrading to the “end of pontoon” overwater bungalow (the one that is located at the end of a row of bungalows).

Many French Polynesian islands offer overwater bungalows, but Bora Bora provides the most options and typically the best deals. Often considered the most romantic of the Pacific Islands, Bora Bora is famous for its multicoloured, greenish blue lagoon and dramatic cliffs that dominate the island’s inland. For those looking for a luxurious, romantic getaway, an overwater bungalow on Bora Bora is an indulgence for the senses.

Intercontinental Bora Bora Overwater Bungalows, Tahiti

Although some may worry over the price tag of a French Polynesian vacation, a holiday in this Pacific paradise is usually manageable with the right information and planning.

Contact one of our South Pacific experts by visiting us online at www.goway.com.


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Bronwyn Hodge
Bronwyn Hodge

Idyllic Islands General Manager - Growing up in a family travel business, Bronwyn has been travelling from a very young age. Her favourite experience was 3 months spent backpacking through India and Southeast Asia. She counts many countries among her ‘favourites,’ but is especially fond of Australia for its lifestyle, Cambodia for its culture and resilience, and Japan for its contrasts. She holds the proud distinction of being Goway’s only former Bollywood star – having once starred in a Coke commercial in Mumbai.

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