The Islands of Tahiti Celebrate 45 Years of the Overwater Bungalow
October 1 2012
Iconic Symbol of Paradise Invented in the Islands
45 Years Ago
The signature overwater bungalow, first invented in the Islands of Tahiti and now the quintessential icon of paradise, celebrates its 45th birthday this year.
For travelers looking for the perfect South Pacific escape, staying in an overwater bungalow is a “can’t miss experience.” From direct access from a private deck into the world-renown Tahitian lagoons or lounging on the balcony of a thatched-roof hideaway with all the amenities and service of a first class hotel room, the overwater bungalow is the symbol of the ultimate private getaway.
The overwater bungalow was first conceived and built in the lagoon of Raiatea in 1967 by three American hotel owners known as “The Bali Hai Boys.” They took the traditional local Polynesian grass huts, and set them on concrete stilts over the water’s edge. Soon after, Hotel Bora Bora was the first luxury resort on the island of Bora Bora to build overwater bungalows. Today, most resorts on all the frequently visited islands throughout Tahiti feature luxurious bungalows, suites and villas perched over calm and mesmerizing lagoons.
What exactly is an overwater bungalow?
Unlike a typical hotel room, these traditional pandanus-leaf thatched-roof bungalows or villas sit above the turquoise lagoon waters. In many overwater bungalows, tropical fish swim below glass panels under the coffee table; at the foot of the bed; or in the bathroom, so the blues of the lagoon reflect and fill the bungalow. The overwater bungalow offers the amenities of a first-class hotel room, often including a living room, king size bed, luxurious bathroom and a private balcony, where breakfast can be delivered by outrigger canoe. The lapping waves of the gentle spectacular lagoon are just outside and most overwater bungalows have direct access into the lagoon for a private swim with the fish and the rays.
About the Islands of Tahiti
The Islands of Tahiti are much closer than many think, just an eight-hour non-stop flight from Los Angeles with daily departures on Air Tahiti Nui. Tahiti receives as many tourists in an entire year as Hawaii gets in about 12 days and is only a few more hours in the air. There are a total of 118 islands and atolls that comprise this South Pacific country from the more well known islands including Bora Bora and Moorea to lesser known gems including, Huahine and Taha’a, to name a few. The friendly Polynesian people, cultural experiences, signature overwater bungalows, extraordinary cuisine and lagoon activities in a pristine environment are just a few of the many reasons to consider this South Seas paradise for the perfect getaway.