Tahiti is just eight hours from the U.S. West Coast, but worlds away. The idyllic South Pacific paradise offers both amazing overwater bungalows and beautiful villas. But why choose? Many visitors split their time, with a few days in each. Either way, it’s a sure thing you too will become a fan of French Polynesia.
1. The Brando
The only 5-star rated property in Tahiti by Forbes Travel Guide, its inspectors note, “Marlon Brando was so captivated by the island’s rugged natural beauty that he purchased it in 1960. His estate spent the past decade and a half developing the private island getaway, taking great pains to make the property self-sustaining. A haven for celebrities seeking privacy, honeymooners, and those in need of a remote tropical hideaway, The Brando is an eco-luxe paradise.”
A 20-minute flight from Papeete, Forbes recommends The Brando for “seclusion, comfort and sustainable escapism.”
The Teremoana Private Residence
The 6,000 sq. ft. three-bedroom Teremoana Residence is your home away from home, set on 1.25-acres of secluded beachfront. The residence features 3,000 sq. ft. of enclosed air-conditioned space and a similar amount of outside decking and pool area.
This sustainably designed and spacious residence offers luxurious indoor and outdoor living spaces with cinematic ocean views just steps away from a private pool and pearl-sand beach. Its dramatic design complements the exotic surroundings with a modern Polynesian style accented with local tropical wood, coral walls, and pandanus thatch roofing. A private Chef is available upon request.
The 2,648-sq. ft. Three-Bedroom Villa offers privacy and community. The living room also provides you with a private dining area with seating for six, a kitchen, and a wide entryway onto a large, two-tiered deck. The second bedroom is situated above the first.
Both bedrooms feature a private dressing area and an outdoor bathtub. The third bedroom is separated from the main villa by an above-ground walkway and includes its own dressing room, bathroom, and outdoor bathtub. Each bedroom offers independent access. Step out onto an expanded deck and a 236 sq. ft. pool.
See more villas at The Brando.
2. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
Travel + Leisure says, “It’s hard to beat the sheer romance of 2018’s winner (of its World’s Best Awards), the paradisiacal St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, which is spread across three pristine, palm-dotted Motus. The thatched-roof overwater villas have direct access to the crystal-clear water, while the pool and garden villas have their own swimming pools and are just steps from the beach.”
It continues, “A daily shuttle boat whisks guests to Bora-Bora’s main village, Vaitape, where you can get a glimpse of local life while shopping for the area’s famous black pearls. Back at the hotel, make reservations at Lagoon, the Jean-Georges Vongerichten eatery, which draws guests from nearby resorts for dinner.”
The Royal Estate is a three-bedroom, 13,000 sq. ft. private compound closed in on three sides with coral walls. It opens up to its own private beach facing a lagoon.
There is a dining room and lounge with an adjoining professional kitchen, an office (convertible as a fourth bedroom), and a solarium surrounding a central open sky courtyard with a pool tiled in light-reflecting white glass mosaic.
The master bedroom pavilion features a whirlpool, sauna, and steam room as well as a private gazebo. The glass wall solarium opens out onto a large airy terrace elevated above the beach and lagoon and is appointed with deckchairs, beach umbrellas, tables and chairs for dining, and an outdoor shower.
Overwater Royal Otemanu 2-Bedroom Villa
The Overwater Royal Otemanu 2-Bedroom Villa features a private swimming pool and views of Mount Otemanu. The villa spans 3,455 sq. ft., including a glass-panel floor. Inside, the rooms are crafted from premier noble woods and Italian marble, mirroring the hotel’s modern tropical aesthetic. A central lounge sits between the two bedrooms and their en-suite bathrooms.
See more residences and bungalows at St. Regis Bora Bora.
3. Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Ranked by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler as French Polynesia’s top resort in 202, the magazine writes, “At the end of last year an exhaustive resort-wide renovation was completed with the debut of enhanced beachfront villa estates, with large infinity-edge pools, outdoor wooden decks and chic living spaces added to the seven, two- and three-bedroom abodes. These compliment an impressive collection of 108 overwater rooms, 27 of which now come with plunge pools and private decks that gaze out onto the turquoise lagoon.”
The magazine continues, “Also forming part of the multi-year renovations, the one- and two-bedroom overwater bungalow suites have been refreshed with a more contemporary Polynesian feel, complete with modern technologies and upscale furnishing and fixtures.”
Three-Bedroom Premier Beachfront Estate
The 5,380 sq. ft. Three-Bedroom Premier Beachfront Estate offers 21,528 sq. ft. of exterior living space. Traditional teak furnishings, high ceilings, thatched roofs made from pandanus leaves, and Polynesian artworks provide a sense of place. There are two king and bedrooms with a third twin-bedroom. Views feature your own beach, the lagoon, and Mount Otemanu.
Poerava Two-Bedroom Overwater Bungalow Suite
The 2,228 sq. ft. Poerava Two-Bedroom Overwater Bungalow Suite features an expansive deck with an outdoor kitchen and private infinity pool measuring 15 x 59 ft. Both bedrooms feature king beds. From the deck, enjoy unobstructed views of the lagoon and Mount Otemanu.
See more accommodations at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.
4. Conrad Bora Bora Nui, French Polynesia
The Conrad Bora Bora Nui has made Conde Nast’s Readers’ Choice Awards for the last four years. The magazine says, “It’s really isolated on Motu To’opua, an atoll opposite the main island of Bora Bora. Most of the top resorts (the Four Seasons, St. Regis, Intercontinental) are on the other side of the lagoon, looking at Mt Otemanu, and quite near each other. This one is on its own little Motu with Mt Otemanu behind it.”
Conde Nast continues, “It’s more private and said to have the best sea and snorkeling—because there’s more coral, the sea is several different shades of blue, whereas on the other side of the lagoon it’s all turquoise, all the time. It really has that castaway feeling in the most luxurious way possible. It’s also the only property in Bora Bora built with a hill behind the hotel so the views are unique and expansive, especially from the hilltop spa.”
Presidential Overwater Villa
The 3,229 sq. ft., two-story Presidential Overwater Villas features lagoon views. There are two bedrooms, three oversize bathrooms, a sauna, two dressing rooms, and a spacious living room. Outside, the villa provides three separate terraces, an infinity pool, whirlpool, sunbeds, dining table, bar, and lounge area – perfect to host a private dinner or special celebration and comes complete with your own personal butler.
See more villas and bungalows at Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
5. Le Taha’a
The Telegraph rates Le Taha’a with its 58 suites and villas, including 45 overwater bungalows, as 8 out of 10. It says, “The resort offers stylish luxury in a relaxed island environment. Polynesian architecture and décor feature throughout, and the overwater bungalows and villas are built with local materials and feature traditional thatched roofs. Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa is set in spacious grounds on car-free Motu Tautau, filled with lush tropical vegetation and encircled with white sand.”
The British paper continues, “All rooms have Polynesian décor featuring decorative tapa – a traditional Polynesian printed cloth made from bark.”
Royal Pool Beach Villa
The 2,028 sq. ft. Royal Pool Beach Villas are amazing units boasting two bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, as well as two outside bathtubs and showers. They also feature a plunge pool and thatched roof gazebo set in a private tropical garden to enjoy the islands’ way of life at its best: the outdoors.
For more suites at Le Taha’a.