WHEN? This is the most often asked question! There are two seasons in Tahiti: Mid-April through October is the established “Trade Wind” season. These are those lovely balmy breezes you see in the movies and read about in books. The “Trade Winds” are the natural A/C of the islands. There is rain throughout the year. During the “Trade Wind” season the rain comes mostly in the late afternoon with 20 to 30-minute downpours and then clearing off. From mid-November through mid-April you have the “Trade Winds” less established to non-existent, so you have the possibility of more humidity and rain. That said, I LOVE this time of year as you can get a lot more snorkeling during the day with the sun behind the clouds. Also, head over to the Tuamotu Archipelago, like the islands of Rangiroa, Tikehau, and Fakarava from November through March, as the weather pattern has less rain than say, Bora Bora, due to there are no volcanic islands in the Tuamotus Islands that collect the clouds (ready air moisture!)
#2 View? The eternal question! I prefer to put a stay on Bora Bora as the last, AMAZING, part of an itinerary for the views, beauty, and amazing colors of the lagoon! This means Bora Bora is THE location for overwater bungalows. As you have heard over and over in the real estate market, “Location…Location…Location!” It is the same for your overwater bungalow on Bora Bora. When you are looking at the resorts make sure you understand what the view of the overwater bungalow is! Generally, the lead in the category has a view of the resort, the island that the resort is on, or in the very shallow water! You want a category of over-water bungalows that has a view of the lagoon or the main peak of Bora Bora, Otemanu. Yes, it is way better than viewing the diners in the resort restaurant from your deck!
#3 Glass Coffee Table? I want to see the fish! It is generally assumed that each over-water bungalow on Bora Bora and, indeed, in all the islands, has the glass coffee table to see all the pretty fish. NOT so, some have lovely glass plates that do not open, some coffee tables do not have glass tops, some are at the side of the bed, and a few have none. WHAT? None, yep!
#4 Light Switch Please! Yes, you want a light switch…for the lights under your bungalow! Most overwater bungalows do, otherwise, you would not be able to see the fish at night and have the ROMANCE set! Yes, this is THE most wonderful, romantic event (Well one of the top ones!) to do on Bora Bora! While you are at dinner, have the resort put flower petals over your bed! They also have a bottle of Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries delivered at the same time. When you come back you will enter a dreamland of romance. The light is on under your bungalow which scatters silvers, blues, and turquoise reflected light through your glass coffee table onto the ceiling of your bungalow. Queue…Romance!!!
#5 I am over WHAT? Never thought of this one, I bet! Now the fishies out there tend to be the color of their surroundings…over sand, you have fish that are sand color. Over coral, then the fish here have the amazing colors, have the draping fins, and even the day glow ones are here. This is where you may want to be unless your focus is more on the view and are happy to see the fish on a tour or kayaking. All overwater bungalows will see rays, sharks, and other rays as they transit through their territory in the lagoon.
One last point: Depth. Most overwater bungalows that are closer to the land or resort have shallower water. The further out you go the deeper the water. It is rare to have an overwater bungalow where the water is deeper than 8 to 10 feet.