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Joanna and I recently visited the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort – one of the most aspirational properties you can book with IHG Rewards points – and this is part 2 of the review of the resort. In part 1 of the review I looked at the location of the resort, the arrivals process, our check-in and the first impressions we got as we explored the resort’s grounds. In this part I’ll take a look at the accommodation we booked.
Overwater Bungalow At The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort
Before this trip neither Joanna nor I had ever stayed in an overwater bungalow so neither of us really knew what to expect. We’d chosen the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort specifically because it’s an all-bungalow resort so, even though we booked the stay with IHG Rewards points, we were always guaranteed to get an overwater bungalow.
The resorts overwater bungalows stretch out from the main part of the resort like two flowers growing out into the lagoon and, while as far as we could tell all of the bungalows were the same size, the bungalows furthest from the shoreline are considered the more desirable because they face the central island of Bora Bora.
We were assigned bungalow 203……
…and straightaway we were happy.
While we had been waiting for our accommodation to be prepared, Joanna and I had discussed what we hoped we would get. Despite my InterContinental Ambassador status we knew that we were very unlikely to get one of the bungalows further out into the lagoon so we settled on hoping for a bungalow on the left arm of the resort – it seemed quieter and was as far away as you could get from the check-in building, the spa and the ferry dock.
Bungalow 203 looked just fine.
As silly as it may sound, the first walk out to the bungalows was probably one of the highlights of the trip. All the waiting and planning was over and we were about to walk across a bridge surrounded by beautiful turquoise water…..
…..and get out first view of the overwater bungalow we’d been looking forward to for months:
When you walk into the bungalow you’re immediately in the living area but the first thing you notice is the view out of the window in front of you:
To the right was the rest of the living area…..
…together with armchair, sofa……
…and a glass-topped table that covered an opening over the water below:
In one corner of the living area was a desk….
…which, although useful, didn’t have a spare working power outlet next to it.
Still, as I was under strict instructions from Joanna that I wasn’t to do any work, this wasn’t an issue 🙂
The resort had kindly left us a fruit platter as a welcome gift (I think that was one of the perks of Ambassador status):
And, while Joanna was deciding which piece of fruit to start with, I discovered that the sofa was actually a sofa bed….which I guess could be useful if you brought your kids along….
The cupboard in the living area housed a mini-fridge (complete with the usual overpriced drinks and snacks)….
…as well as a kettle and ice bucket….
…and a coffee maker…..
….which was definitely not free (click to enlarge):
For anyone wondering, 400XPF is around $3.75 and I thought this was a little stingy of the resort.
Sure, we were there on points but the majority of guests were almost certainly paying thousands of dollars to stay at the resort (some were probably paying over a thousand dollars per night!) so the least they should be able to expect is complimentary coffee – I don’t know why the resort does this.
Anyway, back to the bungalow.
On the other side of the living room was the bedroom…..
…complete with walk-in wardrobe….
….and the best view I’ve ever had from a bed:
Most of the wall at the foot of the bed is just one large picture window looking out on to the lagoon and it makes the bedroom a great place to relax when it gets too hot outside – you get to feel like you’re still making the most of the amazing surroundings despite being indoors.
Next to the bedroom was the bathroom, complete with double sinks…..
….which also had it’s own picture window looking out over the lagoon:
The bathroom was rounded off, at the opposite end to the tub, with a large walk-in shower:
A door from the bedroom area leads out to the main deck of the bungalow….
…which was furnished with two sun loungers….
…and a table with two chairs:
Leading down from the main deck of the bungalow was a set of steps that ended at a second deck just above the waterline…..
….and from there you could climb down a ladder into the incredibly warm lagoon, swim away from the deck and look back at the full bungalow:
The window on the right is where the bathroom is (that’s the window that’s by the tub/bath) and the next window along to the left is the picture window at the foot of the bed.
To say that we liked the overwater bungalow would be a big understatement – we loved it.
Wit the exception of one oddity – the toilet is off the walk-in closet rather than part of the bathroom – the layout was great and there was a nice feeling of space and light.
We never got bored with looking out over the lagoon from our deck. Whether during the day time….
…or of an evening…..
The peace and tranquility were amazing and I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere quite so relaxing.
We even loved the location of our bungalow with respect to the other bungalows at the resort. It was far enough away from the shore to give the feeling of being truly out over the lagoon but, unlike the bungalows furthest way from the shore or on the right of the resort, we were nowhere near any lagoon-traffic that could disturb the peace.
Our view was over the lagoon and towards the shore so we weren’t facing any other bungalows (as you would if you were in a more central bungalow) and what noise we had from the shore never lasted too long.
Yes, the views from the bungalows looking towards the centre of Bora Bora were great….
…but I’m still not sure I would have traded those views for the peace and tranquility of bungalow 203. If we were to ever go back I’d be happy with the exact same room.
We really couldn’t have asked for too much more from the accommodation we were given. While we had no point of reference having never stayed in an overwater bungalow before, we still found that it met all our expectations and probably a little more.
I can’t overstate how nice it is to have your own deck and entry point to the lagoon – it means you can keep to yourself as much as you want, there’s no real need to head on over to the beach where you’re at the mercy of other vacationers and you get to move from the water into your own room in less than ten paces…it’s fantastic!
My only criticisms would be the location of the toilet and the fact that the resort charges for the Nesprssso machine in the room. But, in the grand scheme of things, those two gripes are truly irrelevant – the whole overwater bungalow experience was one we really enjoyed and one we’ll definitely be looking to do again.