Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
When you visit Bora Bora, in French Polynesia, the thing to do is to book a stay in an over-water bungalow.
Now, no ancient Tahitian lived in an over-water bungalow -- it would have been the height of stupidity, with the problems of the occasional and at that point in history, entirely unpredictable tsunami and cyclones. (Besides, the ocean was considered a God and if you polluted the water you'd be messing with something that might introduce your midsection to a spear, although a person of status could likely get away with it. This I learned from anthropologist Mark Eddowes, aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin, but that's a story for a different day.)
Interim conclusion: Ancient Tahitians preferred to live on higher ground.
Historically accurate in location they may not be -- in fact, over-water bungalows were an import from Southeast Asia some years ago -- but the style of house, called a fare, with its distinctive thatched roof, is definitely traditional. In any event, it's definitely what you want to book, and the InterContinental Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa has rooms of this sort that are so lovely that it's wrenching to leave.
The bungalows are arrayed in two horseshoes, to maintain some privacy while affording a view of the steep greenly mysterious Mount Otemanu, which defines Bora Bora's geography.
Gallery: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort