French Polynesia
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I Spent One Night in an Overwater Bungalow That Cost More Than My Mortgage (PHOTOS)

I’m going to take the most wastefully indulgent shower; the kind of shower you’d be scolded for back home.  I’ve only got 90 minutes left on the clock before check-out, and I’m going to squeeze’em because this isn’t just any room. It’s the most lavish lodging I’ve ever spent the night in.

Did you ever think you could get sunburnt in the shower?

I let a luscious cascade of water stream over me while seated in a sunbeam. If I stand, I can see the ocean over a teak privacy wall. I coax Hermes shower gel into a foamy lather and wash away all traces of the flashpacker traveller I was just yesterday.

In this bungalow, in this shower, on this stool, in a sunbeam, I am seated in the lap of luxury. And I’m a total fraud.

In the real world, staying in this villa would cost me more than my mortgage payment.
For one night.

I’m here by pure happenstance; an apology of sorts from my trip host. Long story short, my work laptop will lead a new life in Tahiti and to dull the sting, I’ve been put up at Hotel Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort. (Full disclosure, the strategy is working.)

My 559 sq.-ft. luxury overwater bungalow befits the travelling elite. A window in the floor lets me peer into the ocean below. Two oversize sliding doors invite the ocean breeze indoors. A private multi-platform deck begs me to take a cool dip in the aquamarine shallows. In the centre of it all, stands a king bed draped in a gauzy white net. And then of course, there’s that decadent shower.

After toweling off, I expend as much Hermes lotion from the bottle to varnish my newly minted five-star glow. I slip into a fluffy robe and slippers, fix myself a coffee and sip it on the deck. In this moment, I can’t say that I’m sorry to have lost my laptop, at all.

So, is an overwater bungalow worth the cost?

The words of Tehina, my Polynesian tour guide on Raiatea, ring loud and clear: “In the smaller [guesthouses], you live the local life. In a hotel, you live the dream.”

Let me gush: the Tahiti overwater bungalow dream is a damn good dream. It lives up to the hype in every glimmering facet. It took me all of three seconds flat to go from zero to Bourgeoisie. Maybe I had this gypset thing all wrong? Maybe I was meant to jetset. I could be good at luxury.

For a brief moment I consider what career move I can make to level up my lifestyle. But like a lucid dream, I know I’m dreaming; I don’t want to work harder just to play shinier.

Which brings me back to the question at hand: is an overwater bungalow worth splurging on?

If it’s on your bucket list and if you’ll likely visit Tahiti once in your lifetime, I think yes. There still remains the fact that once you settle into your proletariat home life, you’ll receive your last trip souvenir: a lofty credit card statement. But if you can YOLO through the expense (for at least one night), I say do it.

Have you stayed in an overwater bungalow? Was it worth it? If you haven’t, could you ever justify the expense? Comment below!

Disclosure: My stay was comped by Tahiti Tourisme during a press visit, however there is no obligation for me to review or give coverage to Sofitel. All opinions are my own.

Hotel Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort Overwater Bunaglow [Hotel Review]

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