The true story of the birth of overwater bungalows

Have you ever wondered how and when the idea of water bungalows was born, a very popular accommodation symbol of transparent, crystalline seas and exotic destinations? Staying for a few days directly on the sea admiring the marine life is certainly the dream of many travelers. Being able to wake up directly on the sea starting the day with the scent of the beach or with a dip in the water is the best accommodation can offer in terms of freedom.

It is clear that “floating” bungalows have existed for centuries in certain cultures. However, the idea of using them as tourist accommodation dates back to the 1960s when, in 1967, three Californian boys decided to build the first hotel with overwater bungalows on the islands of Tahiti. Hugh Kelley, Muk McCallum and Jay Carlisle, later renamed the “Bali Hai Boys“, built their first hotel on the island of Moorea and a second hotel on the island of Raiatea in a completely different style.

Overwater bungalow of the Sofitel Hotel, Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Photo by Gowtham from Adobe stock Photo

The bungalows are built on coconut log pillars and have thatched roofs of dried pandanus leaves. They represent the style, the Polynesian tradition to the maximum and integrate beautifully in the enchanted landscape of these places.

In order to respond to every need over time, the bungalows, especially inside them, have been adapted and designed in such a way as to be able to accommodate every type of traveler who wishes to try this type.

Source: Tahiti tourisme

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