The Best Waterside Bars in Bora Bora for Sundowner Cocktails

Set sail for Bora Bora and you can be at a great waterside bar come sunset
Set sail for Bora Bora and you can be at a great waterside bar come sunset | Courtesy of The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort / Expedia
Photo of Sadie Whitelocks
9 December 2021

Bora Bora is a bucket list destination for many, with the tiny South Pacific island offering a true escape from everyday life. The outcrop, located northwest of Tahiti, features a lush volcanic interior and snow-white beaches surrounded by aquamarine waters – all best explored by boat. Admire the scenery by sailing ashore and dropping anchor beside these waterside bars, just in time for sunset cocktails.

Sail around the shores of Bora Bora by renting a boat with Dream Yacht Charter.

Manuia Bar

Bar, Polynesian
A drink served inside fruit at Manuia Bar
Courtesy of Manuia Bar / Expedia
Swim up and grab a drink at this blissful bar at the upscale Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts. The Manuia Bar is located in the pool, with submerged stools so you can sit, soak and sip at the same time. Gaze out at the ocean and watch the sunset, with happy hour in full flow from 4-6pm.

Upa Upa Lounge Bar

Bar, Polynesian
Various seating options with waterside views beneath wooden beams at Upa Upa Lounge Bar
Courtesy of Upa Upa Lounge Bar / Expedia
Decked out with a combination of contemporary and traditional interiors, the Upa Upa Lounge Bar at the Conrad hotel makes for a plush spot to sit back and admire lagoon views with a refreshing drink. One of the bar’s unique features is a glass floor, so you can watch fish swim in the water below. The bar serves cocktails and fine wines that have been curated to complement a light menu of sushi and rolls.

Sands Restaurant

Hotel Restaurant, Polynesian
Several tables-for-two on the beach overlooking the ocean at Sands Restaurant at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa
Courtesy of Sands Restaurant at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa
Slap bang on the white sand beach of the five-star InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, this restaurant and bar looks out over the aquamarine lagoon and towards Mount Otemanu. Pop by for a pre-dinner tequila or rum-based cocktail while watching the sun melt on the horizon as flickering torches come to life.

Aparima Bar

Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Polynesian
Three tables, each with two seats and waterside views under a wooden roof at Aparima Bar in the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
Courtesy of Aparima Bar / Expedia
Have the ultimate sunset drink after mooring at the ultra-luxe St Regis resort. The hotel’s Aparima Bar, located between the main beach and pool, serves a must-try cocktail called the Hina, which consists of a moreish blend of fresh coconut water, coconut purée and vanilla-infused rum, with the finished product served in a coconut shell. Alternatively, the bar’s other hit is the Bora Mary – a twist on the traditional bloody mary with watermelon juice used instead of tomato for a more refreshing finish.


Hotel Restaurant, Asian
The thatched-roof exterior of Vaimiti at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, seen from across the water at night
Courtesy of Vaimiti at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora /
Pull up a pew and see out the end of another heavenly day at this Asian-inspired waterside spot at the Four Seasons. The smart overwater restaurant runs a happy hour every day from 5-6pm with an array of artful cocktails on offer. A must-try is the signature mahana, made with Taha’a vanilla-infused vodka, Cointreau and pineapple juice, fresh from the island of Moorea.

Bloody Mary's

Restaurant, Polynesian
The sign of Bloody Mary's bar hangs from its thatched roof
© Karstu Photography / Alamy
What do the actor Pierce Brosnan and astronaut Buzz Aldrin have in common? They’ve both been to one of Bora Bora’s most popular watering holes, Bloody Mary’s. The beachside restaurant and bar has entertained high-flying guests since 1979. Happily for sailors, it’s part of the neighbouring yacht club, so you can roll out of your boat straight to drinks and dinner. Bag a table for sunset with a drink to hand – a bloody mary being an obvious choice.

Bora Bora Yacht Club

Restaurant, Polynesian
Six people sit at a table and look up at the many flags adorning the ceiling of the bar at Bora Bora Yacht Club
© Thomas Cockrem / Alamy
Clink glasses with other sailors at this popular bar and restaurant, which sits on the waterfront as part of the island’s yacht club. Sunset is one of its peak times, so get there early for a good seat. Some of the most popular drinks include mai tais, piña coladas and ice-cold beers.

Restaurant St James

Restaurant, Polynesian
Soak up prime views of the sun setting over the lagoon at this polished open-air restaurant. The venue serves a great selection of champagnes and wines alongside masterstroke cocktails. Some of the best-selling drinks include the St James Special (a mix of white and dark rum, lime, vanilla, pineapple and mango juice) and the Mushy (a sweet blend of vodka, amaretto, Baileys, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce). Stay on for a dinner of French and Polynesian flavours that makes good use of local ingredients.

Discover Bora Bora from the water by booking a sailing vacation with Dream Yacht Charter.

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