10 Top Overwater Bungalows Around the World
Start planning your trip to one of these enchanting villas and suites.
Slip away to these far-off floating bungalows.
The St. Regis Bora Bora
While the Maldives boasts most of the world's overwater villas, Bora Bora claims one of the most noteworthy bungalow hideaways at the St. Regis Bora Bora. Here, you can expect impeccable service, plus top-rate and versatile cuisine options (think: locally inspired Tahitian dishes as well as Italian and Japanese specialties). Privacy is another added perk, with spacious overwater villas that cover 1,550 square feet and include a large terrace and dining areas, coffee makers, minibars, outdoor showers and plasma TVs, along with glass-encased floors for prime viewing. Don't skip stopping by the Miri Miri Spa by Clarins, which offers treatment rooms facing the lagoon and unique Polynesian therapeutic treatments.
COMO Maalifushi is the first high-end Maldives resort to open in Thaa Atoll, along the southwest end of the Maldives archipelago. Featuring contemporary, neutral palates, each of the stilted overwater suites and villas offer a private terrace, satellite TV and private sundeck and pool. Aside from the lavish digs, guests also have access to indulgent body treatments at the Shambhala spa, yoga and a variety of outdoor pursuits, from surfing atoll reef waves to snorkeling and sailing.
One&Only Reethi Rah
A perennial favorite among discerning critics, One&Only Reethi Rah offers a covetable location, approximately 430 miles southwest of Sri Lanka among coral atolls on the Maldives' North Malé Atoll. Each resort water villa covers more than 1,600 feet and boasts unique features, including hammocks raised above the water, fresh fruit replenished daily and access to a variety of water sports, such as snorkeling and diving, and excursions, such as big-game fishing and private tennis classes.
Le Méridien Tahiti
If its gracious hospitality that you seek, book one of Le Méridien Tahiti's luxurious thatched-roof overwater villas. These 600-square-foot bungalows feature private terraces, snorkeling equipment, walk-in closets, iPod docking stations, minibars and flat-screen TVs. Even better, thanks to their idyllic Tahiti location, rising over a picturesque lagoon, you can admire coral-filled gardens and aquatic life in luxury. Should you want to steal away from your spacious terrace, you can head to the property grounds, where you'll find two restaurants, two bars and a versatile array of activities, from cooking lessons to yoga sessions to recreational adventures such as snorkeling, beach volleyball and kayaking.
Song Saa Private Island
While the picturesque waters of Cambodia are not as renowned as the crystal-clear lagoons of Bora Bora and the Maldives, Song Saa, a private island featuring affordable and eco-friendly overwater villas across the Koh Rong archipelago, offers an enticing alternative for those craving an exotic escape. The overwater villas also boast private pools and balconies, flat-screen TVs and a lounge area with a sundeck and poolside shower. Plus, the resort offers activities such as morning yoga classes, island safaris, sea-kayaking and snorkeling, among other outdoor adventures.
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru
Situated in the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru epitomizes luxury with amenities such as catamaran sailing, tennis, wakeboarding, sunset fishing and a variety of other activities that embrace the area's breathtaking surroundings. You can take your pick between a Sunrise Water Villa with Pool and other water suites and thatched bungalows appointed with private lap pools, sundecks and outdoor showers, along with daily replenished fruit and 55-inch TVs. Expansive decks allow for jumping into the warm waters or lounging in a net above the water.
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
The St. Regis Maldives, which opened in November 2016, offers a serene oasis perched on the Dhaalu Atoll. Private plunge pools anchor 35 overwater villas appointed with amenities such as overwater hammocks and furnished terraces, along with floor-to-ceiling vistas overlooking the Indian Ocean. What's more, the property offers a host of water sports, including fishing, kayaking, parasailing, diving and snorkeling. After embracing your surroundings, get pampered with a soothing treatment at Iridium Spa or enjoy a decadent meal at one of five restaurants, including Alba, which offers Italian fare in an interactive kitchen, and the Whale Bar, an overwater lounge dishing out seafood entrees, small bites and top-notch wines and spirits.
AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort
Renowned for its extensive collection of overwater villas, AVANI Sepang Goldcoast boasts versatile accommodations tailored to couples and families. Each overwater villa is appointed with a soaking tub, a spacious terrace, LCD TVs, a minifridge and plenty of lounge space. Plus, the resort offers two bars, a lounge and five eateries, along with a host of water-based activities, from a mangrove river cruise tour to windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Even better, visitors can explore local rural villages for a half-day eco-inspired tour or simply unwind at the luxurious AVANISPA.
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort
At this tucked-away Caribbean retreat, you can enjoy all-inclusive resort amenities and plenty of privacy from an overwater villa. Featuring water hammocks, a spacious soaking tub, private glass floors for prime ocean vistas and a private infinity pool, the Sandals Royal Caribbean's overwater retreats offer a Tahiti-inspired bungalow experience. While the Caribbean's turquoise waters may not be as clear as the crystal-clear lagoons of French Polynesia, the water-based hideaway offers a relaxing experience. What's more, the villas are appointed with mahogany beds, outdoor showers, free boat transportation back to the resort and even butler service.
Anantara Maldives Resorts
With four Anantara hotels across the Maldives featuring four distinct personalities – Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort and Naladhu Maldives – Anantara aims to appeal to travelers of all kinds. While Anantara Veli's overwater villas include infinity pools and coconut-thatched roofs, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious bathtubs, Anantara Dhigu offers family-friendly elements like a kids club along with high-end Sunrise Over Water Suites that offer unobstructed lagoon views, rain showers, Nespresso coffee makers and spacious terraces. And for those looking to escape it all with complete seclusion, Naladhu Maldives has as a strict noise policy to maintain a quiet atmosphere.
If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.