Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, an anniversary celebration or a honeymoon, there are few options that stand out more than overwater bungalows. From Bora Bora to the Maldives and everywhere between, overwater accommodations provide the utmost privacy and exceptional views, often with overwater hammocks, private pools and other amenities that help make your trip special.
Where should you book your overwater stay? While most overwater bungalows are located in far-flung island chains, there are some that are more easily accessible, including a few within all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. This guide to the best overwater bungalows in the world highlights some excellent options for every kind of getaway and budget.
One&Only Reethi Rah: The Maldives
(Courtesy of One&Only Reethi Rah)
Surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean in the Maldives, One&Only Reethi Rah offers an array of room options over the water. The resort’s Water Villas feature extensive outdoor decks with ample seating and large netted ocean hammocks, and some boast their own private infinity pools.This property also features 12 stunning white sand beaches, two large pools, an enormous lap pool that stretches into the lagoon and seven restaurants and bars to choose from. Nightly rates for double occupancy in early 2022 start at $2,250.
Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma: Mexico
(Courtesy of Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma)
Those seeking an overwater vacation closer to home should consider the Palafitos Overwater Bungalows, which are part of the El Dorado Maroma all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. These bungalows are surrounded by the Caribbean Sea in every direction, and each boasts an outdoor shower, a two-person Jacuzzi, glass-bottom floors, a balcony with a micro-infinity plunge pool and a ladder that lets adventurous travelers climb directly into the ocean. Nightly rates for double occupancy, which include lodging, food, drinks and entertainment, start at $1,900 for dates in early 2022.
Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa: The Maldives
(Courtesy of Le Méridien Hotels)
Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa opened in September 2021 on Thilamaafushi Island. Guests who book this new property can choose from several overwater room options, including a Sunset Overwater Pool Villa with a private plunge pool, an overwater hammock and a huge soaking tub with water views. The property itself will keep travelers busy, entertained and fed with a full-service spa, a fitness center, two resort pools, and six restaurants and lounges. Nightly rates for double occupancy for overwater accommodations at this Le Méridien property start at $677 per night for early 2022 reservations.
Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara: Qatar
(Courtesy of Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara)
This property in Doha, Qatar, is the rare overwater resort that offers a bevy of kids amenities alongside its luxurious accommodations. Along with an alcohol-free atmosphere, Banana Island Resort Doha boasts a spa and wellness center, a surf pool, a dive center, a 20-seat movie theater, a bowling alley and a putting green, as well as five restaurants serving everything from traditional Middle Eastern cuisine to retro American diner favorites like burgers and milkshakes. Lodgers who crave the overwater experience can choose from thatched roof overwater villas with three or five bedrooms, private pools and expansive outdoor living space. Nightly rates for three-bedroom villas that sleep up to six guests start at $2,689 for reservations in 2022.
InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa: Tahiti
(Courtesy of InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa)
This top-notch resort is located on the main island of Tahiti in French Polynesia, yet it feels a world away. Guests will find an on-site spa with luxurious treatments, two impressive infinity pools, tropical gardens and endless water sports and activities. The resort features five restaurants and vibrant tropical bars, and guests can also take part in theme nights that include traditional cuisine and dance. Several types of overwater suites are available, including the Overwater Motu Villa Suite, which is equipped with a private balcony, a large soaking tub and floor-to-ceiling windows that let travelers enjoy the stellar views. Nightly rates for overwater accommodations with double occupancy start at around $630 for dates in early 2022.
Royalton Antigua, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort & Casino: Antigua
(Courtesy of Royalton Antigua, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort & Casino)
Travelers who want a convenient all-inclusive experience in an overwater bungalow should look into the Chairman Overwater Bungalows at the Royalton Antigua. These bungalows offer all the benefits of staying in an all-inclusive resort, plus extras like private transfers, butler service and a private infinity pool, hammock and outdoor living space. Guests who want to leave the privacy of their bungalow can enjoy the resort’s beautiful white sand beachfront on Antigua‘s Deep Bay or dine at seven different restaurants serving international, Italian and American steakhouse cuisine. Overwater bungalow reservations for 2022 start at around $2,500 per night for double occupancy.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island: The Maldives
(Courtesy of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island)
Known as a popular resort for over-the-top honeymoons, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island wows guests with its overwater and underwater rooms, as well as its unique dining experiences. Guests can book any number of overwater bungalows with private pools and sizable decks for lounging, but they can also reserve the Muraka Suite – a two-level multibedroom “residence” that features a submerged bedroom 16 feet below sea level. If you don’t want to splurge on the Muraka Suite, consider dining at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, which offers lunch and dinner 16 feet below the surface of the ocean. Nightly rates for double occupancy in overwater villas at this Hilton resort start at $1,886 per night in early 2022
Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts: French Polynesia
(Courtesy of Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts)
Bora Bora is easily one of the most stunning and luxurious destinations in the world thanks to its crystal clear waters and location next to Mount Otemanu. Guests who choose this particular resort will have access to an on-site spa, water sports equipment like paddleboards and kayaks, three restaurants and two bars. Choose from 108 rooms and suites, including overwater villas with furnished sun decks and direct water access. Some villas even feature their own private infinity pools with adjacent hammocks positioned over the water. Nightly rates for winter 2022 start at around $700 for stays of five nights or more.
Baros Maldives: The Maldives
(Courtesy of Baros Maldives)
Since its opening in 1973, Baros Maldives has become a popular resort for couples seeking romance and exclusivity. This property is located on its own private island in the Maldives, and it features several overwater villa options with upgraded amenities like outdoor beds for lounging and private infinity pools. Guests can dine at the property’s three eateries or indulge in a private meal for two on the resort’s piano deck. Up the romance by booking a dinner cruise aboard the resort’s dhoni, a traditional Maldivian fishing boat. If you crave convenience, it’s also worth noting that this property offers half board and all-inclusive booking options. Nightly rates for winter 2022 start at $1,260 for double occupancy.
Pangkor Laut Resort: Malaysia
(Courtesy of Pangkor Laut Resort)
This unique resort is located on its own 300-acre private island, and it’s surrounded by a centuries-old rainforest and white sand beaches. Guests come here to get away from it all, and to enjoy treatments at the Spa Village, guided jungle walks, yoga and tai chi morning sessions and more before retreating to their luxury lodging. The property offers quite a few accommodation options, including estates and bungalows in the jungle or over the water. The resort’s overwater bungalows are known for offering spacious outdoor verandas, sun loungers and soaking tubs with 360-degree water views. Nightly rates for overwater villas that accommodate two guests start at around $325 for stays booked in early 2022.
Velaa Private Island: The Maldives
(Courtesy of Velaa Private Island)
This private island resort is located on the Noonu Atoll in the Maldives, which is flanked by spectacular white sand beaches and some of the clearest waters in the world. In addition to a spa with the only “snow room” in the Maldives, this resort features a kids club, four restaurants and bars, and the opportunity to spend time kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling, diving and more. Overwater villa options include the two-bedroom Ocean Pool House, which features a spacious outdoor deck and a sunken outdoor hot tub that juts out over the water. Some overwater villas also boast their own private pools. Nightly rates for overwater villa stays in early 2022 start at $3,900.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora: French Polynesia
(Courtesy of Four Seasons Bora Bora)
The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora has long been home to some of the most sought-after overwater bungalows in the world, but recent upgrades have made its upscale villas even more impressive. In fact, the property added eight more overwater bungalows in late 2019, some of which feature private infinity pools that float above the lagoon. All overwater rooms at this Four Seasons property also received new furniture, fixtures, lighting and technology. Individuals who choose this property will find unparalleled luxury, a spa with overwater treatment rooms, gourmet dining at six on-site eateries and some of the best views of Mount Otemanu in all of Bora Bora. Nightly rates start at around $1,000 for double occupancy this winter, although guests can save money and enjoy free breakfast thanks to the property’s fourth night free promotion, which is applicable on select dates in 2022.
Sandals South Coast: Jamaica
(Courtesy of Sandals Resorts)
Sandals South Coast is an adults-only, all-inclusive hideaway in Jamaica designed with couples in mind. Situated about an hour southeast of Negril, this resort sits along a 2-mile stretch of white sand and turquoise water among a 500-acre nature preserve. When they’re not strolling the shore, guests can take advantage of unlimited fine dining and drinks at nine restaurants and seven bars. The resort features plenty of traditional accommodation options, as well as overwater honeymoon suites with a roomy sun deck, an outdoor shower, an outdoor soaking tub for two and an overwater hammock. Nightly rates for overwater rooms start at around $7,000 for double occupancy in May.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi: The Maldives
(Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi)
The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is an excellent choice if you want a luxury experience in the Maldives as a romantic couple or a family. The property boasts several overwater accommodation options, including overwater bungalows with up to three bedrooms. Most of its overwater villas have their own private pools, and some feature multiple floors and outdoor whirlpools. Guests can enjoy exclusive treatments at the Waldorf Astoria Spa, relax the day away at the resort’s pool or stay active with water sports like kayaking and diving. This resort is also home to 10 different restaurants, which feature rare ingredients and menu items, such as Miyazaki wagyu beef and Alba white truffle. Finally, an on-site kids club called the Young Discovery Park keeps little ones busy thanks to its water recreation area and supervised games and activities. For winter 2022 reservations, nightly rates for overwater rooms at this Waldorf Astoria start at $2,694.