Who can dispute the glamour of staying in an overwater bungalow? From the thatched roofs and wraparound terraces to the outdoor showers and unforgettable views of the turquoise waters, everything about it spells romance and off-the-grid tranquility. In pursuit of the finest overwater bungalows, we travelled (virtually) to Tahiti, Fiji, Bora Bora, and beyond. Here’s what we discovered.
Four Seasons Bora Bora
A luxury yacht transports you through the warm South Pacific waters to your very own overwater bungalow or beachfront villa at the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora. You’ll never have to depart the comfort of your thatched-roof getaway as you can even opt to enjoy your meals in your bungalow transported by canoe, and your own private platform means you’re just a few steps from the crystal clear waters of French Polynesia.
Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius
This 60-acre resort is located on a private estate at the tip of a peninsula on Mauritius’ unspoiled East Coast. The thatch-roof villas are just shy of extravagant, courtesy of the vision of Mauritian architect Jean-Marc Eynaud, with enclosed swimming pools, intimate outdoor baths, and Feng Shui-inspired interiors.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji
This adults-only retreat boasts one of Fiji’s only overwater bungalows resorts, making it a popular option for honeymooners. Spend the extra money on a Deluxe Beachfront Bure, which includes direct deck access to the lagoon, a freestanding bath, and a private plunge pool.
Vietnam’s Six Senses Ninh Van Bay
To get to this luxurious boutique hotel, you’ll need to take a long-distance flight as well as a car and boat ride. However, once you arrive at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, it’s all about relaxation. The 58 villas are located around vast rock and boulder formations with views of the South China Sea; rooms on the seafront are extra lavish, with paths leading straight to the beach.
Bora Bora, The St. Regis
The overwater rooms at The St. Regis Bora Bora start at 1,550 square feet and are the biggest in French Polynesia. But it’s not just the scale that distinguishes these lush bungalows. This property is a real classic beauty, combining sleek Polynesian furniture (imagine: plank wood floors, thatch-work ceilings, tribal-inspired art) with 21st-century extravagances including glass floor panels.
Angsana Ihuru, Maldives,
The Angsana Ihuru is a chic paradise on a tiny private island in the Maldives’ North Malé Atoll, ideal for couples, divers, and environmentalist Features include the resort’s aquatic marine garden project, which allows visitors to clean and preserve the house reef, the contemporary, thatch-roofed bungalows, stunning wildlife sightings ideal for those looking to snorkel, you’ll come across parrotfish, turtles, and blacktip sharks.
Karisma’s El Dorado Maroma, Mexico
The Maldives, step down. Mexico now has its own overwater bungalow resort, and it is spectacular. On a secluded stretch of the Riviera Maya, the adults-only enclave has 30 plafitos (stilt houses). There is a glass-bottom deck, an infinity plunge pool, an outdoor tub, a 24-hour butler. The architecture features dark zapote wood from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexican white granite, and thatched palm leaf roofs – tres chic!
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
This five-star resort consists of two adjacent islands linked by a 500-meter footbridge and offers both traditional beach villas and the sought-after overwater villas. The 1,600-square-foot spa rooms include huge Roman pools, vaulted ceilings, ceiling fans, teak floors, and, of course, breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean.
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa
Each sprawling overwater villa at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa has awe-inspiring views of the turquoise lagoon and the famous Mount Otemanu. The resort was built with environmental consciousness in mind, and it implements innovative equipment that collects seawater from the waters of the ocean and reuses it for energy throughout the resort.
Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia
We love this Cambodian getaway located on two private islands in the Gulf of Thailand with its lush rainforest, sandy beaches, and vibrant reefs. The 27 waterfront villas at Song Saa are decorated with natural materials such as beach driftwood and reclaimed timber from old fishing boats and handcrafted furnishings by local artisans. Divide your holiday time between the yoga and wellness centre, the infinity pool, the gym, and stunning snorkeling spots.