Holidaying in an overwater bungalow seems to have moved up many people’s bucket list, and they are particularly popular with honeymooners and those celebrating milestone birthdays and anniversaries. These are the best destinations for experiencing this unique type of hotel room.
1. Maldives. There are over 5,000 overwater villa rooms in the world, with over two-thirds of them found in the Maldives. No wonder this destination is the number one option for many people seeking this unique experience. The Maldives has resorts to suit both couples and families, and with regular flights via Singapore and plenty of special offers, this dream destination is extremely popular with Australians. Keep in mind that even in the low/rainy season, the weather is still very agreeable in the Maldives, offering very good value.
2. French Polynesia. This group of islands incorporates Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti island. All offer overwater bungalows, however they are reasonably expensive outside of low season. Resorts mainly cater to couples, however there are a couple of resorts offering children’s facilities. The resorts here are very popular with Americans and Europeans.
3. The Philippines. There are four water villa resorts in the Philippines, with three of them run by the El Nido hotel chain. They offer reciprocal usage of the facilities for guests. These three resorts total 83 overwater villas. The fourth resort, Huma Island Resort & Spa has 64 overwater rooms. It is a bit of a trek to get to the resorts – fly into Manila then a charter flight to the resorts. It is well worth the effort to enjoy the natural unspoilt beauty on offer.
4. Fiji. Overwater rooms are quite expensive in Fiji, and you’ll often find better value in the Maldives. But if expense isn’t an issue and you’d rather a short flight, there are three main resorts that offer overwater accommodation options. Koro Sun Resort is a 4 star option, whereas Fiji Marriott Momi Bay and Likuliku Lagoon Resort offer five star luxury.
5. Malaysia. Malaysia offers some of the most cost effective overwater bungalows in the world, and it is only second to the Maldives for the number of villas available. The resorts are absolutely stunning and there’s a strong focus on diving, Spa treatments and eco-friendly practices. There are quite a few around Langkawi and Port Dickson, and several on their own private islands. 4 Star options start from around $200 per night.
6. Thailand. The land of smiles isn’t known for its overwater rooms, however you will find one resort in Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket, and one in Koh Samui, KC Resort & Over Water Villas. The resort in Koh Samui is somewhat unusual in that the rooms are on stilts over a pool, rather than the ocean.
7. Cook Islands. There is one resort in the Cook Islands offering an overwater experience, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa. These bungalows aren’t fully overwater (the rear of the villa is on the sand), however they are uniquely South Pacific in feel and the lagoon is beautiful.
8. Vanuatu. There are a total of 14 overwater rooms in Vanuatu, which are found at the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu and the Warwick Le Lagon Resort. If you don’t want to venture too far from home these may be a good option.
9. Samoa. There are two resorts with overwater villas in Samoa – Coconuts Beach Club and Aga Reef Resort.
10. Cambodia. This country offers some interesting overwater options, and most are easy to combine with the usual sightseeing in Siem Reap and the Angkor Wat region. There’s something for every budget, from a delightful overwater tented villas perched over a river for just over US$100 a night (4 Rivers Floating Lodge) to the exclusive villas with pool on the lagoon for over US$2000 a night (Song Saa Private Island).
Other places you can experience overwater bungalows are New Caledonia, Indonesia, Bermuda, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Belize, Bahamas, Jamaica, Florida and Barbuda.
View our latest packages here.