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25 Spectacular Overwater Bungalow Resorts For Your Dream Vacation

By Valentina Ioana


Updated on

Reviewed by Adrian Prisca

Overwater Bungalow Resorts
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort

Who needs reasons to stay in an overwater bungalow? Just imagine waking up to the soothing sound of waves crashing and having your personal diving board right outside your door.

Go ahead, indulge in the luxury of an overwater bungalow, and let your worries float away. You will love the peaceful seclusion of a resort that looks like a private island.

Take advantage of your next island vacation by swimming in the pristine waters of paradise without ever leaving the comfort of your luxurious home away from home.

Quick Background 

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora overwater bungalows
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Back in 1962, three young Californians relocated to Moorea and founded a hotel called Bali Ha’i.

The place’s name was inspired by James Michener, who dubbed the island “a jewel of the vast ocean” in his work “Tales of the South Pacific”. It was subsequently discovered that he had in mind modern-day Vanuatu.

After a few years, the Bali Ha’i Boys opened a second hotel on Raiatea and began developing freestanding structures that resembled the shacks floating above the ocean where local fishermen spent their days.

And behold the grand entrance of the first overwater bungalows. Talk about making a splash in the real estate market!

Today, there are around 9,000 of these secluded villas available at about 250 different hotels across the world, with 1,000 in French Polynesia alone.

The Maldives is home to roughly 6,000 of them. Most come with their own butlers and provide jaw-dropping views of the glistening ocean and the endless horizon.

The 25 Best Overwater Bungalow Resorts

Gili Lankanfushi overwater villas
Gili Lankanfushi

Picture yourself enjoying a leisurely breakfast in your own overwater bungalow, complete with coffee, fresh fruit, and a breathtaking view of the ocean floor through a glass panel.

Below your thatched-roof lodging, you may gaze into the pristine depths and hopefully spot some colorful fish and other marine species making their way through the water.

Moreover, imagine having a secret door in your room that opens up to a magical slide straight into the ocean. It’s like having a front-row seat to the coolest aquatic extravaganza ever.

It’s these absolutely mind-blowing features that make staying in an overwater bungalow feel like you’re living in a warts and all fairytale, but without the talking animals and evil stepmothers.

Sounds nice? You’re thinking about booking a dreamy overwater bungalow vacation? Well, hold on to your snorkels, because I’ve got 25 seriously iconic properties for you to drool over.

I am talking about places like the Caribbean, Bora Bora, Vietnam, and many other surprises. Get ready to have your wanderlust levels cranked up to 11!

25. Ayada Maldives, Maldives

Ayada Maldives
Ayada Maldives

Set on a secluded island with quintessential beaches and exotic vegetation, Ayada Maldives is a magnificent hideaway in true Maldivian style.

This resort is beyond comparison due to its extensive selection of restaurants, overwater bungalows with private infinity pools, and award-winning AySpa. Get ready to be spoiled like a VIP while soaking up the sun.

The island is exotic and verdant, perfect for a leisurely bike ride around the wonderfully maintained gardens.

There are picturesque stretches of beach on both sides of the island, as well as shallow lagoons perfect for swimming.

However, the true natural beauty lies beneath the surface, and this alone is reason enough to travel to Ayada, Maldives.

24. Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa, Cook Islands

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa
Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa has the only overwater bungalows in the Cook Islands, making it the ideal destination for anyone yearning for a utopian overwater retreat.

Relax in a hammock suspended above the pristine beach, and then swim in the dazzling lagoon.

Indulge in a therapeutic massage at Spa Polynesia Aitutaki, where skilled hands will knead away your worries faster than you can say relaxation.

Finally, top off your day with a candlelit dinner on the beach, where the sun gracefully bids farewell and the tropical stars put on a brilliant show just for you.

Furthermore, hopeless romantics can tie the knot on the island of Aitutaki at a beachside chapel. Because nothing says “I do” like sand in your shoes and seagulls as witnesses.

23. Jumeirah Vittaveli, Maldives

Jumeirah Vittaveli
Jumeirah Vittaveli

Jumeirah Vittaveli was designed to resemble a Maldivian fishing hamlet, featuring 43 traditional thatched and coral-clad bungalows.

Get lost in the vastness of the Indian Ocean! Whether you’re looking for an exotic honeymoon spot or a relaxing family vacation venue, this prime location has it all.

Everything here will make you wonder if you accidentally stumbled into a parallel universe where everyone’s main goal is to pamper you.

Therefore, be aware that it will be difficult to leave this heaven on earth with its warm waters teeming with colorful fish, its immaculate beaches, and its attentive service.

22. Six Senses, Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam

Six Senses, Ninh Van Bay
Six Senses, Ninh Van Bay

Reachable only by boat, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is a secret hideout for lovebirds. It’s so exclusive that even the bedrooms have won awards for being the ultimate romance magnets.

If love had a power ranking, these bungalows would be at the top, making Cupid himself jealous.

The overwater villas are simply photogenic. Trust me, you might be tempted to start an Instagram account just for them.

With scenery so astonishing, this is the kind of resort that’ll make you forget all about the hustle and bustle of real life.

The butler service is top-notch; upon arrival, you’ll be paired with an expert who will brief you on the day’s available activities (yoga, tai chi, boat cruises, fishing trips) and work to accommodate your schedule accordingly.

Who needs a regular butler service when you can have superhero assistance?

21. InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, French Polynesia

InterContinental Tahiti Resort
InterContinental Tahiti Resort

Boasting majestic volcanic summit views, a blue lagoon backdrop, and vast green gardens, the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa is your one-way ticket to the French Polynesian paradise.

The venue’s exotic overwater bungalows on Tahiti’s main island are a perfect starting point for exploring the area’s renowned cultural attractions and jaw-dropping natural scenery.

So, get ready to soak up the sun, indulge in some serious relaxation, and experience envy-inducing panormas. You’ll be tempted to take a million selfies, but we won’t judge, promise!

20. Conrad Bora Bora Nui, French Polynesia

Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Conrad Bora Bora Nui is a picture-perfect refuge from the toing and froing of city life.

Yes, this resort is the ultimate place to relax and refresh since it combines modern conveniences with traditional elements, capturing the castaway sensation in the most exquisite way.

What you will like best about this place is how pervasive Polynesian culture is, from the special greetings and traditional tattoos of the native personnel to the names of hotel sites.

For instance, “Upa Upa” means music and is the moniker of the sunset bar, while the Iriatai restaurant’s name stands for horizon.

Just don’t be surprised if Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu decide to take a break here, rocking the girl power like nobody’s business!

19. Soneva Jani Resort, Maldives

Soneva Jani Resort
Soneva Jani Resort

Soneva Jani is one of the most confined resorts in the Maldives. It comes as no surprise since its moniker was inspired by the Sanskrit word for “wisdom”.

The resort’s mission is to awaken your senses and establish a sanctuary where you can enjoy the slow life. And the Soneva Jani itself is a sensory overload.

Whether you are immersing yourself in the indigenous culture, looking at the exotic marine life, or savoring the culinary masterpieces of Michelin-starred chefs, this establishment fosters unforgettable experiences.

Go ahead, embrace your inner explorer, and conquer the great outdoors, one private oasis at a time.

18. InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, French Polynesia

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort

The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa launched in 2006 on a private stretch of beach on Motu Piti Aau, a coral island in the lagoon of Bora Bora’s eastern coast.

From this high-end resort, you can immerse yourself in unforgettable views of the main island, highlighted by the towering silhouette of Mount Otemanu soaring over the clear blue waters.

Each of the sleek and cozy bungalows has its own private sundeck with a stairway down to the water, as well as an outdoor freshwater shower.

Moreover, the resort is home to the first thalassotherapy spa in the area, where you might indulge in top-notch skincare treatments.

17. Thatch Caye Resort, Belize

Thatch Caye Resort
Thatch Caye Resort

Some people think of luxury as including things like marble floors and gold-leaf mirrors. To others, a stay at a high-end resort represents a chance to unwind in a tropical setting.

Enter the Thatch Caye Resort, the place where relaxation and indulgence collide like two clumsy tourists on a Segway tour.

Every overwater bungalow here has been freshly restored employing reclaimed island materials, making each room a little haven.

From the overhanging terrace of the bungalow, you may take in awe-inspiring views of the sea in every direction. The rooms have hot water, ceiling fans, and tile floors.

Thus, go to Thatch Caye Resort and experience the epitome of tropical paradise, where even the walls have a story to tell.

16. Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge, Panama

Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge
Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge

The Maldives are famous for their luxurious overwater bungalows, some of which feature glass floors where you can watch exotic fish perform their signature lazy dance.

And you know that Bora Bora has some of the most romantic overwater villas in the world. Well, there are also overwater bungalow resorts in Panama; Punta Caracol is one of them.

The lodge stands directly on top of a wonderful coral reef, making for mind-blowing snorkeling.

Although the reef itself isn’t particularly interesting, the rich and varied marine life of the Caribbean is.

Therefore, don your mask and fins while gracefully descending the ladder off your deck. You are a true underwater acrobat!

15. Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort, French Polynesia

Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort
Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

Towards the southeast end of the atoll, on a pink beach lined with stunning palm trees, you’ll find Le Tikehau, a Pearl Resort.

This establishment is a convenient home base for exploring the surrounding area by kayak, snorkeling, or biking.

Moreover, it is just 15 minutes by boat from the airport and the main village of Tuherahera.

The resort offers top-notch overwater bungalows with private verandas and traditional designs that make use of natural materials like bamboo, exotic woods, and coconut fibers.

The poolside, with the Tianoa Bar and Poreho Restaurant, is picture-perfect during the day and well-suited for stargazing at night.

If that’s not enough, you might as well try juggling flaming marshmallows while riding a unicycle and reciting Shakespeare’s sonnets backwards.

14. One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

One&Only Reethi Rah
One&Only Reethi Rah

The island of Reethi Rah has been artificially altered to achieve its characteristic shape. The results are mind-blowing, especially when placed in the context of the natural paradise in which they are nestled.

The island is divided in half along its length, with a narrow causeway spanning the gap.

The water is as still as a millpond and as clear as glass under the bridge, making this one of the most photographed spots at the resort.

About 700 people work behind the scenes at One & Only Reethi Rah to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Thus, when it comes to your honeymoon, romantic trip, or family vacation, you can have confidence that you will be treated with the same level of care that A-list guests like Madonna, Tom Cruise, and the Beckhams receive.

13. Sandals Grande St. Lucian: Gros-Islet, St. Lucia

Sandals Grande St. Lucian
Sandals Grande St. Lucian

On an island so drop-dead gorgeous that the French and British had an epic battle over it for a whopping 150 years, you’ll find a resort that’s the superstar of Caribbean vacations.

Welcome to Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, where the scenery will take your breath away and the service will make you feel at home.

Nestled on a mind-blowing peninsula in St. Lucia, this venue has all other resorts in envy.

You will enjoy staggering views of the bay and the mountains to the west, as well as the distant shores of Martinique to the east. It seems that Mother Nature decided to show off just for you!

12. Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Gili Lankanfushi
Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi welcomes you with a secluded cove just off your bathroom for unrestricted swimming in the stunningly clear water.

But there is more! Fantastic marine life visible from the jetties, sea-tinged winds blowing through the open decks of the bungalows, and one of the most mesmerizing sunsets in the world all contribute to a sense of being cast away.

This is the place where your days can be as action-packed or leisurely as the whim strikes you. Each villa has its own discrete butler who can arrange a full spectrum of activities.

Do you ponder the mysteries of what on earth I am talking about? Think some of the best surfing in the Maldives, tennis practice, or lazy afternoons spent bobbing in the enchanting Indian Ocean with its splendorous array of sea creatures.

11. Sandals Royal Caribbean Overwater Bungalows, Jamaica

Sandals Royal Caribbean Overwater Bungalows
Sandals Royal Caribbean Overwater Bungalows

Have you ever dreamed of living on a small, secluded island where you can indulge in all-inclusive dining options? You can find all that at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica.

However, brace yourself for the pièce de résistance: the one-of-a-kind overwater bungalows. Get ready to have your socks knocked off by the ultimate in romantic relaxation.

There free-roaming peacocks and several gorgeous gardens all around the property. Relax on the white sand or cool down in one of the many pools while enjoying the tropical island climate.

Indulge in some delightfully British thrills, including a fancy afternoon tea or a jolly good game of croquet. It’s all posh and equally entertaining, darling!

10. Laucala Island Resort, Fiji

Laucala Island Resort
Laucala Island Resort

Imagine this: beaches so white, they seem made of icing sugar; lagoons so turquoise, they’ll blind you with their ravishing beauty.

Here, panoramas are so scenic, they’ll make your jaw drop like a cartoon character, while palm trees sway like they’re auditioning for a tropical dance-off.

And the people? Well, they’re smiling so much, you’d think they just won the lottery. Welcome to the magical Laucala Island Resort, where paradise becomes reality.

You have stepped into the Garden of Eden, but with a whole lot more sunscreen.

Twenty-five lavish bungalows, an encompassing philosophy that prioritizes the island’s native ecology and culture, and twelve square kilometers of seclusion all add up to the charm of this South Seas’ tropical pearl. Quite a mix!

9. Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

Song Saa Private Island
Song Saa Private Island

Although Sihanoukville, Cambodia, is at the forefront of every backpacker’s list, it is the area just off the coast that really captured our eye.

Lying on idyllic Koh Rong Island, the Song Saa Private Island Resort is a thatched-roof and stone-walled paradise hidden among the treetops and lazily perched above the water.

Locally sourced wood has been repurposed for nearly every architectural element and piece of furniture, from painted fishing boats turned into tables to winding boardwalks over the water.

Song Saa Private Island has a timeless design that gracefully combines elements of nature and contemporary style. Sustainability has never had such a high fashion profile, don’t you think?

8. St. George’s Caye Resort, Belize

St. George’s Caye Resort
St. George’s Caye Resort

This all-inclusive resort may be appealing to newlyweds, but it isn’t as plush or pampering as one might expect.

Thus, if you’re looking for a peaceful beach vacation with shared meals and no late-night action, St. George’s Caye Resort could be the right place for you.

However, since the island itself offers little to see, visitors are forced to rely on water-based activities like snorkeling, diving, and fishing to fill their time here.

To give guests a true taste of the island, all the cabanas are designed to blend in with the surrounding groves of palm trees while still offering all the comforts of home.

If you need assistance planning a dive trip, the attentive team is happy to assist you.

7. Aruba Ocean Villas Savaneta, Aruba

Aruba Ocean Villas Savaneta
Aruba Ocean Villas Savaneta

Based in Savaneta, the island’s historic capital, Aruba Ocean Villas is a 13-bungalow adults-only sanctuary that will make you want to book a ticket to Aruba right now.

The Old Man and the Sea, the Hemingway-inspired candlelit outdoor restaurant at the posh Aruba Ocean Villas, is bathed in a warm glow thanks to twinkling fairy lights overhead.

This is, without doubt, the resort’s de facto primary social hub. And the staff’s upbeat sense of community will quickly make you feel like you belong there.

Cozy and uncommercial, the micro-resort peacefully nestles beside the water among mangroves, providing a welcome respite from the island’s more touristy attractions.

6. El Dorado Palafitos, Maroma Beach, Mexico

El Dorado Palafitos
El Dorado Palafitos

This outstanding resort overlooks the blue waters of the Riviera Maya and sits only steps from the pure white sands of Maroma Beach.

El Dorado Palafitos feels like having a ringside seat to the most stunning ocean views. Plus, the decor is so stylish that even the fish are jealous.

Sumptuous lodgings, delicious gourmet meals, and one-of-a-kind activities will leave you in a state of vacation bliss.

Get ready to experience fiery symphonies in the water and sunsets that will dazzle your senses, all from the comfort of your unparalleled bungalow suite.

5. Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico

Rosewood Mayakoba
Rosewood Mayakoba

Rosewood Mayakoba is that magical place that makes you effortlessly transform into a human noodle.

This place is your secret hideout, where you can escape from reality and bask in the warm embrace of emerald lagoons, get lost in a jungle full of mangroves, and frolic on the untouched beach.

The level of attention and customization provided here is exceptional. You will be greeted with personalized napkins and pillowcases, as well as a welcome drink, when you check in.

Relaxing on the beach? The attentive staff will frequently stop by to take your drink order and provide you with tasty delicacies like raspberry ice cream and fruit salads.

4. The W Maldives, Maldives

The W Maldives
W Maldives Resort

Fesdu Island in the North Ari Atoll is home to the W Maldives, an extravagant resort featuring overwater villas within a paradise of white sand beaches, azure lagoons, and mind-blowing coral reefs.

The W Maldives markets itself as a “luxury playground” that will blow your mind the moment you step foot inside.

Like other W Hotels, this place exudes an air of ultra-chic sophistication, with an emphasis on state-of-the-art design and the finer things in life.

This is the resort version of a supermodel: effortlessly glamorous yet totally down-to-earth. Trust me, you’ll feel like royalty without even trying.

3. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, French Polynesia

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

Calling all dreamers and wannabe castaways! Prepare to have your wildest fantasies come true at The St. Regis Bora Bora resort.

Imagine entering your screensaver and finding yourself on a remote tropical island with all the amenities of the modern age. Sounds amazing, right?

This private island retreat is picture-perfect with its panoramic views of Mount Otemanu, powdery white sand beaches, and bright blue skies that blend into the turquoise waters.

You’re about to enter a state of eternal relaxation, so treat yourself to another mai tai while becoming one with your partially sunken hammock.

Not even Hollywood could dream up a more perfect location for the filming of “Couples Retreat”, which took place there in 2009.

2. Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Try saying “Four Seasons Bora Bora” aloud and see if a mental image doesn’t form. Yes, the name pretty much sums everything up.

You’re living the good life on a jaw-dropping blue lagoon in French Polynesia, complete with the refined comforts and attentive staff for which the Four Seasons brand is known across the world.

The resort’s 107 ultra-luxurious rooms, including 100 breathtaking overwater bungalows and seven private beachfront villas, are among the most distinctive lodgings in the world.

Each bungalow is designed to provide you with the utmost in seclusion and comfort, making this resort the premier destination for a five-star vacation in Bora Bora.

1. Likuliku Lagoon Resort – Mamanuca Archipelago, Fiji

Likuliku Lagoon Resort
Likuliku Lagoon Resort

Likuliku Lagoon Resort is an oasis of luxury, as subtle as a whisper and as rare as a shooting star.

It’s the one and only resort in Fiji where you can live your best life in overwater bungalows.

You will feel so opulent that you may start speaking with a posh British accent without even realizing it!

It is a one-of-a-kind destination where cultural values, traditional designs, and architecture have been preserved with care and where visitors are welcomed with the legendary hospitality of the Fijians.

So, just relax on your private deck or in the tub of your personal bathing pavilion while enjoying life to the fullest.

Final Words

You can indulge in the ultimate relaxation experience at a luxurious beachside villa or immerse yourself in the tranquility of a budget-friendly garden room.

However, if you’re seeking an extraordinary getaway that will leave you in awe, there’s nothing quite like the unparalleled charm of an overwater bungalow.

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About Valentina Ioana

With an honest and engaging style, Valentina can write about almost anything, from fashion to food and travel, spanning a diverse array of subjects. In fact, give her a glass of wine and she will come up with a magical story about it. Every article she writes has a bit of her character, passions, ideas, and way of life. Learn more about Luxatic's Editorial Process.

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