Top-rated resorts with bungalows over the water: top 14 places for a paradise vacation

By Alina GoncharovaDec 1, 2023 18:25 PMResorts
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Top-rated resorts with bungalows over the water: top 14 places for a paradise vacation
Bungalows on Bora Bora. Source: Image Michelle Raponi/Pixabay

To get all the benefits of an unusual and truly unforgettable experience, you should choose luxury overwater bungalows for your vacation. Luxury resorts offer accommodation in spacious apartments with traditional thatched roofs, outdoor rain showers, beach access, and fantastic panoramic views. Guests receive everything they would expect from an idyllic dream vacation.

Overwater bungalows guarantee maximum privacy and the opportunity to retire away from anyone's eyes, just a step away from the turquoise clear waters. The largest number of such resorts are concentrated in the South Pacific, in the Maldives, but sometimes such paradises appear in completely unexpected places, such as Switzerland.

No matter what kind of vacation you are planning - from a romantic one to a family vacation with lots of activities - the best overwater bungalow resorts in the world will give you an unforgettable experience. To choose the best option, we advise you to familiarize yourself with the following selection and discover the luxurious locations.

Likuliku Lagoon Resort - Mamanuca Archipelago, Fiji

Top-rated resorts with bungalows over the water: top 14 places for a paradise vacation
No one will bother you here. Source: https://likulikulagoon.com/

The world's top overwater bungalows can be found in Fiji. For this purpose, it is worth going to the five-star Likuliku Lagoon Resort, which is intended exclusively for adults, so you can count on a romantic, atmospheric vacation without unnecessary worries.

The complex is located on a small private island in the South Pacific, surrounded by a turquoise lagoon and white sandy beaches. The luxurious overwater bungalows, called "bure", reflect the pronounced culture of Fiji. In addition, the houses are built using locally sourced materials and traditional architecture principles. The apartments include private balconies from which you can dive directly into the ocean, enjoying the beauty of the coral reefs and watching the active tropical life. Additional romantic amenities are also available for guests, such as private plunge pools and open-air showers.

Likuliku Lagoon Resort operates on an all-inclusive basis, offering a wide range of activities to suit all tastes, including

  • snorkeling
  • windsurfing;
  • ocean excursions on sailboats.

There is a spa center on site, known for a wide range of beauty treatments and traditional Fijian massages, as well as a gym. Snacks and meals are included in the reservation price, but drinks are charged extra. Other leisure options available for a fee include fishing, exploring the local flora, such as the Fijian crested iguana, surfing, various cruises, etc.

Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

For luxury and upscale amenities, check out the world's best overwater villa vacation spot, located in the paradise-like Maldives. Gili Lankanfushi is a hotel so stunning that the experience will eclipse all previously visited locations. Moreover, as soon as you step into the bungalow over the water, you will never want to leave the luxurious apartments with modern amenities. The house with a typical thatched roof stands on stilts above the turquoise clear water. Inside the villa, guests will find huge floor-to-ceiling windows with fantastic views, a comfortable bed with plush bedding and a four-poster, and a deep bath. Outside the bungalow there is a private plunge pool, a terrace, and a hammock over the water.

If this is not enough, book the incredible largest overwater villa in the world. The Private Reserve is located 500 meters from the main resort above a separate part of the lagoon. The apartments provide the following amenities:

  • open-plan terraces;
  • a cinema
  • infinity pool;
  • spa pavilion with steam room and sauna;
  • gym.

A special feature of the property is a slide leading from the top floor directly to the waters of the Indian Ocean.

Regardless of which accommodation option you choose, you will experience maximum pleasure and relaxation. In addition, a personal assistant is available for guests - Mr. Friday, named after Robinson Cruise's assistant, and ready to help at any time. Other amenities include a spa, several dining options, and a number of recreational activities, such as free yoga every day, scuba diving, bamboo biking, and a variety of water sports.

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Among the best resorts with bungalows over the water in the world is the Four Seasons Bora Bora, located on Bora Bora. This complex in French Polynesia attracts couples planning a romantic escape, but they are not the only ones who want to see the incredible beauty of the island and dive into the warm waters of the crystal-clear lagoon.

The exclusive resort offers maximum privacy as well as amazing views of Mount Otemanu from the beach and overwater bungalows. The thatched-roofed apartments are decorated in a typical Polynesian style, with volcanic stone walls and teak and other natural materials. Relax on a comfortable king-size bed, soak in the elegant two-person bathtub with mountain views, or meditate on the private terrace leading to the water - the leisure options are virtually unlimited. For the ultimate in privilege, book a private bungalow with a plunge pool and 1,000 square feet more than a standard suite.

If you want to venture outside the bungalow, spend time by the infinity pool or visit the sheltered lagoon surrounded by a beautiful beach. There is also a full-service Te Mahana Spa on site, where you can enjoy treatments using local ingredients while taking in the breathtaking views of the lush green valley.

The amazing resort with villas over the water is suitable not only for a romantic getaway, but also for a vacation with children. The Kids for All Seasons club is available for younger guests. While the children are having fun, adults can spend time alone with each other or visit one of the four gourmet restaurants, each serving delicious dishes.

Ayada Maldives, Maldives

Among the best places with bungalows over the water in the world is, of course, the Maldives. This oasis for paradise vacations is home to many resorts, including the luxurious Ayada Maldives, located on a private island.

You can stay in one of the suites or overwater bungalows; the apartments include terraces with a private pool, a spacious living room. Guests can also enjoy the services of a personal butler, who will help with everything.

The hotel itself is surrounded by lush green vegetation and pristine coral reefs, where, if you're lucky, you can even spot dolphins. Among the facilities offered by Ayada Maldives are the following:

  • infinity pool;
  • Turkish hammam;
  • spa area with sauna and steam room, etc.

If you want to have an unforgettable breakfast experience, we recommend ordering food served on a floating tray and delivered directly to your private pool.

There are several restaurants on site offering fine dining, and some of the most popular leisure options include diving and snorkeling, dolphin watching, boat cruises and much more. The resort is perfect not only for romantic but also for family vacations, as younger guests can have fun at the ZUZUU Kids Club while adults enjoy spa treatments or relaxing time by the pool.

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa is not only one of the finest overwater villa resorts in the world, but also the only one in the Cook Islands to boast luxury bungalows with direct access to the gorgeous lagoon. Of course, you can count on fantastic panoramic views from the terraces and windows and enjoy unforgettable sunsets.

In addition to access to the snow-white beach, the complex offers a variety of recreational activities and open-air events, including

  • scuba diving
  • kayaking;
  • excursions in shallow waters between numerous islets.

There is an excellent restaurant on site, offering innovative dishes that can be enjoyed while taking in the views of the lagoon. Guests also have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the region during a show dedicated to the culture of the Cook Islands, with singing, drumming and energetic dancing. It's worth keeping in mind that the resort is only available for adults, so it's a great choice for a romantic vacation, honeymoon, etc.

Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort, French Polynesia

Top-rated resorts with bungalows over the water: top 14 places for a paradise vacation
Turquoise water and the best entertainment. Source: https://www.tahiti.com/

Located on a small island in the Tikehau Atoll, northwest of Tahiti, Tikehau Pearl Beach offers some of the best overwater bungalows in the world. You can enjoy not only modern amenities but also direct access to the water. Accommodation options include bungalows or premium suites. The apartments are decorated in an authentic Polynesian style with natural materials such as bamboo and local wood, and the roofs are covered with coconut thatch. In addition, the over-water suites feature a glass floor through which you can see thousands of fish darting around in the stunning turquoise lagoon.

Some of the most popular activities available to guests include:

  • snorkeling
  • kayaking
  • bicycle rides;
  • diving excursions;
  • deep sea fishing;
  • beach volleyball, etc.

The resort has a restaurant serving Polynesian and European cuisine. Another feature is a luxurious spa center located in a separate bungalow on the beach. Here you can try treatments based exclusively on natural products, such as monoi oil for massage, coconut flesh for scrubbing, or seaweed for wraps.

Six Senses Laamu, Maldives

For the best water bungalow vacation in the world, we recommend staying at Six Senses Laamu. This luxury complex is located on the Laamu Atoll deep in the Indian Ocean and is one of the most remote resorts in the Maldives, so you can count on maximum privacy and tranquility. However, all the effort to get to Six Senses Laamu is worth it, as guests will find top-notch service, modern amenities and paradise-like accommodations.

Enjoy every day of your vacation by snorkeling, catamaran boating, or picnicking on a deserted island. A personal butler will help you organize all your activities and take care of all the little things. There are several on-site dining options, offering gourmet meals and refreshing drinks that blend harmoniously with the fantastic sunsets in the background.

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

The most beautiful overwater bungalows in the world can be found in the middle of the Indian Ocean, on North Ari Atoll. Constance Halaveli is a tropical resort in the Maldives, the tone of which is set by a combination of crystal clear turquoise water, deep green foliage and soft sand. The overwater bungalows are built from natural materials and offer spacious, stylishly decorated rooms.

The real highlight of the resort is the luxurious spa located above the lagoon. Here you can try a number of relaxing and wellness treatments using natural organic products. For the more adventurous, you can enjoy diving and snorkeling, exploring the colorful marine life in the depths of the lagoon. After a busy day, head to one of the onsite restaurants or bars, which offer a wide variety of gourmet dishes and an exclusive wine list. While adults enjoy a spa treatment, children can spend time at the Constance Club.

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa, Bora Bora

Staying at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa will undoubtedly give every guest an unforgettable experience. This is one of the most romantic resorts in the world with bungalows over the water; a paradise for lovers who want to pamper themselves. The luxurious five-star complex also offers the spectacular views you'd expect from a tropical island: turquoise water sparkling in the sun, bright green vegetation and the majestic Mount Otemanu are the perfect backdrop for an idyllic vacation.

However, the overwater bungalows deserve special attention. Spacious apartments rise above the bright lagoon, the beauty of which can only be enjoyed by wearing sunglasses. Inside, guests will find king-size beds, large living rooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Outside, the bungalows have overwater terraces with swimming pools and comfortable seating areas. If you want to get the best views of Mount Otemanu and the lagoon, we recommend booking one of the Teremoana villas.

When you decide to leave your paradise, be sure to head to the 43,000-square-foot Thalasso Spa, with treatments inspired by Polynesian methods and using nutrients from the ocean. During your massage or scrubbing, you can watch tropical fish through the glass floor. When you get hungry, choose from three restaurants, each offering gourmet cuisine.

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives

The Taj Exotica Resort & Spa is located on the picturesque island of Embudhoo Finolu in one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives. This complex is especially in demand among honeymooners planning to celebrate their honeymoon or just want to retire and relax in each other's company.

Guests can stay in the best overwater bungalows in the world, with private pools, bathrooms with panoramic ocean views and typical thatched roofs. In addition, a personal butler is at guests' disposal.

There are several onsite dining options that offer the freshest seafood and signature cocktails overlooking the Indian Ocean and breathtaking sunsets. Spend time on the beach, take at least one of the resort's daily excursions, such as a romantic cruise, and allow yourself to relax to the utmost in the full-service Taj Spa.

Misool Eco Resort, Indonesia

Diving enthusiasts should first of all pay attention to this popular resort with overwater villas. Misool Eco Resort, hidden among the uninhabited islands of the archipelago, is located in a marine protected area of more than 450 square miles, surrounded by stingray and shark sanctuaries. The resort is located 12 miles by boat from the nearest settlement and over 100 miles from the nearest port, so it's a great choice for those who want to get away from all the hustle and bustle, focusing on relaxation and each other's company.

Accommodation options include the world's best overwater bungalows, from which you can dive or swim even under the house. Each of the cottages provides hammocks built into the cabanas, as well as stairs leading to the lagoon.

A special feature of the resort is a large diving center, so guests can dive every day with a guide, and it is also worth booking an underwater excursion at sunset or after dark.

Cayo Espanto, Belize

Cayo Espanto is located on a small, private four-acre island, so it's only accessible by boat, a short boat ride from the Belizean mainland. The resort has only seven of the best villas over the water. In particular, you can stay at Casa Ventanas, which is located near the dock, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea on all sides. Inside, there is even a glass-paneled floor to watch the colorful fish darting around.

If you want to get the maximum amount of privileges and privacy, you can book the entire island. However, even if you book only one villa, you don't have to worry about crowds with so many apartments. A personal butler and even a dive master are at your service, and upon arrival on the island, you will be greeted by the entire resort staff.

Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia

Top-rated resorts with bungalows over the water: top 14 places for a paradise vacation
Romantic sunset cruise. Source: https://www.pangkorlautresort.com/

This amazing resort with luxury overwater bungalows is located on a private island just three miles off the west coast of Malaysia. Staying in the elegant villas, guests of Pangkor Laut Resort enjoy extraordinary views, in addition to high-end amenities, and the water around them has a fantastic deep green hue due to the abundance of tropical vegetation around. All suites include large bathtubs, sun loungers and a private balcony.

Most of the island is covered by tropical jungle, a beautiful beach lapped by the Emerald Bay, and picturesque rocky outcrops. If you plan to explore the surrounding landscapes, the staff will help you organize a variety of excursions. In particular, you can visit the restored Dutch fort and the Chinese Taoist temple Fu Lin Kong, built on a hillside.

After a long walk, be sure to check out the hotel spa - the best way to relax and unwind with treatments aimed at stress reduction, rejuvenation, detoxification and relaxation.

The Hotel Palafitte - Monruz, Switzerland

When you think of overwater bungalows in the world, the Maldives or Bora Bora come to mind first, but Switzerland may really surprise you. Hotel Palafitte is located in the Three Lakes region above the waters of Neuchâtel. This unique complex is the only one in Europe to offer overwater accommodation with luxurious amenities and fantastic views. All apartments are staggered on the lakefront, so each home offers panoramic views, even when you're taking a bath. At the same time, you can count on maximum privacy, because none of the windows overlook other rooms.

A variety of activities are available for Hotel Palafitte guests, including:

  • excursions to wineries;
  • sailing lessons;
  • hiking on equipped trails, etc.

The hotel has an on-site restaurant offering a changing seasonal menu with dishes made from the freshest local products.

El Dorado Maroma, Mexico

Among the top overwater bungalows in the world are the overwater houses at El Dorado Maroma, a resort located in Mexico. You can choose from 30 exclusive villas under thatched roofs that rise above the deep blue waves of the warm Caribbean Sea. The luxurious apartments feature glass-paneled floors, elegant furnishings and spacious terraces, as well as a private pool. The bungalows are raised above the water on stilts and are located next to the amazing pristine Maroma Beach. The villas are equipped with the following key amenities:

  • hot tub;
  • outdoor shower;
  • steps leading directly to the water;
  • two sun loungers.

Also included in the booking price are butler service, daily breakfast served in the room, snacks and pre-dinner drinks. The resort is for adults only, so you are guaranteed to have a relaxing, romantic vacation.

While staying at El Dorado Maromo, be sure to visit The Overwater Grill, even if you're not hungry. The main feature of this restaurant is the glass floor, and the building itself rises above the water. Don't worry about how many dishes and cocktails to order, because the resort operates on the Gourmet Inclusive system: food, drinks and activities are included in the price of your stay.

Angsana Velavaru, Maldives

Among the top 16 resorts in the world with overwater bungalows, Angsana Velavaru occupies a prominent place. The five-star complex is located on the magical South Nilandhe Atoll, Maldives, offering stellar service and world-class amenities, the best views.

You can choose one of the 34 unique InOcean villas for your vacation, which stand on sturdy stilts above the water. Depending on the location of the bungalows, they offer amazing sunrise or sunset views, private infinity pools, hammocks over the water, an open spacious terrace, and a rooftop lounge. To explore the amazing coral reefs, all you need to do is take minimal diving equipment and jump into the water right from your deck.

The resort is all-inclusive, and guests can choose from five optimal packages to meet your vacation needs. Be sure to order the floating breakfast, which is delivered to your private pool. Not only do you get delicious, fresh food, but you also get photos worthy of a social media feed.

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