World’s Best Overwater Bungalows

Since diving into the world of travel planning, I’ve had a lot of requests from travelers (honeymooners in particular) looking for vacation escapes with bungalows stretching out over turquoise waters. You know – the kind where you can jump off the dock into warm, sparkling water.

If you start searching for overwater bungalows, you will notice that they are pretty much nonexistent in the Caribbean. So, why is that? Why are almost all overwater bungalows located in the South Pacific and Maldives? It primarily has to do with the fact that the sea in the South Pacific and Maldives is blocked by a natural volcanic reef that creates a huge lagoon surrounding the islands. This reef protects the bungalows and islands from tides and large waves, creating that giant swimming pool-like lagoon. All hope is not lost though. Overwater bungalows in the Caribbean are slowly beginning to appear. With that being said, here is my roundup of the the best overwater bungalows around the world.

The Caribbean

Belize | Honduras | Jamaica | Panama

Cayo Espanto
Cayo Espanto, Belize
Just a short flight (or ferry) from Belize City, Cayo Espanto is a luxurious world-class island resort where you get to stay on your very own private island with no neighbors in sight. We love Cayo Espanto as much for its luxury as its convenience.

Mango Creek Lodge
Roatan, Honduras
In the heart of the Bay Islands, this all-inclusive resort is perfect for adventurers. In a given day, your feet may never touch land, as boat pickups and drop-offs occur right at your overwater cabana.

Sandals Royal Caribbean
Montego Bay, Jamaica
These Over-The-Water Villas are a first-of-its-kind in the Caribbean complete with a private infinity pool. Reminiscent of a Tahiti–style bungalow, these gorgeous Over-the-Water Villas convey an intimate connection to the Caribbean Sea. The villas have floating water hammocks, glass floors, a personal butler and private boat transfers to and from the resort – all included.

Coral Lodge
San Blas Islands, Panama
Those looking for a more rustic style getaway will find peace and tranquility in the beautiful San Blas islands of Panama where the Coral Lodge has 6 over water villas.

Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge
Bastimentos, Panama
Located on Panama’s west coast, four overwater honeymoon suites sit over the Caribbean Sea. Explore the property’s nature reserve flush with red frogs and banana trees. Or not, and enjoy an overwater sunset view.

Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge
Bocas del Toro Island, Panama
While you can find overwater bungalows sprinkled in this corner of the Caribbean, you rarely see two-story water villas like these, which even boast spacious decks. The hotel features nine overwater bungalows with thatched palm roofing, connected by one long boardwalk.

French Polynesian

Bora Bora | Moorea | Tahiti | Tikehau
Four Seasons Bora Bora
Bora Bora, French Polynesian
With more than 100 overwater bungalow suites, Four Seasons Bora Bora is the epitome of luxury. Nestled in a lagoon sanctuary, the resort features a full-service spa, fitness center, as well as tennis and volleyball courts. Some of the overwater bungalows even feature infinity pools, plunging right into the lagoon.

moorea-intercontinentalInterContinental Moorea Resort and Spa
Moorea, French Polynesia
A rare resort with overwater bungalows and no boardwalks, the InterContinental on Moorea has views dominated by lush landscape — the exotic kind that grows naturally on the Pacific islands.

intercontinental-tahiti-resort-spaInterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa
Tahiti, French Polynesia
Located on the main island in Papeete, InterContinental Resort Tahiti has 31 overwater bungalows, overwater gourmet restaurants, swim up bars and a world-class spa. The resort is best known for its traditional Polynesian dinner dance show, which claims to be the best dinner show in Tahiti.

tikehau-pearl-beach-resortTikehau Pearl Beach Resort
Tikehau, French Polynesia
Tikehau means “peaceful landing” in the Tuamotu language – and it’s easy to understand the origins of its name. There, nestled in a wild coconut grove, on a pink sand beach is the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort with 24 suites and overwater bungalows and 13 beach bungalows on a carefully kept 10-acre property.

Indian Ocean

Maldives | Mauritius

gili-lankanfushi-maldivesGili Lankanfushi Maldives
Lankanfushi Island, Maldives
Nestled in tropical gardens, this luxurious resort is on a tranquil, private island in the Laccadive Sea. Featuring natural materials and wood floors, the 45 elegant, overwater villas are reached by boardwalks from the island.

reethi-beach-resort-maldivesReethi Beach Resort
Baa Atoll, Maldives
Built on stilts over the clear waters of the lagoon, designed especially for the ocean lover! There are 30 semi-detached Water Villas each with direct lagoon access and a tropical ocean view, parasol and sun loungers. The resort also has a PADI 5-star dive center as well as a spa and wellness retreat.

constance-le-prince-mauriceConstance Le Prince Maurice
Poste de Flacq, Mauritius
On a palm-fringed lagoon facing the Indian Ocean, luxury resort hotel Constance Le Prince Maurice’s thatch-roofed suites are dotted around aromatic tropical gardens. The intimate resort is home to 64 suites, 12 family suites, 12 luxury overwater villas and the exclusive Princely suite. With two inviting pools, a floating restaurant and a pampering Sisley spa, it’s the perfect spot to relax and indulge in Mauritian style.

Southeast Asia

Cambodia | Indonesia | Malaysia | Thailand

song-saa-cambodiaSong Saa Private Island Resort
Song Saa Island, Cambodia
Located in the Gulf of Thailand, most of the Cambodian islands still remain undeveloped. Just 35 minutes by boat from the port of Sihanoukville, the secluded resort on Song Saa Island features 27 rooms on this private island. In addition to overwater villas, the resort also features jungle and ocean view villas each complete with private pools.

papua-paradise-eco-resortPapua Paradise Eco Resort
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
A destination high on my bucket list is Raja Ampat. Here at the Papua Paradise Resort, located on the pristine shoreline of the uninhabited island of Birie, you will find a total of 26 over-water bungalows (10 Deluxe Rooms & 16 Superior Rooms) with spacious verandas overlooking the turquoise house reef and the Pacific Ocean. The island is teeming with exotic bird life, lush jungle foliage, and a spectacular array of fauna, while the reefs in the surrounding area offer world class diving.

langkawi-malaysiaBerjaya Langkawi Resort
Langkawi, Malaysia
Set amidst lush tropical rainforest, yet just steps away from azure waters and a gorgeous beachfront, Berjaya Langkawi Resort is an invitation to a magical sojourn all wrapped up in nature’s gifts.

float-house-river-kwai-kanchanaburi-thailandFloat House River Kwai
Kanchanaburi, Thailand
In the beautiful province of Kanchanaburi is one of the world’s most exotic floating hotels, Float House River Kwai. This fancy boutique hideaway is only accessible by boat and is made up of 18 elegant boutique villas made from bamboo and traditional teakwood.

Which overwater bungalow would you want to stay in?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
More from Krista Skellern

6 Small Town Escapes in America to Recharge

Several years ago, there was a TV series on ABC called Men in Trees....
Read More