Paradise villas: the best overwater bungalows from around the world

By Bianca Delbao,

Whether perched on a coral reef in the Pacific with nothing but a backdrop of glistening turquoise ocean or extended over a lagoon alongside glorious mountain ranges in Central America, luxury overwater bungalow resorts are tucked away in spectacular destinations all over the world.

For those seeking relaxation amongst wondrous isolated natural environments, we’ve found the most enviable bungalows for you to kick your feet up in.

Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

French Polynesia

tikehau pearl beach resort-exterior

This magnificent Pacific paradise is located on Tikehau, a coral atoll found in French Polynesia. Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort has 24 suites and overwater bungalows, as well as 13 beaches on a beautiful, well-kept island property.

tikehau pearl beach resort-room

The Polynesians working at the resort are happy to share the secrets of the stress-free island lifestyle. The resort offers Polynesian massages using local ingredients, traditional tattooing by a native tattoo artist, Polynesian dance classes and cooking classes with the resort’s head chef. Here guests can learn to cook traditional dishes of the island.

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Float House River Kwai

Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Float House River Kwai - aerial

On the banks of the River Kwai in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province is one of the most exotic floating hotels, or “floatels”, in the world. Float House River Kwai comprises of 18 elegant boutique villas made from bamboo and traditional teakwood.

Float House River Kwai - room

Thanks to the Float House’s location in a tropical rainforest, visitors have access to an infinite supply of unique activities in the hotel’s natural surrounds. Guests can ride elephants, canoe down the historically renowned river, or even visit an indigenous Mon village and a nearby Mon’s temple. Flying into Bangkok? Take a look at our expert’s guide to the Thai capital.

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Berjaya Resort

Langkawi, Malaysia

Berjaya Resort Langkawi-exterior

The Barjaya Langkawi Resort in Malaysia is spread across 28 hectares of tropical rainforest and the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea. The resort is home to 50 rooms, suites and chalets found either over the water or inside the rainforest, all with private balconies.

Berjaya Resort Langkawi-room

The island resort offers a number of recreational activities including tennis, fishing, scuba diving and windsurfing. Guests seeking a more relaxing stay can visit the hotel spa, followed by a couple of cocktails at one of the nine bars and restaurants on premises.

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Constance Le Prince Maurice

Poste de Flacq, Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice-exterior

Hidden away in Poste de Flacq, one of the most beautiful regions in Mauritius, you’ll find Constance Le Prince Maurice. The intimate resort is home to 64 suites, 12 family suites, 12 luxury overwater villas and the exclusive Princely suite.

Constance Le Prince Maurice-pool

The hotels boasts unspoiled tropical gardens, an 18-hole golf course and three superb fine dining restaurants. But the real highlight of a visit to Constance Le Prince Maurice is the hotel’s Wine Cellar, which stores around 25,000 bottles of wine from vineyards all over the world.

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InterContinental Resort Tahiti

Tahiti, French Polynesia

Intercontinental Tahiti-exterior

With just 31 overwater bungalows available, InterContinental Resort Tahiti  is the perfect intimate setting to explore the real French Polynesia. The bungalows offer picture-perfect views of the island of Moorea and the resort has a large range of island activities.

Intercontinental Tahiti-restaurant

Restaurant- and bar-hopping is a must-do at the resort: there are overwater gourmet restaurants, swim-up bars by the pool and live music which has proved a hit with locals. The resort is best known for its traditional Polynesian dinner dance show, which claims to be the best dinner show in Tahiti.

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Song Saa Private Island

Koh Rong Archipelago, Cambodia

Song Saa-exterior

Nestled on the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia’s Song Saa Private Island is the country’s first luxury private island resort. Like the rest of the islands in the Koh Rong Archipelago, Song Saa is totally deserted and boasts untouched tropical rainforests, vibrant coral reefs and white sandy beaches.

Song Saa-pool

The exclusive villas of Song Saa were built with respect to the surrounding natural environment using sustainable materials. The resort features a world-class bar and restaurant positioned perfectly along the shoreline, offering a fusion of traditional Cambodian and Western cuisine with ingredients either produced in-house or sourced locally.

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Anantara Kihavah Villas Resort

Baa Atoll, Maldives

Anantara Kihavah – Baa Atoll-aerial

The deluxe Anantara Kihavah Anantara Kihavah Villas Resort resort is found on a tropical coral island in the UNESCO World Heritage Baa Atoll, a biosphere reserve recognised for its unique relationship between man and nature. The overwater accommodation is fitted out with sundecks, private pools and out-of-this-world views of crystal clear ocean.

Anantara Kihavah – Baa Atoll-restaurant

The hotel is home to one of the few underwater glass restaurants in the world – one is even equipped with a wine cellar. Another highlight of the resort is the Anantara Spa, which uses the finest natural oils which are produced by the local island community.

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Vinpearl Luxury Nha Trang

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Vinpearl Luxury Nha Trang-bungalows

The Vinpearl Luxury Nha Trang  resort lies exclusively on a private island, located in one of the world’s most beautiful bays. The hotel features 84 stunning villas along the shoreline, as well as private overwater massage huts.

Vinpearl Luxury Nha Trang-room

Vinpearl Luxury Nha Trang is the only resort in the world to have a luxury spa built over the water. These intimate massage huts at the Vincharm Spa are ideal for complete relaxation of the body, soul and mind. They are located in total privacy and perch above calm flowing waves. Vincham Spa uses traditional oriental products to help guests unwind. Still undecided about visiting Vietnam? Discover more Vietnam hotels here.

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Le Meridien Bora Bora

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Le Meridien Bora Bora-exterior

The Le Méridien Bora Bora bungalows are perfect for guests wishing to stay in an authentic Polynesian environment. The hotel has six types of bungalows, all of which have been renovated in the last few years.

Le Meridien Bora Bora-room1

Guests have the choice of staying in bungalows with infinity pools, glass bottom floors or private terraces. Visitors can even chose to be in close proximity to private lagoons and a turtle sanctuary. The resort offers an abundance of activities including kayaking, snorkelling, jet skiing, parasailing, even shark and sting-ray feeding.

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InterContinental Le Moana

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Intercontinental Le Moana-aerial

Found just off the coast of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, InterContinental Le Moana Resort in Bora Bora offers impressive views of mountains towering over the lagoon. The resort has 64 bungalows, with 50 of them overwater.

Intercontinental Le Moana-room

The hotel has numerous Polynesian treasures on offer, such as local handicraft demonstrations of hats, baskets and mats being made from coconut palm leaves. Guests can also treat themselves to handmade traditional garments and Monoi oil used by Polynesians for its medical properties. On top of that, the most prestigious pearl producer in French Polynesia displays their collection of loose pearls and jewellery in the hotel.

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Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge

Bocas del Toro, Panama

punta caracol-aerial

Resting over a coral reef in the Caribbean Sea, at the tip of Bocas del Toro in Panama is the exotic Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge. The hotel features nine overwater huts with thatched palm roofing, connected by one long boardwalk.

punta caracol-bungalow

The hotel offers guests a local take on activities, with daily trips to nearby indigenous villages, visits to some of the most remote beaches in the area, hikes through rainforests to discover the region’s exotic wildlife and even fishing trips with local fisherman – a popular activity among visitors.

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Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Rangali Island, Maldives

conrad rangali-exterior

For the ultimate luxury experience, the Maldives is the place to be. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a beautiful resort spread across two islands. The hotel has a variety of accommodation options, from beach bungalows to water villas in a range of sizes and styles.

conrad rangali-restaurant

The resort is best known as the home of the world’s first all-glass underwater restaurant, serving fine European cuisine five metres below sea level amongst 180 degree panoramic views of spectacular coral reefs and marine life. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island belongs to Hilton Hotels and Resorts.

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Likuliku Lagoon Resort

Mamanuca Archipelago, Fiji

Likiliku Lagoon Resirt-exterior

Tucked away in the Mamanuca Archipelago near Nadi in Fiji is the picturesque overwater bungalows of the  Likuliku Lagoon Resort. The bungalows, like the resort itself, were designed using traditional Fijian architecture and were built with natural materials unique to the region.

overwater bungalows new image

From body treatments at the spa with the finest Fijian products to windsurfing over the glimmering Pacific waters, the resort offers a mix of relaxation and adrenalin-filled activities. Likuliku even offers a jetski tour to Modriki Island, where the movie Castaway was filmed.

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Gili Lankanfushi

North Malé Atoll, Maldives

Gili Lankanfushi-restaurant

The five-star Gili Lankanfushi resort sits on the secluded coral island of Lankanfushi, just a 20-minute speed boat ride from Malé Airport. The resort’s relaxed atmosphere gives guests the opportunity to slow down and indulge in the wondrous nature that surrounds them.

Gili Lankanfushi-room

The private resort has 45 overwater bungalows with private water gardens and sun decks. Some of the bungalows are accessible by walkway while others can only be reached by boat – ideal for those seeking the ultimate private getaway. The hotel also offers excellent home-grown produce in their kitchens, with most of the vegetables and herbs used in its dishes coming from the resort’s organic herb garden.

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Want to save money on a tropical holiday in paradise? Check out our Pacific Island hacks guide.