12 Overwater Bungalows Guaranteed to Take Your Breath Away


From the largest cruise ship in the world, Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas, to more intimate ships like the 18-suite Avalon Saigon, today's cruising options are all about customizing the experience. Celebrity Edge employs cutting-edge onboard technology while Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Bliss will appeal to kids of all ages. In the ultra-luxury market, Seabourn Ovation features world-class dining and a top-notch spa and wellness center, while French line Ponant debuted two new expedition ships in 2018. So, before booking your next vacation, explore the newest ships cruising has to offer.
Slide 1 of 13: There's perhaps no type of lodging that conjures up an exotic beach getaway more than overwater bungalows. First offered as tourist lodgings in the 1970s in French Polynesia's Bora Bora island, these thatched-roof beauties extend into crystal clear lagoons and offer seclusion amid spectacular views. While most of these overwater bungalows are in far-flung spots, you might be surprised to find a few closer to home. Here are some beautiful overwater bungalows to get inspired by.
Slide 2 of 13: BOOK NOW Part of the Soneva stable of exclusive island resorts, Soneva Jani has 24 overwater villas in a magical lagoon setting, just off 150-acre Medhufaru Island. These palatial spreads come with multiple bedrooms, retracting roofs to take in the star-filled night sky, and private swimming pools (some even come with its own slide!).
Slide 3 of 13: BOOK NOW Named one of the best islands in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, Bora Bora never fails to inspire. Add Insta-worthy overwater bungalows like you'll find at the Four Seasons resort, complete with thatched roofs, Mount Otemanu-facing decks, and direct access to the lagoon, and you know you're in for a super dreamy getaway.
Slide 4 of 13: BOOK NOW At Song Saa you can be a castaway without having to rough it. Located on a pair of private islands off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand, this exclusive eco-luxury resort has gorgeous overwater bungalows, as well as untouched white-sand beaches, a thatched overwater restaurant serving local Khmer cuisine, a Champagne bar, and a hilltop spa.
Slide 5 of 13: BOOK NOW At the Conrad Bora Bora Nui, located in a stunning setting on the islet of Motu To'opua, its overwater bungalows feature king-sized beds, deep soaking tubs, and balconies (and some even come with plunge pools). If you can tear yourself away from the lagoon views, the Banyan Chinese restaurant and Upa Upa Lounge, complete with a glass-floored deck to view the fish below, await on shore. More: These 20 Most Beautiful Place in the World Will Give You Serious Wanderlust!
Slide 6 of 13: BOOK NOW Just north of Playa del Carmen is El Dorado Maroma, an all-inclusive, adults-only beachfront resort with six restaurants, spa treatments administered in an open-air palapa, and several swim-up bars. The resort has 30 overwater bungalows called palafitos, boasting wow-worthy amenities like infinity pools, indoor Jacuzzis, and outdoor showers.
Slide 7 of 13: BOOK NOW Thought you had to travel all the way to the South Pacific to stay in an overwater bungalow? Think again. Jamaica's all-inclusive Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort has 17 thatched-roof suites, complete with an over-the-water hammock, a deck with a tiled pool, and butler service. The rooms are a five-minute boat ride to the main resort. Also, Sandals recently debuted overwater bungalows at its Sandals Grande St. Lucian property.
Slide 8 of 13: BOOK NOW In one of the most beautiful locations in all of French Polynesia, the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort's overwater bungalows extend far out into Bora Bora's lagoon and are framed by Mount Otemanu (little wonder the resort was named one of Travel & Leisure's top 100 resorts in the world. Spend your days snorkeling, indulging in a deep-tissue massage in the spa, and dining on dishes like grilled lobster in the Lagoon restaurant.
Slide 9 of 13: BOOK NOW If you really want to escape, head to Six Senses Laamu on a private atoll in the Maldives. Its overwater bungalows feature large decks to take in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean - not to mention pods of dolphins. Dine on fresh fish with herbs grown in the on-site garden in Leaf restaurant, then sip fruity cocktails in the appropriately named Chill Bar, also built over the water.
Slide 10 of 13: BOOK NOW There are just nine overwater bungalows in Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge, an eco-resort located in an off-the-grid setting on Panama's Caribbean coast. The vibe is very low-key here - during the day, you can snorkel or go kayaking, or explore the rainforest. Meals are served in a large thatched-roofed dining room and then it's all about relaxing on your deck as you gaze at the star-filled night sky.
Slide 11 of 13: BOOK NOW While Bora Bora gets most of the attention, the neighboring island of Moorea has some pretty sweet overwater bungalow resorts as well, including the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. Perks include a glass floor panel, so you can look directly into the water below to see parrotfish and other colorful sea creatures swimming by. Once a week, there's a barbecue buffet featuring a Polynesian fire dance show.
Slide 12 of 13: BOOK NOW Another island paradise in the Pacific with crystal-clear lagoons is Fiji. Recently opened is the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, located on Viti Levu, the chain's largest island. In addition to gorgeous overwater bungalows, the resort has three pools, just about any water sport you can think of, and three restaurants, including Fish House, serving local dishes like kokoda (Fijian ceviche).
Slide 13 of 13: BOOK NOW Be prepared to be pampered at Loama Resort Maldives, a private island resort in the Raa Atoll. The island is ringed by beaches, where you can have a picnic and go snorkeling. You can also go fishing in a traditional dhoni boat (the chefs will grill whatever you catch), arrange private dinners on sandbars and, of course, the pièce de résistance is a string of overwater bungalows connected by wooden walkways that seem to go on forever into the lagoon.

There’s perhaps no type of lodging that conjures up an exotic beach getaway more than overwater bungalows. First offered as tourist lodgings in the 1970s in French Polynesia’s Bora Bora island, these thatched-roof beauties extend into crystal clear lagoons and offer seclusion amid spectacular views. While most of these overwater bungalows are in far-flung spots, you might be surprised to find a few closer to home. Click through the slideshow above for some beautiful overwater bungalows to get inspired by.

Soneva Jani – Noonu Atoll, Maldives

BOOK NOW

Part of the Soneva stable of exclusive island resorts, Soneva Jani has 24 overwater villas in a magical lagoon setting, just off 150-acre Medhufaru Island. These palatial spreads come with multiple bedrooms, retracting roofs to take in the star-filled night sky, and private swimming pools (some even come with its own slide!).

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora – Bora Bora, French Polynesia

BOOK NOW

Named one of the best islands in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, Bora Bora never fails to inspire. Add Insta-worthy overwater bungalows like you’ll find at the Four Seasons resort, complete with thatched roofs, Mount Otemanu-facing decks, and direct access to the lagoon, and you know you’re in for a super dreamy getaway.

Song Saa – Koh Rong Islands, Cambodia

BOOK NOW

At Song Saa you can be a castaway without having to rough it. Located on a pair of private islands off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand, this exclusive eco-luxury resort has gorgeous overwater bungalows, as well as untouched white-sand beaches, a thatched overwater restaurant serving local Khmer cuisine, a Champagne bar, and a hilltop spa.

Conrad Bora Bora Nui – Bora Bora, French Polynesia

BOOK NOW

At the Conrad Bora Bora Nui, located in a stunning setting on the islet of Motu To’opua, its overwater bungalows feature king-sized beds, deep soaking tubs, and balconies (and some even come with plunge pools). If you can tear yourself away from the lagoon views, the Banyan Chinese restaurant and Upa Upa Lounge, complete with a glass-floored deck to view the fish below, await on shore.

El Dorado Maroma – Riviera Maya, Mexico

BOOK NOW

Just north of Playa del Carmen is El Dorado Maroma, an all-inclusive, adults-only beachfront resort with six restaurants, spa treatments administered in an open-air palapa, and several swim-up bars. The resort has 30 overwater bungalows called palafitos, boasting wow-worthy amenities like infinity pools, indoor Jacuzzis, and outdoor showers.

Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort – Montego Bay, Jamaica

BOOK NOW

Thought you had to travel all the way to the South Pacific to stay in an overwater bungalow? Think again. Jamaica’s all-inclusive Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort has 17 thatched-roof suites, complete with an over-the-water hammock, a deck with a tiled pool, and butler service. The rooms are a five-minute boat ride to the main resort. Also, Sandals recently debuted overwater bungalows at its Sandals Grande St. Lucian property.

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

BOOK NOW

In one of the most beautiful locations in all of French Polynesia, the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort’s overwater bungalows extend far out into Bora Bora’s lagoon and are framed by Mount Otemanu (little wonder the resort was named one of Travel & Leisure’s top 100 resorts in the world. Spend your days snorkeling, indulging in a deep-tissue massage in the spa, and dining on dishes like grilled lobster in the Lagoon restaurant.

Six Senses Laamu – Laamu Atoll, Maldives

BOOK NOW

If you really want to escape, head to Six Senses Laamu on a private atoll in the Maldives. Its overwater bungalows feature large decks to take in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean – not to mention pods of dolphins. Dine on fresh fish with herbs grown in the on-site garden in Leaf restaurant, then sip fruity cocktails in the appropriately named Chill Bar, also built over the water.

Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge – Bocas del Toro, Panama

BOOK NOW

There are just nine overwater bungalows in Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge, an eco-resort located in an off-the-grid setting on Panama’s Caribbean coast. The vibe is very low-key here – during the day, you can snorkel or go kayaking, or explore the rainforest. Meals are served in a large thatched-roofed dining room and then it’s all about relaxing on your deck as you gaze at the star-filled night sky.

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa – Moorea, French Polynesia

BOOK NOW

While Bora Bora gets most of the attention, the neighboring island of Moorea has some pretty sweet overwater bungalow resorts as well, including the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. Perks include a glass floor panel, so you can look directly into the water below to see parrotfish and other colorful sea creatures swimming by. Once a week, there’s a barbecue buffet featuring a Polynesian fire dance show.

Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay – Viti Levu, Fiji

BOOK NOW

Another island paradise in the Pacific with crystal-clear lagoons is Fiji. Recently opened is the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, located on Viti Levu, the chain’s largest island. In addition to gorgeous overwater bungalows, the resort has three pools, just about any water sport you can think of, and three restaurants, including Fish House, serving local dishes like kokoda (Fijian ceviche).

Loama Resort Maldives – Maamigili, Maldives

BOOK NOW

Be prepared to be pampered at Loama Resort Maldives, a private island resort in the Raa Atoll. The island is ringed by beaches, where you can have a picnic and go snorkeling. You can also go fishing in a traditional dhoni boat (the chefs will grill whatever you catch), arrange private dinners on sandbars and, of course, the pièce de résistance is a string of overwater bungalows connected by wooden walkways that seem to go on forever into the lagoon.

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