Overwater bungalows are famous across the world, and there's no guessing why – who wouldn't want to wake up in a house on stilts above some crystal clear turquoise water?
For those seeking all out relaxation (and enviable Instagram snaps), take a peek inside eight of the world's best overwater bungalows.
Found on a secluded pink beach on a coral atoll in French Polynesia, the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort boasts 24 suites and overwater bungalows. Tikehau means “peaceful landing,” which seems like a total ‘nail meet head’ situation. In spite of the resort’s modest size, they pack in activities for guests, including Polynesian massages using local ingredients, cooking classes with the resort’s head chef, and even traditional tattooing by a local tattoo artist, just in case you feel like a permanent reminder of your bliss.
The Float House is a luxe boutique hideaway that sits on the banks of the River Kwai in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province. With 18 villas made from bamboo and traditional teakwood, this exotic floating hotel (or ‘floatel’, if you’re fancy) is located beside a tropical rainforest. While there, guests can ride elephants, canoe down the river and visit the local Mon village and a nearby Mon temple. The only way to reach the resort is by boat, which is just the cherry on top of this secluded jungle gem.
Spread across 28 hectares of tropical rainforest and overhanging the calm waters of the Andaman Sea is the majestic Berjaya Resort. Cocooned in Burau Bay on Langkawi Island, the resort is home to 50 rooms, allowing guests the choice of suites and chalets with rainforest views or over water views (bonus: they all come with private balconies). Recreational activities including tennis, fishing, scuba diving and windsurfing are also on offer, but if you’re in a relaxation frame of mine, check out the hotel spa. Follow it up with cocktails at one of the nine bars and restaurants found on premises.
If it’s envious Instagram snaps you’re after, the Constance le Prince Maurice will do nicely. Located on the north-east coast of Mauritius within 60 hectares of unspoiled terrain, the resort offers luxe accommodation beside lush tropical gardens and a serene blue lagoon. Offering beachfront, lake-edge and palm-shaded suites, guests can park themselves beside either the free-form pool, boutique spa or floating restaurant as day turns into night. Set aside time to visit the resort’s wine cellar too, which stores over 25,000 bottles from vineyards across the world.
Make the InterContinental Resort Tahiti your first stop in French Polynesia. Their impressive overwater bungalows offer guests panoramic views over the sparkling ocean and the volcanic mountains of Tahiti’s sister island Moorea. Boasting two infinity pools and gourmet restaurants, the resort’s pièce de résistance is their Lotus swim-up bar. Because really, is there anything better than downing tropical cocktails while you’re waist deep in water? No there is not.
Here at Le Méridien, guests have the choice of staying in bungalows with infinity pools, private terraces or glass bottom floors, which are the largest of any resort in French Polynesia. The overwater bungalows, which make up the majority of guest accommodation at the hotel, face the main island of Bora Bora and deliver a dead-on view of the impressive Mount Otemanu. Le Méridien is also home to a turtle sanctuary and private lagoon where the resort provides protection and care for endangered sea turtles. Guests can also try their hand at kayaking, snorkelling, jet skiing, parasailing and even shark and stingray feeding.
This is what overwater bungalow dreams are made of. The picture perfect Anantara Kihavah Villas Resort consists of 78 freestanding beach or overwater villas located on a tropical coral island in the UNESCO World Heritage area of Baa Atoll. Flanked by soft white sand, the resort is fitted with private infinity pools, sundecks and uninterrupted views over crystal clear water. Cap it all off with a visit to the hotel’s underwater glass restaurant where sea life swim, dart and dance before your eyes.
The Likuliku Lagoon Resort is straight up holiday mood board fodder, but we aren’t complaining. Tucked away in the Mamanuca Archipelago near Nadi in Fiji, Likuliku is an ecological treasure in the wild with 45 stylish bures sitting over sparkling coral reef. Boasting a gymnasium, jet ski hire and an in-house spa, Likuliku’s on site restaurant is a riot too, specialising in fresh local seafood and tropical fruits from the South Pacific. Be sure to hop on a jet ski and take off to the local Modriki Island, where the movie Castaway was filmed. You won’t spot another person for ages so no one will judge you when you pretend you’re Tom Hanks and start yelling at a volleyball.