Travel Leisure

Top Overwater Bungalows Around the World

An overwater bungalow, commonly referred to as a water villa, is a luxury accommodation that offers premium features. The privacy that overwater bungalows provide is highly sought after by tropical vacationers. Traditional overwater bungalows are known to have spectacular views due to their proximity to the beach or main resort. 

Considering the amenities and stunning features of overwater bungalows, it is no surprise that this type of accommodation has taken over the luxury game internationally. Discover the best indulgent destinations and bungalows available across the globe. 

Best Bungalows and Destinations To Visit

Overwater bungalows around the world vary but have become a sign of opulence everywhere. They are commonly found in lavish tropical resorts and are the most expensive and luxurious accommodation. The spacious suites offer a partially secluded hideaway with exclusive amenities. 

French Polynesia 

French Polynesian is a great destination to visit for quality bungalow options. This stunning resort in Bora Bora will make you want to hurry and book your flight.

Bora Bora is the most commonly known destination that has luxury water villas. The French Polynesian Islands offer unmatched beauty, so much so that they are referred to as heaven on earth. Adventure awaits travelers in Bora Bora and so do many natural beauties like the eroding volcano that Bora Bora sits on. Visitors can indulge in a variety of excursions like jet skiing, kayaking or snorkeling during their time in French Polynesia.  

The St. Regis Bora Bora resort is the largest overwater villa in French Polynesia. Butler services are available all day via the butler service desk and are a hallmark of the St. Regis experience. Butler services include beverage delivery, unpacking luggage and garment pressing. There are several room options available to guests that have private pools, lagoon access, Mt. Otemanu views, walk in closets and a separate deck and patio. Every villa has glass panels throughout it so guests can gaze at passing fish and marvel at the clear turquoise waters of the lagoon. This resort provides an extravagant and private vacation experience. 


Samoa is a beautiful cultural destination with exclusive bungalow offerings and crystal clear waters.

Samoa is a culturally rich South Pacific island that is, according to legend, the cradle of Polynesia. Samoan culture is undoubtedly important to Polynesia as a whole due to its influence on music, fashion, art and dance. The welcoming spirit of the Samoan locals and the breathtaking scenery of the land are what make the country of Samoa so appealing. 

Coconuts Beach Club Resort and Spa located on the southern coast of Upolu, the main island of Samoa, provides a relaxing setting and amazing views. The resort’s overwater bungalows are spacious with private patios and are highly sought after. These bungalows are exclusive, since there are only six available at the resort and they are the only true over the water bungalows in Samoa. The resort’s spa offers a full range of treatments that can be enjoyed in private rooms to set the scene for de-stressing. Visit Mika’s Restaurant which is recognized as one of the finest dining experiences in the South Pacific. 


Mexico's El Dorado resort offers private overwater bungalows with plenty of amenities.

 Mexico is a popular tourist destination for affordable vacations and cultural submersion. While the country offers historical UNESCO sites (like ancient Mayan ruins and Aztec pyramids) and beaches perfect for spring break, it also offers luxe accommodations like overwater bungalows.

El Dorado is a premiere resort in Mexico and is one of the few places to offer private palafitos (which translates to stilt houses) overwater bungalows. This resort sits on the Maroma Beach, which is 30 miles away from Cancun, yet retains a sense of serenity and privacy. There are 30 private bungalows available at the resort that have private decks, pools and outdoor showers. Guests will enjoy the exclusive features that the bungalows offer, like the in-bungalow breakfasts, indoor hot tub, direct ladder to the ocean and glass bottom floors. 

The Maldives 

The overwater villas in the Maldives offer luxury features that will satisfy even the most affluent traveler.

The Maldives remains one of the most gorgeous tourist destinations around. Travelers should visit the Maldives to see abundant sea life, sprawl on stunning beaches, partake in world class diving and swim in crystalline waters. The beauty of the Maldives is further enhanced by the year round warm weather and luxury accommodations. 

The South Ari Atoll is located on the edge of the Maldives archipelago and is one of the best locations to visit in the Maldives, especially if in the market for an overwater villa. Visitors have plenty to do at the LUX hotel, as it offers one of the largest spas in the Maldives, has five bars, can organize aquatic adventures and curates wellness programs for those who want to invest in their health while abroad. At LUX, guests can swim with sharks, dine at any of the eight restaurants or bicycle on the jetty. There are three different renditions of the overwater bungalows that all have outdoor decks. The LUX Villa offers premium features such as a private infinity pool, sun terrace, butler, glass floor living room and maximum privacy since it is located on the end of the jetty. 


Visit the serene waters of Fiji that are protected and loved by all who visit. Overwater bungalows offer the best views of the surrounding nature.

Visitors of Fiji can explore the remote beaches, extensive barrier reef and other diverse landscapes that occupy the relatively small islands. Fiji is made up of hundreds of islands and is loved by many for its lush forests that help connect visitors back to nature. It is the getaway destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers that want a more secluded vacation experience. 

The Likuliku Lagoon Resort is situated on the Mamanuca Islands, which is accessible by ferry from the international airport. The resort only offers 10 overwater villas, so it is an exclusive accommodation. The overwater bungalows at this Fiji resort have an adult only policy, to ensure their guests have the most serene experience possible. Likuliku Lagoon Resort overlooks a protected marine sanctuary and has unrivaled views of the Pacific Ocean. Guests staying in the overwater villas receive exclusive perks like complimentary hors d’oeuvres and champagne delivered at sunset. 


Panama's intimate bungalows offer panoramic views of the pristine water.

Panama is a country made famous by its canal that makes transit a breeze. With biodiversity that is said to be three times more than that of the United States, Canada and Europe, Panama is the clear choice for travelers that want to witness a majestic destination. Waterfalls, mountains, tropical rainforests and beaches are all accessible in Panama. Although Panama is only about the size of South Carolina, it offers a modern metropolitan capital city with lively nightlife. 

Punta Caracol is an aqua lodge in Panama that offers exclusive cabins. This modern accommodation has multileveled overwater lounges that are solar powered. Renewable energy sources and anti-pollution sustainability efforts are features of the lodge that set it apart from other destinations. Guests can enjoy an intimate experience in the practically untouched natural environment that Punta Caracol is set in. Guests have three options for lodge layouts, one of which is the master suite that offers panoramic views from the upper and lower level terraces. 


Book an overwater villa in this resort on a luxury private island during a visit to Belize.

Belize is a country with subtropical climate year round, mountainous terrain, archaeological gems, mangrove swamps and the second largest barrier in the world. The Great Mayan Reef is an enticing natural attraction of Belize that many visitors travel to see. Tours of Mayan ruins and visits to the Great Blue Hole for aquatic excursions are popular things to do in Belize

The Cayo Espanto is a luxury private island in Belize that is extremely private and offers five-star quality resorts. Guests can visit the spa to receive rejuvenating services or tailor their itinerary with an assortment of luxury tours. The casa ventanas is the only overwater bungalow available out of the seven lodging options on the private island. The one bedroom bungalow features a private dock, a private verandah and daytime transportation across the island. 


Malaysia is one of the best options if booking an overwater villa is a priority for the next visit abroad.

The islands of Malaysia are among the top 10 diving destinations in the world. For the adventurous traveler, there is an abundance of options. Malaysia is known as the country of diversity for its appealing natural environments, like beaches and rainforests. Although the surrounding nature of Malaysia is revered, its culture is also popular due to its values of politeness and humility. 

The Pangkor Laut Resorts offer locally sourced dining options, a spa village, and lush villas. The spa village is one of the top spas worldwide and utilizes culturally significant healing practices like Malay huts and Chinese herbs to promote holistic relaxation and rejuvenation. The resort villas feature two vanity units, outdoor verandah or balcony and daily speedboat transportation to and from the resort. There are three over-water villa options at the Pangkor Laut Resorts that all feature generous balconies for sunbathing. 


Check out the benefits of visiting Cambodia and booking an overwater villa.

Cambodia is a mainland country in Southeast Asia and a historically rich vacation destination that will not disappoint. The people of Cambodia commonly reside in rural areas and are known for their hospitality and warm, tight knit communities. One of the most popular places to visit in Cambodia is the Buddhist Ta Prohm Temple, which has been featured in an internationally acclaimed film, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001). Many travelers visit the temple to photograph the ancient structures and overarching fig, banyan and kapok trees.

Song Saa is a private island in Cambodia that has a wealth of overwater villas. The upscale island resort sits on the Cambodian coastline and overlooks the pristine beach and well-preserved coral reef. The royal villa provides the ultimate overwater bungalow experience with a huge private pool, walk-in wardrobes, outdoor terraces, in villa iPad for portable entertainment and indoor and outdoor rain showers.

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