Nothing quite says luxury like an overwater bungalow. Dotting tropical beaches, atolls, and lagoons, these thatched-roof escapes offer unparalleled views and the ultimate in island escape-ism. From Bora Bora to Vietnam, these opulent overwater bungalows need to be added to your bucket list – stat.
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam
Six Senses properties are ubiquitous with sustainability and wellness, and the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay delivers both in spades. Moving beyond resorts as simply destination getaways, Six Senses promotes connection to the places in which they host guests. This is evident at their Ninh Van Bay property, with the property’s villas thoughtfully built into rock formations, to create minimal disturbance to the surrounding ecosystem. Each villa is secluded, the only person you’re likely to run into is your personal Experience Maker, on-call 24/7. Ocean views come guaranteed, as do private pools. Local activities are endless, from day trips to nearby uninhabited islands, taking a dip in the local hot springs (complete with mineral-rich mud), or even sampling the goods from your in-villa wine cellar on your private sundeck.
Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia
Nestled in the middle of the Koh Rong archipelago, this unique private island offers 24 thatched-roof villas set amidst a 247-acre marine reserve. Unsurprisingly, nature and sustainability are at the forefront and nearly every building and piece of furniture uses upcycled wood found on the island itself. Alongside the resident marine biologist, guests can kayak through mangroves as they learn about the local ecosystem. The overwater villas do not disappoint, with luxurious one and two-bedroom options. For the ultimate overwater experience, there’s the Royal Villa that comes complete with a large private pool and dining for up to 12 guests. The most unique aspect of Song Saa Private Island is its related foundation, the Song Saa Collective. Established in 2013, this not-for-profit organization is dedicated to protecting the habitat of the Koh Rong archipelago and improve the welfare of its communities.
El Dorado Maroma, Mexico
If you’re based in North America you don’t have to travel far to experience these overwater bungalows, set out from the shores of Maroma Beach, just forty minutes from the Cancun International Airport. Mexico’s only overwater bungalows come equipped with full butler service and glass floors, with room service breakfast being delivered each morning. Touting themselves as ‘Gourmet Inclusive’, the El Dorado Maroma is an adults-only property offering seven restaurants and five bars. Don’t miss strolling Maroma Beach, nearly five miles of unspoiled white sand and aquamarine water.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
With stunning views of Mount Otemanu, the Four Seasons Resort in Bora Bora does not disappoint. There are a variety of overwater bungalow options to suit everyone from honeymooners to families, with two-bedroom suites offering up over 2,000 square feet of pure luxury. Non-motorized watersports are included in your stay, offering everything from badminton and volleyball to kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and snorkel equipment. Adventures abound, from jet boating or deep-sea fishing with a chef to exploring the island on a 4×4 (additional costs apply). The five-star concierge team can arrange just about anything, and never hesitate to go above and beyond for their guests.
Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
While overwater bungalows are aplenty in the Maldives, some stand out from the crowd. With only 45 overwater bungalows, Gili Lankanfushi is perched on one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives and is only a 20-minute speedboat ride from the Velana International Airport. The “No News No Shoes” spirit of the Maldives is evident from the moment guests step into the boat from the airport, as shoes are collected and placed in tote bags by staff aboard the vessel. Expect approachable luxury at every turn, beginning with the bubbly and canapes that greet you on arrival. Thoughtful touches are evident throughout, with SPF and bug spray stocked alongside standard in-room amenities. The bungalows themselves range from 2200 square foot one-bedroom villas (their smallest) to the whopping Private Reserve, a palatial 18,000 square feet. If you’re seeking opulence in the Maldives, look no further.
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