20 Gorgeous Overwater Accommodations
Collected by Adriana Yampey , AFAR Local Expert
From humble bungalows to luxurious resorts, these 20 overwater accommodations are all places we'd like to wake up.
I hadn’t been awake for longer than a minute. I peeled back the tarp door to my room, walked out onto my deck, and leapt. It was an abrupt but purifying way to start the day. The cool, brackish water instantly defogged my mind, and my eyes opened...
Khao Phang, Ban Ta Khun District, Surat Thani 84230, Thailand
Waking early to the loud morning chorus of the Thai rainforest is an amazing experience. Whooping gibbons, honking hornbills and buzzing insects compete to fill the air waves with their loud songs to the new day. The floating bungalows on Lake...
Papetō'ai, French Polynesia
As you walk out onto the tarmac at Tahiti's Faa’a Airport, the craggy volcanic outline of Moorea lies on the horizon portending unknown French Polynesian pleasures. After the 10-minute flight, you drive along the one road circling the island...
Rangali Island Rangali, 20077, Maldives
Located on two private islands, the resort is just the right size. You can be alone in your villa or mingle with other guests. There’s excellent food and wine at seven restaurants, one of which is undersea—enclosed in glass. Naturally,...
Vaitape, French Polynesia
My 25th wedding anniversary was approaching and I wanted to take my wife somewhere romantic. It didn't take much research to discover that Bora Bora fit that description. I booked an overwater bungalow that allowed us to feed the fish from the...
On a recent trip to research resorts, I had the opportunity to visit Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and the island of Taha'a. All were fabulous places to explore, but my favorite stay was at the Five Star Taha'a Island Resort and Spa on the island of...
Kaafu Atoll, Maldives
The island nation of Maldives is said to be the smallest country in Asia, in both population and land area. It may also be the prettiest. The flight approach to the airport in the capital city of Male, is the most beautiful I've experienced....
Playón Chico, Panama
The family-owned Yandup Island Lodge is located on a private island across from the remote Playon Chico community on the Caribbean coastline of San Blas, Panama. The eco-lodge offers two tours a day: a visit to a beach on one of the archipelago's...
San Blas Islands, Panama
About a 45 minute boatride from Panama City, you can spend the day at the beach in San Blas. I loved how quiet and laid back the town was. There were a ton of sea shells on this beach as well. I had fun collecting along the beach and then tossing...
Bocas del Toro Island, Bocas del Toro, Panama
Off Panama’s Caribbean coast, these palm-roofed cabins perch over a stretch of aquamarine sea. The surrounding Bocas del Toro archipelago is home to sloths, howler monkeys, and scarlet dart frogs. —Brendan Brady Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge, Bocas...
Tiaong, Quezon, Philippines
Spend a weekend at Villa Escudero South of Manila, near San Pablo. The former coconut estate welcomes guests in rustic bungalows and idyllic surroundings near an artificial lake. In addition to peace and quiet (and romantic evening serenades by...
Gizo, Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands are pleasantly void of mass tourism. For those that make it here no doubt wonder why. Even better is discovering Oravae Cottage a tiny island with a quaint cottage and "penthouse" double bedroom annex. You're fed by the local...
Tiahura, Moorea, 98729, French Polynesia
For a truly relaxing, get away from the world vacation, visit the beautiful island of Moorea, and stay in an overwater bungalow. Spend a day in awe at the beauty that lays in front of you. Sitting on your private balcony over the rich ocean colors...
After you’ve canoed, sailed, scuba dived, and visited the resort’s sanctuary for the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, you’ll be ready to recline on your patio for a view of the extinct 2,300-foot Mount Otemanu volcano....
Gunjur, Gunjur, Gunjur, The Gambia
These floating bungalows and rooms on stilts lie on a tributary of the River Gambia, 45 minutes from the West African coast. Venture out by canoe in search of the monitor lizards, baboons, and myriad bird species that inhabit the surrounding...
Lankanfushi Island, North Malé Atoll, Republic of Maldives, Maldives
Each wooden suite—spread out over the waters of a coral-lined lagoon—has a smartly designed sea-level sun deck, a deepwater pool, and a glass spy hole carved into the floor so you can watch the stingrays and reef sharks glide below.
Motu Tuvahine Hipu, 98733, French Polynesia
Technically part of Tahaa in French Polynesia, Vahine Private Island Resort is an escape from reality. The hotel features three beach bungalows, three self-contained beach suites and three overwater bungalows, all with beach views and designed...
Nunue, Bora Bora, Vaitape 98730, French Polynesia
Half of the overwater villas at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort are on the main island. The other half stretch out from a private island inside Bora Bora’s ephemeral lagoon. Because of the secluded nature of the latter and staggering...
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