Over water bungalows
Collected by AFAR Explorer
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...
Scrub Island, VG1120, British Virgin Islands
The 2-year-old Scrub Island Resort has one of the closest marinas to the North Drop, a famous fishing spot for blue marlin. Half- and full- day fishing charters include a boat, a guide, and equipment. Guests who land a tuna or a marlin can bring...
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...
84 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW, UK
This independent bookshop resembles the libraries of a bibliophile's dreams. The Edwardian exterior is beautiful and befitting of the elegant High Street, but the interior took my breath away: long oak shelves, stained glass, and skylights....
103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, UK
It's on again this Spring-- the Cheese and Wine Festival. Spend an afternoon sampling cheese, enjoying delicious food and sipping wine by the Thames. There's loads of food to explore and demonstrations from which to learn, but whatever you do,...
43A Duke Street St James's, St. James's, London SW1Y 6DD, UK
“I visit Sims Reed Rare Books for its excellent selection of art books. They are true experts at curating interesting and surprising titles. Most recently, I bought a book of photographs by Cy Twombly.” —Edward Barber, cofounder of the design firm...
187 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9LE, UK
Hatchards is the oldest and most prestigious bookshop in London, and its not just the royal warrant above the sign that gives it particular charm. The shop is dominated by its central spiral staircase and, once inside, you have to squeeze your way...
59 Lamb's Conduit St, London WC1N 3NB, UK
Persephone Books is absolutely one of a kind. It's both a bookshop and a publisher, run by Nicola Beauman, a brilliant woman who wanted to reclaim neglected works by women authors. So she set out to uncover great books that had fallen out of...
203-, 206 Piccadilly, London W1V 9LW, United Kingdom
The Waterstone's on Piccadilly has a cafe, bar, and restaurant on its fifth floor that looks over central London. If you sit by the window, you can get a fantastic view of the West End. Not that you'll be concentrating, of course—the selection at...
Charing Cross Rd, London, UK
If you're more interested in browsing than buying, the bottom half of Charing Cross Road is crammed with some of the most extraordinary bookshops in London. It's home to the rare, the antiquarian, and the specialist trades, both new and...
41 Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3PE, UK
If you find yourself in Bloomsbury, London, head to Tea and Tattle, an African bookshop with a tea salon hidden in the basement. This may sound like an odd combination, but once you consider the shop’s proximity to the British Museum across the...
183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE, UK
Whether you're into anatomy, or just the least bit curious about biology, your body, or life in general, the Wellcome Trust bookshop is full of fascinating volumes, from pop science to the truly academic. And once you've bought the book, you can...
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