The Best
Overwater Bungalows

Overwater Bungalows in the Maledives

Vacationing in an overwater bungalow is a dream for many travelers. Imagine waking up to the sound of waves crashing against the shore, and dipping your toes in warm water as you enjoy a morning cup of coffee on your private deck. The best part? You don’t have to travel far from home! This post showcases some of our favorites around the globe. From Jamaica’s famous Sandals South Coast resort to Maldives’ luxurious Velaa Private Island Resort & Spa, there are plenty of options no matter where you live or what type of experience you’re looking for.

Check out our top worldwide picks below!

Our Top Worldwide Picks:

How to find the best overwater bungalows?

woman tourist overlooking view of overwater bungalows villas

Choosing the best overwater bungalows requires knowing what to look for. This is especially true if you are new to traveling, or have never considered this type of accommodation before. The first thing you need to consider is price because there is a huge difference between budget and luxury over water bungalows. For example, in the Maldives, there is a resort called Velaa Private Island with an overwater villa going for $30,000 per night; whereas at another island nearby it would cost only $500 per night- more than 100 times less expensive! So it’s absolutely crucial that you find one within your budget!

If price isn’t an issue, how do you choose what kind of over water bungalow to stay at?

What matters the most is the location of an overwater bungalow, because that will determine what type of experience you’ll have. If you want to take a break and relax on your vacation, then it’s best to choose a secluded island in the middle of nowhere. However, if you want to enjoy fine dining and entertainment while on vacation, then it’s best to look for one near a popular city (which is why there are so many high-end over water resorts near Bora Bora). These locations make it easy to access everything else that an area has to offer!

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of overwater bungalows. We’ve broken them down into three categories:
Luxury, Budget, and Premium.

infinity pool of an overwater villa

Luxury Overwater Bungalows

This category includes the most luxurious resorts in the world such as Velaa Private Island Resort & Spa Maldives. These bungalow resorts offer incredible service and feature some of the best amenities you could ask for! They also have private butlers that will tend to your every need (in addition to room service). At these over water bungalow resorts, it’s not uncommon to find a stunning infinity pool overlooking the ocean!

Here are two of our favorites:

Velaa Private Island Resort & Spa, Maldives

This resort is one of the most luxurious overwater destinations around. It features white sand beaches and turquoise waters, which are perfect for snorkeling. Some of the most amazing features include: a private beach, a spa that you can access from your room, and complimentary kayaks/ paddleboards for use around the island. This is one of our top choices because of its luxurious amenities such as an infinity pool overlooking the ocean; it has over 80 staff members to tend to every guest’s needs! The Romantic Residence is one of the most beautiful overwater villas in the world. It is accessible only by boat, which makes it even more private. Speaking of private, it also has private infinity pools.

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The Crescent - Niyama Private Island, Maldives

This resort offers the opportunity to book 5 interconnected overwater villas, which are the only overwater villas at this pier, so you can enjoy the company of your fellow travelers in peace. Speaking of fellow travelers, 22 persons can stay in the Crescent. Up to 14 adults and 8 children. The highlight is the open air cinema, and all of the overwater villas have access to both a sea view private pool and direct ocean access. From there you can swim to the white sand beach. Surfing here is unique at Niyama because it offers the only luxury surf resort in the Maldives with a wave breaking on shore.

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Budget overwater bungalows in the Maledives

Budget Overwater Bungalows

If you’re not looking for luxury but still want to get an amazing deal, then these overwater bungalow resorts are perfect for you! This is where you’ll find the best deals on over water bungalows all around the world. For example, if you’re visiting Bora Bora and don’t want to spend a fortune on your accommodation, then check out Taj Exotica Resort & Spa. This over water bungalow resort has a gorgeous overwater restaurant that overlooks the lagoon. It’s in a great location, which means you’ll be close to everything else the Maldives have to offer! If you want more tips, we have collected 5 tips how to make affordable overwater bungalow vacation.

Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort, French Polynesia

This is an awesome option for those who are looking to stay in Moorea, French Polynesia. This resort offers 3 different types of overwater bungalows: beach facing, harbor facing, and lagoon views. All the rooms here offer unbelievably stunning views as well as great service from the friendly staff! Some things you can expect at this resort include a free transfer from the airport, 2 restaurants that are included in your room price, and 1 spa treatment per person. This resort is great if you’re looking for something more affordable; it has an amazing view at an unbeatable price! It’s also located near some popular tourist attractions such as Mo’orea Nature Reserve and the Atimaono Cultural Center. A night costs around $600.

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Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives

This resort is only a short 15 minute speedboat ride from the airport. It is a great option if you’re on a budget. It offers private floating villas with magnificent views, an overwater spa, and plenty of diving/ snorkeling spots! This resort also has several dining options from fine-dining to casual fare. It’s perfect for all ages and interests, which makes it one of our top choices in this category! Taj Exotica is also located near to world-class surfing beaches, which guests can take advantage of at the surf school! Each villa includes a private pool. A night costs from $855.

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Pangkor Laut, Malaysia

If you’re looking for a high-end overwater bungalow that offers great value, then Pangkor Laut is the place for you. It has an incredible infinity pool which offers some of the best views in Malaysia. Their rooms are spacious and luxurious with all of your basic necessities provided such as air conditioning, TVs, and even free wifi so that you can stay connected while visiting this island. You’ll also get to enjoy delicious food here since it’s included in your accommodations . The only downside to staying here is the fact that they don’t offer water sports equipment but instead offer boat rental services. That said, Pangkor Laut is still one of our favorite resorts! Starting at around $375 per night.

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Luxury interior on beach resort

Premium Overwater Bungalows

If you’re looking for the best between budget and luxury, these are our top picks. You’ll find everything from luxurious views to exquisite cuisine which will leave you speechless. These overwater bungalows cost a little more than some of those we review above, but trust us they’re worth every penny!

St. Regis Bora-Bora Resort, French Polynesia

This overwater bungalow resort offers the ultimate in luxury and convenience. Everything is taken care of so all you have to do is relax! This includes everything from your daily yoga/fitness classes to a private chef for every meal. The Overwater suites are filled with modern amenities such as granite counter tops and floor-to-ceiling windows. You’ll be able to enjoy a private pool and even your own spa as well. Overwater bungalows range from $1,200-$3,500 per night (depending on the season).

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Soneva Jani, Maldives

Aerial view of the Water villas at Soneva Jani
© Soneva Jani

The overwater bungalows here are beautifully furnished and have quality amenities. Not many resorts in this list are child-friendly, this is one of them. But even if you’re annoyed by children’s noise, the water villas are spaced so far apart that you won’t hear any noise. They have a large bedroom on the second floor with a retractable roof, from which you can see the sky before dreaming about what you will do the next day in this beautiful place. You can go swimming in the salt water pool or even use a water slide into the Indian Ocean for some water villas. With the outdoor shower you can wash off all the salt from your body before climbing into a nice hot bathtub with jacuzzi and enjoy a glass of wine from the wine fridge. The prices for one night start at $1,840.

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Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji

This resort offers guests an exceptional Overwater Bungalow experience that includes the following: a private sun deck, hammocks for two, and dinner delivered to your room. Their Overwater bungalows are set among swaying palms which offer unwavering privacy as well as breathtaking views of the ocean. You’ll also be able to enjoy a glass bottom four-poster bed for two or the Overwater Junior Suites which include a sunken bath tub. This resort is able to offer all of these amazing Overwater Bungalow experiences due to their personalized attention and service. Overwater bungalows are about $1,000 per night.

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El Dorado Maroma, Mexico

The Palafitos Overwater Bungalow Resort offers guests one of the most unique and luxurious experiences (and the only one in Mexico). These accommodations include a private plunge pool and a personal chef on call. There’s also free wifi available at any overwater location, which is great for those who need to stay connected (or catch up on their favorite shows). The resort has 24 hour butlers for every one of the Overwater Bungalows. If you’re looking to treat yourself and/or a loved one, then you can’t go wrong with this wonderful experience. The prices for one night start at $1,840.

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Sandals South Coast, Jamaica

Sandals South Coast
© Sandals South Coast Jamaica

The Overwater Bungalows at Sandals South Coast offer guests an authentic Jamaican experience that includes white sand beaches. The pier connecting all the houses is in the shape of a heart, in keeping with the honeymoon theme. You’ll be able to see fish swimming in the ocean while enjoying a bath in the outdoor soaking tub. You can also take advantage of your personal butler who will help cater to all your every need including stocking up your fridge for the week ahead. Guests rave about this Sandals resort because it really is like no other. Overwater bungalows range from $1,200 – $4,170 per night.

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Sandals Grande St. Lucia, Caribbean

Sandals St Lucia
© Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort

Just like Sandals South Coast Jamaica, this resort offers their guests a luxurious and private Overwater bungalow experience. The accommodation features glass floor panels at the foot of the bed, providing a crystal clear view of the turquoise waters of St Lucia. Furthermore you can take a relaxing bath in the outdoor soaking tub. You’ll also be able to enjoy private butler service and the deep blue ocean at your fingertips. These villas are truly a great place to unwind and forget about all of life’s troubles for awhile. The prices for them start around $1,354 per night.

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Bora-Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa, French Polynesia

Overwater bungalows at this location have been described as magical and romantic since day one. As you’re relaxing in your Overwater villa, you’ll be able to hear the crashing of waves, which will give you a sense of being right at home. Additionally your Overwater villa will have an outdoor shower and private Jacuzzi. You can take advantage of professional staff here including a private scuba diving instructor who will show you what lies beneath the ocean’s surface. This resort offers some of the best amenities including their restaurant ‘Merahi Bay’ which serves great food with views that are unbeatable. The spa has many different treatments and even does private couples massages! Overwater bungalows here start from $1,665 per night.

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Tahiti luxury hotel honeymoon travel vacation tourist woman walking at luxury resort in overwater bungalows villas. View of Mount Otemanu, Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Why are they popular?

The popularity of overwater bungalows can be explained by the fact that they have a number of luxuries, such as an exclusive pool and beach deck. Overwater bungalows also offer some privacy for guests because there is no land connecting them to the mainland. Overwater bungalows provide an opportunity to experience something different from what one is used to. There are two key factors that make this accommodation so popular: luxury and privacy.

The benefits of choosing this type of vacation rental over other types

Resorts of Overwater bungalows are the best way to experience a more private or intimate vacation than what is available from other types of lodging. They provide an escape that is less cluttered and more relaxed, all while giving you the comfort of knowing that you will still be close enough to land in case something goes wrong. While there are many varieties of overwater bungalows, such as floating structures including pods and cylinders, they still allow for guests to go snorkeling with the fish and see incredible marine life without having to worry about going from one place to another. Overwater bungalows typically have glass floors which let you view coral reef ecosystems. Some resorts even have glass bottomed boats for guests to take a tour and go diving with local marine life, typically located near the resort itself.  

While these resorts are an ideal place to visit for people who love nature, they also appeal to those with a sense of adventure. The structures can often be found in the middle of the ocean or lagoon on small islands that have been built up specifically for guests. This type of resorts offer amenities such as swimming pools and gourmet restaurants. Since you’re so close to one another, you’ll never feel alone while you’re staying here and there will always be someone available at all hours should anything arise that needs your attention. Staying in one of these types of resorts is the best way to enjoy a private and intimate experience with your loved ones while still having access to nearby land.

Honeymoon couple kissing with overwater bungalows in the background

Why is an overwater bungalow perfect for your honeymoon?

Imagine yourself arriving by private boat or sea plane right up to your retreat. You’ll be arriving at an extremely romantic destination where tranquillity and relaxation come naturally! These island paradises will offer everything you could possibly need for your romantic getaway.

With the appealing concept of “sitting on top of the ocean”, a honeymoon in an overwater bungalow is becoming increasingly popular.

According to recent surveys, one of the most common search requests for honeymoon vacations is “overwater bungalow”. The locations that were mentioned include Maldives, Tahiti, Fiji and Bora Bora.

Couple having a romantic honeymoon at an overwater bungalow

3 reasons why them make your honeymoon even more memorable:

1.) romantic exotic dinner
There are fine dining options on the islands such as seafood and gourmet cuisine. So, you and your significant other can enjoy a romantic dinner over looking the spectacular ocean view.

2.) adventurous activities
You’ll have access to amazing snorkeling and diving spots, so you can enjoy swimming with tropical fish and other marine life. Other activities include romantic walks on the beach, jungle expeditions and scuba diving.

3.) no need to worry about anything else but each other!
No work or real life problems can ever find their way into a location like this. All you’ll be thinking about is spending time together; whether that’s having fun at the resort or exploring the nearby islands.

Overwater bungalows have been considered one of the most romantic types of accommodations and for good reason! Once you set foot in a place like this, all you’ll be thinking about is your significant other. No wonder so many couples have overwater bungalows on their bucket list.

Luxury resort beach with water villas in the background

Why should you put them on your bucket list?

Overwater bungalows have established themselves as an ideal place for people who are looking for something different when it comes to their next getaway. While staying here, guests are able to fully immerse themselves in island culture while enjoying the amenities and infrastructure that have been built up specifically for them. Once you’ve returned home from your stay at an overwater bungalow resort, you’re sure to have built some unforgettable memories. Since these types of resorts are located in private areas or remote islands, they allow for a more intimate and relaxed pace that is ideal for couples, honeymooners, and families alike. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a vacation that is not only relaxing but also offers access to some of the most incredible scuba diving and snorkeling locations.

All of these factors are why overwater bungalow resorts have become one of the most popular vacation rental locations for those who are looking for a more intimate experience.

white sand beach with loungers and overwater villas in the background

Already imagining your overwater bungalow vacation?

If you’re now considering an overwater bungalow vacation, it’s important to know that there are different types of accommodations depending on your budget and what type of experience you want. There are more private relaxing accommodations or more active ones with more opportunities for water sports. The best overwater bungalow depends on the kind of person you are! Check out our top list from each continent above if in need of more inspiration for your dream vacation.