If you are looking for luxury and romance, nothing quite compares to an overwater bungalow. If you close your eyes and imagine the ultimate in pampering and luxury in a tropical location, chances are you are imagining your retreat set over crystal clear turquoise water. Dotting tropical beaches, atolls, and lagoons, these thatched-roof escapes offer unparalleled views and the ultimate in island escape-ism. From Bora Bora to Mexico, these 5 opulent overwater bungalows need to be added to your bucket list – stat.
Intercontinental Tahiti Resort and Spa, Tahiti
These bungalows are amongst the gold standard of overwater accommodations. The resort is located only 5 minutes from the airport on the main island of Tahiti, but feels like you are a world away. Several types of overwater suites are available, including the secluded Overwater Motu Villa Suite which is equipped with a private balcony, large soaking tub, and floor-to-ceiling windows which look out onto spectacular views of Moorea and is perfect for families. Despite the proximity to downtown, the resort is set is a Polynesian oasis amongst lush. Guests will have the opportunity to experience Polynesian culture and hospitality.
Palafiitos at 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 Playa del Carmen, just forty minutes from the Cancun International Airport. These retreats are the first overwater bungalows in Mexico, and come equipped with full butler service and glass floors, a balcony with a micro-infinity plunge pool and ladder straight into the ocean, and breakfast delivered to your room each morning. Touting itself 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.
Sandals South Coast, Jamaica
Another resort close to home with breathtaking overwater bungalows is Sandals South Coast located an hour southeast of Negril. Sandals is couples-only and the bungalows at South Coast are designed for romance. They sit just off a 2-mile stretch of luxurious white sand and turquoise water among a 500-acre nature preserve. The resort features many amenities, but you may never want to leave your bungalow with butler service, a roomy sun deck, outdoor shower, outdoor soaking tub for two and an overwater hammock. For an extra dose of luxury, book an overwater villa with a private infinity pool.
Four Seasons Resort, Bora Bora
With stunning views of Mount Otemanu, the Four Seasons Resort in Bora Bora does not disappoint. The overwater bungalows here are among the most sought-after in the world, with options to suit everyone from honeymooners to families, including 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
Where there is no lack of overwater bungalows 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 2,200 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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