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two people paddleboarding InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Courtesy InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

10 Amazing Overwater Bungalows You Can Sleep In


For most of us, staying in an overwater bungalow perched above some turquoise lagoon far, far away, is a dream trip, a once-in-a-lifetime thing. We scrimp and save so we can spare no expense. And it’s worth it—especially if you’re headed for one of the world’s best.

Escape with us to thatched-roof hideaways where colorful reefs await at the bottom of your ladder and glass floor panels and outdoor showers remind you that there’s no vacation quite like this.

overwater bungalows four seasons resort bora bora
Courtesy Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Number of Bungalows: 100

What’s Unique: The classic magazine cover shot, Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora‘s picturesque string of bungalows arcs over turquoise South Pacific waters at the foot of Mt. Otemanu. The bungalows, fanning out from a lush private island, are some of the newest and most luxurious in French Polynesia. And, at the moment, they rank #1 on TripAdvisor for Bora Bora accommodations. Most thatched-roof bungalows have glass floor panels that look into the lagoon and some have private infinity-edge pools. The resort’s own marine biologist grafts coral and offers tours of the lagoon sanctuary.

Over-the-Top Services: Breakfast is delivered to you in a ceremonial Polynesian canoe and served with fragrant bouquets of flowers. As your table is being set, you can take a short canoe ride with a rower and wake to the sounds of Tahitian song.

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overwater bungalow anantara kihavah villas
Courtesy Anantara Kihavah Villas

Anantara Kihavah Villas, Kihavah Huravalhi Island, Maldives

Number of Bungalows: 42

What’s Unique: Book a stay at the Anantara Kihavah Villas resort in the Baa Atoll region and you’ll arrive via seaplane from Male, the Maldives’ capital. Set out over crystal-clear waters are the resort’s one-bedroom and two-bedroom overwater villas, each with its own private infinity-edge pool. From your sunken glass-bottom bathtub (built for two) you can watch tiny fish swim beneath you while you soak. Other luxuries include his-and-hers walk-in wardrobes, a wine chiller, a hammock, a rain shower, an outdoor shower, and a personal villa host who is on call 24 hours a day.

Over-the-Top Services: Dine at the Anantara Kihavah’s underwater restaurant, then return to your villa for the Slumber Guru experience: a luxury milk bath by candlelight, a massage, homemade cookies and tea, mist for your pillow, lavender silk eye masks, and earplugs. It sure beats the standard “Do Not Disturb” door hanger.

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overwater bungalows song saa private island
Courtesy Song Saa Private Island

Song Saa Private Island, Koh Ouen And Koh Rong, Cambodia

Number of Bungalows: 9

What’s Unique: This new resort is the first to be built on Cambodia’s mostly untouched islands in the Koh Rong archipelago. Song Saa spreads across two islands which are connected by a footbridge over a marine reserve, and with any luck you’ll spot one of the protected sea turtles or seahorses during your stay. The resort’s ultramodern overwater villas have an air of always-been-here authenticity thanks to the reclaimed wood from retired fishing boats and local driftwood incorporated into the architecture and furnishings. The organic design manages to effortlessly blend luxuries like private infinity-edge pools, outdoor showers, and twin bathtubs into the surrounding rainforest.

Over-the-Top Services: Indulge in a Buddhist-inspired treatment at the resort’s rainforest wellness center or have local monks perform a traditional blessings ceremony for you. Staff can also turn your villa into a private cinema with a screen and projector for movie night.

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overwater bungalows sofitel moorea la ora beach resort
Courtesy Sofitel Moorea La Ora Beach Resort

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