Overwater bungalows are the pinnacle of island holiday dreams. As it happens, there are approximately 5,000 water villas in the world, and of those, roughly two-thirds are found in the Maldives. No matter where exactly in the world they are, overwater bungalows can satisfy a traveller’s craving for repose and relaxation. Take in this visual feast of some of our top picks of the world’s most beautiful overwater bungalow resorts.
Filitheyo Island Resort, Maldives
This private island is a real-life tropical paradise. Sitting a 35-minute seaplane trip from the capital city Malé, Filitheyo Island Resort welcomes visitors with lush forest and gorgeous white-sandy beaches on every side. Feel like James Bond as you arrive, then ease into relaxed, comfortable living with the help of the resort's exceptional dining and exquisite day spa.
Manava Beach Resort and Spa, Moorea
Formerly known as The Moorea Pearl Beach Resort, this luxurious resort has held the reputation as the ultimate honeymoon destination for years. Each overwater bungalow, of which there are 28, includes a sundeck with access to the lagoon. The seclusion of this locale seals the deal on romance.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives
Awarded ‘Best Luxury Resort – International’ by Travel & Leisure India’s Best Award 2017, Taj Exotica is nestled among the white sandy beaches and palm trees of the most spectacular island in the Maldives. It offers 64 villas and suites, so the resort is never crowded. When you’re ready to pamper and indulge yourself, why not take the time to recover and rejuvenate in the serene atmosphere of the Jiva Grande Spa – the winner of Conde Nast Traveller India Readers’ ‘Favourite Spa in an Overseas Hotel’.
The Marriott Momi Bay, Fiji
This is the newest 5-star luxury resort in Fiji. Visitors can find bliss in the man-made lagoon and the idyllic Momi Bay as background. While the 22 overwater bungalows are adults-only, the entire resort features swimming pools - including an adults-only pool and a separate children’s pool - a private white sand beach, spa, and more, indicating how the resort has considered the needs of families, couples, and solo travellers alike.
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, Maldives
Escape to the magical Maldives and discover paradise like you’ve never known! Live it up at the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa—get the 5-star treatment, gaze toward the endless horizon and make memories that will last a lifetime! Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa occupies its own private island (Furanafushi) in the North Malé Atoll.
Four Seasons, Bora Bora
Bora Bora is a magical part of French Polynesia. At this sizeable resort, guests have 85 overwater bungalows to choose from and 15 more with plunge pools. True to form, the Four Seasons considers every service and amenity in Bora Bora that a visitor could imagine, from luxurious infinity pools to concierge service to a 24-hour fitness centre. Take a quick jump into the lagoon and swim to the sandy islets on an outer coral reef for the swim of a lifetime.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji
This adults-only resort was designed for couples. It’s a haven for privacy and romance. To boot, it was a trendsetter for this type of Fijian luxury; this resort was the first to feature overwater bures in all of Fiji. The 45 bungalows in the resort sit atop a pristine lagoon with a sundeck and separate bathing pavilions.
Lily Beach Resort and Spa, Maldives
This super-luxury resort is all-inclusive, including liquor, and has earned a 5-star property rating. Add on the 24-hour room service and you have an unrivaled easy-living holiday. There are only 56 water villas, making it difficult to find availability even in off-peak months.