- 1 Four Seasons Bora Bora
- 2 Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef, Maldives
- 3 Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji
- 4 Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
- 5 Angsana Ihuru, Maldives
- 6 Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
- 7 Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius
- 8 Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam
- 9 InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa
- 10 Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort, Tahiti
- 11 The St. Regis Bora Bora
- 12 Diamonds Athuruga Beach & Water Villas All Inclusive, Maldives
12 Swoon-Worthy Overwater Bungalows
Who can resist the allure of an overwater bungalow? Everything about it spells romantic, off-the-grid seclusion, from the thatched roofs and wraparound terraces to outdoor showers and spellbinding views of the azure waters. We traveled to Tahiti, Fiji, Bora Bora and beyond in search of the best, most luxurious ones. Here's what we found.
Four Seasons Bora Bora
To get to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, a private yacht takes you across warm South Pacific waters to your very own over-water bungalow or beachfront villa. Once there, you'll never have to leave the privacy of your thatched-roof retreat— you can request to have meals delivered by canoe, and decks mean that you’re only ever a stepladder’s distance away from the crystalline lagoon.
Vivanta by Taj Coral Reef, Maldives
This resort represents a younger, more affordable take on textbook tropical luxury, which translates into hip accommodations, a buzzy vibe and top-notch service. The 62 beach and overwater villas come equipped with outdoor rain showers that let you go au naturel in nature. Take a dip in the reef, then climb up your private ladder onto your deck to laze under the sun.
Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji
This adults-only resort is home to Fiji's only overwater bungalows, making it a big draw for honeymooners. Splurge on a Deluxe Beachfront Bure for direct ladder access to the lagoon, a freestanding bath, lounger-strewn deck and a private plunge pool.
Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
On the tiny island of Olhuveli, the Six Senses Laamu's 97 villas are secluded and luxurious, with indoor-outdoor spaces and private beach access. Throw in six distinctive on-site restaurants and bars, the glamorous spa and water activities, and it’s obvious why this resort is a beach vacay slam dunk.
Angsana Ihuru, Maldives
Ideal for lovers, divers and environmentalists, the Angsana Ihuru is a stylish haven on a tiny private island in the Maldives’ North Malé Atoll. Highlights include the thoroughly modern, thatch-roofed bungalows; the wildlife sightings (think: parrotfish, turtles and blacktip sharks); and the resort’s underwater coral garden initiative, which gives guests the opportunity to clean and restore the house reef.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
The resort encompasses two adjacent islands, connected by a 500-meter footbridge, and offers both standard beach villas and the coveted overwater variety. The expansive 1,600-square-foot spa accommodations have large Roman baths, vaulted ceilings, ceiling fans, teak floors, and, of course, unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean.
Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius
This 60-acre resort is on a private estate at the end of a peninsula on the unspoiled East Coast of Mauritius. Thanks to the vision of Mauritian architect Jean-Marc Eynaud, the thatch-roof villas are just shy of over-the-top, with heated private pools, romantic outdoor baths and Feng Shui-inspired interiors.
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam
You’ll need to endure a long-haul flight and a car and boat transfer to get to this luxury boutique hotel. But once you've arrived at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, it's all about pampered relaxation. The 58 villas are set amid massive rock and boulder formations and overlook the South China Sea; those along the beachfront are extra luxurious, with paths running directly to the sand.
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa
Each spacious overwater villa at the InterContinental Bora Bora has oh-my views of the azure lagoon and the iconic Mount Otemanu. Designed with an environmental sensitivity, the resort uses revolutionary technology that draws seawater from the depths of the ocean to reuse it for electricity.
Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort, Tahiti
With sawtooth mountain ridges, vertiginous fern-cloaked cliffs, deep ravines and dramatic waterfalls, this wild and romantic island retreat is the ultimate far flung escape. Take in the views from the hammock on your bungalow's deck or from your deep soak tub or rain shower.
The St. Regis Bora Bora
Starting at 1,550 square feet, the overwater accommodations at The St. Regis Bora Bora are the largest in French Polynesia. But it's not just size that sets these lush bungalows apart. Blending minimalist Polynesian decor (think: plank wood floors, thatch-work ceilings, tribal-inspired art) and 21st century luxuries like glass floor panels, this property is a serious stunner.
Diamonds Athuruga Beach & Water Villas All Inclusive, Maldives
The villas at this all-inclusive Maldives hideaway eschew thatch-roofs and sand-colored interiors for a sleek, white-on-white aesthetic. Inside, find four-poster beds, lacquered writing desks, polished herringbone floors and open-air showers.
- Why the North Fork Should Be Your Next Getaway
- America’s Best Long Weekend Escapes
- History of Surfing