It’s fast approaching that time of year when your annual leave is submitted, allowing you the chance to reflect on the last 12 months and plan for next year. Perhaps you’ll be celebrating a milestone birthday, an anniversary, honeymoon or significant achievement? And what better way to celebrate than with an escape to your own private paradise. Here’s five overwater bungalows and villas close to home for that special occasion or simply ‘just because’.
Marriott Momi Bay, Fiji
From the east coast of Australia, you can fly direct to Nadi International Airport with a flying time of between 3.5 to five hours. Transfer 45 minutes southwest to Marriott Momi Bay and check into one of the adults-only Overwater Lagoon Bures or Overwater Royal Suite to truly settle into island time. Spend your days opting into one of the many activities, including boating, jet-skiing, kayaking and volleyball, or flip through a novel on your own private balcony that features a staircase down to the clear lagoon.
Warwick Le Lagon, Vanuatu
Depending on the day of the week, you can get a direct flight into Port Vila and in under 10 minutes, you’ll arrive at Warwick Le Lagon along the Erakor Lagoon. The 4.5- star resort offers a variety of room types, including private pool villas and four recently refurbished overwater villas. Each villa features a king bed, separate bath and shower, living area, private patio with sunbeds, Wi-Fi and even sunset canapes and sparkling wine! Cheers to that!
Coconuts Beach Resort & Spa, Samoa
If you’ve already travelled to the closer South Pacific islands, then perhaps the quieter Upolu Island is for you. Catch a flight to Faleolo International Airport and under an hour’s drive away is Coconuts Beach Resort and Spa, home to the only overwater fales in Samoa. You can snorkel, kayak and even stand-up paddleboard (SUP) and on Saturdays, you can learn about Samoan culture from local staff, all included in your stay.
Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives
It’s no secret, getting to the Maldives will take a little longer than our South Pacific neighbours. You’ll need to transit before flying to Male and if you’re staying at the Shangri-La Villingili Resort and Spa, you’ll catch another 70-minute flight before arriving in paradise. Many luxurious villas are available, including the Water Villa, featuring all the trimmings and your very own personal island host. Onsite are six restaurants and bars, a 9-hole golf course, CHI The Spa and schedule of daily activities, such as traditional Maldivian night fishing, turtle quest snorkelling and coral planting.
Intercontinental Tahiti Resort and Spa, French Polynesia
The biggest island of French Polynesia, Tahiti, is also the easiest to access with connecting flights landing at Pape’ete International Airport. Just five minutes’ drive away is one of many Intercontinental properties throughout the cluster of islands, offering holidaymakers an opportunity to stay in an overwater bungalow or suite. The traditional Polynesian rooms are spacious with a separate living area, separate bath and shower and a private balcony. During your stay, learn about marine life at the Lagoonarium or watch one of the cultural demonstrations such as the Pareo (wraparound skirt) show.