Staying overwater for that special touch of paradise
Imagine yourself surrounded by dreamy blue water and sky, where a dip in the sparkling lagoon is only a jump away. For a taste of tropical luxury, take a look at our top five resorts featuring overwater bungalows.
1. St Regis Bora Bora - French Polynesia
Surrounded by the beauty and tranquillity of a private saltwater lagoon, the overwater bungalows at St Regis Bora Bora offer a first-class island experience. Available in several impressive designs and sizes, their stylish interiors feature hand-carved Polynesian sculptures, exotic wooden finishes and Italian-marble bathrooms. Select bungalows boast their own private plunge pool or hot tub with all bungalows providing exceptional panoramic views.
This tropical haven exhibits all the style and service you'd expect of a St Regis hotel and offers an excellent array of amenities including an adults only pool with secluded private cabanas, a central pool with a swim-up bar and in-water seating, a 24/7 fitness centre, a tennis court and a day spa. For those seeking a bit more action, there's opportunity to go diving, sailing, jet skiing, fishing, windsurfing and snorkelling.
2. Gili Lankanfushi (Maldives)
Voted the third best hotel in the world in the 2014 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, Gili Lankanfushi is the ultimate in island luxury. Hovering above a gleaming lagoon, the overwater villas are private, spacious and all have heavenly views. Most are linked by interconnected jetties, while the secluded Crusoe residences are accessible only by boat.
The villas of Gili Lankanfushi are a blend of rustic charm and modern comfort – each has been traditionally and sustainably designed using natural materials. As well as a sundeck with loungers, they also feature a hidden rooftop deck with daybeds.
For a personal touch, your favourite music and films can be preloaded on the in-room iPod, and your very own ‘Mr Friday’ will make sure you have everything you need including private meals on your deck if you wish.
3. Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius
Lapped by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, Constance Le Prince Maurice is a stylish and secluded hideaway, truly fit for a prince. Some of its spacious and luxurious villas hover over the lagoon and are perfectly positioned for incredible sunset views.
The overwater villas are decorated in beautiful silk fabrics and varnished wood. They are surrounded by lush tropical gardens and in the evening are gently enveloped in the enchanting fragrance of jasmine.
The resort features some excellent facilities, including a beautiful infinity pool, opulent spa and spectacular floating restaurant, and the staff are exceptionally attentive, making sure your every need is met.
There's opportunity to dive, windsurf and snorkel off the beach, and two golf courses nearby offer complimentary green fees. If you'd like to venture beyond the resort, you can take a glass-bottom boat trip, trail-walk or a scenic helicopter ride over the island.
4. Holiday Inn Resort, Vanuatu
Overlooking the peaceful waters of Erakor Lagoon, this exceptionally luxurious Holiday Inn Resort is nestled among 60 acres of tropical palms on its own slice of paradise. This idyllic retreat offers chicly appointed overwater villas with balconies that look out to the glistening waters, lush surrounds and a perfectly manicured golf course.
The seven lagoon villas are fashioned in traditional Melanesian style and feature a master bedroom with a king size bed, a luxurious bathroom with a spa bath, a spacious lounge area and a private sundeck.
You may enjoy your meals at the five beautifully decorated dining areas in the resort and for those who love a tipple, there is an extensive wine list from New Zealand, Australia and France. If you fancy a bit of indoor entertainment, you can try your luck at the resort's international casino.
5. Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa, Cook Islands
Elegantly nestled on its own island on the pristine waters of Aitutaki Lagoon, the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa is a romantic retreat surrounded by breathtaking scenery. This magical hideaway underwent a multimillion dollar refurbishment in 2014 and is now reserved for adults only.
The resort's exclusive overwater bungalows have been built and decorated with traditional Polynesian materials and all possess uninterrupted panoramic vistas of the lagoon. They are fitted with all the creature comforts you'd expect, and feature an open-air shower to rinse off after a refreshing swim.
This island retreat offers a wide range of activities including cultural shows, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, lagoon cruises, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, snorkelling, beach volleyball and reef walks. Every night you can stand under the stars to watch a traditional dance and drum show right on the beach.