The 10 Best Overwater Bungalows

The iconic Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is our top choice

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The 10 Best Overwater Bungalows of 2022

Brides / Designed by Amelia Manley

For many couples planning a dream vacation or honeymoon, the experience of staying in an overwater bungalow is a bucket list trip that is hard to beat. There's something exceptional about sleeping in well-appointed accommodations suspended right over the water—especially in villas that boast see-through glass floors, hammocks, expansive verandas, and private plunge pools. It doesn't leave much to be desired.

But not all overwater bungalows are created equal, and some have special amenities, features, or a geographic location that makes them stand out from the rest. Before you book an idyllic overwater bungalow vacation, take a look at these iconic properties below in destinations like the Caribbean, Bora Bora, Cambodia, and many more.

The 10 Best Overwater Bungalows

Best Overall: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora (Bora Bora, French Polynesia)

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Why We Chose It: Featuring one or two bedrooms, overwater bungalows at this sumptuous property come with luxury linens, huge soaking tubs, see-through floors and private plunge pools. 

Pros

  • Several bungalow options, some with multiple bedrooms and/or private pools
  • Signature Four Seasons beds
  • Private lagoon sanctuary on-site
  • Spa offers overwater treatments
  • Large pool and whirlpool
  • Six restaurants on-site (and a food truck)
  • Ongoing fourth night free and free breakfast offers
  • Unbelievable views of Mount Otemanu

Cons

  • Pricey rates
  • Lots of walking required within the sprawling property
  • Remote location in French Polynesia

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora sets the standard for all other properties with overwater bungalows. Overwater rooms at this hideaway boast some of the best views of the central mountain in Bora Bora (Mount Otemanu), as well as large living spaces, huge beds with luxurious bedding, soaking tubs for two, and high-end soaps and toiletries. 

Guests can order room service 24 hours a day, or they can head to one of the six fine dining establishments found on the enormous property. Service at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is unmatched, as the staff works tirelessly to ensure every need is catered to around the clock. This property is ideal for a wedding, a honeymoon, or a celebration of a special occasion. 

Notable Amenities

  • Te Mahana Spa
  • Tennis courts and fitness center
  • Kids club with activities
  • Yoga classes on-site

Best for Luxury: The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort (Maldives)

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort

Why We Chose It: The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort boasts some of the most luxurious overwater bungalow options in the world, including the multi-level John Jacob Astor Estate.

Pros

  • 44 overwater villas (some have up to three bedrooms)
  • Overwater villas feature private plunge pools, huge soaking tubs, and spacious living area
  • 24-hour room service
  • 7 restaurants and bars on-site

Cons

  • Pricey rates
  • Remote location in the Maldives

We chose this property due to how opulent their overwater bungalows are, as well as the fact they offer overwater "suites" that can be as big as a traditional mansion.

The John Jacob Astor Estate has well over 16,000 square feet of space, and is home to a private gym, a cinema room, and spa suites attached to each of the three bedrooms. This overwater offering also has its own enormous infinity pool, a jacuzzi, and two separate plunge pools for good measure. To top it off, it can house up to 12 guests, so it's a great choice for families or larger groups.

Other bungalows at this exclusive resort are appointed just as lavishly , with upgrades like large terraces, cozy outdoor daybeds, and oversized bathtubs for two. Even their One-Bedroom Overwater Villa with a Pool is well over 1,900 square feet.

Notable Amenities

  • Iridium Spa
  • Fitness center and tennis court
  • Outdoor infinity pool
  • Dive and water sports center

Best for Families: Conrad Bora Bora Nui (Bora Bora, French Polynesia)

Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Conrad Bora Bora Nui

Why We Chose It: We chose the Conrad Bora Bora Nui as best for families due to the property's features for kids, which include a playground, a kid's club and mini golf. Children 12 and under stay free, and you can even book babysitting service at the resort.

Pros

  • Special benefits for families with kids
  • Oversized infinity pool with swim-up bar
  • Villa room service 24 hours a day
  • 5 restaurants and bars to choose from
  • Special events like traditional Polynesian dinners with a show

Cons:

  • Pricey room rates 
  • Remote location in French Polynesia
  • Bungalows are smaller than some other resorts

While many high-end resorts with overwater bungalows are geared to couples, the Conrad Bora Bora Nui is perfect for adult travelers or families with kids. We say this because the resort offers all the exclusivity and privacy you would expect at a property of its caliber, yet special benefits for kids can make introducing them to the overwater experience considerably easier.

Kids under 12 stay free at this property, and it even features a playground, a kid's club, and mini golf. There are youth-focused cultural activities available, like classes on how to open a coconut, coco leaf braiding, and ukulele lessons. 

Notable Amenities

  • Fitness center and tennis courts
  • Spa
  • Playground, kid's club
  • Mini golf course

Best Caribbean Choice: Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa (Antigua)

Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa

Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa

Why We Chose It: Royalton Antigua is an all-inclusive resort that features overwater bungalows along one of the most beautiful shorelines in the Caribbean.

Pros

  • All-inclusive pricing with food, drink and entertainment included
  • Easier to get to than many overwater bungalows
  • DreamBed™ mattresses
  • 7 dining options and 4 bars on-site
  • 24-hour room service available
  • Overwater bungalows come with Diamond Club upgrade

Cons

  • One overwater bungalow option
  • Share amenities and resort space with other rooms on the property

Royalton Antigua is an all-inclusive resort known for its white sand beach and crystal clear waters. The property offers a selection of Chairman Overwater Bungalows with private plunge pools, large outdoor verandas, a separate living area and sleeping space, and private butler service.

All food, drink, and entertainment is included in the nightly rate, so guests can relax knowing they won't face a surprise bill when they depart. Better yet, guests can dine endlessly at seven restaurants and have craft cocktails or their favorite spirits at four different bars. Chairman Overwater Bungalows also come with the Diamond Club upgrade at this property, which qualifies guests for preferential dining reservations, a private beach area at the resort, an upgraded room service menu, and plenty of other perks.

Notable Amenities

  • Private transfers
  • Spa
  • Butler service
  • Sunset mixology
  • Personal fitness and yoga classes

Best Eco-Friendly: Song Saa Private Island (Cambodia)

Song Saa Private Island

Song Saa Private Island

Why We Chose It: This luxury property is known for its mindful eco-conscious design, as well as its commitment to transparency and the environment.

Pros

  • All-inclusive option available
  • Bungalows feature private infinity pools, outdoor showers, and giant soaking tubs
  • Eco-friendly design and mission
  • A range of villas to choose from, including a Royal Villa with two bedrooms and dining space for up to 12

Cons

  • Remote location in Cambodia
  • Pricey rates
  • Smaller property with only 2 restaurants

Song Saa Private Island offers the luxury of an overwater bungalow resort with a focus on the environment and climate. This property takes on an array of Earth-focused projects throughout the year, from growing coral (they even have a coral nursery) to saving sea turtles and counting fish in the area.

The resort's overwater bungalows all feature private pools and large terraces ideal for lounging. The property offers an all-inclusive rate option that lets you bundle unlimited gourmet dining and all your drinks within your nightly rate.

Notable Amenities

  • On-site spa
  • Personal fitness and yoga classes
  • Diving options

Best for Jamaica: Sandals South Coast (Jamaica)

Sandals South Coast

Sandals South Coast

Why We Chose It: Sandals South Coast offers all-inclusive luxury in an adults-only environment. This property also features over-the-top overwater suites with private pools and hammocks that float seamlessly over the water.

Pros

  • Adults only
  • All-inclusive pricing with transport, food, and drinks included
  • Overwater bungalows feature private infinity pools, glass floors, and overwater hammocks
  • 24-hour room service and butler service
  • 9 restaurants and 7 bars on-site

Cons

  • Overwater bungalows here can book up more than a year ahead
  • Pricey rates

Sandals is known for offering couples-oriented all-inclusive resorts, and their Sandals South Coast location offers some of the best dining options and rooms available. Not only do guests get access to a private butler, but they can order room service 24 hours a day, and they can enjoy unlimited dining and top shelf drinks throughout the property.

Sandals is a solid resort choice for couples who crave the all-inclusive experience and the convenience that comes with it. A stay here even includes round-trip airport transfers, fitness classes, daily entertainment and even tips and gratuities.

Notable Amenities

  • PADI-certified scuba diving lessons
  • Free wedding for stays of three nights or longer
  • Spa
  • Fitness center and exercise classes
  • Swim-up bar on-site

Best for Special Occasions: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (Maldives)

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Why We Chose It: Guests can switch things up and book an underwater suite, or they can dine in an underwater restaurant surrounded by the world's clearest waters and abundant ocean wildlife.

Pros

  • Array of overwater villas to choose from, including options with up to two bedrooms
  • 9 restaurants and bars
  • Wine cellar with over 15,000 bottles
  • 3 large pools (and a separate pool for kids)

Cons

  • Pricey rates 
  • Remote location in the Maldives

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has plenty to offer when it comes to booking your special trip. Upgrades include dinners in their underwater restaurant, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, which features set lunch and dinner menus with views of the ocean and its inhabitants in every direction.

The property's overwater bungalows are exquisite, featuring fine bedding and toiletries, glass floor tiles, private infinity pools, rain showers, and bathtubs made for two. The resort's Premier Water Villa with a Pool is more than 1,600 square feet with its own large pool, separate living and sleeping space, a sunken ocean-view tub, a rain shower and everything else you need to enjoy the most romantic getaway.

Notable Amenities

  • Underwater facilities
  • Fitness center and yoga classes
  • Impressive wine cellar
  • Kid's club on-site

Best in Mexico: Palafitos Overwater Bungalows

Palafitos Overwater Bungalows

Palafitos Overwater Bungalows

Why We Chose It: Bungalows here feature amenities like private pools, large soaking tubs, and see-through glass floors—and the property is especially accessible to those traveling from the U.S.

Pros:

  • Just an hour south of Cancun
  • All-inclusive pricing includes food, drinks, and entertainment
  • 6 restaurants and 5 bars on-site
  • Adults only
  • 24-hour room service

Cons:

  • Pricey rates
  • Overwater bungalows max out at 600 square feet

If you're craving the overwater bungalow experience but you don't want to travel far from home, add Palafitos Overwater Bungalows to your list of resorts to visit. This property is all-inclusive and features overwater bungalows for two that deliver indoor and outdoor showers, a two-person jacuzzi tub, a balcony with a micro-infinity plunge pool, and a ladder that leads directly into the turquoise waters below.

Bungalows also come with glass floor panels that let guests enjoy views of the ocean from the room. This property is adults-only, so it's perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway.

Notable Amenities

  • Butler service
  • 3 swim-up bars on-site
  • Spa
  • Fitness center

Best for Celebrity Sightings: Cayo Espanto Island Resort, Belize

Cayo Espanto Island Resort

Cayo Espanto Island Resort

Why We Chose It: This exclusive private island resort is known for its celebrity sightings (past guests include Tiger Woods and Bill Gates, among others).

Pros

  • Small resort with only 7 private villas
  • Entire island can be booked for up to 18 guests
  • All-inclusive pricing with food and drink included

Cons

  • Some villas are not entirely over the water
  • Small resort with 1 dining option
  • Wine and champagne not included in the nightly rate

Cayo Espanto Island Resort is a private island resort off the coast of Belize where privacy is of utmost importance and no expense is spared. A total of 18 guests can occupy the resort at once, and seven different villas are available. Options include a fully overwater villa known as Casa Ventanas, which boasts its own private dock, 1,100 square feet of space, an expansive deck, and see-through glass floors. Other villas sit next to, or partially over, the water with private plunge pools and amazing ocean views.

This property is small but all-inclusive, so the majority of your drinks (including alcohol, except wine and champagne) and all your fine dining is covered within the nightly villa rate. Even better, all meals are prepared and tailored to your tastes and dietary needs by an award-winning chef.

Notable Amenities

  • Spa services
  • Kayaks, snorkeling, and fishing available
  • Included daily transportation to mainland

Best Spa Experience: InterContinental Resort Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa

InterContinental Resort Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa

InterContinental Resort Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa

Why We Chose It: This exclusive resort features a unique spa with glass-bottomed treatment rooms and the first ever Thalassotherapy (seawater therapy) center in the South Pacific.

Pros

  • Spa treatments use ancient Polynesian healing rituals
  • 7 types of overwater bungalows to choose from
  • Large overwater villa options with up to 3,465 square feet available
  • 6 restaurants and bars to choose from

Cons

  • Pricey rates
  • Only one main pool

The InterContinental Resort Bora Bora & Thalasso Spa offers one of the best spas in Bora Bora. Guests have the option to get a massage over glass floors above the ocean, and the property's treatments are unique to the destination.

There are seven types of overwater bungalows to choose from, the largest of which is over 3,400 square feet. Many of the bungalows feature plunge pools, glass floors, and spacious soaking tubs with waterfront views. Villa Teremoana, the largest overwater villa on the property, features two master bedrooms, a large outdoor terrace with a private pool, a freshwater shower, and a giant double bathtub.

Notable Amenities

  • On-site spa
  • Tennis courts
  • Helipad
  • Wedding chapel
  • TOPDIVE Center

Final Verdict

The best overwater bungalows may not be affordable in the traditional sense, but they do offer one of the most romantic and exclusive getaways money can buy. With unbeatable ocean views and special features like glass floors, private pools, and personalized butler service, an overwater bungalow vacation is one you'll never forget. If you're looking for a true bucket list experience, you can't go wrong with the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.

How We Chose These Hotels

In choosing the above properties, we looked for bungalows that offer special features and amenities, and also considered features of each resort, such as dining options, activities on-site and the availability of water sports (like snorkeling and diving). Finally, we read numerous user testimonials for all the properties featured.

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