World travel

17 Incredible Resorts on the Water We’re Dreaming About

Who can resist the allure of luxury resorts on the water? Everything about overwater bungalows screams romance, as they typically offer off-the-grid tropical locations and luxury perks such as private plunge pools, outdoor terraces and hammocks suspended over crystal-clear waters. We’ve tackled the difficult task of travelling to idyllic destinations such as Bora Bora, the Maldives and Fiji to bring you the best of the best over-water accommodation.

With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve tracked down the world’s most gorgeous resorts on the water. Tucked in remote locations across the globe, these over-the-top hotels not only boast ocean-facing luxury villas but also pamper you with gourmet cuisine, lavish spa treatments and some of the world’s best snorkeling spots.

The St. Regis Bora Bora, French Polynesia

The St. Regis Bora Bora, French Polynesia, resort on the water

Photo| The St. Regis Bora Bora| Provided by THE ST. REGIS BORA BORA

The St. Regis Bora Bora is one of the world’s most dazzling resorts on the water, offering the largest overwater villas in the South Pacific. The spacious villas are paradise perfected with glass-panel doors, plunge pools, whirlpools, terraces and gazebos. Best of all, the St. Regis Butler Service is provided in all Suites Villas.

Pamper yourself at the posh on-site spa or sip cocktails at the swim-up bar, then come face-to-face with tropical fish at the resort’s protected underwater sanctuary. Bold flavours of Asia are highlighted at Bam Boo Restaurant, while Lagoon Restaurant by Jean-Georges is suspended over water and serves fresh catches.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 1,816 – USD 6,252
Guest Rating: 9.6
Address: Motu Ome’e BP 506, Vaitape 98730, French Polynesia

Four Seasons Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Dream Vacations Luxury Hotel Resort

Photo|Dream Vacations Luxury Hotel Resort| GETTYIMAGES – MLENNY

Four Seasons Bora Bora, French Polynesia, resort on the water

Photo| Four Seasons Bora Bora| Provided by LEONARDO

Four Seasons Bora Bora is one of the best resorts on the water in Bora Bora, and that’s saying a lot. This private island paradise is the epitome of luxury, offering pampering body treatments at its Kahaia tree-inspired spa, underwater excursions led by the resident marine biologists and multiple dining options, including the beachfront Fare Hua Beach Bar and Grill with live music and tropical cocktails.

Stay in the One-Bedroom Overwater Bungalow Suite with Plunge Pool for unobstructed views of the lagoon, complimentary snorkeling gear and a private bar. Alternatively, you can admire the resort’s white-sand beach from the furnished deck of a One Bedroom Beach-View Overwater Bungalow Suite.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 1,138 – USD 20,880
Guest Rating: 9.3
Address: Motu Tehotu, Vaitape, French Polynesia

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives, overwater resort

Photo| Taj Exotica Resort & Spa| Provided by LEONARDO

It’s easy to escape the stress of everyday life at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, a luxury resort in the middle of one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives. Lounge by the infinity pool or at the private beach, then discover the serene signature treatments at Jiva Spa. You can also savour local ingredients at Deep End restaurant or sip cocktails leisurely at Equator Bar, which has eye-popping views of fiery Indian Ocean sunsets.

This tropical isle is home to luxury Lagoon Villas built on stilts with private sun decks and stunning Indian Ocean views. Some have private pools, extra bedrooms and hammocks suspended over the lagoon, and its Presidential Suite is award-winning. Butlers are happy to arrange snorkeling and scuba diving excursions.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 992 – USD 4,811
Guest Rating: 9.5
Address: PO Box 2117, En’boodhoofinolhu 20117, Maldives

Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa, Maldives

Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa, Maldives, overwater resorts

Photo| Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa| Provided by LEONARDO

Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa has got the perfect recipe for a perfect tropical getaway – exotic ocean views and overwater villas. Set on a private island with its own lagoon, the resort is a diver’s dream, while other perks include an infinity pool and Jacuzzi, water sports, excursions and a ritzy spa.

The Premium Water Villas are a private paradise, featuring a thatched roof and outdoor deck overlooking the water. You’ll have plenty of spaces to enjoy the view, as it also includes an outdoor shower, plush sun loungers, a sea-facing bed and ladder that leads into the lagoon.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 529 – USD 2,379
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: P.O.Box 2117, North Male Atoll, Hembadhoo, Maldives

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives, resort on the water

Photo| Conrad Maldives Rangali Island| Provided by ICE PORTAL

One of the most unique hotels in the world, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is known for its visually stunning ocean setting. Dining is taken to a whole new level at the world’s first underwater restaurant, where you can watch fish and sharks above your head as you eat. Afterwards, enjoy a cocktail at the infinity pool or visit the over-water spa for tailored holistic treatments.

Picture-perfect Water Villas have private sun terraces, ocean-facing tubs and plunge pools with stairs leading directly into the Indian Ocean. Looking for something truly unique? Book The Muraka, a luxury two-level residence with the master bedroom submerged below the ocean.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 592 – USD 4,924
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Rangali Island, Rangali Island 20077, Maldives

Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji

Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji, overwater resort

Photo|Likuliku Lagoon Resort & Spa| Provided by LIKULIKU LAGOON RESORT

Easily one of the world’s most renowned resorts on the water, Likuliku Lagoon Resort is an adults-only haven with luxury over-water bures. Surrounded by a tropical fish-filled marine sanctuary, it’s 10 private and exclusive over-water bures feature lagoon views from a furnished deck and luxe bathtub, while a chef pampers guests with daily complimentary canapé plates.

Local seafood and produce are showcased on the menu of the on-site restaurant, while Tatadra Spa offers an extensive menu of Fijian-style massages and body treatments. A daily-changing schedule of activities means you’re never bored, offering everything from paddle boarding and kayaking to sailing, snorkeling and sunset cruises.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 791 – USD 1,314
Guest Rating: 9.5
Address: Malolo Island, Malolo Island, Fiji

Six Senses Laamu, Maldives

Six Senses Laamu, Maldives, resort on the water

Photo| Six Senses Laamu| Provided by LEONARDO

Discover a palm-fringed paradise at Six Senses Laamu, the only resort on the remote Laamu Atoll in the Maldives. Embark on memorable island hopping or dolphin cruises, sunbathe on the sandbank or kick back at the overwater Chill Bar. Ready to treat yourself? Tempt your taste buds with gourmet Japanese fusion cuisine at Zen restaurant, then book a 24K Gold Facial at the opulent spa.

Showcasing the natural beauty of the island, lavish Lagoon Water Villas boast glass sunken bathtubs, overwater hammocks and treetop decks. Upgrade to an Ocean Water Villa with Pool for an overwater pool, or stay in a Sunset Laamu Water Villa for prime sunset viewing.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 1,085 – USD 3,735
Guest Rating: 9.7
Address: Olhuveli Island, Olhuveli Island 08290, Maldives

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam, overwater resort

Photo| Six Senses Ninh Van Bay| Provided by LEONARDO

One of the best Nha Trang beach hotels, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is surrounded by mountain and ocean views. Enjoy outdoor excursions, from island hopping to scuba diving, then unwind with traditional Vietnamese therapies at the spa. There are multiple ocean-front dining options, with Dinner in the Wine Cave offering a romantic atmosphere for special occasions.

Water Pool Villas are at the water’s edge overlooking Ninh Van Bay, featuring an in-villa mini wine cellar, private deck and plunge pool. Facing the setting sun, The Water Reserve adds extra space with three bedrooms, an outdoor cinema and water slide into the infinity pool.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 716 – USD 3,407
Guest Rating: 9.4
Address: Ninh Van Bay, Nha Trang, Ninh Hoa, Nha Trang, Vietnam

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Inspired by Feng Shui principles to create the perfect sense of harmony, Constance Le Prince Maurice is a romantic hideaway with a stunning architectural design and luxurious setting. Junior Suites on Stilts are secluded and intimate, overlooking the sea and featuring a furnished balcony, mini bar and 24-hour room service, while the Villa on Stilts adds a cosy living room.

Pamper yourself at Constance Spa, then enjoy a candlelit feast on a floating deck at Le Barachois or enjoy wine tasting in the cellar. Families will love the themed programs for little ones at Constance kids club, while golf enthusiasts can retreat to the two 18-hole championship golf courses.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 412 – USD 1,763
Guest Rating: 9.5
Address: Choisy Road, Poste de Flacq, Mauritius

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa, French Polynesia

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa, French Polynesia, overwater resort

Photo| InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa| Provided by LEONARDO

Set in a beautiful lagoon, InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa offers travellers one of the world’s best tropical island vacations. Overwater villas here boast spacious living areas king-size beds, private terraces and bathtubs with lagoon views. Just picture yourself stepping off the deck of your villa right into the crystalline waters.

You’re spoilt for choice with activities, from scuba diving and sunset cruises, while the white-sand beach and award-winning spa invite you to relax. See daily stingray feedings at the Lagoonarium, then dig your toes in the sand at the beachfront Sands Restaurant, which has regular barbecues, signature cocktails and live music.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 989 – USD 4,291
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: Motu Piti Aau, Vaitape 98730, French Polynesia

El Dorado Maroma by Karisma, Mexico

El Dorado Maroma by Karisma, Mexico, resort on the water

Photo|El Dorado Maroma by Karisma| Provided by BOOKING.COM

El Dorado Maroma by Karisma is a 5-star luxury spa resort in Mexico’s beautiful Riviera Maya. Sample Mexican Caribbean delights at Caribbean Grill restaurant, then enjoy a Beachfront Sky Massage at Naay Spa, try parasailing or join a cooking class. Finish your day with a tropical drink at one of the swim-up bars.

It’s in a league of its own when it comes to adults-only getaways, boasting the first and only overwater bungalows in Mexico. Wake up to turquoise waters below your feet with glass-bottom floors, then enjoy a private infinity pool, oversized deck, and in upgraded bungalows, you’ll have a dedicated butler on-hand and direct access to the ocean.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 265 – USD 2,418
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: Carretera Cancun – Tulum Km. 55.3, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia, overwater resort

Photo| Song Saa Private Island| Provided by ICE PORTAL

Song Saa Private Island is a luxury resort in Cambodia and one of the world’s best resorts on the water. You’ll find a host of adventures to enhance your private island experience, from snorkeling and sea kayaking to island safaris, while the nature-based spa invites you to find your zen. Alternatively, the beachside Driftwood bar is an ideal spot for a sundowner cocktail.

You can take a peek at the natural reef through the portholes of the Overwater Villas, which also feature a sundeck, private pool and oversized sunken bathtub. Perfect for families, couples and friends travelling together, the Two Bed Overwater Villas add a second bedroom.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 953 – USD 4,632
Guest Rating: 9.5
Address: Koh Sang Saa Island, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia

Pangkor Laut Resort, Malaysia, resort on the water

Photo|Pangkor Laut Resort| Provided by LEONARDO

Nestled amidst an ancient rainforest in Malaysia, Pangkor Laut Resort is set on a private island fringed by white sandy beaches. Sea Villas stand on stilts over the sea and feature a large balcony with sun loungers, while Suria and Purnama suites add an elegant lounge and sea-facing bathtub.

Take advantage of the spa’s whirlpool, steam room and couple’s treatments, then enjoy seafood dishes at Fisherman’s Cove and Chinese-style home cooking at Uncle Lim’s Kitchen. Royal Bay Beach Club overlooks the infinity pool, while Chapman’s Bar sits on a white sandy beach. Jungle trekking, fishing and island hopping are some of the activities on offer.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 252 – USD 524
Guest Rating: 9
Address: Pangkor Laut Island, Pangkor 32200, Malaysia

Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort, French Polynesia

Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort, French Polynesia, overwater resort

Photo|Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort| Provided by ICE PORTAL

A 10-minute flight from the main island of Tahiti, Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort sits on the edge of a stunning lagoon. One of the world’s top resorts on the water, its overwater bungalows boast private terraces and sundecks as well as direct access to the lagoon.

HotelsCombined visitors rave about the resort’s beach, which is perfect for swimming in the crystal clear waters, as well as the luxury treatments offered at the spa. Enjoy gourmet cuisine at K Restaurant, then toast to another day in paradise with South Pacific-inspired cocktails at Vue or take in the idyllic sunset views from Beach Bar.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 444 – USD 1,092
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: Bp 28, Maharepa 98728, French Polynesia

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa, Cook Islands

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa, Cook Islands, overwater resort

Photo| Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa| Provided by BOOKING.COM

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa is a swanky adults-only retreat and private island in the heart of the South Seas. Home to the only overwater bungalows in the Cook Islands, these luxurious abodes feature thatched roofs, air conditioning and spacious verandahs. Of course, the biggest highlight is their panoramic Aitutaki Lagoon views.

Speaking of the lagoon, the crystalline waters are ideal for stand-up paddleboarding, snorkeling and kayaking, while on-site dining is highlighted by theme dinner evenings at Bounty Brasserie. Couples will love spa’s Jacuzzi, sauna and couples massages as well as the ancient hula dances showcased at the themed Island Nights.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 372 – USD 906
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: Aitutaki Lagoon, Aitutaki, Cook Islands

AYADA Maldives, Maldives

AYADA Maldives, Maldives, resort on the water

Photo| AYADA Maldives| Provided by BOOKING.COM

AYADA Maldives is like stepping into a real-life postcard with its pristine beaches and lush tropical greenery. It’s also one of the world’s most luxurious resorts on the water, with its over-water villas boasting ocean hammocks, private outdoor terraces, plunge pools and direct lagoon access.

Discover a wide range of restaurants and bars, from the over-water views and seasonal menu at Ocean Breeze to fresh sushi at Kai, while the open-air cheese and wine bar Ile de Joie is set over the lagoon. It also boasts an award-winning spa, as well as excursions such as glass-bottom boat tours, dolphin spotting and deserted island picnics.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 579 – USD 7,225
Guest Rating: 9.4
Address: Maguhdhuvaa Island, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Republic of Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives, resort on the water

Photo|Constance Halaveli| Provided by LEONARDO

Sitting in the Maldives’ North Ari Atoll, Constance Halaveli is shaped like a curved Dhoni (Maldivian boat). While all villas are equipped with spacious sitting areas, furnished terraces and private plunge pools, romantic Water Villas also have spectacular lagoon views. If you’ve got the kids in tow, the Family Beach Villas have a gated garden with a sun terrace and pool.

Get pampered with a spa treatment at Constance Spa or order a fruity drink at the beachfront pool. Jing Restaurant is ideal for candlelit dinners, while Kaika Sushi serves sashimi and sushi rolls next to a beautiful lagoon. Alternatively, you can kick back with a refreshing cocktail while listening to live music at Jahaz Bar.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 665 – USD 2,377
Guest Rating: 9.4
Address: Halaveli Island, Maldives

Experience The World’s Most Lavish Resorts on the Water

All worthy of a bucket list trip, the world’s best resorts on the water boast enviable overwater bungalows floating above crystal-clear turquoise waters. They are the ultimate slice of island paradise, found in places like French Polynesia, the Maldives and Bora Bora. These chic retreats not only offer mesmerizing water views right from your bed, but they also boast gourmet restaurants, posh spas and access to memorable outdoor adventures.

Which resorts on the water is your favourite from our list? Let us know in the comments below.

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