This article was first published in December 2018 and updated in October 2019.
Fancy a vacation in paradise where you can dive from your room into the deep blue ocean or majestic lake? You won’t want to miss these gorgeous overwater bungalows in Asia! This is the most comprehensive list of overwater bungalows in Asia, from the Maldives to Indonesia and beyond.
- Stunning overwater bungalows in Bali
- Overwater bungalows in the rest of Indonesia
- Overwater bungalows in Philippines
- Best floating villas and overwater bungalows in the Middle East
- Best floating villas and overwater bungalows in the Maldives
- Best overwater bungalows in Malaysia
- Amazing overwater bungalows in Thailand
- Beautiful overwater bungalows in Vietnam
- Luxurious overwater bungalows in Cambodia
- Panoramic overwater bungalows in Myanmar
- Overwater bungalows in Sri Lanka
Stunning overwater bungalows in Bali
Although the Island of Gods is not known for its overwater villas, it is famous for the many luxury hotels. Look closely and you will find a few semi-overwater bungalows in Bali to satisfy your Maldives dreams.
While some of these overwater villas in Bali might not be over natural bodies of water, it is really nice to be able to dive into the water right from your room to escape the heat or do a lap.
Let’s kick off this list of the best overwater bungalows in Asia with something a little different. While some usually associate stilted villas with the ocean, there are a variety of other options, most noticeably amid lush dense rainforest over natural ponds.
One such example are the restored Javanese teak wood bridal homes at the opulent and eco-conscious Bambu Indah in spiritual Ubud. The elevated houses are set in an intimate, comfortable, natural setting that ooze rustic chic. Bespoke experiences are also on offer from Balinese blessings to village hikes.
The Water Garden Hotel
I have stayed in Candidasa before, on Bali’s east coast, and can attest to it’s stunning natural beauty. There are so many gorgeous sites to see and things to do in Candidasa, from the famous Tirta Gangga and Ujung Water Palace to the mystical Besakih Temple and Goa Lawah (Bat Cave). These are all nestled on the slopes of Mount Agung.
Apart from the usual villas that you can stay at in the beach area, you can find solace at Hotel The Watergarden which, as the name suggests, is a few bungalows perched over water and surrounded by a calming garden in lush nature. Each bungalow is a typical thatched roof Balinese villa that is decked with marble flooring inside and a wooden terrace floating over the water.
There are three different room variations with the grand Kul Kul Suite Room having it’s own private swimming pool and garden. The surroundings are beautiful with brick paths that meander through verdant tropical gardens and lily ponds
The St. Regis Bali Resort
Bali’s Nusa Dua is known for it’s tourist-friendly resort feel and over-the-top luxury hotels along the beach. If you’re looking for a holiday in a more accessible part of the island, close to the calmer water of Bali’s south coast (and a stunning golf course), then give The St. Regis Bali Resort a try.
While you won’t be floating over the water like you would in the Maldives, book the Lagoon Villa and your room will be surrounded by a pool, almost like a mote where you can dive in right from the terrace. And if you’d prefer a more natural body of water, the warm and calm ocean is only a few meters away.
And because this is a resort you’ll find several dining options from Pan-Asian haute cuisine to Balinese dishes. There are also two bars, a gourmet deli, a fitness center and of course, the luxurious Iridium spa.
FuramaXclusive Villas & Spa Ubud
Ubud is Bali’s spiritual center and a place that I have stayed at numerous times. FuramaXclusive is a set of overwater villas in Bali that have a central man-made natural spring water lagoon at its center. The Lagoon Pool Access Villas allow direct access to the lagoon and have a wooden patio to lounge on before plunging into the water.
Each Lagoon Pool Access Villa also comes standard with a private outdoor dip pool. The bathrooms are fitted with luxurious black granite for additional luxe. Their Spa Furama has some great therapy rooms and diverse treatments for solo stays or couples. The Resort also has some great activities from cooking classes to traditional Balinese dance.
But possibly the best part of staying here is the free shuttle bus to and from Ubud market, so you don’t have to weave your way around on a motorbike.
Villa Laksmana Hideaway I or II
For those who are basing themselves around busy Seminyak, we have two overwater bungalows in Bali for you to choose from. The first is Villa Laksmana, which is a modest two villa retreat where both villas are surrounded by water.
While this may not be the most natural overwater bungalow in Bali, it’s a nice private escape for couples looking for a bit of seclusion in resort-heavy Seminyak. It’s in walking distance to the infamous Ku De Ta and fairly close to Potato Head Beach Club. And of course, the beach is also in walking distance. While there aren’t any dining option at the resort, all you need to do is step out the door and you’ll be confronted with a vast selection of eateries and cafes.
Villa Seminyak Estate & Spa
Your next option in Seminyak for the best overwater villas in Bali is Villa Seminyak Estate & Spa. There are several different villa options, but if you want to stay above the lagoon, then the Lagoon Villa is your best bet. If staying in a villa above the pool isn’t enough, how about starting your day off right on the water with a floating breakfast.
The villas come with an extra high ceiling, where your best is placed on a loft, making your stay feel seriously grand. Popular party beach Double Six is in walking distance which is very close by some of the more luxe resorts like Anantara Seminyak, Courtyard by Marriott and Padma Resort Legian.
Enjoy the spa for additional pampering, or munch away at the complimentary breakfast buffet or Kedis restaurant. They offer same great packages from honeymooners to those who are staying for a bit longer.
Overwater bungalows in the rest of Indonesia
You may want to stay near the beach in Indonesia, so check out our article of the best beaches in Indonesia.
The newly opened private island is one of Indonesia’s most exclusive getaways. There are beach and overwater villas where you can dive straight into the crystal clear waters below.
The food is made to order at every meal, where you will actually speak to the chef who will design your meal for you. It is an all-inclusive getaway meaning that everything will be included other than alcohol, no tricks or funny surprises.
That means bottomless massages at their spa! There are also land and water based activities to keep you busy for well over a week. See my full review of Bawah here.
Check latest prices and more photos (all-inclusive minus alcohol) now on Booking.com.
Tucked away in the Riau Islands of Indonesia, Telunas Resorts offers a getaway of your dreams. Experience a healing vacation away from the stresses of the city on their private island or in their beach resort on Sugi Island, a ferry ride from Batam.
With their facilities built entirely over the crystal clear waters, enjoy your stay at one of their villas surrounded by the jungle and the sea. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of wildlife like sea otters and pink dolphins.
If you’re thinking of heading to Indonesia make sure you save one of our many itineraries.
Check latest prices and more photos for the resort on Booking.com
Or reserve the entire island for SG$400/night on Booking.com
From an aerial view, Pulo Cinta’s villas are connected in a heart shape, reflecting the island’s history as a secret romantic escape for a pair of star crossed lovers during wartime.
Today, you can book a stay at their romantic resort with your loved one, and spend quality time under the stars. And if you’re seeking some adventure, the islands of Boalemo and the Tomini Gulf offer exotic aquatic biodiversity and lush forests.
Check latest prices and more photos on Booking.com
Ora Beach Resort
This is a truly off-the-grid location for those explorers looking to take a digital detox. While the wifi is non-existent, the view from the water cottages is one of the most spectacular you will witness. As this is a true eco-resort, everything is left to the elements, so you will not find luxuries like air conditioning.
This is the place to relax with a book, swim in the clear blue ocean and watch the gorgeous scenery pass you by. You can also arrange guides from the resort to go on endless excursions.
Check latest prices and more photos on Booking.com
Misool Eco Lodge
The tropical hideaway of Misool Eco Resort is located on one of the remote, uninhabited islands of Raja Ampat in Indonesia, known for its breathtaking and otherworldly beauty. You will be one of only 40 guests on the island and with a staff-to-guest ratio of 4:1 you can expect world class service.
Picture the perfect image of white-sand beaches and azure ocean covering tropical corals and you know you’re imagining Misool. Dive in from your stilted room into a world of biodiversity like no other.
Check latest prices and more photos (for a week in peak season) now on their website.
Papua Paradise Eco Resort
Similar to Misool, Papua Paradise is located in the beautiful Raja Ampat Islands. So divers can expect a bustling marine life. If you take a look on TripAdvisor, you’ll see rave reviews of the eco resort.
From the friendliest staff to knowledgeable guides to delicious food. The standard bungalows will already exceed your expectations. Yet if you want true high-end, opt for the deluxe bungalows. Read more on this review of the Papua Paradise Eco Resort.
Check latest prices and more photos now on their Website
Maratua Paradise Resort
Yet another resort with the word “paradise” in its title that will surely to live up to its name. Just off the coast of East Kalimantan, Borneo in the Derawan Archipelago, Maratua is perfect for a long weekend getaway.
All bungalows have a terrace with a sea view. While resting on your overwater villa, look down to see an abundant marine life. You don’t even need to get in the water to witness the spectacle of nature.
Check latest prices and more photos on their website.
Pulau Ayer Resort And Cottages
Palau Ayer is the perfect escape for business people visiting Jakarta. It’s only a 20 minute boat ride from Marina Ancol. They call their overwater bungalows “floating cottages” which is not an understatement.
It has more of a resort feel due to the large number of huts, but you can also expect all the amenities that a normal land resort has to offer. Except now you have your own private balcony to watch life go by.
Check latest prices and more photos on Agoda
Banyan Tree Bintan
While technically not an overwater villa, the rooms are ocean-facing and high up of stilts. So you won’t necessarily be able to jump right in from your room, but you will be able to jump in your pool while looking out into the azure sea.
The villas are large, with enough space to have a dance. The bathrooms are also really impressive with sunken sea view bathtubs. It’s the perfect stay for a private and rewarding time with your loved ones.
Read more about Banyan Tree Bintan with my complete review here. And then check out some more of the best hotels in Bintan and Batam, the neighboring Indonesian Island. I have also written reviews about Natra Bintan and The Sanchaya Bintan.
Summary table for Indonesia
|Hotel||Price||Location||Getting there||Book now|
|Bambu Indah||From S$499||Ubud, Bali||Fly into Bali and take a taxi to Bambu Indah in Ubud (about 1.5hrs)||Booking.com | Agoda|
|FuramaXclusive Villas & Spa Ubud||From S$235||Ubud, Bali||Fly into Bali and take a taxi to Ubud (about 1.5hrs)||Booking.com | Agoda|
|The St. Regis Bali Resort||From S$695||Nusa Dua, Bali||Fly into Bali and take a taxi to Nusa Dua (about 30hrs) or organise pick up with the resort||Booking.com | Agoda|
|The Water Garden Hotel||From S$180||Candidasa, Bali||Fly into Bali and take a taxi to Candidasa (about 2hrs)||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Villa Laksmana Hideaway I||From S$785||Seminyak, Bali||Fly into Bali and take a taxi to Seminyak (about 30mins)||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Villa Laksmana Hideaway II||From S$785||Seminyak, Bali||Fly into Bali and take a taxi to Seminyak (about 30mins)||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Bawah Reserve||From SG$2300 (all-inclusive minus alcohol)||Anambas Islands.||Tanah Merah Ferry terminal (Singapore) to Batam. 70min flight on private amphibious plane to the reserve||Their website|
|Villa Seminyak Estate & Spa||From S$160||Seminyak, Bali||Fly into Bali and take a taxi to Seminyak (about 40mins)||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Telunas Resorts||From SG$250 (island) SG$110 (resort)||Near Batam, off the coast of Pulau Sugi||Indonesia Harbour Front Terminal (Singapore) to Sekupang port (Batam) to Telunas||Their website for the private island|
|Pulo Cinta||From SG$350||Off the coast of Gorontalo||Fly into Jalaluddin Airport, Gorontalo Province of Sulawesi where staff will pick you up||Booking.com|
|Ora Beach Resort||From S$569||Maluku.||5 hours total from Pattimura Airport in Ambon (by land & boat)||Booking.com|
|Misool Eco Lodge||From SG$3,800 (for a week in peak season)||Raja Ampat||About 4-5hrs private boat ride from Sorong harbour||Their website|
|Papua Paradise Eco Resort||From S$390||Raja Ampat||About a 2hr boat ride from Sorong harbour||Their website|
|Maratua Paradise Resort||From S$65||Off the coast of East Kalimantan (Borneo Island).||Fly into Balikpapan - Berau - Berau Harbour - 2.5-3.5 hour boat ride||Their website|
|Pulau Ayer Resort And Cottages||From S$120||Just north of Jakarta.||Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Jakarta) to Ancol Marina Port||Agoda|
|Banyan Tree Bintan||From S$470||Bintan||45-min ferry from SG. Complimentary shuttle bus between Bintan Resorts ferry terminal (Bandar Bentan Telani) and the resort.||Booking.com | Agoda|
Overwater bungalows in Philippines
If you’re looking to stay near the beach in the Philippines, check out our article of the best beaches in the Philippines.
Huma Island Resort
Nestled on a remote private island in the Sulu Sea, this luxuriously chic resort has stilted rooms as well as those with direct beach access. Not only are some of the rooms over the water, but the spa boasts a glass floor where you can watch the fishes go by while the masseuse unties those knots.
There are Italian and poolside dining options as well with the wine and cheese bar located directly on the beach sand.
El Nido Resort Apulit Island
El Nido is situated in a cove of the mountainous Apulit Island in Taytay Bay in North-eastern Palawan. Thrill-seekers will love climbing and rappelling down the 60-meter limestone cliff or exploring the Japanese shipwrecks just of the coast.
You can even go spelunking! The best part is that there is an activities coordinator who can help to plan your entire trip.
Lagen Island Resort
Another El Nido property, the Lagen Island wing offers a more relaxed stay among the tropical foliage. In fact, it boasts the densest forest in all of the 45 islands that make up the Philippines. Animal lovers will enjoy gazing at the endemic species that flourish throughout the natural habitat. Forest suites are also available if you’d like to be closer to the trees.
This is the only of the El Nido Resorts in the karst lime rocky area that has its own pool, for when you want an alternative to salty water. The pool is shared with guests from sister property Miniloc.
It’s time to treat yourself. And the best way to do that is to stay at what is probably the most luxurious of the El Nido resorts, Pangulasian Island in Bacuit Bay. Expect rooms with infinity pools that overlook the ocean, with the cutting edge of “green” and sustainable design.
There are 42 accommodations to choose from. Pick to your taste from the beach to canopy villas. Families will want to book the four Kalaw Villas where secluded dinners can be had.
Read our complete itinerary for Pangulasian Island here.
Miniloc Island Resort
The fourth option in the El Nido Resorts chain, offering a Filipino coastal retreat in a rustic setting. It’s a place for amphibious adventures and located close to some popular attractions around Bacuit Bay, like the Big and Small Lagoons and Snake Island.
The thatched roof overwater villas are made using all indigenous and local materials.
Guests staying at Miniloc have access to Lagen facilities and its pool.
Check latest prices and more photos on Agoda
Pearl Farm Beach Resort
Located on the second largest island of the Philippines, Mindanao, and close to Davao city, this gem of a resort is away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Selected as a top pick by travelers on TripAdvisor, you’ll be greeted with sand beneath your feet, and stilted lodgings for your dose of luxury.
Not only is Pearl Farm the only 5-star resort in Mindanao, it is also dosed with history and culture of the ethnic Mindanao tribes.
Read out itinerary for Davao, also known as Durian City, here.
Club Tara Resort
The ambience at Club Tara is soothing as each overwater room has its own lanai (terrace), looking the tranquil ocean. Every room also comes standard with a jacuzzi, air-conditioning and other modern amenities.
You can take a kayak to some of the other islets in the Surigao del Norte area. It’s perfect for honeymooners who want some alone time among the romantic scenery and powder white beaches.
Grace Island Resort
The floating huts at Grace are quite distinctive as they’re modeled to represent the traditional Bahay kubo (Nipa huts) of the area. There are only 8 floating cottages available so you are guaranteed peace and quiet with only the sound of lapping waves to keep you company.
You will need to take a 60 minute boat ride to reach your destination, but if you don’t get easily seasick, the reward is a truly isolated slice of paradise.
Check latest prices and more photos on Agoda
Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort
Companies looking for a bit of a different team-building experience can reserve a spot at Stilts Calatagan. The resort caters for all types from corporate events to special occasions or the simple weekend getaway.
Their “everything is possible” philosophy is sure to make your every wish come true. Amazing Race anyone? The duplex styled floating cottages are also a bonus for families.
Check latest prices and more photos on their website.
Villa Escudero Plantation And Resort
How about a stay in the middle of a working coconut plantation? And if waking up to fresh coconut milk isn’t enough, the also have the largest private antiquity collection in the Philippines, bamboo rafting and the entertaining Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant.
Yup, you eat below a waterfall! As the focus at Villa Escudero is on heritage, you will also witness native dance performances and a visit to the Escudero Private Museum. Rooms come in a choice of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned.
Check latest prices and more photos on their website
You don’t get more luxe than a marble tub in your overwater villa. Cauayan Resort is based in El Nido, so you won’t be short of white sand beaches, a diverse array of flora and fauna and water activities in the crystal blue ocean.
Wake up in the morning and dive right into the ocean with perfect panoramic views of the beautiful cliffs.
Summary table for the Philippines
|Huma Island Resort||From SG$580||Busuanga, Palawan||1. Private Sea Plane – Direct from Manila Bay about 1.20 hrs. 2. Commercial Flights – Fly from Manila to Busuanga, Palawan. From Busuanga Airport (USU), 1.5 hours by land to Sagrada Port and 30min boat ride.||Booking.com | Agoda|
|El Nido Resort Apulit Island||From S$690||El Nida, Palawan||Fly from Manila to El Nido, Palawan (about 55 min). Meet staff at Lio airport in El Nido, and drive to Taytay Town Port (90min). Then 45 to 75min boat transfer to Apulit Island.||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Lagen Island Resort||From S$740||El Nida, Palawan||Fly from Manila to El Nido, Palawan (about 55 min). Meet staff at Lio airport in El Nido, and drive to El Nido Resorts Jetty Lounge (15min). Then 45 to 50min boat transfer to Lagen Island.||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Pangulasian||From S$1,264||El Nida, Palawan||Fly from Manila to El Nido, Palawan (about 55 min). Meet staff at Lio airport in El Nido, and drive to El Nido Resorts Jetty Lounge (15min). Then 30 to 545min boat transfer to Pangulasian Island.||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Miniloc Island Resort||From S$715||El Nida, Palawan||Fly from Manila to El Nido, Palawan (about 55 min). Meet staff at Lio airport in El Nido, and drive to El Nido Resorts Jetty Lounge (15min). Then 30 to 545min boat transfer to Miniloc Island.||Agoda|
|Pearl Farm Beach Resort||From S$230||Kaputian, Samal||Fly into Davao, then head to Pearl Farm Marina in Lanang Davao Beach Club. Take a ferry to Samal Island (about 45mins).||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Club Tara Resort||From S$35||Socorro, Surigao del Norte||From Manila or Cebu, fly to Surigao airport then take a public van service to Hayangabon Pier and a private boat to Club Tara.||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Grace Island Resort||From S$155||San Jose, Occidental Mindoro||Fly into Manila. Take the bus at Araneta Center Bus Terminal, to Batangas Port and then over to San Jose, Occ. Mindoro. Time unknown.||Agoda|
|Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort||From S$240||Barangay Sta. Ana Calatagan Batangas, Calatagan, Batangas||About 3.5hrs from Manila Airport||Their website|
|Villa Escudero Plantation And Resort||From S$140 (6 pax)||Tiaong, Quezon||About 2.5hrs from Manila Airport||Their website|
|Cauayan Resort||From S$530||El Nida, Palawan||Fly from Manila to El Nido, Palawan (about 55 min). Meet staff at Lio airport in El Nido, and drive to Taytay Town Port (90min). Then 15-30min boat transfer to Cauayan Resort.||Booking.com | Agoda|
Best floating villas and overwater bungalows in the Middle East
The Middle East is technically part of Asia and can definitely be a comfortable weekend getaway, so check out these fabulous overwater bungalows in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Anantara The Palm
Situated over the waters of the Arabian Gulf, The Palm Dubai is a luxurious vacation spot that’s the first of its kind in the Middle East. Wake up to the sound of the waves, get a breakfast in bed, and admire the waters directly through the glass panel on the floor.
Don’t miss chilling at the infinity pool, setting foot on the soft sand, and having a private dining experience on the villa deck.
Read my extensive guide to Dubai here.
Zaya Nurai is a resort like no other. The rooms are beyond spacious and will make your home feel like a hole. From the Bose sound systems to the Moltom Brown bath products, you can expect surprise after surprise as soon as you step into your villa.
The beach villas along the main beach strip are covered in glass walls and filled with king-sized beds. Choose from one of three restaurants after your relaxing spa, while the kids are entertained at the kids’ club that includes features like ziplines and a climbing wall.
Summary table for the Middle East
|Anantara The Palm||From S$600||East Crescent, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai||About 35mins from Dubai Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Zaya Nurai||From S$1,149||Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi||About an hour from Abu Dhabi Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
Best floating villas and overwater bungalows in the Maldives
I have visited the Maldives several time now and have stayed in various different properties and visited many others, so I know the pros and cons of most. Check out for my reviews in the sections below for a more in-depth and unbiased review of the properties.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
The Conrad Rangali is luxe like no other. Not only can you sleep on top of the water, but you can even dine underneath it! That’s right, you can have your dinner while watching sharks swim overhead, like a natural aquarium.
But this isn’t the only reason why you’d want to stay at the Conrad. The overwater villas even have outdoor Jacuzzis. The price tag is high, but if you can then why not stay at one of the best hotels in the Maldives. Here’s a review to get you inspired.
With villas ranging in size from the already large 235sqm to the extravagant 5540sqm Private Reserve that includes everything from a children’s bedroom, private pool and water slide, to a spa, sauna, steam room, and fitness room.
Soneva Fushi is more than luxury, it’s a celebrity paradise where you can live like the rich and famous. The surrounding areas of the island of Kunfunadhoo in Baa Atoll are lush and thriving with beauty.
Click here for my full review.
Cocoa Island by COMO
Cocoa COMO offers complete relaxation with its Shambhala Retreat where weary souls can renew their body and mind. The rooms are gorgeous and inspired by local dhoni boats that are decked in bleached wood with kajan roofs.
The restaurant only sources local seafood with organic vegetables to give an extra dose of healthy living.
One&Only Reethi Rah
The One&Only Reethi Rah is a secluded oasis in the North Male Atol. Unlike many overwater villas that face each other, the One&Only offers exclusive and unprecedented privacy. All you will hear in your villa is the sound of nature and the ocean.
You’ll also be transferred in style, either on a speedboat or their private 55 Ft luxury yacht.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
The beautifully laid out villas of the Taj Exotica gives a fantastic first impression. If you’re going for uber luxury, then you should definitely reserve one of the suites.
Ochre and beige tones will have you instantly in that holiday vibe and the attached spa downstairs will make you never want to leave your room.
Reethi Beach Resort
Reethi has two options available for overwater villa luxury. The first is Reethi Beach Resort which is located on the tiny Baa Atoll, a 35-minute seaplane flight from Male. The villas are built using local materials and are spacious. Reethi Faru Resort will offer a superior, premium stay.
It is located on Raa Atoll, on the private island of Filaidhoo measuring just six hundred by three hundred and fifty meters. Not only are the villas luxe, but the philosophy of Reethi is all about conservation, so you will also have peace of mind among the thriving aquatic ecosystem.
Six Senses Laamu
With a more casual take on luxury, the Six Senses offers simply stunning overwater villas that are also some of the largest you’ll find in the Maldives. Their approach to food is all out organic, making it absolutely delicious.
Nearby experiences include great manta diving, dolphin cruises, private sandbank BBQ dinners and even exclusive surf breaks.
Here’s my full review of the resort.
Trace back to 2016 and you’ll find that TripAdvisor named this resort the best in the world. So what do you get in the most luxurious rooms in the world? Well, extra-size, a Robinson Crusoe feel with thatched huts, overwater hammocks and various areas to lounge around.
Relax in the ecofriendly stand-alone villas while experiencing luxury at your own pace.
Read my complete review here.
Cheval Blanc Randheli
This is hands down one of the Maldives’ most stylish and elegant resorts. The chic, modern and sleek villas will have you lapping in the luxury while you ease into the calm surroundings.
If you’re looking for privacy and exclusivity, this is the place to stay. It’s possibly the Maldives’ best kept secret.
Summary table for the Maldives
|Conrad Maldives Rangali Island||From S$720||Rangali, South Ari Atoll||Either 30min plane from Malé International Airport or speedboat from neighbouring islands||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Soneva Fushi||From S$3,015||Kunfunadhoo in Baa Atoll||30min seaplane flight direct from Malé International Airport or a 20min domestic flight to Dharavandhoo followed by a 12min speedboat ride||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Cocoa Island by COMO||From S$1,258||South Malé atoll||Either flu in from Hulhulé or Gan airports or contact the hotel for private transfers||Booking.com | Agoda|
|One&Only Reethi Rah||From S$2,480||Reethi Rah, North Malé Atoll, Malé||Speedboat transfer from Malé International Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Taj Exotica Resort & Spa||From S$1,225||Emboodhu Finolhu island||Speedboat transfer from Malé International Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Reethi Beach Resort||From S$252||Fonimagoodhoo, Baa Atoll||From Male’ International Airport board a seaplane for 30mins or a domestic carrier for 20mins and speedboat transfer of 15 mins||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Six Senses Laamu||From S$252||Olhuveli Island, Laamu Atoll||From Male' International Airport, it's a 35min flight and 15min boat ride||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Gili Lankanfushi||From S$1,804||Lankanfushi Island, North Malé Atoll||20min by speedboat from Velana International Airport or 25min by speedboat from Male City||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Cheval Blanc Randheli||From S$2,877||Noonu Atoll||40 minutes north from malé by seaplane||Booking.com | Agoda|
Best overwater bungalows in Malaysia
Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort
The Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort is known to provide a more budget-friendly version of a Maldives getaway, with overwater villas and turquoise waters underneath. Unlike the Maldives resort, you won’t be able to dive directly into the waters.
But you can still relax over the most beautiful azure ocean while enjoying the natural scenery and astounding sunsets. This resort offers a relaxing vacation at an affordable price.
If you need a quick getaway close to Singapore, try Tioman for a perfect escape.
Langkawi has it all. Hedonist beaches to party at, mangroves to explore, a cable car to the highest peaks and, of course, ultra luxurious stilted villas. The Berjaya chain offers gorgeous over-the-ocean villas that offer undisturbed sea views from private balconies. Choose between the chalet or the suite, with the latter offering a sunken jacuzzi looking out through a ceiling to floor window.
St. Regis Langkawi
Another option to float overwater in the “Jewel of Kedah” is the opulent St Regis Langkawi. The design of the rooms are more sleek, elegant and chic than the Berjaya with more of a luxe resort feel.
Pick one of the 100sqm Sunset Over-Water Villas for your own sunset-facing private pool facing over the turquoise blue lagoon. This option is perfect for honeymooners who can relax all day on their own private deck with infinity pool.
If you took your drone to Lexis Hibiscus and faced the camera downard, you’d notice something quite spectacular. Not only are the villas overwater, they’re also laid out in the shape of a hibiscus flower! How’s that for planning.
The spacious rooms are polished and contemporary, but also airy and bright due to the floor to ceiling glass windows. The beach is pristine, the view of the Straits of Malacca are divine and if you don’t want to jump into the ocean, you can take a dip in your private pool and then chill in your very own steam room.
Gayana Eco Resort
Eco-conscious travelers will be thrilled staying at Gayana Eco Resort that comes with its own marine research centre. If you take one look into the ocean from your villa window, you’ll notice a diverse marine life that is enjoying a thriving existence thanks to Gayana.
Both the Bayu Villa or Palm Villa come standard with their own private decks and direct access into the ocean, with the latter boasting both a plunge pool and a bath overlooking the ocean.
Pom Pom Island
Pom Pom’s logo is a standing testament to what the island is all about, nature conservation in a paradisiac setting. Housing one of the major turtle nesting areas and hatcheries in Malaysia, you can expect scuba diving like no other place.
When you’re done frolicking with the turtles, take it easy at the Yin & Yang Spa before retiring to your gigantic room. The bathroom window is open and looks out onto the Celebes Sea for extra romance.
Pangkor Laut Resort
Back in 2003 Pangkor Laut won Condé Nast’s coveted Number One in the World award as well as the Best Overseas Destination Spa category. Not much has changed in the last couple of years as the resort still offers top notch villas with superb service.
When staying here you’ll witness why the late opera singer, Luciano Pavarotti, was almost moved to tears at the beauty of the surroundings. The villas are set high up on the water, among the rolling hills and nestled within lush gardens.
Avillion Port Dickson
Recline into the comfy turquoise sofas of the Avillion while breathing in the fresh ocean breeze. There are several options available for overwater villas from normal chalets to 3-bedroom 210 square meter ultimate water villas.
So you can come for a pampering hen do or chill with your entire extended family. It really is a great option for families as there’s a kids’ spa and cabin to keep the young ones active while you get your own treatment.
Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort
This overwater stilted village is a diver’s dream, as it’s located a boat ride away from dive meccas Sipadan and Mabul island. The resort itself boasts flourishing marine life, where you can find macro and tiny underwater life right under your villa.
Spot giant moray eels, turtles and the like and then climb into bed without a boat ride. The wooden chalets are spacious and come with a private balcony to catch some rays.
Check latest prices and more photos on their website
Summary table for Malaysia
|Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort||From S$135||Sungai Pelek, Selangor||About an hour from Kuala Lumpur Airport by car||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Berjaya Langkawi||From S$300||Burau Bay, Langkawi||Nearest airport is Langkawi International Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
|St. Regis Langkawi||From S$570||Jalan Pantai Beringin, Langkawi||Nearest airport is Langkawi International Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Lexis Hibiscus||From S$270||Port Dickson, Pasir Panjang, Negeri Sembilan||Easily accessible via the North - South Expressway (NSE) and Seremban-Port Dickson Highway (SPDH). About an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur International Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Gayana Eco Resort||From S$380||Malohom Bay, Gaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah||30min from Kota Kinabalu International Airport to the Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal and 20min by ferry to the island jetty.||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Pom Pom Island||From S$734||Celebes Sea approx 30km north east of Semporna town, Sabah||From Kota Kinabalu, fly for 40min to Tawau. From Tawau, transfer with resort to Semporna (90 min). From Semporna, take the resort speed boat to Pom Pom Island (45 min)||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Pangkor Laut Resort||From S$380||Pangkor Laut Island, Pangkor Laut, Lumut, Negeri Perak||From Singapore connect to Sultan Azlan Shah Airport directly via Firefly, Tigerair and Malindo Air. Car transfer to Pangkor Laut Resort's office at Marina Island Pangkor, followed by a speedboat transfer to Pangkor Laut Resort.||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Avillion Port Dickson||From S$104||Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan||Nearest airport is Kuala Lumpur, but can drive or take a bus from Singapore for about 4.5hrs||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort||From S$955 (3 nights, non-diver)||Kapalai Island||Fly into Tawau the nearest town to Kapalai Island. Hotel will transfer you to Semporna town (50 min total). Then take the resort speed boat from Semporna jetty to Kapalai Island (40 min total).||Their website|
Amazing overwater bungalows in Thailand
Float House River Kwai
Stay along the banks of the infamous River Kwai on floating bungalows in Asia among lush greenery. The teakwood furniture and bale roofs is reminiscent local Thai folk design.
Each villa comes standard with its own balcony, pier and spacious common area. You will not get closer to nature while staying on the water than at the Float House.
Looking for something with a distinctive design to capture those #ood Instagram pics? Then look no further than Z9. Even the name is unique! The quite luxurious riverbed suites reflect a meditative design that blend in perfectly with the calm surroundings.
As there are only 15 bungalows available, you can be that the atmosphere will be one of tranquility.
Check latest prices and more photos on their website
500 Rai Resort
Some resorts come standard with bicycles, but have you ever heard of each room getting its own kayak? Each contemporary room at 500 Rai comes standard with its own private balcony and kayak.
The emerald lagoon is tranquil and beautiful and the villas are strategically placed so that guests can watch both the sunrise and sunset.
Koh Tao Bamboo Huts
If you’re looking for both fun and tranquility, then the bamboo huts in vibey Koh Tao should be your first Thailand pick. The resort is located just close enough to the city centre, so you can enjoy the nightlife.
It’s also located just far enough to take pleasure in the tranquility of the unobstructed ocean views.
Ananta River Hills Resort
This is a true family vacation where your days will be jam-packed with activities. There’s canoeing, jet skiing and even an entire overwater theme park with a whole range of floatable activities.
Even trampolined on a float before? Now you can! Kids and adults can take part in the kayaking or fishing competition with prizes to be won.
Check latest prices and more photos on their website
The accommodation at Panvaree is more like a house on the water than the usual smaller villa options. Situated deep within the Khao Sok National Park, you can experience some of the best nature that Thailand has to offer.
And if nature’s not enough, you can request a movie or relax in the solarium!
Blue Sky Resort, Ko Payam
Situated on Ko Payam Island in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Ranong, Blue Sky Resort offer their only overwater villa option. The thatch-hit villas are located steps away from the resort’s own private beach.
It’s definitely a more secluded getaway, although it’s stacked with modern amenities and Wifi. Airport transfer is available too with a host of activities to enjoy from kayaking to game fishing.
Kwai Tara Riverside Villas
Kwai Tara in Sai Yok is definitely different from the typical thatched roof overwater villa. You’ll easily be struck with the modern, condo-esque double storey villas on the water.
Instead of walls, you’ll find windows overlooking the pristine river. Service is impeccable at the 4-four hotel and the location makes it easily accessible to the city’s best sights.
Check latest prices and more photos on Agoda
KC Resort & Over Water Villas
Ever wonder what it would be like to stay over water, but also on top of hill with a view? Well, now you can find out! The KC Resort & Over Water Villas in Chaweng Bay are high up on the hillside with stunning views of the Gulf of Thailand and Matlang Island.
While they are not floating over natural springs, they all are surrounded by infinity pools that look something like a luxurious mote. They also have a resort on the beach if you want to be closer to the ocean.
Summary table for Thailand
|Float House River Kwai||From S$187||Tambon Wang Krachae, Amphoe Sai Yok, Chang Wat Kanchanaburi||Car or taxi from Bangkok to Pakseng Pier (2hrs). Longtail boat to Boathouse (30min). OR Bangkok to Kanchanaburi Town (2.5hrs) to Phutakien Pier (Resotel pier - 40min). 7 min ride on a long tail boat The FloatHouse||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Z9 Resort||From S$360||Tha Kradan, Si Sawat District, Kanchanaburi||About a 4hr drive from Bangkok Airport||Their website|
|500 Rai Resort||From S$599||Ratchaprapha Dam, Khao Sok National Park, Surat Thani||Nearest Airport is Surat Thani||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Koh Tao Bamboo Huts||From S$200||Tambon Ko Tao, Amphoe Ko Pha-ngan, Chang Wat Surat Thani||Fly to Koh Samui and then catch a ferry to Koh Tao||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Ananta River Hills Resort||From S$185||Kanchanaburi, Si Sawat||About 3.5hrs drive from Bangkok Airport||Their website|
|Panvaree Resort||From S$420||Ratchaprapha Dam, Khao Sok National Park, Surat Thani||Nearest Airport is Surat Thani||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Blue Sky Resort Ko Payam||From S$140||Sapanpla Road Koh Phayam (Ranong)||From Ranong Airport, go to Ranong ferry terminal and catch a boat||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Kwai Tara Riverside Villas||From S$135||Wang Krachae, Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi||About 3hr drive from Bangkok Airport||Agoda|
|KC Resort & Over Water Villas||From S$139||Had Lamai Road Bophut Koh Samui Chang Wat Surat Thani||About a 10min drive from Samui Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
Beautiful overwater bungalows in Vietnam
You might want to stay near the beach in Vietnam, so here is my article on the best beaches in Vietnam.
Vinpearl Luxury, Nha Trang
Your next getaway in Vietnam should include one of the 84 coastal villas at Vinpearl. It’s a great option for honeymooners as the picturesque beachfront views are superbly romantic.
Have a massage in your overwater hut or a round of golf. Pick any of the various scents offered that will be infused into your pillow for a dreamy sleep. There are also several dining options available including an in-house Parisian bistro.
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Resort
A stay at any Six Senses resort will leave you feeling refreshed and reinvigorated. Yet the property at Ninh Can Bay is something entirely unique.
The overwater villas are not your usual stilted hut over the water, but are rather places strategically among the rocks to give it one of the most unique images you can find. Expect the casual luxe experience of any Six Sense property with a host of activities for all ages.
Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa
Another option for romance is the Vedana, situated between the ocean and lagoon in Hue, the cultural capital of Vietnam. Wake up epic surroundings of nature then join a yoga or tai chi classes.
Finish your day with a personalised outdoor meal directly under the stars. There is also a large swimming pool in the main area of the expansive property.
Summary table for Vietnam
|Vinpearl Luxury Nha Trang||From S$470||Vinh Nguyen, Thành phố Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province||Fly to Cam Ranh International Airport then get to Nha Trang Port, take the cable car or Vinpearl boat||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Resort||From S$1,080||Ninh Vân, Ninh Hòa, Khanh Hoa Province||From Cam Ranh Airport (CXR), meet a staff member, then take a 60min car to the Six Senses Lounge in Nha Trang City. Then a 20min boat ride to Six Senses Ninh Van Bay.||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa||From S$125||Phu Loc town, Phu Loc District, Hue||Nearest airport is Quang Ngai Airport, which is about 3.5hrs drive||Booking.com | Agoda|
Luxurious overwater bungalows in Cambodia
Not only is Song Saa a true reflection of Cambodia’s natural beauty, it also displays the Cambodian character of social and community development. When you stay at this luxurious resort on the shores of Bawah Island you can also rest assure that The Song Saa Foundation is promoting economic development for the local community while protecting the environment.
Song Saa is perfect for honeymooners, even the name which is translated to “sweethearts” will testify to this fact. Relax in the outdoor spa after some morning yoga. Stay in the spacious villas that are made from reclaimed timber and while you glide in your very own pool. You can even book the entire island all to yourself!
4 Rivers Floating Lodge
For the more active, eco-conscious travelers looking for adventure, you’ll find refuge at 4 Rivers Floating Lodge. Their philosophy is all about being environmentally friendly while providing a luxurious experience amid the lush Cardamoms Rainforest.
Fall asleep bobbing above the water while listening to the epic sounds of nature. Then get up and go trekking to unexplored territory. There are waterfalls, cruises and untouched mountains to be discovered.
Mekong Floating Bungalows
Sister property of the Pavilion Phnom Penh, the Mekong Floating Bungalows consists of, like the name suggests, a quaint one-suite floating bungalow on the Mekong river bank with views of Phnom Penh. Seclusion is the name of the game where you will be the only visitor, with a staff member for comfort and safety.
You’ll fall asleep to the comforting sounds of the water and wake up to the comings and goings of the river life. It really is a break from the chaotic city life of Phnom Penh, but right by the bustling city.
Summary table for Cambodia
|Song Saa||From S$2,100||Koh Ouen Private Island, Koh Rong Archipelago, Near Sihanoukville||2 ways: Fly from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville, or drive 4 hours from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. From the Sihanoukville pier, 45mins by Song Saa's private boat (with champagne in hand).||Booking.com | Agoda|
|4 Rivers Floating Lodge||From S$251||Koh Andet Island, Tatai||Organise a private car from anywhere in Cambodia or even Vietnam. More info here||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Mekong Floating Bungalows||From S$111||On the Mekong River in front of Phnom Penh, Areysat, Phnom Penh||Closest airport is Phnom Penh||Booking.com | Agoda|
Panoramic overwater bungalows in Myanmar
Novotel Inle Lake
For one of the most memorable arrivals at any hotel, pick a stay at Novotel Inle Lake. You’ll be whisked away on a traditional wooden longboat and welcomed with much celebration to singing and hand shakes from the staff.
There are over 100 rooms to choose from throughout the property and you can expect them all to be large and incredibly luxurious. A modern palette with Burmese undertones. And the best part of staying here? The fantastic sunsets over the serene lake.
Sofitel Inle Lake
Yet another string of luxury villas floating over Myanmar’s idyllic lake setting, the Sofitel offers boutique chic surrounded by rice fields and nature. All good things come in doubles at the Sofitel with 2 restaurants, 2 bars and 2 swimming pools.
Also on offer are boating excursions to the treasures of the Lake. Try the 95sqm Opera Suite with Lake views for something truly indulgent.
Princess Resort Inle Lake
Our last option for a floating Inle Lake stay, but by no means the least, is the Princess Resort. This time the focus is on sustainability and an awareness for the environment and the community.
The result brings about locally-constructed and sustainably-sourced traditional pyinkado, teak and bamboo-thatch houses with some boasting open-air rain showers with views of the blue mountains. Take an excursion to their traditional craft market before winding down to dine on fresh, local and seasonal produce under the stars.
Summary table for Myanmar
|Novotel Inle Lake||From S$265||Mine Thauk Village, Inle Lake, Nyaungshwe||1 hour drive from He Hoe Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Sofitel Inle Lake||From S$120||Pin Laung Road Thaleoo Village, Nyaungshwe||1 hour drive from He Hoe Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
|Princess Resort Inle Lake||From S$250||Maing Tauk Road, Nyaung Shwe, Nyaungshwe||1 hour drive from He Hoe Airport||Booking.com | Agoda|
Overwater bungalows in Sri Lanka
Wet Water Resort
Centrally located between Colombo and Negombo on Sri Lanka’s south-western coast, Wet Water Resort is a gem just close enough to easily reach the capital city and just far enough for tranquility. Don’t let the tranquil rural setting fool you, as all rooms come standard with modern amenities.
For an extra dose of over water romance, stay in the Water Bungalow, a stand-alone structure in the middle of the lake. It’s like staying in a fairytale palace of your own with three air-conditioned bedrooms and a kitchenette.
If you’re looking for things to do in Colombo, I’ve got your back with my in-depth guide. Click here to get it.
Summary table for Sri Lanka
|Wet Water Resort||From S$80||Ja Ela-Ekala-Gampaha-Yakkala Hwy||Fly into Colombo or Negombo||Booking.com | Agoda|
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