If staying at an overwater bungalow is on your bucket list, you’ve come to the right place. Whether your vacation paradise is in Bora Bora, Fiji, Florida, Jamaica, Panama, or The Maldives, we’ve rounded up the best overwater bungalows from French Polynesia to a private island.
Overwater Bungalow N ° 3
Bora Bora is one of the most popular islands of Tahiti. Located on the north end of the main island, Overwater Bungalow N ° 3 offers panoramic views of Bora Bora’s turquoise blue waters. Part of a small complex known as the “Condominium,” this luxurious bungalow was once owned by Jack Nicholson. It offers nearly 1,200 square feet for resting, sunbathing, swimming, and romantic dining at sunset. Part of the Faanui district, this quiet residential spot boasts a small beach that faces the sun from morning to evening. Its large living room opens up to a terrace that overlooks the lagoon, complete with deck chairs, a table, and a barbecue grill. Guests have access to the ground floor, while the mezzanine above is private. Fins, masks, and more are provided for fun in the water. A kayak on the deck is easy to put in and take out of the water. Vaitape is the nearest village, about six miles away, so guests will want to rent a car for their stay.
Your own piece of paradise in the South Pacific, Tahatai Iti is right next door to the overwater bungalow above. They are just a couple of the handful of privately owned overwater bungalows in Bora Bora. Offering incredible sunsets and privacy, this 1200 square-foot boasts two bedrooms with air conditioning. Its large covered lanai also overlooks the lagoon’s turquoise blue waters. Take advantage of the warm, pristine waters and snorkel amongst colorful tropical fish, swim, or kayak off of the private dock with the two kayaks provided.
The Black Pearl
The Black Pearl is the only privately owned overwater bungalow in Bora Bora that boasts its own private walkway. This luxurious overwater bungalow also has full air conditioning and offers in-bungalow catering. Just like the previous two, its covered terrace overlooks the lagoon and palm tree-covered islands that lie a few hundred yards away. It also has outdoor furniture, a gas grill, a private dock, and two kayaks. Snorkel off the dock, explore the nearby coral reef, or just sip a Tahitian punch under a palm tree on the white sand beach.
The hosts are happy to help arrange everything from picnics to Polynesian weddings. Do note the cancellation policy — a non-refundable fee of $1,000 is due upon booking.
Brando’s Overwater Bungalow
Brought to you by the same owners of The Black Pearl, Brando’s Overwater Bungalow offers the exact same amenities. Surrounded by paradise, this luxe hideaway is the perfect location for everything from walking and hiking to snorkeling and swimming. The hosts are happy to assist with flights and rental cars as well. It is family-friendly, as long as you don’t have little ones who could fall in the water.
The St. Regis Bora Bora ResortBook Now
Looking for more of a resort-style getaway? Let The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort offers several options for overwater stays. Surrounded by azure-colored waters, majestic Mount Otemanu provides the perfect backdrop for this private-island paradise. Its private Lagoonarium provides an underwater sanctuary for all sorts of coral and tropical fish, such as the unique Napoleon fish. You can snorkel in the lagoon or along the reef, or just kick back and relax on one of the resort’s many snorkeling along the reef, or just kick back and relax on one of the luxury resort’s many sandy beaches. Swim up to the bar at the main pool or grab a cabana at the adults-only pool. The spa is located on its own little islet in the middle of the resort’s Lagoonarium. There are also five restaurants, a fitness center, and the butler service that the St. Regis is known for.
Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay Overwater BureBook Now
On Viti Levu’s western coast, Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay is one of the island’s top luxury destinations. Offering spectacular views of the lagoon and ocean, the resort’s bures (the Fijian word for huts) have tall, vaulted ceilings and a private outdoor deck. Unlike most of the overwater bungalows on this list, it has shingles instead of a thatched roof.
The five-star resort boasts a beach, three pools, a spa, and oceanfront dining. Surf spots and world-class dining can be found within minutes of the hotel. Marriott Bonvoy members can book with points!
Key West Tiki SuiteRent Now
I have personally stayed at The Tiki Suite in Key West, and it is a bucket list item for sure! Not so much over the water as it is on it, this Airbnb is like a hut built on a dock, if you can imagine that. Mostly bedroom, there is a little kitchen area and compact bathroom with shower in addition to the king-sized bed. You have to take a water taxi out to the Tiki Suite, and only one bag is allowed per person, so pack accordingly. Once you’re there, you’re there until the water taxi comes back for you, so be sure to bring whatever food you may need in a cooler as there is no refrigerator. You would think this remote location off the keys would be pretty unplugged, but the Wi-Fi was pretty decent! I was even able to stream my shows at night using my phone as a hotspot.
Snorkeling gear is provided, so you can jump right off and explore the water. There are also a couple of paddleboards and a nice hammock to lie on. Sunset and sunrise over the water are incredible. It’s cheaper than other oceanfront options in Key West, plus you get away from the hustle and bustle — and those darn roosters that crow at all hours! The only thing that was kind of pain was running the generator to turn on the A/C, but it was totally worth it!
Lake House Blue
Most overwater bungalows are on stilts over a lagoon, but Lake House Blue is on a lake about an hour inland of Daytona Beach. Located on a dock that stretches 250 feet from land, this Vrbo offers a wonderful place to relax in privacy — a rare find in Florida these days! Inside there’s a wood-burning fireplace, while outside there is a firepit and Adirondack chairs on the surrounding deck. Two screened-in porches offer rocking chairs and a hammock.
Watch for egrets, herons, osprey, and even bald eagles! Known for its large-mouth bass, this lake boasts good fishing just about any time of year. Fish off the dock, bring your own boat, or hire a bass guide. The vacation rental also has crab traps and shrimp traps to catch dinner. Horseback riding is available nearby as well.
Sandals South Coast OTW BungalowsBook Now
TravelAwaits writer Peggy Cleveland was lucky enough to get to try out the OTW Bungalows at Sandals South Coast in Whitehouse, Jamaica. As Cleveland points out, it’s a shorter flight to this all-inclusive resort in Jamaica than to Fiji or the Maldives! Looking out over the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, the deluxe interior features hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, and a spa-style bathroom, complete with walk-in rain shower. Out on the private patio, there’s an extended deck and sun loungers for catching rays, an outdoor shower, and a dining area for two. Two over-water hammocks or a private outdoor Tranquility Soaking Tub are the icing on the cake! Get a glimpse of what goes on under the sea from the glass floor panels — it is lit so you can even see at night!
“In addition to the posh accommodations, I was surprised at all the extra amenities this room category includes,” remarks Cleveland. Indeed, luxury amenities include Butler Elite service, which takes care of all those pesky vacay details so you can focus on relaxing. With in-room dining, you don’t even have to venture out for unlimited dining at one of the resort’s nine world-class restaurants. Even flying is easier, with a personal airport greeting, expedited immigration, and private round-trip airport transfers in a luxury chauffer-driven car. A branded tote and towel set also greets you upon arrival, so you can leave your beach bag and towels at home. The resort also features motorized water sports, scuba diving, and a spa!
Sol Bungalow On Isla Solarte
Experience island living in Bocas del Toro on the Sunset Coast of Panama’s Isla Solarte. Opened in 2021, this overwater bungalow features incredible views of both the mainland’s mountains as well as the sunset over the Caribbean. Spy on marine life through its glass floors and relax out on its catamaran deck hammocks. Walk down the stairs into the water where you can snorkel and explore surrounding reefs. Two double-seater kayaks and two paddleboards are included, while four soft-top longboard surfboards are available for rent.
Just five minutes from restaurants, shopping, and essentials, Sol Bungalow is just “removed enough to be immersed in nature and local culture” as the hosts put it. Breakfast is included and there is an option for dinner onsite. Rainforest hiking access can be found nearby, so you can explore the jungle then cool off with a swim.
Need more space? Rent the bungalow next door and have the whole place to yourself!
W Maldives Overwater BungalowBook Now
What better place to experience the breathtaking beauty of Maldives than from this spectacular overwater villa at the W Maldives? Take in the turquoise waters of the lagoon from your hammock or private pool. Soak up the sun on your private sundeck, then jump right in the water! This heart-shaped private island five-star resort is home to one of the best house reefs in the Maldives. Swim with reef sharks, turtles, rays, tuna, and schools of colorful angel, parrot, hawk, and Moorish fish. Coral ecosystems house sea fans, starfish, and hermit crabs. Learn about them from the resident marine biologist.
W Maldives’ diving and watersports center offers scuba, snorkeling, watercraft rental, and water skiing. Other amenities include innovative cuisine and cocktails, a spa, included seaplane transfers, and the W’s Whatever/Whenever® Service which, according to the site, can arrange such things as a “luxury speedboat ride to a private beach with a sunset dinner for two.” It’s like having your own personal butler!