Exotic Experiences: Best Overwater Bungalows

Ocean views, sure, they’re great. The thing is, you can get them from a high-rise miles from the smell of the sea wafting over her waters, the sound of her breathing as she laps the shore, or the touch of her kiss on your skin. An overwater bungalow, on the other hand, now that’s the way to immerse yourself in your vacation environment. Here are four of the best from around the world:

  • Hotel Palafitte – Switzerland Europe – is not quite as renowned for buildings on stilts as countries in the Pacific and Indian Oceans but Hotel Palafitte is quite the exception. Eschewing the typical thatched-roof design found elsewhere for sleek, modern lines, it sits over the largest lake in Switzerland, Lake Neuchatel. Watch the mist descend from the mountains and drift across the mirror-like water’s surface in the evening and savor the wonderful juxtaposition of blue sky and green forest all around you. The Restaurant Terrace is part of the overwater complex and specializes in local gastronomic specialties like smoked gravelax and boar cheek stew.
  • Song Saa Private Island – Cambodia – Aimed squarely at couples looking for a romantic getaway in fantastically conducive surroundings, ‘Song Saa’ is Khmer for ‘The Sweethearts’. Encompassing two islands interconnected with a gently winding footbridge, it offers both overwater and on-land bungalows.Each 1- or 2-bedroom villa features a lounge with a glass bottom so the ocean views never leave you. The surrounding waters are richly populated by marine life – turtles, seahorses and tropical fish abound. Nature and wellness are the two prime points of focus here, and the food and wellness facilities are excellent reminders of that motivation.
  • Cayo Espanto – Belize – This complex of seven villas spread over 4 acres of a private island is designed so that you will never have to see another guest if you do not want to. Only one villa is over the turquoise water of the Caribbean but much care has been taken to emphasize quality over quantity.Ringed by the world’s second-largest barrier reef system, Cayo Espanto is a great place to take in the exquisite beauty of nature both as an observer and as an explorer. If you love the accommodations too much to venture outside, hot stone massages and seaweed scrubs come to you.
  • Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa – French Polynesia – 88 overwater bungalows make up this gorgeous slice of paradise but there just two Presidential suites. With a floor area of over 3,000 sq. ft. spread over two levels that rival suites on land, they are certainly the largest in the South Pacific.The private outdoor living area is comprised of a private deck dominated by the pool and whirlpool. Each of the three bathrooms features a soaking tub that showcases the spectacular views of the lagoon. Comes with two dressing rooms, a massage room and attached sauna.