Water villas in Malaysia: A Complete Guide

Though most think of the Maldives or the South Pacific when the words water villas are brought up in a conversation, there are actually water villas located around the world. This abundance of choices makes it even easier to find one that fits not only your style, but your budget as well.

If you’re interested in the the spa and scuba diving culture of the overwater resorts in Malaysia, you’ll find lots of good options to choose from. Some resorts focus more on the local diving scene than anything else while others also make a point to celebrate the beauty of the islands. Others like to take it up a notch and present a 5-star honeymooners paradise. To help you find your perfect match, we’ve complied a list of the water villa resorts in Malaysia, below.

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AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort: Pro review with videos & photos

The AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort opened in 2011 with much higher room rates and the early reviews were quite poor, but they have been getting steadily better ever since, and room rates are now very appealing for a “water villa.” So I booked myself 2 nights here as part of a short trip to Malaysia, after two nights in Kuala Lumpur.

The AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort has 392 water villas, which made it by far the largest such resort in the world until a nearby competitor called the Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson recently opened with 522 water villas. Still, I’ve been anxious to see what this place is really like, especially since they are offering very competitive room rates these days starting at around US$150 per night for two people, including all taxes. [read more]

World’s largest overwater resort, with 522 Pool Water Villas, is now open

Until about 2010, the resort with the most overwater bungalows in the world was the Four Seasons Bora Bora with 100 overwater rooms. Then the AVANI Sepang Gold Coast Resort opened just south of the Kuala Lumpur Airport and it looked unbeatable with its mind-blowing 392 Water Villas (some of which share a structure). Move over, AVANI Sepang, because the Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson Resort is open and it has an amazing 522 water villas, each complete with a private plunge pool.

I had an opportunity to tour the Lexis Hibiscus Resort a few months ago as they were still putting the finishing touches on the last water villas that had yet to open. It’s truly an amazing place in many ways, including the surprisingly reasonable room rates at around US$200 per night for the time being. [read more]

All-inclusive overwater bungalow and water villa resorts and where to find them

There’s good and bad news for those looking for all-inclusive overwater bungalow and water villa resorts, depending on which part of the world you live in. The bad news for many people is that there are no all-inclusive resorts in Bora Bora, Moorea, or Tahiti that include all meals and alcohol in the room rate. Everything else is good news because most activities and services are indeed included in the room rate.

However, if you can get to the Maldives, which is home to most of the world’s overwater resorts, you’ll have plenty of excellent options that include meals, alcohol, and even premium alcohol in some cases. Just south of India, the Maldives is quite a long way from the western US and Canada, but for those in the east it’s at least as close as the South Pacific. [read more]

Water villas closest to Bali

Bali is one of the world’s most popular and famous tropical islands, and it’s responsibility for most of Indonesia’s tourism. There’s a fair amount of confusion about whether there are any water villas or overwater bungalows on Bali, partly because the resort that claims to have invented and built the first-ever overwater bungalows is called Club Bali Hai.

Unfortunately, that resort is on the island of Moorea, just off Tahiti, in the South Pacific, thousands of kilometers from Indonesia. Bali and its active tides just aren’t the right kind of island for rooms on stilts, so it’s unlikely that they’ll be coming anytime soon. Bali has dozens of 5-star beach resorts, but it doesn’t have any shallow lagoons so even if they did build water villas off the shore, they’d be above the noisy waves going in and out.

But the good news is that there is an amazing assortment of water villas near Bali, relatively speaking. With the exception of a few overwater bungalow resorts in the Caribbean, virtually all of the world’s water villas are in the tropics between the South Pacific, and the Maldives, which is just southwest of India. [read more]

About overwater bungalows and water villas

First introduced in the South Pacific only a few decades ago, the overwater bungalow is now one of the hottest trends in the resort world. Honeymoon couples have been staying in these iconic rooms since the beginning, but now they are popular with families and adventure travelers as well.

For many people, the South Pacific island of Bora Bora is the most famous destination for the best overwater bungalows, but it’s actually the Maldives, which is just southwest of India, where most of these huts-on-stilts exist. The Maldives has more than 80 resorts that feature water villas (as they are typically known there), with several new private-island resorts opening every year.

In the South Pacific you will find almost a dozen resorts on Bora Bora, another five on Moorea, and two on Tahiti that have over water villas. There are about 10 additional overwater resorts on other South Pacific islands stretching all the way to Fiji and New Caladonia.

There are also about a dozen overwater bungalow resorts in the Caribbean, mostly off the coast of Central America, with nearly all of them being diving-oriented “eco resorts.” But a few luxury overwater bungalows exist and more are being built on St. Lucia and other islands in the popular areas of the Caribbean, and this website will be the best place to look for information on all of them.