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]

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.