The year 2011 has been a big one for the overwater bungalow and water villa industry, with nearly a dozen new resorts having opened or having added brand new overwater rooms. Not surprisingly, the year 2012 looks to be shaping up at least as big with a wide variety of highly anticipated projects opening or reopening.
Among the more notable openings in 2011 have been the massive Golden Palm Tree Resort just south of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, with nearly 400 water villas.
Featuring 48 water villas, the Beach House Maldives – A Waldorf Astoria Resort is unusual in several ways, and a perfect hotel for honeymoon couples seeking an upscale destination that is out of the way. Its location is part of the key to the solitude, as you actually have to fly to Malé International Airport, and then a 55-minute flight to Hanimadhoo Airport before you board the speed boat that takes you to the Beach House.
Just east of Bora Bora lies the most intimate of all overwater bungalow resorts in the South Pacific. With only 9 total rooms, 6 of which are at the edge of a private 23-acre island and the other 3 of which are magnificent overwater bungalows just out over the lagoon, this is as mellow and low-key as things get at a resort hotel.
This week we are featuring this splendid resort because in addition to everything else it has going for it, it’s quite reasonably priced as well.
One of the larger private-island resorts in the Maldives, the Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa only added its 30 Jacuzzi Water Villas in late 2010, so everything is still new and pristine. There are 154 rooms and villas on the island as well, and with that size there are great benefits for guests, not least of which is a very reasonable price compared to similar water bungalows in the Maldives.
Water villas and overwater bungalows continue to gain in popularity around the world so it’s no surprise that new resorts keep opening that feature the rooms on stilts. The Maldives alone now has 81 water villa resorts with more than 3,100 water villas combined, which is nearly two-thirds of the world’s total.
In the past few months we’ve seen three new resorts opening to the public, with one aimed at the mid-level market and the other two at the high end.
Newly opened, the Soneva Jani Residences Resort is designed to impress over and over again with rather large ‘rooms’ that are more homes than anything else. A stay at this resort emphasizes fun and adventure and is extremely kid friendly, making it a great option for those traveling with young ones in tow. All in all, guests will find 24 unique overwater suites to choose from, each styled and designed differently from the next.
Guests will also find a plethora of dining options, adventure activities both within the resort and close by as well as a few great resort features that allow you to wind down after a day of fun.
Of the twenty or so overwater bungalow resorts clustered around Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora, the most remote is one of the more affordable in the region, called the Manihi Pearl Beach Resort.
Some people may prefer to be on an island with another resort every few hundred yards, but for those looking to feel that they are in paradise at the edge of the world, this is one to consider.
This week we are featuring a unique “couples resort” located on its own private island just off the coast of Belize. St. George’s Caye Resort has 6 over-the-water-cabanas, as they call them, which share a semi-circle pier out over the Caribbean sea. There are six other rooms located on the island itself and that’s it, and if you have a group of the right size you can rent the entire island out yourself.
With each and every Maldives over water villa resort located on its own private island, it’s a rare case when guests can combine that kind of privacy with the conveniences of a second island a very short ride away. The Anantara Veli Resort & Spa is just such a place. It’s small and secluded with only 50 water villas and no island rooms, but it’s a very short boat ride to its sister resort where more restaurants and activities are waiting for all guests.
This week we are highlighting one of the handful of Maldives resorts that promotes what they call a “No news, no shoes” policy. The Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu is a luxurious private-island resort where the emphasis is on being casual and comfortable rather than fancy and posh.
This style is perfect for those who might have to wear a suit every day during their normal life and the last thing they want to do on holiday is to dress up for dinner on a tropical island.