Maldives 4 1/2-star water villas with ocean access for US$317 per night

Welcome to the Maldives! This low lying tropical nation is home to hundreds of islands, some of which are home to luxury resorts whose mission is to create the best island stay possible. Because of this, each resort actively competes with the next to attract visitors. Though this may cause more work for the resorts, this is fantastic for potential guests as you’ll be certain to get the best of the best when it comes to amenities, activities and service.

Maldives 4 1/2-star water villas with ocean access for US$317 per night
One of the greatest overwater bungalow photos I’ve seen

many of us, a large photo of an overwater bungalow resort is as close as we are likely to ever get to them. We are adding photo galleries to each resort page, starting with Bora Bora and Moorea, so I’ve been spending many hours lately going through these magnificent and inspirational images.

I think most of us are easily hypnotized by the aerial photos of the resorts, but one particular photo I came across hit me in a different way so I thought I’d share it with everyone.

One of the greatest overwater bungalow photos I’ve seen
Water villa of the week: Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa – Maldives

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 villa of the week: Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa – Maldives
Water villa of the week: Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu – Maldives

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.

Water villa of the week: Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu – Maldives
Overwater bungalows in Florida: Under construction at Disney Resort

When it comes to overwater bungalows anywhere near the Caribbean, the pattern lately has been to announce them long before they are ready to break ground. That wouldn’t be so bad if not for the fact that years seem to go by and ground is never broken. Getting funding AND government approval for construction at the same time has been a major challenge, but not for the project we recently learned about.

Evidently there had been rumors in 2013 that Disney would be adding up to 20 overwater bungalows to its Disney’s Polynesian Resort complex in Lake Buena Vista (near Orlando) as part of a major 2-year renovation.

Overwater bungalows in Florida: Under construction at Disney Resort
Overwater bungalow of the week: Manihi Pearl Beach Resort

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.

Overwater bungalow of the week: Manihi Pearl Beach Resort
Best 9 videos of overwater bungalows in Bora Bora

Everybody loves photographs of overwater bungalows, especially the aerial shots that show all the rooms lined up over the turquoise lagoon, but obviously those don’t really tell you much about what it’s like to stay in these glorious hotel rooms.

The good news is that many guests are so thrilled with their bungalow that they’ve recorded guided video tours of them. There are 9 overwater bungalow resorts on Bora Bora itself, and I’ve collected the best video for each of them and put them below.

Best 9 videos of overwater bungalows in Bora Bora
Water villa of the week: Jacuzzi villas at the Veligandu Island Resort, Maldives

continuing series we are going to jump over to Asia, where they usually call these things “water villas” instead of overwater bungalows. The Maldives, which is just southwest of India, is actually home to about two-thirds of all the overwater bungalows in the world, and this week’s resort is one of many that offers fantastic value.

The Maldives is very popular with Europeans since it’s an easy overnight flight from anywhere in the region, but it’s a tougher sell for Americans since the flight even from Los Angeles will take an entire day.

Water villa of the week: Jacuzzi villas at the Veligandu Island Resort, Maldives
Private island overwater villa experience in the Maldives

Though the Maldives are known for swaying palm trees, long stretches of white sand beach, colorful reefs, friendly locals and great dining options, the islands are also known for their overwater villa choices. With 4 and 5 star overwater resorts dotting the islands from north to south, east the west, it’s easy to find both comfort and luxury dressed with a touch of privacy. However, if you’re seeking a truly private experience and have the money to pay for it, you’ll want to skip all of the other resorts and instead focus solely on the Maldives Private Island at Voavah.

Private island overwater villa experience in the Maldives
Overwater bungalow of the week: Premier Overwater One Bedroom Villa at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

this overwater bungalow of the week feature we like to mix in some good-value resorts with a few “fantasy” resorts that most of us couldn’t dream of ever affording. This week we are highlighting what most people consider to be the finest resort in the South Pacific – the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort.

This 5-star deluxe property has 77 overwater villas along with 14 island rooms, and none of them is likely to be available for under US$1,000 per night.

Overwater bungalow of the week: Premier Overwater One Bedroom Villa at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort