we first had the idea to create a worldwide directory of every overwater resort in the world, we honestly assumed there were about 20 or maybe 30 of these places. It turned out we underestimated by quite a bit, and since new ones keep opening up, the number keeps getting higher and higher.

A couple months ago I wrote a post called where are overwater bungalows, which lists all the major spots in the world where you can find these things. However, continued research means that I've uncovered quite a few more places, so that original post will be updated very soon.

One small problem persists though, in that in some cases it's difficult to classify whether a place has real overwater bungalows or not. There are a few places with entrances on the shore but most of the room is over the water, and there are also places that have up to 6 rooms per structure, so they probably don't qualify as “bungalows” or “villas.”

Still, I thought people might be interested in exactly how many resorts and rooms are out there, so below are some facts I've collected. There might be a few more resorts that I've yet to uncover, but for the most part this list is nearly 100% accurate.

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Countries with overwater bungalow/water villa resorts

Maldives

 

75 resorts – 3005 overwater rooms

 

Bora Bora

 

11 resorts – 652 overwater rooms
(note: 1 resort is closed until 2012 for refurbishment)

 

Moorea

 

5 resorts – 179 overwater rooms

 

Tahiti

 

2 resorts – 44 overwater rooms

 

Elsewhere in the South Pacific

 

12 resorts – 136 overwater rooms
(includes Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa, Huahine, Tikehau, Vanuatu, Tahaa)

 

Malaysia

 

5 resorts – 527 overwater rooms

 

Thailand

 

5 resorts – 56 overwater rooms (many not technically bungalows)

 

Philippines

 

3 resorts – 73 overwater rooms

 

Honduras

 

3 resorts – 30 overwater rooms

 

Panama

 

3 resorts – 21 overwater rooms

 

Belize

 

2 resorts – 7 overwater rooms

 

Switzerland

 

1 resort – 24 overwater rooms

 

Mexico

 

1 resort – 14 overwater rooms

 

Indonesia

 

1 resort – 13 overwater rooms (not all technically bungalows)

 

Bermuda

 

1 resort – 13 overwater rooms (closed until 2012)

 

Mauritius

 

1 resort – 11 overwater rooms

 

World total: 113 resorts

Total overwater bungalow rooms in the world as of February, 2012: 4965


Resorts with most overwater bungalows

#1 – Golden Palm Tree Resort & Spa – Malaysia: 392 overwater bungalows

#2 – Meeru Island Resort – Maldives: 106 water villas

#3 – Four Seasons Bora Bora – 100 overwater bungalows


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  1. Hello Roger,
    We are a family of four with kids aged 8 and 5.
    We are planning our trip in the last week of August.
    How’s the climate during this period and how many days it is advisable stay?
    I would like to know about some good kid friendly and all inclusive resorts with good deals.
    TIA

    1. Madhu,

      The weather in the Maldives is almost the same all year round, although there are actual variations from island to island because these resorts stretch several thousand kilometers from north to south. My advice is to choose a resort that you might like and then check the reviews from that same month last year and the year before to see what previous guests said about the weather. In most cases guests don’t mention the weather because it’s warm every day and the rain storms tend to last only 20 minutes or less. From late May through early July the rain can last for hours in certain parts of the Maldives, but in August the storms will be over quickly and sometimes they happen overnight.

      Here are our favorite Maldives resorts for families with great activities for kids (and adults).

      Our favorite all-inclusive resorts for great rates is Meeru Island, and it’s pretty good for families, though not the best.

      Aside from that one it’s hard to know which is the best deal because most resorts tend to offer great deals when they are a bit slow, and keep prices high when they are booked up more. It’s best to just go into Agoda.com and put in your travel dates to see which resorts are offering the best all-inclusive deals for that period. Have a great trip. -Roger