Most of the world's water villas (which are usually known as overwater bungalows in the South Pacific) are located in the Maldives. That huge group of tropical atolls and islands has more than 80 water villa resorts alone, and its location just southwest of India makes it easy to reach for anyone from Europe or Asia, but there are other water villa resorts in Asia as well.
While they may not have the crystal clear lagoons that the Maldives has, these water villa resorts elsewhere in Asia each has its own spectacular island setting, and most of them offer excellent value as well. If you can make it to the Maldives then click the link below, but for the other water villa resorts around Asia, here you go.
A small overwater resort that caters to scuba divers, the Lankayan Island Resort offers guests scuba diving and snorkeling experiences that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives. Although there isn’t much else to do at this particular resort, those who travel here only have the ocean in mind. In fact, if you’re interested in sea turtles at all, you’ll want to visit between the months of June and September to watch the baby hatchlings make their way to the sea.
The overwater rooms here are surprisingly large, with both a king size bed and a twin, along with an indoor seating area. You’ll also find each has a private terrace complete with chairs and views of the ocean below and beyond. There’s also a buffet style overwater restaurant and a bar on-site.
>More information about the Lankayan Island Resort
Designed for scuba divers and those who love to snorkel, the Kapalai Dive Resort sets itself apart by offering different types of PADI courses, alongside lots of local diving sites to explore. Starting off, you’ll be able to both snorkel and scuba dive right next to the resort, which sits on top of a sand bar. You’ll also be able to explore dive sites that are only a few minutes away, and which offer great macro photography opportunities.
The overwater rooms are basic, but comfortable, and there is a restaurant on-site as well as a place to enjoy drinks while watching the sunset after a day on the water. There isn’t an on-site spa or anything like that here, so if you’re looking for a luxury honeymoon, you’ll want to look at other resorts.
A top notch luxury resort nestled on the southern tip of Langkawi Island in Malaysia, the St. Regis Langkawi resort is deigned with both comfort and fun in mind, as well as accessibility to nearby activities. A stay here presents guests with endless snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, making it a great location for those who are interested in the underwater world just as much as they are in the beach and palm trees. Guests will also find various dining choices both within the resort and nearby, a beautiful spa with a rather large selection of treatments and massages to choose from and wedding venues if you’re looking to take the next step in your relationship.
Out of 90 rooms, 4 of them are situated over the lagoon with each of those offering both ocean and rainforest views along with several other great features and amenities. These include a butler service, a private and furnished terrace, a mini bar, a walk-in closet, a refrigerator, air conditioning and a private infinity plunge pool.
A push 5-star resort that focuses on being as environmentally friendly as possible, the Gayana Eco Resort is located a short drive and ferry ride away from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. This means that you’ll find yourself close enough to attractions and dining options of the city while still feeling as if you’re in the middle of nowhere.
All in all, there are 52 overwater rooms to choose from, in a few different styles which allows you to further customize your vacation. Each room features a beautiful view of the ocean as well as direct access into it via a staircase from your private terrace, an entertainment system and Wi-Fi, room service and a mini bar. For those hotter days, an air conditioner comes in quite handy. If you’re looking to stay active during your visit, you’ll find scuba diving and a dive centre, swimming, snorkeling, water sports and a full option of tours to enjoy. In addition, on-site guests will find dining options and a spa featuring both traditional Asian treatments and Western treatments and massages.
Featuring the only classic-style water villas in Asia outside of the Maldives, the Pangkor Laut Resort occupies its own small private island just off Malaysia. This is a deluxe 5-star resort that caters to honeymooners and others on romantic holidays, offering excellent value compared to similar resorts in the Maldives.
There are 45 water villas that are all good sized, including two suites that are huge. There’s a first-class spa plus a long list of water sports and other activities, but this is an island resort best suited to relaxation. The hotel itself only occupies a small portion of the island, so there are plenty of places to wander and get lost, just exploring on your own.
Only open since mid 2011, the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort (previously known as the Golden Palms Resort) is by far the largest overwater hotel complex in the world, featuring 392 overwater villas ranging from modest to enormous. The resort’s location on the Malacca Straight just south of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport should help it build a solid audience from around the region.
This groundbreaking property features 5 restaurants and 2 bars, with a great range from budget through gourmet. The water villas themselves range from modestly sized up to 3 bedrooms, so even groups and families should find good value here. There’s also a huge clubhouse, an infinity pool, and a very long list of water and land activities that are all included in the price, so there will never be an excuse for being bored here.
A 5-star luxury property tucked away at the edge of a rainforest on Langkawi Island off the northern mainland part of Malaysia, the Berjaya Langkawi Resort has 47 overwater villas in 4 different classes that range from modest to presidential. The service here is excellent and there are 9 different restaurants, lounges and bars to choose from.
The location here is a highlight for most guests, with the otherwise pristine rainforest surrounding the land part, and the gorgeous and large water villas stretching out over the lagoon. There are many water activities available in addition to many boat tours to nearby islands and sights.
The Mabul Water Bungalows is one of the overwater resorts that is very close to the world-famous Sipadan Island dive site, which is its best feature. The 15 water villas here are large and comfortable, but nearly everyone comes for the excellent diving in the area, so the rooms don’t have as much attention to detail as Maldives resorts.
The location is a bit remote for anyone who isn’t a fanatical diver, but this area has such a reputation among the scuba set that it continues to be popular anyway. Package deals including transportation should be available for lower prices through specialized travel agents.
Overwater bungalows starting at US$643 per night and up, more for diving packages.>More information about the Mabul Water Bungalows – Malaysia
Very similar to the Mabul Island Resort mentioned above, and very nearby as well, the Sipadan Water Village is also much larger, featuring 45 water cottages in four different size categories. Again, the dive packages are the main appeal here, and if you aren’t specifically coming to dive then you should probably go elsewhere.
There are a few more luxury amenities at this resort, but the list of other available activities is fairly short. Packages including all transportation are good value and very helpful since it takes quite a few steps to reach this place unless you are already on the island of Borneo.
Overwater bungalows starting at US$443 per night>More information about the Sipadan Water Village Resort – Malaysia
On a different island a bit to the north of the two resorts mentioned above, the Pom Pom Island Resort is also known for its diving and not much else. There’s another small hotel nearby, but otherwise it’s basically a private island.
Information for this resort is difficult to find so it appears that they do most of their business with just a few travel agencies that specialize in diving packages. It seems to be a good option for those wanting to dive the famous spots nearby, but hard to tell much more about the place.
A 5-star resort home to over 300 rooms in total, 159 of which are situated over the ocean, the Grand Lexis Port Dickson Resort is a private escape that’s great for both couples and families. If you’re traveling with children, you’ll find a kids pool and a family room. Couples will find a sauna, shops, a concierge and a spa offering both treatments and massages. If you’re looking for activities outside of the resort, you’ll find lots to do at the Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve, the Raptor Bird Sanctuary and the Oceanic Mall Port Dickson.
Inside your room you’ll find a king size bed, a mini fridge, an electric kettle, a dry kitchenette and a microwave. In addition, the room is filled with little extras that make a big difference including a ceiling fan, a hairdryer, a separate bath and toilet area and an umbrella in case of rain. Though all of those amenities are great in themselves, perhaps the most popular are the private swimming pool and the glass floor cutout for sealife viewing below.
Though still a rather large resort, this one is one of the smaller overwater resorts in the area with 80 water villas. When looking at the rooms, you’ll find that there are 4 different room categories for those over the water. Each of these rooms, though they do differ from one another, features a private balcony with views of the ocean, an open sky bathroom, a mini fridge, a desk and the added luxury of aVi Spa amenities in the bathroom.
When venturing outside of the rooms, you’ll find some pretty impressive amenities that will make it hard to leave the resort at the end of your stay. Some of these amenities include a gym, a few pools, a pet farm, and orchid hut, a spice farm and various lookout points that show off the beauty of the area. In addition, you’ll also find shops, bird watching, an aviary, fishing, monkeys, a restaurant and a spa.
Offering almost 200 overwater villa, the Lexis Port Dickson Resort offers an overwater experience at a very reasonable and budget friendly nightly rate. It’s also a 4-star resort that caters with laundry services, a limousine transfer, a gym and sauna, car park and housekeeping. Fun activities include archery, a playground for children, karaoke, games, bicycle rentals, crabbing, fishing and scuba diving.
There’s also a wonderful spa on-site that offers treatments and massages for both women and men. Once inside your room, you’ll find an entertainment system made up of a flat screen TV, Wi-Fi, and room service. Next on the list is a sitting area, a private balcony, a separate outside shower, a bathroom that’s tilted while the rest of the room is designed with wooden floors and the ever popular glass floor cutout.
With a massive amount of water villas, 522 in total, the Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson impresses with its sheer size. Continuing with the theme, this resort also houses a large number of dining choices, including 7 restaurants and 2 bars, one of which is located at the pool. Along with the on-site spa, guests will find lots of other amenities including a sauna, a kids pool and an outdoor pool, a garden and a concierge that will help you plan your trips outside of the resort as you explore the area.
Out of the 522 overwater suites, there are 8 different room categories that you can select from, each offering a different sized room and some with a sea view in comparison to a fountain view. Though there are differences between each of the room selections, there are also lots of shared features. These include a TV mounted on the wall, Wi-Fi, room service, a large bathroom, a sitting area and a desk. The favorites of each room though seem to clearly be the private dip pool and the private steam room along with the glass floor cutout.
Home to a selection of both water villas and land rooms, the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay Resort offers guests various room choices from those situated on the mountain side to those draped over large rocks that lead into the lagoon. Water villas here offer an open bathroom, a private plunge pool, a mini wine cellar and air conditioning. You’ll also find a tea and coffee making area, personal bicycles and views that include the sunset every night.
Guests should also note that this particular resort caters to all types of travelers, even those with young children in tow. Some of the features that you’ll find are a library, a yoga pavilion, a fitness center, babysitting services, volleyball, laundry and if needed, a 24-hour on-site nurse. If you love to snorkel, you’ll want to take advantage of the house reef and its beautiful tropical fish.
A medium size resort, the Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa offers both land and ocean based rooms, along with a whole host of amenities and resort features. Room amenities include Wi-Fi, 24 hour room service, air conditioning, and lots of little extras like a daily newspaper, a fan, hair dryer, bathrobes and a mosquito net.
Outside of the rooms you’ll find 4 dining options, Tai chi, yoga, meeting rooms, private tours and if you’re traveling with children, a babysitting service. There’s also an on-site spa, the Vedana Wellness & Spa. Here you’ll find nail care, various bath options, facials and body scrubs as well as massages. Even with such low nightly rates, the reviews for this resort are impressively strong.
Set on a beautiful river bend rather than out over a lagoon, the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge consists of 12 Overwater Tented Villas in a stunning position in the Cambodian jungle. This is an unusual hotel that is known for excellent service and fine food in addition to surprisingly reasonable prices.
Guests can swim out in front of their luxurious tented villa, or kayak around the calm river in peace. The location also allows for boat trips to nearby fishing villages where guests can buy the catch of the day and have it prepared for them immediately. This place is popular with honeymoon couples as well as nature lovers.
Only open since early 2012, the Song Saa Private Island Resort has 9 water villas that bring a new scale of luxury to the Cambodian market. The location is a convenient 30-minute boat ride from the Sihanoukville Airport, yet the setting is extremely private and exclusive once you arrive.
Each water villa has a private pool and the entire resort operates on an all-inclusive basis so it’s better value than you might realize, especially considering the excellent kitchen. There are 18 garden and beach villas that are also impressive.
A small family owned resort, the Exotic Ora Beach Resort is a great option for those seeking an overwater vacation but don’t necessarily have a large budget to support it. Due to the resort’s hard to reach location, it serves as a great location for vacationers who rather not be in the center of it all and much rather enjoy peace and quiet. A stay here is also all-inclusive in a sense with each night’s stay also includes breakfast, dinner and a late afternoon snack.
During your visit you’ll also find access to a very beautiful coral reef that can be easily seen from the surface during a low tide. Because of this, you’ll find most guests are interested in spending their time snorkeling or scuba diving.
A small eco resort that features only overwater rooms, the Pulo Cinta Eco Resort in Indonesia offers snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities on a private island reef. Alongside the reef is a small sandy area (beach) that you can enjoy your afternoons on if you don’t want to be in the water the entire duration of your trip.
The rooms here are all situated over the water, with a long private boardwalk that stretches to each and every single one. This means that you’ll have plenty of privacy as your neighbor is not directly next to you. The rooms come in three classes, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom. You’ll also find that each room comes with an entertainment center, room service, and Wi-Fi.
An all-inclusive overwater resort, the Bawah Reserve Resort combines nature with luxury. Here you’ll find 11 overwater bungalows that showcase the water around them, as well the land just to the back of them. When staying here, you’re privy to snorkeling, scuba diving, and diving classes.
On land, guests are able to use the spa daily for a treatment as part of the resort package, and have lots of different restaurants and bars to choose from. This isn’t really a kid friendly resort, but rather meant for adults looking for a bit of peace and quiet with an excursion mixed in here and there.
>More information about the Bawah Reserve Resort >
A most unusual overwater hotel, the Tulanes Beach Rustic Resort is located just a bit south of Singapore, and seems to get the vast majority of business from Singaporeans. Using the word “rustic” in the name helps convey that this is a simple resort without much in the way of electric gadgets, but it’s also among the cheapest overwater resorts in the world.
The setting is magnificent according to most visitors and the layout of the resort is quite unusual as well. There are 3 private water villas, 4 family villas that share a structure, a giant 3-bedroom private multi-family villa, plus 5 overwater dorm rooms with 12 beds in each. They aren’t cheap, but this is the only overwater hostel in the world. Worth a look if you are in or near Singapore.
A small simple resort that offers guests lots of great nearby activities, the Mango House Seafront Suites houses 4 overwater rooms, one of which is designed to hold a family. These rooms are very simple and won’t offer a luxury feeling, but they do have a TV in each and access to Wi-Fi. There is also a balcony that guests can enjoy with views of the water beyond.
The resort itself sits in the middle of a town, and grants guests very easy access to lots of activities, dining options, and supermarkets. If you like sitting around relaxing, enjoying nature, and mingling with the locals, then this budget friendly resort is worth a look.
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Located on a bay, the Blue Sky Resort @ Koh Payam offers guests a nice selection of outdoor activities to choose from, and is better suited to the adventurous type, rather than those seeking a luxury romantic overwater vacation. With that said however, the rooms are private and offer simple luxuries like an entertainment center and Wi-Fi, air conditioning, toiletries, a fridge, and slippers.
Outside of the rooms guests will find a dining option that serves drinks, a spa, bicycle rentals, scuba diving and snorkeling, and a few different outdoor activities like kayaking and canoeing. The resort’s location also allows visitors to venture to nearby activities and attractions, meaning that you’ll find lots to enjoy during your stay here.
A small resort located on a river, The Float House River Kwai Resort offers both a romantic, relaxing atmosphere and one of adventure. This is because the resort itself houses 30 overwater rooms complete with river views, a private terrace, and little extras that are perfect for a romantic getaway.
The resort also caters with lots of outdoor activities both on-site and nearby. Some of these activities include waterfall trekking, the Hellfire Pass Trekking Trail and the Lawa cave. On-site you’ll find canoeing, bamboo rafting, an orchard walk, mountain biking, fishing, and bird watching. All of these activities are highly rated and are sure to keep you very busy during your stay here.
A small resort with big over the river rooms, the Kwai Tara Riverside Villas Resort offers travelers to Thailand, as well as locals, a budget friendly option that still allows you to experience an overwater vacation. The rooms here are located both on the land and over the river, with the riverfront rooms offering views of the river and the mountains beyond. These spacious rooms provide air conditioning, a fridge and minibar, and a private terrace.
Outside of the large rooms you’ll find a dining option and bicycle rentals, but not much else. This is why, for this resort, you’ll want to have a rental car so that you can easily get to and from the many great nearby activities.
A small resort featuring large mountain views, the Panvaree Resort is a solid choice for those seeking an overwater experience, but rather not pay large sums of money to do so. In fact, you can book a night here for two people staring in the mid US$200s, which is a great value for what you get. The 10 rooms of varying sizes here each feature a private deck, bedroom, and bathroom.
On-site is also a restaurant, a bar, and water activities. If you want to do a little exploring outside of the property, you’ll find a few local tours available through the resort’s tour desk.
A small lake resort, the 500 Rai Khao Sok Floating Resort is located in Thailand, in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Here you’ll not only find sweeping views of the lake and mountains beyond, but lots of adventures to partake in that are lead by local guides. You’ll also find 18 overwater rooms that are basic, but still provide everything for a comfortable stay.
You won’t find a spa, Wi-Fi, or a TV here, but you will find an outdoor over the water swimming pool, kayaks, and a dining and drink option. If you’re searching for an overwater adventure that will take you away from the norms of everyday life and into nature, this is the resort for you.
The Angsana Grande Laguna Phuket (formerly a Sheraton) is a large resort that features 18 private villas over its own enclosed lagoon. So these water villas aren’t the traditional kind like you find in the Maldives, but they are luxurious and the closest thing you’ll find in Thailand.
The resort itself is huge and surrounded by other big resorts, so it offers an endless list of things to do and restaurants to visit. The guest rooms run the gamut from nice to extraordinary, and things are only likely to get better when it eventually reopens.
A most unusual overwater hotel, the KC Resort and Over Water Villas is up on a hill overlooking Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui in Thailand. Its 16 “over water villas” are each set on stilts above a large and private infinity-edge pool, so guests can swim beneath their room or watch their partner through the glass floor in the bedroom area.
This is a luxury resort with full spa facilities that offers good value for the area. The service is excellent and the rooms are large and filled with high-end amenities, so if you just want the thrill of swimming beneath your own hotel room in Thailand this could be the perfect place.
The most modestly priced of the El Nido Group’s three private island resorts in the Philippines, the El Nido Miniloc offers 5 water villas perched just out over its scenic bay. This is an eco-resort that honors its remote setting, using local materials to build and furnish all the rooms. There’s no TV or entertainment system, so this is ideal for those looking to escape the modern world.
The best feature of this resort is its breathtaking location on its own island, just a short ride to several other small and gorgeous islands. The prices are also quite modest for such a place, making this one of the best value water villas in Asia.
The newest of the three El Nido resorts in the area, the El Nido Apulit features 50 water villas and no other rooms on its private island. Formerly known as Club Noah, this eco-resort has a long list of water sports and activities available, so it’s ideal for an active guest or for a honeymoon couple looking for an escape in paradise.
The three El Nido resorts are close to each other and many guests choose to stay at more than one of them during their holiday. With most of the water villas, this is the best of them for availability if you are looking for this unique style of accommodation.
The El Nido Lagen Island resort is the most luxurious (and most expensive) of the three El Nido hotels in the area, and like the others, it occupies a secluded portion of a small island that is only accessible by boat. The 18 water villas here are beautifully appointed using local materials, and are ideal for honeymooners.
There are fewer activities available at this resort compared to the others in the group, so this is an ideal place to get away from it all and just relax while enjoying the amazing scenery.
A private island resort offering more overwater rooms than those situated on the land, the Huma Island Resort & Spa is visited by both couples and families. Those traveling with children will enjoy the on-site kid’s club and kiddie pool. Romantic couples will enjoy the resort’s spa and the different tours available. Scuba divers and snorkelers will find lots of great dive spots both right next to the resort and further out.
Each of the 64 overwater rooms feature a large outdoor terrace complete with an outdoor bathtub, shower and lounging area. Inside each room is a tea and coffee making area and an entertainment system along with a few extras.
A large resort with impressive amenities and features, the Banana Island Resort Doha is a great choice for luxury seekers looking for the utmost in design and quality. Each and every overwater villa is completed with a homely type feel through multiple rooms and a private pool.
Outside of the suites, guests will find both romantic and family friendly activities both on land and in the sea. Ocean lovers will find snorkeling, scuba diving and various water sports to fill their days with. Those looking to relax will find an impressive spa offering all sorts of treatments and massages.