Bali is one of the world's most popular and famous tropical islands, and it's responsibility for most of Indonesia's tourism. There's a fair amount of confusion about whether there are any water villas or overwater bungalows on Bali, partly because the resort that claims to have invented and built the first-ever overwater bungalows is called Club Bali Hai.

Unfortunately, that resort is on the island of Moorea, just off Tahiti, in the South Pacific, thousands of kilometers from Indonesia. Bali and its active tides just aren't the right kind of island for rooms on stilts, so it's unlikely that they'll be coming anytime soon. Bali has dozens of 5-star beach resorts, but it doesn't have any shallow lagoons so even if they did build water villas off the shore, they'd be above the noisy waves going in and out.

But the good news is that there is an amazing assortment of water villas near Bali, relatively speaking. With the exception of a few overwater bungalow resorts in the Caribbean, virtually all of the world's water villas are in the tropics between the South Pacific, and the Maldives, which is just southwest of India.

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Closest water villas to Bali

If you are already planning a holiday in Bali and you were thinking about adding on a stay in a water villa if it’s near enough, then your best bets are several of the resorts in Malaysia, or a trio of similar resorts in the Philippines. Thanks to cheap flights on Air Asia, you could reach either of those areas on a modest budget.

There are also two water villa resorts in Thailand, although neither offers the traditional huts-on-stilts over a lagoon that most people are looking for. Still, both are extremely nice and good value, and all the details and photographs for all of the above can be found on our main Asia water villas page.

Looking for the world's best water villas?

While you do have a few good choices near Indonesia, all the best water villas and overwater bungalows in the world are clustered in the Maldives Islands and in the South Pacific. In fact, about two-thirds of the world’s such hotel rooms are in the Maldives, with over 3,400 water villas from which to choose.

The Maldives

If you are coming from Europe then you’ll want to check out the over water villas in the Maldives. There are over 75 resorts to choose from, each on its own private island, with prices ranging from surprisingly reasonable to off-the-charts luxury. With one plane change in the Middle East, you can reach the Maldives in about 12 hours total from any major airport in Europe.

The South Pacific

Those coming from the Americas will want to choose from the overwater bungalows (as they are called in this part of the world) in the South Pacific. The most choices are in Bora Bora and the island of Moorea, but there are nearly 30 overwater resorts spread through French Polynesia and the rest of the South Pacific, so there is a wide variety in price and luxury here as well.


8 thoughts on "Where are overwater bungalows and water villas?"

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  1. Im interested in know where the overwater bungalows are located. Do they have any that close to Destin Florida?

  2. I would love to reserve a week stay in an over the water bungalow including May 16th 2021.
    Our daughter ❤ turns 16 and this is her birthday request,..,.,….,.,

    1. Pamela,

      We are simply an online guide to overwater bungalows and we don’t do bookings, but we do provide links to the best places to book each resort on the various information pages of the site. Best of luck! -Roger

  3. Hi,
    Looking for New Years deals after December 25th for 5-10days. Any suggestions on last min deals??

    Please let me know. Looking to book asap


    1. Yanna,

      We are simply an online guide to overwater resorts and we don’t do bookings. We do have booking links for every resort on the site, so booking online is usually your best bet. Best of luck with this. In normal years it would be impossible to get a last-minute deal over Christmas, but this year might be different. I’d check as they almost always have the best rates in the Maldives. -Roger

  4. Any suggestions as to a nice place for an extended stay? Preferably on a beach, over water and food inclusive. I have heard a rumour about $30 k per couple for a one year stay…any substance to that? We don’t need a year,, but would certainly consider three to five months. We are retired, used to travel a lot, and have homes in Canada and Mexico. We are now a bit bored in Canada and Mexico is a bit dicey.
    Any deals?

    1. David,

      I’m not aware of any good deals on overwater bungalows in countries where you can stay for extended periods. The Maldives now has a deal for US$30,000 to stay in a water villa for a whole year, but I believe you can only stay 30 days at a time. It’s a really tough time for anything like this, and hopefully next year it will get better. -Roger