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. With sand on the floor all over, you can literally walk through the restaurants and common areas with no shoes for the whole time you are there. [read more]

Overwater bungalow of the week: Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach and Private Island

This week we are highlighting a luxury property that is really two resorts in one. With the recent merging of the Sofitel Marara Beach and Sofitel Private Island resorts guests can now choose the convenience of being on the main island of Bora Bora or the solitude of staying in an overwater bungalow a short boat ride away on the private island.

The Sofitel Bora Bora has a lot going for it even if it were one of the more expensive Bora Bora overwater bungalow resorts, but in fact it's often the cheapest of them all due to some very appealing online special rates. [read more]

Water villas of the week: Anantara Veli Resort & Spa – Maldives

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.

Among the other fantastic features of the Anantara Veli Resort & Spa is that it's quite affordable and also relatively near the main Maldives airport, so guests can check in quickly after their long-haul flight lands and without the added time and expense of another sea plane flight. Those in a real hurry actually can get a sea-plane to the Veli Resort, so again it's the best of all worlds. [read more]

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. [read more]

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.

This is an all-inclusive resort with 7 different restaurants and bars so even those staying longer than a week will have plenty of new choices during their entire stay. There are two main types of plans, however, with the all-inclusive “full board” plan including 3 meals a day, and the more expensive (but still reasonable) all-inclusive plan also including alcohol and a few more daily extras. [read more]

About overwater bungalows and water villas

First introduced in the South Pacific only a few decades ago, the overwater bungalow is now one of the hottest trends in the resort world. Honeymoon couples have been staying in these iconic rooms since the beginning, but now they are popular with families and adventure travelers as well.

For many people, the South Pacific island of Bora Bora is the most famous destination for the best overwater bungalows, but it's actually the Maldives, which is just southwest of India, where most of these huts-on-stilts exist. The Maldives has more than 90 resorts that feature water villas (as they are typically known there), with several new private-island resorts opening every year.

In the South Pacific you will find almost a dozen resorts on Bora Bora, another five on Moorea, and two on Tahiti that have over water villas. There are about 10 additional overwater resorts on other South Pacific islands stretching all the way to Fiji and New Caladonia.

There are also about a dozen overwater bungalow resorts in the Caribbean, mostly off the coast of Central America, with nearly all of them being diving-oriented “eco resorts.” But a few luxury overwater bungalows exist and more are being built on St. Lucia and other islands in the popular areas of the Caribbean, and this website will be the best place to look for information on all of them.