Interviews

6 Breathtaking Overwater Resorts

Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort

Malaysia

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The Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort is located on the Malacca Straight along the coast of Malaysia, just 10 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort (known until early 2014 as the Golden Palm Tree Resort & Spa) is by far the largest of its kind in the entire world. They offer all-inclusive packages that are more generous than most, including three meals at any of their five restaurants or room service, plus drinks. The location is very close to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is one of Asia’s best for affordable flights, means that this resort should become very popular for people from throughout the region. The smaller water villas are modestly priced, so it should offer very good value compared to the boutique resorts in the Maldives.

Rates:

Low season online specials from US$150 per night.

High season online specials from US$165 per night.

Pangkor Laut Resort

Malaysia

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One of south Asia’s most luxurious and most unusual resorts, the Pangkor Laut Resort occupies an entire private island just off Malaysia; though the resort facilities only take up a small portion, so most of the island is natural grounds. With just over 100 total villas and suites, the resort has an exceptional variety of dining and activity choices for a modest number of guests and service is of a 5 star standard. The 45 overwater bungalows at the Pangkor Laut Resort are either over the bay or further out over the ocean, with the Spa Villas part of the larger spa complex and ideal for those who have come for treatments and pampering. This is a popular and well regarded choice for a honeymoon or romantic trip, but there are enough activities and nature excursions that it could be right for nearly anyone seeking a luxurious and secluded holiday.

Rates:

US$450 to US$700 per night

US$900 to US$1,100 per night for Sea Suites.

Packages and all-inclusives are also available.

4 Rivers Floating Lodge

Cambodia

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The 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is located in Tatai, near the Thailand border in northwest Cambodia, between Bangkok and Phnom Penh. Featuring 12 Overwater Tented Villas, the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is one of Cambodia’s most unusual and highly acclaimed hotels. The setting on the otherwise pristine river is breathtaking and the service the lodge provides is reminiscent of a resort that would charge several times more. The tented villas are large and well appointed, and the ceiling fan combined with river breezes keeps them comfortable at all times. The restaurant has an acclaimed chef preparing local and international dishes, but the lodge is also a short boatride away from local fishing villages where guests can buy fresh fish and lobsters and have them prepared. Considering the reasonable room rates, the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge offers fantastic value along with an experience the guests won’t ever forget.

Rates

Low season online specials from US$197 per night

High season online specials from US$214 per night

KC Resort & Over Water Villas

Koh Samui, Thailand

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The KC Resort & Over Water Villas Resort is located on a hill at the north end of Chaweng Beach on Koh Samui Island in Thailand. An unusual 5-star resort situated on a hill overlooking Chaweng Beach, the KC Resort and Over Water Villas features 95 guest rooms, 16 of which are on stilts above a large and private infinity-edge pool. You can swim directly underneath your large villa. The resort has an excellent reputation for service and luxury amenities, and its secluded location on a hill overlooking the beach also puts it in a class of its own. There’s plenty to do at the resort itself, but those wanting to go to the beach will be shuttled back and forth down the hill on a resort golf cart for free, so it’s the best of both worlds.

Rates

From US$294 and above.

Telunas Beach Rustic Resort

Indonesia

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The Telunas Beach Rustic Resort is located on Sugi Island, which is not far south of Batam Island in Indonesia, which is only 20 kilometers south of Singapore. One of the more unusual overwater hotels, the Telunas Beach Rustic Resort is hidden away in a remote island in Indonesia, though it’s close enough to Singapore to be quite popular with residents there. This is a simple but comfortable eco-resort, with no TVs, internet, or even hot water in most rooms, though the tropical temperatures and warm-water showers do mix well. There are three stand-alone overwater bungalows that offer great value for those who don’t need air conditioning or a private jacuzzi. There are also four Deluxe Family Rooms sharing a structure, and a huge 3-bedroom Multi-Family Suite. They even have 60 dorm beds, which are priced unusually high, but the long list of activities and great service should keep all visitors quite happy as long as their expectations are in line.

Rates

Private Chalets are US$164 and above

Deluxe Family Rooms are US$130 and above

Multi-Family Suite is US$440 and above

Medhufushi Island Resort

Maldives

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The Medhufushi Island Resort Maldives is located on a small private island in the Meemu Atoll, 130 kilometers south of the main island of MalΓ© in the Maldives. With a very remote setting, even for the Maldives, the Medhufushi Island Resort is very popular and boasts a gorgeous location on its own private island. There are 46 overwater villas along with 66 beach villas, making this one of the larger 4-star private-island resorts in the Maldives. Perfect for any romantic holiday, they also offer two enormous Honeymoon Lagoon Suites, accessed by a private local boat and filled with extra amenities.

Beautiful as it may be, the house reef surrounding the resort is in fairly shallow water, so diving and snorkeling are done by special daily trips further out. There are plenty of other water sports and beach activities available as well, along with three restaurants and bars plus a full-service spa. In its price range, the Medhufushi Island Resort offers great value for the Maldives.

Rates:

Low season online specials from US$680 per night

High season online specials from US$877 per night

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