It’s like sleeping on a boat — only better. Overwater bungalows may well be the most romantic rooms on Earth. Imagine diving from your backdoor into the sea. Envision eating breakfast delivered by canoe to your above lagoon porch. Dream of gazing at a window in your living room floor, which frames the antics of colorful schools of fish. Predominant in the South Pacific, these suites on stilts have started to crop up in other parts of the world, too. Are you ready to celebrate your new life in a cottage that crowns the waves? There’s a whole world of options out there.
The Further Flung
The Maldives are a long way from home. But, you’ll know why you bothered the minute you step off the seaplane at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. Occupying its own island, surrounded by Indian Ocean’s jaw dropping one-thousand-hues-of-blue, the resort is scattered across lengths of bone-white sand. On one end, down a wooden boardwalk, the over water suites beckon. Choose between sunrise or sunset views, and plan to enjoy the net-covered portion of the deck for maximum repose. With an Ayurvedic-focused spa, which seems to float above this UNESCO Biosphere marine landscape (watch for fish in the face down portion of your massage), and a brand new overwater wedding pavilion, encompasses enough space for 16 guests, bridal couples will be entranced by the largesse of this faraway destination. www.fourseasons.com/maldiveslg
The Lake Version
Let’s face it — some people prefer the lake life. If you can’t decide between a European vacation and a jaunt on a beach, Hotel Palafitte, near Geneva, in the French speaking part of Switzerland, will solve your dilemma. Poised on Lake Neuchatal, the artistic hotel, the only overwater property in Europe, has state-of-art amenities. Show stopping, it consists of pavilions that cap the water, facing tremendous views of the Toblerone-shaped Alps. Inspired by the homes-on-stilts that once housed the lake’s ancient inhabitants 6,000-years-ago, Hotel Palafitte has an unearthly ambiance. With floor-to-ceiling windows, each suite has a deck meant to lure you to leap into the glacial waters at will. Nearby hiking and touristic towns pose plenty to do, but many will linger at Palafitte’s restaurant, La Table de Palafitte, a homage to local cuisine. Hob nob late at night at its tony bar, tippling absinthe, a liqueur first created in the region in the 18th-century. www.palafitte.ch
The Just Down Under
Maroma Beach, just south of Cancun, gets accolades for its gin-clear waters. Now, you can frolic on top of them in Mexico’s first over water suites. Created as a hotel within a hotel, this exclusive portion of all-inclusive Karisma’s El Dorado Maroma bears the name Palafitos — and offers a seductive alternative to the high-rise Cancun vacation experience. In the first phase of 30 overwater suites, Palafitos spoils couples with transparent floors and direct, ladder access right into the turquoise expanse, so don’t forget to pack your snorkel. Add in extras, such as the floating Naay Spa Over the Ocean, with its four opulent suites (delve into local lore with the indigenously derived Mayan Body Treatment), and the Over Water Ocean Grill & Wine Bar, and you may never come to shore. www.karismahotels.com
The New Frontier
It won’t be just the water below that croons its lullaby at night at Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel, a swank eco-lodge in the Peten Jungle of Guatemala. Atop the Quexil Lagoon, you’ll also hear birds chirping (more than 150 species of them), frogs croaking, howler monkeys hooting — and perhaps even the purrs of jaguar and ocelots who roam the private reserve some distance from your bungalow. Ensconced in this leafy haven, the 19 bungalows, built from sustainable pine, boast rustic-chic architecture, first class modern amenities, and hand-crafted furniture, made from local wood. A full-service spa and new swimming pools, to be completed in December, ensure Las Lagunas to be the area’s luxe life leader.