Aqua-based vacation plans always sound amazing. Staying and exploring underwater is adventurous. On the water—especially aboard a yacht or cruise—feels peaceful and opulent. But as Airows points out, there's just something about staying over the water.
It's a great way to be surrounded by tranquil sounds, spectacularly immersive vistas and a few creature comforts amongst an otherwise locally flavored architecture. And though they connote a French Polynesian location, as you'll see below, you necessarily don't have to travel to the South Pacific to soak up the scene this way. (But good on you if you do.)
1. InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa
Tahiti hosts some of the bluest waters on the planet. It really doesn't get much more idyllic than a stay above them, relaxing under a traditional thatched roof. If you choose to emerge, you can enjoy shows, fine dining and a dive around the local coral reefs. But retreating to their Deep Nature Spa sounds kinda good, too.
2. Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Perhaps the most remote, beautiful and exotic island in the world, Bora Bora offers you the ultimate peaceful perch over the Pacific. Don't go there to do anything other than unwind.
3. Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives
Your steps lead right into crystal clear waters. Your hammock hovers above them. You could play. But that just seems like too much work.
4. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
"Overwater villa." Few pairs of words in the English language so quickly impart so much about your ability to relax and indulge. So just soak in that phrase like you would the warm Polynesian sun.
5. El Dorado Maroma
Our other favorite phrase to hear on vacation ("all-inclusive) applies to this North American adults-only retreat. Replete with a full array of bars and restaurants to satisfy your every thirst, it looks like a sufficiently tropical place to stay that won't require a full day's flight across the dateline.
6. Manava Beach Resort & Spa
Formerly known as the "Moorea Pearl," this secluded resort sits on the grounds of the first hotel built on the island just over a half century ago. Plus it's conveniently just 15 minutes from the airport. So you'll enjoy a short last travel leg before you can finally put your feet up.
7. Six Senses Laamu
Nestled in the Indian Ocean just a an inter-island plane and short boat trip away from your international flight, you'll find one of the most topographically exclusive resort settings on earth: above the Laamu atoll in Maldives. No doubt, you'll drift to slip to the sounds of dolphins swimming right under your room.
8. Sandals Royal Caribbean, Jamaica
Smartly adorned with see-through glass floors, these overwater villas feature a sumptuous list of in-suite features, including: a Tranquility Soaking Tub, overwater two-person hammock, private infinity pool and personalized butler service. You can take them up on unlimited boat transfers to the main resort, but why the hell would you want to?
9. COMO Cocoa Island
Inspired by the gently curving wooden vessels used by local fishermen, these Maldivian suites feature Wi-Fi and flatscreens for when you want to feel connected, along with private terraces and outdoor showers when you don't.
10. Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort
Appropriately enough, we end back in Tahiti. At the end of each day here, you'll recline with a tropical cocktail in hand, sitting under millions of stars and over millions of fish who play all day in the azure lagoon, reflecting back on how you accomplished absolutely nothing in the most delightful way.