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Photo courtesy of Le Taha'a Island Resort and Spa

10 Stunning Overwater Bungalows

By Andrew Harper Staff

The Harper Way | March 26, 2015

There are few luxuries akin to staying in these select Andrew Harper properties, perched up above the water, the sound of waves lapping on the sides of a private bungalow or villa. The world's best overwater bungalows come equipped with plunge pools, private decks, hammocks and, of course, exclusive access to the oceans, lakes and bodies of water they rise above. Continue reading for our picks for the 10 most stunning overwater bungalows in the world.

Photo by Martin Morrell. Courtesy of Cocoa Island by COMO.

Cocoa Island Como

South Male Atoll, Maldives

Understated yet luxurious resort on a small coral island, a 45-minute speedboat ride from Malé. The 33 air-conditioned suites and villas stand on pilings over the sea. Minimal interiors feature teak floors and steeply pitched roofs lined with golden coconut palm matting.

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Photo courtesy of Le Taha'a Island Resort and Spa

Le Taha’a

Taha'a Island, French Polynesia

Captivating resort on a private islet off the coast of Taha'a, surrounded by a turquoise lagoon and backdropped by Bora Bora’s dramatic profile. Fifty-seven thatched cottage suites are built out over the lagoon and feature pitched woven ceilings, blond wood floors and tapa cloth adornments. Each suite opens onto a panoramic deck with cushioned lounge chairs, a thatched dining area and steps leading down to the crystalline waters.

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Photo courtesy of The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort.

St. Regis Bora Bora

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

This 100-suite hotel offers exceptionally spacious accommodations, each overwater villa enhanced by a living room, indoor glass floor panels, lavish bath with tub and separate rainfall shower, and a large terrace featuring a dining gazebo, outdoor shower and steps descending into a deepwater lagoon.

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Photo by John Sinal. Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Four Seasons Bora Bora

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Luxury resort on its own motu (islet) and surrounded by coconut palms. The 100 overwater bungalows and seven beachfront villas with pools offer panoramic views of the lagoon and Mount Otemanu. All accommodations feature teak furnishings, high ceilings and baths with tubs and separate showers that open onto private decks.

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Photo courtesy of Huvafen Fushi

Huvafen Fushi

North Male Atoll, Maldives

Glamorous resort on a pristine island, a 30-minute speedboat ride from Malé. The 43 thatch-roofed wooden lodgings include the romantic Ocean Bungalows built on pilings over the sea, and the more private Deluxe Beach Bungalows nestled in a thicket of greenery.

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Photo ©Ken Seet. Courtesy of Four Seasons Maldives

Four Seasons Maldives

North Male Atoll, Maldives

Seductive private island resort accessible by speedboat with 96 palm-thatched pavilions, bungalows and suites overlooking the luminous waters of a lagoon. Beach Bungalows offer private plunge horizon pools, sundecks and walled courtyards with outdoor showers. Spacious bedrooms feature timber floors, teak furnishings and expansive living areas; baths have walk-in showers and soaking tubs.

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Photo by Jason Busch. Courtesy of Laucala Island.

Laucala Island

Laucala, Fiji

Exclusive sanctuary on a remote 3,500-acre private island. The 25 individually designed villas reflect the environment and Fijian culture and occupy a variety of settings, some with a private beach. Each offers indoor/outdoor living spaces, an outdoor shower, infinity-edge pool and natural furnishings.

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Photo courtesy of Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Poste de Flacq, Mauritius

Exceptionally stylish resort on a private 60-acre peninsula at the northeastern tip of the island. The spectacular lobby has a magnificent vaulted timber roof sheltering gleaming expanses of marble that merge seamlessly into a 120-foot slate-lined horizon pool. The property comprises of 64 Junior Suites, 12 Family Suites and 12 Villas located along the beach, in a garden facing the sea, and on stilts overlooking a lagoon with a view of distant mountains; some grant direct access to the beach and offer private plunge pools.

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Photo courtesy of Cayo Espanto

Cayo Espanto

Cayo Espanto, Belize

Hideaway on private four-acre islet, 10 minutes by boat from Ambergris Caye. Seven cottages (maximum 18 guests) have king-size beds, lavish baths, stylish living areas, separate dining spaces and private beachfront sundecks with heated infinity plunge pools. Casa Ventanas, the overwater bungalow, is equipped with glass floor at the end of a 150-foot dock.

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Photo courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba.

Rosewood Mayakoba

Quintana Roo, Mexico

Striking resort in 1,600-acre jungle and beach development featuring a maze of canals, lagoons and pools, 30 minutes south of Cancún. Electric-powered launches or golf carts ferry guests to the 130 modernist suites of golden limestone with private plunge pools and rooftop sundecks.

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All of these hotels rest on stilts over waterways – stay tuned for our next installment of luxury hotels on stilts, featuring stunning properties raised above land.

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