Originating in Tahiti and perfected in Southern Asia, the overwater bungalow is the ultimate expression of high seas romance and luxury. The question is, “Where are the world’s best overwater settings for spending the night with ocean waves serving as your sleep soundtrack?”

The amenities accompanying a dream night in an overwater bungalow have soared to extreme heights since the first suite opened in Tahiti back in 1960. Today’s elite overwater accommodations boggle the mind with their five-star features. The only common denominator to these serene escapes is a vivid view of the turquoise ocean at your doorstep.

Is there one overwater bungalow that surpasses the others? The Maldives, Bora Bora, Cook Islands, Riviera Maya, and Jamaica all deliver tranquil overwater sanctuaries that spark young memories forever. Let’s look at five overwater options that are sure to stir one’s vacation imagination.

Baros Maldives Resort. overwater bungalows

Baros Maldives Resort

The Baros Maldives overwater story began with coral-walled cabanas looking over the Indian Ocean. The bungalows seemed the perfect complement to the Maldives’ amazing water and miles of coral reefs. The destination’s idyllic environment makes it a honeymoon, photography, and scuba diving dreamscape.

Almost 50 years since it opened, Baros’ iconic overwater bungalows continue to thrill guests seeking a one-of-a-kind getaway. See for yourself why a Baros Maldives experience garners Best in Romance, Best in Culinary, and Best in Luxury awards?

Four Seasons Bora Bora overwater bungalows

Four Seasons Bora Bora

Described as a private island resort in the heart of Polynesia, the Four Seasons Bora Bora faces the 2300-foot presence of Mount Otemanu. Resort guests revel in a secluded lagoon that is so rich in marine life that the Four Seasons employs a resident marine biologist.

Built-in 2008, the Four Seasons Bora Bora features 100 overwater bungalows. For the vacationer who has everything, the luxury resort recently added a swim-up 3,500-square-foot indoor/outdoor shopping facility.

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort in the Cook Islands overwater bungalows

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort in the Cook Islands

When the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa states that the color blue was invented on their site, you wonder if this is grand hyperbole. When the globetrotting Senior Editor of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition says that Aitutaki is hands down the most beautiful place she’s ever seen, you take notice.

Aitutaki is located on Cook Island’s only private island. The resort’s prime locale includes a breathtaking lagoon, and guests reside beachfront in 36 overwater bungalows.

El Dorado Maroma by Karisma overwater bungalows

Palafitos – Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma by Karisma

In 2016, Mexico’s first overwater bungalows debuted on Maroma, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The 30 Palafitos -Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma stand front and center on a paradise setting featuring gourmet cuisine, a Mayan spa, and a Zen-inspired environment.

Tranquility is the rule as the bungalow’s signature glass-bottom floors reveal the Riviera Maya’s exquisite turquoise waters. For the ultimate in relaxation, indulge in a Beachfront Sky Massage. This ancient Mayan treatment is performed in the Palafitos’ Overwater Náay Spa

Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay overwater bungalows

Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay

An aerial shot of Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort’s 12 overwater bungalows spells romance from the sky. The Jamaica-based resort’s spacious thatched-roof bungalows are configured in the shape of a heart.

In addition to 24-hour butler service, bungalow guests access their private island, as well as easy ferry service to the mainland. The elevated theme continues at the neighboring Sandals Montego Bay where guests enjoy cocktails from a 360-degree overwater bar. For couples desiring nuptials on the Caribbean Sea, vows can be exchanged at Sandals Overwater Wedding Chapel.

Overwater Options, Options, Options

In the Maldives, Bora Bora, Cook Island, Riviera Maya, and Jamaica, an overwater escape awaits. Choose one of these destinations for your next vacation, and there’s a good chance you’ll be sleeping to the sound of ocean waves.