FOUR SEASONS LANDAA GIRAAVARU
It’s like sleeping on a boat – only better. Overwater bungalows are perhaps the most romantic rooms in the world. Imagine diving into the ocean from your back door. Imagine having your breakfast delivered by canoe onto your porch overlooking the lagoon. Dream about looking through a window in your living room floor that frames the antics of colorful schools of fish. Predominantly in the South Pacific, these suites on stilts can also be found in other parts of the world. Are you ready to celebrate your new life in a cottage that can crown the waves? There is a whole world of options out there.
The next litter
The Maldives are a long way from home. But you’ll know why you bothered the moment you step off the seaplane at the Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. The resort is on its own island, surrounded by the thousands of shades of blue of the Indian Ocean and scattered across bone-white sand. At one end, along a wooden walkway, the overwater suites beckon. Choose between sunrise or sunset and plan to enjoy the mesh-covered portion of the deck for maximum tranquility. With an Ayurvedic-themed spa that seems to float above this UNESCO biosphere seascape (watch out for fish in the hidden part of your massage) and a brand new overwater wedding pavilion that seats 16 guests, newlyweds will be fascinated by the generosity of this distant place Destination. www.fourseasons.com/maldiveslg
The sea version
Let’s face it – some people prefer life by the lake. If you can’t decide between a European vacation and a trip to the beach, the Hotel Palafitte near Geneva in French-speaking Switzerland will solve your dilemma. Located on Lake Neuchâtel, the artistic hotel, the only overwater property in Europe, offers the most modern amenities. Show stop, consists of pavilions that tower over the water and offer a magnificent view of the Toblerone-shaped Alps. Inspired by the stilt houses that once housed the old inhabitants of the lake 6,000 years ago, the Hotel Palafitte offers an unearthly ambience. With floor-to-ceiling windows, each suite has a terrace designed to tempt you to jump into the glacier water at will. There is plenty to do in the nearby hiking and tourist towns, but many will stop off at Palafitte’s La Table de Palafitte restaurant, a tribute to local cuisine. Hob nob late into the night in his Tony Bar, sipping absinthe, a liqueur that was first produced in the region in the 18th century. www.palafitte.ch
Just down under
Maroma Beach, south of Cancun, is recognized for its clear water. Now you can frolic about it in Mexico’s first overwater suites. Created as a hotel within a hotel, this exclusive part of the all-inclusive El Dorado Maroma Karisma bears the name Palafitos – and offers a seductive alternative to the high-rise vacation experience in Cancun. In the first phase of 30 overwater suites, Palafitos pampers couples with transparent floors and direct access via a ladder straight into the turquoise expanse, so don’t forget to pack your snorkel. Add extras like the floating Naay Spa Over the Ocean with its four opulent suites (immerse yourself in local lore with the indigenous Mayan body treatment) and the Over Water Ocean Grill & Wine Bar, and you may never get ashore come . www.karismahotels.com
The new frontier
It won’t just be the water that sings its lullaby at night at the Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel, a swanky eco-lodge in the Peten jungle of Guatemala. On the Quexil Lagoon, you can also hear birds chirping (more than 150 species), frogs croaking, howler monkeys howl – and maybe even the purring of jaguars and ocelots roaming the private reserve some distance from your bungalow. Embedded in this green oasis, the 19 bungalows, which were built from sustainable pine wood, offer rustic-chic architecture, first-class modern amenities and hand-made furniture made from local wood. A full-service spa and new swimming pools due for completion in December make Las Lagunas the region’s leading luxury hotel.