Is the Overwater Bungalow Still Sexy at 50?

  • Donna Heiderstadt
JANUARY 03, 2017

What began in 1967 as a humble Tahitian hut on stilts has gone global. It was 50 years ago when the Bali Hai Boys, three young men from Southern California seeking a slice of South Pacific paradise, built the first-ever thatched-roof overwater bungalows atop Raiatea lagoon in French Polynesia. Half a century later, it’s now possible to sleep above gently lapping waves in more than 15 countries in villas designed for indulgence with private plunge pools, Balinese-style sun loungers, and even retractable roofs for stargazing from bed. Is the overwater bungalow still sexy at 50? We think so. Here are 10 over-the-top options to consider.

Featured Slideshows

From Around the Web...
$13.9 million jet trip
The most expensive around-the-world private-jet trip offers much more than sightseeing…
Robb Report celebrates Presidents’ Day with a look at the world’s most extraordinary presidential...
1 Hotel South Beach in Miami
It’s VIP all the way for guests of 1 Hotel South Beach’s exclusive new Retreat Collection…
35th America's Cup at Rosewood Tucker’s Point
Resort guests will watch races aboard the Mariner III yacht, a 122-foot pleasure cruiser built in...
From FDR to JFK, these POTUS-approved hotels are perfect for a President’s Day weekend getaway…
Photo by Marina Mathews
Outdoor enthusiasts can heli-ski and mountain bike while preserving native species and sustainable...
L’Hôtel Marrakech brings modern edge to the traditional Moroccan riad…
London’s newest hotel experiences will give you a serious case of spring fever…
The cruise line is on mission to push the boundaries of luxury travel…
Photograph by Paul E. Richardson
During the 10-day celebration of the arts, performers will range from Joshua Bell to Bill Murray…