1Cocoa Island, Maldives
Simple yet sophisticated, contemporary yet indigenous, and always deliberately restrained—Cocoa Island by COMO is a luxury hotel that reflects the archipelago's serene soul.
The style and design of these 33 overwater suites and villas are like that of no other luxury resort in the Maldives. Uniquely inspired by dhoni boats—the gently curving wooden vessels used by local fishermen—the rooms arc out from the island itself. Simple wooden walkways built above the shallow lagoon connect them, forming a sinuous boardwalk pathway.
Each room has a private terrace, all the better for slipping into the warm Maldivian sea, right from your room. The view from the wide platform is directly out to the watery expanse and horizon. Interiors are dominated by whites and blues, with only a subtle nod to the local rustic aesthetic.
2Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge, Panama
Located on a remote coral peninsula of Isla Colon, Punta Caracol is a stunning, albeit slightly weathered, paradisaical retreat. The exclusive community contains nine cabanas, a boathouse and a restaurant that are built entirely over the water in harmony with the serene natural environment. The resort is probably the most expensive option in the Bocas del Toro area.
3The Float House River Kwai Resort, Thailand
The Float House River Kwai is compromised of bungalows that appear as though they are floating above the famous Khwae Noi in Thailand. The 18 villas are constructed from bamboo and teakwood and offer a truly traditional Thai experience. There are many excursions in the area, from elephant riding and canoeing to visiting an indigenous Mon village and exploring the nearby temple.
4 Aria Amazon, Peru
The next hotel on our list offers guests the chance to cruise the Amazon River onboard a 147-foot-long (45-meter) floating hotel. Designed by Peruvian architect Jordi Puig, the M/V Aria is an intimate cruise ship that can accommodate a maximum of 32 passengers, plus crew. The unique accommodation offers a rare chance to observe the wonders of the Amazon region in Peru from an unobstructed vantage point.
The sleeping quarters of the M/V Aria consist of 16 suites, each featuring a lounge area and large panoramic river views. With the bed positioned to face out, travelers can get a look at a bird-eating spider or an anaconda—the world's largest snake. They might also be lucky enough to get a glimpse of an endangered pink dolphin, a three-toed sloth or even a black jaguar.
5The Meridien Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Le Meridien Bora Bora Hotel is located only nine kilometers from Bora Bora Airport in French Polynesia. The hotel sits on a coral reef facing Bora Bora and is reached by a 15-minute boat ride from the airport.
The hotel offers luxurious beach bungalows built on a pristine beach, glass-bottomed bungalows built on stilts planted in the ocean, and premium bungalows overlooking the lagoon.
Located just 240 kilometers from Tahiti in the Leeward Society Islands, Bora Bora is home to many interesting attractions. A 29-kilometer road circles the island passing archeological sites, World War II army bunkers, and colorful villages.
6The Manta Resort in Zanzibar, Africa
The Manta Resort's main attraction is it Underwater Room, a three-floor suite that floats within a thriving coral reef and boasts a submerged master bedroom, which is surrounded by windows for viewing the local sea life.
Located on the tropical Pemba Island in Zanzibar, Tanzania, the top two floors of the Underwater Room rest above the surface of the water, while the bedroom sits four meters beneath.
7Floating Hotel with Catamaran, Serbia
A new design for a hotel may make remote waterways the next luxury travel destination.
The "Floating Hotel with Catamaran Apartments," by Salt & Water, an architecture and yacht design firm in Serbia, was recently named winner of the Millennium Yacht Design Awards and now has travelers itching to set sail in hard-to-reach rivers.
Each apartment or suite inside the water-based hotel is, in fact, a catamaran that can detach from the hotel dock and be navigated independently by its guest. The design allows access to smaller waterways that can't sustain cruise ships.
A cross between a boat and a cabin, each catamaran consists of a salon, a galley, a bathroom, a hall with storage space and a sleeping area, accommodating two to four people. Should the design take off, swimming, diving, fishing, and sunbathing will take place wherever one decides to moor a suite.
8King Pacific Lodge, Canada
In the heart of the Canadian wilderness lies a luxury destination retreat located along the coast of British Columbia. King Pacific Lodge, a Rosewood Resort property is accessible only by floatplane.
Open from May to October, and moored in the shelter of Barnard Harbour on Royal Princess Island, the floating lodge is surrounded by the Great Bear Rainforest, which is flanked by centuries-old cedar trees and brimming with wildlife.
King Pacific Lodge is one of the most magnificent wilderness resorts on earth. Designed for absolute comfort, it features gourmet cuisine and deluxe accommodations in addition to its spectacular scenery. Opportunities abound to view humpback whales, orcas, bald eagles, sea lions, black bears, and, of course, the rare white Kermode bear.
9Six Senses, Maldives
Six Senses Laamu is the only resort on the virtually uncharted Laamu atoll in the Maldives, deep in the Indian Ocean. The island features outstanding natural beauty, powder white sand, lush tropical vegetation and crystal clear waters.
The luxury Maldives resort is a combination of on-land and over-water villas constructed of sustainable materials and set around the palm-fringed paradise.
10Amazon Jungle Palace, Brazil
The floating Amazon Jungle Palace is the first ecological and luxury hotel complex in the Brazilian rainforest. It is located on the bench of the Negro River, 10 miles away from the international airport. The complex has 65 apartments, and it's one of the only jungle hotels in the Amazon that has a modern water treatment system, and garbage collection, as well as being the first to present a Contingency Plan developed by researchers at UniNorte Laureate University Center.