Okay let’s be honest, staying in a thatched-roof villa overlooking a crystal clear blue lagoon is probably the pinnacle of MOST people’s resort dreams.

And while this type of getaway was once only reserved for Hollywood elite and business magnates, a crop of affordable overwater resorts have sprung up to serve the super-luxe experience on a *slightly* more down-to-earth price point.

We’re talking from $AU100 per night.

Take a minute to let that sink in.

So you no longer have to sell your house to get a taste of that OTT overwater island life experience. Set your faces to stun because here are five overwater bungalows that surprisingly won’t break your budget.


Avani Sepang GoldCoast Resort, Malaysia


One of the biggest overwater hotels in the world, Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort seems to be too good to be true, rolling great value and a convenient but beautiful location in one too-good-to-be-true package.

The $AUD101 per night hotel is scattered across multiple bungalows, which collectively form the shape of a humongous palm tree. Set against the Malacca Straits, the body of water that separates the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, it offers 315 water villas that branch off a central hub.


4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia

If you feel the urge to go offline, one of the most stunning settings to unplug is this remote eco-lodge. A 4-hour drive from Phnom Penh, followed by 30-minute boat ride down the Tatai River and you’ll soon find yourself in the depths of the Cardamom Rainforest.

4 Rivers Floating Lodge is perched on a pontoon bordering the Peam Krasaop Wildlife Sanctuary with the 12 circular-tented villas afforded with vistas of the surrounding unspoiled forest.


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Looking to immerse yourself in the wilderness? Clouded leopards and the Malaysian Sun Bear are just a couple examples of local wildlife you’ll spot on a hike, among the most famous trails is the route to the famous Tatai Waterfall.

Nightly rates start at $AUD310.


Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

The Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu offers overwater bungalows for the budget-conscious traveller. Its stunning 148 villas overlook the tropical waters of the lagoon and offers direct access to a white-sand beach. Not bad for a nightly rate of $AUD238, huh?

While there’s plenty to see and do at the resort, a truly romantic experience lies a half-hour taxi or ferry ride away at Hideaway Island.

Below the turquoise waters, snorkelling spots and wreck dives are aplenty, and the markets of the local Mele people boast an abundance of artisan-crafted finds.


Royal Huahine Resort, Huahine

French Polynesia’s best-kept secret is home to one of the best value-for-money resorts, the Royal Huahine Resort.

For us mere mortals whose budgets don’t extend to 4-or-5 star luxury, this island retreat is a modest aquatic escape that doesn’t skimp on the extras – including direct bungalow-to-lagoon access.

From canoe tours and deep sea fishing expeditions to sunset cruises, at $AUD208 per night this Huahine resort serves the island dream at a fraction of its Bora Bora or Moorea resort counterparts.


Reethi Beach Resort Maldives

Can’t get the OG overwater bungalow destination of the Maldives out of your head? You don’t have to completely wipe your bank account to stay at Reethi Beach Resort.

At Reethi Beach Resort, you won’t be short of activities. Swim among marine life in the vibrant reef or venture to further out from shore on a traditional Dhoni sailboat. Then, end the day with a nightcap at one of the resort’s numerous restaurants and bars. What more could you want after a day of exploring Baa Atoll’s vibrant tropical foliage?

And it’s all yours from $AUD228 per night, which works out to be quite economical if you calculate the cost per cannonball (or graceful plunge) you’ll be doing from your room balcony into the lagoon.

Meg & Dom

Tags: Resorts

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