Sure, overwater bungalows are great (bucket-list great). And it’s amazing to be able to jump out of bed and into the ocean in less than 10 seconds.
But what’s even more incredible than overwater bungalows are overwater bungalows with see-through floors, which allow you to watch the ocean even when you’re not in it. All the hotels below feature overwater bungalows, plus sections of the floor that are entirely see-through. And in the case of some overwater bungalows, the see-through areas are in the bathrooms, so you can watch ocean life swim by while brushing your teeth. Nice.
The best way to develop a love of the ocean is to learn about the beautiful and otherworldly creatures in it. Ocean health is a harbinger of planet health, and the effects of global warming, overfishing, and pollution and starting to take their toll on the planet’s underwater world. That’s why June 8 was designated as “World Oceans Day” by the United Nations and various international environmental organizations. So while you’re admiring the mesmerizing underwater world from within your overwater bungalow, be sure to also think about some of the very tiny changes you can make to ensure the cute little marine critters you see have a clean home for centuries to come.
Maldives overwater bungalows with clear floors
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that an island as associated with perfect ocean views as Maldives has more than a few ideal places to celebrate World Oceans Day every day.
Robinson Club Noonu
There are two Robinson Clubs in Maldives, both of which offer a host of activities ranging from sunset beach bars to dance parties to snorkeling and Zumba classes. But when you see the view from the bathroom of your overwater bungalow at Robinson Club Noonu, you may decide to stay inside all day. The resort’s rooms over the ocean have huge decks and private pools, as well as super-cool mesh hammocks built into the floor next to the bathtubs. So while you wait for your bath to heat up, you can hang out (literally) just a few feet above the ocean. The tiny, harmless sharks that hang out below the bungalows are particularly cute.
Lilly Beach Resort
Lilly Beach Resort‘s Deluxe Water Villa impresses as soon as you enter through the front door, thanks to a six-foot-long clear floor panel in the entryway. In addition to the glass panel long enough for the average human to lay on, the deluxe rooms also have huge bathroom that opens to the Indian Ocean, giant over-the-water decks, and private plunge pools. And resort guests have access to a plethora of activities ranging from private hammock rafts to nighttime tours on a semi-submerged submarine hanging just a few feet below the surface.
There’s no need to book the most expensive overwater bungalow at Soneva Jani, a resort founded on conscious travel and sustainable tourism. Nearly all of the overwater bungalows at the high-end resort have clear paneled segments on the floors looking down into the shallow lagoon.
But one of the coolest see-through floors may be in the resort’s one-bedroom reserve villa, which has a round panel directly beneath the dining table (try not to feel weird if you ordered the fish). Sure, most guests probably book the villa for its two-story waterslide, but having your morning coffee while sitting on the glass panel is the stuff World Ocean Day dreams (and Instagram posts) are made of.
Sun Siam Iru Fushi
With 15 restaurants and bars, it’s surprising that prices at Sun Siam Iru Fushi start in the vaguely reasonable low $300s in the summer. It’s even better that all their water villas have glass-bottomed floor panels. Depending on which villa you pick, yours may be next to the couch or on one side of the bed — you’ll have to flip a coin for who gets the side next to the fish.
Who wouldn’t want to book a room called the “Extreme WOW Ocean Haven?” The two-room overwater bungalow at the well-known W Maldives has two long see-through panels in the living area, though the views from the large infinity pool, glass sliding doors, and huge outdoor couch are pretty “extreme wow,” too.
Don’t want to spring for that room? Don’t worry. Most of the villas have a glass floor segment and the hotel’s SIP bar and lounge has cozy outdoor couches suspended on a boardwalk over the lagoon.
Hotel Kia Ora, French Polynesia
On Rangiroa — a very small (and very gorgeous) island in French Polynesia popular with scuba divers — the underwater world is the main draw. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a diver to peek at the underwater world if you stay at Hotel Kia Ora. In fact, you don’t even need to stay there to see the guests of honor on World Ocean Day. Just pop over to the hotel’s Miki Miki Bar, suspended over the turquoise lagoon. The open-air bar has several clear floor panels scattered around the bar area, ensuring everyone gets a peek at the fish and tiny sharks known to frequent the area.
Lina Point Belize Overwater Resort, Belize
Lina Point is spot-on when they describe their rooms as being built over an aquarium. While the overwater bungalows leave no shortage of places to watch the ocean, one of the coolest spots — especially for kids — will be from the see-through floor panels, which are standard in all the rooms. Many rooms also have rope hammocks suspended over the ocean and swings perched on the edge of the over-water decks. If you want to celebrate World Ocean Day every day, you’ll be glad to know overwater bungalows start at just $300. It’s a great hotel for adventure travelers or anyone planning to visit Ambergris Caye’s nearby Blue Hole.
Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort, Philippines
The Philippines may not be the first place that comes to mind when you envision overwater bungalows, but the luxurious Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort has some of the best views of the underwater world you can get without getting wet. The hotel’s Sirakin Villas have not just glass panels but full-on glass floors. Try not to trip if you have a few drinks and forget about the unique feature when you walk back into your villa.