ON every traveller's bucket list is to stay at an overwater villa, with Maldives being one of the most popular destinations for Brits.
Thankfully you don't have to trek as far – or pay as much – to experience something similar, with overwater hotels across Europe and Asia for a fraction of the price.
Panorama Bungalows El Gouna, Egypt
Located in Hurghada is Egypt's own overwater villas at Panorama Bungalows, a four-star resort with 13 water villas.
Each bungalow is located directly on the lagoon, so you can jump straight into the water.
Otherwise the huge resort has enough to entertain with a private beach, wellness centre and range of restaurants.
- Stay at Panorama Bungalows El Gouna from £42 per night – book here
Elounda Beach Hotel, Greece
Elounda Beach Hotel is one of the most luxurious in Crete, with the five-star resort boasting five tennis courts among other facilities.
There are lots of rooms to choose from too but its the Island Bungalow Waterfront which has direct access to the water.
Make the most of the breakfast included and relax on the private terrace before a drip.
- Stay at Elounda Beach Hotel from £184 per night – book here
Stella Island Resort, Greece
Stella Island Resort, located on the Greek island Crete, has a number of bungalows and lodges where you can jump straight into the water from your bedroom.
The resort has a range of lodges to choose from, with 225 rooms overall, some with private pools and others with pool views, and all with a private pool deck and hammock.
If you want even more luxury, their new Grand Overwater Bungalows feature overwater hammocks and private hot tubs.
- Stay at Stella Island Resort from £177 per night – book here
Hotel Palafitte, Switzerland
One of the few hotels in Europe to have overwater rooms, Hotel Palafitte in the town of Lake Neuchâtel has the choice of two – Lake Pavilions or Shore Pavilions.
The 14 Shore Pavilions are based on Lake Neuchâtel, and have moveable walls so that the view can be changed with just a small path separating the bungalow from the lake where swimming is possible.
The 24 Lake Pavilions claim to be the only five-star stilted rooms in Europe with a private terrace and view of the lake from the huge bathtub.
- Stay at Hotel Palafitte from £250 per night – book here
Manshausen Island Resort, Norway
Less of a hot summer holiday, the resort at Manshausen Island in Norway has their own version of the overwater villa.
Located between huge mountain ranges and the Barents Sea, you can instead try and catch the Northern Lights, with the seven Sea Cabins perched on a natural ledge over the sea.
The villas have floor to ceiling windows so a panoramic view with a glass of wine (there are no TVs in the room) is encouraged.
- Stay at Manshausen Island Resort from £68 per night – book here
Misool Eco Resort, Indonesia
Forget Bali and head to Raja Ampat in Indonesia where the Misool Eco Resort feels like the middle of nowhere with just 40 guests at any one time.
An exclusive dive resort and conservation centre, the entire place is built from driftwood and naturally fallen wood.
The overwater villas have private verandas and hammocks overlooking the water, with an open air Bali style bathroom too – all meals and use of paddle boards is included too.
Mango House Seafront Suites, Thailand
The Koh Lanta resort Mango House is simple without the added luxuries, but perfect for a budget friendly overwater stay.
The Seafront Suites have direct access to the Andaman Sea where you can relax in the hammock on the terrace.
Each villa isn't far from Old Town with restaurants and bars welcoming tourists.
- Stay at Mango House Seafront Suites from £30 per night – book here
KC Resort & Over Water Villas – Thailand
For a bit more luxury in Thailand, KC Resort & Over Water Villas is a better option.
Located in Koh Samui, each villa is staggered across the mountains for uninterrupted views.
Each room, while not over the sea, has its own infinity pool to create the illusion of it too.
- Stay at KC Resort & Over Water Villas from £68 per night – book here
Many of the hotels may be off the cards until next year – Egypt and Thailand are still on the UK's red list, along with Indonesia and Switzerland.
Greece requires a negative coronavirus test to enter while Norway has a mandatory quarantine on arrival.
If you really. want to visit the Maldives, you can stay at one of the biggest villas there, for a cool £19,000 a night.
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