For many travellers the thought of a holiday filled with nothing more than lazing by the beach or pool is often a dream come true. While it has always been popular to stay in hotels and resorts near or by the water, these days travellers can truly 'splash out' and go one step further by staying in an overwater bangalow, or perhaps a resort built on a man-made island – or for a truly unique aquatic experience, travellers can opt for a luxury holiday in an underwater room.
Hotels.com, the global hotel booking website, has scoured the globe for some of the best hotels over, under, in or by the water, so that travellers can enjoy being waterside all without even having to leave their hotel.
Hotels.com list of top ten hotels:
Hotel: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort, 5*
Travellers lucky enough to stay at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort, set on two private islands, will experience luxury at its finest. After arriving by sea plane over the lagoon, guests can stay in one of the 50 villas built on stilts, some up to 500m out to sea, with sparkling views of the lagoon and the Indian Ocean. For an unforgettable underwater experience, dinner at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, the world's first all-glass undersea restaurant, is a must. The restaurant serves Maldivian-Western fusion cuisine, 16 feet below sea level with views of the reed and marine life.
Rooms at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort start at $900 per room per night*. To book a stay at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort, visit: Hotels.com or call 1800 846 835.
Hotel: Atlantis The Palm, 5*
This five-star resort is located on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah, the manmade, palm-tree-shaped island just off the Jumeirah coast. The resort is the perfect choice for travellers seeking an action-packed aqua holiday. In addition to beach access, the hotel also features the Aquaventure Waterpark, Dolphin Bay, which offers dolphin encounters in three lagoons, The Lost Chambers, an underwater wonderland providing up-close views of 65,000 marine animals and a dive centre for travellers looking to take part in scuba lessons and excursions. For hotel guests looking for an extra special under-water experience, The Lost Chambers Suites offer guests underwater views of the Ambassador Lagoon from both the bedroom and bathroom.
Rooms at Atlantis The Palm start at $548 per room per night*. To book a stay at Atlantis The Palm, visit: Hotels.com or call 1800 846 835.
Hotel: Mandalay Bay Resort, 4*
Destination: Las Vegas
The Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas has been described as an "oceanic island paradise", despite being located in the middle of the Nevada desert. The resort is built on eleven acres of beach environment, including three pools, a lazy river, an adult-only pool and a 1.6-million gallon wave pool with a sand-and-surf beach as well as an onsite shark reef aquarium. Guests can enjoy fun-packed aquatic activities thanks to the hotel's activity centre, which provides guests with tubes, rafts and more than a hundred cabanas and gazebos.
Travellers can also escape from the kids by heading to the third floor, an adults-only private pool area, where the "crème de la crème" of pool goers can be found. The property's main "beach" area also doubles up as an outdoor concert environment with a massive stage extending out of the wave pool. At night guests can enjoy music performances from the water or a blanket on the sand.
Rooms at Mandalay Bay Resort start at $81 per room per night*. To book a stay at Mandalay Bay Resort, visit: Hotels.com or call 1800 846 835.
Hotel: Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad, 4.5*
Travellers will be spoilt with panoramic views of the ocean, lagoons and mountains when they stay at the Grand Bay Hotel in Isla Navidad. Situated on the glittering Pacific Coast, this luxury hotel is the ideal destination for sun and water-loving travellers. Built in a sheltered cove on Manzanillo's Isla Navidad, the property boasts a private yacht marina and sandy beach where guests can lap up the sun - and water, all just metres away from their hotel room. For guests wanting a bit more action, deep sea adventures and other recreational water activities can be organised. This up-scale beachfront hotel also offers three tennis courts, three swimming pools, a spa and salon, and a 27-hole golf course with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Guests can also board a boat which regularly departs the hotel dock headed for the town of Barra de Navidad, located less than one kilometre away.
Rooms at Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad start at $151 per room per night*. To book a stay at the Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad visit: Hotels.com or call 1800 846 835.
Hotel: Atlantis Royal Towers, 4*
The Atlantis Royal Towers is the perfect option for travellers wanting a one-of-a-kind island experience. The Atlantis Royal Towers is located on Paradise Island in the Bahamas and occupies 171 acres of the island which is connected to the mainland by bridge. The resort has been designed around the mythical theme of the Lost Continent of Atlantis. Guests will be awed by the $15 million marina which features its very own village as well as the Caribbean's largest casino. As far as activities go, there is an endless amount of options for travellers who love water. Guests can opt to swim with the dolphins or sea lions, or ride on a water slide through shark-infested waters. For guests seeking pure R & R, the expansive pool and beach areas offer secluded sun-baking spots.
Rooms at Atlantis Royal Towers start at $562 per room per night*. To book a stay at the Atlantis Royal Towers visit: Hotels.com or call 1800 846 835.
Hotel: Le Méridien Bora Bora, 4*
Destination: French Polynesia
Guests will be in paradise at the Le Méridien, located on the famous tropical island in the world –Bora Bora. The resort is made up of ninety-nine tropically themed bungalows that are either perched over the spectacular lagoon or nestled at the edge of ivory sands. Guests who stay in the over-water bungalows can look forward to peering through a glass-bottomed floor which provides stunning views of the marine life below or alternatively step out onto their porch to relax in a hammock. Guests also have access to traditional Polynesian outrigger canoes, jet skiing, sailing, shark feeding and scuba diving.
Rooms at Le Méridien Bora Bora start at $460 per room per night*. To book a stay at Le Méridien Bora Bora visit: Hotels.com or call 1800 846 835.
Hotel: Marina Bay Sands Hotel, 5*
For a water experience of a different kind travellers should book a stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. This hotel has been described as an "awe-inspiring structural masterpiece" with the property essentially being three towers connected by one of the world's largest roof-top pools in the world! Simply head to the nearest elevator and step out into an aquatic world two hundred metres above the sea. Known as the "Sky Park", the oversized infinity-edge pool spans the top of all three hotel towers and extends 65 metres beyond, with spectacular views of Mandalay Bay and the sea. Guests can laze by this one-of–a-kind pool and enjoy all-day dining, as well as an all-day open bar.
Rooms at Marina Bay Sands Hotel start at $281 per room per night*. To book a stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel visit: Hotels.com or call 1800 846 835.
Hotel: The Palace of the Lost City, 5*
Destination: South Africa
Travellers looking for an action-packed water adventure holiday need not look any further than The Palace of the Lost City, Sun City's flagship hotel and one of South Africa's most luxurious water paradises. Set amid twenty-five hectares of botanical jungle, guests are completely surrounded by an array of water features including winding cascades and waterfalls, lakes and pools and fun-packed water adventure rides. Upon arrival guests will witness the elaborate Grand Pool, a huge swimming pool just outside the main entrance intricately decorated with mosaics and sculpture. This magical water-park is also home to 'The Valley of Waves', a large lagoon with a palm-fringed beach, featuring a wave machine capable of generating 1.8 metre waves every 90 seconds. The water-park also houses 'The Temple of Courage' slide – not for the faint-hearted. The ride gets swimmers dropping a heart stopping seventeen metres down a shute and under a bridge before splashing into a small pool. For the less adventurous, the 'Lazy River' ride is a good option. A wide range of water sports including water-skiing, parasailing and sunset are also available.
Rooms at The Palace of the Lost City start at $586 per room per night*. To book a stay at The Palace of the Lost City visit: Hotels.com or call 1800 846 835.
Hotel: Banyan Tree Phuket, 5*
This internationally acclaimed hotel in Phuket is bordered by the golden sands and waves of the Andaman Sea, and lies in Laguna Phuket, which consists of five luxury hotels, six palm-fringed lagoons and three kilometres of pristine beach. Surrounded by water, guests can enjoy the tranquil sounds of the flowing lagoon and lovely tropical living. When it comes time to cool off, guests can head to the porch to take a refreshing dip in their very own private pool surrounded by coconut trees. For a treat, relish a sumptuous dinner under the stars, or perhaps experience a heavenly massage all without leaving your villa.
Rooms at Banyan Tree Phuket start at $750 per room per night*. To book a stay at the Banyan Tree Phuket visit: Hotels.com or call 1800 846 835.
Hotel: Hilton Auckland, 5*
Destination: New Zealand
Travellers could be tricken into thinking they are on a cruise ship when staying at this mangnificent four-star property located in central Auckland. The Hilton Auckland has been designed to look like a cruise ship and is complteley surrounded by the sparkling waters of Waitemata harbour. Sitting at the end of a pier a hundred metres out into the Hauraki Gulf, gusts can enjoy being at sea without having to worry about getting sea sick. The rooms simulate a modern cruise ship cabin with curved walls and floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests need only step out their room and head to the hotel's one-of-a-kind outdoor pool which features an underwater viewing window overlooking the harbour.
Rooms at Hilton Auckland start at $274 per room per night*. To book a stay at the Hilton Auckland visit: Hotels.com or call 1800 846 835.
*All prices and deals are correct as of 14 January 2011 and are subject to change. For more information please visit www.hotels.com.