If you're in need of a dreamy seaside escape, look no further than our local shores
In fact, Malaysia has many luxurious overwater resorts that'll make you feel like you're in the Maldives, minus the hefty price tag!
Whether you want to switch up your work from home environment, embark on a romantic getaway, or take a well-deserved break, these floating water villas and chalets are the ideal tropical oasis.
1. AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort, Selangor
Located close to the city, AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort is a contemporary beachfront escape that stretches over 1km of water on the Sepang coastline. AVANI is famous for its Polynesian-inspired, palm tree-shaped overwater villas that face the tranquil waters of the Straits of Malacca.
This five-star resort features an in-house spa, an infinity pool, and plenty of recreational activities such as water sports, mangrove river cruise, and trips to nearby villages, cultural sites, and an elephant sanctuary. It's the dream location for a honeymoon, family trip, or relaxing weekend getaway.
2. Pangkor Laut Resort, Perak
Tucked inside a secluded bay, Pangkor Laut Resort is situated on a private island that overlooks the pristine beachfront and a lavish rainforest. Aside from their 45 overwater bungalows, they also offer beach villas, garden villas, hill villas, spa villas, and two majestic suites.
This resort features a variety of activities, including waterskiing, sailing, jungle trekking, a luxury spa, and a fitness centre. While you're here, you should keep an eye out for the colourful wildlife that graces the resort, such as eagles, hornbills, and macaques.
3. Berjaya Langkawi Resort, Kedah
Nestled at the edge of a lush tropical rainforest and overlooking the breathtaking azure ocean, Berjaya Langkawi Resort is well known for its sightseeing attractions and water activities. There are 47 Malaysian-style water bungalows with calm and serene views all around.
Participate in a free guided walking tour to spot rainforest wildlife such as lemurs and flying squirrels, and explore their private beach to truly get to know the island. You can also walk to the Oriental Village or take a trip up the SkyBridge Cable Car for a view you won't forget!
4. Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, Sabah
Sipadan Kapalai is a floating resort that's built on a mile-long shallow sandbank of Ligitan Reefs, and is entirely detached from land. Just a few minutes' boat ride away from Sipadan and Mabul, this three-star resort is a great retreat for dive enthusiasts.
The floating chalets are built on wooden stilts, and are surrounded by a private white sandy beach and clear aquamarine waters. Each chalet comes with its own private balcony so you can gaze at the heavenly views in peace and comfort. For those seeking adventure, the resort offers PADI diving courses, kayaking, and boat excursions.
5. Lexis Hibiscus, Port Dickson
This luxurious oceanfront accommodation at Port Dickson looks like it came out of a Maldives postcard! Lexis Hibiscus has 552 floating bungalows that fan out over the gorgeous turquoise waters in the shape of a giant hibiscus flower. With their floor-to-ceiling windows, you'll be sure to catch the sunset streaming into every room.
This Balinese-inspired private resort is located near the town of Lukut in Port Dickson and overlooks the Straits of Malacca. Each villa features a private plunge pool and steam room. They also have lots of exciting activities, such as a spa, sauna, karaoke, a gym, fishing, bicycle rentals, and even a cruise to take you around the area.
6. Avillion Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
Avillion Port Dickson is an award-winning beach resort with 80 water chalets and garden villas. The architecture is designed to reflect the old-world Malay fishing villages, and combines traditional culture with modern luxuries that allow guests to experience a rich heritage world during their stay.
The water chalets each have a private balcony that overlooks the ocean, a jacuzzi tub, and a bathroom with an open ceiling so you can shower under a blanket of stars! The resort also has an in-house aviary, farm, orchid hut, and spice farm, which features more than 30 species of birds.
7. Lankayan Island Dive Resort, Sabah
The Lankayan Island Dive Resort is located in the north of Sandakan, and rests above the striking waters of the Sulu Sea. It has 16 beachfront chalets and nine overwater chalets, and primarily caters to divers.
However, if you're not interested in diving, you can snorkle, canoe, or play beach volleyball. There are many intriguing species of flora and fauna to be discovered at Lankayan Island, which is a Marine Protected Area.
The diving package starts at RM2,382 per person (three-day, two-night stay).
The vacation package (without diving) starts at RM1,916 per person (three-day, two-night stay).
Block C, Ground Floor,
Lot 38 & 39, Mile 6,
90000 Sandakan, Sabah
Find out more on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
8. Mabul Water Bungalows, Sabah
Mabul Water Bungalows is a floating dive resort that's situated near Sipadan, the world's top diving destination. This resort has 24 wooden bungalows built over the sparkling shores of Mabul Island, and each has steps that lead right into the water!
Here, you can enjoy many water activities such as snorkelling, kayaking, diving, canoeing, and fishing. Bicycles are also provided if you want to explore the place on land.
From USD676 (approx. RM2,782.42) per night for non-divers.
Block A, Signature Office,
KK Times Square, Off Coastal Highway,
88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
*Note that all guests must obtain a daily entry permit to dive or visit Sipadan Island, which is subject to approval by the Sabah Parks Management.
Find out more on their website and Instagram.
9. Gayana Marine Resort, Sabah
Gayana Marine Resort is a picturesque eco-tourism destination that invites guests to explore the surrounding tropical and marine wildlife. Nestled at the edge of Malahom Bay on Gaya Island off the coast of Sabah, this resort has 52 water villas with private pools, balconies, and glass-bottom floors so you can watch the colourful marine life below.
The resort is located on a coral reef island, and overlooks Mount Kinabalu. They feature many activities like snorkelling, diving, water sports, and even a Marine Environment Education Programme, where participants will help replant coral reefs and propagate endangered giant clams.
10. The St Regis, Langkawi
The St Regis Langkawi is an exotic five-star luxury resort overlooking the Andaman Sea, and is surrounded by a centuries-old tropical rainforest. It has 89 spacious and elegant suites, as well as four overwater villas with direct access to the beach.
Engage in exhilarating aquatic sports like scuba diving, parasailing, snorkelling, and island tours. You can also pamper yourself at their award-winning Iridium Spa, and take a soak in their oasis infinity pool.