An overwater bungalow may be the closest you’ll get to your own private island. Go ahead—dive in.
Cambodia: A luxury pioneer on the southeastern shore, Song Saa Private Island Resort ($$$$$) has eight salvaged-timber villas set right in the salty blue. Make sure to visit the sea horses and turtles at the protected marine reserve—the country’s first.
Mexico: Suspended over a freshwater lagoon, the 18 suites at Rosewood Mayakoba ($$$$) are the perfect escape at Playa del Carmen’s most secluded resort. You’ll love the plunge pools and views of the lush mangroves.
Panama: Forget your iPhone, iPad, iWhatever—there’s virtually no service on the San Blas Islands. At Yandup Island Lodge ($$), expect rustic casitas with canopy beds, wraparound porches—and the occasional gecko scurrying across the floor.
Bora Bora: At the Four Seasons Bora Bora ($$$$$), quantity doesn’t impinge on quality: even with 100 luxe, stilted huts—more than any other resort on the island—you’ll feel like you’re alone in paradise. The big decision: booking one looking out toward Mount Otemanu or the pristine beach.
Maldives: In true W style, the W Retreat & Spa Maldives ($$$$$) is a place to both party (at the underwater club 15 Below) and relax. Ocean Oasis suites have glass-floored showers, so you can watch colorful fish and stingrays in the reef underfoot.
Hotel Pricing Key
$ Less than $200
$$ $200 to $350
$$$ $350 to $500
$$$$ $500 to $1,000
$$$$$ More than $1,000
Sarah Khan is a copy editor at Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter @BySarahKhan.