The Most Tranquil Floating Hotels for a Peaceful, Waterfront Getaway
Ancient civilizations built their empires around bodies of water to sustain life, but it was also integral to their everyday leisure: the Egyptians bathed in the Nile; the Romans built sprawling public baths; and the Japanese Opens a New Window. (then and now) frequented volcanic hot springs called onsens. Water has a beguiling ability to heal. You don’t even need to soak to benefit either. The sounds of waves lapping against a shore, or just the mere sight of a body of water can instantly melt away stress, which is why you should seek out floating hotels.
If you’re looking for a zen getaway, book a room that can give you the feeling of being suspended above the ocean, nestled in a cove, or perched above a beach (mostly due to the fact you are). There are loads of resorts, villas, and hotels capitalizing on their waterfront destinations.
1. Good Hotel, London, UK
Floating in place at the Royal Albert Docks in East London, the cosy-yet-minimalist Good Hotel London Opens a New Window. offers rooms with panoramic waterside views and a stunning rooftop bar. You won’t find TVs in the rooms. Instead, unwind with a cup of tea in the hotel’s open plan Living Room and strike up a conversation with your travel companion, or a fellow guest. We also love that the Good Hotel works closely with the local community, and even offers job training to the unemployed.
2. Ocean House, Peel Inlet, British Columbia
Once a fishing lodge, Ocean House Opens a New Window. at Stads K’uns GawGaeco (Peel Inlet) is a luxe eco hotel that allows visitors to explore the west coast of Haida Gwaii, a chain of islands off the coast of British Columbia. The floating resort is tucked within a tranquil bay. While remote, it comes equipped with amenities that are the opposite of roughing it. Get ready for rainforest exploration, wildlife viewing (everything from sea lions to deer), and salmon trolling. The lodge has a spa with sauna and steam room, theater, library, outdoor patio, and a lounge area with a fireplace. The property is owned and operated by the Haida Nation, and decked out in traditional décor.
3. Paradise Beach, St Thomas' Parish, St. Kitts & Nevis
Made up of 12 intimate beachfront dwellings, Paradise Beach Opens a New Window. is for real ocean lovers (and celebs: Beyoncé and Jay-Z have stayed here). To get extra close to the waves, stay in one of the five two-bedroom beach houses hovering above the property’s private beach. Soak up the waterside bliss with a nap on your own wraparound deck, or envigorate your body with a jump in the copper plunge pool. The views aren’t bad either: Take in the nearby cerulean water, the island of St. Kitts in the distance, and the backdrop of volcanic Mount Nevis.
4. Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
Ever wonder what transatlantic travel was like during the 30s, 40s, and 50s? You can get the full experience by staying on board the floating Queen Mary Opens a New Window. ocean liner. With their Art Deco styling and rich wood paneling, the 347 staterooms and suites will definitely give you a taste for top-tier travel in a bygone era. But not all the history here is glamourous: The Queen Mary served as a troopship in World War II, and you can visit restored areas, including the Isolation Wards and the aft Machine Rooms.
5. Arctic Bath, Hedavan, Sweden
The Arctic Bath Hotel Opens a New Window. in Sweden is a new floating hotel and spa that freezes into the ice of the Lule River in the winter and floats on top of the water in the summer. The six-room hotel was inspired by the timber floating era, when felled trees were floated down the river for processing. Don’t be surprised if you miss out on a bit of sleep: The hotel and spa sit in a prime location to experience the Northern Lights late at night.
6. Viceroy Los Cabos, San José del Cabo, Mexico
Viceroy Los Cabos Opens a New Window. overlooks the Sea of Cortés at the southern end of Mexixo’s Baja California peninsula. The unique 192-room property is constructed as latticed, nest-like structures surrounded by elevated walkways that give the appearance of floating on water. The property has a warm color palette of natural sand tones to mimic the Los Cabos Desert. Head over to the Nido Restaurant Opens a New Window. (“nido” means nest in Spanish), to sip on house-made sangria, a pisco-based cocktail, or a beer-infused libation.
7. Coco Bodu Hithi, North Male Atoll, Maldives
If you’re looking for breathtaking tropical views and ocean breezes, Coco Bodu Hithi Opens a New Window. ‘s water villas should be at the top of your list. They’re suspended on stilts above a lagoon to simulate being suspended above the ocean. Once you’ve rested, grab your diving mask and step down from the villa for up-close-and-personal encounters with marine life. The shallow reef that surrounds the property is filled with eels, octopi, reef sharks, and tons of tropical fish. Naturally, it’s great for snorkeling.