Stunning, postcard-worthy overwater villas usually come with big–no, huge–price tags. From the Maldives to Bora Bora to Fiji, many of these bungalows end up as once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon destinations. But they are starting to pop up in locations where you actually leave the resort to explore cultural and historical sites. They may not be built on tiny islands, but they still have amazing backdrops. Case in point: Vietnam’s Vedana Lagoon Resort & Spa.
Located near two World Heritage Sites, Hue and Hoi An, Vedana’s overwater villas were the first to be built in Vietnam. They sit over the calm Tam Giang Lagoon. Start a misty morning with a yoga class. Followed by a Vietnamese coffee. Play badminton. Ride a bike. Or go fishing. Sip ginger tea. Have an herbal steam at the spa. And a fully clothed Thai massage. Just lounge by the infinity pool, watching wooden boats glide over the lagoon. Or take the shuttle bus to the center of Hue.
Sitting along the Perfume River, Hue was the capital of the Nguyen dynasty. Start with the Citadel. Explore pagodas, royal tombs, and temples. Eat a steaming bowl of bun bo Hue, a pork and beef noodle soup. Visit the Trang Tien Bridge and the Dong Ba Market. Travel to nearby monasteries, hot springs, or beaches. Explore Hoi An, whose Old Town is a preserved Chinese-influenced fishing village.
And when you’re exhausted from running around, return to your serene villa at Vedana. Watch the sun set from the hillside. Eat freshly caught seafood. Listen to live music at the bar. And then get a good night’s sleep. You have an early tai chi class in the morning.