Travel Picks: Top 10 floating hotels

SYDNEY Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:04am EST

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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - What could be more relaxing than hearing the waves rolling onto the beach from your hotel bedroom than perhaps hearing the waves rolling underneath you or around you?

Floating hotels have become a trend in recent years, and men's website AskMen.com (www.askmen.com) has compiled a list of the top 10 floating hotels, or hotels on water, that are already open or that are being planned.

Reuters has not endorsed this list.

1. King Pacific Lodge, British Columbia, Canada

Built atop a floating barge, King Pacific Lodge enables guests to experience pristine wilderness without sacrificing five-star comfort. The hotel is accessed via a floatplane, and is towed in to Princess Royal Island from May to October.

2. ReefWorld, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Despite initial protests, a project called ReefWorld has been given the go-ahead by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The brainchild of British architecture firm Richard Hywel Evans, eco-friendly ReefWorld will offer a full underwater spa, eight submerged bedrooms, glass-walled bathrooms and a research facility right on top of Australia's stunning Great Barrier Reef.

3. Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India

In the middle of Lake Pichola, the five-star Oberoi Udaivilas is one of the world's most visually stunning hotels. It has the architecture of a traditional Indian palace with romantic courtyards, trickling fountains and manicured gardens while guests arrive on a Kashmiri gondola with champagne and canapes.

4. Aerohotel - anywhere

Russian architect Alexander Asadov has come up with the floating Aerohotel, a spaceship-like hotel concept that is held above the water via an elegant system of supports. By building the hotel above the water rather than on it, the design preserves the environment beneath it. Features include hanging gardens, cafes and restaurants, and a nifty landing strip for a Zeppelin.

5. Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island, Maldives

Set across two private islands in the Indian Ocean, the Conrad Maldives has some of its amenities are on land but much of the resort is built with water in mind -- such as the 50 luxurious water villas, the all-glass undersea restaurant and the 21 spa water villas with private treatment rooms.

6. Floating & Rotating Hotel Tower, Dubai, UAE

When it's completed, Waterstudio's Floating & Rotating Hotel Tower will rise 25 stories off the coast of Dubai. The Amsterdam-based architecture firm specializes in waterborne projects, and its 100-meter (328 ft) hotel concept will be a feat of engineering made with glass and steel.

7. Dragon Inn Floating Resort, Semporna, Malaysia

Built on the sea near Semporna, the Dragon Inn Floating Resort offers rooms on stilts and an island resort with palm-leaf roofing. The structural design of the hotel affords guests a sense of a traditional Bajau water village and great diving.

8. Bora Bora Lagoon Resort & Spa, Bora Bora, French Polynesia

It doesn't get much more idyllic than the awe-inspiring Lagoon Resort & Spa on Bora Bora. Built on an islet one mile across from the main island of Bora Bora, the resort is made up of 44 over-water bungalows, as well as beach and garden accommodation on stretches of clear white sand beaches.

9. Punta Caracol, Panama, South America

Comprising six stilted "aqua lodges" or cabins complete with palm-leaf roofs, Punta Caracol allows guests to stay above the Caribbean Sea and take in dolphins frolicking in the surf, trips into the rainforests and fishing and snorkeling.

10. Six Senses, Soneva Gili, Male, Maldives

Home to one of the largest lagoons in the Maldives, Soneva Gili is home for a luxury Six Senses resort. Guests reach the secluded floating hotel via a 15-minute boat ride from the capital city of Male, before checking into their own private over-water villas. The accommodations' best feature has to be the floating sun decks.

(Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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