8 Unbelievably Tranquil (and Beautiful) Floating Hotels
Waterfront accommodations? We’ll do you one better. Imagine this: Lazing in your private slice of paradise in an exotic locale, as the sound and motion of the tide lull you to sleep. This isn’t some far-fetched fantasy or the beginning of your favorite meditation tape but rather the reality at floating hotels around the world. Here are eight options to quench your thirst for a peaceful and picture-perfect escape.
Arkabarka in Belgrade, Serbia
Moored at the popular Park of Friendship along the banks of the Danube, this budget-friendly hostel wins points for its cool vibe, scenic surrounds and convenient location. The Museum of Contemporary Art is around the corner, and you can walk to the city center in just 20 minutes. Both dorm-style and private rooms are available. Plus, bikes, Wi-Fi and breakfast are free. (Score.)
Rate: From $18 per night
Guntû in the Seto Inland Sea, Japan
Three words: Sleek, sophisticated and serene. This luxury ryokan in the Seto Inland Sea is distinguished by its tranquil atmosphere and authentic amenities—from traditional tea ceremonies and pampering spa rituals to curated seasonal menus—complemented by impeccable service and refined aesthetics. Ocean-view passenger cabins flaunt muted tones, floor-to-ceiling windows, deep soaking tubs and private terraces.
Rate: From $2,700 per night
4 Rivers Floating Lodge in Koh Kong, Cambodia
Situated on the Tatai, between the Kravanh and Cardamom mountains, this sustainable sanctuary takes a marine-minded approach to glamping. Floating tents nestled within the untrammeled natural beauty of Koh Kong are prime for exploring the pristine river, lush forests and majestic peaks. Venture out on your own or opt for a guided eco-excursion such as a dawn jungle trek.
Rate: From $183 per night
OFF Paris Seine in Paris, France
Paris is beyond reproach when it comes to trendsetting spots, but this buoyant boutique concept blows ’em all out of the water with its sheer Instagram-worthiness. In particular, the swanky bar and plunge pool (yes, there are inflatable gold swans) lure a steady stream of VIPs. The only thing cooler than the crowd—a mix of international tastemakers and in-the-know locals—is the craft cocktails.
Rate: From $170 per night
Salt & Sill in Tjörn, Sweden
Hop aboard this couples-oriented “boatel” (boat hotel) in Tjörn. A haven of halcyon with a Scandinavian sensibility, the energy is relaxed and romantic. Rooms boast a crisp color palette and modern decor—some even have bathing ladders. Want to impress your paramour? Spring for the fjord-view suite. Also on the itinerary: savoring Swedish delicacies like pickled herring at the restaurant and sweating it out in the sauna.
Rate: From $246 per night
Bert's Barges in London, United Kingdom
Looking for a unique place to stay in London? Consider this floating B&B on the Regent's Canal. This design-centric flat touts a king-size bedroom, spacious living/dining area, fully equipped kitchen, bathroom with walk-in shower and private roof terrace—perfect for a.m. coffee or p.m. libations. And did we mention craft beer and organic wine are included in the welcome basket?
Rate: From $335 per night
River Kwai Jungle Rafts Resort in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Established in 1976, this OG is a true off-the-grid getaway (no electricity or internet) that offers overloaded visitors an opportunity to get back to basics. Without the distraction of technology, you’ll have ample time to enjoy the simple pleasures such as lounging in artisan-made hammocks and sunbathing on the bamboo pier.
Rate: From $65 per night
Village Flottant de Pressac in Pressac, France
Bobbing above a placid lake in a natural protected area of Vienne are 20 wooden huts. Accessible by boat or bridge, each cozy cabin features a furnished deck and direct water access. Not surprisingly, fishing and swimming are major draws. Guests can also enjoy many activities back on dry land. Think: Hiking, biking and barbecuing.
Rate: From $106 per night