We could peruse photos of overwater bungalows all day long. And while resorts the world over are beginning to get in on the trend, you'll still find most of these stilted oases in the beautiful waters of the Maldives. But not Banana Island -- this 32-acre island resort sits off the coast of Qatar's Doha, and features 141 units -- 11 of which are insanely luxurious overwater bungalows.
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The Southeast Asian-style Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara is a luxurious, amenities-packed property. Guests would have to stay a week to try all of the available facilities on this C-shaped island that’s a 25-minute boat ride from Doha and Hamad International Airport (but, this being an Anantara, no regular ferry will do — the resort provides luxury car and catamaran airport transfer service). There is also a helicopter landing pad, for those who need that sort of thing.
There’s also the broad, uncrowded beach, which stretches for half a mile. The Hamad International Airport is visible, so the beach might not deliver a true escapist experience, but its excellent service (water and cold towel delivery) helps compensate.
The seven on-site eateries range from an American diner to an international tapas restaurant on a floating deck.
Though rooms, suites, and villas range in size and location on the resort, they share a modern seaside aesthetic. Expect hardwood floors with beige berber area rugs, white walls displaying just a few pieces of requisite beach-themed art, recessed wood-beam ceilings with palapa fans, and simple yet luxe furnishings. Every room features a balcony or terrace, and splendid pieces of Middle Eastern decor, like filigree pendant lamps. Bathrooms come with Acqua di Parma shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, as well as bar soaps (cedarwood, patchouli, and ginger), and individually wrapped dental kits, shower caps, combs, emery boards, and nail buffers.
The overwater villas are the crowning glory of Banana Island’s room types. There are eight two-bedroom overwater villas (2,400 square feet) and three three-bedroom ones (3,900 square feet).
The overwater villas come with spacious living areas, dining tables that seat eight, kitchenettes with Samsung refrigerators and microwaves, and truly gigantic decks, with six-person tables, seating areas for five, daybeds, chaise lounges, and private infinity pools.
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