Even if butler service and a plunge pool is a bit of an ask, as a very basic requirement we tend to expect that a hotel should be able to boast its own foundations. Well not if it’s on stilts. There is something wonderfully playful about a hotel that’s raised from the ground on rickety legs, and here are some of our favourites.
The Maldives is prime hotels-on-stilts territory, not least because of its shallow lagoons and truly stunning surroundings. Milaidhoo Island Maldives is set on Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and boasts excellent watersports, diving and three restaurants including, Ba’theli, serving authentic Maldivan cuisine. And the rooms, each with their own plunge pool, are built on stilts and carefully arranged to give guests the illusion of being cast away with no other people in sight.
InterContinental Hanoi Westlake may be in downtown Hanoi, but it’s also built in the middle of a lake. The whole hotel rises out of the water on stilts offering an impressive floating feel with all the luxury you’d expect from a top-end international hotel chain. 132 of the rooms are on the Island Pavilions, just feet above the waters.
As you’d only expect from a Rosewood Hotel, the Rosewood Mayakoba is an oasis of luxury, both figuratively and actually. Surrounded by lush jungle and bordered by white beaches the hotel on the Riviera Maya offers 129 suites of luxury, each with its own plunge pool and, crucially as the hook for this article, built on stilts.
Perfect for honeymooners or holiday makers, the hotel blends into surroundings and takes its inspiration from Mayan traditions. The rooms have their own private docks to get around the central lagoon, with many also enjoying an ocean view. And Rosewood Mayakoba will suit golfers to a tee given that it backs onto El Camaleón Mayakoba Golf Course.
Olhuveli Beach & Spa Maldives is everything you’d expect from a Maldivian resort; desert island? Tick. Sandy beaches? Tick. Luxury facilities? Tick. Unrivalled food and drink? Well it’s on a desert island, so obviously it’s unrivalled, but tick. And, most importantly, is it on stilts? Yes, tick. A 45 minute boat trip from Malé, this is a spot for secluded relaxation.
Constance Prince Maurice, in Mauritius is a masterclass in design, from architect Jean Marc Eynaud and designer David Edwards. With an exceptional infinity pool (remember we love an infinity pool) and lush tropical surroundings, the suites are, you guessed it, built on stilts and offer private plunge pools and views out into the Indian Ocean.
You might think that yet another Maldives hotel on stilts, and you’d be right. The Ocean Water Villas boast infinity pools (or at least some of them) and glass bottom bath tubs. An inter-island plane trip out of Malé International Airport, followed by a boat-ride confirms that this really is a remote spot as you cast yourself away for a week of luxury in paradise. The restaurants use produce grown on the island and the resort maximises sustainability.
Where: Laamu Atoll 15090, Maldives
What, no turquoise waters and Maldivian infinity pools? No, we’re in Africa at Tree Tops. And the reason for the stilts is because of the wildlife. And the wildlife really is incredible, set just back from a watering hole, expect to see elephants and big game as you enjoy the luxury of the hotel where our queen became queen, she was staying here when King George VI died.
Where: Nyeri, Kenya