9 floating hotels are perfect for weekend getaways

A floating hotel is a relative rarity, but easily one of the coolest ways to spend the night on any trip. It’s way better than being stuck on a cruise. You get all the amenities of a large hotel, plus the convenience of being on the water.

These hotels may be few in number, but they dot the landscape and offer a truly unique vacation. Some are settled in rivers and others in bays and along the shores. Their common point is that they are not landlocked, offering visitors the feeling of living in liquid. If you’re lucky enough to go, you might even sleep a little better at night, soothed by the sound of the surrounding waterscape.

1. Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa

Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa

This Astoria, Oregon hotel is located at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River. From one of the many well-appointed rooms, guests can watch giant ships enter and leave the bay, navigating one of the most delicate channels in the maritime world. The hotel itself has recently undergone a nice renovation and features artful decor that reflects the town’s rich fishing history. Note that there are sea lions around and they can be loud at night (although they tend to hang around a bit to the east), so consider booking a room on the second, third, or fourth floor .

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2. The cottages

A view of the Cottages hotel in Nantucket
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Offering an unparalleled Nantucket experience, The Cottages allow you to wade right into the scenic harbor. There’s endless things to do, eat and drink just steps away, but you’ll be just as happy in your room enjoying the water culture. In your complimentary bathrobe and slippers, you’ll spend some quality time enjoying the many enjoyable activities at the historic wharf.

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3. King Pacific Pavilion

An aerial view of the King Pacific Lodge in British Columbia
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There are wonderful hotels on the water in the great Pacific Northwest. This British Columbia spot is a sportsman’s paradise, taking its name from the famous type of salmon. It sits on the edge of the water and gazes out over seemingly endless expanses of rainforest. It’s about as cozy as it gets, with a great dining program and cozy fireplaces to retreat to as the day turns into evening.

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4. Four Seasons Bora Bora

The overwater bungalows of the Four Seasons Bora Bora

Only a few tropical pockets on the planet offer the experience of an overwater bungalow, and this is perhaps the best of the bunch. It’s the kind you’ve probably seen in the movies, with an incredibly inviting demeanor. Besides being in beautiful Bora Bora, it’s a Four Seasons, so pampering is the name of the game. This hotel is high on most bucket lists and for good reason – it’s a true taste of paradise under a thatched roof atop turquoise ocean water.

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5. Off Paris Seine

The pool at the Off Paris Seine bar

There is almost nothing better than a stay in Paris, it’s a stay on the water. This floating hotel-bar, anchored at the top of the Seine, has become a real destination. There’s even a plunge pool at this impressive 54-room water hotel. Among the floating hotels, it is undoubtedly the trendiest.

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6. The waterfront

A view of the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle
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Part of Puget Sound, Seattle is full of water. Still, most hotels reside inland, within the enticing skyline of Emerald City. The Edgewater plunges, with its pavilion-like building overlooking Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains beyond. It’s a cool place that’s been beautifully updated since it was originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair.

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7. Hawk’s Cay Resort

The beach at Hawks Cay Resort in Florida

Although this resort is technically on an island, it’s so small and surrounded by water that guests feel fully at sea. Located on intimate Duck Key in the Florida Keys, Hawks Cay Resort offers amazing weather all day long. year round, fantastic fishing and some of the most beautiful tropical views imaginable. Staying here is like floating in the heat of the South Atlantic, oblivious to the world.

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8. Ross Lake Station

The stretch of cabins at Ross Lake Resort in Washington State

Between the ocean and countless lakes and rivers, Washington State loves its water. This North Cascades resort offers a wonderful glimpse of the rugged landscape from the shores of a pristine mountain lake. It’s an oasis in nature, originally envisioned in 1952. It’s also wonderfully intimate, with just 15 cabins that only rent during the most favorable weather period from June to October.

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9. Six senses

The rooms on the water of the Six Senses Resort in Vietnam

This hotel in Vietnam is a top-notch place to stay in almost every department. Although there is grandeur on land in the form of postcard images and abundant wildlife (there is an adjacent endangered monkey conservation area), the real draw here is the hotel location. Located in Ninh Van Bay, the resort overlooks Vietnam’s beautiful East Sea and many rooms include built-in infinity pools that spill directly into the ocean. You can rent fishing boats or just stay put and enjoy the scenery.

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About Irene J. O'Donnell

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