The coronavirus pandemic has meant that thousands of Brits didn’t get a summer holiday this year.
As autumn closes in, many of us are keen to book some sun for the coming years.
And, if you’ve managed to save some cash, then you may be looking to book a dream trip abroad.
In 2018, the stunning Indian Ocean island nation of the Maldives attracted 114,600 Brits in 2018 and the number keeps on rising.
Turquoise water, white sand and over-water bungalows are the star attractions.
The only catch – holidays to the exotic location can be pretty pricey.
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If you’ve been looking for a Maldives holiday, but baulk at the eye watering price, don’t worry.
A number of destinations have begun to accommodate guests in similar over-water villas.
And, swim-up rooms – where you can dive into pools which snake round the hotel from your terrace – are on the up in Europe.
Check out the following stunning destinations for a Maldives-style trip for a lower price:
Stella Island Resort & Spa, Greece, Crete
The Stella Island Resort in Crete, Greece, looks just as amazing as the real deal.
The 225-room adults only hotel boasts overwater bungalows, which looks like the ones you’d see in the Maldives.
Guests can sunbathe beside a giant pool, on the stylish decks or at a private beach on Crete’s northern coast.
You can expect to pay around £490 a night to stay in the bungalows, which is much cheaper than some Maldives villas that costs thousands to book.
Guests that have booked at Stella Island Resort have raved about the hotel – and on TripAdvisor, it has a five star rating.
Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort, Malaysia
Now, we know that Malaysia is quite far away – but the price is hard to beat at this hotel.
Stays here look just like those in the Maldives, which makes sense as it’s situated in balmy Southeast Asia.
Gorgeous bungalows are raised on stilts over the water of the Malacca Strait.
There are 315 rooms, multiple five star restaurants, a spa, pool and kids club.
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Rooms start from just £66 a night, although to be in one of the villas you’ll need to pay £115 per night and up.
That’s mega cheap in comparison to the Maldives and the resort has a five star rating on Booking.com.
They even have offers on throughout the year too – lush!
CoCo View Resort, Roatan, Caribbean
This tropical resort is based on Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean.
Known as a scuba diving paradise, the hotel rests at the edge of the world’s second longest barrier reef.
The resort boasts a games room, bar, library and serves buffets at their Clubhouse.
Hammocks are dotted around for you to relax in and soak up the Caribbean sunshine.
This slice of paradise is surrounded by shallow water reefs, fishing villages and mountains.
Seven nights at CoCo View in an over water suite will cost you from $1,364 (£1052).
That’s just £150 per night.
Hotel Palafitte, Switzerland
If you’re looking to stay somewhere even closer to home, check out this hotel in Switzerland.
The resort is built on stilts above Lake Neuchâtel, the largest lake in Switzerland.
And, unusually, this is one hotel which works in the hot season and the winter.
In summertime, the hotel feels beauty with deep blue waves surrounding your room and bright sunshine.
In winter, the lake will embrace you with an ethereal misty atmosphere.
The luxury over-water pavilions allow you to stare out at the Alps and the lake – which you can walk directly into.
Theres an elegant Swiss restaurant and couples rate the hotel highly.
You can book a night in a lake pavilion with breakfast, welcome drinks, fruit and flowers, champagne, a four course menu and gym access for around £730.
Children stay free until they are over 11 years old.
It’s a little steeper than some on the list, but flights will be cheaper too due to the close location.
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Swim Up Rooms
Some hotels offer swim-up suites, where they’re not bungalows over the ocean, but pools snake around the hotel and you can access them from your terrace.
When you leave in the morning you can dive into the blue water and swim to breakfast or the main pool.
Generally, they also include a private terrace with loungers – so no waking up at 6am.
TUI SENSATORI Resort Atlantica Caldera Palace, Crete, Greece
This luxury resort is run by package holiday favourite TUI.
It has seven restaurants, five pools and an Elemis spa.
You can relax in the Greek heat in a private adults-only pool (and the kids can enjoy the splash pool with slides, too).
There’s a whole host of entertainment on offer including comedy, live music, shows, yoga and archery.
There are 411 rooms on offer.
Rates vary by the time of year, but you can expect seven nights in July 2021 (all inclusive) to cost between £1130 and £1300 for two adults.
Whereas seven nights on the same board in early May 2021 will cost between £680 and £975 for two.
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