Four seasons - French Polynesia
There are dreamy vistas stretching across the limpid turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean from the Four Seasons resort in Bora Bora. The 100 over-water thatched guestrooms, which sit in the shadow of the dramatic Mount Otemanu, fan out like a string of pearls around one of Bora Bora's tiny coral islands or motus. Each has direct access into the lagoon.
Four Seasons Bora Bora, Motu Tehotu, Bora Bora, French Polynesia (00 689 603 130; fourseasons.com/borabora). Doubles start at 97,460 Pacific francs (£750), room only.
Rosewood Mayakobá - Mexico
Arranged among mangroves on a mosaic of islets on Mexico's Riviera Maya, the Rosewood Mayakobá scores high on novelty factor. On arrival, guests board a private water taxi to take them to one of the 128 suites. Each overlooks either one of many tranquil channels that thread their way through the mangroves, or the seductive Caribbean Sea.
Rosewood Mayakobá, Carretera Federal Cancún-Playa del Carmen Km 298, Solidaridad, Quintana Roo, Mexico (00 52 984 875 8000; rosewoodmayakoba.com). Doubles from US$603 (£431), with breakfast.
Baines' camp - Botswana
Survey the world's largest inland delta, the Okavango, from the deck of one of five suites. Set near the Moremi Game Reserve, Baines' epitomises rustic chic. Little disturbs the peace. You can see the delta's residents – birds, elephant, water buffalo and more – up close on canoe safaris.
Baines' Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana (00 27 11 438 4650; sanctuarylodges.com). Doubles from US$1,240 (£886), full-board including activities.
Salt & sill - Sweden
One of Sweden's most unusual hotels floats at the end of a pier on the herring island of Kladesholmen on the western seaboard. With fjordal views, Salt & Sill consists of six two-storey buildings set on a series of pontoons next to an acclaimed restaurant of the same name. Inside, an understated Scandinavian theme abounds with simple, utilitarian design.
Salt & Sill, Tjorn, Kladesholmen, Sweden (00 46 304 673 480; saltosill.se). Doubles from Kr1,590 (£130), with breakfast.
Taj lake palace - India
The aptly named Lake Palace floats like an apparition on the surface of Lake Pichola in the heart of Rajasthan. Built in 1746 by the Maharana Jagat Singh II, this white marble confection of a hotel has a powerfully romantic location. As well as the serene views across the water – particularly captivating at sunset – the aquatic theme continues with a large shimmering internal lily pond.
Taj Lake Palace, Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India (00 91 294 242 8800; tajhotels.com). Doubles start at Rs17,600 (£237), including breakfast.