What To Expect From Caribbean Overwater Bungalows
Overwater bungalows in places like Bora Bora and the Maldives are at the top of a lot of peoples bucket lists. But if you dont fancy spending 18+ hours on planes to get there, Caribbean Islands resorts are a much closer option. Some, like Jamaica overwater bungalows, even have direct flights from many cities in the U.S.
The price tag of Caribbean bungalows is still a luxury indulgence: more than $1000/night in most cases. But you can make it more affordable for a longer trip by splitting your stay between two different rooms. Book a regular room for part of the week, then splash out for the last few nights with an overwater villa.
Ive also included a few affordable Caribbean Islands options at the end of the list. What they lack in luxury amenities, they make up for with rustic charm and a more laid-back experience.
Im sure one of these overwater bungalows will be perfect for your trip, whether youre looking for a romantic escape with someone special or a long-overdue getaway with your squad.
Packing Must-Have: Cell Phone Lanyard
Be sure to pack a cell phone lanyard for your overwater bungalow vacation. Dont risk accidentally dropping your phone in the water or losing hold of it when you fall asleep in a hammock!
El Dorado Maroma Mexico
When most people think of overwater villas, they picture a bucket list destination like the Maldives, not Mexico. Thats why the gorgeous palafitos at El Dorado Maroma come as such a pleasant surprise.
Nestled under a thatched roof and sitting high above the deep blue Caribbean waves, these 30 luxurious villas exude romance and opulence at every turn. A private pool, glass paneled floor, elegant furnishings, and expansive decks make these overwater bungalows the most coveted of accommodations. They hover just offshore from the pristine Maroma Beach.
These exclusive villas come with butler service, a ladder for easy access to the ocean, a hot tub, outdoor shower, customized beach picnics, daily in-bungalow breakfast, two beach beds, and in-bungalow pre-dinner drinks and snacks. Youre guaranteed a passion-filled, serene vacation at this adults-only Mexican resort.
The Overwater Grill is a must-see, even if you arent hungry . The floors are made of glass, so guests feel as if theyre swimming in the sea as they dine. You dont have to worry about how much you eat, as this resort offers a Gourmet Inclusive® experience, which includes beverages, meals, and activities.
Address: Carretera Federal Cancun-Tulum, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
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Updates For 2022 And Covid
Weve been compiling this list for 10 years now, and this is the first update since late 2019. Nearly all of these resorts closed in March, 2020 as COVID was hitting. Some of the overwater bungalow resorts remain closed as of the end of 2021, and a handful of them closed permanently.
As a result, the remaining open resorts have seen very high demand and prices are up around 20% in most of the world, including Bora Bora and the Maldives. Weve included the cheapest resorts in both places, even though some of them arent actually the cheapest overwater villa resorts at this point.
In case you were wondering, about two-thirds of the 7,000+ aquatic rooms are water villas in the Maldives, spread around more than 110 resorts. The overwater bungalows in Bora Bora are the next biggest group, and as of this update only one is affordable enough to make the list below. There are also smaller groups in Moorea, Tahiti, elsewhere in the South Pacific, plus over water bungalows in the Caribbean, Mauritius, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
If you are mostly just interested in an affordable holiday in the tropics you should check our list of the cheapest Caribbean destinations.
All rates below are per night for 2 people including all taxes
- Maldives cheapest months: June and July
- Bora Bora, Tahiti and Moorea cheapest months: March and April
- Caribbean cheapest months: May through November
Full board and half board resorts are included
Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge Panama
Some might say the nine cabanas at Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge are a little too rustic for the high rate , but its hard to put a price tag on this level of privacy. Youre out therea 30-minute from boat ride from the nearest town, Almirante, in Bocas del Toroand once you arrive, everything is taken care of, from free snorkel and kayak gear for exploring the shallow Caribbean waters to breakfast and three-course dinners and on-shore excursions, helpfully arranged by the staff.
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Palafitos El Dorado Maroma Mexico
If you didnt know, Mexico also offers one of the best overwater bungalows in the Caribbean the Palafitos El Dorado Maroma. Located near the Playa del Carmen on Maroma Beach, this resort is the first and the only one in Mexico to offer overwater bungalows.
It is good to note that this resort comprises one of the largest groups of overwater accommodation globally, with more than 30 overwater bungalows built on stilts over the ocean.
The place is also known for its mouth-watering dishes and superb services, which are all included in your package. You will also love the stunning beach views that extend for miles as you watch the sun come up or set.
Image Source: Yandup Island Lodge
Take a taxi from the hotel adjacent to the less-visited regions of Punta Del Mar and go on the Embassy Tour that takes you to the Kuna women cocoon in Panamas San Blas Islands.
Here youll find a paradise that is, at the same time, a luxury hideaway hidden in the jungle. The lodge is a perfect vacation site for travelers who love nature or seek adventure.
The suite and hotel on Yandup Island lodge Panama are very vacation friendly! This is, especially if you are on a low budget but cant shake off the need to enjoy a Caribbean overwater bungalow.
And, while it might not offer the luxury level offered by several other overwater bungalows, nature and culture lovers will immediately feel at home.
Le Tahaa Island Resort & Spa
Le Tahaa Island Resort & Spa is not actually on Bora Bora, but it is very close and has a view of Bora Bora. This one-of-a-kind tropical paradise is located on its own motu, a private islet that extends between the coral reef and lagoon.
Its beautiful overwater bungalows are elegantly crafted in the authentic Polynesian tradition, with thatched roofs and natural materials. There are four types of overwater suites to choose from, and each offers nearly 1000 square feet with plush king beds plus single beds, floors with glass panels to watch marine life below, and stunning bathrooms with oversized tubs. Private decks have sun loungers, shaded areas, outdoor showers, and direct access to the dazzling lagoon.
The Bora Bora Overwater Suite is a guest favorite because it overlooks not only the lagoon but also Bora Bora, a chain of islets, and the Coral Garden. The most private options are the End of Pontoon Overwater Suites, which have views of either the horizon or the island of Tahaa. Wherever you choose, be sure to have breakfast delivered in a traditional outrigger canoe!
Le Tahaa Island Resort is a serene escape, surrounded by lush greenery and colorful flowers. Amenities include a waterfront swimming pool, white sand beach fringed with palm trees and hammocks, full-service spa, tennis court, fitness center, and helipad.
Google Rating: 4.7
TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5
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Stella Island Luxury Resort Greece
Number of Bungalows: 9
Whats Unique: While not over ocean water, the overwater bungalows at Stella Island Luxury Resort are over a giant pool, for a truly unique overwater experience. Located on Crete, this adults-only resort is the perfect spot for complete relaxation- choose their all-inclusive option so all you have to worry about is booking your spa treatment while you are there. There is plenty to explore around the island, or you can easily spend the day doing various activities or simply unwinding by the pool.
Over-The-Top Services: For the ultimate overwater bungalow experience, book their Grand Overwater Bungalow. Larger than the regular bungalows, the Grand Overwater Bungalow features a jacuzzi for ultimate relaxation. You can jump right into the infinity pool, or lounge in an overwater hammock.
Sandals South Coast Jamaica
The 12 overwater bungalows at Sandals South Coast, on Jamaicas northwestern coast, couldnt be more romantictheyre even arranged in the formation of a heart! Butler service is a given: here, they arrange welcome cocktails, dining reservations, and can even unpack your luggage and press your clothes. Decks are private and tricked out with day beds, catamaran net hammocks, and outdoor showers and soaking tubs. And yes, the mini-bar is included
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The 14 Best Caribbean Overwater Bungalows
If youve visited Bora Bora or the Maldives, you may have stayed in an overwater villa. However, there werent many luxurious Caribbeanoverwater bungalows up to now.
In recent years, several new overwater bungalow resorts have opened. Staying at one of these floating villas is a true bucket list experience.
Four Seasons Maldives Private Island At Voavah
Four Seasons Private Island at Voavah is an idyllic secluded sanctuary offering a fantastic luxury vacation youll never forget, with just a handful of accommodations for the ultimate privacy.
The 6,000-square-foot Two-Bedroom Water Villa is perched above the lagoon, with a chic air-conditioned interior opening onto an outdoor deck with lounge chairs and hammocks, a dining table, a huge pool, and stairs leading down to the clearest water on the atoll. Each bedroom has a private bathroom where you can take a relaxing bath while admiring the panoramic ocean views. There are also outdoor showers.
Located in a 5-acre UNESCO haven, this resort offers incredible opportunities to explore the surrounding waters. You can also indulge in bespoke treatments at the spa, cruise on a private yacht, or take part in a wide range of other activities.
Dine at the Beach House restaurant, enjoy a poolside barbecue or beach picnic, or share a romantic candlelit dinner on the yacht or on a private sandbar. Whatever you choose, it will be a world-class culinary experience.
Booking.com Rating: 9.5
Google Rating: 4.8
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Is An Overwater Bungalow Worth The Splurge
A big yes! An overwater bungalow is the choice if youre looking for relaxation and privacy, all with a breathtaking view. You can sunbathe anytime you want, snorkeling with sea turtles is just a few steps from your balcony, and the mini-fridge is always stocked so you dont even need to leave your home. In the mood for food? Call for delivery and it will arrive in a canoe. But also consider new resorts in areas other than the Maldive or French Polynesia, where the price is more wallet-friendly.
Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay Jamaica
If floating water hammocks for two and glass floors for private tropical fish peeping sounds like heaven, then the Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica is calling! Designed for romance , these Jamaica all-inclusive overwater bungalows form a heart around the wooden boardwalk extending over the turquoise Caribbean sea.
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Each one offers an expansive patio with a two-person soaking tub, outdoor shower, suspended patio with swim-up platform, and an overwater hammock. Also included in these once-in-a-lifetime Caribbean overwater bungalows is butler service, 24-hour in-room dining, and a private water taxi to take you to and from the mainland.
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Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel
Typical starting/peak prices: $249/$346
On-site amenities: Restaurant, pool, excursions and tours
Pros: This hotel offers excellent value with access to stunning Mayan ruins and a jungle feel that is unlikely to be found with other overwater villas.
Cons: If you’re looking for over-the-top opulence, you might find this option too rustic .
Las Lagunas is located in the heart of the Mayan world near the ancient ruins of Tikal, Uaxactún, and Yaxhá in Guatemala. Although it’s just 10 minutes from the international airport, it feels isolated within the rainforest amid more than 300 acres of an untouched nature reserve.
There are a set of 12 Waterfront Master Suites, connected by high-rise paths. Each is a one-bedroom bungalow with a cascade shower bathroom, and a deck with a hot tub overlooking the dazzling water.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
The Standard Huruvalhi Maldives
The Standards first foray into island living is set within the Raa Atoll on Huruvalhi island, and boasts more than one multi-bedroom over-water villa that comes with delectable dining options that range from a beachfront barbecue shack to local chefs whipping up their own Maldivian dishes. Between meals, guests are invited to relax in the indoor hydrotherapy oasis or at The Standard Spa which is complete with an aroma steam room, daily yoga, and nine private treatment rooms. standardhotels.com, Expedia, Tablet
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Where Can I Dive & Stay In An Over
Imagine waking up to a scene where open your eyes, well rested and look beyond the soft white drapes gently blowing in the breeze, to a view outside your tropical bedroom where the azure blue of the ocean meets the endless blue of sky. A beautiful indigenous bird singing an unfamiliar song is perched on the railing that separates you from the ocean and is the temporary home to your drying wetsuit. You toss on a plush robe and step outside to find your partner on the balcony who greets you with a fresh hot coffee and a euphoric smile.
Sure, you can conjure up this image with ocean front accommodation, but the story is best told with the accommodation being as close to the water as possible, and you cant get any closer to the ocean than staying in an over-water bungalow. Think most of the over-water bungalows are only in far-away places and magazines? Well, read on to find out where you can enjoy an incredible over-water bungalow at an amazing dive destination, and get the absolute best of all worlds.
The 9 Best Overwater Bungalows In The Caribbean & Mexico
Anyone in need of a tropical escape has surely dreamed of an overwater bungalow. These thatched-roof villas are the ultimate in luxury accommodations. But did you know that some are just a quick flight from the U.S.? Find out the best luxury overwater bungalows in the Caribbean and Mexico, including two budget options.
While the idea of overwater villas might conjure up far-flung locales like the Maldives or Fiji, the Caribbean has its share of these beguiling resorts. With an overwater bungalow, youll be surrounded by nature in luxury and privacy. Fall asleep each night to the sound of waves below your villa, and swim right from your room each day.
So whether youre looking for the perfect setting for a Caribbean honeymoon, an adults-only romantic vacation, or even a destination wedding, these Caribbean overwater bungalows should fit the bill. Honeymooners and beach-starved travelers, take note: some are just a 2-hour flight from the United States!
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Overwater Bungalows: Final Thoughts
See?!? Finding cheap overwater bungalows isnt as difficult as you thought!
With a little bit of planning and a small amount of research, you could stretch your travel dollars enough to make your overwater bungalow dreams come true!
Thanks so much for reading! Until next time, happy traveling!
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Sweet Bocas Isla Coln Panama
Any private villa on the Caribbean is worth its salt, but Sweet Bocas is a 15-acre private island off the northern coast of Panama in Bocas del Toro, is top-notch. It comprises quite a few over-water villas and lounges with a freshwater lake in the center, and it’s all surrounded by a lush tropical jungle. The main seven-bedroom house’s terrace features an infinity-edge pool, a pool house, a fully-equipped gym, and a tennis court. Not to mention the staff. Guests can choose between a range of range of experts, including chefs, bartenders, hostesses, housekeepers, on-call concierges, tour guides, massage therapists, yoga teachers, personal trainers, tennis coaches, and even surfing instructors. elitelyfe.com
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Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea French Polynesia
With a collection of 113 mountain-framed bungalows on the water, Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea resort is redefining the concept of a secluded oasis on the pillowy-soft white sand beaches of Temae. And the five over-water bungalows, each of which has its own private solariums, feature a crystal-clear glass panel embedded in the floors to offer guests a glimpse of the active seabed below. sofitel-moorea-kiaora.com, Expedia, Tablet
Hotel Meli Cayo Coco Cuba
The Melia Cayo Coco is a magnificent hideaway. It provides a dreamlike atmosphere for visitors and is the ideal place for your honeymoon. This 5-star resort in Meli Cayo Guillermo is about a 20-minute boat ride from Bogotas Guillermo airport and about an hour from Santa Marta.
The overwater bungalows are great overwater resorts in Cuba for the price and will certainly provide your trip with a cozy atmosphere. Cafe del Mar overwater cabins are more than just overwater cabins theyre also overwater suites!
This adult-only resort offers visitors the ideal place for romantic getaways. Its quiet, exclusive beach, plus a gorgeous freshwater pool ensures that you have the most relaxing moments while there.
And thats not all, Melia Cayo also has a massage area, fitness center, and numerous water sports. This way, no matter what you love doing, you can find it here.
It was the San Blas islands hotels glory. And, theyre the second meditation lodges on San Blas island, with a yacht marina 100 meters from the dock.
Quite the tropical, paradise isnt it?
The best highlight is certainly its seclusion. If you are looking for a place to unwind, leaving all the city life and activities behind, this is the place. For instance, the lodge offers no WiFi connection or any entertainment system.
Therefore, if you are traveling as a family or as a couple, youll have the best time to bond as you engage in their exciting excursions.
- Scuba diving
- River and village tour
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