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Staying in an overwater bungalow might bring up visions of the turquoise waters of the South Pacific, and until recently you did have to travel half way around the world to stay in one. But now, more resorts are adding overwater bungalows in the Caribbean and Mexico. Keep reading to find out more and how to book one of these amazing accommodations!
The Best Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean and Mexico
When I got married in 2007, my husband and I went on an amazing honeymoon to Tahiti. We stayed on the island of Moorea and a motu in Bora Bora. This was truly the trip of a lifetime and staying ten nights in an Overwater Bungalow was incredible!
But we did have to travel 13 hours and half way around the world to experience these bungalows! Now a days honeymooners, couples (and even families – keep reading) can experience Overwater accommodations a lot closer to the United States.
Plus, most of these Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean and Mexico are all-inclusive (and many include butler service) so despite the high price per night you get so much included with your stay.
In the South Pacific, that is generally not the case – I still tell the story of the $22 Greek Salad I had I Bora Bora (and this was 15 years ago) and the most expensive dinner I have ever had at La Villa Mahana also in Bora Bora.
With food, drinks, and butler service included in these overwater accommodations, they are the perfect choice for a special vacation.
What is an Overwater Bungalow?
Before I get into specific locations for overwater bungalows in the Caribbean and Mexico – you might be wondering, what is an overwater bungalow?
An overwater bungalow is a hut built, well over the water, up on stilts. You would have to take a pedestrian bridge or boat to access your bungalow. And yes, each bungalow is one hotel room, they are private accommodations.
Inside, these bungalows can be studios or one-bedrooms. Bungalows are usually outfitted with at least one bathroom, a kitchen or kitchenette, and a sitting area. These bungalows are meant to be your home away from home and when you think about it, why would you want to leave?
Most of these overwater bungalows include a glass floor so you can see the fish below! Off the back you will find a deck for lounging and a ladder to access the water. The ocean is your pool, although some of these over water bungalows do feature plunge pools on the deck!
Some bungalows will be more private than others depending on whether you are facing out to the open water, or into the beach or resort. View, bungalow size, and included amenities will affect the nightly price of your stay.
Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean
Travel to the Caribbean is so easy for us on the east coast, and although passports are required, on these islands English is the main language and US dollars are widely accepted. It’s so much easier to get to the Caribbean than the South Pacific or Maldives.
In recent years, five resorts have opened overwater bungalow options. These are adult only options and perfect for honeymoons, anniversary trips, or when grown-ups want a special trip away.
Keep reading for more resort details, and as always, I can help you plan the perfect overwater trip.
Choosing an all-inclusive resort can be tough. Some are big, some are small, some are on the beach, some just near it. Some resorts have better food, more drink options, and more entertainment than others. Of course, there is your budget to consider as well!
For those reasons, it’s always best to consult with a travel professional to help find the perfect resort for you next vacation. And the best part? My services are free!
That’s right, you get personalized, concierge vacation planning service, and it does not cost you a cent more! In fact, a package vacation with one of my preferred suppliers can often save you money on your trip!
Overwater Bungalows at Sandals Royal Caribbean, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Sandals Resorts perfected the honeymoon, so it’s no surprise they have perfected Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean.
At Sandals Royal Caribbean, there are twelve over water bungalows and five overwater villas. All overwaters come with 24 hour Sandals butler service, but the villas come with a private infinity pool. The bungalows have a private indoor/outdoor shower and soaking tub.
The villas have the most private views and measure in at 1800 SQUARE FEET! The bungalows are the units that form the heart and are 1200 square feet. Both are plenty large for a couple. I toured these in 2020 and friends, they are divine!
With private water taxi service to and from the main resort, overwater guests have full access to Sandals Royal Caribbean which boasts nine restaurants (21 if you head over to Sandals Montego Bay), great nightlife, multiple bars, two pools, and a beautiful beach. Of course, one could spend their whole vacation in their private bungalow with a butler catering to your every need!
Overwater Bungalows at Sandals South Coast, Jamaica
In the travel industry, we refer to this resort as the “Sexy South Coast” because this is such a romantic property. Book an overwater bungalow and enjoy 360 degree ocean views!
To access the bungalows, you head down a long straight dock, which is reserved for bungalow guests only. What I love about the bungalows at Sandals South Coast is that couples also get a private beach cabana reserved just for them.
How amazing is that?
Sandals South Coasts boasts nine restaurants, bars, nightlife and a beautiful beach, including an over-water bar AND the Over-The-Water Serenity Wedding chapel. What a great resort for a destination wedding, followed by an over the water bungalow honeymoon!
Overwater Bungalows at Sandals Grande St. Lucia
Lush and tropical, St. Lucia is known as the “Hawaii of the Caribbean.” Of course, for many in the United States, St. Lucia is a lot closer than Maui. And now you can book into these amazing overwater bungalows at Sandals Grande St. Lucia.
Sandals Grande St Lucia is a great choice for golfers – the resort is five minutes away from the only 18 hole golf course on St. Lucia and guests have access to the nine hole course at Sandals Regency La Toc.
Resort guests here have access to six restaurants on property (27 if you include all three Sandals resorts in the area), including an over-the-water restaurant.
Over-water bungalow guests at Sandals Grande St. Lucia also get 24/7 butler elite service, and private round, trip airport transfers.
Overwater Bungalows at Royalton Antigua
The Caribbean’s newest overwater bungalows, these Chairman Overwater Bungalows are located at the Royalton in Antigua. The resort itself is family friendly, but the Overwater Bungalows are for adults only.
This resort would be perfect for a multi-generational destination wedding, where after the ceremony, the couple could move to an overwater bungalow for a romantic honeymoon. It’s like two destinations in one!
I recently visited the Royalton Antigua with my family and I got to kayak right past the over water bungalows. They did look really amazing, especially the private plunge pool. Plus you cannot beat those views!
Overwater Bungalows at Aruba Ocean Villas, Aruba
A hidden gem of a boutique resort, this property has five overwater bungalows, including the all new Bungalow Sofia which has a private plunge pool, outdoor tub, overwater hammock, and large deck.
This resort has 8 non-overwater bungalows (and these are pretty beautiful) and is expanding, building more over water units.
This hotel is not all-inclusive (breakfast is included with your rate) but you can add a meal plan and/or an open bar plan to your reservation. OR you can easily head out and enjoy the many amazing bars and restaurants in Aruba.
Overwater Bungalows in Mexico
Mexico is always a great choice for your next vacation, and with the addition of overwater bungalows now you can revisit a favorite spot in a new way, or experience a not-so-far-away destination, with feeling far, far away from the everyday!
Overwater Bungalows at Palafitos at el Dorado Maroma
Palafitos is a resort within Karisma’s El Dorado Maroma resort in Riviera Maya Mexico. Located about 40 minutes from Cancun airport, Palafitos guests will arrive at El Dorado Maroma, but then be whisked away to a private check-in lounge.
The Palafitos resort is all overwater bungalow accommodations with 30 units. Eight of the units are “Elite Overwater Bungalows” with ocean facing views. The other bungalows face the beautiful beach.
The units are 600 square feet with a gorgeous soaking tub, indoor/outdoor shower, plunge pool on the deck, a king bed facing the water, and a cute little sitting area. Everything you need for a private, romantic escape.
This resort is all-inclusive, adults only, and with butler service. For Palafitos guests there is a dedicated restaurant (over the water) and spa.
Palafitos guests have full privileges at el Dorado Maroma where they can enjoy many restaurants, the beach, and the incredible, multi-level spa!
Overwater Bungalows in Belize
Belize is an up and coming destination in Latin America. With miles of beautiful Caribbean coast line, an exotic feel, but close to home, Belize is a great destination for couples who are looking for overwater bungalows in a unique destination, but in this hemisphere.
These properties are also significantly more affordable than some of the other ones mentioned above.
Overwater Bungalows at Thatch Caye, Placencia, Belize
This is an All-Inclusive Private Island Resort offering overwater bungalows and island cabanas. Thatch Caye Resort sits on its own private island off the coast of Dangriga, Belize.
With wifi only available in common areas, this is a place to relax, unwind and connect with nature.
Overwater Bungalows at St. George’s Caye Resort, St. George’s Caye
This is closest to Belize City and the international airport.
St. George’s Caye Resort is going to be more of a rustic elegance. There are six overwater cabanas in addition to beachfront cabanas and a regular hotel.
The overwater cabanas have incredible sunset views. They feature work-of-art Belizean hardwood ceilings in the bedroom area to keep you cool and comfortable. These units sleeps 2-3 people.
Overwater Bungalows for Families
In the Western Hemisphere, there is only one overwater bungalow that accommodates families, and although not technically in the Caribbean or Mexico, I had to add it to this list.
Overwater Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Leave it to Disney to bring the South Pacific to Central Florida!
At Disney’s Polynesian Resort, families can enjoy overwater bungalow accommodations. These bungalows are located over Seven Seas Lagoon and are modeled after the original overwater bungalows you would find in Tahiti.
What a fun way to enhance your Disney vacation!
Also, these overwater bungalows are perfect for frequent Disney guests who want something unique and different.
Overwater Bungalow accommodations are amazing, but definitely pricy. Since inventory is low, these units book up YEARS in advance, but you can imagine why this is a bucket list trip for many folks.
If you are interested in an overwater bungalow (in Mexico, the Caribbean, South Pacific, Disney, the Maldives), be sure to reach out. I am a full service travel agent and book custom trips all over the world. My personalized, concierge vacation planning services are totally free. I can help get you to overwater paradise.
Have you ever stayed in an overwater bungalow? Where was it? Is this something you would love to do?