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***Updated January 2018
Overwater bungalows are quite the luxurious getaway. They’re available to book in some of the most beautiful parts of the world – Maldives, Fiji, Tahiti and more.
I stayed in an overwater bungalow in Maldives last year. It was for my honeymoon so I am biased when I say “It was the BEST TRIP EVER”, but it truly was. The experience of being in an overwater bungalow (or villa as some say), was one of a kind. It was the ambiance, the views, the layout, the furnishings, and of course the ability to enter the sea at my own leisure.
Overwater bungalows and villas are not only for rich people and honeymooners. You can find some for an impeccable price and enjoy it all to yourself even if you go solo! You will be surprised to find that some bungalows cost only $100 per night.
And if you are one to snap photos or footage from above, bring your drone! My choice is the Breeze 4K by Yuneec which fits into your carry-on and works easier than the DJI Phantom drones. Here’s my review on the Breeze drone.
These are 19 countries that have overwater bungalows for you to stay in:
Book one – you won’t regret it!
The islands of Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean, especially Bora Bora and Moorea, are famous for their over water bungalows. These bungalows were first introduced in the 1960’s.
Only an 8-hour flight from Los Angeles, Tahiti is actually very easy to get to from the U.S, Above is a photo of the bungalows at the Four Seasons resort. Another top pick is the Intercontinental Resort at Bora Bora and the St. Regis. Anything in Bora Bora should be delightful considering the location!
Tahiti is one of the most expensive, if not THE top expensive over water bungalow destination. Looking at prices for myself, my peers, and friends who have gone can easily cost ~ $6,000-12,000 USD for two persons.
*A special Tahitian amenity within the bungalow is the glass coffee table (aka “Tahitian television”).
My favorite booking site, especially for hotels, is Booking.com
You can always find great deals, up to 50% off or more at times! Plus, many of their cancellation agreements are $0 down and free cancellation from 1 day prior to reservation to 7 days (on average per hotels).
Location: South Pacific Ocean
Flight: 8 Hours from Los Angeles
Fiji has more of the underwater bungalows being constructed and offered throughout the resorts. It is a bit further from Tahiti, located in the South Pacific and also one flight away from LAX or New Zealand. It is similar in price to Tahiti. I will say that it comes in 2nd most expensive for prices of over water bungalows.
Above is Likuliku Lagoon Resort, one of the most romantic resorts to pick from which offers an immense amount of activities such as paddleboarding, walking trails, village trips, island hopping, kava ceremony attendance, and even special events in case of rain.
Be sure to attend a kava ceremony when you are in Fiji.
Location: South Pacific
Flight: 10 hours from Los Angeles
The Maldives are islands located in the Indian Ocean, south of Sri Lanka and India.
Maldives is a bit more tricky to get to but it is worth it and it was my favorite trip! Connect to the main airport via Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and other nearby airports in Asia. From there, you need to take a seaplane or speedboat to your resort.
The special thing about Maldives is that the islands are all tiny atolls. Each resort is on its own atoll so be mindful, you won’t be able to go back and forth to the main island.
There are OVER 100 resorts to choose from which range from different prices. One can easily find an airfare and all-inclusive resort package for $5,000-6,000 USD for two persons.
I use Booking.com for many of my hotel bookings – it’s a great one to check for Maldives resorts!
My Pick: Meeru Island Resort & Spa
Location: Indian Ocean
Flight: 4.5 Hour Flight from Dubai
Mauritius is off the eastern coast of Africa on the southern half of the Indian Ocean. While it only has one option for overwater bungalows, it is extremely private and exclusive that I could not even find a photo on Flickr to use!
Above is Constance le Prince Maurice, the exotic resort I speak of. There are indeed overwater bungalows, but only 12 of them! They estimate at about $800-1,000 per night.
Location: West Indian Ocean, part of Africa
Flight: 12 hours from Paris
Let’s go to Bali or Sugi or Gili any of the other islands in Indonesia. More beachfront resorts than bungalows are offered as of now and for a great price!
Indonesia is located in the southern part of Asia and is quite the size. More and more overwater bungalows have been built over the years. Some new additions include Pulo Cinya Eco Resort, Ora Beach Resort, and Papua Paradise Eco-Resort.
The resort shown above is of Loola Resort. Prices remain low around $200 or less per night.
Flight: 7 Hours from Tokyo
Malaysia is becoming more popular as an Asian destination to visit and a country good to go to if you’re on a budget. It is located very close to Thailand and is a great destination to add to your itinerary.
There are currently 6 resorts which offer overwater bungalows in Malaysia – AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort, Pangkor Laut, and Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort, the Reef Resort, Sipadan Water Village and Pom Pom Island.
Prices remain low, similarly to Indonesia. Here, you will find a more rustic, authentic feel at the resorts.
Flight: 2 Hours from Bangkok
Would you have thought Bermuda had overwater bungalows? They do! 9beaches is being renovated and is set to reopen in 2018 as they are undergoing a $55 million renovation.
The resort is set to be Bermudian themed, have a dockside restaurant, and include new amenities.
Location: Atlantic Ocean, Part of North America
Flight: 2 Hours from New York
Ditch the Cancun plans and heads south to stay in the new overwater bungalows down the Riviera Maya. Presently, you can book such bungalows at El Dorado Resort and Rosewood Mayakoba (shown above).
This is a great option for visitors who want to stay close to their home in the U.S. or road trip from Cancun/Playa del Carmen.
Location: Central America
Flights: 3 Hours from Miami
Photo via Flickr by Mia & Steve Mestdagh
Panama, connecting South America to Central America, has come to offer overwater bungalows for as cheap as $190 a night. Many are based in Bocas del Toro – a seaside community known for its parties and beach bars in the northwest portion of the country.
If you decide to book a stay here, expect smaller accommodations and a very social life as the islands get busy with tourists and expats.
I stayed at the Koko Resort, which has now closed as they have sold to new ownership. They had 6 over water bungalows and mine was under $150 per night!
Location: Central America
Flights: 4 Hours from Atlanta
Photo via Flickr by Felix Dance
Cambodia is another Asian destination that has begun to offer overwater bungalows. Also located near Thailand, this is a great stop to add to your trip.
The overwater bungalows built in the recent years are modern and some of the finest resorts in the entire country. This is where you will really find the most space for the lowest price.
Flight: 3 Hours from China
Photo via Flickr by David Cobbin
Vanuatu is an underrated island country in the South Pacific Ocean. Overlooked by Tahiti and Fiji, it is easy to miss this one.
The amount of visitors to Vanuatu is much smaller, which does provide more intimacy and peacefulness at the resorts. If you are looking to get away from the crowds, come to Vanuatu. The above overwater bungalow is of Erakor Lagoon Resort.
Location: South Pacific Ocean
Flight: 3.5 Hours from Sydney
Belize is a great destination for diving, visiting the many cayes, and getting double for your $1 USD.
Located in Central America, it is quite easy to fly into the mainland. From there, take a plane to the caye of your choosing. There are resorts and privately owned villas over the water for booking such as Thatch Caye Resort, St. George’s Caye Resort, and some new options on Airbnb. Above is a villa on Tobacco Caye.
Location: Central America
Flight: 4 Hours from Miami
Photo via Flickr by Randy Roe
Bahamas recently added overwater bungalows to the Sandal Royal Bahamian resort. The bungalows are on a private island and you can book an All-Inclusive package to stay here, or purchase a day pass for $190.
The bungalows are very new and as far as Instagram goes, looks like many visitors are enjoying them!
Flight: 1 Hour from Miami
Photo via Flickr by Leigh_householder
In the past 2 years, Jamaica has also obtained overwater bungalows at its Sandals resort in Montego Bay. The bungalows are Tahitian style, such as those that Sandals offer in Bahamas. A great addition is an over-the-water hammock.
Easily accessible from the airport (which is in Montego), this is an easy trip to take!
Flight: 3 Hours from Miami
15. Florida, United States
If you reside in the U.S. and are looking to stay within the country, then go to Disney!
The Disney Polynesian Village Resort offers overwater bungalows close to the theme parks. This is by far one of the best resorts for adults to stay in or if you are visiting without children.
It is tropical themed and even has a volcano like pool.
Location: Florida, U.S.
Flight: 2.5 Hours from New York
Barbuda is soon to have a new resort with overwater bungalows!
Robert de Niro and James Packer (Billionaire) are building the resort where the former K Club stood. Along with it will come a new airport to accommodate private jets. There are 6 overwater villas planned to be built along with 50 other villas. The plan is for the resort to open by 2019.
Location: Barbuda, sister island of Antigua in the Caribbean
Flight: 4.5 Hours from New York
On a remote island in the Pacific, lies Huahine were one can book the least expensive overwater bungalow resort within the area! Huahine is part of French Polynesia and is an overseas territory of France.
Royal Huahine Resort is a 3-star resort but will make you feel as if you are staying at a 5 star. There are 17 overwater bungalows which have rates in the mid 300’s per night. If you are looking to go near Bora Bora but don’t want to shell out the high prices, stay here.
Location: French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean
Flight: 8 hours from Los Angeles
18. New Caledonia
For another cheaper option in the South Pacific, book a stay at the L’Escapade Island Resort in Noumea, New Caledonia. This resort is easiest to reach from Australia.
With 25 overwater bungalows, this resort is on a private island and offers 7 daily trips to the mainland. Rates range between the high 300’s and low 500’s.
Location: Pacific Ocean
Flight: 2.5 hours from Brisbane, Australia
Honduras is a great travel destination and it has only gotten better now with Coco View Resort!
From prices under $500 per night which include Full Board, staying at an overwater bungalow comes cheap for many visitors. Staying here in Roatan also opens the doors to many other spots on the island and being able to beach hop.
Location: Central America
Flight: 5 hours from New York City
Have you stayed in an overwater bungalow? Where and how’d you like it?
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