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Best Affordable Overwater Bungalows in 2023.
As everyone knows overwater bungalows are notoriously expensive, probably the most expensive per-square-foot accommodation type in the world in fact.
But, though very much few and far between, not all are out of the reach of ordinary folk.
If you are prepared to forgo big-budget destinations you can have an overwater experience for not much more than an upper-range hotel room in many other places.
We’ve done the research and so here now are our reviews of what we see as the best affordable overwater bungalows for you in 2023.
Address: Isla Colón
Bocas del Toro
PanamaWhy We Like it: Punta Caracol is a boutique, eco-friendly resort in Bocas del Toro, along Panama’s Caribbean Coast. It has nine very picturesque bungalows over the water which have the aesthetics of old colonial jungle huts but with modern comforts. The setting is sublime – a deeply remote spot accessible only by boat and surrounded by 100 acres of the lodge’s very own rainforest reserve, 98% of which is left completely as nature intended. It is absolutely a place for relaxation and contemplation. The food is excellent and the staff are helpful and friendly. Overwater Bungalows & Other Accommodation: They have just nine bungalows in total, divided into three categories – Standard Suites, Luna Suites and a Master Suite. The latter is definitely the pick of the bunch with 1076 square feet/100 square meters of open plan space including a mezzanine bedroom with its own outside terrace and wonderful views. Its two terraces cover a combined area of 646 square feet/60 square meters. The three Luna and the five Standard suites are broadly similar to each other, with the Luna just having that bit of extra space internally – 646 square feet/60 square meters as opposed to 538/50 meters but both have similar sized terraces -269 square feet/25 square meters. Both also have mezzanine bedrooms but only their downstairs sections have a terrace. The terraces are a good size and are supplied with hammocks and dining and lounging furniture. The waters below are, even for the Bocas del Toro region, really crystal clear and contain a great array of sea life that the resort management and local government are careful to protect. Prices & Availability: Check out all the details – prices, reviews & more photos on their Booking.com page here and on Expedia.com here. Resort Facilities & Things to Do: Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge has its own nature reserve surrounding the resort. It is there to be explored, by yourself or on guided tours, and you will see and hear an incredible amount of local wildlife – sloths, capuchin monkeys, dolphins and caiman to name but a few. The hotel also organizes other activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, dolphin-watching, READ MORE
Category: Family Friendly Overwater Bungalows, Overwater Bungalows for Honeymoons, and Overwater Bungalows with Glass FloorAddress: Isla Bastimentos
Bocas del Toro
PanamaWhy We Like it: Eclypse de Mar is an intimate, very much eco-friendly resort, with its own nature reserve in Bocas del Toro, along Panama’s Caribbean Coast. It has some tastefully designed and decorated, overwater bungalows, just seven in total, which blend nicely with the deep jungle behind. Overwater Bungalows & Other Accommodation: Their overwater accommodation has two categories – the Standard Bungalows at 538 square feet/50 square meters and the larger, slightly more plush, Honeymoon Overwater Bungalows at 861 square feet/80 square meters. The latter has one king size bedroom plus lounge while the former, though smaller, has two bedrooms, one double and one twin. All have seating areas inside and outside on the private terrace which offers direct access to the water (which is beautifully calm and clear), and inside they have glass floor panels to allow you to observe the abundant sea life below. They are super comfortable but this being a very much eco-friendly resort you will have to forgo some luxuries – No air-con just ceiling fans for example but, helped by the fresh breezes from the sea, they do the job well. There are no TVs or in-room fridges either though, and the WiFi can be quite weak in the overwater bungalows. Beyond the overwaters they have some rooms in the main building which have the same comfortable interiors and cosy, earthy feel. They have balconies equipped with hammocks and what they describe as a ‘sea view’ which in reality though is a view of the back of the overwater bungalows. They may be a little underwhelming but what certainly isn’t is the 3 bedroom, two floor Sea Loft Villa which has great views over both the sea and the surrounding jungle. Their Tree House then is set deeper in the jungle, so no sea views there but it is the most close to nature of all the accommodation choices and you can spot all sorts of wildlife direct from your balcony. Prices & Availability: Check out all the details – prices, reviews & more photos on their Booking.com page here and on Expedia.com here. Resort Facilities & Things to Do: Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge’s READ MORE
Category: Family Friendly Overwater Bungalows, Overwater Bungalows for Honeymoons, and Overwater Bungalows with Glass FloorAddress: Sol Bungalows
Bocas del Toro
PanamaWhy We Like it: The family run, eco friendly Sol Bungalows is a small, intimate B&B with just two overwater bungalows on Bocas del Toro’s Isla Solarte, the least populated and most undisturbed of all Bocas’ main islands. Though relatively undisturbed the location is still extremely convenient, being just 5 minutes by water taxi from Bocas Town. These brand new Caribbean overwater bungalows are sleek, modern and comfortable. They boast all the features you’d expect from quality overwater accommodation but at a more reasonable price. Overwater Bungalows: Those features include; traditional thatched roofs, glass floor viewing panels, nice furnished terraces with direct access to the water, overwater hammocks and outdoor showers. The bungalows are spacious too, covering 775 square feet/78 square meters in total, with a lounge area, a separate bedroom with king size bed and memory foam mattress, a bathroom and a lovely outside terrace just made for gazing at sunsets. Other hotel type niceties include coffee makers, mini fridges and blackout curtains. The lounge and bedroom are separated by a sliding door and the sofa in the lounge can be converted into two single beds which allows the bungalows an occupancy of four each if needed. Overwater Bungalow Prices: Check out all the details – prices, reviews & more photos on their Booking.com page here. Facilities & Things to Do: A fine healthy breakfast is included in the rate and evening meals, drinks etc. can be provided on site. You are also, as previously mentioned, just five minutes away from Bocas Town where you’ll have your choice of food stores, restaurants, bars and cafes, and there are a few local stores on the island itself. You can nip out your door for some snorkeling, kayaking or paddle boarding, with all equipment provided, a range of massages can be arranged for you on site and so too yoga classes. Bocas del Toro is of course famous for its world class surf and its best waves are just a short boat ride away. Scuba diving too – the area has some of the best in the world – and diving trips can be arranged from Sol Bungalows. The enthusiastic owners READ MORE
Address: Ban Phu Takhian
ThailandUpdated on October 8, 2022 The Float House River Kwai Resort is a uniquely romantic floating hotel in western Thailand. These luxury villas are generally only reached by boat, so very much offer the sensation of getting away from it all. This is not some primitive jungle camp though, it is a luxury boutique resort with overwater bungalows that are extremely spacious and comfortable, and equipped with all modern luxury hotel conveniences. The Overwater Bungalows: Their villas are are all two bedroom, one double and one twin, and all almost identical; there are no ‘standard’ or ‘superior’ villas or the like here. Beyond that your accommodation choices are: B&B villa, with breakfast only, half board or full-board. Going for full-board makes the most sense we think. The food included in the package is of good quality and even if it weren’t, as the place is so isolated, unless you bring your own food you will be spending extra to eat at the same restaurant anyway. The villas have around 90 square meters/1,000 square feet of space and have a nice, natural elegance; their thatched roofs, teakwood furniture and natural materials allowing you to feel at least a little in harmony with nature. If being too much in harmony with the deep jungle scares the hell out of some of you, rest assured you will have modern luxury hotel facilities too; air-con, mosquito nets, WiFi, flat-screen satellite TVs, DVD players, coffee machines, mini bars, very comfy thick mattress with luxurious linens etc. Apart from the two bedrooms you have a lounge area, very nice bathrooms with rainfall showers, and a private outside terrace with seating and lounging furniture. Overwater Bungalow Prices: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos, on the booking page here. Resort Facilities & Things to Do: The setting for this resort is really quite special and many guests just spend most of their time relaxing on the terrace watching the river go by or taking a dip now and again. For more active types the resort organizes all sorts of activities such as jungle hiking, wildlife spotting, mountain biking, bamboo rafting etc. with traditional READ MORE
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