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There are no overwater bungalows in the Bahamas itself sadly, as they are specialist buildings which need certain conditions to be structural viable – conditions that are not so easy to find in the Bahamas.
But, by traveling just a little more south, you will find the Caribbean has plenty of tremendous overwater bungalow resorts – some of the world’s very best in fact.
With that in mind here are our choices for, and in-depth reviews of, the best overwater bungalows nearest the Bahamas in 2022. All of them can easily be reached via direct flights from most major US cities.
If though you have your heart set on a vacation in the Bahamas, and are prepared to forget the novelty of an overwater bungalow, click below for its best luxury coastal accommodation:
Thatch Caye is a private, Caribbean island paradise 25 minutes by speedboat from mainland Belize. The resort is eco-friendly and the vibe a kind of rustic, barefoot chic. The resort caters for no more than 30 people at any one time too so also feels relatively intimate and exclusive. Overwater Bungalows & Other Accommodation: You have a choice of beach cabanas and over water bungalows. The latter are divided between Standard and Premium with the standard units being three bungalows sitting practically right beside each other just off the shore. Thus they’re really not ideal if privacy is what you’re after. But for a group of friends, if booked together, they could be perfect. The premium overwater bungalows on the other hand offer a huge amount of privacy. Though they are pretty much the same internally as the standard bungalows they have their own private walkway so feel very secluded indeed. They don’t cost all that much more so we think an upgrade to these premium bungalows will make sense to most people, especially those seeking a romantic getaway. Both have 320 sq. ft of nicely furnished and very comfortable space, including an outside terrace, so they’re not enormous but are certainly cosy and romantic. On shore you have a choice of beach cabanas, divided into Standard, Premier and Penthouse, with the Penthouse being the most desirable and most expensive. It is the largest at 441 sq ft and offers views over the open ocean from the terrace. In line with the island’s back to nature, modern-life detox philosophy none of the accommodation has Wifi (or TV) but you can find WiFi in the common areas. Overwater Bungalow Prices: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos, on the booking page here. Resort Facilities & Things to Do: Between its three restaurants/cafes/bars the food at Thatch Caye is well received by guests, with much of the ingredients coming from their own organic gardens. Every day starts with a made to order breakfast where you’ll find international staples alongside more Belizean choices, plenty of tropical fruits and juices, and good coffee. The breakfast is served in the Coco READ MORE
Address: Pigeon Island, Gros Islet
Saint LuciaSandals, fresh from their success with over the water accommodation in Jamaica, quickly turned their sights to St Lucia, and here at the all-inclusive, adults only, Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort you can expect the same high levels of luxury, sophistication and service. It is very much an opulent romantic getaway, being adults only and attracting a well heeled clientele, but the atmosphere is friendly, relaxed and rarely stuffy. Their overwater bungalows are a honeymoon favorite and with only nine of them they are generally booked out well in advance. They come with glass floor panels that allow you to peer into the Caribbean just below your feet, tranquility soaking tubs, private patios and over water hammocks amongst other special features. They also have a 24 hour personal butler service and the service throughout the resort is top notch – efficient and professional but also relaxed and personable. Overwater Bungalows & Other Accommodation: They have an enormous range of accommodation at the resort, with the above mentioned overwater accommodation being absolutely the most popular. These have a spacious, luxurious feel with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, king-size beds with soft linens and plush pillows, smart TVs, sun decks, outdoor showers, swish bathrooms and 24 hour personal butler service. Many of the other choices well match, if not surpass, the style and sophistication of the overwaters though just without the novelty of having the ocean directly under your feet. The beachside suites in particular are extremely opulent and very much worth considering if the overwaters are not free. Overwater Bungalow Prices: Check out all the details on the Sandal’s website here. Note 1: The overwater bungalows at Sandals St. Lucian are only available to book via the Sandals official website. Note 2: Like all luxury overwater bungalows in the Caribbean the ones here are incredibly sought after – Covid notwithstanding, you really need to reserve your stay as soon as possible. You are allowed free cancellation on bookings within a certain time frame (check their site for full details). Last Minute Deals? In order to fill gaps in occupancy (if they have any) due to cancellations etc., Sandals sometimes offers discounts on READ MORE
The newest of only three overwater bungalow resorts in Mexico, the other two being the nearby Palafitos El Dorado Resort and the even more nearby Rosewood Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is an exclusive resort near Playa del Carmen. It wins consistently great reviews for its eco friendly principles, its choice setting, its luxury accommodation and facilities (including golf course and spa) and excellent service and food. Their overwater bungalows (listed as Lagoon Sunset Pool Villa on the booking page) are more European chalet-like than rustic Polynesian. The interiors mainly look sleek, modern and plush though also with some nice earthy, back to nature touches. They are set over two floors and offer a greater sense of privacy than most. Overwater Bungalows & Other Accommodation: The above mentioned over water villas are listed as Lagoon Sunset Pool Villa on the booking page. They are all doubles with king size bed and seem very spacious – over two floors they cover a full 2400 square feet / 222 sq. meters. They have a (heated – quite unnecessarily perhaps!) plunge pool on the private terrace which has views over the lagoon. Their bathrooms promise to be particularly nice with spa baths as standard. As with the resort in general, though they have a sleek modern design, the overriding philosophy with the overwater villas is harmony with nature. The decor and furniture are generally of wood or other organic materials and the many native Yucatan potted plants add an extra earthy, jungly vibe. These overwater villas are eagerly awaited, and there are only 6 in total, so you can be expect to be disappointed unless booking well in advance. If they do happen to be booked out though the Banyan Tree has a tremendous choice of luxury accommodation, all with private pools, some of the finest in the Cancun region in fact. Check out all your other options right here. Overwater Bungalow Prices: 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: Banyan Tree has access to the Greg Norman designed El Camaleon Golf Course right next door READ MORE
Address: Five Islands Village
Antigua and BarbudaFirst opening its doors in May 2019, Royalton Antigua is an all inclusive resort that boasts Antigua’s very first, and still only, overwater bungalows. The resort offers opulence and luxury and has a choice setting on the clear, calm waters of Antigua’s Deep Bay, less than twenty minutes from St. John’s, and a half an hour from V. C. Bird International Airport. Having been recently (late 2021) acquired by the Marriott Hotel group, you can expect it to, in time, become one of Antigua’s, and indeed the Caribbean’s, most sought after resorts. Overwater Bungalows & Other Accommodation: The accommodation choices are many, with of course the over water villas taking pride of place. They cover a full 1442 square feet and have king size bedrooms, lounges (with sofa bed), dining areas and gorgeous outdoor terraces overlooking the Caribbean. They are also sleek, sophisticated and luxurious. Expect private infinity plunge pools, jacuzzis, glass floor viewing panels, private butlers and 24 hour room service as well as in-room aromatherapy, satellite TV, top of the range music systems, complimentary IPTV movie selections, twice daily re-stocked minibars and a pillow menu for example. The other accommodation choices are a mixture of suites in different locations around the private beach and all of them share the same sleek interiors and modern luxury features. They can all sleep up to four but are generally smaller than the overwater bungalows which have over 1,100 square feet (106 square meters) of space. Note: Children (under 13) are not allowed to stay in the overwater bungalows, hence we have placed The Royalton in the Adults Only category. In all the other accommodation though children are welcome. Overwater Bungalow Prices: Compare prices at Booking.com page here, at Expedia.com here, and on the resort’s own website (Marriott-Bonvoy) here. Note: Like most luxury overwater bungalows in the Caribbean those at Royalton Antigua are extremely sought after – Covid notwithstanding, you really need to reserve your stay as soon as possible. You are allowed free cancellation on most bookings. Resort Facilities & Things to Do: The resort has seven restaurants in total, with complimentary in-room private dinner and drinks service also available. The READ MORE
Address: Carretera Cancun Tulum, Km 55.3
MexicoThis adults only, all inclusive near Cancun is home to the Palafitos Overwater Bungalows, the very first in Mexico (there are now still just three – the other two being the very nearby Rosewood Mayakoba & Banyan Tree Mayakoba) and consistently hits world class standards for luxury all inclusive resorts. It has a fabulous location on Maroma Beach, Playa del Carmen – rated one of the Caribbean’s, and in fact the world’s, best beaches, the gourmet food and drink is of the highest quality and there are numerous activities to be enjoyed. Overwater Bungalows: As mentioned, the Palafitos’ bungalows were the very first in Mexico and come with all the features you would expect from such a pioneering resort – glass floor panels, jacuzzis, private infinity pools, outdoor showers and direct access to the crystal clear waters below your feet. There are two basic types; the Palafitos ‘Beachfront Bungalows’ are very close to the shore while the ‘Superior Bungalows’ are out in the open water and so are more peaceful, and give more of a at one with the water feeling. Both are pretty much identical in every other way though, they cover nearly 600 square feet, are modern internally and suitably luxurious, with extra large, terrifically comfortable double beds, a seating/dining area, sections of glass bottom floor, a jacuzzi, an infinity type plunge pool on the terrace overlooking the water plus an outdoor shower. Other facilities include WiFi, cable TV, air con, iPod docks, mini bar, 24 hour room service and private butler service. Overwater Bungalow Prices: Check out all the details – prices, reviews & more photos on their Booking.com page here and on their Expedia.com here. Note: Like most luxury overwater bungalows around the Caribbean those at Palafitos El Dorado are incredibly sought after – Covid notwithstanding, you should really reserve your stay as soon as possible. You are allowed free cancellation on most bookings. Resort Facilities & Things to Do: El Dorado Maroma is an all inclusive resort with a great emphasis on gourmet food and drink, with much of the ingredients coming fresh from their own greenhouses. You have a good choice of restaurants as READ MORE
Address: Sandals South Coast
JamaicaOne of only two overwater bungalow resorts in Jamaica (the other being Sandals Royal Caribbean), Sandals South Coast is a 5 star luxury, adults only, all inclusive resort which offers Epicurean indulgence in a dreamy Caribbean beach setting. Overwater Bungalows: They have a wide range of luxury accommodation to choose from, between rooms, suites and over water bungalows/villas, all offering varying levels of space, luxury and privacy. Their 1,100 square feet over water villas are suitably plush and luxurious, and come with outdoor sun decks with soaking tubs and overwater hammocks, internal glass floor panels, particularly nice, spa style bathrooms, personal butler service and an exclusive in-room dining and room service menu. Overwater Bungalow Prices: Check out all the details and compare prices at the resort’s own website (Sandals) here, on Expedia.com here and at Booking.com here. Note: Like all luxury overwater bungalows in the Caribbean those at Sandals South Coast are incredibly sought after – Covid notwithstanding, you really should reserve your stay as soon as possible. You are allowed free cancellation on most bookings. Last Minute Deals? In order to fill gaps in occupancy (if they have any) due to cancellations etc., Sandals sometimes offers discounts on last minute stays, generally offering one free night on stays of 3 or 4 nights if booked up to a few weeks in advance. Check for any Last Minute Deals Here. Resort Facilities & Things to Do: Sandals South Coast is very large indeed with different European themed sections such as French Village, Italian Village, Dutch Village and Venetian Piazza. There is a lot going on around the resort though the overwater bungalow section is slightly away from it all and so very peaceful. You have nine gourmet restaurants to choose from which serve consistently excellent European, Asian and Caribbean cuisine, as well as eleven different bars with a range of musical, and other, entertainment, and a huge range of premium drinks. You can do some duty-free shopping at the collection of resort boutiques and luxury jewelers, browse art galleries or play sports such as beach volleyball, tennis, billiards, table tennis and shuffle board. There is a state of the art READ MORE
The Aruba Ocean Villas Resort, home to Aruba’s only overwater bungalows, occupies a slice of tropical paradise in the southwest of the island near Oranjestad and the international airport. This adults only resort is a luxury oasis with a gorgeous location, good facilities (no full spa as yet though plans are afoot), top class food, drink and excellent service all round. It’s also small, intimate and friendly, and has none of the anonymous, almost industrial atmosphere of many of the large Caribbean resorts. They have only three over water bungalows at Aruba Ocean Villas and they are extremely popular with guests so be sure to book your stay well in advance. Overwater Bungalows & Other Accommodation: They have some fantastic, individually designed choices at Ocean Villas, all except one being doubles. The three coveted over the water choices – listed on the booking page as LouLou, Isla Alistaire and Dushi Sue are opulent, spacious and very well furnished and equipped. They are also all very beautiful but Dushi Sue is our favorite – a tremendously stylish 1000 sq ft oasis. They may not have the classic glass floor panels that are a feature of many overwater bungalows but they are homely, and extremely comfortable and stylish. If the overwater bungalows are booked out you will absolutely not be disappointed by the other beachfront choices at Aruba Ocean Villas. They are slightly smaller but also beautifully designed, furnished and equipped and have a nice cosy feel. All of the above are doubles but for larger groups/families there is the Sunset Villa which is a private villa about 5 minutes away from the resort center. It can sleep up to eight people over four spacious bedrooms. It is a gorgeous property and has tremendous views over the ocean. Overwater Bungalow Prices: Check out all the details – prices, reviews & more photos, on the booking page here. Resort Facilities & Things to Do: As mentioned above, Aruba Ocean Villas is a small, intimate resort with a laid back, familiar atmosphere, so you shouldn’t expects too many fancy facilities. There is no spa here (yet) for example but they do offer a range READ MORE
The adults only St. George’s Caye is a scenic private island off the coast of Belize City near to the Caribbean’s largest, and the world’s second largest, barrier reef. It offers adventure and excitement on the one hand (it is a popular vacation spot for divers for eg.) and peace and tranquility on the other (honeymooners come here too). The food is generally highly praised, with breakfast, lunch and dinner included in the room rate, the service is great and the atmosphere relaxed, warm and friendly. It sells itself a luxury resort but if you are indeed expecting luxury the accommodation, though charming and very comfortable, may be underwhelming. Overall though the resort, the island and general atmosphere of the place make it a very enjoyable place to spend time in. Overwater Bungalows & Other Accommodation: You have a choice of broadly similar thatched roof cabanas, all doubles/twins in three different locations – Overwater, Beachfront & Garden, with the Oceanfront being the most expensive, the Garden cheapest and the Overwater in the middle price range. In the vast majority of resorts the over water accommodation is the most expensive choice but not at St. George’s – this is, we imagine, because they are quite closely huddled together, in a half circle facing the sea, and therefore offer less privacy than other cabanas. Some people may like this almost sociable setting but if it’s a relaxing romantic sojourn you’re after then you’d be far better off in a Garden or Oceanfront Bungalows, with the latter being our favorite. All the cabanas are pretty much the same size (roughly 380 sq ft.) and design, and are rustic, romantic and cosy with thatched roofs and lots of native wood furniture and fittings. There is air-con and a mini fridge but not much more in terms of modern facilities. Wifi for example is only available in the main building. Outside they all have nice verandahs with hammock and seating. The overwaters are just off shore and don’t have private access to the water, you can go for a dip though by just stepping out the front door. Overwater Bungalow Prices: Check out all the READ MORE
Address: Sandals Cay
JamaicaThe couples-only Sandals Royal Caribbean, near Montego Bay and just minutes from Sangster International Airport, was the very first overwater villa resort in Jamaica and indeed the first in the entire region. The concept was an immediate success and the Sandals company soon followed it with more bungalows at Sandals South Coast (also in Jamaica) and in their branch in St. Lucia. Sandals Royal Caribbean though was the ground breaker, or well…water breaker, in this region and its standards have been extremely high from the beginning. It is a high end luxury, all inclusive paradise with a private island (where the overwater bungalows are to be found) top of the range facilities, superb food and drink and consistently excellent service. It also has a tremendous location: getting to most overwater bungalow resorts usually involves a fairly long journey from the nearest airport but here you are, tantalizingly, just minutes (via the resort’s private shuttle) away. Overwater Bungalows: They have a great range of accommodation to choose from; hotel rooms, suites and over the water accommodation (referred to as ‘Honeymoon Bungalow, 1 Bedroom, Ocean View (Over-the-Water Priv. Island Bungalow)’ on the booking page), offering varying levels of space and luxury to suit most budgets. Their beautifully designed overwater bungalows, attached to a gorgeous little private island, have set the standards high from the very beginning. They have a tangible sense of luxury, are sleek, modern and spacious (just over 1,100 square feet), and come with outdoor terraces, infinity plunge pools, large glass floor panels, romantic spa style bathrooms with bathtubs, a wealth of modern facilities and 24 hour room service with an exclusive in-room dining menu. Overwater Bungalow Prices: Check out all the details and compare prices at the resort’s own website (Sandals) here, at Expedia.com here and at Booking.com here. Note: Like all luxury overwater bungalows in the Caribbean the overwater bungalows at Sandals Royal Caribbean are incredibly sought after – Covid notwithstanding, you really should reserve your stay as soon as possible. You are allowed free cancellation on most bookings. Last Minute Deals? In order to fill gaps in occupancy (if they have any) due to cancellations etc., Sandals READ MORE
One of three overwater bungalow resorts in Cancun, Mexico, the others being the nearby Banyan Tree Mayakoba and Palafitos El Dorado resorts. Rosewood Mayakoba shares the same serene Caribbean coast setting, and high quality accommodation, service and facilities, in particular its award winning spa. Overwater Bungalows & Other Accommodation: The resort has 129 sleek and modern suites and villas of varying sizes from 780 sq. ft. to 1500 sq. ft, all of which come with an array of luxury facilities and the very finest interior design. Their overwater bungalows, or Deluxe Lagoon Suites as they are titled, may disappoint a little compared to those of neighboring Palafitos as they are not 100% over water and overlook the lagoon as opposed to the sea. That aside though, they have a sleek and classy modern design, and a feel of real luxury. Features include private plunge pools, spacious open plan bathrooms with bathtubs, indoor and outdoor showers, walk in closets and a separate lounge area with seating and dining space. Facilities include WiFi, Satellite TV, DVD player, iPod docks, Bose music systems, personal butlers and 24 hour room service. The bungalows are adults only, though the rest of the resort is family friendly, they have a maximum occupancy of two and feel very spacious indeed with 977 sq. ft. of interior space and 498 sq. ft. of private terrace outside which includes an infinity style plunge pool (that can be heated, rather unnecessarily perhaps). Overwater Bungalow Prices: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos, on the booking page here. Resort Facilities & Things to Do: Though the overwater bungalows at Rosewood Mayakoba, like in most places, are adults only, the resort itself is family friendly, there is in fact a kids club, and children can be accommodated in the other suites and villas. There are a number of fantastic restaurants to choose from here; Caso del Lago serves Italian with a Mexican twist, Agave Azul mainly does Asian influenced seafood dishes. Punta Bonita is a Mexican bistro while the cool Aqui Mi Quedo serves Mexican and Caribbean street food, has a casual bar like atmosphere, and is adults READ MORE