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Welcome to our choices for, and in depth reviews of, the best luxury overwater bungalow resorts in the Caribbean in 2021.
Though the Caribbean certainly isn’t short of luxury resorts, overwater bungalows, especially of the luxury honeymoon variety are a relatively recent addition and indeed they are still relatively scarce.
This is not for lack of demand, quite the contrary (always be prepared to book well in advance for an overwater bungalow in the Caribbean), it is just that overwater bungalows are quite specialist structures that need certain conditions to be viable i.e. shallow, sheltered, consistently calm waters.
Still though there are some great options for luxury overwater bungalows in the Caribbean and in the compilation of this list we chose resorts in six countries, namely Antigua, Aruba, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and St Lucia. All of them within easy reach of the US, with direct flights from many cities, including Miami, Florida.
These are all top class resorts, some indeed are 5 Star, and you can expect extremely high standards of accommodation, facilities (luxury spa facilities and personal butler service being a standard feature for many), food & drink and service. Some will be all inclusive and many will be adults only.
Read our comprehensive reviews of these fabulous resorts below plus lots of photos, and all come with instant online booking and a lowest price guarantee via our affiliate partners at Booking.com & Expedia.
The Best Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean in 2021:
- 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 pure Epicurean indulgence in a gloriously isolated beach setting. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have a wide range of luxury accommodation to choose from, between rooms, suites and overwater bungalows, all offering varying levels of space, luxury and privacy. Their 1,100 square feet overwater bungalows (referred to as ‘Honeymoon Room, 1 Bedroom, Ocean View (Over the Water Butler Bungalow)’ on the booking page) 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. PRICES: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos, on the resort’s own website (Sandals) here, and on their Expedia.com page here. Note: Like all luxury overwater bungalows in the Caribbean the overwater bungalows at Sandals South Coast are incredibly sought after – Covid-19 notwithstanding, for the 2021 season you should really reserve your stay as soon as possible. You are allowed free cancellation on most bookings. FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO: Sandals South Coast is very large indeed with different European themed sections, 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 gym and fitness center here, and the tranquil oasis of the Red Lane Spa has, amongst other things, a beauty salon, a yoga-pilates studio, a steam room, plunge pools and several secluded outdoor 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, great facilities (no 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. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have some fantastic, individually designed choices at Ocean Villas, all except one being doubles. The three coveted overwater bungalows- 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. PRICES: Check out all the details – prices, reviews & more photos, on the booking page here. 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 of massage services. It does though a very highly READ MORE
- 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. ACCOMMODATION: Their overwater bungalows have two categories – the Standard 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 which, helped by the fresh breezes from the sea, do the job very well though, no TV or in-room fridges either 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: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos – on their Booking.com page here and on their Expedia.com page here. FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO: Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge main attraction is their own, 7 acre, nature reserve 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 overwater bungalows 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 world’s best beaches, the gourmet food and drink is of the highest quality, there are numerous activities to enjoy and the resort is intimate, romantic and at the same time fun. THE ACCOMMODATION: As mentioned, the Palafitos overwater 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 close the shore while their ‘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 and, covering nearly 600 square feet, they 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 over looking the water plus an outdoor shower. Other facilities include WiFi, cable TV, air con, iPod docks, mini bar, 24 hour room service and a private butler. PRICES: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos – on their Booking.com page here and on their Expedia.com page here. Note: Like most luxury overwater bungalows around the Caribbean the overwater bungalows at Palafitos El Dorado are incredibly sought after – Covid notwithstanding, for the 2021 season you should really reserve your stay as soon as possible. You are allowed free cancellation on most bookings. FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO: El Dorado Maroma an all inclusive resort with a great emphasis on gourmet food and drink, with much of the ingredients coming fresh from READ MORE
- Address: Pigeon Island, Gros Islet
Saint LuciaSandals, fresh from their success with overwater bungalows 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, 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. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have an enormous range of accommodation at the resort, with the above mentioned overwater bungalows being 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. PRICES: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos, on the resort’s own website (Sandals) here, and on their Expedia.com page here. Note: Like all luxury overwater bungalows in the Caribbean the overwater bungalows at Sandals Grande St. Lucian are incredibly sought after – Covid-19 notwithstanding, for the 2021 season you should really reserve your stay as soon as possible. You are allowed free cancellation on most bookings. FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO: Sandals Grande St. Lucian is a huge resort with 311 accommodation units, twelve restaurants and six bars including a British Pub and a swim-up pool bar. All of this is all-inclusive of course and the quality and variety of the food is impressive, as is the ever READ MORE
- The overwater bungalows at Banyan Tree Mayakoba open in June 2021. Reservations can be made now. The newest of only three overwater bungalows 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 which has won consistently great reviews for its eco friendly principles, its choice setting, its luxury accommodation and facilities (including golf course and spa), exceptional service and excellent food. The overwater bungalows (listed as Lagoon Sunset Pool Villa on the booking page) won’t be open until June 2021 so we sadly haven’t had the chance to check them out yet. If the rest of this fabulous resort is anything to go by though, they will be top of the range. Two minor quibbles may be that externally the style is more chalet-like than the kind of traditional, rustic Polynesian you may have come to expect from an overwater bungalow and secondly – like those of the very nearby Rosewood Mayakoba – they stand over the lagoon as opposed to the sea. That aside though their extremely plush interiors, set over two floors, sense of private space and overall aesthetic are bound to please. And in general Banyan Tree is a thoroughly enjoyable resort. THE ACCOMMODATION: The above mentioned overwater bungalows 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, the overall aesthetic with the overwater villas seems to be harmony with nature. The decor and furniture are generally of wood or other organic materials and plentiful native Yucatan, potted plants give them an 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 READ MORE
- One of the only three overwater bungalow resorts in Mexico, the others being the nearby Banyan Tree Mayakoba and Palafitos El Dorado resorts. Rosewood Mayakoba shares the same serene beach setting near Cancun, top quality accommodation, service and facilities, in particular its award winning spa. THE 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). PRICES: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos, on the booking page here. 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 only. La Fondita is 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. 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 overwater bungalows are the most expensive room 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. PRICES: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and READ MORE
- Punta Caracol is a boutique, eco-friendly resort in Bocas del Toro, along Panama’s Caribbean Coast. It has nine very picturesque overwater bungalows 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. ACCOMMODATION: They have just nine overwater 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 seating. 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: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos – on their Booking.com page here and on their Expedia.com page here. 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, visiting native communities etc. as well as regular boats to and from READ MORE
- Thatch Caye is a private island paradise 25 minutes by speedboat from mainland Belize. The resort is eco-friendly and the vibe a kind of rustic, barefoot chic. The entire resort allows no more than 30 people at any one time too so it also feels nicely intimate and exclusive. ACCOMMODATION: You have a choice of beach cabanas and overwater bungalows. The latter are divided between Standard and Premium Overwater Bungalows 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. PRICES: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos, on the booking page here. 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 Lounge, with one of 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 bungalow resort in Jamaica and indeed the entire Caribbean. The concept was an immediate success and the Sandals company soon followed it with overwater 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. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have a great range of accommodation to choose from; hotel rooms, suites and overwater bungalows (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. PRICES: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos, on the resort’s own website (Sandals) here, and on their Expedia.com page here. Note: Like all luxury overwater bungalows in the Caribbean the overwater bungalows at Sandals Royal Caribbean are incredibly sought after – Covid-19 notwithstanding, for the 2021 season you should really reserve your stay as soon as possible. You are allowed free cancellation on most bookings. FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO: You have a nice choice of food and drink outlets from casual eateries and 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. THE ACCOMMODATION: The accommodation choices are many, with of course the overwater bungalows 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. PRICES: Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos, on their Booking.com page here and on their Expedia.com page here. Note: Like most luxury overwater bungalows in the Caribbean the overwater bungalows at Royalton Antigua are incredibly sought after – Covid notwithstanding, for the 2021 season you should really reserve your stay as soon as possible. You are allowed free cancellation on most bookings. FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO: The resort has seven restaurants in total, with complimentary in-room private dinner and drinks service also available. The choice of food is enormous with a mixture of Caribbean, American and European to be enjoyed, both buffet and a la carte. Each eatery has a READ MORE