19 Cheapest overwater bungalow resorts in the world in 2014

Medhufushiwater_villa400Show a person a photo of an overwater bungalow or water villa and suddenly they have a new goal in life. Unfortunately, most of the 130 or so resorts that feature overwater rooms are quite expensive, usually well over US$500 per night, even in the off season.

Well, there is a bit of good news then as it turns out that not all of them are priced only for the super-rich. Thanks to the overwater bungalows and water villas guide, which lists every overwater resort in the world, we know that there are some affordable options out there.

Updated for 2014

The list of 19 resorts below has been totally updated for 2014, and all room rates are current for this year. Some resorts only have one rate, while most of the larger resorts offer the lowest rates only to those who book well in advance.

In case you were wondering, about two-thirds of the 5,000+ aquatic rooms are water villas in the Maldives, spread around more than 80 resorts. The overwater bungalows in Bora Bora are the next biggest group, though they are all way out of this list’s price range. There are also smaller groups in Moorea, Tahiti, elsewhere in the South Pacific, plus over water bungalows in the Caribbean, Mauritius, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

If you are mostly just interested in an affordable holiday in the tropics you should check our list of the cheapest Caribbean destinations.

All rates below are per night for two people including all taxes

When you are looking at individual resorts you’ll very often see a room rate that doesn’t include local taxes or service charges. This year we calculated all of those and included them in the rate we list, so it should reflect the bottom line at each hotel.

  • Maldives cheapest months: June and July
  • Bora Bora, Tahiti and Moorea cheapest months: March and April
  • Caribbean cheapest months: May through November

19 Cheapest overwater bungalow and water villa resorts

All rates on this page are per night for two people including all taxes

1 – AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$147
  • High season from US$163

Golden Palm Tree ResortOnly fully opened since late 2011, the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort (originally known as the Golden Palm Tree Resort & Spa) has 392 water villas, which is nearly four times as many as the second-most in the world. The water villas range from roomy to enormous, with the largest having 3 bedrooms. They started out as an all-inclusive resort but then changed to charging for everything separately, and not allowing outside food in at all. The resort has just completed a renovation in early 2014, after only being open 3 years, and rates are now a bit lower as well.

It’s located off the coast just south of the Kuala Lumpur Airport, so it could actually be a very cheap getaway when combined with an Air Asia flight from anywhere in the region. It’s worth noting that opening such a huge overwater resort has not been without complications, and some guests do have some minor complaints. While the rooms are new and the location is convenient, more than a few guests do find things to complain about and the review scores stay at a pretty low average. Do your research before booking this one.

>>>Check rates at the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort

2 – Eclypse de Mar Aqualodge – Panama

  • Low season from US$275
  • High season from US$275

Eclypse de Mar Resort PanamaFor those looking for an eco-resort with overwater bungalows in the southern Caribbean, the Eclypse de Mar Aqualodge is an affordable candidate. The emphasis here is on diving and snorkeling, so it’s not really an ideal place for people just looking to relax in the room. There are only 6 overwater bungalows here, two of which are special Suite Honeymoon Overwater Bungalows.

The location a short boat ride away from Bocas del Toro is part of its appeal, as it’s quite isolated from pretty much everything. For divers and adventure types, this one might be perfect. For honeymooners, it’s probably better to look elsewhere.

3 – Medhufushi Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$311
  • High season from US$529

Medhufushi Maldives ResortA Maldives resort with surprisingly appealing off-season rates, the Medhufishi Island Resort has 46 water villas built out over its stunningly clear lagoon. The water villas are fairly large for this price range, and decked out in 4-star amenities as well.

Typical of nearly all Maldives resorts, there is a diving center and a long list of water sports and beach activities available. This place gets quite good reviews, especially considering the reasonable prices, so this one looks like a nice choice for those looking for value in the Maldives.

>>>Check rates at the Medhufushi Island Resort

4 – Angaga Island Resort and Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$328
  • High season from US$456

Angaga Island MaldivesThe Angaga Island Resort has 20 new water villas to go along with its 50 existing island villas and suites. This is one of the smaller private-island resorts in the Maldives, with only one restaurant and two bars, but reviews here are very solid so they seem to exceed expectations for most.

This is a simple resort that has almost nothing to offer families or children, so it tends to draw a steady flow of couples who prefer the calm. The water villas are modern and luxurious and there are plenty of water sports and other activities available, so guests don’t feel like they are cutting corners.

>>>Check rates at the Angaga Island Resort and Spa

5 – Sun Island Resort And Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$333
  • High season from US$584

Sun-Island-Resort-Maldives300The Sun Island Resort & Spa has 68 water bungalows in addition to its 358 island rooms and bungalows, making it among the very largest private-island resorts in the Maldives. The water bungalows here are a bit on the small side, but they are nicely appointed with luxury bathrooms and appealing private terraces over the lagoon.

A larger resort like this also comes with many benefits, including a long list of water sports and other family-friendly activities. There are also 9 different restaurants and bars, so even on a longer stay guests can avoid getting bored with the food service. The huge swimming pool as well as tennis courts, beach volleyball, and fitness club should appeal to guests looking to stay busy.

>>>Check rates at the Sun Island Resort And Spa

6 – Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo – Maldives

  • Low season from US$341
  • High season from US$539

ChaayaReefMaldives300The 24 water villas at the Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo Resort are in 12 structures, so each does share a common wall with another unit. Still, guests get a lot of privacy as each room has its own terrace that doesn’t overlook the others. The resort also has 88 island bungalows, and 3 restaurants and bars from which to choose.

Reviews here are good and the rate includes breakfast daily, so it’s one to consider in this lower price range. Another benefit here is that it’s close enough to the main Maldives airport to allow for speedboat transfers, which are cheaper and more flexible than the sea-plane transfers that most other Maldives resorts require along with booking.

>>>Check rates at the Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo

7 – Coral Lodge, San Blas Islands, Panama

  • Low season from US$345
  • High season from US$398

Among the cheapest of the overwater bungalow resorts in the southern Caribbean, the Coral Lodge Resort isn’t a typical “honeymoon hotel” but it is well suited to adventurous people. It has 6 overwater bungalows and no other rooms, plus two restaurants and a spa, so it does work for couples on romantic retreats.

The downside, for some people, is that it’s also an “eco-resort” and there is limited electricity, plus no TVs or internet available. On the other hand, there’s great diving and snorkeling in the area, plus loads of other activities and tours. Similar to the other Caribbean resorts that make this list, it’s probably a better choice for an adventure holiday than for a honeymoon, at least for most couples.

8 – Gangehi Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$346
  • High season from US$474

GangehiIslandResort300Among the smaller Maldives private-island resorts with only 45 total rooms and villas, the Gangehi Island Resort is popular with Italians as well as English speakers. The 20 smaller Over Water Suites here are just offshore so they have beach access and a shallow portion of the lagoon out front. They also have 8 Over Water Del Luxe suites that are fully out over the lagoon in the more traditional style.

Reviews here are very good, especially for the modest rates. In spite of its small size, they manage to pack in many activity choices including yoga, a gym, and an Indian-themed spa. A most unusual feature here is that Gangehi Island offers the cheapest rates in the Maldives for solo water villa travelers. In fact, the rate for one person is only half the price of two.

>>>Check rates at the Gangehi Island Resort

9 – Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge – Panama

  • Low season from US$350
  • High season from US$427

PuntaCarasol300Another very interesting “eco-resort,” the Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge has 9 overwater suites in 3 different categories, and no other rooms. The best news might be that breakfast and dinner are included in the room rate, so this place probably deserves to be higher on the list of cheap overwater bungalow resorts.

Even the smallest class of overwater suites here is 2 levels with a king-size bed in an upper loft area, and a large private terrace out front. The main downside (for some people) is that this resort is quite remote, so it’s not the sort of place you can just pop by and get a room.

10 – Te Tiare Beach Resort – Huahine, South Pacific

  • Low season from US$359
  • High season from US$383

HuahineTeTiareOBs300Currently the cheapest overwater bungalow resort in the South Pacific, the Huahine Te Tiare Beach Resort is also one of the few to claim only 3 stars as opposed to the 4- or 5-stars that nearly all other overwater resorts offer. The 17 overwater bungalows here are all quite large, however, and they are set over a beautiful calm lagoon on a small island not far from Bora Bora.

The resort has 18 less expensive rooms on the island, so the whole place is quite modest in size. Still, there is a wide variety of water sports and other activities that you’d expect to find at a luxury hotel in the tropics. Guests here pay less than in Bora Bora or Moorea, yet as long as they don’t expect a 5-star property, this one could be a great deal.

>>>Check rates at the Te Tiare Beach Resort in Huahine

11 – Velidhu Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$369
  • High season from US$521

VelidhuIslandResortAerial300Another unusually affordable water villa resort in the Maldives, the Velidhu Island Resort has 20 water villas in a total of 10 structures. Importantly though, the room rates here include “half board” so guests get breakfast and dinner each day, which can be a big cost savings in a place as expensive and remote as the Maldives.

In spite of the water villas sharing one wall with another, they are quite large at 800 square feet (74 square meters), including the traditional glass floor section and a large private terrace. The snorkeling in the house reef here is excellent according to guests, and the dive center also gets very high marks.

>>>Check rates at the Velidhu Island Resort

12 – St. George’s Caye Resort – Belize

  • Low season from US$380
  • High season from US$380

StGeorgesOBs300St. George’s Caye Resort is a tiny resort on an island not far from Belize City, and its most appealing feature might be that it’s almost an all-inclusive resort. All meals are included in the room rate, as are non-alcoholic beverages, although you do get one free rum punch each day if you like. Guests staying at least 4 nights also get the private boat transfer for free.

The hotel has 6 “over the sea cabanas” and 6 island rooms. The over the sea cabanas are configured in a semi-circle over a shallow portion of the lagoon. Unlike some of the eco-resorts, these bungalows do have air conditioning and a stocked mini-fridge, but there’s no TV or entertainment system.

13 – CoCo View Resort – Roatan, Honduras

  • Low season from US$390
  • High season from US$452

CoCoViewaerial300CoCo View Resort has 16 overwater rooms that are in a total of 5 structures over its lagoon, as well as 13 rooms on the island itself. This is basically an all-inclusive diving resort, with diving packages that are only slightly more expensive than just the room itself.

The service and diving experience are excellent, according to nearly all guest reviews, so this place is a big favorite among the Scuba set. Room rates also include 3 meals per day, 1 welcome cocktail, and airport transfers. Divers get 2 dives per day plus all equipment, so it really is a fantastic deal if that’s what you are after.

14 – Meeru Island Resort & Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$392
  • High season from US$480

Meeru Maldives ResortWith 106 water villas, the Meeru Island Resort has more overwater rooms than any resort in the world except for the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort mentioned on top. There are also nearly 200 beach and island villas, so this is among the largest Maldives private-island resorts overall. The low-season rates here are great bargains for anyone looking for a tremendous number of activity and dining options.

The water villas are quite nice and fairly large so the reasonable rates seem to be due to the size of the place. There are more than a dozen restaurants and bars on the island, and even a small pitch & putt golf course. This place seems to have a lot of repeat guests, which is a good sign in this price range.

>>>Check rates at the Meeru Island Resort & Spa

15 – Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort – South Pacific

  • Low season from US$394
  • High season from US$620

TikehauPearlBeachAerial300Another surprisingly affordable option near Tahiti and Bora Bora, the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort has 24 overwater bungalows in 2 different sizes, all set over a glorious turquoise lagoon. The Pearl Beach hotel group operates several other resorts in the region, so guests can expect high standards that might be surprising for a small resort with only 37 total rooms.

Each water villa here is loaded with 4-star luxury features, including a glass-bottom table that allows guests to observe the sea life below night or day. The short flight from the Tahiti Airport adds a bit to the total price, but this is still a solid bargain in this part of the world among overwater resorts.

>>>Check rates at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

16 – InterContinental Tahiti Resort

  • Low season from US$409
  • High season from US$469

Intercontinental Tahiti ResortWith some of the best prices of all the 4-star “honeymoon style” overwater bungalows in the South Pacific, the InterContinental Tahiti Resort is perfect for those who’ve dreamed of the experience but aren’t willing to pay US$800 or more per night. There are 32 overwater bungalows here, each perched just off of a small island in the lagoon.

The location just a short distance from the Tahiti Airport is another part of its appeal. Many people going on to Bora Bora or Moorea have to spend one night in Tahiti on their way in or out of the South Pacific, so this resort can come in handy. It’s a full-on luxury resort with over 200 total rooms, so there’s a lot to like here.

>>>Check rates at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort

17 – Raiatea Hawaiki Nui Hotel

  • Low season from US$411
  • High season from US$411

While the photo might look tempting, be warned that the Raiatea Hawaiki Nui Hotel features 9 overwater bungalows that have a reputation for being among the oldest and most spartan anywhere. Located on Raiatea Island, this appears to be a 2-star hotel that was once probably much nicer.

The price could be a major temptation for some people who want to sleep in a proper overwater bungalow in the South Pacific, so this place does serve a purpose as long as expectations are in line, and you don’t mind the fact that there is no air conditioning and that the service is even more “relaxed” than most other inexpensive South Pacific hotels.

>>>Check rates at the Raiatea Hawaiki Nui Hotel

18 – Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort

  • Low season from US$414
  • High season from US$732

Sofitel Moorea AerialThere are four overwater bungalow resorts on Moorea in addition to the Bali Hai Resort in a different category. Of the four “honeymoon style” resorts, the Sofitel Moorea is the least expensive, but it’s still a solid 4.5-stars and run by a respected French hotel chain. During the low season months of March and April, rates dip to their yearly lows, although from November through May there isn’t much difference.

One of the more interesting things about this resort is that their Superior Overwater Bungalows are their most affordable category, but their Luxury Overwater Bungalows are usually only a bit more expensive even though they are much larger inside and out. During the high season months of June through August it can be tough to find any availability at all, but the weather is more or less the same the whole year so the low season is best.

>>>Check rates at the Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort

19 – Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort

  • Low season from US$422
  • High season from US$505

SofitelBoraBoraAerial300If you aren’t made of money and yet you still want to experience a honeymoon or romantic getaway on Bora Bora itself, then the Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort is probably your best bet. The 24 overwater bungalows here offer excellent value, including such luxury features as a separate bathtub and outdoor rain shower.

The resort has 2 restaurants and 2 bars, but it’s also conveniently located on Bora Bora so guests can easily reach other independent restaurants, many of which will pick you up and drop you back off for free if you call them in advance. This resort also has a “Private Island” wing that is accessible by a free shuttle boat. The overwater bungalows out there are only a bit more expensive, and guests can use facilities from both areas for the same price.

>>>Check rates at the Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort

If you are interested in going to a tropical island closer to the eastern United States or Europe you should check out our list of the cheapest Caribbean islands and destinations, which reveals where luxurious resorts go for a small fraction of the price of similar resorts on other islands.

88 Responses to “19 Cheapest overwater bungalow resorts in the world in 2014”

Expatify says:

Wow, I am surprised to see any of them under $200. Even the ones under $300 are surprisingly less than a lot of others I have seen which seem to start around the $500 and up mark.

saintsaens says:

Great, but are these prices per night or per week? Please be more specific.

    admin says:

    saintsaens, those prices are all per night, unfortunately. -Roger

    chase says:

    Just got back from Bora Bora last week, we got a good deal online for the hilton it was about 366 AUD a night for my wife and the little one. Best vacation ever, with the “GFC” expect these deals to be around for a while!

Bob F says:

We’ve stayed at the Raiatea Hawaiki Nui Hotel, and the rooms (and everything else) was great.
We’ve been to the Tahitian Islands six times, and this stay was one of our most enjoyable.

marian says:

Looking for an overwater bungalow, so I can see the fish, in South Thailand. You only show #6. Does that mean there are none?


Javaid, Thanks so much for this. I’d never heard of these resorts even though I was in Kerala last year. I’ll be adding them to this list in the coming week or so. -Roger

Shawn says:

Wow. Lovely article. However, are these prices per person per night or per room per night? Thanks!


Marsha says:

We stayed at the KC Resort and Over Water Villas and it was absolutely AMAZING! It is perched quite high on the mountain and gives you some of the best island views from the infinity pool, deck, bedroom & bathhroom… Villa was immaculate as were all the hotel facilities. Its the next best thing to an ocean over water experience. Genearl manager is European Expat who made sure every detail was always thought of. HIGHLY RECCOMEND STAYING HERE

Fokak Menny says:

Need more info about a honeymoon cheap package, where we can enjoy romantic scenary; can access adventure activities near by. Any recommendation?

David Rdguez says:

We have Just arrive from our hooneymoon in Maldivas, in Anantara.
Great overwater and food, and very Kind staff.
We try to repente.
It,s no expensive

    Ritesh Sheth says:

    Hey David,
    Was it expensive or inexpensive , also has any1 visited Maldives in the month of October , how’s the weather that time around there ?

Jessica says:

Hi there! Trying to plan an overwater bungalow vacation for my, my husband and 2 children ages 4 & 6, but lost on where to start. Any advice…looking for good value, shortest flight times from Midwest, USA, and a bungalow that will be large enough for 4.
Thanks in advance for any advice!

(Jessica, I sent you an email with the main details you need to start planning -Roger)

Brittany says:

My soon to be husband is in the military and I want to do something special for all his hard work for our honeymoon. He loves the over water bungalows butour budget is a little low. What are good cheap deals? I have no clue where to start. Thank you so much :-)



    The page above is the best place to start when looking for the cheapest overwater bungalows. I update it when I find any better deals, so this is the most current information. Once you know which area you want to go to (South Pacific, Caribbean, Maldives etc) then go to http://www.overwaterbungalows.net and you’ll find them all listed with booking details.

Lisa says:

do any of these resorts offer all-inclusive packages including food and drinks?


    Lisa, The all-inclusive water villa resorts in the Maldives generally include all food and drinks, including alcohol, and usually a few drinks each day in the minibar. Some also offer “full board” options, which includes food but not alcoholic drinks. In the South Pacific (Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti) the best you can usually get is breakfast and sometimes also dinner included in the room rate, but usually not alcohol. -Roger

Justina says:

Hi, most of the overwater bungalow I’ve searched are targeting honeymoon couple. I have 2 kids under 10 and would like to go on a family vacation to overwater bungalow during xmas/New Year break. Budget is around 10k. I really appreciate any advice regarding where to start!


    It’s true that most Bora Bora and Moorea resorts do target the honeymoon market, but most of them are set up nicely for small families as well. Most of the bungalows have a sofabed in the sitting area that would be ideal for two small ones, usually for no extra charge.

    All of the options are explained on this site: http://www.overwaterbungalows.net

    The two resorts on Tahiti itself might be good choices because they have good Kids Clubs, but so do some of the others.

Kirsten says:

I’m looking for an over water bungalow with beautiful blue water for my honeymoon in early september 2013, but we are quite young and are working with a very low budget. I will be traveling from Washington state U.S.A any suggestions? Please

Angela says:

Is August 2013 a good time to travel there? I want to surprise my husband. Budget around $6000, traveling from San Francisco! Any suggestions would be awesome!

    Jeremy Ng says:

    Hi there Angela, August is not a good time as the rainy monsoon season started in May till October

Carla says:

My partner and I are searching for the best honeymoon holiday. We are leaning toward Samoa. Are there any over water bungalows there. At good prices? Also we are planing for august 2014 is it good weather at that time? Please help

josephine says:

hi there
do any of them have swim with dolphin activities?… also, how about wheel chair accessibility or scooter availability? thanks so much

Hind says:

Hi, my honeymoon will be on 1st of may 2013 will stay for 2 weeks, want to know the prices for this period at Meeru Island Resort in Maldives, thank you,,

Kris says:

I am looking at an overwater bungalow for myself and my husband for my 60th birthday. We are both fairly active and I would like to know which resorts are better suited to our age.


amy says:

Hello, I am looking for an overwater bungalow anywhere in the world to go on our honeymoon. The only issue is that I want there to be good surfing close by…do you know of any? Thank you!

Elaine says:

Is there any over water villas in the Bahamas?



    At this point, there aren’t any overwater bungalows in the Bahamas, and none are planned. Some are being built at the Sandals in St. Lucia, to open late this year or early in 2014, and those are the closest. -Roger

Kelli says:

Prices must have really gone up in Thailand. 4 nights is over $2,200 for the villa listed above.


    Tara, thanks for this. That place looks fantastic and like good value, but without ensuites it’s not what most people are looking for. In fact, there are a few similar resorts at similar prices in Belize plus a couple even cheaper ones in Thailand that are basically part of floating villages, but I’ve stopped including those on this list because they aren’t really in the same category. Much appreciated though. -Roger

lubert says:

Anybody already try telunas beach resort? Its only S$205 (inclusive) as it said in their website.

harneet says:

Hey I am on the west coast I am planning a trip to maldeves cheap overwater on a budget for atleast 4 ngt in 3rd week in sep can you help me plan …i will leaving from SFO area


    harneet, it takes a long time to fly from San Francisco to the Maldives, although once you get there you have by far the best selection of overwater resorts. I recommend checking out this page on Maldives overwater resorts, which breaks down your choices by category, so you can look for the cheapest or the best all-inclusive, or the best with private pools, or whatever.

John H. says:

All the ones on this side of the world have water that is not too clear… any chance of something in the U.s. Virgin Islands?


    John H., sorry, but there are no “honeymoon style” overwater bungalows in the Caribbean yet. Sandals in St Lucia is said to be building some, and they might open late in 2013 or early 2014. -Roger

Mary says:

Hey I’m looking for a resort in Bora Bora to host a yoga and fitness retreat. Specifically looking for:
-Overwater Bungalow to accomodate 4-6 people
-Healthy menu options
-Space to train and practice yoga
Recommendations would be AWESOME!



    The only overwater bungalows that accommodate 4 to 6 people in Bora Bora are the suites and the Hilton and the St. Regis. They start at about US$3,000 per night, so getting 2 regular overwater bungalows is actually cheaper, and those start around US$500 per night in Bora Bora. I hope that’s affordable. -Roger

Brenda says:

Love the website! Just started researching a honeymoon trip and we are seriously considering the over the water bungalows. Thanks so much for all of your hard work and research – it sure makes it a lot easier for us newbies!

Alicia says:

Roger, thanks a million for all of your research. Maldives was not on my list, but it is now. We will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary and my 45 b-day in April around the 19th. Looks like that is the begginning of the wet season. Have you visited in April? Is the weather usually sunny or rainy?



    Thank you. No, I haven’t been in the Maldives in April, but I’ve been in Sri Lanka and other tropical islands in the area that month and the Maldives doesn’t really have a “rainy season” like most of the rest of them. April is actually shoulder season, and even then, you will usually only get a few quick showers per week, with many of them overnight. One great thing about the Maldives is that it’s a 12-month destination and storms are almost over quickly even when they arise. -Roger

Ambika says:

What are the off seasons in Maldives and Bora Bora in order to avail the discount? Also, I am from India so how could I obtain the visa for Bora Bora?

Candise says:

Hi, is there any over water villas in Boracay Island in Phillipines?

Laura says:

I would like to take my husband and children (17, 15 and 8 years old)for a last minute overwater bungalow vacation in August. We will travel from NY and any starting point would be appreciated. Thanks very much.



    Thanks for the information and comment. I’m aware of a few even cheaper ones that are basically part of floating villages in Thailand, but I’ve stopped including those on this list because surprisingly few people researching these are interested in bungalows without bathrooms or even electricity. At least 99% of the readers want the classic “honeymoon style” bungalows, so I only include places that fit that definition to some degree. But again, I appreciate the info. -Roger

Tommy says:

I definitely recommend #19 the Sofitel Moorea la Ora. We stayed there in 2007. The overwater bungalow was very nice and the snorkeling was great. The restaurants were also great. We stayed here and then went on to Bora Bora.

Le Meridian in Bora Bora was probably double the price, but the water in Bora Bora is magical. We can’t wait to revisit both islands.

Lauren says:

Hi, myself and partner are getting married at the end of July 2014. We would really like to stay in an overwater bungalow with outdoor jacuzzi or plunge pool if possible for 2 weeks arriving the end of July. We would like to find the best possible place at a reasonable price. Where would you suggest?
Thank you.


    The Maldives is by far the best place what you have in mind. There are quite a few water villa resorts with private Jacuzzis or pools there, starting at around US$400 per night during July. -Roger


@ $69.00 a night (low Season), I feel we leave these guys in the dust!
Price includes breakfast kayaks and A/C


    J. Stephen,

    Thank you for bringing your resort to my attention. Last year I stopped including the “eco-resort” places to this list because nearly everyone is interested in the honeymoon-style resorts, but I will add it elsewhere for sure. -Roger


Roger: You missed our overwater resort just south of Singapore in the Riau Islands. Telunas Beach Resort has become a favored affordable paradise for folks based out of Singapore. We’re also developing nearby Telunas Island as an even more distinctive overwater escape that you may want to feature in the next iteration of this feature.



    I’m aware of your resort and it really looks lovely. But I stopped including the small “eco resorts” with no air conditioning and few other amenities because they are really in a different class of accommodation than the honeymoon-style bungalows that most people are looking for. I do have it listed on another site though, and thanks for the reminder. -Roger

Brittany says:

My fiancee and I are trying to find a spot for our honeymoon in May. We would like to spend under $10,000 for everything flight, hotel, activities, food/alcohol with some wiggle room for at least a 7 night stay. We are used to staying in 4/5 star hotels so want our honeymoon to be the same! We’ve looked into the Hilton Bora Bora, but are assuming meals/drinks will be quite pricey that will put us closer to the 12-15,000 budget. Which of these listed do you think are the most luxury? Also, any tips on cheap flights to the bora bora/maldives areas? Thank you so much!!! :)



    You’ll definitely get better value in the Maldives compared to Bora Bora/Tahiti/Moorea. Also, May is one of the slowest months in the Maldives, so you’ll have your pick of luxury places that are offering discounts. There are many all-inclusive resorts in the Maldives as well, with room rates starting only a little higher than the places where you pay for all meals and drinks.

    It sounds like you might be coming from the US, and if that’s the case then the downside is that getting to the Maldives is no picnic. You’ll have to fly to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Qatar to change planes to get to the Maldives. It takes close to a full day there or back. But again, once you get there you’ll be able to get a Jacuzzi water villa at an all-inclusive resort for around US$500 per night, or a more basic water villa for around US$350 per night.

    The flight to the Maldives will be long, but at least it won’t be horribly expensive. I’d just look on kayak.com and choose the cheapest flight you can find. -Roger

Kunal says:

Roger, i just visited Maldives and yes, its heaven and water villas are most tempting part….but what i feel is that getting to “resort/island
” is very costly/almost equal to stay. What do you have to say abt it?



    I’m not sure I understand the question exactly, but if you are saying that the fact that most (but not all) resorts require you to book an expensive sea-plane flight to get there and back, I agree that it’s a shame. Most people rave about that flight being a big part of the fun, but at around US$500 per person round-trip (on average), it does make a whole Maldives visit much less affordable. -Roger

Crissy says:


We are trying to plan a destination for our honeymoon the end of May. We really love the over-the-water-villas in Maldives because it seems like you get more bang for your buck. But is the last week of May a bad time to go? And we would like to take the all inclusive route so we were looking at #11 Meeru Island Resort. Reviews are all over the place though…some LOVED it and then a lot of people complained about terrible service (a lotttt of ppl), so have you been here and what do you suggest?




    Sorry, I haven’t been to Meeru Island but I know it’s a popular place and that many people go back each year. I’ve noticed that people staying in the water villas tend to give the resort very positive reviews, while the reviews for those staying on the island are a bit mixed. The reality is that Meeru is one of the largest private-island resorts in the Maldives, and one of the least expensive for what you get. In other words, you might pay US$100 or more extra per night to stay in resort that gets slightly better reviews. If that’s worth it to you I can probably suggest a couple, but I think Meeru offers very good value and it would be one of my top choices in the lower price ranges for sure. -Roger

jack says:

What are the cheapest places to stay during November through to February
Most of them seem to be only cheap around june-august :/



    Unfortunately, every tropical resort in the world has a high season during the Christmas holidays. By February or in November, you can get lower rates in Tahiti/Moorea/Bora Bora, but resorts in the Maldives still tend to be a bit cheaper on those months. -Roger

Amy says:

Are there any places like this in the US that don’t require a passport?

Haydn says:

Hi Roger,

Wifey and I are looking to honeymoon in an over water bungalow somewhere, either Maldives or Bora Bora. Has to have an infinity edge pool. Could you suggest 3 of the best ones which are also ‘affordable’… i.e. $1500 US or less!?

Kind Regards,




    Overall, you get better value in the Maldives than in Bora Bora, especially for something specific like this (because the Maldives has 10 times as many resorts). In Bora Bora you’d have to book into one of the luxury suites at the high-end resorts to get a private pool, and those tend to start at around US$2,000 per night.

    Here are the best Maldives resorts with private pools, and many of these go for well under US$1,000 per night. Bon voyage. -Roger

Chad says:

Hi Roger, amazing website, very helpful in an extremely overwhelming process of planning a honeymoon!!

Like I said currently “attempting” to plan a honeymoon. I have around 10,000 to spend. And we really want something with very clear water and off the beaten path. We are traveling from the US.. What would your suggestions be?? Thank you so much



    Thank you and I’m happy to hear that this stuff is helpful. Here’s an article that explains the basics of what is available in the different areas of the world when planning an overwater bungalow vacation. After you go through that, you should have a pretty good idea of where you’ll want to go, and what the choices are in that area. -Roger

      Chad Boruff says:

      Hey thank you for the response. I think the Maldives are were we want to go. Is this do-able I our 10,000 budget in your opinion. What would your best resort recommendations be?



        Yes, I think you could do a Maldives holiday for US$10,000 or less, and you should be able to book a pretty nice resort for that. Here’s a guide to the Maldives water villa resorts, and it should help you narrow down your choices. There are different recommendations for different priorities, and on each page there is a link to the cheapest online site to book the resort as well. Have a great trip. -Roger

Katie says:

Hi Roger.

Could you tell me if there are any Over Water Bungalows in Dominican Republic please.

Giovani says:

Hey Roger,
I’ve read that a lot of resorts on the maldives have deals that if you book the whole week than they give you 2 days for free (like pay 4 nights for 6 nights, something like this). Do you know how can I get this kind of deal? The online booking sites never offer deals, they are only on a per day rate for each resort.
Thanks in advance.



    I’ve seen the “2 free days when you book a week” thing much more frequently in the South Pacific than in the Maldives, but the actual discounts are similar. In the Maldives nearly all resorts have a very high rack rate where they claim a water villa goes for, say, US$1,200 per night, and then it’s “on sale” for US$700 per night, even if they never actually offer it for higher than US$900 per night. But sometimes they do phrase it as so-called free nights. The best deals in the Maldives are always on Agoda (part of Priceline) as they dominate online bookings in most of Asia. If you put your dates in on Agoda and scroll down the listings, you’ll always see a few places that are 40% off or whatever. Those are the equivalent of the 2 nights free in other places, and they are usually the best deals on the page. Best of luck. -Roger

Andy says:

For #18, I think you meant to say “Club Bali Hai” (http://www.clubbalihai.com/) not “Bali Hai Resort”?

Andy says:

Also, Roger, can you please confirm that there are NO over-water bungalows in Bali, Indonesia?

This appears to be a misconception that a lot of people have – which is what led me to this page the first place :)




    Yes, it is Club Bali Hai that I was referring to in #18, and I’ll make that more clear so thank you.

    And it’s definitely true that there are NO overwater bungalows in Bali, and none planned that I’m aware of. They don’t have the right kind of lagoons there so it’s likely they could never build the popular style with thatched roofs and all that. There are plenty of overwater bungalows in Asia to consider though. -Roger

Charles says:

This is just a giant GO TO THE MALDIVES list. I get that you don’t want to include rickity huts over water but the Philippines does have quality places and usually they are run by foreigners who retired to the Philippines and just wanted their own personal resort but don’t understand having an online presence to advertise it.

But here is an El Nido resort that fits your list.


I’m not sure why you are leaving the Philippines out of your cheap lists. Sounds like you’ve never been there. The Philippines is an awesome budget country to travel to. Plane tickets to get there are affordable, flights within the country are cheap, taxis are cheap, massages are cheap, basically all services are cheap, 3 star hotels are cheap, alcohol is dirt cheap, bars are dirt cheap, food is cheap. And then you are more likely to have a MUCH better time than most of these Asian countries. Everybody speaks English, there are 7,000 islands, many unique places (not just all beaches and coconut trees unlike Maldives), it’s cleaner than most Asian countries I’ve been around, they believe in real toilets (not holes in the ground), you can extend visas up to 16 months (unlike Thailand), stable safe politics (unlike most of Asia), most places are peaceful people (no issues with stabbing foreigners, raping, kidnapping, guns), they embrace and actually really adore westerners to a point where it’s funny, there are BEAUTIFUL untouched mountains thriving with undiscovered wildlife, volcanoes (one having the most perfect cone in the world), etc etc etc. Come on. Stop snubbing the Philippines. Your website features the two most generic places of the country (Manila and Boracay).



    The list above is about overwater bungalow resorts, and unfortunately the 3 El Nido resorts in the Philippines are too expensive to make the cut. The reason the Maldives is so well represented is that it as MOST of the world’s overwater resorts, including many of the least expensive ones.

    If you want to rant about the Philippines being under-appreciated, there are better posts on this site to do it on. There is certainly a lot to love about those islands, including many of the things you mentioned. I’ve had quite a good time there myself, including in “generic” Boracay Island, but in some other places as well. We are adding more destinations to the site at the moment, and we’ll probably add at least one or two more from the Philippines. Thanks for your passion. -Roger

Mandy says:

We have stayed at the Te Tierra resort Huahine. I would stay again but no more 3 days.its fairly secluded which can be nice but the water ferry does get old. The water is beautiful and it truly is a Polynesian experience, but it is definitely not a 5 star resort. The rooms are older and do not have any of the see – through floors or anything.
We have also stayed at the Pearl properties. They are WONDERFUL!!


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