24 Cheapest overwater bungalow resorts in the world in 2015

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 140 or so resorts that feature overwater rooms are quite expensive, usually well over US$600 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 2015

The list of 24 resorts below has been totally updated for 2015, 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 2 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

All-inclusive, full board, and half board resorts are included

On the list below you’ll also find the cheapest half-board (breakfast and dinner included), full-board (3 meals included), and all-inclusive (3 meals and alcohol) resorts. Needless to say, these are even better deals than many of the other resorts on the list, which usually only include breakfast.

24 Cheapest overwater bungalow and water villa resorts

All rates on this page are per night for 2 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 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. There is no swimming in the lagoon below the water villas, unlike nearly all the others on this list. Do your research before booking this one.

>>>Check rates at the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort

2 – Reethi Beach Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$292
  • High season from US$382

ReethiBeachAerial300With some of the best review scores in the Maldives, the Reethi Beach Resort is an unusual bargain for water villas. You might be disappointed to learn that the 30 water villas are in 15 structures, so each shares one wall with another. But that doesn’t mean that they are not private, and each is larger than you’d expect in this price range.

The resort itself has 114 total rooms in addition to 5 restaurants and 5 bars, which offers much more choice than most other resorts of this size. If this sounds interesting to you then read the reviews and you’ll probably be ready to book.

>>>Check rates at the Reethi Beach Resort

3 – Royal Huahine Resort – Huahine, South Pacific

  • Low season from US$338
  • High season from US$383

HuahineTeTiareOBs300Currently the cheapest overwater bungalow resort in the South Pacific, the Royal Huahine 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 Royal Huahine Resort in Huahine

4 – Sun Island Resort And Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$333
  • High season from US$420

Sun-Island-Resort-Maldives300The Sun Island Resort & Spa has 68 semi-detached 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

5 – Berjaya Langkawi Resort – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$358
  • High season from US$358

BerjayaLangkawiMalaysia300The 47 overwater chalets at the Berjaya Langkawi Resort are more tightly packed than most other resorts, but they are luxurious and quite large on the inside. This resort has 350 total rooms, including Rainforest Chalets that are similar inside except they are perched among the trees on the side of a mountain.

The complication for most people could be the location, which is on Langkawi Island in northern Malaysia. It might sound hard to reach, but it’s actually similar to the Maldives in that you have to take at least two flights to reach most resorts. Especially if you are in or near Southeast Asia, this is one to consider.

>>>Check rates at the Berjaya Langkawi Resort

6 – Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge – Panama

  • Low season from US$360 (half board)
  • High season from US$427 (half board)

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.

7 – Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo – Maldives

  • Low season from US$365
  • High season from US$442

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

8 – L’Escapade Island Resort Noumea, New Caledonia

  • Low season from US$370
  • High season from US$480

l'EscapadeIslandAerial300The 25 overwater bungalows at the L’Escapade Island Resort Noumea are among the cheaper such accommodations in the South Pacific, although most people will find this one to be quite remote. New Caledonia, by the way, is just northeast of Australia, so it’s a long way from Europe and the Americas.

For those in the area, this could be a gem because it’s a Maldives-style private island with only 44 land-based bungalows to go along with the overwater bungalows. Things here are laid back though, so it’s best for those who are looking primarily to relax and enjoy the weather.

>>>Check rates at the L’Escapade Island Resort Noumea

9 – Pangkor Laut Resort – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$382
  • High season from US$450

PangkorLautOBs300Speaking of Maldives-style, the Pangkor Laut is another private island with around 140 total rooms, including 45 overwater villas. The reviews here are excellent so the room rates are very appealing for those who can transfer through Kuala Lumpur or Singapore for the short flight to a nearby island.

The resort features 7 restaurants and bars and a huge list of included water sports and other activities. The spa here has an excellent reputation of its own, which helps make this a very popular destination for the honeymoon crowd from all over Asia.

>>>Check rates at the Pangkor Laut Resort

10 – CoCo View Resort – Roatan, Honduras

  • Low season from US$404 (full board)
  • High season from US$472 (full board)

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 who pay for the Diving Package get 2 dives per day plus all equipment, so it really is a fantastic deal if that’s what you are after.

11 – Chaaya Island Dhonveli Maldives

  • Low season from US$422
  • High season from US$452

ChaayaIslandMaldives300With 148 total villas including 60 over the water, the Chaaya Island Dhonveli is one of a very few in the Maldives with its own surfing beach. The surfing packages cost a bit more, but it’s still a great deal for enthusiasts looking to add some waves to their tropical island holiday.

The reviews here are consistently very good so the value is high. Each overwater villa has a Jacuzzi tub among many other luxury features, so this is not a cut-rate resort by any means. The two restaurants and three bars also get good marks, and the nightlife here does as well.

>>>Check rates at the Chaaya Island Dhonveli Maldives

12 – Le Méridien Tahiti Resort

  • Low season from US$429
  • High season from US$569

LeMeridienTahitiOBslagoon300The 12 overwater bungalows at the Le Méridien Tahiti Resort are the least expensive and by far easiest to reach in the Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora area. The resort is only a short drive from the main Tahiti Airport, yet not at all in the flight path. This means that you can reach these rooms from Los Angeles with only a single flight and a short taxi ride.

There are 137 island rooms at this French-run chain resort, which are even less expensive. This helps make the resort one of the better stops for those who might only be able to afford a couple nights in an overwater bungalow as part of a longer holiday. Le Méridien has a solid reputation in the luxury resort market, so this one feels like good value.

>>>Check rates at the Le Méridien Tahiti Resort

13 – Meeru Island Resort & Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$432 (full board)
  • High season from US$600 (full board)

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. This rate includes 3 meals per day in addition to most activities.

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. They also offer all-inclusive rates, although the addition of alcohol to the package may not seem like a great deal for moderate or light drinkers.

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

14 – Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort

  • Low season from US$463
  • High season from US$695

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

15 – Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa

  • Low season from US$464
  • High season from US$574

HiltonMooreaAerial300The 54 overwater bungalows at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon are among the best value rooms on stilts in the South Pacific. It has a remote location on the stunning island of Moorea, but it’s only a short ferry ride and then moderate taxi ride from the transport hub of Tahiti itself.

Arguably the best resort on Moorea, the room rates here are surprisingly modest, at least outside of high season. This is a full-on luxury experience in a gorgeous setting. The bungalows with the best views will cost more, but they all have privacy features and a lovely lagoon below.

>>>Check rates at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa

16 – Le Maitai Bora Bora Resort

  • Low season from US$515
  • High season from US$585

LeMaitaiBoraBoraAerial300With 19 overwater bungalows that are perched just off shore over a turquoise lagoon, the Le Maitai Bora Bora Resort is another of the more modestly priced overwater resorts on Bora Bora. This is a 3-star boutique resort so it doesn’t have a huge list of activities like at some of the others, but that suits the guests here just fine for the most part.

The resort only has 55 island rooms in addition to two restaurants and a bar. There is also no on-site spa, although the spas at other resorts are nearby and accessible.

>>>Check rates at the Le Maitai Bora Bora Resort

17 – Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa

  • Low season from US$527
  • High season from US$679

LeTahaaWideview300Set on one of the most breathtaking lagoons in the world, the Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa very near Bora Bora is not a hotel that you might expect to find on a “cheapest” of anything list. Still, room rates here are quite reasonable compared to many others in this category. Of the 60 total rooms at this resort, 48 of them them are overwater, and all of them are unusually large.

This is a resort where most reviews include the word “paradise” so that should tell you something about what to expect. The low-season rates are appealing, although the helicopter flight from the Bora Bora Airport to the resort will add a bit to that. Fortunately, there is a cheaper way to get here as well.

>>>Check rates at the Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa

18 – Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort

  • Low season from US$528
  • 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 usually the least expensive in high season, 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 – Filitheyo Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$536 (half board)
  • High season from US$952 (half board)

FilitheoMaldivesAerial300With 16 water villas that are larger than many houses, the Filitheyo Island Resort is another unlikely candidate for a “cheapest” list, but it does qualify with very good low season room rates that include daily breakfast and dinner. With an area of 1,572 square ft (146 m²), you might not want to leave your water villa, especially with its other luxury features.

During most of the year this is quite a bit more expensive so this is one to consider for the slower summer months of June through August. The island is rather remote, even for the Maldives, but the list of included activities is long so once you are there you have all you need.

>>>Check rates at the Filitheyo Island Resort

20 – Kuredu Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$539 (full board)
  • High season from US$733 (full board)

KureduMaldivesAerial300With 300 total rooms, the Kuredu Island Resort is one of the larger private-island hotels in the Maldives. They have 50 water villas in a peaceful area off one corner of the island, so guests can choose solitude or to take part in the dozens of water sports and other activities on hand.

A larger resort like this also has the advantage of being able to offer 15 different restaurants and bars. The room rates here include all three meals per day, so it’s a far better deal than you first might think. Reviews here are also very good, and they have a small 6-hole golf course just in case you weren’t already convinced.

>>>Check rates at the Kuredu Island Resort

21 – Medhufushi Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$539
  • High season from US$860

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

22 – InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa

  • Low season from US$548
  • High season from US$788

InterContinentalMooreaAerial300Another excellent resort for those who might otherwise be considering Bora Bora, the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa has a stunning location and all the luxury a honeymoon couple could want, at a more affordable price than you might expect. The water bungalows here are all very private, and most are perched just off a small island out in the lagoon.

If you know InterContinental Hotels, you know to expect a world-class experience, with amenities like bath robes for each guest. This resort also has a dolphin center as well as a variety of activities and excursions for those who can bring themselves to leave the bungalow for long enough.

>>>Check rates at the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa

23 – Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives

  • Low season from US$557 (all-inclusive)
  • High season from US$625 (all-inclusive)

ChaayaLagoonMaldives300A fully all-inclusive resort in the Maldives, the Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa has 70 water villas in addition to 10 island villas. This is a smaller island with fewer activities than most in the area, so it’s a good choice for honeymoon couples or others on romantic retreats who might not need rental Jet Skis nearby.

As with many Maldives resorts, each water villa here has a glass floor section to observe sea life from. The house reef gets good reviews from snorkelers and divers, so there should be plenty to do for most guests.

>>>Check rates at the Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa Maldives

24 – Adaaran Club Rannalhi – Maldives

  • Low season from US$558 (all-inclusive)
  • High season from US$675 (all-inclusive)

AdaaaranRanhaliMaldivesAerial300Another resort that now operates on a fully all-inclusive basis, the Adaaran Club Rannalhi is very good value for those who like a few drinks (or more) each day of their holiday. The 34 water bungalows are in addition to 96 island rooms, so this is a mid-sized resort with plenty of activities and water sports available.

As with most Maldives resorts, they have a dive shop and diving school here. There is also the Ayurvedic Massage Centre for guests who primarily come to relax and unwind. For an all-inclusive resort in the Maldives, this one is very good value.

>>>Check rates at the Adaaran Club Rannalhi

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.

Note: This article was first published in 2012 and has been fully updated and expanded each year since.

103 Responses to “24 Cheapest overwater bungalow resorts in the world in 2015”

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!!

sandeep says:

Hi Roger,

I have been searching all the possible websites to fix a destination for my honeymoon< I liked the over the water villas, but they are pretty expensive, Am from India and am looking to cover the trip for 4 nights and 5 days with 1 lakh as budget including the air fare. can you please help me with this. prefer to get over the water villas.




    Well, you should be able to afford the #1 on the list above. It’s close to the Kuala Lumpur Airport, so you should be able to get cheap flights and easy transport. With your budget of about US$1,600, it’s the only water villa you can afford at that rate, including flights.

    Depending on where you are in India, getting to the Maldives might not be too expensive. One complication is that most of the resorts in the Maldives also require a sea-plane flight to reach the private islands, and that can add about US$1,000 to the total. There are a few resorts that are within a much cheaper speed boat ride from the airport on the list below.


    Even if you can’t afford a water villa for your whole stay, you can probably afford a beach villa at some of them, and those are very nice as well.

    Otherwise, you might consider one of the resorts on the Thai island of Phuket. They don’t have water villas there, but they do have wonderful beach and hill resorts that offer a lot of luxury at appealing prices.


    Hopefully this helps a bit. Let me know if I can offer more advice. -Roger

Donald B says:

The rates posted for cocoview in Roatan are not per night. I dive there often and a 7 night trip is like 1350.00. If your a diver this is the place to go. The resort is not fancy, but it is nice and clean and comfortable. The dive operation is fantastic.


    Donald B,

    We took the rates directly off the official Cocoview website, just recently. For all resorts on this page we include the price for two people, including all taxes. Their website currently says the rate is US$1,489 per week, per person, and that doesn’t include the 19% tax. If you calculate the total price for a couple, that’s what we show. Please let me know if I’m missing something. -Roger

Brian r says:

Hey roger. So I am planning my honeymoon for July of 2016. Just wanted to know your input on the weather in Maldives this time of the year. Also wanted to know when the best time to book the trip would be and if you have any suggestions for a complete all inclusive (food and all alcohol) overwater room and if it is possible to have room service for alcohol since I will want to enjoy my drinks on the patio from the overwater room without having to hike to get a drink. Thanks for your help


    Brian r,

    July is part of the rainy season in the Maldives, but the rain almost always comes and goes quickly, and often it takes place overnight. Here is more info on Maldives weather by month that could help:

    As for alcohol, there are about 20 resorts in the Maldives that offer an all-inclusive including alcohol. There are a few that stock the room fridge with a few beers each day, for free, but I don’t remember which they are off hand. Otherwise, you’ll probably be better off at one of the resorts that has many different bars and such, so the water villas are never far away. Meeru Island Resort has more bars than the others, I believe, and it offers very good value in general. Congrats on the events next summer. -Roger

Viveke says:

Hey Roger.

Its really Great article.

I’m Vivek, India, Planning for honeymoon in January 2016, last week and will be starting from Pune, basically looking for Over water destinations. but Not sure about Maldives, If you have any suggestions apart from Maldives.

Thanks in Advance.

Holly says:

Hi Roger- just starting my plan/search for a dream wedding on a somewhat low budget! No idea where/when/how at the moment, but I just love the over water experience. Do you recommend doing all inclusive for honeymoons? I am just thanking you for all the hard work! I have bookmarked this site and cannot wait to start planning!



    For an all-inclusive overwater resort, your main choices are a honeymoon-style water villa in the Maldives, or a diving eco resort in Central America. The overwater resorts in Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti typically only include breakfast and alcohol packages are rare.

    Since you are early in your research, you should find this article interesting about how to plan an overwater bungalow holiday. It discusses all of the available options so you’ll be able to quickly figure out what would be ideal for you. Best of luck. -Roger

Vk says:

Hi Roger ,

I am from Bangalore , India and planning for honeymoon to Tahiti and Bora Bora in July end 2015. Please let me know the cost of the trip including airfares and outwater bunglows .



    For some reason, it’s difficult and expensive to get from Bangalore to Bora Bora, not to mention that it will take more than a day each way. You could probably do it for about US$4,000 in economy class per person. July is the height of high season in Bora Bora, so an overwater bungalow will cost between US$700 and US$1,500 per night, depending on which resort you choose.

    On the other hand, you can get from Bangalore to Male in the Maldives for about US$250 per person, non-stop, and then about US$500 per person for the sea plane return flight to a resort island. July is among the cheaper months in the Maldives, so you could get a wonderful water villa starting at around US$500 per night. Best of luck. -Roger

Natalie says:

Vilamendhoo Island in the Maldives has over water bungalows for double occupancy starting at $520 in the low season, full board, to $728. Just FYI, I think that fits in to your list, and they have excellent reviews http://vilamendhooisland.com/rooms-jacuzzi-water-villas



    Thanks for the info. We’ve had Vilamendhoo Island on this list in the past, but we didn’t see any availability in that price range on our most recent update. We’ll update again in a few months, so hopefully we’ll add it back then if it’s still offering those appealing rates. -Roger

sebastian says:

Club Bali Hai on Moorea should be on this list. It is one of the best deals you can find in French Polynesia!


Leave a Comment

    Name (required)
    Mail (will not be published) (required)