33 Cheapest Overwater Bungalow Resorts in the World in 2022

Show a person a photo of an overwater bungalow or water villa and suddenly they have a new goal in life. Unfortunately, most of the 200+ 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.

Note: This article was last updated in December, 2021.


Updates for 2022 and COVID

We've been compiling this list for 10 years now, and this is the first update since late 2019. Nearly all of these resorts closed in March, 2020 as COVID was hitting. Some of the overwater bungalow resorts remain closed as of the end of 2021, and a handful of them closed permanently.

As a result, the remaining open resorts have seen very high demand and prices are up around 20% in most of the world, including Bora Bora and the Maldives. We've included the cheapest resorts in both places, even though some of them aren't actually the cheapest overwater villa resorts at this point.

In case you were wondering, about two-thirds of the 7,000+ aquatic rooms are water villas in the Maldives, spread around more than 110 resorts. The overwater bungalows in Bora Bora are the next biggest group, and as of this update only one is affordable enough to make the list below. 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. Most resorts raise prices when they don't have many water bungalows left for a given date, so you'll often see higher room rates if you are checking on shorter notice.

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

Full board and half board resorts are included

At least a couple of the resorts on the list below include 3 meals a day with the room rate, and several of those offer all-inclusive (alcohol included) packages for not much more per night. These resorts are even better deals than they first seem because food and drinks are quite expensive at nearly all of these resorts around the world.

The 33 Cheapest overwater bungalow and water villa resorts

All rates on this page are per night for 2 people including all taxes

1AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$107
  • High season from US$111

Open since 2011, the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort has 392 water villas, which until 2016 was by far the most in the world (see #2 below). The water villas range from large to enormous, with the largest having 3 bedrooms. The cheapest water villas are 4 to a structure, though they are huge and surprisingly luxurious for the price. The one main caveat is you can't swim beneath the villas, unlike nearly all others on this list, because they are high above the ocean instead of perched just over a calm lagoon.

The resort is 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. Reviews for the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort were “mixed” for the first couple years, but are now very good, which reflects the most recent management change. Check out the overwaterbungalows.net pro review of AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort if you are seriously considering this one. It's far nicer than you'd expect in this price range.

>>>Check rates at the AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort

2Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$214
  • High season from US$230

Opened in 2016, the Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson has 522 overwater villas, each with its own private splash pool. This is obviously now the largest overwater resort in the world, and it's located a bit south of the AVANI Sepang (above), and still quite near the Kuala Lumpur Airport. Similarly, you can't swim below the water villas here, but even the cheapest room class here are in freestanding structures.

Considering the huge and luxurious rooms with the private splash pools, the room rates here are amazingly low. Everything here is new, well built, and very well appointed with luxury amenities. The sheer size of the resort might be off-putting to some, but there is still a lot to like even if you don't factor in the novelty value.

>>>Check rates at the Lexis Hibiscus – Port Dickson

More overwater resorts in Port Dickson near Kuala Lumpur Airport in the same price range:

3Berjaya Langkawi Resort – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$222
  • High season from US$274

The 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 Rain-forest 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

4Reethi Beach Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$237
  • High season from US$299

With some of the best review scores in the Maldives (at least in the modest price category), 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

5Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge – Panama

  • Low season from US$291 (half board)
  • High season from US$291 (half board)

A 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.

6Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

  • Low season from US$298
  • High season from US$310

The Holiday Inn Resort on Vanuatu is another place that would be ideal for many people if not for its fairly remote location. Vanuatu is technically in the South Pacific, but it's far closer to Australia than it is to Hawaii or even Tahiti. The resort has 10 overwater lagoon villas among its room types, along with dozens of water activities and even a casino.

Recent reviews have been excellent and the value is quite good for the amenities and features the place offers. The main problem will be getting to Vanuatu, unless you are starting in Australia.

>>>Check rates at the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

7Thulhagiri Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$324 (Half board)
  • High season from US$570 (Half board)

Located on one of the smaller Maldives resort islands, Thulhagiri Island Resort has 34 water bungalows that are on the small side as well, in addition to 52 island rooms. One major benefit here is that each guest on the island is on the “half board” plan, so dinner is included in the room rate instead of just breakfast like at most others.

Another great benefit is Thulhagiri Island is fairly close to Malé International Airport, so it's not only fast to reach by speedboat, but it has among the very cheapest airport transfer rates of any resort in the Maldives. The low-season rates here are amazing, but in high season it seems harder to get a good bargain.

>>>Check rates at Thulhagiri Island Resort

8DoubleTree by Hilton Noumea Ilot Maitre Resort

  • Low season from US$325
  • High season from US$429

With 25 overwater bungalows, the DoubleTree by Hilton Noumea is on a small island just off New Caledonia, which itself it fairly close to Australia. Since it's currently part of the Hilton chain, you can expect things to be done professionally, which isn't always the case of the cheaper overwater resorts in this part of the world.

The overwater bungalows are fairly large and well appointed, with plenty of great water sports and activities on offer, but the location makes it a challenge for those not starting in Australia or New Zealand.

>>>Check rates at the DoubleTree by Hilton Noumea Ilot Maitre Resort

9Medhufushi Island Resort

  • Low season from US$343
  • High season from US$497

Featuring 46 water villas and 2 huge overwater honeymoon suites, Medhufushi Island Resort is a classic Maldives private-island destination. The affordable room rates are quite unusual at the moment so you can count on these places to book up early.

The island has a popular diving center and the usual snorkeling trips along with many other water sports so if you get bored here it's your own fault. They've also got a highly-rated spa, which could be handy if you are able to save money booking one of the cheaper water villas in the Maldives.

>>>Check rates at the Medhufushi Island Resort

10Gangehi Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$373
  • High season from US$620

The Gangehi Island Resort features 8 Overwater Villas that are just off the island and 8 Overwater Deluxe Villas that are a bit farther out on the pier, in addition to 29 Island rooms. While the overwater villas may not look as pretty as some others on the outside, they are quite luxurious on the inside and well appointed with amenities.

Considering there are only 45 total rooms you might be surprised to find 2 different restaurants and an additional bar. Reviews here are consistently great, which is another small surprise considering the modest overwater room rates.

>>>Check rates at the Gangehi Island Resort

11Embudu Village Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$376 (half board)
  • High season from US$451 (half board)

Billing itself as a 3-star resort, Embudu Village has long been considered a very solid bargain among smaller private-island resorts in the Maldives. The 16 water villas here are in 4 structures, so you'll be sharing at least one wall with other guests. Especially considering that dinner is included in the room rate, it's still a popular resort with those who want to experience the overwater rooms without spending a fortune.

The reviews here are generally excellent and it seems that they get quite a few repeat guests, so they are definitely doing something right. Embudu Village is also within a speedboat ride of the Male International Airport, so it's much cheaper to reach than most other resorts in the Maldives.

>>>Check rates at the Embudu Village Resort

12The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives

  • Low season from US$392
  • High season from US$505

One of the newest overwater resorts in the Maldives having opened in November 2019, the Standard is part of a popular chain that isn't known for cheap rooms, so these specials are very tempting. The resort has 88 total water villas in 4 different categories, along with 27 island villas.

The Maldives location is the sixth in the Standard chain, which launched in Los Angeles in 2002. The vibe is very young and hip at their other hotels, so you can expect that this is the audience they are hoping to attract in the Maldives as well.

>>>Check rates at the The Standard, Huruvalhi

13Sun Siyam Olhuveli – Maldives

  • Low season from US$400
  • High season from US$498

With 60 overwater villas, the Sun Siyam Olhuveli Resort is the most affordable of the luxurious Sun Siyam chain in the Maldives. The room rates here have always been reasonably priced considering the quality, and they stand out even more now that so many of their competitors have raised rates.

The resort has a dive center and most of the standard water sports and beach activities, including a children's pool. This is an excellent choice for those on a more modest budget because it's reached by speed boat rather than sea plane, which also saves quite a bit of money.

>>>Check rates at the Sun Siyam Olhuveli

14Azul Paradise Resort – Panama

  • Low season from US$401
  • High season from US$401

As one of the newer “eco-friendly” resorts in Panama that also features some version of overwater bungalows, the Azul Paradise is also one of the best and most affordable. Some of the others stress the “eco” part so much that they are more like overwater campgrounds, but the Azul Paradise and its 10 overwater bungalows get rave reviews from honeymoon couples as well.

Located on an island in the hot Bocas del Toro area of Caribbean Panama, this resort is also fairly easy to reach compared to some of its competitors. You can swim beneath the bungalows and there are many other water sport options available as well. At this price, the Azul Paradise should get a serious look for those looking for something romantic and interesting in the Panama region.

>>>Check rates at the Azul Paradise Resort

15CoCo View Resort – Roatan, Honduras

  • Low season from US$430 (full board)
  • High season from US$498 (full board)


CoCo 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.

16Veligandu Island Resort – Maldives

  • Low season from US$433
  • High season from US$598

The more affordable water villas here are fairly large, but there are only 10 of them so they tend to sell out quickly. The Veligandu Island Resort also has 54 Jacuzzi Water Villas, which are quite a bit larger and not quite as affordable. Still, at places like this it's not unheard of to book a smaller water villa and then find yourself upgraded to the Jacuzzi villas upon arrival.

This is a classic Maldives resort that has been a popular choice for well over a decade. In addition to the SCUBA center, the resort has a windsurf and sailing center. There are some family facilities here, so it's a good choice for those bringing a young one with them, and not the best choice if you'd rather avoid children completely.

>>>Check rates at the Veligandu Island Resort

17Royal Huahine Resort – South Pacific

  • Low season from US$429
  • High season from US$572

The 17 overwater bungalows at the Royal Huahine Resort (near Bora Bora) have long been very good value for those in search of reasonable overwater room rates in this area. This place bills itself as a 3-star resort, so that helps explain the more modest prices compared to the 4 and 5 stars that nearly all of its nearby competitors claim.

Reviews for the resort tend to be mostly positive but a bit mixed as well, so it's wise to study the recent reviews for issues that you might also be sensitive about. There is usually a reason why some nearby resorts charge 2 or 3 times as much per night for overwater bungalows. That said, if you can't afford 2 or 3 times as much per night this could still be a great choice.

>>>Check rates at the Royal Huahine Resort

18Meeru Island Resort & Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$441 (full board, Jacuzzi Water Villa)
  • High season from US$596 (full board, Jacuzzi Water Villa)

With 106 water villas, the Meeru Island Resort has more overwater rooms than any resort in the world except for the two mammoth Malaysian resorts at the top of this list. 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. The cheapest category of water villas are along the waterfront at low tide, and the larger and newer Jacuzzi Water Villas are justifiably more expensive. There are more than a dozen restaurants and bars on the island, and even a small pitch & putt golf course. This place keeps rates reasonable in order to stay fully booked all year, and many guests come back over and over. The upgrade to the All-Inclusive Plus package is sometimes free during slow months and quite reasonable the rest of the year, so this is easily among the best all-inclusive deals in the Maldives. For a closer look at this justifiably popular resort, read this Meeru Island detailed pro review with videos and photos.

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

19Sun Island Resort And Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$460
  • High season from US$743

    The 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

    20Aga Reef Samoa

    • Low season from US$481
    • High season from US$622

    The 3 Island Villas at the Aga Reef Resort in Samoa aren't completely overwater like you'll find in the Maldives or Bora Bora, but they are mostly overwater and set on a gorgeous lagoon. This is a smaller resort with only 16 total rooms, so it has a far more intimate feel compared to most others on this list.

    The location on Samoa makes it a good choice for those coming from Australia, but it's quite a bit farther from the United States so most people starting in the US prefer to stay in the Tahiti area and save a couple hours each way on the flights.

    >>>Check rates at the Aga Reef Samoa

    21Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay

    • Low season from US$582
    • High season from US$705

    With 22 overwater bungalows out of 250 total rooms, the Fiji Marriott is one of the larger resorts on this list. One advantage of a larger resort is they have more activities and services for guests, so this is a great choice for families or groups traveling together.

    The location in Fiji is a tricky one for many people because it's a longer flight than Bora Bora and Tahiti, so any savings on an affordable overwater bungalow will partly go to a more expensive flight. On the other hand, Fiji is gorgeous and a new adventure for those who might be tired of Bora Bora.

    >>>Check rates at the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay

    22Koro Sun Resort Fiji

    • Low season from US$594
    • High season from US$732

    Another overwater resort with a variety of non-traditional room types, the Koro Sun Resort is definitely worth a look if you are thinking about Fiji for a romantic getaway. The hotel has a variety of “edgewater” accommodations that aren't way out in a lagoon like you'd find in Bora Bora, but still look pretty amazing, especially at these room rates.

    Unlike many other resorts in the South Pacific region, the Koro Sun offers half-board and full-board meal plans, which helps make trip costs more predictable. They don't offer “all-inclusive” including alcohol, however, as that seems to be almost impossible to find in the South Pacific.

    >>>Check rates at the Koro Sun Resort Fiji

    23Coconuts Beach Club – Samoa

    • Low season from US$595
    • High season from US$725

    The 6 over-the-water fales (bungalows) at Coconuts Beach Club were recently renovated and are nicer than ever. These bungalows have a unique design that is meant to fit into the scenery so guests really feel that south pacific vibe during their entire stay. The lagoon isn't turquoise like in Bora Bora, but these bungalows are fun and typically far more affordable.

    As the only overwater accommodations in Samoa, Coconuts is deservedly popular. As with the places on Fiji, this island is actually closer to Australia than it is to the United States, so it's popular with Aussies and Kiwis.

    >>>Check rates at the Coconuts Beach Club

    24Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort – South Pacific

    • Low season from US$599
    • High season from US$785

    At least during the slower months (March and April), the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort has the least expensive overwater bungalows in the South Pacific. The 24 water bungalows here are fairly large for the region, and 15 of them have steps leading down from the deck into the turquoise lagoon below.

    There is only one restaurant and bar here, but they offer quite a few included activities as well as a full service spa. Room rates during high season here are more expensive so this one stands out as a real bargain during the slower months. You'll first need to fly to Tahiti and then take a short flight to Tikehau Island to get here.

    >>>Check rates at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

    The following 9 resorts are the remaining “cheapest” in the South Pacific

    25Hotel Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora

    • Low season from US$659
    • High season from US$659

    The 19 overwater bungalows at the Hotel Maitai Polynesia are currently the most affordable in Bora Bora. The bungalows aren't way out on long piers like some of the others, but they are located over a gorgeous turquoise lagoon so the feeling is the same when you are there.

    The overwater bungalows here are fairly small compared to others on Bora Bora as well, although each one does have a kingsize bed and a sofa bed so they are much larger than a typical city hotel room. If you really want to book a romantic holiday in Bora Bora, this is your most affordable option and you still get all of the romance and fun of being on arguably the world's most beautiful tropical island.

    >>>Check rates at the Hotel Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora

    26InterContinental Tahiti

    • Low season from US$751
    • High season from US$925

    The 32 overwater bungalows at the InterContinental Tahiti are perfect for many travelers, even though they aren't as remote and romantic as those on nearby Bora Bora. The overwater villas here are all located just off the coast or just off a connected moto (island), but they are over lovely clear water and a beautiful lagoon.

    The main advantage to this resort is that it's a short taxi ride from the Tahiti airport, making it ideal for shorter trips and those without a lot of extra time on their hands. If you are only coming for 2 or 3 nights, this resort could be ideal because you could be swimming below your bungalow by the time other people on your incoming flight are still waiting for their connecting flight to Bora Bora.

    >>>Check rates at the InterContinental Tahiti

    27Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort

    • Low season from US$795
    • High season from US$825

    The 39 overwater bungalows at the Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort are the most affordable on Moorea these days, which makes them ideal for many couples. Moorea is a much more beautiful island than Tahiti itself, and it's much closer than Bora Bora as well. You can fly into Tahiti and then take a 30-minute (cheap) ferry ride to Moorea, rather than a one-hour ($500) flight to Bora Bora.

    This is a Sofitel, which is a professionally run French chain of hotels, so you can expect a higher standard of service. Once on Moorea you can take a taxi or bus to reach other resorts or restaurants, allowing you to get more of a feeling for the island than those staying at a remote resort on Bora Bora.

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

    28Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa

    • Low season from US$798
    • High season from US$948

    The 8 overwater bungalows at the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort are only partially over the water, but they do have a large, private deck with steps and a ladder down into a turquoise lagoon, so it's close to the Bora Bora experience. The overwater bungalows here are huge at almost 1,000 square feet (90 square meters), so you get a lot for your money here.

    Another advantage of Aitutaki is its location near Tahiti. Unlike many of the others just a bit higher on this list, this resort is a short flight from Tahiti that isn't as expensive as going all the way to Fiji or Samoa if you are starting in the US or Canada.

    >>>Check rates at the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa

    29Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa

    • Low season from US$844
    • High season from US$977

    Another amazing deal (relatively speaking), the Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa and its 48 overwater bungalows are just off Bora Bora itself, so this is a first-class resort with a top location at a reasonable price. The overwater bungalows here are enormous at over 1,100 square feet (100 square meters), so you sacrifice nothing.

    This one really stands out as a bargain because the similar resorts just a short boat ride away in Bora Bora are now charging about double the rates that Le Taha'a are doing. They've got butler service and all of the water sports and activities, so this is no compromise at all.

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

    30Manava Beach Resort and Spa Moorea

    • Low season from US$851
    • High season from US$1,029

    The 28 overwater bungalows at the Manava Beach Resort and Spa Moorea are not as large as some of the others on this list, but they are very luxurious and offer the glass floor section in the bedroom so you can watch the sea life below from the bed. They offer a diving center and free snorkeling gear, so guests can get the full South Pacific experience when they aren't relaxing in the bungalow.

    The location on Moorea is very appealing for many people since it's much cheaper and easier to reach than Bora Bora or many of the other smaller islands. Moorea is just off Tahiti itself so guests can take either a 5-minute (affordable) plane ride or a 1-hour (cheap) ferry from Tahiti, and then the resort is just a short taxi ride from the airport or ferry landing.

    >>>Check rates at the Manava Beach Resort and Spa Moorea

    31Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa

    • Low season from US$877
    • High season from US$1,109

    With arguably the best overwater bungalows AND views in Moorea, the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort is another excellent choice for those that can not afford the fanciest Bora Bora resorts at the moment. As you can see in the photo, the lagoon is stunning and the views of Moorea are as well (Moorea is much nicer than Tahiti itself, by the way).

    This resort was built as a Sheraton and has been a Hilton for quite a few years now, so it's been a professionally run resort for at least a decade. The 54 overwater bungalows here are quite large at almost 700 square feet (62 square meters), and they are appointed beautifully with bath robes and many other luxury extras. The bungalows here also have glass floor sections, which is a key feature for many people staying in overwater suites.

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

    32InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora Resort

    • Low season from US$980
    • High season from US$1,277

    The 50 overwater bungalows at the InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort are extremely popular with honeymooners and other romantic couples, so the fact that they are still reasonably priced is fortunate. Several of the competing resorts are now charging about double this room rate for something only a bit nicer, so this is definitely one to consider.

    Unlike many of the others just a bit higher on this list, this is the full Bora Bora experience at a top-class resort. InterContinental is a worldwide luxury chain and guests will have their high expectations met. There is no spa at this resort, but guests here can pay for treatments at the nearby sister InterContinental resort, and that one IS one of the ones that is now closer to double this price.

    >>>Check rates at the InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora Resort

    33Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort

    • Low season from US$991
    • High season from US$1,233

    The final resort with room rates under US$1,000 per night in 2022, the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort is yet another of the proper Bora Bora hotels that every honeymooner dreams of booking. The 50 overwater bungalows here are set over a stunning turquoise lagoon with amazing views of the volcanic peaks of Bora Bora.

    This is a first-class resort with free snorkeling gear and tennis courts for guests, so it's a great choice for those who like to stay active while on a romantic trip. The overwater bungalows here are quite large and also have a glass table so guests can view the sea life below in their bungalows.

    >>>Check rates at the Bora Bora Pearl 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.

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

179 Responses to “33 Cheapest Overwater Bungalow Resorts in the World in 2022”

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?

Roger Wade says:

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!


    Roger Wade says:

    Shawn, those prices are all per room per night, based on double occupancy. Thanks for the kind words. -Roger

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 🙂

    Roger Wade says:


    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?

    Roger Wade says:

    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!

    Roger Wade says:

    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

    Roger Wade says:

    Kirsten, I get this question a lot, and the overwater bungalows that most people dream of start at around US$300 per night on Tahiti, and a bit more on Moorea and Bora Bora.

    Here’s an article that best describes where the resorts are and what they cost:



    Amanda says:

    for honeymooners I recommend you look into having honeymoon registries set up for your wedding. there are a few that you can use. I chose Honeyfund because it allows you to use your money how you want and it’s free. the good thing is if you set it up and do not have enough money you can plan your first anniversary trip. congratulations enjoy!

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?

    Roger Wade says:


    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.

    Roger Wade says:

    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

    Roger Wade says:

    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?

    Roger Wade says:

    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!

    Roger Wade says:


    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?

    Roger Wade says:


    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.

Tara @ Miles To The Wild says:

A few months ago, we stayed at even a cheaper OWB in Indonesia! http://www.milestothewild.com/waigeo-and-the-worlds-cheapest-overwater-bungalows/

    Roger Wade says:


    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.

    Roger Wade says:

    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

J. Stephen Crabtree says:

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

    Roger Wade says:

    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

Brad Fleming says:

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.

    Roger Wade says:


    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!!! 🙂

    Roger Wade says:


    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?

    Roger Wade says:


    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?


    Roger Wade says:


    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 :/

    Roger Wade says:


    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,


    Roger Wade says:


    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

    Roger Wade says:


    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?

        Roger Wade says:


        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.

    Roger Wade says:


    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 🙂


    Roger Wade says:


    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).

    Roger Wade says:


    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.


    Roger Wade says:


    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.

    Roger Wade says:

    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

    Roger Wade says:

    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.

    Roger Wade says:


    Here is a list of all of the overwater bungalow resorts in Asia outside of the Maldives. There are a couple others in India that aren’t on the list, but they are on small lakes in Kerala, and not really in the same honeymoon category. Best of luck and congratulations. -Roger

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!

    Roger Wade says:


    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 .

    Roger Wade says:


    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

    Roger Wade says:


    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!

Bruno says:

We have been to an overwater bungalow resort in Malaysia, which does not seem to be featured here. It is the Avillion in Port Dickson, Malaysia. It features overwater bungalows in Malaysian style, with four-poster beds and a daybed. It also has open bathrooms where you can see the seawater below. The rates are comparable to the Avani, but the resort is not as gigantic. We stayed in both, and we prefer the Avillion over the Avani.

    Roger Wade says:


    Thank you for this. I’d never heard of the Avillion even though I’ve searched for these resorts for years. I’ll check it out and will probably add it to this list during the next update. -Roger

Jessica says:

I am wondering what the difference between half board and full board is? Also, I will be traveling from the US, any tips on flights? (Best sites etc.) Thanks in advance!

    Roger Wade says:


    Half-board means that the room includes breakfast and dinner for each guest, while full-board means it includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Neither of those includes alcohol though, as those places are called “all-inclusive.”

    As for flights it depends on where you are flying to, but generally I use Kayak.com myself. All of the airlines that fly to the South Pacific and Maldives use wide-body planes for the long-haul flights, so they should all be quite comfortable. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Mel says:

Hi Roger,
Great list of over-water bungalows. Thanks for putting this all together.
Hubby’s 50th is coming up in November ’16 and I want to take him somewhere special (the shorter the flight times from Australia the better but open to South Pacific, Maldives or Caribbean.
We want privacy when in the bungalow/private pool, a town close by where we can go for strolls, shopping, massages and/or dinner but most importantly it should be a place where one is made feel welcome by locals. We’ve been to Bali and the Philippines and would never go there again to offer some comparison. Not sure how to put it but basically in both places we couldn’t wait to be under Western people back home again.
Do you have any suggestions, keeping weather in November in mind?
Thanks in advance!

    Roger Wade says:


    Thank you for the nice words. If you are looking for what I like to call “honeymoon-style” overwater bungalows, then you’ll want to go to either the South Pacific or Maldives.

    And if you prefer a town nearby, you are going to want to focus on the South Pacific. The Maldives has about 80 overwater resorts, but by law, each is on its own private island so you have to take a boat ride to get to an island where people live and work, which can be far away from many resorts. On the other hand, this also solves the non-welcoming locals problem because the only people you see are other guests and employees, so you are always treated very well and never hassled.

    And I know what you mean about places like Bali and the Philippines. I’m actually in Negril, Jamaica at the moment, and as lovely as it is, the big negative is that visitors are hounded mercilessly by nearly everyone they encounter.

    On the islands of Bora Bora and Moorea, the locals are small in number and generally very respectful, so those might be your best options if you can afford them. Each island also has several little villages and off-resort restaurants and shops, so you can actually walk around in a pleasant environment.

    The November weather is quite good in both of those areas, and it’s almost the same all year round. Both places have rainy seasons, but the rain comes and goes quickly (often overnight) and it can make for amazing sunsets. And rainy seasons are cheaper as well, so many savvy travelers prefer them.

    Best of luck on the birthday trip next year, and let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

Sanne - Spend Life Traveling says:

Nice list.
And as much as I am a fan of traveling on a budget, I think at times spending a little more can increase your experience by a lot, especially for a luxury vacation like this.
For example Sun Island and the Chaaya resorts in the Maldives are really not that great. Spending a little bit more, when possible, will give you a so much better experience, at least from my experience with resorts in the Maldives.

Martina says:

Hi Roger,

thanks for this list, helps a lot! If you keep updating it people like me will be forever grateful 🙂

What really bugs me with most of these resorts is how conveniently they charge you hugeee amounts of money for transfers and how you are not allowed to come to the island by any other means otherwise they will not let you check in (?!). I mean for the price of a 15-min obligatory seaplane ride I get halfway around the world! ughh

    Roger Wade says:


    I appreciate the kind words and that this research is helpful. And I agree that the price of the mandatory sea-plane flight in the Maldives seems high, although on the other hand, most people rave about them as one of the best experiences of their entire trip. So those Maldives sea-plane flights are like a wonderful thrill ride, that will cost you about US$900 per person. About 20 Maldives resorts are close enough for speed-boat transfers, which are only about US$150 per person. And some offer both.

    The Maldives tourism industry is heavily regulated and each of those resorts HAS to be on a private island. There are no general passenger ferry services that just go island to island, except for some used by workers to go from nearby islands to the resorts. So unfortunately, the only way to get to most of the islands is by sea-plane or private yacht. There are some great resorts close enough to the airport for speed boats, so maybe one of those will work for you? -Roger

Greg says:

I’m pretty sure this one is cheaper than any on this list: nalusuanislandresort.com

    Roger Wade says:


    You may be right about that, but a few years ago I decided to stop including the basic shacks on stilts and I only list the proper “honeymoon-style” overwater bungalows, because that’s what people reading this article are looking for. I’m aware of several other places in Thailand and nearby that are part of floating villages where “overwater” rooms start at around US$20 per night. Either way, I appreciate the comment. -Roger

      Greg Bloom says:

      Thanks for the response, Roger. Yeah you have a point, I actually know some $5 overwater cottages in the Philippines, but they are extremely basic, bamboo-shack-over-mangrove affairs. Nalusuan may not be quite up to the level of the ones you list, but one could argue that it should make the cut – private island, great snorkeling,and reasonably luxurious cottages, all for about US$100. Worth putting on your radar at least. Btw I have no affiliation with the resort, just reviewed it for Lonely Planet and recognize it as a uniquely good deal. .

Maui says:

This list is great! I’m not sure what you are, a local, a savvy traveler, a writer, or a sale rep of resorts, but I’ve been looking for someone like you to pick brain 😛
I have one thing left on my bucket list, which is a Tahiti vacation in a NICE water bungalow! After dreaming about it long enough, I made that a “plan”, no longer a “dream,” and the exclusive savings I opened about 5 yrs. ago with a goal of $10K is about to fully mature! Now it’s really time for me to finalize my travel plans. EXCITED but nervous, because I don’t want to make mistakes of choosing a wrong island, hotel, season, etc. Per my initial research back then, those “fancy” bungalows (not even suites or villas) were no less than $2000 per night. The price you listed seem far below that line. Am I missing something here, or those prices have come down over the years? I don’t need a HUGE space but a private deck and a private pool will be great. Some view out the bungalow (of the resort or the shoreline v.s. absolute darkness at night) is preferred. I’m thinking about possibly moving rooms from a lower-end unit (for 2-3 nights) to THE BUNGALOW for GRAND FINALE for 2 nights. Honestly, as amazing as the bungalow experience shall be, I think I will get ‘used to it’ after a few days. Oh, also I would like to keep this trip no longer than 5 nights. (Unfortunately I have a limited time, and just to experience the bungalow is THE main objective!! (FYI: the origin of flight is LAX.) What are your recommendations for the island(s), resort(s), and particular bungalow(s)? Mahalo!

    Roger Wade says:


    Thanks for the kind words. I’m a travel writer and obsessive researcher who likes to put together lists like this, and not a travel agent. I only started researching these things about 6 years ago and I don’t think prices have changed too much since then. The room rates quoted on this list are full prices including all taxes and fees, and you can indeed get an amazing overwater bungalow in Bora Bora for around US$500 per night in low season, and only a bit higher most of the rest of the year.

    From LAX you are in a very good spot because most of these trips include a flight from LAX to Tahiti. From Tahiti you can take a very short flight to Moorea or a one-hour ferry ride, or a one-hour flight to Bora Bora. Those are the two best islands with the best choices, and both are stunning. Tahiti itself is a bit of a dud in that regard, but it’s nice enough for a short stay.

    And I think your plan to book an island room for part of your stay is a good way to save some money. Actually, you stand a decent chance of getting upgraded to an overwater bungalow for some of those days as well, because those booked in the overwater rooms for part of their trip are the first to be considered if any of them are empty.

    Here are the overwater resorts in Moorea, and the overwater resorts in Bora Bora. The overall quality is very high and I’m sure you’ll find one that suits you. Since money is a consideration you might want to focus on Moorea because the round-trip flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora is quite expensive in itself. Have a great trip. -Roger

ashley says:

Hi Roger,

Great website and list! Do you happen to know which of the resorts (in the Maldives) on this list you can get to by speed-boat transfer?

Fiona says:

Hi Roger,

Thank you so much for your informative website -you have literally cut my honeymoon planning time in half! I have literally bookmarked all your articles because they are that helpful!

We are planning to go to the Maldives in september 2016 for our honeymoon and I’ve always dreamed of staying in one of those water bungalows!!

Only thing is that I can’t swim -would this be a problem?

Also we are coming from Australia via Singapore so our flight lands in maldives at 10.30pm. We are thinking of staying in a resort nearby (not a fan of seaplanes to be honest) considering Cinnamon Dhonveli. Do the speedboats operate this late? Or do you recommend staying 1 night in male/singapore and go to the resort in the morning?

Oh and roughly how much are speedboats for a 20 min ride?

Thanks so much in advance!

    Roger Wade says:


    Those overwater villas in the Maldives are amazing and you’ll love them. Fortunately, swimming isn’t at all necessary. The decks and piers are all very safe, so it would be easy to do a whole holiday without getting wet. And even if you did somehow fall in (extremely unlikely), you’ll be happy to know that the water is usually between .6 meters to about 1.5 meters deep, depending on tide. In other words, even shorter people can almost always just walk on the sand over to one of the many ladders or just straight up the beach. There’s nothing to worry about.

    Cinnamon Dhonveli would be a great choice for a place reachable by speedboat, and Meeru Island is another excellent choice nearby. The speedboat to Cinnamon Dhonveli is US$168 per person return, and to Meeru it’s US$220, I think. Some of the speedboats do operate late at night, but I think it’s a waste of money to spend around US$500 for a night at a resort where you wouldn’t get to your room until midnight or later. I’m actually going to write a full article soon to explain the best option for this. The short version is this: Fly into Male and book one of the hotels on the island of Hulhumale, which is connected to the airport island by road. I can personally recommend a hotel called the Maakanaa Lodge, which I stayed at a few weeks ago (and it’s the #1 rated hotel on the island on TripAdvisor). The hotel will have someone to meet you at the airport to bring you to the hotel, and they will make you breakfast in the morning before taking you back to the airport for your speedboat ride. It will cost around US$100 for the night, including pickup, dropoff, and breakfast, and you’ll get to your resort by speedboat by around noon the following day, so you can make full use of it. I’ll link my article describing this once it’s published. Feel free to ask other questions if you have them. -Roger

      Fiona says:

      Thank you for your response Roger! Are we able to book a speedboat once we land in Male or should we book it beforehand when booking flights and accomodation?

        Roger Wade says:


        The speedboat booking is done along with the resort booking. In other words, when you go to book a resort (Agoda.com has the best online rates) then they will also ask you for your flight details. When they see that you are coming in late, they will contact you to give you details on when your speedboat will leave in the morning. It’s part of the process for every guest they have, and they will make it easy on you. The resorts own and operate the speedboats, so it’s just a matter of determining the best time to schedule you and the other guests arriving from the airport that morning.

        By the way, the speedboat piers are directly at the airport, maybe 100 to 200 meters from baggage claim. It sounds a bit confusing the first time, but it’s very easy once you get there. I’m doing a video about this process as well, and I’ll post it soon and put the link here. Bon voyage. -Roger

Fiona says:

Thank you Roger!!

Sorry last question -do I need to carry much cash with me on the resort? From past experiences, I’ve often found that a lot of resorts allow you to charge food/drinks/activities to your room or take credit card. Plus I prefer not to carry too much cash around and a lot of the resorts in Maldives include food in accomodation depending which option you select.

    Roger Wade says:


    The Maldives resorts typically operate in that you charge everything to your room and then pay by credit card as you leave. It’s a generally safe country, but they don’t want to deal with a lot of cash either. Also, all the prices will be in US dollars and everyone accepts USDs, so you won’t need to change money at all. Bon voyage. -Roger

Parind says:

Hello Roger! Really liked your research and every detail about these hotels. I went through each and every hotel/resort in Maldives that you have mentioned here but could not really find budget deals for over water villas. I am planning to go to Maldives in March 1st week 2017 for my honeymoon. Could you suggest any particular resort in the range of 3000£-3500£ for 7-8 nights?

    Roger Wade says:


    I think one problem might be that you are checking the Maldives room rates too early. In my experience, the resorts will show their higher prices starting 11 months out, because anyone searching that far in advance for specific dates is usually not looking for a bargain. What happens is they book very few rooms at the higher rate, and then about 7 or 8 months out they start discounting once they see how many rooms they have left for any given period. March isn’t one of the busiest months in The Maldives, so almost none of those water villas are booked now.

    My advice is to search for resort prices for this coming October or November and see what the rates are looking like. Chances are that if you wait until August or September, you’ll see those same rates for next March. And I hope you are seraching on Agoda.com, because they have all the best online rates in the Maldives.

    Personally I can recommend Meeru Island and Cinnamon Dhonveli as great choices that are also within a speedboat ride of the airport. Most resorts are only reachable by sea-plane and that adds about US$500 per person to the total, where as a speedboat will be around US$200 per person, return. Congratulations and best of luck with your honeymoon. -Roger

Jerry says:

I really like the info about the overwater bungalows, however I think I may have been mislead or given false or bad information in the past. You seem to have a lot of knowledge on these bungalows, so maybe you can help and assist me to get the issue cleared up.
Are there any over the ocean bungalows in Bali, Ike the ones you have listed?

    Roger Wade says:


    It’s strange because many people seem to be under the impression that there are overwater bungalows or water villas in Bali, but there aren’t and never have been. There are a few overwater diving resorts on other Indonesian islands, all a long way from Bali. And there is an old resort in Moorea called the Bali Hai Resort that has a few overwater bungalows along its shore.

    Not only do I do a lot of research on overwater bungalows, but I’ve also spent a lot of time in Bali, including a month there in February. I can assure you that there are none there at this point, unfortunately. And I don’t think the lagoons there are the kind that would be good for them in the future either. -Roger

Glynn says:

Are there any overwater bungalows in the eastern or western carribbean or around Mexico? Thanks

Rachel says:

This is such an awesome list! I’ve been researching overwater bungalows for a little over a month now and literally have not seen any prices like this.

I’m planning a trip with friends (6 persons total) for my 30th birthday in June 2017. We had our eyes set on the Maldives or Bora Bora, but really just want the overwater bungalow experience. I’ve seen pictures of multi level bungalows that seem like they would be ideal for a group, but I can’t find any listed anywhere. Do you know if those are actually available? Or do you have a recommendation for group travel?

    Roger Wade says:


    I’m always happy to hear that people find this information helpful. Unfortunately, group travel to overwater bungalows is never a bargain. While you can find an overwater bungalow for a couple starting at around US$400 per night (or a bit less in some cases), the places that offer the huge 2-bedroom overwater suites start them at around US$3,000 per night. The only 3-bedroom water villas that I’m aware of are in the Maldives, and they run from about US$5,000 to US$15,000 per night. In other words, you are best off looking for 3 neighboring water bungalows at a modest resort unless you have a massive budget.

    Feel free to have a look yourself. In Bora Bora you can find them at the Hilton and the St. Regis. And in the Maldives you can find them at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Dusit Thani Maldives, Gili Lankanfushi, Niyama Resort, both Four Seasons resorts, and a couple others.

    June is the slowest month of the year in the Maldives, and it’s one of the busiest months (along with July) of the year in Bora Bora, so you’ll get far better value in the Maldives in June. It’s actually better value in general, although it takes a long time to get there from the US and Canada.

    Depending on who is in your group, you could conceivably get 2 water bungalows. In both places they pretty much all have sofa-beds and will allow 3 adults per room. Some in the Maldives even have separate bedrooms, but only a few resorts in each region actually allow 4 adults per bungalow. This is obviously my favorite subject so feel free to follow up with other questions if you have them. -Roger

jason says:

Si Phan Don in Laos is a great place to go. We rented an over water bungalow situated over the mekong river for $1/night in 2004. Not a misprint. Even assuming inflation, I imagine that it is still a deal. Obviously it wasn’t the lap of luxury but a unique experience nonetheless. In fact, all of Laos is wonderful and extremely reasonable and I highly recommend a visit. The people are warm and welcoming.

    Roger Wade says:


    I appreciate the comment, and I’ve spent a good chunk of time in Laos, and I’m fond of those kinds of places you mentioned as well. However, several years ago I decided to exclude these sorts of places from this list, since at least 99% of the readers who find it are looking for “honeymoon-style” overwater bungalows, rather than shacks in floating villages in remote areas of Southeast Asia. There are several of these in Thailand as well, which I no longer list. And there are even some “camping style” places like this in Belize that I also leave off. If I listed all of these water shacks at the top of the list, almost no one would actually find it helpful. Thanks again though. -Roger

Nicole says:


I am in the beginning stages of researching a perfect honeymoon resort. I am looking at all inclusive preferably, strying in an overwater bungalow and am not sure of my budget quiet yet. I have seem a lot on Bora Bora and Maldives. Do you have any other recommendations. This is will happening next year. Also what are your thoughts on Belize, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. We would like to make it as relaxing as possible!

Thank you!

    Roger Wade says:


    If you are looking for one of the “honeymoon-style” overwater bungalows, there are about 130 of those resorts in the world, and about 80 of those are in the Maldives. There are another 25 or so in Bora Bora, Moorea, and elsewhere in the South Pacific. The rest are mostly in tropical Asia such as Malaysia of the Philippines. There is exactly one overwater unit on a private island resort in Belize, and none in Nicaragua or Venezuela.

    There are also a couple of those being built in the Caribbean, thought they will be very expensive when they open later this year. For a complete list of all of the world’s overwater bungalow resorts, have a look at that site.

    There are a couple places in the Caribbean that might work for you, so that’s one to consider first. Good luck with this and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Patricia says:

Are there any over water bungalows anywhere that are wheelchair accessible? My husband is paralyzed from the chest down so we would require accommodations that have a bathroom with grab bars for the toilet as well as a roll in shower with a bench. I see something above where something in the Caribbean is mentioned. We live on the East coast of the U.S. so that would work for us too. I would appreciate any advice you could give me. Thank you.

    Roger Wade says:


    I’m not aware of any specific resort that has wheelchair accessible rooms, but I’d be surprised if quite a few places didn’t have them. The nature of these resorts is that all of the overwater rooms are reached by a stroll on a flat and wide pier from the island, so at least getting to the front door should be possible in almost any of them. Also, most of these resorts have large, deluxe spa bathrooms, which are much larger than a typical hotel bathroom. So really, all they’d need is the grab bars, and the rest is already done. I’d look at the websites of the resorts you are considering, and it might say something there. If not, send them an email and I’m sure you’ll hear back.

    Here is a list of overwater bungalow resorts in the Caribbean. Most of those are simple “eco resorts”, but there are some new luxury places opening soon. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Kristin says:

Hi Roger,

If I rent two bungalows, where is the best place to take older children (21, 18 and 15)? I have been warned that most accommocations are for honeymooners and don’t have enough entertainment for families. Thank you.

    Roger Wade says:


    It’s true that many of these resorts are oriented towards romantic couples, but many of them in the Maldives and also Bora Bora have Kids Clubs in addition to a long list of water sports and other activities for teens. It really depends on where in the world you are hoping to go. In the Maldives there are at least 10 larger resorts where those older children would stay entertained all day and all night. In Bora Bora and that area, there are at least 3 or 4 resorts like that. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Alem says:

All these places look amazing. Me and my husband are planning to travel in January but don’t know where to start.

Tom says:

Hi there, I am wondering if you have any lists for private/plunge pool destinations?

    Roger Wade says:


    As far as water villas are concerned, nearly all of the water villa resorts with private pools are in the Maldives. Those start at around US$700 per night and go way up from there.

    If you don’t need an overwater room, your best bet for affordable resorts with private pools would be Phuket. Here is a list of the best Phuket resorts with private pools. You’ll notice that #6 on that list starts at US$149 per night in the off season, and there are many others in that range as well.

    Also, the #2 on the list above has a plunge pool with every water villa. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

ian says:

I need help. I have booked 2 villas at the Lexis Hibiscus for next Dec 2017 after reading your website. Trouble is they now want me to pay the full amount now nearly $5000 and so close after christmas, I haven’t got this amount of money. I know they say check the terms and conditions but I have never ever had to pay the full amount 12months in advance. I have asked BOOKING.COM to cancel the booking but they say it is now up to the resort. What can I do?

    Roger Wade says:


    Sorry to hear that. Depending on the property, booking.com allows you to pay upon check-in, or sometimes they give a better rate for advanced payment. If you opted for advance payment then it’s up to them. Good luck with this. -Roger

Armaan says:

Hi so my question is which one of these villa resorts are all inclusive?

    Roger Wade says:


    Meeru Island in the Maldives (#13) quotes rates as full-board, but they have an All-Inclusive Plus upgrade that is reasonable most of the year and free during the summer months. The others that say Full Board also offer all-inclusive. -Roger

Lauren Henderson says:

Hi Roger! we will be going on our honeymoon around october 9th of this year. I know october is an iffy weather season for some places. where do you think we should go at that time of year?thanks!!

    Roger Wade says:


    Actually, the October weather is very good in the main destinations with overwater villas. They are mostly clustered fairly close to the equator, while the monsoon and hurricane seasons are more focused north of that. If you can get to the Maldives you’ll have by far the most choices. If not, the Bora Bora and Moorea area is also excellent.

    Now that there are some overwater bungalows in the Caribbean (Sandals has 2 resorts in Jamaica and one opening soon in St. Lucia), the hurricane season will be an issue for some people. Still, the chances of any one hotel being in the path of a hurricane in a given week in October is less than 1%. And the chances that any guest gets trapped at a hotel with a hurricane hitting it are basically 0% because they have so long to shelter or evacuate.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Lynda says:

Great article and advice!!!! thanks so much 🙂
Would you be aprehensive taking a 5 month old baby on a speedboat?

    Roger Wade says:


    Obviously it’s up to the parents whether to take an infant on a speedboat, but I can tell you that the sea is usually quite calm in the larger atolls in the Maldives. However, the hull does bounce up and down a bit as it goes, and the engines can be fairly loud on some boats. Each resort owns or leases their own boats, and you might be picked up in one and dropped off in another. They are safe and modern, so I don’t think there is a real worry other than perhaps the engine noise, and maybe there are earplugs or something? Have a great trip. -Roger

Brian says:

From KL fly into Terrenganu and from there a speed boat to Gem Island
Great overwater bungalows. Really competitive pricing. Island has no other hotels or accomodation.. It is a turtle sanctuary and breeding island
There is great snorkeling and they cater the most beautiful weddings. Guests can either stay or be ferried in from the mainland. Well worth the trip.
Restaurant on site is pretty good as well.

    Roger Wade says:


    Thanks for the information. They say their bungalows “hug the sea front” so they aren’t really overwater in the sense we are looking for. It looks like a nice place though. -Roger

Noemi says:

Hi Roger,
First of all, thank you for all that you do and for taking the time to answer all of our questions…you rock! My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon and really really want to go to Bora Bora. The only downside of this is that we can only go the first week of February. What are your thoughts about going in February in regards to rain, heat, humidity, and mosquitoes? I hate mosquitoes!!! They love my blood! Also, I have been doing my research and it seems there’s some sort of striking going on at the airport there in Tahiti resulting in flights being cancelled and I’d hate for our honeymoon to be cut short because of this. Any other destination you’d recommend for February that would have nice weather and OW bungalows? Thank you 🙂



    I’m happy to try to help. This is the first I’ve heard of that strike, and I wouldn’t worry about it because tourism is most of French Polynesia’s economy. In other words, no one wins if they shut down the hotels, so it will never happen.

    As for February, it’s part of the more-humid season there. But honestly the weather in that area is almost the same all year round. From November to April you get a few more quick rain showers each week than the rest of the year, but the temperature is almost the same. Especially if you are staying in an overwater bungalow, you’ll get pleasant breezes most of the day, so it doesn’t feel as hot as it would if you were in a city. Also, the rain storms usually last only 30 minutes or so, and they often happen overnight. The ones during the day are usually in the late afternoon, and they usually leave behind some stray clouds that make for amazing sunsets.

    As for the mosquitoes, they don’t bother me much and I haven’t heard of them being a big problem for anyone. My suggestion would be to check the TripAdvisor reviews from this past February for any resort that you are considering, and see what the guests said. If many of them mention mosquitoes as a problem, then it might be a problem for you.

    There are now some just-opened overwater bungalows in the Caribbean at 3 different Sandals resorts. Two are on Jamaica and the other is on St. Lucia. February is the heart of the dry season there. The only bad part is that they are in such high demand that room rates are high and they are sold out many months in advance.

    The only other place with overwater bungalows like that is the Maldives, which has about 90 resorts with them. It’s a wonderful place, but if you are in the US then it’ll take you a full day to get there and to get back. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

John Parker says:

Hi Roger,

I’ve heard that some of the financial backing for these types of resorts comes from states who have sponsored terrorism & there’s a concern we may be using our money to support people who don’t appreciate it.

For instance, I’ve heard that the ferry services in Tahiti mainly operate for the locals and don’t really care much about the tourist.

I’ve also heard that the facilities in the East since you have to fly through the Gulf are mainly supported by nations who have a financial interest.

What can you do to assure us that our honeymoon $’s are going to the right sort of business people?



    I’ve taken the ferry back and forth between Tahiti and Moorea and it was mostly tourists on my boat. Polynesian people aren’t known for great customer service in general, but I’ve always been treated pretty well. I just made a list of the cheapest of the overwater bungalow resorts. I don’t have an ethics scorecard, partly because my scorecard might look different than yours. Hopefully you can find your answer elsewhere. Sorry I couldn’t help more. -Roger

wiwin says:

Hi ROger,

you can check Pulo cinta Eco resort in Gorontalo, Indonesia also Ora Beach Resort in Maluku, Indonesia



    Thank you. I wasn’t aware of those and I will look into them. We don’t always add “eco resorts” to this list because people who find this list have a strong preference for “honeymoon style” places, but we will take a look. -Roger

Jackie Allen says:

any over water bundaloos in Fiji

DeCosy says:


Family of 4 looking for spend 5 nights in OWB. Where do you recommend?


Sherrie says:

Dear Roger,
Can you tell me why the first 2 Malaysian OW resorts don’t aloww swimming under the bungalows? Thanks.



    Those Malaysian resorts are lovely and I’ve visited them, but they are over the ocean rather than over a lagoon. Most of the resorts with water villas are in the Maldives and Bora Bora, and those are all over clear lagoons that are almost like swimming pools. The Malaysian ones are over regular bays and oceans, so the tide is fairly strong. You actually CAN swim under the water villas, but it’s a long way down and there are no stairs or ladders. You’d have to go to the shore and swim out, and there isn’t much point in doing that. The two huge Malaysia resorts are so large that the villas are hundreds of meters from shore. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Kusuma says:

Hello Roger,

I am really impressed by reading all the answers that you have given for the queries and I really think you are giving quite honest reviews. I am from India and planning to visit the Maldives with my parents (in age group 50+) this year, 2018, in the third week of december. I have the following queries if you could please clarify:

1. We are definitely interested in either over water villas or water front cottages and I have checked Meeru’s reviews etc, where i have read about some renovation being needed for the furniture etc. The point is that since we are paying so much, for that money if we do not get pristine facilities and interiors, it is a waste for us. We also read that Meeru staff sometimes force guests to swap rooms. So i wanted to ask you can you please suggest some resorts which is not very far from airport and and is worth the money (we are looking for locations that can provide all inclusive rates of up to 700$). Further will these resorts provide excursions like Meeru provides such as submarine outing, island hopping, cruise etc..

2. Secondly I wanted to know if December third week is a good time to travel to Maldives ? I know rates are high during this time but off season might end up being hot or rainy ?

3. Is the weather alright in December ? Can you please tell me which part (northern or southern atoll) faces rain during December? If so, which resort islands must we focus on to avoid rain ?

Waiting eagerly for your response




    I’m happy to try to help. I stayed at Meeru a couple years ago and they showed me many different villas in different categories and all were very nice. It’s true that the beds and sofas might have been a few years old, but everything I saw was very nice, especially for the rates they charge. I talked to many guests and half of them came back every year. The resort in general gets fantastic reviews, although every hotel gets some negative reviews that complain about certain things. Of course, the main reason to go to the Maldives is to relax in the sun and swim in the lagoon or at the beach, or in the private Jacuzzi on your deck.

    There are newer resorts that likely have newer beds and sofas, and most of them charge 50% more than Meeru for similar water villas. I’m not aware of a new resort in that category with rates that are similar. Here is a list of all of the resorts that are close enough to the Male Airport for speedboats on our other site. My best advice is to put your dates into Agoda.com (they always have the best rates in the Maldives) and see what your options are in your price range. Since you are coming before Christmas week you might find a promotional rate at a better resort that still has many available villas. At any given time it’s hard to know which are the best deals. I frequently recommend Meeru Island and Veligandu Island because they are run by a company that likes to stay full all year round so they offer rates low enough to do that without having to run promotions at the last minute.

    December is a great time to go to the Maldives. From late May through early July the Maldives sometimes gets rainy days where it rains for hours at a time, but for the rest of the year the storms are typical tropical storms that usually last 20 to 30 minutes. Sometimes the rain falls overnight, and other times it rains in the late afternoon, but only for a short time and then the clouds turn into a beautiful sunset. In other words, the Maldives has almost the exact same weather all year round, except around June it can be a bit rainier.

    The weather patterns I’ve described are mostly for the resorts that are reasonably close to the airport, and that’s most of them. There are a couple resorts south of the equator and a few closer to Sri Lanka and they might have slightly different patterns, though it’s also true that it can rain any day of the year in the Maldives and the storms are almost always very short. When you find a resort that you are thinking about booking you can look at the TripAdvisor reviews for last December and the December before that. See if many or any of them mention the weather as a problem. At most resorts December is one of the best months with slightly lower humidity than summer. I hope this helps. There is much more information on overwaterbungalows.net that you might find useful. -Roger

Megh says:

Hi Roger,

We are a family of 3 adults (50+ age) and we are very particular about cleanliness and quality of place. Hence some old Maldives resorts, even though popular might not be maintained properly so we want to know where can we stay (not very far from airport) preferably water front villas with excursion trips and half board? Also within medium budget.
Further, we are visiting in December so can you please let us know the weather in December ? which islands are prompt to getting rain during this time so we can avoid the same?
Further, is december a good time to visit ?




    It sounds like you are in the same group as Kusuma, whose questions I just answered. I think that answer will cover yours as well, even if you aren’t in the same group. The last week of December is peak season in the Maldives, but the week before can be slow so I think there is a good chance you can find a promotional rate at one of the newer resorts that isn’t booked up enough yet. -Roger

Kusuma says:

Thanks so much Roger !!

Russell Hannon says:

Thanks for updating to 2019! I’ll be sharing this on my upcoming tour. *I found a cheaper fare for the AVANI Sepang GoldCoast Resort than the best fare you have posted ($92 CDN a night) which comes to ~ $80 U.S..



    Thanks again for your involvement. It’s definitely possible that a lower rate for the AVANI Sepang is out there, but I’m wondering if you included all of the taxes and fees? Agoda usually has the lowest rates and whenever I see them list a hotel as US$80 it ends up being more like $105 when you are ready to pay. Some websites are even more confusing and you don’t see the final price until you’ve entered your address and credit card number and such. Much appreciated. -Roger

Dre says:




    The prices we list for each resort are for the cheapest overwater bungalow in high season and in low season, including all taxes and fees, for two people per bungalow. If you aren’t seeing the same prices it’s probably because the resort is close to being sold out and they raise the rates on their remaining rooms. We actually just researched these a few weeks ago so I’m confident they are all accurate. If you have a specific resort you are struggling with please let us know. -Roger

Marcin says:

Hey Roger,
A lot of good info on this page, definitely needed as there is so many ioptions out there.
Can You tell me iis Indonesia a good destination for that kind of accommodation?
Again i would be interested in lagoon and not open bay like Malaysia and as close to
Jacarta as possible
Thanks Marcin


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