17 Cheapest Overwater Bungalow Resorts around the World in 2024

Overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and water villas in the Maldives, which are different names for the same things, are at or near the top of bucket lists around the world. Anyone who sees a photo of a bungalow perched over a turquoise lagoon immediately dreams of staying in one of those places themselves. There are now over 250 resorts around the world with overwater rooms, but the bad news is that almost all of the really nice ones are over US$1,000 per night. The good news is that there are still some more affordable ones and we’ve got that list for you below.

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. The cheapest water villa or overwater bungalow resorts tend to be in Malaysia and nearby, but the Maldives itself has over 130 water villa resorts and many of them make this list even though they are full luxury resorts. You’ll also find some more basic places in the Caribbean, and some modest resorts in and near Bora Bora as well. The list below shows the cheapest options in all of the main regions for overwater bungalows and water villas as of 2024.

Note: This article was last updated in November, 2023.

Updates for 2024

There are now over 250 resorts around the world with overwater bungalows and villas and they range from fairly basic to unbelievably luxurious. The good news is that we have more choices than ever, but the bad news is that room rates for these places have gone WAY up in the last two years so as of 2024 you’ll have to pay over US$1,000 per night for almost all of them in Bora Bora and even most of them in the Maldives. There are some exceptions though.

In case you were wondering, about two-thirds of the 9,000+ aquatic rooms are water villas in the Maldives, spread around more than 130 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.

Video showing all of the resorts below

This year I started making videos to go along with my most popular articles and this one is my favorite so far. Please watch it if you want to see actual video footage of all of these places.

5 Major overwater bungalow regions around the world

With so many new overwater resorts opening in the last few years, we’ve decided that instead of just listing the absolute cheapest ones, which mostly are in just two of the regions, that we will list the cheapest few in each of the major regions.

  1. Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines)
  2. South Pacific (excluding Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti)
  3. Maldives
  4. Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti
  5. Caribbean

On the list below you’ll find the cheapest resorts in each region so you can get an idea of the general price ranges.

The 17 Cheapest overwater bungalow and water villa resorts around the world

Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines)

There are water villa resorts in all four of these countries, but this year (as usual) the cheapest of them are all in Malaysia. There are a few cheap “Eco-resorts” in Indonesia, but they are more for divers than honeymooners.

1AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort – Malaysia

  • Low season from US$105 (for 2 people, including all taxes)
  • High season from US$139

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 the popular ones in Bora Bora and the Maldives, 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$207
  • High season from US$224

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 (#1 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. In fact, the distance from the shore to the remote water villas requires a ride in a golf cart.

>>>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$286
  • High season from US$351

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. As of 2024, rates have come down for off-season stays. It’s worth checking if this one looks interesting to you.

>>>Check rates at the Berjaya Langkawi Resort

South Pacific (Not including Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti)

The resorts in and near Bora Bora are the closest ones to North America and they are all extremely expensive. The ones on the list below are cheaper and are all closer to Australia than to the United States.

1Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

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

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

2DoubleTree by Hilton Noumea Ilot Maitre Resort

  • Low season from US$312
  • High season from US$312

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


The Maldives now has over 130 water villa resorts. First we will list the cheapest overall followed by two of the cheapest all-inclusive resorts.

1Safari Island Resort and Spa – Maldives

  • Low season from US$337
  • High season from US$395

One of the Maldives resorts that always has great rates on water villas, Safari Island Resort and Spa can be a good choice for those who want luxury on a modest budget. They have 39 water villas as well as 15 waters-edge bungalows that are even more affordable. Each one has a glass coffee table for viewing the sea life directly below the villa.

As a smaller resort (they only have 20 island villas), Safari Island doesn’t have quite as many activities on offer as some other resorts, but they do have a diving center, a water sports center, and a gym. They’ve got one restaurant, bar, and coffee shop, all located on the lagoon itself.

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

2Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

  • Low season from US$404
  • High season from US$404

Part of the upscale Sri Lanka-based hotel chain, Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon offers excellent value for a smaller Maldives resort. They’ve got 24 overwater bungalows in 12 separate structures, so each shares a wall, but is otherwise totally private. They’ve got 3 buffet restaurants and the usual long list of water sports and included activities.

The resort has 88 rooms and bungalows on a small private island in addition to the water villas, with really good snorkeling in its house reef. Reviews are surprisingly strong for a resort that seems to be such a bargain, although most similar resorts don’t have a shared wall so that is one thing to consider. You also have to factor in the sea-plane ride from Malé Airport, which is a thrill unto itself but will set you back around US$400 per person round-trip.

>>>Check rates at the Ellaidhoo Maldives

Cheapest All-inclusive Maldives resorts

The two resorts below are the cheapest of the all-inclusive resorts, which are a popular category and can be great value for those who like to enjoy than one or two drinks per day.

1Riu Atoll Resort Maldives

  • Low season from US$576
  • High season from US$914

Built and opened in 2019, the Riu Atoll Resort has 36 water villas in 12 separate structures, but it like they are very private in spite of some shared walls. This, along with its neighboring sister resort Riu Palace Maldives, are the first ones from the Spanish hotel chain that specializes in all-inclusive resorts in sunny parts of the world.

As you can expect in the Maldives, they’ve got a full-service spa (costs extra) and a long list of water sports that are included. With 254 total rooms and villas, this is a larger resort with 3 restaurants and 3 bars and lounges. This could be a great choice for those looking for an affordable Maldives all-inclusive with a lot going on every day.

>>>Check rates at the Riu Atoll Resort

2Adaaran Club Rannalhi – All-inclusive

  • Low season from US$615 (all-inclusive)
  • High season from US$615 (all-inclusive)

The cheapest all-inclusive resort in the Maldives is the Adaaran Club Rannalhi, which has 26 water bungalows in 13 structures over its gorgeous lagoon, so again, they each have one shared wall. As you’d expect, the food comes from an international buffet with theme nights and there are two bars running from morning until midnight. They’ve also got a full spa and a long list of included water activities, so this place does offer fantastic value for those looking for an affordable Maldives all-inclusive.

The Adaaran chain operates 5 total resorts in the Maldives and that’s it, so they specialize in this area and that helps them offer a rare combination of value and quality. Reviews for all of their resorts have been good for years so this one is definitely worth considering if you are the all-inclusive type.

>>>Check rates at the Adaaran Club Rannalhi

Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti

There are about 20 resorts in Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti itself. Most of them start over US$1,000 per night and there are no all-inclusive resorts in this area, but the few relatively cheap ones are listed below.

1Hotel Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora

  • Low season from US$597
  • High season from US$839

An older and more traditional Bora Bora resort, the Hotel Maitai has 19 overwater bungalows that are sometimes available as low as US$597 per night, which is over US$400 per night less than the second most affordable one on this famously pricey island in paradise. The water villas are a bit on the small side, but they are private and perched over a gorgeous lagoon just like you’ve always dreamed of.

Reviews of the place are good to very good, but rarely better than that. Everyone knows that Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful islands on earth and if you book the most affordable overwater bungalows there you can’t expect the Four Seasons (which is not far away actually and triple the price!). You might also have to try quite a few dates to find this room rate, but as of late 2023 it WAS available and includes all taxes and fees. Good luck!

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

2Manava Beach Resort and Spa – Moorea

  • Low season from US$889
  • High season from US$1,170

With 28 overwater bungalows along with 66 garden and beach rooms, the second most affordable overwater rooms in the area are at the Manava Beach Resort and Spa on Moorea, which is close to Tahiti itself. You can see in the photos that the lagoon here is clear, but it drops off quickly at the edge of the outer bungalows, so it’s not the same swimming-pool-style lagoon you’ll find at the Bora Bora resorts costing twice as much or more.

The vibe here is very Polynesian, unlike the top-end resorts that are more set up like a European spa. Reviews are very good and they’ve got a full service spa and the usual water sports on offer. Moorea isn’t quite as beautiful as Bora Bora, but it’s much nicer than Tahiti and if the place above isn’t available this would be my second choice in the area if it fit my budget.

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

3Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa

  • Low season from US$998
  • High season from US$1,141

We are calling this the second cheapest overwater resort on Bora Bora even though it’s set on the nearby island of Le Taha’a (with great views of Bora Bora). The Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa has 48 overwater bungalows set over a stunning turquoise lagoon that rivals those below the most expensive resorts on Bora Bora itself. The overwater bungalows are each huge at over 1,100 square feet (100 sq. meters) including a private terrace for each.

They’ve got 3 restaurants and 2 bars and of course a full-service spa. This place gets mostly excellent reviews for everything and it’s had a great reputation for at least a decade. While $998 per night may not sound like a bargain, this place is similar to and as nice as the high-end chain resorts on Bora Bora that literally start at twice the price or more. Of the three Bora Bora-area resorts on this list, I would absolutely choose this one if I could afford it.

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


Believe it or not, there are almost 30 overwater resorts in the Caribbean, but the majority of them are tiny “eco-resorts” and “aqua-resorts” in Panama. Below are the cheapest of those plus the cheapest of the honeymoon overwater bungalows.

1El Faro del Colibri

  • Low season from US$132
  • High season from US$154

Even though it’s only a few years old, the El Faro del Colibri is currently the cheapest overwater bungalow resort in the Americas. It bills itself as an “Acqua lodge” and it’s one of many similar places in Panama and specifically in the Bocas del Toro area. It’s obviously pretty basic and I wouldn’t book a surprise romantic weekend to this place, but technically it does have overwater bungalows and a very good location as well.

It’s worth noting that the US$132 per night room rate only seems available on its own website and Expedia starts at US$149 per night. In fact, the official website is still under construction so I’d be tempted to book with Expedia just in case. From the photos you can see a tiny flat-screen TV and an A/C unit in each cabin and reviews are quite good. Long story short, this is by far the cheapest overwater bungalow that isn’t located in Malaysia and it could be a fun choice for some people.

>>>Check rates at the El Faro del Colibri

2Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge – Panama

  • Low season from US$248 (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 is a better deal that it first appears and really is a fantastic bargain compared to many of the other places around it.

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.

>>>Check rates at the Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge

3Hotel Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge

  • Low season from US$285
  • High season from US$362

Yet another Acqua Lodge in Bocas del Toro, Panama, the Hotel Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge has by far the best photos of the resorts in this area and it looks very nice for the price. It’s set over a calm-looking lagoon with clearer water than the others, and their units have glass floor sections so you can observe the sea-life below from your cabin.

The Honeymoon Over The Water Bungalow in particular actually does look like the kind of place suitable for a romantic getaway, especially if your partner has a fondness for sustainability and the nearby nature reserve. Obviously there’s a very big difference between a place like this and the ones on Bora Bora mentioned above, but there’s also a huge difference in price and these are cheaper and easier to reach for most people.

>>>Check rates at the Hotel Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge

Cheapest luxury all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean

If you are looking for a honeymoon-style overwater bungalow in the Caribbean, the one below is the cheapest option, believe it or not. There are only about 6 total resorts that are in this category and half of those are Sandals resorts.

1NAYARA Bocas del Toro – All Inclusive

  • Low season from US$1,254
  • High season from US$1,650

By now you’ve seen that this place is more than four times more expensive than the one just above. For many people it will be worth it as this one is actually the cheapest all-inclusive overwater resort in the Caribbean that compares to the places in Bora Bora or the Maldives. Like the others above, it’s also in Bocas del Toro, Panama, but this one is nothing like the others.

As of January 2024, each of the 16 huge overwater bungalows here will have its own private splash pool on its deck. The place is Balinese in design and style and it looks like they’ve spent a fortune on making these places properly 5-star, including a glass floor section in each unit to see the sea life below. Again, it’s all inclusive and that even includes airport transportation. Seriously, if you want something REALLY nice and you can’t afford the Sandals one below, this is a place to consider.

>>>Check rates at the NAYARA Bocas del Toro – All Inclusive

Cheapest luxury all-inclusive with butler service in the Caribbean

If you want the best overwater bungalows in the Caribbean, the one below is it. Fortunately it’s all-inclusive and provides private butler service.

1Sandals South Coast

  • Low season from US$3,437
  • High season from US$3,437

There were no luxurious overwater bungalows anywhere in the Caribbean until Sandals completed them at three of their resorts starting in 2016, and this is the cheapest and arguably the nicest of the three. I’ve actually been to all of them and toured the overwater rooms and these were my favorite. The 12 overwater bungalows here are huge and behind a security gate at the pier, so this is a 5-star +++ experience in every way, including the private butler service.

The other Sandals resorts with them are the Royal Caribbean near the Montego Bay airport and one in St. Lucia. They all would go for around US$2,200 per night until 2022, but now those other resorts are going for US$4,000 per night and these are a bit less. You can get something similar in Bora Bora for about US$2,500 per night, but that’s a very long flight for most people. It appears that demand for these places is so strong that they can charge this much and still sell out every single night. Are they worth it? Obviously they are to those who can afford them. I wish I could as well.

>>>Check rates at the Sandals South Coast

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

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All Comments

  1. 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


    1. Roger Wade says:


      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

  2. Sherrie says:

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

    1. Roger Wade says:


      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

  3. DeCosy says:


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


    1. Roger Wade says:


      The main choices are the Maldives and the South Pacific (including Bora Bora). The tricky part is finding resorts that will allow 4 guests per water villa because most of them only allow 3. The Maldives and Bora Bora are both absolutely amazing and worth a visit, so the best choice is probably the one that is easiest to reach from where you are. Basically if you are in Europe or Asia it’s faster to reach the Maldives, and if you are in the Americas it’s faster to reach Bora Bora.

      Here is a list of Maldives resorts that allow 4 guests per room

      And here is a list of Bora Bora resorts that allow 4 guests per room

      Best of luck with this. -Roger

  4. Jackie Allen says:

    any over water bundaloos in Fiji

    1. Roger Wade says:


      Yep, the top two resorts on this list of overwater bungalows in the South Pacific are resorts located in Fiji. -Roger

  5. wiwin says:

    Hi ROger,

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

    1. Roger Wade says:


      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

  6. 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?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      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

  7. 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 🙂

    1. Roger Wade says:


      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

  8. 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.

    1. 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

  9. Lynda says:

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

    1. 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

      1. Lynda says:

        thanks so much 🙂

  10. 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!!

    1. 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