All-inclusive overwater bungalow and water villa resorts and where to find them
There's good and bad news for those looking for all-inclusive overwater bungalow and water villa resorts, depending on which part of the world you live in. The bad news for many people is that there are no all-inclusive resorts in Bora Bora, Moorea, or Tahiti that include all meals and alcohol in the room rate. Everything else is good news because most activities and services are indeed included in the room rate.
However, if you can get to the Maldives, which is home to most of the world's overwater resorts, you'll have plenty of excellent options that include meals, alcohol, and even premium alcohol in some cases. Just south of India, the Maldives is quite a long way from the western US and Canada, but for those in the east it's at least as close as the South Pacific.
How all-inclusive works at most resorts
Of the 130+ overwater bungalow resorts in the world, about 35 of them operate exclusively as all-inclusive, meaning every guest gets meals, drinks (usually including alcohol), and most activities included in the room price. Interestingly, most of these are among the cheaper resorts in each area, so they are ideal for those looking for value on lower budgets. Most of these are in the Maldives, with none in the South Pacific.
Most overwater resorts include everything but alcohol and some food
With only a very few exceptions, every one of these resorts is located on a private island, or a secluded section of a barely-populated island. For this reason, most guests tend to eat all their meals and use the daytime activities at the resort itself, so it's most efficient for everyone to have most, if not all, of these things included in one price.
Most resorts include:
- Breakfast, usually with options for lunch and dinner as well
- Snorkeling equipment
- All non-motorized water sports like sailing, and sea kayaks
- Classes, parties, and other regular special events
Finding an all-inclusive overwater bungalow resort
If you are looking for an overwater villa perched over a turquoise lagoon that comes with all meals and alcohol, then you are almost certainly going to want to go to the Maldives. This small island chain has over 80 private-island resorts that feature water villas and about 20 of these are run on an all-inclusive basis. About ten to twenty more operate mostly on half-board or full-board plans, and many of these also have deals that include alcohol as well.
Bora Bora overwater bungalow resorts – This is where you'll find the greatest number in the South Pacific and perhaps the most beautiful overwater bungalows in the world.
Moorea overwater bungalow resorts – This island just off Tahiti has five excellent resorts with overwater bungalows.
Tahiti overwater bungalow resorts – There are only two such resorts on the main island of Tahiti, both of which are rather large, and quite affordable.
South Pacific overwater bungalow resorts – Spread through the rest of the South Pacific you'll find about 10 more resorts that range from cheap to ultra-luxurious.
Caribbean and Central America
Caribbean overwater bungalow resorts – While they aren't the types set over clear-water lagoons, there are about a dozen resorts in the Caribbean that have overwater rooms of one type or another. Many of these resorts do operate on an all-inclusive basis, although they are mostly “eco-resorts” with few amenities and are usually focused on scuba diving.
Maldives water villa resorts – This group of islands just southwest of India is home to about two-thirds of the world's overwater bungalows (called “water villas” here) spread through over 75 resorts. It's fast and easy to reach from Europe, but quite a long haul from North America. See our list of the best all-inclusive Maldives resorts as well as the cheapest all-inclusive Maldives resorts to narrow your search down a bit.
Asia water villa resorts – There are a number of other resorts in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines that could be ideal if they are convenient to reach.