Honeymoon resorts: Choose the perfect overwater hotel
If you are looking for the most secluded and romantic possible hotel for your honeymoon, then an overwater bungalow or water villa is the perfect choice. These beautiful hotel rooms are so popular with honeymoon couples that it's likely many of them would not exist if not for the newlyweds.
Almost all of these resorts are in the tropics, so they nearly guarantee perfect weather all year round, and they are all in stunning natural settings that will be impossible to forget, especially when combined with your romantic holiday. Choosing an overwater bungalow resort for your honeymoon might not be easy, however, but that's only because there are so many excellent options out there.
Choosing the perfect overwater bungalow resort for your honeymoon
By the time you consider the four steps below, you'll know everything you need to choose and book the perfect destination for your special holiday. Links to all the resorts can be found at the bottom of this page. We discuss whether each resort is good for or popular with honeymooners on each separate resort page.
Step 1: Decide on the location
Being perfectly honest, the best overwater bungalow resorts in the world are in the South Pacific, primarily on Bora Bora and Moorea, and in the Maldives, which is just southwest of India. If you are coming from the Americas then the South Pacific will be faster and cheaper to reach, and if you are coming from Europe then the Maldives is the better choice.
Step 2: Large resort or boutique resort?
With over 90 overwater bungalow resorts in the world, you'll have great variety in many ways, but one key consideration is if you'd rather stay in a larger resort (usually 100 to 300 total rooms, including mostly garden or beach rooms), or a boutique resort that might have far fewer rooms and possibly none on land at all.
The advantage to a larger resort is that they tend to be cheaper and they'll have more options for restaurants, bars, and daytime activities. The disadvantages are that they tend to be more popular with families and groups, which could hinder the romantic aspect for some people. However, it's worth noting that almost all of these resorts prohibit children under 12 or so from staying in the overwater rooms from a safety perspective, so the overwater wings of the hotels do tend to be nearly all adults, even if families are staying elsewhere in the resort.
The advantage to the boutique resorts is that they are generally filled with honeymoon couples and other romantic couples, so the atmosphere is more “adult” and classy.
The downside to a boutique resort is that many of them only have one or two restaurants, and a more limited number of daytime activities. The ones with fewer restaurants do tend to be high quality with varied menus, but still for some people the choices look a bit too familiar toward the end of the week.
Step 3: One resort or multiple resorts?
Believe it or not, it's extremely popular for honeymoon couples to stay at two or even three different resorts during one holiday. This is especially true in the South Pacific, where each resort has dramatically different scenery from each other.
Many couples stay first at a resort on Tahiti or Moorea, which are the easiest two islands to reach, and then after a few days they move to a resort on Bora Bora or elsewhere in the South Pacific. Since getting to the area is a bit expensive and time consuming, it makes sense to experience more than just one place as the cost to get from one to the other is usually minimal.
In the Maldives the resort hopping tends to be less common, and since all the islands are perfectly flat the scenery doesn't change much from one to another. Still, many couples do prefer to spend part of their trip at a small boutique resort and the other part at a larger resort with more variety available.
Step 4: Look into honeymoon packages
Since every one of these resorts is popular with honeymooners, nearly all of them have special “honeymoon packages” available. You can often save money by booking these online, though some are easier to arrange through a travel agent.
Once you choose the resort or resorts you are interested in, check for honeymoon specials and you are likely to find something. In some cases it's just a bottle of champagne and some other special amenities once you arrive, or in other cases it's an upgraded bungalow combined with a romantic dinner served on a secluded beach plus other extras.
Even if you don't buy a special honeymoon package, you'll usually receive some special treatment once you arrive and announce the reason for your visit. These resorts know that they get a lot of referral business from past guests, so they are highly motivated to make special guests feel like they are being treated even better than normal.
Where are the world's overwater bungalows?
We answer that question more completely in our other article discussing the locations of overwater bungalows around the world, but we'll give you the short version here 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 8 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 clea-water lagoons, there are 7 resorts in the Caribbean that have overwater rooms of one type or another.
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 50 resorts. It's fast and easy to reach from Europe, but quite a long haul from North America.
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.