Being the easiest to reach island chain in the Caribbean, many daydreamers wonder whether there are any water villas or overwater bungalows in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, the answer is no, but the good news is that there are a number of good choices not far away.

First off, water villas, or ‘overwater bungalows' as they are called in the South Pacific, can only be built over protected lagoons that don't have waves (or regular hurricanes) to deal with. The ones most of us dream about are over clear-water lagoons in a certain kind of volcanic island, and the Bahamas doesn't match these traits.

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Water villas Nearest to The Bahamas

As you’ll see on our main page describing all the water villas in the Caribbean, most of them are located off Central America with the exception of a few on Jamaica and Mexico and one on Saint Lucia.

Overwater Bungalows in The Caribbean

Check our main Caribbean overwater bungalows page for the specifics, but to summarize, you’ll find:


Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort – Montego Bay, Jamaica

An all-inclusive, adults only resort with both land and overwater suites to choose from, this resort caters with a plethora of activities alongside dining options and more. Each overwater room comes with its own private pool as well.

>More information about the Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort – Montego Bay, Jamaica

Sandals South Coast Resort – Jamaica

Another all-inclusive Sandals resort on Jamaica, this one impresses with large overwater rooms, a sun deck with steps that lead into the ocean, and a private soaking tub for two. You’ll also find a Butler Elite service here.

>More information about the Sandals South Coast Resort – Jamaica

Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort – Saint Lucia

With 9 overwater bungalows to choose from, this resort, the only of its kind on the island, also offers a spa, dining options and more. The rooms themselves feature a Butler Elite service.

 

Cayo Espanto

A Private Island: This ultra-luxury resort on its own island just off Ambergris Caye in Belize has one huge overwater bungalow, and it rents for over US$1,500 per night.

 

Hotel Meliá Cayo Coco

An all-inclusive resort in Cuba that has 68 overwater rooms in 18 structures over its lagoon, plus 182 rooms in its beach hotel.

 

Coral Lodge

Six overwater bungalows starting at US$345 per night in a unique eco-resort off Panama.

 

Anthony’s Key Resort

Ten overwater bungalows (that are barely perched over the water’s edge) in an all-inclusive resort partially set on a private island off Honduras.

 

Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge

Nine overwater bungalows in another small eco-resort off Panama, which is totally solar powered, and includes breakfast and dinner with the room rate, starting at US$315 per night.

>More information about the Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort – Saint Lucia

The Best Water Villas in The World

If you are looking for the finest water villas and overwater bungalows in the world you’ll need to head to the South Pacific or the Maldives, which is just southwest of India. Between these two areas you’ll find about 90% of the world’s overwater hotel rooms, with over 60% of these in the Maldives alone.

 

Those in the Americas will find that the South Pacific is cheaper and faster to reach, while those in Europe should head to the Maldives.

South Pacific

Maldives

 

Photo credit: Bahamas by Paul Schulz on Flickr


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  1. My family and I live in Asia and we are looking for a trip to anywhere with water bungalows and hopefully clear, turqoise water with snorkelling and water activities available, and is also budget friendly if possible. We are two adults and one child who is a little over 17. Are there any suggestions or recommendations? Thank you

  2. I am looking to plan a family vacation that is budget friendly. I would love to stay in an overwater hut. Can you tell me the best and most reasonable place to stay with a family the kids are 12 & 16

    1. Kris,

      Since you aren’t even sure which part of the world you want to visit, I’d recommend starting with this list of the world’s cheapest overwater resorts on our other site. Most of those resorts only allow 3 guests per room, even though almost all of them have a pull-out couch in addition to a king bed. You might find some good choices in Central America or in Asia other than the Maldives. And of course it really depends on where you are starting from because the cost of flights could cancel out any savings from a cheaper resort. I hope that helps and I’m happy to help with other questions if you have them. -Roger

  3. I would like to attend an over water bungalow resort for me and about 7 of my closest friends to celebrate my 45th Birthday. As most resorts are for honeymooners, are there single friendly resorts that can accommodate a "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" week long celebration. We live on the East coast and realize we will have to fly West for all the bungalows you have described above. All feedback is appreciated to guide me in the planning phrase.

    1. Kim,

      That sounds like a lot of fun. You won’t find many resorts that are great options for “solo” travelers, but groups of singles will fit in with many other groups there. Most of the resorts in Bora Bora and Moorea allow 3 guests per bungalow, and they all have a sleeper sofa in them for that purpose (most don’t allow 4 guests per room though). So if two of your group are okay sleeping on a pull-out couch then you can get by with 3 bungalows.

      It’s true that many of the guests at these resorts will be honeymoon couples or anniversary couples, but there are also families with older children and multi-generational groups. I think your group would have fun at just about any of those resorts, but I’d probably focus on one that has some nightlife each evening such as a band or DJ. Some of the smaller resorts only have a beach bar and it’ll mostly be couples in those. Long story short, I think I’d look at one of the larger resorts on Moorea or Bora Bora or even Tahiti. The places with at least 100 total rooms (including beach and garden bungalows) should also have plenty of things to keep you happy and a diverse clientele.

      If your budget can handle a bit over US$2,000 per night you might even consider one of the Sandals resorts on Jamaica because the flights will be so much shorter and cheaper. The overwater bungalows there are huge (I just toured both resorts recently) and the nearby beach rooms are really wonderful there as well. The beach rooms start at around US$500 per night, but they are premium all-inclusive with even many activities included so they would be really fun for a group. In other words, maybe you could get 1 (or 2) overwater bungalows and a couple of beach rooms, and take turns in each? And you could mostly hang out in the overwater bungalow during the day, which is plenty big enough for everyone. When you add in the cost of flights and all that time flying to Los Angeles and to Tahiti then the Jamaica plan could look even better. Also you have to factor in the cost of meals and drinks and activities. In the South Pacific the room includes breakfast, but everything else is extra, while in Jamaica it’s ALL included in the price. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  4. My wife and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. It would be wonderful to stay at an over water bungalow.

    Is Tahiti, Bora Bora gay-friendly islands? Are any island more friendly than others?

    1. Merchel,

      Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora are all part of French Polynesia, and the French culture there is quite strong. With that in mind, I’d expect that the islands and the resorts in particular would be quite LGBT-friendly. I don’t recall seeing anything in particular that stood out when I’ve been there, but I have a strong hunch that the resorts are all very progressive with that sort of thing. The island people seem to be quite open minded, and French people are famously tolerant. I wish I could give you more certainty. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  5. I am trying to plan our 10 year wedding anniversary. We are both pretty easy to please regarding vacations.

    I do know that my wife would really love to stay at an over water Bungalow for this trip.

    We would be traveling from Wichita, KS to Bora Bora or somewhere similar.(hopefully if price is right).

    I have browsed a bit and can’t find much for our budget (around $3-4k per person). Obviously I would love to be on the low end of my budget and save as much as possible.

    If not in Bora Bora, we would be okay with over water bungalow’s elsewhere.

    Travel dates would be leaving August 26th and Returning September 2nd (can go 1 day either way if needed).

    1. Michael,

      We are simply an online guide to overwater bungalows and not a travel agency. You’ll find the best deals online for these resorts. You can usually get better value in Moorea, which is another gorgeous island right off Tahiti itself. The room rates are a bit lower and transportation is faster and cheaper as well. If you have any specific questions just let us know. -Roger

  6. We our planning our honeymoon and live near San Francisco. We’d love to go to an amazing bungalow but the issue is we have only around 7 days for our trip, so the long flights really eat into our time. Is there an island you recommend we go to which is easy to reach from SFO? Thanks!

    1. Andrew,

      From San Francisco the closest overwater bungalows are in Tahiti, which is only a couple hours farther than Hawaii. It looks like you’d have to fly down to LAX first, as that’s where all the flights to Tahiti start. There are two resorts not far from the Tahiti Airport that offer overwater bungalows. Those resorts are pretty nice, but there are 4 nicer ones on Moorea, which is a 5-minute flight or one-hour ferry ride from Tahiti. If you are going all that way, it’s probably worth going to Moorea, as it’s also a much prettier island than Tahiti itself. Bora Bora is a 60-minute flight from Tahiti, and it has even more options. Those islands are so gorgeous and wonderful that I think it’s worth the flight, even for a week. Best of luck with this. -Roger

  7. Hi
    We live at the Gold Coast, Australia so can fly out of here or Brisbane. For our 20 year wedding anniversary in April we want to stay at an overwater bungalow – this will probably be a one-off so I want it to be in the clearest water with white sand so that the swimming and hopefully snorkelling is great. Maybe even some other water activities like sailboarding nearby? What do you recommend also considering ease of getting there? Thanks!

    1. Margo,

      There are actually a few resorts in the South Pacific that aren’t far from you, including one in New Caledonia. Have a look at our list of resorts in the South Pacific for more details. The next closest to you are in the Philippines and Malaysia. You can find those under the Asia tab on the top of this page.

      But really you’ll find the best affordable resorts in the Maldives, which has 80 different overwater hotels, each on its own island. Click on the Maldives tab for all of that information. And of course Bora Bora, which also isn’t too far from you, has many of the world’s best overwater resorts if price isn’t a major factor. Best of luck and let me know if I can help more. -Roger