Overwater bungalows in Montego Bay, Jamaica UPDATE: Opening soon
As the chorus of people hoping for real overwater bungalows in the Caribbean grows louder each year, it seems we may finally have some good news. According to at least one respected travel blog, the Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica will soon be getting 5 large and very luxurious overwater bungalows.
The rumor of this construction has been around for years, but we are told that actual construction (or at least pre-construction) has begun, and reports on TripAdvisor from recent visitors seem to confirm it. You may recall similar rumors about overwater bungalows at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, but that project continues to be delayed for one reason or another. According to the new report, a Sandals executive announced ground-breaking on the Jamaica project within two months.
September, 2016 UPDATE: 12 new Over-the-Water Private Island Butler Honeymoon Bungalows are now available starting February 1, 2017
Due to the popularity of its overwater bungalows, Sandals Royal Caribbean has decided to announce the presence of 12 more overwater villas. These bungalows are available starting the 1st of February, 2017.
March, 2016 UPDATE: The overwater bungalows are scheduled to open on November 15, 2016
As of March 12, 2016, Sandals has officially announced that its 5 overwater bungalows at the Montego Bay resort are available for booking as of November 15, 2016. They are already sold out for November, and the earliest availability as of this moment is December 2, 2016.
Over the Water Private Island Butler Villa with Infinity Pool
From floating water hammocks to private glass floors—your private villa delivers
an impressive journey of the Caribbean's finest turquoise waters and rich marine life. You can admire the majestic beauty of the ocean from their private infinity pool and Jacuzzi with outdoor shower.
You don't even need to step outside to appreciate the Caribbean's best crystal-clear waters. With see-through glass floors, you can experience the ocean from the comfort of your luxurious suite.
Room rates: 3 nights for US$8814.10 including standard Sandals online discounts.
If you book for a week or more you may get a lower price, but for shorter stays it appears that the rate will be just under US$3,000 per night.
>>>Check availability on the Sandals Royal Caribbean website
END 2016 UPDATE
What the Montego Bay overwater bungalows will be like
According to the announcement, these 5 overwater bungalows will have:
- Outdoor floating jacuzzi tub
- Private outdoor shower
- Hammock for two hanging over the water
- Steps down from the deck straight into the ocean (only 4 ft deep)
- Modern state-of-the art accommodations
- 1,600 Square feet of space with a V shaped room for maximum privacy
- Large walk in shower
- Indoor soaking tub
- Floating bed in the center of the room
- 65 inch flat screen LED TV and a comfortable L-shaped sofa.
- Glass flooring in the living room, allowing you to see the marine life below (lights will illuminate the water under the bungalow at night).
In other words, they'll be nearly identical to the larger and more luxurious overwater bungalows in Bora Bora as well as the Maldives.
No completion date yet, but hopefully early 2015
One strange part of this story is that there have been many other previous plans or attempts to build proper “honeymoon style” overwater bungalows to the Caribbean, but so far none have even come close. Evidently it's not easy to get permission to build out over a lagoon in this part of the world, which seems to be the biggest stumbling point.
But we hear that this project is actually on the books, and preparatation is already underway. If they start building in earnest this summer, we might see them available around Christmas 2014 at the earliest, and hopefully no later than March 2015 or so. There are only 5 overwater bungalows in this plan, so it really shouldn't drag on and on like they have done elsewhere.
How much will these overwater bungalows cost?
Sandals is a long way from announcing the room rates for these things, but their current Butler Level Rooms start at around US$710 per night in low season. These will be larger and obviously far more exclusive so we'll guess that in low season they'll probably be at least US$1,200 per night for two people, and probably more like US$1,800 per night in high season.
The plans remind me most of the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, where the overwater bungalows are rarely available for under US$1,000 per night. One major difference is that they have 77 overwater bungalows and there are about 400 more at nearby resorts, while if these are built they will be the only 5 overwater bungalows in the (far more popular) Caribbean.
In other words, they could probably charge US$2,000 per night or more for these things and have no trouble filling them, at least for the first year or two.