Sandals St. Lucia announces opening dates for their overwater bungalows
After much speculation, Sandals Resorts have finally announced the dates when visitors are expected to be able to stay in their overwater bungalow suites, and unfortunately it's quite a bit later than we had hoped. The folks at caribbeannewsdigital.com interviewed Sandals' CEO recently who said that the groundbreaking on the 26 overwater bungalows is scheduled for August 15, 2012, and the opening to the public of the suites is February, 2013.
FEBRUARY, 2017 UPDATE: Sandals has opened 17 overwater bungalows at their Royal Caribbean Resort in Montego Bay and they have finally officially announced that the Sandals St. Lucien Resort will soon be getting its own overwater bungalows.
JANUARY 2014 UPDATE: The most recent reports from industry sources say that Sandals is finally ready to break ground on the overwater bungalows as part of a much larger renovation to its St. Lucia property. If construction does indeed begin in early 2014, then it'll be at least 2015 before the bungalows would be open to the public.
OCTOBER 2012 UPDATE: I've just received an email from Sandals saying that they have yet to actually break ground on these overwater bungalows, and that now that is officially scheduled for “early 2013.” Hopefully this happens and they are ready for bookings by summer. I will update this page with whatever we hear.
We've previously mentioned that the scheduled opening to the public was in 2012, but there was never any more specific information so evidently that was just an early target that has slipped. Read our previous post on the Sandals St. Lucia overwater bungalows for more specifics about the suites themselves.
Not opening in 2013
It's at least a little disappointing to hear that the new overwater bungalows won't be ready until later in 2013. In fact, it's surprising to hear that they are still 6 months away from “groundbreaking” on them. In summer of 2011 at least one reviewer on TripAdvisor had reported seeing construction of the bungalows in the lagoon, but that was certainly something else or perhaps just the earliest construction of the plumbing and electrical systems that will be needed out in the water.
Perhaps of a little concern is that St. Lucia elected a new government in their elections scheduled for late November, 2011, and evidently Sandals must still get approval from the new regime because it was the previous group who'd okayed it before. The Sandal's CEO sounds 100% confident in his announcement so hopefully it's just a formality.
Overwater bungalows elsewhere in the Caribbean
One reason that the St. Lucia overwater bungalows are so widely anticipated is that they will be the first “honeymoon style” overwater rooms in all of the Caribbean. In fact, they sound like they are going to be super deluxe, at 1,200 square feet and including a private butler and separate living room. Look for room rates of around US$1,000 per night and up during high season, just as an off-hand guess at this point.
Those who can't wait or especially those who would prefer to spend quite a bit less and do some scuba diving as well will be happy to know that there are about a dozen “eco-resort” style water bungalows in the Caribbean already. All the others are off the coast of Central America (which puts them out of the way of most hurricanes), with prices starting at around US$250 per night.
If you are looking for a “honeymoon style” resort in 2012 then your best bet will be one of the Bora Bora overwater bungalow hotels.