No. You’re not looking at a far-off place in the South Pacific. That bright, blue ocean is none other than the Caribbean Sea. More than 5,000 miles away and more than 50 years after the original structures were first introduced to French Polynesia, the overwater bungalow now has a home in the Caribbean. So if you’re looking to experience the romance and seclusion of these coveted accommodations, you no longer have to look half-way around the world. Here are some of the best bungalows within a short flight from the states.
Opening September 2016, Mexico’s El Dorado Maroma totes itself as the first property in the western hemisphere to unveil a luxury overwater bungalow. As the newest addition to the adults-only, all-inclusive El Dorado Maroma resort in Riviera Maya, the palafitos (Spanish for “stilted house”) include the same unlimited food and beverage services, as well as 24-hour in-bungalow room service and premium spirits. The first phase of 30 luxury suits include glass-bottom floors, outdoor showers, private infinity pools and ladder access to the ocean below (karismahotels.com/palafitos).
Luxury hotel group, Viceroy will unveils it’s much-anticipated Panama property in 2020, which will comprise of 42 private overwater villas along with traditional accommodations. (Viceroy Hotels). Roughly a hour flight from the hubs of Panama City and Colon, the Bocas Del Toro region offers a more eco-friendly, adventure-rich escape. Viceroy fans should anticipate nothing but the best when these units are finally open, but they also know to expect a hefty price tag too.
Forget what you think you know about a Sandals vacation. You’re on a whole new level here (and honestly, a whole new price level, too, since the bungalows start at $1,111 per person/per night). You have the usual variety of Sandals’ all-inclusive dining—a selection of restaurants from sushi to Italian. You also have the complimentary watersports, activities and entertainment. But South Coast’s bungalows offer an elevated experience, adding more privacy, conveniences, romantic touches and a to-die-for view.
Guests of the South Coast property are already advantaged with a more secluded backdrop, as the resort is located in a remote Southeast quarter of the island and roughly an 80-minute drive from the Montego Bay airport. Furthermore, the property’s 12 bungalow units are set apart from the rest of the resort, limiting access to the unit walkway and designated beach cabanas to only bungalow guests (sandals.com).
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As the first of the Sandals properties to open their overwater bunaglows, these surprisingly spacious bungalow units provide the perfect seclusion for honeymooners or couples just seeking an intimate escape. Actually, it’s more like sea-clusion.
You’re given every reason to stay put. Guests can enjoy their very own infinity pool within their bungalow unit. But the instant access to the water is what makes the bungalows truly special. A stepladder leads you to the ocean below. The two-level sun deck includes an overwater net hammock, a sun lounge space, an outdoor shower and soaking tub suited for two. The bungalow suites also include your own snorkel gear, so you can hop right in without ever having to take that trip to the activity center.
A personal butler and water taxi service to and from your bungalow, allow you for a truly customized and intimate experience (sandals.com).
Again, Sandals bungalow guests are offered butler service. Guests are given a cell phone to reach their assigned butler, who will take care of your every whim, ensuring you never have to leave your private escape if you don’t want to. Summon your butler to draw a romantic, candlelit bath; set up a beachside dinner, coordinate your excursions/spa treatments or just keep you continuously supplied with cocktails (sandals.com).
As the single overwater bungalow offering at the Cayo Espanto property, this villa is a real treasure. At the 1,100 square feet, the single bedroom provides plenty of space for a couple to lounge around. And already located on a private island (accessible by private helicopter or boat transfer from San Pedro), the secluded accommodations offers its guests a true getaway (aprivateisland.com).