8 Bucket List Caribbean Overwater Bungalows for 2024

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Dreaming of paradise? It’s time to get packing! Discover the very best overwater bungalows in the Caribbean in our handcrafted guide to today’s top stays.

Lori and I have—once again—scoured the Caribbean to bring you this year’s EIGHT VERY BEST overwater bungalows. We’ve cut out the cruft to help super-charge your trip planning for 2024!

Whether you’re planning a truly memorable Caribbean honeymoon, absolutely unforgettable family beach vacation, or the perfect island resort escape at one of the very best adults-only all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, you’ll find it here in this helpful guide.

Our Personal Favorites

Sandals Grande St. Lucian for its award-winning honeymoon vibe and absolutely stunning Caribbean overwater bungalows, and Nayara Bocas del Toro for its rustic-chic charm, and deep connection with nature.


The Best Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean


Sandals Grande St. Lucian

Gros Islet, St. Lucia

luxurious Caribbean overwater villas in St. Lucia
Sandals Grande St. Lucian

If you’re looking for the best honeymoon stay over water in the Caribbean, Sandals Grande St. Lucian is IT! But don’t take our word for it.

St. Lucia is already widely recognized as the top honeymoon destination in the Caribbean. And in August 2023, Sandals Grande St. Lucian was named Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Resort at the 30th Annual World Travel Awards, literally making this stay the best-of-the-best for a Caribbean honeymoon!

And there may be no better place to soak up the loving vibe than from your very own spectacular Over the Water Honeymoon Butler Bungalow at Sandals Grande St. Lucian!

Psst…Planning your honeymoon? Check out Sandals’ FREE Honeymoon Package!

That’s right, “Butler Elite” service comes standard with every overwater bungalow, along with relaxing seaside Tranquility Soaking Tubs, glass floors, breathtaking views, and of course Sandals’ legendary all-inclusive package amenities.

Pros

All the usual Sandals all-inclusive amenities and perks PLUS Butler Elite with every overwater bungalow. We also love the ultra-mod take on the water villa and the jaw-dropping views. And the recent reviews across the board are exceptional.

Cons

Again, pricey, but offers a lot of value. Also, getting a beach chair can be difficult and frustrating unless you arrive early in the morning. It’s worth noting that this is one of the long-running perks of butler service, if you happen to go that route.

Hot Tip Don’t forget to check Sandals’ current Specials for discounts and fun perks for your stay.

Nayara Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro, Panama

two Caribbean water bungalows at sunset
Nayara Bocas del Toro

Nayara Bocas del Toro is a tropical haven tailor-made for romance, making this our Numero Uno over-the-water pick in Panama.

Rather than focusing on flashy design and amenities, Nayara Bocas del Toro emphasizes genuine connections with nature. Case in point? The overwater bungalows.

These bungalows whisper Caribbean charm with a Panamanian twist, offering an escape that’s equal parts simple and extraordinary. And of course they’ve got glass floors! Perfect for immersing yourself in the underwater symphony happening below from the comfort of your personal sanctuary.

Nayara Bocas del Toro’s emphasis on small gestures of romance, like intimate dinners and strolls in the breathtaking natural surroundings, makes for a personalized and intimate vibe for couples.

The resort has also received several awards for its sustainable practices and the seamless integration of nature into its design, adding an eco-friendly dimension to your romantic stay.

Pros

The unique and artistic design, of course! Along with some very top-notch amenities. And, who can resist your very own over-the-water infinity pool with a view!?

Cons

Jellyfish can be a bit of menace when snorkeling around the resort, but not enough to dampen most guests’ fun. Also, it’s a bit pricey compared to other overwater accommodation in Panama—but guests seem to think it’s well worth the nightly rate.

Hot Tip Did you know that you can even book a stay in a Tree House? No joke! And yes, it’s as bucket-list-worthy as it sounds.

Sandals Royal Caribbean

Montego Bay, Jamaica

luxury over the water villa with infinity pool and azure water
Sandals Royal Caribbean

Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort set the standard for overwater bungalows in the Caribbean, featuring modern and luxurious bungalows and pool villas built right over a cerulean lagoon—we can’t imagine a more romantic beach resort setting in paradise!

Located in stunning Montego Bay, this luxurious Jamaica adults-only all-inclusive resort (couples only) is the only resort in the country that is connected to its very own private island (Sandals Cay).

Psst…Planning your honeymoon? Check out Sandals’ FREE Honeymoon Package!

While-away the hours on your own private “floating” living room, lounge in your personal infinity pool (villas only), or take a dip in the crystal clear Caribbean waters.

And of course, you can always hop a private water taxi to the main resort any time you want to enjoy the mind-blowing number of all-inclusive amenities included in the nightly rate.

A true bucket list stay from the Caribbean’s leading hotel brand 2023, the overwater bungalows at Sandals Royal Caribbean are an ideal destination for the ultimate honeymoon or beach getaway.

Pros

If you’re looking for the quintessential 5-star over-the-water stay—worry-free ultra-luxe accommodations surrounded by jaw-dropping azure waters—quite frankly, nowhere else in the Caribbean comes close.

We also love the dizzying array of dining options, variety of included activities, and close proximity to Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport (only 9 minutes away by car!).

Cons

Sandals overwater bungalows don’t come cheap—but we think they still offer an excellent value considering how rare this type of accommodation is in the Caribbean (this isn’t the Maldives, folks!), and the crazy number of amenities packed into your all-inclusive stay.

Also, if you’re planning a trip with kids, you’re out of luck here, as all Sandals Resorts are 18+. Keep reading for our top family-friendly options.

Hot Tip Be sure to check out Sandals’ Current Specials on their website for deep discounts and fun perks.

Royalton Antigua

St. John’s, Antigua

Chairman overwater bungalows at Royalton Antigua
Chairman’s Overwater Bungalows, Royalton Antigua

Next up, another stunner! Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa offers all the luxurious amenities you’d hope for in the Caribbean overwater bungalows of your dreams in wonderful Antigua.

Royalton Antigua is our top choice for families looking for an all-inclusive over-the-water stay with all the amenities, including 24 hour room service and Kids Club.

The sumptuously appointed Chairman Overwater Bungalows are a new addition to this lavish resort, offering private infinity pool, glass floor panels, sun deck, and idyllic Caribbean views. Honestly, you may never want to leave your bungalow!

A truly memorable overwater stay in the heart of the Caribbean.

Pros

We love how spacious these water villas are when compared to anything else on this list (with the exception of Amanyara). We also love the stunning location and proximity to a drop dead gorgeous beach and breathtaking sea views.

Cons

Royalton Antigua is a great choice for families and has some of the nicest water villas on this list. However, the resort itself has received mixed reviews in the past couple of years (though this seems to be improving).

Still, if you’re looking to book your honeymoon or a couples retreat, we think one of the Sandals resorts on our list is likely a better bet at this particular price point.

Aruba Ocean Villas

Savaneta, Aruba

two-story Potcho Potcho penthouse at Aruba Ocean Villas
Aruba Ocean Villas

Simply saying “Aruba,” conjures up the epitome of a Caribbean luxury destination. 

Aruba Ocean Villas takes that feeling to the next level, with absolutely stunning adults-only eco-luxury villas built over turquoise waters—the only overwater beach villas in the whole country, in fact!

Since the first edition of this list, Aruba Ocean Villas has upped their game in a BIG way, adding three more incredible Penthouse Villas (feast your eyes on Potcho Poncho!).

Designed by Aruba-native artist, Osyth, these Caribbean overwater bungalows exude a sense of place and wonder like few others on this list can.

Surround yourself with lush jungle and crystal clear Caribbean waters, while whiling away the hours soaking in your private pool, swinging to the rhythm of nature in your hammock, or doing absolutely nothing.

Pros

Locally-owned adults-only idyllic tropical sanctuary surrounded by spectacular nature and warm hospitality.

Cons

If you’re looking for a traditional 5-star resort with air-conditioning and a ton of dining and activities options, you’ll likely be happier elsewhere.

Palafitos El Dorado Maroma

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Palafitos El Dorado Maroma Caribbean overwater bungalows
Karisma Hotels and Resorts

Palafitos El Dorado Maroma is an outstanding all-inclusive adults-only stay offering luxury overwater bungalows in Mexico that are a quick hop from the continental U.S.

Extending out over the crystalline waters of Playa Maroma, a short drive north of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, this award-winning luxury five-star resort offers infinity pools and breathtaking sea views from every one of their luxurious Palafitos.

Gourmet food and exclusive private beach top off this bucket list beach experience.

Pros

“Excellent” 5.0/5.0 rating on TripAdvisor (one of only three on our list to pull that off), truly exceptional service, and every Palafito suite comes with its own infinity pool! This is one of the best adults-only all-inclusive resorts in Playa del Carmen and all of Mexico.

Cons

As is the case with much of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, sargassum (seaweed) influxes are ongoing and hard to predict, and beautiful Playa Maroma is not immune to the occasional seaweed invasion, though steps are being taken to combat sargassum in the area.

Hot Tip If you want the highest level of luxury and privacy, be sure to book one of their Elite Palafitos (if you’re lucky enough to snag a reservation!).

Thatch Caye

Stann Creek District, Belize

woman on overwater bungalows in the Caribbean in Belize
Thatch Caye, a Muy’Ono Resort

Do you dream of escaping to your own jungly island paradise in the Caribbean (without sacrificing the amenities of a vacation getaway)? Thatch Caye Resort by Muy’Ono is your dream come true!

Offering well-appointed thatch-roof overwater bungalows with sun decks it’s easy to lose yourself in this offshore paradise in Belize.

Rest assured that lush vegetation, white sands, and azure waters will be all you see during lazy and sun-filled days. That is, until you’re ready to take advantage of the resort’s many amenities.

Pros

Warm hospitality and cool air conditioning on an island that sits on the Belize Barrier Reef. And you got to love another perfect 5.0 out of 5.0 on TripAdvisor (from 1,055 reviews).

Cons

One of the trickier destinations on our list to reach from the U.S., involving a 15-minute commuter flight from Belize City to Dangriga, and a 30-minute boat transfer out to the island. But it’s worth it! And it’s all part of the journey.

Hot Tip Given its proximity to the U.S., Thatch Caye is a popular resort destination and the overwater bungalows in particular can book up fast. Make sure you book well in advance! If you don’t get lucky with Thatch Caye, check out Cayo Espanto, another excellent island stay in Belize.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

sunset over Caribbean and Banyan Tree Mayakoba water villas
Lagoon & Sunset Rooftop Pool Villas, Banyan Tree Mayakoba

If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind experience that you simply can’t have anywhere else on Earth, check out Banyan Tree Mayakoba, an unforgettable stay near Playa del Carmen.

Nestled among scenic mangroves, Banyan Tree’s Lagoon & Sunset Rooftop Pool Villas offer the feeling of getting away from it all, with a prime location in the heart of the Riviera Maya, and without sacrificing modern comforts and conveniences.

Enjoy all of the incredible amenities this five-star resort has to offer, including private pool and garden terrace in every villa, world-class cuisine and full-service spa, and the first PGA Tour golf course in Latin America, El Camaleon.

Pros

“Excellent” 5.0/5.0 rating on TripAdvisor (one of the few on our list), amazing concierges, and the opportunity to surround yourself with nature without sacrificing comforts. And if you love golf, you won’t find better-suited overwater bungalows in the Caribbean!

Cons

Though luxurious and private, the villas are quite close to each other. And, while the lagoon setting is breathtaking, it’s not what a lot of folks picture when they think of overwater bungalows in the Caribbean. Arrive knowing that and this wonderful resort won’t be let down.

Hot Tip Want another top-tier option in the area? Then check out Rosewood Mayakoba, Playa del Carmen as well.

row of overwater bungalows over azure water in Jamaica
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort

Final Thoughts

What makes Caribbean overwater bungalows so special? For beginners, there just aren’t many of them!

By some accounts, there may be as few as 30 hotels and resorts offering private overwater bungalows across the entire Caribbean. Compare that to 50 in Bora Bora alone!

Of those, a very few offer the level of amenities and services travelers might expect to find in popular over-the-water destinations like the Maldives or French Polynesia.

In this guide, we’ve endeavored to bring you the cream of the crop. Each and every destination on this list has distinguished itself from the pack—through exceptional reviews and ratings, the number and variety of amenities offered, warm hospitality, or all of the above!

We always enjoy writing helpful articles focused on exceptional stays in one-of-a-kind destinations, but this one was one of our favorites!

Having gotten engaged on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques and living on the shores of Belize for 12 months, the Caribbean will always hold a special place in our hearts.

We’re thrilled to be able to share this very special corner of the globe with visitors from around the world, while helping others realize their own travel bucket list dreams.

Article cover photo: Sandals Royal Caribbean, Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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