Close your eyes. Feel the breeze. Smell the ocean air. Reach out and take the parasol drink from your butler. Open your eyes and take in the view. Oh, yeah.
Have you dreamed of a vacation in an overwater bungalow? If so, you’re not alone.
For a long time, a romantic, exotic, luxurious vacation in an overwater bungalow has been limited to the South Pacific. Beautiful, exotic, but also a long plane flight. Now there’s other options! Closer to home than Tahiti, Fiji or the Maldives, several luxury resorts have opened overwater bungalow accommodations in Jamaica, St. Lucia, and the Riviera Maya. Not only are flights shorter – and less expensive – in the Caribbean and Mexico, overwater bungalows are offered at All-Inclusive resorts where all meals, beverages and activities are included in the price – making them a good value.
Sandals opened the first truly “honeymoon style” overwater bungalows in December 2016 at their Royal Caribbean Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The first 5 proved so popular that before they were finished with construction, Sandals broke ground (or maybe, water?) on another 12; all are attached to the resort’s private island, accessible only by the resort’s shuttle boat. Whether you splurge on a bungalow with private infinity pool or not, each overwater bungalow is positioned for intimate privacy, with an overwater hammock, outdoor Jacuzzi, glass viewing floor, and personal butler. A short ride from the airport, you can start your vacation soon after landing! But plan ahead: these bungalows get booked up months, and in some cases a year, in advance.
Looking for a more exotic location, but still in our backyard? Sandals has you covered. They have also opened 9 overwater villas at their Grande St. Lucia resort. A special peninsula was built for these 9 villas at the edge of the resort, providing seclusion and privacy. Or stay on Jamaica, but travel to the South Coast. Spread out over 2 miles of beautiful white sand beach in a more isolated location on the island’s South Coast, this Sandals will have 12 overwater bungalows open in November 2017, and you can book them now! Similar to Royal Caribbean, each bungalow has an over water hammock, outdoor shower and Tranquility Tub, swim up platform, and interior lit glass floor panel.
Even closer to home, in the Riviera Maya, are two additional options to vacation in over the water luxury. 30 of the 157 suites at the El Dorado Maroma Resort are overwater Palafitos. Perfectly positioned on the sugary white sands of Maroma beach, voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world by Travel Channel, each Palafito offers unobstructed sunrise and sunset views, with private deck, private jacuzzi, and glass floor panel.
If you prefer a traditional (NOT all-inclusive) resort, travel a little further down the coast toward Playa del Carmen to the Rosewood Mayakoba. The community of Mayakoba is the “Venice of Mexico”, with a network of canals linking mangrove forests and lagoons, as well as the highest rated golf course in Mexico. At the Rosewood, one of Mexico’s highest rated resorts, the overwater bungalows are located along the series of canals; transport to your suite by boat launch. Each of the 18 overwater bungalows has it’s own private heated plunge pool and butler service.
Sure, these vacations are a splurge. But in the Caribbean and Mexico they come with gourmet meals, top-shelf beverages, butler service, and lots of entertainment and activities – in some cases scuba diving and golf! Ready to tick this one off your bucket list? Call me!