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12 Best Affordable Overwater Bungalows to Explore

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If you are here, it means you are planning a holiday. So, are overwater bungalows part of your dream destination? Here is a list of some affordable overwater bungalows you can consider for your holiday.

Who doesn’t want to wake up to the serene, clear scenery of the extensive blue waters? Virtually any traveler has thought of it. It’s hard to imagine any other site that outranks an overwater bungalow. However, when searching for cheap places to travel to, overwater bungalows might not fall on your list.

Reason! They are not cheap. From the flights you’ll have to book to reach these destinations to the accommodation prices, the whole experience can be fairly expensive. But all is not lost. You shouldn’t abandon your dream of visiting these beautiful destinations.

While visiting these sites may never be cheap, there are still some nice and relatively affordable overwater bungalows you can try out. Fortunately for you, you don’t have to look any further.

This article contains some of the most affordable overwater bungalows around the world you can visit. And although you will not find overwater bungalows in Hawaii, which is a dream destination for many, there are many of these beautiful bungalows nearby.

1. Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort Top Recommendation

The AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort offers fantastic value for monayear group holidays in the Bay of Plenty. Overlooking the sea, this resort features spacious villas with floor-to-ceiling windows and wooden furnishings. The seating area includes a flat-screen TV and a sofa.

2. Cosmic Crab Resort - Panama

Cosmic Crab Resort is the place to stay on Carenero Island. Here you can take advantage of a beautiful beach, a marina and an art gallery. All of this and more is provided at one of our family-friendly resort hotels in Panama.

3. Thulhagiri Island Resort & Spa

The beachfront resort has 4-star accommodation and a restaurant, bar and private beach area. Each accommodation at the 4-star resort has sea views and free WiFi.

For those in the US, Moorea, Tahiti, and Bora Bora are just 2.5 hours past Hawaii by plane. Check out this comparison of Bora Bora and the Maldives if that interests you.

Best Affordable Overwater Bungalows

When looking for some affordable overwater bungalows, here are some of the best options to consider:

AVANI Sepang Goldcoast Resort in Malaysia

Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort

The resort, which was established in 2001, is among the most affordable overwater bungalows in Malaysia. This OWB consists of 315 water villas, and it was the most extensive one in the world until 2016.

Their rooms range from single superior rooms that can accommodate two adults and a child, to 3-bedroom villas that can house six adults. This makes the resort one of the best overwater bungalows for families.

The resort, however, has one restriction. You can’t swim under the villas, which is unlike many other overwater bungalows you’ll come across.

The main features of the resort include:

  • 315 overwater villas
  • Located on a private beachfront
  • Impressive facilities including AvaniSpa plus, AvaniKids club, as well as beach and garden amenities
  • Diverse dining, which consists of 5 food and drink outlets, 2 bars plus a lodge
  • Located just a few miles from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (a 40-minute drive).

From as low as $95 for the superior room to around $446 a night for the 3-bedroom villa, the resort offers affordable accommodation for everyone.

These prices will, however, vary depending on the season. Visit our blog on the top sites for booking tours, to book for your next trip.

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu

If you are traveling on a budget, but want a nice overwater bungalow, Holiday Inn Resort can be an ideal place to visit. The resort sits on a private island, making it an incredible site for romantic vacations.

Here, you will receive the services of a 5-star hotel, at the rates of a 3-star one. The bungalows at the Holiday Inn Resort measure approximately 550 sq feet each, accommodate two adults and offer unrestricted access to the lagoon. The 4-star resort has a total of 148 rooms, which offer a beautiful view of the blue ocean waters.

They also offer a full-service spa, poolside restaurants, a golf course, as well as amazing bars. Their rates range between $250 and $300 per room/night, although the regular ones can go for less. For those with IHG points, you can also redeem them to make your stay here a bit cheaper.

See Related: Best Vacations with Minimal Walking

Green Lodge – Moorea

Aimeo Lodge- affordable overwater bungalows

Formerly known as Club Bali Hai, the resort closed in 2018 and reopened months later, rebranded as Green Lodge. It now operates mainly as a vacation rental property rather than a hotel. It has six overwater bungalows from where you can enjoy the stunning ocean view right from your room.

The lodge is located around 7 km from the Moorea Lagoonarium and 27 km away from the Paofai garden. Recent reviews for this resort describe it as quite basic and rustic, which makes it a good place for those who love adventures.

The place may not be the perfect site for honeymoons or romantic vacations. As for the prices, you will part with around $146 per night during both the low and high seasons.

See Related: Best All-Inclusive Resorts Without a Passport

Koro Sun Resort

The Koro Sun Resort in Fiji is a huge resort on the island of Vanua Levu with 140 acres. Adults-only apartments at Edgewater are underwater burels.

Each Bure’s 130-square-foot front deck is linked to a 2-person kayak, allowing you to go to the water for paddling or bathing. The property includes a spa, scuba diving possibilities, and an overwater room class that is hosted in Fijis-only floating accommodation.

To reach Fiji, you’ll have to transfer on a number of flights so it can be difficult to get to… and costly.

Overwater Bungalow in the Maldives

Although the overwater bungalows concept originated in French Polynesia, Maldives currently has more of them. Some of the cheap overwater bungalows here include:

Embudu Village Resort

Embudu Village overwater resort

This resort is situated on the small beautiful Embudu Island. The island lies approximately 25 minutes away from the airport on a speedboat. Accessibility is, therefore, not a problem.

Embudu Village Resort portrays itself as one of the 3-star resorts, and it’s considered fairly cheap compared to other small private-island resorts around the Maldives.

The resort consists of 16 villas, which are in four structures. This means that you share at least a wall with your neighboring guests. With the dinner being part of the room’s cost, this resort still serves as an ideal place for people working on a budget.

During the low season, the villas cost around $345 per day on a half-board plan. On the other hand, the same plan will cost you around $401 during the high season.

The resort offers you the best serene environment for unwinding as well as exploring. If you also love diving and snorkeling, the resort is an excellent site.

See Related: Best Travel Sandals

Thulhagiri Island Resort

Thulhagiri Island Resort

The Thulhagiri Island Resort is an overwater bungalow resort located on one small Maldives island and consists of 34 water bungalows. In addition, the resort has 52 island rooms which supplement the water bungalows.

This small island, known as the Lovers Paradise, is found on the North Male atoll, which is roughly 13 kilometers from the airport. It also takes around 20 minutes from the airport, using a speedboat.

Some incredible features of this resort include:

  • Vast white beaches are covered with tall palm trees and numerous chiming birds.
  • Numerous to-do activities such as water sports, diving, spa wellness, and excursions
  • Spectacular view of the clear Indian Ocean waters

The place is perfect for weddings and romantic vacations. In terms of cost, you’ll have to pay $304 (half board) per day in low seasons or $570(half board) per day during the high season.

The half-board plan is quite advantageous as it covers accommodation, breakfast, and dinner, which is not available in most other resorts.

And with its proximity to the Malé International Airport, the resort enjoys cheap airport transfer rates in comparison with other resorts in the Maldives. Although the high-season rates are quite high, the low-season ones are relatively affordable.

Reethi Beach Resort

Reethi Beach Resort in the Maldives

The Reethi Beach Resort is a fantastic location to unwind. Remember, though, that transfers between islands in the Maldives may be time-consuming.

Reethi Beach Resort is on a petite private island in the Baa Atoll, and the prices are surprisingly reasonable. Keep in mind that this one is not all-inclusive.

However, your package price overwater bungalows is large, spacious, and extremely well-equipped. The sun decks are huge with abundant seating, but the overwater view is not as expansive as expected.

The decor of the interior is quite standard for a three-star resort. If you are expecting fancy decoration, then you should look elsewhere.

However, this resort has cheap overwater bungalows, as well as island rooms, priced around $346 (high season) and $173 (low season).

See Related: Hidden Gems of the Caribbean 

Summer Island Village

Affordable overwater bungalows in Summer Island Maldives

The Summer Islands Village falls among the best-value resort options in the Maldives. With its 20 new individual overwater villas, the resort offers some of the most spectacular views for romantic tours.

Apart from the overwater villas, the resort also offers garden rooms and beach villas for those who want a different view. Every room or villa has balconies that give you the best summer sunrise and sunset view.

Recent reviews from travelers indicate that the resort offers excellent services, giving visitors the best value for their money.

Their plans offer great deals that favor both those who are staying for a few days to those taking longer holidays. If you are considering cost, this is a place you can visit, as it’s reasonably affordable.

Both for the low and high seasons, a half-board plan will cost you an average of $310 per day. Book your stay at one of these awesome resorts in the Maldives.

Affordable Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean

I’ve encountered numerous people online asking whether there are any overwater villas and bungalows in the Caribbean such as the Bahamas and Jamaica. This is mainly because the Bahamas is one of the easiest islands to access in the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, there are not a ton of budget-friendly overwater bungalows there. But, there are numerous great options for you nearby. These are some non-tourist things to do in Nassau.

See Related: Barbados on a Budget

Cosmic Crab Resort – Panama

Cosmic Crab Resort Panama

Cosmic Crab Resort is one of the most affordable overwater bungalows in the Caribbean. Formally known as the Careening Cay Resort, it consists of 12 rooms, with 6 of them located over water. In addition, the resort hosts over six acres of beautiful gardens and vegetation with an opulent jungle background.

Guests here also have access to over 600 feet of beachfront, which makes the entire experience incredible.

Cosmic Crab Resort Panama

Although the overwater rooms are located on the smaller side of the resort, they are aesthetically decorated to bring out the seamless Caribbean vibe.

The rooms are fitted with air conditioning, vital in summer, and Wi-Fi to keep you connected to the rest of the world. For those who love games, there are numerous water sports for you to enjoy. This means that your day will be completely booked for entertainment.

In terms of costs, you can get offers as low as $89 per night during the low season, if you book online. For the high seasons, the online specials go at $98 per night.

Their overwater mini cabins are available through December at an excellent rate of $59 per night.

See related: Hotel vs. Motel vs. Inn

Azul Paradise Resort – Panama

Azul Paradise - Panama

The Azul Paradise is an eco-friendly resort found in Panama (on the Caribbean side). The resort is relatively affordable, catering to travelers seeking to enjoy the beautiful oceanic view without running broke.

Here, you have the option to choose an all-inclusive plan or a 3-meals-a-day plan. This means that you can easily personalize your holiday. Their rooms include a private bathroom, outdoor showers, air conditioner, wooden floors, and a private deck.

Azul Paradise - Panama

If you are looking for a great overwater bungalow for snorkeling, Azul Paradise Resort offers you just that.

You’ll even find snorkel gear already present in your room. Customer reviews are quite positive, meaning you won’t waste your money. The resort is a great place to fulfill your desire to wake up in an overwater bungalow. As for their rates, nightly bookings start from $299 a night.

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Affordable Overwater Bungalows on Lakes

Besides the budget-friendly overwater bungalows in the ocean, there are also incredible ones in lakes. And generally speaking, lake overwater bungalows are much cheaper than ocean resorts.

Some of the most affordable lake resorts with overwater villas/rooms include:

Lake Heaven Resort – Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Lake Heaven Resort and Park

Whether you are traveling alone, as a couple or as a group, Lake Heaven Resort has just what you need to make your trip blissful. Its suburban location, as well as the numerous outdoorsy activities, brings out a breathtaking summer camp vibe.

Depending on how many you are, you will choose your accommodation from:

  • Dalha Room- a private raft house for two people
  • Benjamas Raft- a raft house for 12 people
  • Kaew Jao Jom – a raft house for 20 people

After you’re good with the accommodation, you can now go ahead and enjoy the various outdoor activities. Right from water slides, kayaks, and jet skis, you can never run short of amazing activities.

Even better, the resort will become a karaoke venue when night comes. Also, if you want to go for extra adventures, Erawan Waterfalls are just close by.

And their rates are moderately affordable, starting from $127 per night. Like what you are hearing about Thailand? Check out these best things to do and places to visit in Thailand while you are there.

See Related: Ultimate Jamaica Packing Checklist

Ananta River Hills Resort

An aerial view of Ananta River Hills Resort - affordable overwater bungalows

Ananta River Hills Resort includes 11 different kinds of floating villas. Each one of the villas gets its name from a specific fish found in an adjacent dam. These overwater villas have private balconies, which give you a clear view of the calm, clean water, and the mountains surrounding the area.

Some of the things that will make you love this place include:

  • A free water park with floats
  • Jet skis
  • Water-rafting
  • Swimming

All these activities will keep you occupied throughout the day. Other major events that make this resort unique are the kayak and fishing competitions. The resort offer prizes after these competitions, which makes it even more entertaining. And even if you are a large group, this place has enough room and activities for you. The prices start at $122.

Things to Consider Before Booking an Overwater Bungalow

When you’re arranging a trip, there’s a lot to consider. There’s the destination, the activities you want on your itinerary, and finding accommodation on a budget. Overwater bungalows may appear to be one of those less essential elements because they are not as inexpensive as hotel rooms.

On the other hand, overwater bungalows may provide so much more when you consider them before booking them:

#1. The Destination

When you think about overwater bungalows, you might be inclined to choose a destination where overwater bungalows and resorts are plentiful and in high demand.

Overwater bungalows, on the other hand, aren’t enough to make a vacation worthwhile. You should consider things like the region’s culture, customs, and history before booking overwater bungalows.

For example, Fiji has overwater bungalows but is known more for its Fijian culture than overwater resorts. On the other hand, Bora Bora is a well-known overwater getaway with many options in guesthouses and resorts.

#2. The Activities

Overwater bungalows are even more fun when you have activities to enjoy within the resort or nearby. If you’re considering overwater bungalows in the Maldives, think about what you can do beyond relaxing.

Do you think about whether or not to rent overwater bungalows before checking them out: Do overwater bungalows come with a spa where you can pamper yourself? Can you try deep-sea fishing, swimming with dolphins, or scuba diving? If you regularly participate in these types of activities when traveling, overwater bungalows might be the right choice.

#3. The Budget

Overwater bungalows might be a luxurious way to travel, but they aren’t the only option in overwater accommodations. These hotels can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per night in high-demand destinations, so don’t only consider the price tag on overwater bungalows.

You may save money by staying in a lesser-known overwater resort or during the low or off-season at a resort in an overwater location. Overwater is a term used for any building that is considered to be above the water, which can include lakes and oceans.

  • Overwater Bungalows must be built on top of floating pontoons that can support the weight of the overwater bungalow and its contents.
  • The foundation of an overwater bungalow is made up of steel or aluminum beams to maintain support in inclement weather.

When you think of overwater bungalows, you might immediately picture the overwater bungalows in Bali. While overwater bungalows might initially seem expensive due to their price tag, they can of an affordable alternative for people who want to spend more of their money on activities and travel rather than on accommodation.

For example, looking at overwater bungalows, look to the Maldives – also known as paradise on Earth. With overwater bungalows at 30-40% of other resorts in the country, this is an affordable overwater bungalow option that shouldn’t be passed up.

While on vacation in an overwater bungalow, keep food costs in mind. Consider booking overwater bungalows in the Maldives if you want to spend less on food while staying at an overwater bungalow experience. They are roughly 30% cheaper than other lodgings.

When you’re looking for an overwater cottage, keep in mind how much money you’ll want to spend on food and activities while staying there. This is especially true if you’re traveling abroad.

When it comes to an incredible overwater bungalow holiday, one overwater cottage might be enough – but make sure you utilize the other amenities available, such as pools, restaurants, and so on!

Where can I stay in an overwater bungalow?

Owing to the high humidity levels, overwater bungalows are common in Asia and North America. These areas have shallow blue water that may be used for this sort of accommodation.

While it is less than a few on some Caribbean islands, such as Cuba or Jamaica. They may be found all across the Maldives, Malaysia, and the Caribbean.

Are overwater bungalows worth it?

Overwater bungalows provide a premium experience with seclusion, romance, and privacy. Maintaining and importing products and services is more expensive because it is a remote site.

Because of the bungalow rooms’ style and location, prices are greater than the majority of hotels in most cases. The ultimate resort is a beautiful spot for an ideal romantic getaway with stunning views of the surrounding region.

Where can I find the cheapest overwater bungalows?

Caribbean and Central American bungalows are generally less expensive than Asian or South Pacific ones. Look for discounts when booking travel during the peak season or other holiday seasons.

The most highly-rated overwater rooms in Panama are at Azul Resort, which has the cheapest high-rated overwater bungalow.

See Related: All-Inclusive Family Resorts in Jamaica

Final Thoughts

Although some of these places could be fairly expensive, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never enjoy a holiday in an overwater bungalow. If you plan well, you can still have your dream holiday in some of these incredible sites.

But, even if you don’t have that much money, we have found a solution for you. These affordable overwater bungalows will offer some of the best experiences at relatively low prices.

Check them out and see which one you would love to visit. If you want to make your trip even more adventurous and free of stress, try hiring a travel concierge service when you arrive.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much is it to stay in a water bungalow?

Thankfully, overwater bungalows are fairly affordable in many destinations. There are overwater bungalow resorts in Bali that offer suites with rates starting at just $108 per night for a one-bedroom suite or up to $2,600 per night for four bedrooms.

Among overwater hotels and resorts, the Banyan Tree Langkawi in Malaysia offers overwater accommodations at a reasonable price. The resort overlooks the Andaman Sea and has over 400 luxury overwater villas.

Which resorts in Jamaica have over-the-water bungalows?

You can find overwater bungalows at Jamaica resorts like Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica, Trelawny Resort in Jamaica, or try the Delux All-Inclusive at Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay.

What islands have overwater bungalows?

Are overwater bungalows prevalent? Yes, overwater bungalows are available in many places throughout the world.

Does the Bahamas have over-the-water bungalows?

The Bahamas has overwater bungalows, though they are usually more expensive than overwater bungalows in other countries.

Where are the cheapest overwater bungalows?

The cheapest overwater bungalows can be found in Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Prices vary from US$100 to US$317 a night.

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