9 best overwater luxury resorts in the Caribbean giving serious vacay goals, boutique bungalows to all-inclusive hideaways.
Last updated: November 2023 / Feature image: courtesy of Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort
If soaking in some serious R&R in a luxurious overwater bungalow doesn’t scream dream vacation, we don’t know what does. And while many associate said bucket list getaway with the Maldives, did you know there are a number of stunning overwater resorts located just a hop, skip and a jump away from the States? No long-haul flight needed! In just mere hours you can be from your doorstep to your own private, overwater bungalow surrounded by nothing but shimmering turquoise water, dreamy sunsets and a well-deserved dose of tropical bliss.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best overwater resorts you can visit right now in the Caribbean and Latin America. From couples only hideaways with private butler service to family-friendly bungalows with island-to-table dining, these nine overwater picks are bringing a whole new meaning to room with a view.
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But first: travel insurance to the rescue.
Wherever, and whenever, you might be traveling, travel insurance is always a good idea. I personally use and recommend Faye Travel Insurance for their thorough, easy to understand and fair-priced coverage options. Think: emergency medical and sickness benefits in the event of an accident or illness while abroad, compensation for lost luggage and personal effects, and trip protection covering things like unforeseen cancellation, interruption or missed connections.
You can even add optional coverage for your traveling pets, that sweet ride you’ll be renting, extreme sports and accidental vacation rental damage (oops). Plus! A game-changing travel benefit you can add on to your policy: the ability to cancel for any reason. Did I mention a seamless in-app claims process and rapid, on-the-go reimbursements to your digital Faye Wallet? Check pricing here.
Pro Tip: it’s best to buy your travel insurance policy within 14 days of making your initial trip deposit (like when you buy your flights or book your hotel).
Palafitos – Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma: Riviera Maya, Mexico
Effectively bringing the Maldives to Mexico, adults-only Palafitos counts thirty luxurious bungalows perched right over top the glistening waters of the Mexican Caribbean sea. In fact, the property happens to be the only over-ocean resort in the entire region. Combined with the property’s signature Gourmet Inclusive dining, it’s safe to say this overwater escape is elevating all-inclusives in both a figurative and literal way.
Bliss is an understatement. You’ll soak in stunning, 360 degree views of the surrounding turquoise sea and virgin beachfront behind, which you can do from within your idyllic bungalow, while lounging on your private, wraparound deck or while taking a dip in your private infinity pool. Your overwater retreat further boasts glass bottom floors, direct ladder access into the ocean, a romantic outdoor shower, in-bungalow jacuzzi, private butler service and included, 24-hour room service.
Plus! Signature Maya-rooted body treatments, an invigorating hydrotherapy circuit and even a temazcal (traditional Maya sweat lodge) at the on-site Náay Spa.
Stay smarter: Book Palafitos – Overwater Bungalows directly through Under the Palm and enjoy VIP treatment and perks – for free.
Royalton Antigua, An Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort & Casino: St. John’s, Antigua
Nestled along the gently lapping waters of sparkling Deep Bay, a stay at any of Royalton Antigua’s 294 luxurious suites is sure to be unforgettable. But for the ultimate experience you’ll want to book one of the property’s six exclusive, Chairman Overwater Bungalows.
Polished wood surrounds, a natural color palette and contemporary furnishings evoke a sense of tranquility, while dreamy amenities like a private infinity plunge pool, overwater hammock, in-suite jacuzzi, glass bottom floor and personal butler service will make you question if you ever need to leave your room. When you do, you’ll want to head to the full-service Royal Spa to achieve even deeper relaxation.
Choose to dine in-bungalow with upgraded room service or a private romantic dinner, or head to any of the Royalton’s eight on-site restaurants (or five bars). You can even try your luck at the on-site casino. Note while the resort is family-friendly, all overwater bungalows are exclusively adults only.
Stay smarter: Book Royalton Antigua directly through Under the Palm and enjoy VIP treatment and perks – for free.
Thatch Caye, a Private Island Resort by Muy’Ono: Dangriga, Belize
What’s better than an overwater bungalow? An overwater bungalow located on a private island. Enter Thatch Caye, a laid-back all-inclusive resort offering just that. The fifteen room property is situated on its very own slice of paradise off the coast of Dangriga, Belize, offering deserted island vibes in all of the best ways.
Three Overwater Bungalows and five Premium Overwater Bungalows await with wood accents, earthy hues and jaw-dropping views, not to mention A/C, king beds (or two twins) and palapa-covered sundecks complete with swaying hammocks. All bungalows are open to guests of all ages. In fact, the three Overwater Bungalows share a large, connected deck, making it perfect for families or groups of friends.
Offering true farm-to-table dining, Thatch Caye’s local chefs work hand-in-hand with nearby Muy’Ono Farms (in Cayo, Belize) to curate unique, seasonal menu offerings. The result? A variety of fresh organic cuisine taking nods from local Belizean dishes and international fare alike. When it’s time for your sundowner – or nightcap under the stars – sit back, relax and enjoy a rum-based tropical concoction from either of the property’s two on-site bars.
Stay smarter: Book Thatch Caye directly through Under the Palm and enjoy VIP treatment and perks – for free.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba: Riviera Maya, Mexico
Drive 40 minutes south of bustling Cancun and you’ll arrive worlds away into the refined refuge of Banyan Tree Mayakoba. Framed by the Mexican Caribbean coastline on one side and the region’s lush mangrove ecosystem on the other, this luxurious Asia-inspired retreat offers everything from Beachfront Lanai Pool Suites and Two-Bedroom Family Residences to immersive Wellbeing Sanctuaries and, most recently, seven exclusive Over-Lagoon Rooftop Pool Villas.
These sprawling one-bedroom hideaways are situated over two elegantly appointed levels, offering zen vibes only (and then some). Think unforgettable watercolor sunsets while going for a dip in your heated plunge pool, tranquil mangrove surrounds while soaking in your outdoor jacuzzi tub or enjoying private, in-villa gourmet dining. Not to mention indoor and outdoor showers, a fully stocked in-villa minibar and two complimentary bicycles for exploring the property’s stunning tropical setting. Plus: a privileged location mere steps from the glimmering turquoise sea.
Take room service one step further with Banyan Tree’s signature in-villa BBQ experience, or head out to enjoy a plethora of a-la-carte culinary offerings ranging from beachfront surf & turf fare to authentic Thai, Italian and regional Mexican cuisine. You can even head deep into the jungle for a unique dining experience paying homage to the region’s ancient Maya inhabitants, or enjoy a romantic dinner for two under the stars aboard a traditional Mexican trajinera (flat-bottomed wooden boat).
The AAA Five Diamond resort further boasts its own 18-hole PGA golf course, blissful Banyan Tree Spa and curated experiences for all ages – including complimentary eco-boat tours through the property’s winding mangrove canals.
Stay smarter: Book Banyan Tree Mayakoba directly through Under the Palm and enjoy VIP treatment and perks – for free.
Sandals Royal Caribbean All-Inclusive Couples Only Resort: Montego Bay, Jamaica
A short boat ride from couples-only Sandals Royal Caribbean on the mainland brings you to the tropical retreat’s private offshore island – and a string of blissful overwater bungalows dotting the crystal clear sea. Whether you choose the Honeymoon Bungalow or spacious Villa with Infinity Pool, both room types offer personalized butler service alongside unparalleled, all-included luxury.
Outdoor soaking tubs for two, infinity plunge pools, overwater hammocks and outdoor showers are just some of the premium amenities you’ll find on your private sundeck. Meanwhile inside, think vaulted ceilings, glass floor panels, plush king beds, his & her sinks and Molton Brown bath amenities – not to mention 24-hour room service.
If you can tear yourself away from your overwater escape, you can further indulge in international cuisine and libations from nine restaurants and six bars, treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment or try your hand at any number of water sports and land activities. A private water taxi awaits to whisk you to and from the mainland at your whim.
Stay smarter: Book Sandals Royal Caribbean directly through Under the Palm and enjoy VIP treatment and perks – for free.
Sandals South Coast All-Inclusive Couples Only Resort: Whitehouse, Jamaica
Along Jamaica’s untouched southwest coastline you’ll find Sandals South Coast, a romantic, secluded hideaway taking up residence on two miles of pristine white sand beach – that happens to be located within a 500-acre nature preserve. Here you can stay in one of twelve Over the Water Butler Honeymoon Bungalows, offering complete immersion with the surrounding, sparkling Caribbean sea.
You won’t be able to resist jumping in every morning right off your private sundeck, or catching dreamy sunsets in your outdoor soaking tub. Vaulted ceilings, glass floor panels and large, spa-style bathrooms (equipped with walk-in rain showers) are just some of the luxury amenities you can find inside, plus 24-hour room service and unobtrusive Butler Elite service.
You can further relax at any of three pools (one of which lays claim as Jamaica’s largest), go for a day of pampering at the on-site spa or enjoy international cuisine and tropical concoctions from nine restaurants and seven bars. At night, follow the beachside glow to revel around flickering fire pits and bonfires.
Stay smarter: Book Sandals South Coast directly through Under the Palm and enjoy VIP treatment and perks – for free.
St. George’s Caye Resort: Belize
Located on the eponymous island of St. George’s Caye, this hidden haven is easily accessible at just seven miles from Belize City – yet feels worlds away. The intimate, adults-only refuge counts six thatched roof overwater bungalows, blending a rustic-Caribbean feel with plenty of comfort-driven amenities. Think handcrafted Belizean hardwood ceilings paired with A/C, a king bed, mini-fridge and bathrobes. Step outside to your private, hammock-equipped porch for lazy mornings, or head further out to the shared wooden dock for sunbathing, sunset viewing or jumping into the surrounding turquoise sea.
Made-to-order breakfast, lunch and 4-course dinner are included in your stay. Plus, coffee/tea and fresh-squeezed juice brought to your bungalow each morning. Ingredients are locally sourced from the chef’s own nearby village, and you might even enjoy the day’s fresh catch from local fishermen passing by the island. While unlimited alcoholic beverages are not included here, your first rum punch of the day is always on the house.
Stay smarter: Book St. George’s Caye directly through Under the Palm and enjoy VIP treatment and perks – for free.
Aruba Ocean Villas: Savaneta, Aruba
This adults-only seaside escape is the only resort in Aruba offering not just overwater bungalows – but sprawling overwater villas. The property currently counts five such sanctuaries with six more underway. Villas exude a blend of tropical glamour with elegant Indonesian influences, including draped canopy beds, unique showers, 850+ square feet of space and of course, spectacular ocean views at every turn. Outside, spacious sundecks are equipped with such luxuries as daybeds, overwater hammocks, outdoor bathtubs and private plunge pools.
Back on land you can grab a toes-in-the-sand cocktail from the boutique property’s Toteki Beach Bar, and enjoy elevated island fare from Hemmingway-inspired restaurant, The Old Man and The Sea. Tip: reserve the private, overwater cabana for a truly unforgettable dining experience. This local-owned, boutique property is not an all-inclusive, however complimentary breakfast is served each morning.
Stay smarter: Book Aruba Ocean Villas directly through Under the Palm and enjoy VIP treatment and perks – for free.
Sandals Grande St. Lucian All-Inclusive Couples Only Resort: St. Lucia
Paradise found – and then some. This couples only, all-inclusive resort is situated on a peaceful peninsula in St. Lucia. Surrounded by idyllic Rodney Bay on one side and crystal clear ocean on the other, not to mention the sweeping backdrop of the island’s majestic volcanic mountains, this place brings a whole new meaning to room with a view. Here, nine recently completed Over-the-Water Bungalows offer the ultimate tropical escape.
These luxury overwater suites feature a multi-level sundeck complete with swim-up ladder, overwater hammock, outdoor shower and romantic outdoor soaking tub for two. Inside, a king size bed, spa-style bathroom with his & her sinks, smart TV and uplit “sea-through” glass floors await. Did we mention 24-hour room service and your own private butler?
Plus, twelve restaurants ranging from island fare to Indian to Italian, seven bars (including swim-ups), nightly entertainment ranging from reggae to broadway, a full-service spa and a dizzying array of unlimited water sports and land activities.
Stay smarter: Book Sandals Grande St. Lucian directly through Under the Palm and enjoy VIP treatment and perks – for free.