Admit it, visions of overwater bungalows have been dancing through your dreams.
You’ve seen the photos. You’re obsessed with that beautiful blue water. Planning the perfect vacation in your very own overwater bungalow has vaulted to the top of your bucket list.
Unfortunately, there’s that whole money thing.
Let’s face it, staying in an OWB isn’t exactly a cheap vacation idea. When searching for affordable overwater bungalows, sticker shock can send even the most seasoned traveler running for cover. And it’s not just the rooms you have to worry about. Flights to many of these locations can get ridiculously expensive as well.
Fear not my frugal friends! While booking an overwater bungalow is never going to be dirt cheap, there are some relatively affordable options available. To help you realize your OWB dreams without breaking the bank, we’ve created this list of 11 affordable resorts with overwater bungalows. Enjoy!
Paying for Flights and Hotels
First things first, let’s talk about getting there. Presumably, you don’t live in the South Pacific, the Maldives, or the Caribbean – which is where the majority of these resorts are located. So, you’re going to need to hop a flight.
Depending on where you’re flying to (and from), flights to these gorgeous getaways could cost you thousands! Yes, I said thousands. For instance, Holly and I recently visited Bora Bora, and the flights alone cost us nearly two grand apiece. Yikes!
So, what’s a traveler on a budget supposed to do? Luckily, you can use points and miles to reduce the cost.
Regardless of where you’re trying to fly, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are almost always a good option. They transfer at a 1:1 ratio to 13 different travel partners (including 10 different airline rewards programs), which means you’ll likely be able to use those points to reduce your out-of-pocket costs. You can also transfer points to one of their hotel partners if it works out to your benefit.
2 Easy Ways to Earn “Free” Flights or Hotel Stays
Travel rewards credit cards can help you travel the world for pennies on the dollar. In fact, we’ve used these cards to earn thousands in free flights, hotels, and more. Here’s a few of our favorite cards to help you pay for your next big trip!
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Signup Bonus: 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
- Bonus Value: $750+
- Point Transfers: Points transfer 1:1 to partner loyalty programs
- Transfer Partners: Marriott, IHG, Hyatt, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Air France/Flying Blue, and more
- Card Details: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is almost always the first card we recommend to the first one we recommend to newbies. You earn a massive 60,000 point bonus when you spend $4,000 on your card in the first three months. Those points are worth $750 in travel when you book through the Chase portal, or you can stretch your points further by transferring them to one of Chase’s thirteen airline and hotel loyalty partners. You also earn 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees, and you can redeem points for high-value gift cards (not recommended) so you really can’t go wrong!
- Annual Fee: $95
- Learn how to apply | Read our review
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- Welcome Offer: 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months
- Bonus Value: $500
- Card Details: The Capital One Venture Rewards Card makes earning free flights and hotels easy. After making $3,000 in purchases over the first 3 months, you’ll earn a 50,000 point signup bonus. Those points are worth $500 toward a travel statement credit. Simply use your card to book flights or hotels, then apply the credit on your next statement. That means you can choose any airline or hotel you wish, plus there are never any blackout dates to worry about! You’ll also earn 2x points per dollar spent, 10x points on select hotels (through the Capital One portal), and you’ll get up to $100 in credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck. That’s hard to beat!
- Annual Fee: $95, waived for first year
- Learn how to apply
Looking for a specific airline or hotel card to meet your needs? Find more of the best travel rewards credit cards here.
11 Resorts with Cheap Overwater Bungalows
With that out of the way, let’s get to what you’ve all come to find. Here are 11 overwater bungalows that are affordable enough to help fulfill those OWB dreams!!!
1) Holiday Inn Resort – Vanuatu
For budget travelers, few properties are better suited than Holiday Inn Resorts. These properties generally offer 3-star rates at 5-star locations, which makes them really hard to beat.
Sitting on its own private island, the Vanuatu resort is the perfect romantic retreat for budget conscious travelers. Measuring at roughly 550 square feet each, the overwater bungalows accommodate up to 2 adults and provide direct access to the lagoon.
Rates for OWBs start at around $250-$300 a night, although regular room rates can be booked for less. You might also consider using your IHG points to make your stay at this resort even cheaper.
2) InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa – Moorea
Speaking of IHG hotels, the InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa also offers overwater bungalows at a relatively affordable price point.
Moorea is well-known for its beautiful sand beaches and dramatic volcanic mountains, and this 44-acre property doesn’t disappoint. (They even have their own dolphin center!) Located on the island’s northwestern coast, the resort actually sits on its own small cove that protects the beach from the South Pacific – which also makes it a great place for snorkeling!
Each of the recently renovated 48 overwater bungalows measure just over 700 square feet with prices starting at around $550 a night. Garden and beach bungalows are also available.
3) Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa – Bora Bora
Also located in French Polynesia, the island of Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Known for its massive volcanic mountain surrounded by a lagoon, this is a bucket list destination for beach lovers around the world.
Bora Bora is generally considered to be an expensive destination to visit, but it doesn’t have to be. Like many of the resorts here, the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa sits across the lagoon from the main island. However, this one offers affordable overwater bungalows to fit almost any budget.
The cheapest options measure in at 667 square feet and sit closer to the beach. Prices for OWBs start at about $640 per night during the low season.
4) Reethi Beach Resort – Maldives
The Maldives is almost synonymous with overwater bungalows, and Reethi Beach Resort provides one of the most cost-effective options anywhere.
This resort boasts 30 semi-detached water villas sitting over crystal blue waters that measure at 656 square feet each. Each room comes with a large sitting area, a separate bath and shower, and a good-sized balcony that offers direct access to the lagoon. Divers will also find a 5-star PADI dive center.
Here’s the best part: Prices for these villas start at just about $250 a night, making it one of the cheapest overwater bungalows you’ll find! And, unlike some other Maldives locations, there’s not an exorbitant resort fee hidden in your checkout costs.
5) St. George’s Caye Resort – Belize
Sticking with resorts in the Caribbean, St. George’s Caye Resort in Belize is another affordable option for overwater bungalow experiences. Catering to couples, and perfect for honeymooners, the resort requires all guests be age 15 years or older (13 for divers).
A number of different activity packages are available for divers and adventurers, including SCUBA certification courses and several land-based activities. Non-motorized watersports are also included with the price of your room. Meals (which are served “family style”), coffee, and tea are also included.
Rates for overwater bungalows start at about $450 per night for 2 adults.
6) Anthony’s Key Resort – Roatan (Honduras)
If you love all-inclusive resorts but dream of staying in an overwater bungalow, Anthony’s Key Resort may be for you.
This family-run resort is located on the island of Roatan, which sits about 40 miles off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean Sea. Famous for its turquoise waters and beautiful beaches, Roatan is a top destination for Caribbean lovers of all types.
This particular resort caters to couples, families, and honeymooners alike. With a wide variety of packages and activities available (think snorkeling, diving, ziplining, dolphin experiences, and more), you’ll never run out of things to do and see. For two adults, rates start at around $570 per night.
7) Berjaya Langkawai Resort – Malaysia
If you’re looking for cheap overwater bungalows, Malaysia has a lot to offer. Situated between a lovely beachfront and a tropical rainforest, Berjaya Langkawai Resort is brimming with beauty.
This property features meeting facilities, 8 different restaurants and bars, a host of recreational activities, and more. Perfect for nature lovers, this resort also has 8 different types of rooms available, including 4 different water villas. The “chalets” are the smallest and cheapest of the overwater options. These rooms measure at 602 square feet with prices starting at about $399 per night.
8) Maitai Polynesia – Bora Bora
If you can’t stop dreaming about Bora Bora, the Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora is definitely somewhere to consider. As one of the first resorts on the main island, this 3-star property offers some of the cheapest overwater bungalows in Bora Bora.
Along with hotel and ocean view rooms, the resort has 13 overwater bungalows available. These water villas provide direct access to the crystal blue waters of Bora Bora’s incredible lagoon.
Rather than catching a ferry across the lagoon, like at many Bora Bora resorts, the Maitai Polynesia’s location on the main island makes it easy for guests to take full advantage of local restaurants and activities. Starting at about $600 per night, this resort can help make your Bora Bora dreams come true!
9) Pangkor Laut Resort – Malaysia
Located on its own private island between beautiful sandy beaches and a tropical rainforest, Pangkor Laut Resort in Malaysia is a nature lover’s paradise. Better yet, it’s affordable enough to stick within your travel budget.
The resort boasts 7 different restaurants as well as a variety of amenities and activities to fit almost any traveler’s desire. In addition to the multiple room options on land, the resort also offers an assortment of water villas from which to choose. Most of these villas measure at 592 square feet, although larger spaces are available. During the low season, rates begin at about $400 per night.
10) Royal Huahine Resort – Huahine
Heading back to French Polynesia, a stay at the Royal Huahine Resort provides one of the best values for overwater bungalows that you’ll find.
Just a short plane ride from Tahiti, the island of Huahine allows you to experience the vibrant turquoise waters and sensational sandy beaches found throughout French Polynesia. Guests can dine at one of the property’s two restaurants or take a ten minute drive into town to explore the local cuisine. And, while some of the island’s neighbors may be more famous, this relatively undiscovered spot is considerably more affordable.
With rates for overwater bungalows starting at about $330 a night, this tropical paradise is one that deserves a spot on your bucket list.
11) Azul Paradise Resort – Panama
Are overwater bungalows in the Caribbean more your style? Consider the Azul Paradise Resort in Panama. No more than a dirt road 15 years ago, this area is sure to provide you with an authentic experience you won’t find in many other places.
One of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets, nature lovers are also sure to love all that the area has to offer. Snorkelers are just a short boat ride from some of the Caribbean’s best coral reefs, while dolphin lovers should keep their eyes peeled in search of the area’s bottlenose dolphins.
Thankfully, this all comes at a price that is affordable. Rates for overwater bungalows start at about $370 per night. These rooms have their own private deck, king bed, and sleep two. Meal plans are also available upon request.
Overwater Bungalows: Final Thoughts
See?!? Finding cheap overwater bungalows isn’t as difficult as you thought!
With a little bit of planning and a small amount of research, you could stretch your travel dollars enough to make your overwater bungalow dreams come true!
Thanks so much for reading! Until next time, happy traveling!
Have you ever stayed in one of these resorts? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!