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  • Writer's pictureJessie Ladipo

Overwater Bungalows You Can Actually Afford (Part 1)

Overwater bungalows top many couples' wish lists. With prices $1,000 per night and higher, they might remain an unaffordable fantasy. Fortunately, budget-friendly overwater villas exist, and as resorts in the Caribbean become more luxurious and romantic, bungalows are popping up closer to home. Don't worry; you don't have to give up your dream trip to the South Pacific! From Mexico to the Maldives, affordable options are available, and they don't lack luxury and privacy. Here are the overwater bungalows you can afford.

Stella Island lies in the Analipsi district, only 3 miles from Hersonissos and 1,000 feet from a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach. Elegantly styled and impeccably furnished, all rooms offer direct access to the unusual lagoon-style pool. The Grand Overwater Bungalow with Outdoor Jacuzzi starts at $500 per night, so it is an excellent bargain for couples looking to do some island hopping in one of the most romantic countries in the world.

Open since 2011, the AVANI is home to 392 water villas. The bungalows range from large to enormous, with the largest having three bedrooms. The least expensive water villas come with four separate rooms to a structure, but they are vast and surprisingly comfortable for the price. You need to be aware that you can't swim beneath the villas because they perch high above the ocean, not a calm lagoon. But with overwater villas starting at $100 per night, you can afford to travel to the lagoon!

Of the 265 rooms that encompass this Tahitian hideaway established along a pristine lagoon, only 31 are overwater. The villas feature uninterrupted views of Moorea; they're also the most affordable overwater accommodations in Tahiti. You can get romantic with a sunset cruise or a private picnic with rates starting at $400 per night; you will have lots of room in the budget.

Is the Caribbean more your style? Consider the Azul Paradise in Panama. 15 years ago, there was only a dirt road in this area, and now there is a resort offering an authentic Caribbean eco-adventure. One of Panama's best-kept secrets, Azul will thrill nature lovers with its setting and affordable price; the overwater bungalows start at $400 per night.

Set along the Malé Atoll, Olhuvel is a Garden of Eden containing towering palms, sandy beaches, and a tranquil lagoon with 60 stilted bungalows. All villas feature sun decks, and your view will stretch for miles. Up the romance factor by booking a Jacuzzi villa for an open-air hot tub on your extensive patio. The overwater bungalows start at $350 per night, which is a fantastic price for the Maldives!

The archipelago of Palawan isn't well known, but it won't stay that way much longer. The 18 water cottages rest on a strip of sand where the dense jungle meets a shimmering lagoon. Kayak to hidden caves, hike through the rainforest or snorkel directly off sun deck. Prices start at $300 per night.

For travelers that appreciate a great bargain, Holiday Inn Resorts are a great choice. Few brands pack so much value at such a small price point. Their resorts offer 3-star rates at 5-star locations, making them hard to beat. The Vanuatu resort is the ideal romantic escape for budget-conscious couples. Each OWB (overwater bungalows for short) is at least 550 square feet and offers direct access to the lagoon. The price starts at around $250. If you have IHG points, you might be able to get your bungalow for free.

You will feel your pulse quicken with promise as you arrive at your Edgewater Floating Bures. The bures float above a tranquil lagoon, but they connect to the resort by a short jetty. You can access the water from your deck if you desire a swim or a snorkel session. Kayaks are free for bure. Koro Sun's prices start at $275 per night.

Seclusion is crucial at this nine-bungalow eco-resort located off Panama's Isla Colon in the Bocas del Toro. Picturesque villas feature thatch roofs, hammocks on wraparound patios, and stairs leading to the simmering Caribbean sea below. A low-key vibe prevails throughout, from the beachfront candlelit restaurant to the solar panels that power the property. It is the perfect choice for eco-conscious honeymoons looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Prices start at $265 per night.

The Maldives is synonymous with OWBs, and Reethi Beach is one of the most cost-effective choices in the world. It boasts 30 semi-detached water villas, each at 656 square feet. Their villas perch over the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean; they offer a spacious sitting area and a good-sized balcony with direct access to the lagoon. Reethi's prices start at $325 a night, making it one of the cheapest overwater bungalows you'll find!

Located on a private island amidst gorgeous powdery beaches and tropical rainforest, Pangkor Laut is a nature lover's utopia. Better yet, it's affordable enough to fit into most budgets. In addition to various room options on land, the resort has an assortment of water villas. If you are looking for an OWB and a private island getaway at an affordable price, you need to check out Pangkor Laut because their cottages start at $400 per night.

Does Bora Bora call you? Some honeymooners dream of jetting off to the most romantic island in the world, and nothing else will make them happy. If that is you, look toward the Le Bora Bora by Pearl. It sits across the lagoon from the main island, and it offers relatively inexpensive overwater options. The least expensive options are 667 square feet and start at about $710 per night during the low season. Yes, this is a lot more expensive than the other resorts on this list, but most OWBs in Bora Bora cost $1200 per night. Le Bora Bora is a great choice when nothing but Bora Bora will do!

If you dream of honeymooning in an overwater bungalow but need to keep costs low, these resorts will be a great place to start. Please note that all prices are starting points and are for the low season. If you travel during peak seasons, you can expect that the nightly rate will be higher. These are overwater bungalows you can afford.

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