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27 Luxury Overwater Bungalows in Florida (2024 Updates!)

Looking for a unique and unforgettable vacation experience right here in the US? 

The overwater bungalows in Florida offer an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of staying over water without having to jet off to some distant tropical paradise. 

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Disney overwater bungalows Florida

Actual Overwater Bungalows in Florida

Florida, known for its stunning beaches and captivating landscapes, offers a unique experience for those seeking the exotic allure of overwater bungalows.

While not as prevalent as in regions like the Maldives or Bora Bora, Florida does have its own exclusive collection of overwater accommodations.

Here, we explore the existing overwater bungalows in Florida.

1. Bungalows Key Largo

  • Location: Key Largo, Florida Keys
  • Description: Bungalows Key Largo is a luxurious, adults-only overwater resort located in the Florida Keys. As the first all-inclusive overwater bungalow resort in the USA, it offers a blend of luxury and privacy. Each bungalow is elegantly designed with a private veranda, soaking tub, and outdoor shower.
  • Amenities: The resort features amenities like a full-service spa, infinity pools, and gourmet dining options. Guests can enjoy a variety of water activities, such as snorkeling, paddle boarding, and sunset cruises.
  • Pricing: Prices vary based on season and package, starting from approximately $1,000 per night.
  • Unique Features: This resort stands out for its eco-friendly practices and its adults-only policy, ensuring a serene and intimate atmosphere.
florida overwater bungalows

2. Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

  • Location: Lake Buena Vista, near Orlando
  • Description: Nestled on the shores of the Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World Resort, these Florida overwater bungalows offer a unique Disney-themed overwater experience. Each bungalow is styled with Polynesian decor and offers views of the Magic Kingdom fireworks.
  • Amenities: Guests have access to the amenities of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, including themed pools, water slides, and dining experiences. The proximity to Disney parks is a significant draw.
  • Pricing: Pricing is dynamic, often starting around $800 per night, varying with season and availability.
  • Unique Features: These bungalows offer a magical view of the Disney fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant, making them a favorite for families and Disney enthusiasts.

Guest Experiences and Reviews

  • Bungalows Key Largo: Guests often rave about the tranquility and luxury of Bungalows Key Largo. Reviews of these Florida over the water bungalows frequently highlight the excellent service, the quality of food, and the exclusive adults-only atmosphere. Some guests note the price as a consideration but find the experience worth the cost.
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows: Visitors love the unique Disney magic infused into their stay. The view of the fireworks and easy access to Disney parks are often mentioned as highlights. While some find the price a bit steep, the convenience and unique Disney experience are generally seen as pluses.
polynesia resport bungalows

Understanding the Rarity of Overwater Bungalows in Florida

While the allure of Florida overwater bungalows is undeniable, their scarcity in Florida can be attributed to several key factors ranging from geographical constraints to regulatory challenges.

Geographical and Environmental Factors

  • Coastal Dynamics: Florida’s coastline is dynamic and often subject to erosion, sea-level rise, and storm impacts. Constructing overwater bungalows that can withstand these natural elements poses significant challenges.
  • Marine Ecosystems: Florida’s waters are rich in biodiversity, including delicate coral reefs and mangrove ecosystems. The construction of overwater bungalows could disrupt these fragile habitats, leading to environmental concerns.
  • Depth and Topography of Coastal Waters: In many parts of Florida, coastal waters are either too shallow or too deep for feasible construction of overwater structures, unlike the ideal conditions found in places like the South Pacific.

Regulatory and Zoning Challenges

  • Building Regulations: Florida has stringent building codes, especially designed to withstand hurricanes. Adhering to these regulations for overwater structures is both challenging and costly.
  • Zoning Laws: Zoning laws in coastal areas of Florida are strict to protect the environment and maintain public access to waterfronts. These laws often restrict the type of developments that can occur over water.
  • Permitting Process: Obtaining permits for overwater construction is a lengthy and complex process in Florida, involving multiple governmental agencies and environmental assessments.

Weather and Climate Considerations

  • Hurricane Risk: Florida’s hurricane season runs from June to November, posing a significant risk to any overwater structure. The cost of building and insuring such properties to withstand these conditions is prohibitively high.
  • Climate Change Impact: Rising sea levels and increasing intensity of storms due to climate change add to the uncertainty and risk of overwater bungalow construction in Florida.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Overwater Bungalows Near Florida

For those who dream of staying in a Florida overwater bungalow but find options limited in Florida, there are several enchanting destinations in the Caribbean and Central America that are easily accessible from Florida.

These locations offer the quintessential overwater bungalow experience, combining luxury with breathtaking natural beauty.

Caribbean and Central America Options

The Bahamas
  • Just a short flight from Florida, the Bahamas offers a few overwater bungalow experiences, combining luxury with stunning ocean views.
  • Example: Sandals Royal Bahamian, located in Nassau, offers overwater villas with glass floors, private pools, and butler service.
  • Known for its vibrant culture and beautiful beaches, Jamaica hosts several overwater bungalow resorts.
  • Example: Sandals South Coast provides overwater bungalows with a Tahitian design, featuring glass floor panels and over-water hammocks.
  • Belize’s barrier reef, the second-largest in the world, presents a unique backdrop for overwater stays.
  • Example: Thatch Caye Resort offers overwater bungalows in a private island setting, ideal for snorkeling and exploring marine life.
  • The Riviera Maya in Mexico, though slightly farther, is home to luxurious overwater accommodations.
  • Example: Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma offer exclusive bungalows with glass-bottom floors, private infinity pools, and direct ocean access.

Comparison with Florida Overwater Bungalows

  • Accessibility: While these locations require international travel, they are relatively close to Florida, with direct flights available from major Florida airports.
  • Cost: The pricing can be comparable to or even less than the limited overwater options in Florida, depending on the season and resort.
  • Experience: These destinations offer a more traditional overwater bungalow experience, often in more secluded and exotic environments, compared to the more theme-oriented options available in Florida.
Melia Cayo Coco

Making the Most of Your Overwater Bungalow Experience

Staying in an overwater bungalow is a unique experience that requires some planning to make the most of it.

Whether you’re booking in Florida or a nearby destination, here are some tips to help you prepare for an unforgettable getaway.

Booking Tips

  • Advance Planning: Overwater bungalows are often in high demand. Book well in advance, especially if you’re targeting peak travel seasons or specific dates.
  • Comparison Shopping: Compare prices across different platforms and consider package deals that may include meals, activities, and transportation.
  • Read the Fine Print: Understand the cancellation policy, especially for international travel, which can be more susceptible to changes due to various factors.

What to Expect and How to Prepare

  • Pack Appropriately: Bring swimwear, reef-safe sunscreen, and water shoes. If you plan to engage in specific activities like snorkeling or paddle boarding, check if you need to bring your own gear.
  • Check for Inclusions: Know what’s included in your stay. Some overwater bungalows offer all-inclusive packages, while others might charge extra for certain amenities.
  • Weather Awareness: Be aware of the weather patterns, especially if traveling during hurricane season. Consider travel insurance for international trips.
  • Respect the Environment: Overwater bungalows are often located in sensitive ecological areas. Be mindful of your impact on the marine 
florida over the water bungalow

The Bahamas: A Stone’s Throw Away from Florida

Overview of the Bahamas as a Destination

The Bahamas, an archipelago of over 700 islands and cays, lies just southeast of Florida. Renowned for its pristine beaches, clear turquoise waters, and vibrant marine life, it offers an idyllic escape for those seeking both relaxation and adventure.

The proximity of the Bahamas to Florida makes it an easily accessible destination for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the overwater bungalow experience.

Overwater Bungalows Near Florida in the Bahamas

  1. Sandals Royal Bahamian, Nassau
    • Description: This adults-only resort offers luxurious overwater villas that epitomize romance and exclusivity. Each villa is a haven of solitude with private pools, glass floors, and personal butler service.
    • Unique Features: The bungalows feature extended sun decks, outdoor showers, and tranquility soaking tubs for two, offering panoramic views of the ocean.
    • Activities: Guests can indulge in water sports, spa treatments, and gourmet dining. The resort also arranges local excursions to explore Nassau’s cultural landmarks.
  2. Other Notable Overwater Options:
    • While Sandals Royal Bahamian is the most prominent, there are other resorts and private islands in the Bahamas that offer overwater experiences, each with their unique charm.

Exploring the Bahamas Beyond the Bungalow

  • Local Culture and Cuisine: The Bahamas is rich in culture, with lively music, colorful festivals, and delicious local cuisine. Exploring local markets and dining at authentic Bahamian restaurants is a must.
  • Marine Adventures: The clear waters of the Bahamas are perfect for snorkeling, diving, and swimming with pigs at famous spots like Exuma.
  • Historical Sites: Nassau, the capital, is steeped in history with landmarks like Fort Fincastle and the Queen’s Staircase.

Travel Tips for the Bahamas

  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is from mid-December to mid-April when the weather is most favorable.
  • Getting There: There are frequent flights to Nassau from various cities in Florida, often taking less than an hour.
  • Currency and Language: The Bahamian dollar is on par with the US dollar, which is widely accepted. English is the official language.
Azul Paradise Resort

Jamaica’s Overwater Retreats

Introduction to Jamaica’s Culture and Natural Beauty

Jamaica, a Caribbean island nation, is known for its rich cultural heritage, reggae music, and stunning natural landscapes.

From the lush mountains and rainforests to the reef-lined beaches, Jamaica provides a vibrant backdrop for an extraordinary overwater bungalow experience.

In-depth Look at Overwater Bungalow Resorts in Jamaica

  1. Sandals South Coast
    • Description: Set on a 2-mile stretch of Jamaica’s south coast, this resort offers overwater bungalows that are a perfect blend of luxury and the island’s unique spirit.
    • Unique Features: The bungalows feature see-through glass floors, over-water hammocks, private outdoor Tranquility Soaking Tubs™, and butler service.
    • Amenities: Guests can enjoy gourmet dining across various restaurants, a world-class spa, and unlimited water sports.
  2. Other Notable Overwater Accommodations:
    • Sandals Royal Caribbean, Montego Bay: Known for its private island and Thai-style overwater bungalows, this resort adds an exotic touch to the Caribbean experience.
    • GoldenEye, Oracabessa: While not traditional overwater bungalows, the lagoon cottages here offer a similar serene water experience.

Unique Experiences and Local Attractions in Jamaica

  • Jamaican Cuisine: A must-try is the local cuisine, famous for jerk spices, fresh seafood, and unique flavors.
  • Reggae and Cultural Tours: Immerse in the island’s musical heritage with reggae tours and visit cultural sites like the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Jamaica is a haven for nature lovers, offering hiking in the Blue Mountains, exploring the Green Grotto Caves, or rafting on the Martha Brae River.

Traveling to and Around Jamaica

  • Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit is between November and mid-December when the weather is pleasant, and the tourist crowds are thinner.
  • Accessibility: Jamaica has several international airports with direct flights from many cities in Florida, making it a convenient destination.
  • Local Tips: English is the official language. The Jamaican dollar (JMD) is the local currency, but USD is widely accepted in tourist areas.
Sandals Royal Caribbean overwater bungalows in florida

Belize: Unspoiled Natural Beauty

Overview of Belize’s Ecological Wonders

Belize, a small nation on the eastern coast of Central America, is celebrated for its remarkable biodiversity and the richness of its natural environments.

From the dense jungles to the second-largest barrier reef in the world, Belize is a hidden gem for travelers seeking both adventure and tranquility.

Comprehensive Review of Overwater Accommodations in Belize

  1. Thatch Caye Resort:
    • Description: Located on a private island, Thatch Caye Resort offers an exclusive and intimate overwater experience. Its bungalows are perfectly nestled above the crystal-clear Caribbean waters, offering spectacular views and serene privacy.
    • Unique Features: The resort’s overwater bungalows have thatched roofs, private decks, and are designed for eco-friendly sustainability. They offer a true disconnect from the busy world, with no TVs but plenty of natural beauty.
    • Activities: Guests can enjoy world-class snorkeling, diving, fishing, and kayaking, or simply relax and soak up the sun.
  2. Cayo Espanto:
    • Description: A private island resort near San Pedro, Cayo Espanto features luxurious overwater villas with stunning vistas of the Caribbean Sea.
    • Unique Features: Each villa has a private plunge pool, personalized chef service, and custom-tailored experiences.
    • Privacy and Exclusivity: Known for its unparalleled privacy and service, this resort is a favorite among celebrities seeking a secluded getaway.

Emphasis on Eco-Tourism and Adventure Activities

  • The Belize Barrier Reef: The reef offers some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving experiences in the world, with vibrant coral formations and a plethora of marine life.
  • Eco-Tourism: Belize is committed to sustainable tourism practices, making it an ideal destination for eco-conscious travelers. Exploring the mainland’s rainforests and wildlife sanctuaries is a must.
  • Cultural Experiences: Belize’s rich cultural heritage, influenced by Mayan, Creole, and Mestizo cultures, is reflected in its food, music, and festivals.

Travel Tips for Belize

  • Best Time to Visit: The ideal period to visit is between late November and mid-April, during the dry season.
  • Getting There: Belize is accessible via direct flights from several cities in Florida. The main airport is in Belize City.
  • Currency and Language: The Belize dollar is the local currency, pegged 2:1 to the USD, which is widely accepted. English is the official language, making travel relatively easy for English-speaking visitors.
El Dorado Maroma

Overwater Luxury in Mexico’s Riviera Maya

The Allure of Mexico’s Caribbean Coast

Mexico’s Riviera Maya, stretching along the Yucatán Peninsula’s Caribbean coastline, is renowned for its stunning beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, and lush tropical landscapes.

This region combines the mystique of ancient civilizations with modern luxury, making it an ideal destination for an overwater bungalow experience.

Detailed Profiles of Overwater Bungalow Resorts

  1. Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma:
    • Description: Located on one of the world’s top beaches, these exclusive overwater bungalows offer a blend of elegance and seclusion.
    • Unique Features: Each bungalow features glass-bottom floors, private infinity pools, direct ladder access to the ocean, and personalized butler service.
    • Amenities: The resort provides gourmet dining, a world-class spa, and various water sports, ensuring a luxurious stay.
  2. Rosewood Mayakoba:
    • Description: Situated within a private resort community, Rosewood Mayakoba offers lavish lagoon-facing accommodations, though not strictly overwater, they provide a similar serene water experience.
    • Unique Features: The suites feature plunge pools, rooftop sundecks, and boat docks, encapsulating luxury amidst nature.
    • Experiences: Guests can indulge in eco-tours, Mayan cooking classes, and exploration of the nearby Mayan ruins.

Cultural Experiences and Excursions in the Region

  • Mayan Heritage: Visiting ancient Mayan ruins like Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Coba offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history.
  • Cenotes and Natural Wonders: The Yucatán Peninsula is dotted with cenotes (natural sinkholes), providing unique swimming and snorkeling experiences.
  • Local Cuisine: The culinary scene in Riviera Maya is a fusion of traditional Mexican flavors with Caribbean influences, a must-try for food enthusiasts.

Travel Tips for the Riviera Maya

  • Best Time to Visit: The peak season is from December to April, with pleasant weather and minimal rainfall.
  • Accessibility: The Riviera Maya is easily accessible, with the Cancun International Airport serving as the main gateway.
  • Language and Currency: While Spanish is the official language, English is widely spoken in tourist areas. The Mexican Peso (MXN) is the local currency, but USD is often accepted.

Tips for Choosing the Right Overwater Bungalow

Selecting the perfect overwater bungalow for your vacation is crucial. Each destination and resort offers a unique set of experiences, amenities, and atmospheres. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Personal Preferences and Style: Determine if you prefer a tranquil, romantic getaway or an adventure-filled holiday. Resorts offer different experiences, from secluded retreats to activity-rich environments.
  2. Budget Considerations: Overwater bungalows can range from moderately expensive to ultra-luxurious. Assess your budget and look for options that offer the best value for your money.
  3. Location and Accessibility: Consider the travel time and ease of access from your home. Proximity to airports and the availability of transportation should be taken into account.
  4. Amenities and Services: Evaluate what is important to you – spa services, water sports, dining options, etc. Ensure the chosen bungalow aligns with your interests.
  5. Environmental Impact and Sustainability: For eco-conscious travelers, it’s important to consider the environmental practices of the resort and the sustainability of their accommodations.
Rosewood Mayakoba Resort

Making the Journey: Travel Tips and Essentials

A well-planned trip ensures a hassle-free and enjoyable vacation. Here are some essential travel tips when heading out to Florida overwater bungalows:

  1. Flight Arrangements: Look for direct flights to minimize travel time. Consider travel insurance, especially for international trips.
  2. Packing Essentials: Pack according to the climate and activities. Don’t forget swimwear, sun protection, comfortable clothing, and any specific gear for planned activities.
  3. Health and Safety: Stay updated on any travel advisories or health-related requirements, like vaccinations or COVID-19 protocols.
  4. Local Customs and Etiquette: Research the local customs, language basics, and etiquette of your chosen destination to ensure respectful interactions.
  5. Currency and Payment Methods: Familiarize yourself with the local currency and payment practices. It’s often beneficial to carry some local currency in addition to credit/debit cards.

Conclusion: Finding Your Overwater Paradise

In summary, overwater bungalows near Florida offer a splendid array of options, each with its unique charm and allure.

From the serene beauty of the Bahamas to the vibrant culture of Jamaica, the untouched nature of Belize, and the luxurious allure of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, these destinations promise an unforgettable experience.

Whether you seek romance, adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, there is an overwater bungalow waiting to be your paradise. Remember to plan ahead, consider your preferences, and embrace the journey to finding your perfect overwater escape.

Coco View Resort

FAQs on Over the Water Bungalows in Florida

1. Are there overwater bungalows in Florida similar to those in the Maldives or Bora Bora?

While Florida does have overwater accommodations, they are not as prevalent or similar in style to those in the Maldives or Bora Bora. The most notable ones include Bungalows Key Largo and Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, which offer a different but still luxurious experience.

2. What makes the overwater bungalows in Florida unique?

Overwater bungalows in Florida offer a unique blend of luxury and local charm. For instance, Bungalows Key Largo provides an adults-only, all-inclusive experience with a focus on privacy and relaxation, while Disney’s Polynesian Villas offer a family-friendly, Disney-themed experience.

3. Can I find all-inclusive overwater bungalow resorts in Florida?

Yes, Bungalows Key Largo is an all-inclusive overwater bungalow resort in Florida, offering amenities such as fine dining, spa services, and water activities included in the stay.

4. Are overwater bungalows in Florida suitable for families?

Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows are particularly family-friendly, offering amenities and activities suitable for guests of all ages, along with the unique experience of staying in a Disney-themed overwater bungalow.

5. How much does it typically cost to stay in an overwater bungalow in Florida?

The cost can vary widely depending on the resort, time of year, and package chosen. Prices typically start around $800 per night and can go significantly higher based on the level of luxury and included amenities.

6. What is the best time of year to stay in an overwater bungalow in Florida?

The best time is generally during Florida’s dry season, from November to April, when the weather is more temperate and there’s less risk of hurricanes.

7. Are there any environmental concerns with overwater bungalows in Florida?

Yes, environmental concerns such as the impact on marine ecosystems and coastal erosion are considerations. Resorts like Bungalows Key Largo are mindful of these factors and aim to minimize environmental impact.

8. How do I book an overwater bungalow in Florida, and how far in advance should I plan?

You can book through the resorts’ official websites or through travel agencies. It is advisable to book several months in advance, especially if planning a trip during peak travel seasons.

9. Are overwater bungalows in Florida impacted by hurricane season?

Yes, hurricane season (June to November) can impact these accommodations. It’s advisable to check weather forecasts and consider travel insurance for trips during this period.

10. What activities are available at overwater bungalow resorts in Florida?

Activities vary by resort but often include water sports, spa services, gourmet dining, and in the case of Disney’s Polynesian Villas, easy access to Disney theme parks and entertainment.

Florida overwater bungalows