Less than a decade ago, overwater bungalows in Jamaica were just a thing of fantasy. Now, you can live your wildest Caribbean luxury dreams.
Though you might associate overwater bungalows with destinations like the Maldives and Bora Bora, there’s been a growing presence in the Caribbean. So far, Jamaica has two resorts that offer overwater bungalows: Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals South Coast.
Sandals resorts are all-inclusive, adults-only, and designed for couples. A regular stay at one of these resorts would be incredibly romantic on its own. At these two locations, it’s possible to elevate the experience even further with a stay at a private bungalow over the turquoise Caribbean Sea.
Read on to get filled in on these two resorts and what you can expect from overwater bungalows in Jamaica.
Overwater Bungalows at Sandals Royal Caribbean
It’s not surprising that one of the resorts with overwater bungalows would be in Montego Bay, the tourism hub of the island! Sandals Royal Caribbean is the premier Sandals resort in Jamaica and offers intimate vacations all the way.
This resort is one of a kind, having its own private island: Sandals Cay. This is where you’ll find the bungalows, just a short boat ride from the main resort. Sandals Royal Caribbean has 12 overwater bungalows and five overwater villas. The villas are similar to the bungalows, the main difference being that each one has an infinity pool.
Royal Caribbean was the first of the two Sandals resorts (and the first in the island overall) to have overwater bungalows, adding them in late 2016.
The proximity to Sangster International Airport makes this resort great for short stays or if you just don’t want to deal with lengthy transfer times.
Another plus for Sandals Royal Caribbean is that guests at this resort have free access to Sandals Montego Bay, just a ten-minute drive away. This resort is larger and expands your pool of restaurants and amenities greatly!
Overwater Bungalows at Sandals South Coast
Away from Jamaica’s tourist hotspots in the north and west, the island’s south coast is great for the traveler who prefers seclusion and tranquility.
Sandals South Coast in Whitehouse is the perfect place to experience this. The resort is located in a private, 500-acre nature reserve and has a two-mile-long private beach. Even outside of the massive grounds, the resort has few neighbors.
Off the main resort, you’ll find the 12 coveted overwater bungalows. This resort really doesn’t skimp on anything, as it’s also home to one of the largest pools on the island.
The drive from Sangster International Airport to Sandals South Coast takes about an hour and a half. Keeping in mind that you can take the shuttle or private car transfer, this isn’t too bad.
What to Expect from Overwater Bungalows in Jamaica
As mentioned, each of the two locations — Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals South Coast — has 12 bungalows. It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to call them the epitome of tropical luxury. Standout features of the overwater bungalows at Sandals include:
- glass floors
- a king-sized bed
- spa-style bathroom with a walk-in rain shower
- outdoor Tranquility Soaking Tub for two
- private patio with sun deck, outdoor shower, lounge chairs, and two-piece bistro set
- over-the-water hammocks
- in-room bar with premium liquor
The interior isn’t that large (they’re bungalows, after all) but, combined with the large patio/deck, they’re really quite expansive.
In addition to these bungalows, you can also find a variation of them — overwater villas — at Sandals Royal Caribbean. There are only five of these! The difference is that the overwater villas are slightly larger and have infinity pools.
An overwater bungalow experience would be amazing on its own but the personal butler service elevates it even further. The butlers at Sandals are trained to the standards of the Guild of Professional Butlers and can make your vacation incredibly smooth and seamless.
You’ll be welcomed to the hotel with lemongrass-scented hand towels and offered welcome cocktails, before being escorted to your bungalow where your butler will handle a private check-in from the comfort of your suite. They can also help you by handling and unpacking your luggage for you.
Butler service is 24-hour and so guests are usually assigned two butlers or sometimes three, who take shifts. You’ll get a phone with which to call your butler and whoever is currently on shift will be ready and waiting.
During your stay, your butler can do things such as:
- provide private airport transfers
- make all your dinner/spa/tour reservations for you
- provide 24-hour in-room dining service with meals from any restaurant at the resort
- serve beachside and poolside drinks and meals
- liaise with housekeeping to make sure your room is kept just the way you like it
- tend to your wardrobe, including ironing and laundry
- provide turndown service
If you prefer privacy then, of course, you can choose not to go for some of these services. By being a butler guest, you also get automatic access to Club Sandals, which offers more perks and access to an exclusive lounge.
When it’s time to wave Sandals goodbye, your butler can also assist you with arranging transport, packing your luggage, and processing your check-out paperwork.
Now, this kind of lodging and service can’t possibly be cheap. In fact, the overwater bungalows in Jamaica are some of the most expensive in the world.
The price per two persons, per night at one of these bungalows starts at around $3,200. If you’ll only be staying one or two nights, however, that rate goes up to over $9,000. Keep in mind that it can be hard to get those three or more consecutive nights booked unless you book way in advance. You might also be able to get an online special to cut down the cost a bit.
As for the overwater villas at Sandals Royal Caribbean, those start at $4,400 per night for a couple. Once again, if you’ll be staying less than three days, it can skyrocket to over $12,000.
For context, staying at one of the regular rooms at Sandals would run you $600-800 per two persons, per night. They’re not cheap either but they absolutely pale in comparison!
The Sandals overwater bungalows are very expensive but, if you can afford it, would definitely make for a worthwhile, once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
The price tag doesn’t stop these bungalows from getting booked far in advance. There are only 12 of them per location, after all. Especially in high season months, it can be hard to find an open set of three or more consecutive days, let alone a week or more.
If you have your heart set on the overwater bungalows at Sandals, make sure to check the dates and book as early as you can!