Photo: Sandals Resorts International
Over-the-water bungalows seem to be the next big thing for couples looking for an extravagant romantic getaway. While they’re already a mainstay in exotic locales like Bora Bora or Fiji, overwater bungalows are now making their way to the Caribbean and Mexico – a more practical destination for many North American travelers.
The glass-bottom rooms have proven to be so popular at Sandals Royal Caribbean, for example, that this week it announced it already is adding 12 more to the five it previously announced. The first five will debut in November, at a record cost of $1.6 million per suite.
"We’ve seen such high demand for the first five villas set to debut in November that we’re excited to deliver more options to our guests," Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International, told TMR.
The Over-the-Water Private Island Butler Honeymoon Bungalow room categories are now available for booking, for arrivals beginning Feb. 1, 2017. Rates start at $2,652 per night.
Krisma Hotels & Resorts opened 30 overwater bungalows, called palafitos, Sept. 1 at the adults-only El Dorado Maroma resort in Riviera Maya—the first in Mexico. And Viceroy Hotel Group plans to add them to its new property the Bocas del Toro Panama in 2019.
At Sandals, the Tahitian-style bungalows offer an extended sun deck, an outdoor shower, lounge chairs, a private outdoor infinity-style soaking tub and over-water hammocks. Inside, they’re equipped with a smart TV, bathrooms with his and hers sinks, walk-in rain showers and glass-paneled floors for views of the crystal blue Caribbean waters.
Other amenities include butler service, 24-hour room service and a private water taxi for transportation to and from the resort.
Sandals Resorts this summer also unveiled the first-of-its-kind overwater wedding chapel at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian.