6 Overwater Bungalows That Are Actually Affordable

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Ashley Bess is an editor turned freelancer writer who describes herself as short, opinionated, recently repatriated, lover of gin and travel and with a head full of useless song lyrics and movie quotes.

After a long winter of cold temperatures, snow and ice, the thought of retreating to an idyllic overwater beach bungalow — with a drink in one hand and a book in another — is enough to warm anyone up. And you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Whether you want to snorkel from the steps of your temporary abode or simply take in the views of the Caribbean Sea and forget about life for a while, we’ve rounded up some of the most affordable beach bungalows around.

Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort, Malaysia

Less than a two-hour drive from Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, this resort features 315 rooms — some of which are overwater bungalows — equipped with a private balcony or terrace, ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. Guests can indulge at the resort’s spa, eat at one of the five restaurants or work up a sweat at the gym. Guests can book off-site activities, including a mangrove river cruise tour, a tour of a rural village or water like windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding and canoeing. Meanwhile, parents can sign their little ones up to the Avani Kids Club, free of charge.

Rates: Bungalows from $155, per night

Royal Huahine Hotel, French Polynesia

Located 30 minutes by plane from Tahiti and situated among the Society Islands in French Polynesia, the island paradise resort offers 40 accommodations, including 11 overwater bungalows. Rooms include a private sundeck overlooking the lagoon, perfect for unwinding. The resort also features a spa and two restaurants. Complementary activities for guests include snorkeling, table tennis and kayaking. Meanwhile, visitors can also take part in additional activities including horseback riding, scuba diving and deep sea fishing.

Rates: Bungalows from $313, per night

Coco View Resort, Honduras

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Located on Roatan, one of Honduras’s Caribbean Bay Islands and considered one of the top diving and snorkeling destinations on earth, this dive resort offers a number of types of accommodations, including overwater bungalows. Each one features a private porch and hammocks, both perfect for taking in views of the surrounding area. The resort is best known for its superb diving opportunities. The on-site diving operation caters to both seasoned and new divers. Visitors can participate in unlimited shore diving along the reef, located steps away from the resort. Boat trips are also included and will take visitors to any of the 150 different dive sites around the island. For those looking to get their scuba diving certification, the resort also offers PADI instruction. Equipment must be rented ahead of time and is not included in the package price.

Rates: From $1414 per person for seven nights, including dives (with a $100 deduction for non-divers)

Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge, Panama

The property, located in the Bocas del Toro Province, is accessible by a 55-minute plane ride from Panama City (roundtrip tickets cost roughly $225 per person). Visitors can stay in one of the property’s nine overwater bungalows, all of which include colonial-style beds, stairs that lead directly into the water, a hammock and bathing/solarium platform. Grab a drink and take in the views of the Caribbean Sea from your private terrace. If, however, you’d prefer to explore the surrounding area, day activities are also available, including exploring the surrounding islands, hikes in the rain forest, yacht trips, scuba diving and snorkeling.

Rates: From $298 per night

Kuredu Island Resort – Maldives

For idyllic, Instagram-worthy views and turquoise waters, accessible straight from your villa, consider booking Kurendu Island Resort. Located in the Lhaviyani Atoll, 79 miles north of Malé International Airport, the all-inclusive resort features 383 rooms, villas and suites, including 50 water villas. The resort is one of the largest in the Maldives and features a number of activities, including a six-hole golf course, a gym, a spa and an array of bars and restaurants. Also available to visitors are snorkeling, scuba diving, boat excursions and a variety of water sports.

Rates: Water Villa, full-board rate from $543, per night

4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia

If you’re concerned about your travel footprint but don’t want to give up the creature comforts of home, check out 4 Rivers Floating Lodge. Located on the Tatai River near the Cardamom Mountains in southwest Cambodia, this eco-friendly lodge features 12 floating tents, rather than bungalows, that offer more of a “glamping” feel than a beach resort. Visitors can book a number of activities run by the property, including a dawn jungle trek, a sunset cruise and exploring the Tatai Waterfall by boat. The property also does its part as a sustainable accommodation; this includes using sustainable materials, managing waste, protecting the surrounding biodiversity and working within the wider community on projects like the Tatai River Cleanup initiative.

Rates: From $290, per night

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