The 6 Best Overwater Bungalows In Florida (2024 Guide)

Last Updated: May 7th, 2024

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If there are two things that represent an exceptional, luxurious vacation, it is a destination with tropical surroundings and great weather, as well as luxurious accommodation such as overwater bungalows.

While overwater villas and bungalows are uncommon in the USA, with the luxurious accommodation style often being associated with islands like Bora Bora and the Maldives as well as throughout the Caribbean, you can count on Florida to be home to some quality choices.

Florida is one of the best locations in the US for those seeking sun, sea, sand, and stunning views, and if you didn’t already know there are a few incredible overwater bungalows here, which make for a fantastic experience.

If you are considering a tropical getaway, these are some of the best overwater bungalows in Florida, which guarantee luxury, relaxation, and quality service. From Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and private island resorts to intimate hotels along the Florida Keys, these excellent options are ideal for every visitor to The Sunshine State.

The 6 Best Overwater Bungalows in Florida

In this article, we will explore the best overwater accommodation options to suit you, whether you seek an intimate getaway with your other half or seek a relaxing solo escape. While there aren’t many overwater bungalows in Florida, we will include a few options close to Florida, so you can see what exceptional choices are available, close to the states.

So, be prepared to be inspired – Here are the best overwater bungalows in (and near) Florida.

1. Disney’s Polynesian Bungalows & Villas Resort

A worthwhile splurge close to Disney World

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Disney’s Polynesian Resort features some of the only authentic overwater bungalows in the US Image by: Booking.com

Florida is often associated with Disney Orlando, which makes it an exceptional family-friendly destination, but did you know that Disney’s Polynesian Resort features its very own Bungalows Resort.

This stunning area shares all resort amenities with Disney’s Polynesian Village, and is located minutes from the magical kingdom, allowing guests to enjoy more privacy, more space, and sensational waterside views.

This family-friendly resort is a perfect choice for those seeking more luxury, since the bungalows offer guests the chance to experience one of Disney’s first-ever over-the-water bungalows, in what is known as the Bora Bora Bungalows.

The Bungalows sleep up to eight adults and are the perfect choice for families or groups seeking an idyllic location and more space while being a short bus ride from all the fun and excitement of Disney.

These are the best overwater bungalows in Florida, giving guests access to a full kitchen, living and dining areas, washer and dryer as well as a private deck with plunge pool.

So, if you want to splurge on a family vacation to Disney, we have to admit, that this is one of the best choices and is certainly the experience of a lifetime.

 

Book here!

2. Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

Americas only Private Island Resort

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This private island resort offers sensational waterfront bungalows Image by: littlepalmisland.com

This 5-star private island resort features thatched room bungalows, which are inspired by British West Indies design. While they may not be typical overwater bungalows, they are certainly worth considering if you want to enjoy a fabulous private island experience.

Here, guests can enjoy a fully Balinese experience without the long-haul flight to Indonesia, complete with world-class cuisine, an intimate location, and some of the most delightful accommodation options in the region. So, what makes Little Palm Island so special?

Firstly, Little Palm Island is America’s only private island resort, located just off the glorious coastline of Florida, offering guests an unforgettable escape, and secondly, their bungalow suites are what dreams are made of.

Whether you opt for the lead-in bungalow suites, the dedicated Island Romance Suite or splurge on the Island Premier Suites offering an impressive 1020 sqft of space, chances are you will not regret your decision.

What sets these bungalows apart is the level of luxury, some of which feature four poster beds and outdoor copper tubs, while others offer exclusive sand beaches with fire pits and private furnished decks.

These waterfront bungalow suites make the perfect choice for a romantic escape or intimate honeymoon, where you can soak up the exotic charm and make everlasting memories.

 

Book here!

3. Bungalows Key Largo

An award-winning bungalow experience in Key Largo

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An excellent alternative to traditional overwater style bungalows Image by: Booking.com

Named one of the ‘16 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the USA’ by Travel + Leisure, Bungalows Key Largo is certainly a destination to consider if you want to experience one of the best overwater bungalows in Florida – no passport needed.

Their opulent waterfront bungalows you the overwater bungalow experience, since they are located along a 1000ft stretch of coastline, offering unsurpassed views of the ocean and surrounding areas.

While these bungalows may not be suspended by stilts like traditional overwater bungalows, these are some of the most stunning waterfront suites you will find in the area.

Guests can expect ample living space both indoors and outdoors, a private veranda with a soaking tub and outdoor shower as well as a private porch with sun chairs to soak up the endless hours of Florida sunshine – It isn’t called the sunshine state for nothing.

Within the resort, guests have access to a world-class spa, pool, and fitness center as well as daily group yoga classes and resort events, so you can enjoy plenty of entertainment as you please.

This all-inclusive resort offers lots of added activities like floating tiki boats, sunset cruises, and daily boat excursions, allowing you to enjoy the surrounding area, which is more than stunning.

 

Book here!

Best Overwater Bungalows Near Florida

1. Sandals Royal Caribbean, Jamaica (Approx 2 hours from Florida)

An excellent overwater bungalow resort close to Florida

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One of the best overwater bungalows near Florida Image by: Booking.com

If you seek a world-class resort that features the best overwater bungalows near Florida, then you can easily reach Sandals Royal Caribbean in less than two hours.

While getting here requires you to grab your passport and leave the US, it is more than worth the small effort to see what this resort has to offer. As we mentioned, the US has limited options when it comes to overwater bungalows due to regulations and geographical as well as environmental factors, so this is a fantastic option in Jamaica if you are dead set on experiencing a truly authentic overwater bungalow. So let us tell you why Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay is one of the best options.

This resort is adults only, all-inclusive just like its sister hotel, and embraces its British heritage with manicured gardens, an on-site British Pub as well as Georgian style architecture and delightful afternoon tea traditions.

What’s more, is that this opulent resort has its very own private island which allows guests to enjoy two vacations at once, both at the resort and on the nearby island, a short ferry away.

Guests can expect 24-hour butler service, a location just off the resort’s private island, private infinity pools, and direct access to the calm waters below.

The bungalows are tastefully decorated with plush decor and mahogany king-size beds, floating water hammocks outside as well as glass panel flooring inside to enjoy the rich biodiversity below.

 

Book here!

2. Palafitos Overwater Bungalows, Mexico (Approx 1hr 50 mins from Florida)

An ideal combination of luxury, relaxation and entertainment

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A luxurious adults only option in Playa del Carmen, Mexico Image by: Booking.com

Mexico has long been a popular holiday destination for North Americans due to its great weather, affordability, and ease of access. But did you know that some fantastic resorts offer some of the best overwater bungalows near Florida?

Palafitos Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma, is for adults only, offering a sense of peace and tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Located just a stone’s throw from Playa del Carmen beach, this idyllic resort is undoubtedly the place for fun, entertainment, and socializing, so it is ideal if you want the best of both worlds.

If you fancy the combination of a luxurious overwater bungalow with fantastic views paired with vibrant communal facilities, this may be the perfect place for you.

Here, guests have the choice of relaxing in their fantastic overwater accommodation, which features a pool with a view, direct sea access, and a hot tub, or taking part in a spot of karaoke, working out at the gym, or discovering the nearby tropical jungle.

This is undoubtedly the best choice for a sociable streak combined with luxurious private accommodation near Florida and is certainly worth considering if you don’t mind venturing further afield for an amazing experience.

 

Book here!

3. Amanyara Resort, Turks & Caicos (Approx 2 hours from Florida)

A rare overwater resort suitable for families

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A perfect blend of luxurious accommodation and tropical surroundings Image by: aman.com

If you seek nature, relaxation, and luxury, look no further than Amanyara Resort, which is part of the luxurious Aman brand, situated on the western shore of Providenciales.

Nestled beside the 18,000-acre Northwest Point Marine National Park, there is no doubt that this resort attracts those who want to return to nature. Moreover, one of the main draws of this resort is that it’s a family-friendly resort that offers plenty of daily activities for all ages, and the overwater bungalows are large enough to suit all sized groups, ranging from 3 – 6-bedroom villas.

The overwater bungalows at Amanyara Resort are not the kind you may imagine, but instead, they overlook reflective ponds and gardens, with others offering direct beach access.

While these villas may not be suspended on stilts, they are impressive and perfect for a family vacation. The luxury villas are also a perfect option for a romantic escape, surrounded by water on three sides, offering privacy and encapsulating the surrounding nature.

Guests can enjoy onsite amenities like a movie theatre, spa, and gym or use complementary bicycles provided by the resort.

 

Book here!

FAQs About Best Overwater Bungalows In Florida

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What is the best overwater bungalows in Florida?

Without a doubt, the best overwater bungalows are situated within Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, within their own private section called the Bora Bora Bungalows. Thes incredible overwater bungalows are one of the only bungalows of their kind in not only Florida, but across the USA, giving them an allure of exclusivity. Moreover, unlike many of the adults only overwater bungalows in the Caribbean or in the South Pacific region, Disney’s Bora Bora overwater bungalows are family friendly, and attract those who seek a fun family adventure which a luxurious twist.

With world-class restaurants, excellent on-site amenities suitable for all ages, and its close proximity to Disney World and all its exciting theme parks, this is a fantastic choice for a well-rounded family holiday. What’s more is that there is no passport needed to enjoy a once in a lifetime overwater experience, which is often associated with far flung destinations like Bora Bora (which has inspired Disney’s Polynesian bungalows) and the Maldives.

What is the best time to visit Florida?

When planning a visit to Florida it is essential to consider the best and worst times to travel, so you can avoid potential weather dangers and enjoy the best vacation possible. Florida is in a hurricane zone, which makes it a destination worth researching before you book any flights or accommodation. While these overwater bungalows in Florida may seem tempting, it is best to first decide the best time to visit this sunny corner of the US.

Travelling anytime between December – May is a perfect time, since there are low risks of hurricanes, the weather is glorious and dry, and you can make the most of the surrounding area by embarking on a range of activities. December is the dryest month in Florida, so if you are keen to avoid any potential showers, this could be the best time for you to visit Florida. It is worth noting that the Atlantic hurricane season is between June – November, and hurricanes can happen any time during this period, with mid-August to late October being the highest risk. This is the worst and most dangerous time to travel to Florida, so make sure to plan accordingly and opt for the peak season instead.

Why are overwater bungalows rare in Florida?

You might have noticed that overwater bungalows are a rarity in Florida, but the same goes for the rest of the US. The three options we have listed above are some of the only overwater bungalows in Florida, with the rest being in the Caribbean in destinations like Panama, Mexico and Jamaica. You might wonder why there are not more overwater bungalows around the US, since there are many desirable regions to place these unique accommodation options, but there are a few reasons for this.

While Disney’s Polynesia Villas & Bungalows Resort is the only resort in the USA offering guests the chance to enjoy traditional style overwater bungalows without having to venture too far, there are others which come close to the experience. Due to safety restrictions and geographical and environmental factors, many hotels offer land-built bungalows with waterfront locations, rather than building stilt style overwater bungalows. Little Palm Island Resort and Bungalows Key Largo have done a great job of this, allowing guests to enjoy a ‘close to the water’ experience in lush bungalows.

Another reason for the rarity is because they are expensive to build and maintain and there is little opportunity for them, plus the building and zoning laws make it a challenge to construct these rare buildings. While overwater bungalows are yet to become a trend in the USA, the good news is that there are plenty of excellent choices in the nearby region of The Caribbean.

What are some alternative overwater options close to Florida?

If you are in search of excellent overwater bungalows near Florida, you are in luck, because there are lots of awe-inspiring options within a two-hour flight from the US state. From Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals South Coast in Jamaica to Thatch Caye Resort in Belize and Palafitos Overwater Bungalows El Dorado in Mexico, you will not be short of choices for stunning overwater accommodation options in tropical destinations.

In addition, it is worth noting that there are also plenty of affordable overwater bungalows near Florida, especially in Panama, which is just a 3.5-hour flight. Some great affordable options include Sol Bungalows, The Sea Monkey Overwater Bungalows and Eclypse de Mar Acqua Lodge which range from $110 – $300 per night, while many typical overwater resorts can cost over $1000 + per night.

About The Author

Jade is a seasoned traveller, yoga enthusiast, adventure seeker and travel writer passionate about seeing the world and sharing hidden gems with others. As well as having travelled to 91 countries thus far, she has written for several websites and published her first book ‘The Ultimate Irish Road Trip Guide’. She is a keen writer of satirical articles, as well as ‘The best things to do’ and ‘The best dishes to try’ around the globe. Jade is currently on a campervan adventure around Europe, where she continues to get her travel and food inspiration. She is excited to share what she discovers with her readers.

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Picture of Jade Poleon

Jade Poleon

Jade is a seasoned traveller, yoga enthusiast, adventure seeker and travel writer passionate about seeing the world and sharing hidden gems with others. As well as having travelled to 91 countries thus far, she has written for several websites and published her first book ‘The Ultimate Irish Road Trip Guide’. She is a keen writer of satirical articles, as well as ‘The best things to do’ and ‘The best dishes to try’ around the globe. Jade is currently on a campervan adventure around Europe, where she continues to get her travel and food inspiration. She is excited to share what she discovers with her readers.

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