Ok, so who has seen photos of over-water villas and bungalows and thought they looked like absolute paradise? You know the ones I’m talking about….gorgeous huts that are surrounded by blue waters and look extremely secluded. We’re guilty as charged! Based on feedback we’ve heard from other couples, it seems you either love them or hate them. We’re rounding up our list of pros and cons of over-water villa hotels to help you decide if they are an option on your next romantic vacation.
We’ve been to properties in Bora Bora, Moorea and the Philippines so after multiple visits, we have solidified our opinion of this type of hotel. **Spoiler alert** – since we’ve been to them more than once, obviously we are in favor of over-water villa hotels!
Front Row Seats
This may seem like an odd feature to point out but having guaranteed lounge chairs with prime ocean location and views is definitely a pro! We’ve been to 2 properties that offered areas to lounge right in the villa. We enjoyed relaxing by ourselves with a view of the water. Plus it’s easy access to all of you “stuff” you brought on vacation with you! Just walk up a few stairs back to your villa and grab what you need.
Private Jumping Deck
For those that are a kid-at-heart, you can jump off to your heart’s desire. No need to worry about splashing your neighbors or disrupting their tanning session. Brian spent hours jumping, cannonballing and diving right into the ocean from our over-water villa hotel. We felt like we had our own private slice of ocean in front of us.
Guaranteed Room with a View
Obviously you are guaranteed to have a room with a view as well as a balcony! It so nice to enjoy morning coffee and cocktails from the privacy of your own room. We love the seclusion of not worrying about who could see in the room either. Additionally there is no noise from other guests. All you hear is the calming sounds of the ocean around you. It also gets really dark at night because they are secluded with no light pollution from other properties. We would love to wake up with this view every morning!
Incredible Sunset Views
A tip we have learned is to ask for a property with a sunset view. We love enjoying a bottle of champagne together while watching the setting sun light up the sky. It’s such a romantic setting to enjoy while on a couple’s trip!
We have yet to see an over-water villa hotel that is not in a picturesque, tropical setting! Not only do you get a front-row ocean view, but the areas around the property are stunning and worth the time to leave the villa to get a look. Check out the paradise we found in the Philippines here.
Limited Dining Options
Many, not all, of the over-water villa hotels are on secluded islands. What this means is that there are likely not restaurants off the property that are easy accessable. In our experience, we have eaten at the resort properties that frankly can be pricey. For this reason, we typically limit our stay to 3-4 nights max so we can get the relaxation and enjoy the villa. We also add a few nights stay in another part of the area that is closer to town with more dining options.
It’s Not Completely Secluded
The villas have nobody directly in front but your neighbors to the side aren’t that far. You will see other guests in the ocean and on their balconies. The villas are built on more of a curve into the ocean rather than a straight line therefore you do see guests on their balconies to your left and right. We find that we spend way more time on our balcony than our neighbors so it was never a concern for us as there would be times we’d be the only ones outdoors.
Activities Can be Limited
For many of the same reasons we outlined in the dining “cons” section, the activities can be the same. Since many are in secluded areas, there typically aren’t many activities outside your standard water options. For us, this is fine. When we get a break from the office, sometimes all we want to do is relax and recharge. Over-water villa hotels make us feel like we’ve escaped. We have heard complaints about this from some couples stating they were “bored” and felt stuck on the islands. We definitely don’t agree however if you are a busy-body person, this could be a con for you.
Overall we are fans of over-water villa hotels at Eat Work Travel! We find them to be a romantic destination when traveling as a couple, a luxury experience and overall a great way to disconnect from the office and use our vacation days. If you are considering a stay here, do it! If you are concerned with any of the cons we lists, just go for a few days. This way you can experience these over-water villas without committing to a full week.
Any pro or con we missed? Let us know in the comment section!