Updated: Aug 7
Who among us hasn’t spent at least a little time daydreaming about a luxurious stay in one of those postcard-perfect, thatched-roof, overwater bungalows over a clear, turquoise ocean on a remote island somewhere? While typically chosen for a romantic escape, we know that may no longer be your mode of travel. Kids, dogs, sports, minivans - you’re on the family vacation train now. But … that needn’t mean you can never experience one of these blissful bungalows. Here are our favorites for the whole family - really!
Don’t Settle for a Bungalow When You Can Have a Villa!
Step aside, honeymooners. Not only does one of the Maldives’ most indulgent resorts offer overwater bungalows, but they offer overwater villas! Starting at 5,000 square feet, there is more than enough room for everyone to spread out. Stargaze under a retractable roof, watch the sunset from the upper-floor decks, and listen to the kids (and adults!) giggle with glee as they soar on the overwater swings or zoom down the two-story waterslides that deliver you right into the warm-water lagoon. The resort offers plenty of kid-friendly fun, from treasure hunts to biking on the island. Parents can head to the spa or enjoy quiet moments by the pool, then everyone can meet up for ice cream and outdoor movies.
All-Inclusive Island Idyll
What’s more family-friendly than a truly all-inclusive resort, where you don’t have to worry about being nickel and dimed for every activity or afternoon beverage? The Maldives is also home to an incredible all-inclusive overwater bungalow resort, where your stay includes all meals and drinks, alcoholic beverages, most activities and two excursions per day. Families can hang by a pool just for them, plus the playground, go snorkeling together, take a sunset cruise, or split up for kids’ activities and grown-up diving and paddling adventures.
For the VIP Kids in Your Life
Kids feel extra special at this family favorite in the Maldives. The resort goes out of its way to cater to its youngest guests, providing them with their own little slippers and bathrobes, children’s menus at all four restaurants and inviting them to the incredible kids’ club. There’s a treehouse, climbing wall, cooking and dance lessons and more. Plus, families can take day trips to another remote tropical island (managed by the resort), which feels like your own personal paradise, complete with kite flying, sea swings and beach barbecues.
Bora Bora Bliss
Go Polynesian for your next family vacation blowout and stay in an overwater bungalow at an extravagant Bora Bora resort. With most of its rooms over the water, the resort takes full advantage of its private lagoon and large beach. Just as you ve envisioned, there are glass floors in your bungalows for peering at the fish swimming below you. There are two huge pools, a kids’ program, an on-site turtle sanctuary and more for hours of entertainment.
Jet off to a private Caribbean island just 25 minutes off the coast of mainland Belize and soak up the charms of an eco-friendly, barefoot chic overwater bungalow. With no more than 30 guests at a time here, your family will love the intimate and exclusive vibe. The premium overwater bungalows offer the most privacy, with their own private walkway. Or, choose several next to each other if traveling with extended family. An excellent choice for nature-loving families, the resort is on the edge of the world’s second largest barrier reef - meet sharks, starfish, manatees, sea turtles and more!
Family Fun in Florida
Not able to fly off to the South Pacific or the Maldives? You’re in luck. Stay in a Polynesia-mid-century-modern stilted bungalow in Florida! These accommodations over their own lagoon come with a plunge pool on the back deck, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a family room and a full kitchen.
Together Moments in Mexico
Mexico is coming onto the overwater bungalow scene with three fantastic options. One of the most exclusive is near Playa del Carmen and offers luxury-seeking families everything from excellent service and food to the peace of mind that they’re staying in an eco-friendly environment. Think more European chalet than Polynesian rustic - the bungalows here are sleek, modern and plush. They have two floors and are more private than most accommodations of this kind. Of course, there’s the requisite plunge pool on the private terrace and the bathrooms are spa-quality. Mom and Dad can head the adjacent Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon Golf Course while the kiddos take lessons at Jim McLean’s Golf School. Everyone will love the wide range of cuisine (with kids’ options), the beach, the main pool, the paddling and snorkeling opportunities, the jungle treks and the bike tours.
Are you convinced? The overwater bungalow dream isn’t just for honeymooners anymore. Whatever you and your family have in mind when it comes to tropical indulgence, we can make it happen. Let’s chat.