Sandals Overwater Bungalows Are Closer Than You Think

Have you ever wanted to stay in an overwater bungalow, but felt like Bora Bora and Maldives were just a tad too far to fly? Recently I had the opportunity to stay at both Sandals Royal Caribbean in their overwater villa and at Sandals South Coast in their overwater bungalow. 

After having been to Bora Bora and staying in various bungalows around the world, I have to admit, it is comparable. And best of all, much closer from where I live. 

Both Sandals properties I stayed at offer the overwater bungalows and they are designed by the same architect and in the shape of a heart. The overwater villas are only at Sandals Royal Caribbean and they are significantly bigger and come with a private plunge pool on the deck. 

If I had to pick a favorite, it would definitely be the overwater villa. I actually thought I was in Bora Bora when I stayed here. The water was crystal clear blues and I felt like I had been transported back. 

Sandals Royal Caribbean

Sandals Overwater Bungalow and Villa Review

Sandals South Coast Overwater Bungalows

I stayed first at Sandals South Coast in their overwater bungalow. I had been wanting to stay here for a couple years and finally had the opportunity. It was worth the wait. 

The overwater bungalows are in the shape of a heart and are located in a private section off the beach. It is a bit secluded, but that is great. You won’t have tons of foot traffic or bystanders. 

I cannot stress enough that the Butlers are amazing! You just call them on your phone they give you and they will bring you anything you want, make you a reservation or plan whatever you need. 

The overwater bungalows are an open plan concept and the only real door in the bungalow separates the kitchen area to the bedroom. You walk into the room where you have a fully stocked fridge and bar with whatever you want, a coffee machine, snacks, and whatever you would like from your Butler. 

Sandals South Coast

Sandals South Coast

When you go into the main room – it is wide open. You have a king sized bed, open floorplan for the bathroom, indoor/outdoor shower, separate toilet, and two access points to the deck. One through the bedroom and one through the shower. 

Sandals South Coast

Quick Facts:

  • Sandals South Coast is about an hour and a half drive from the Montego Bay Airport and when you stay in the overeater bungalow, a luxury BMW private transfer is provided
  • Sandals is all inclusive: including meals, top shelf alcohol and activities – which includes scuba!
  • Overwater bungalows come with 24 hour Butler service
  • A special overwater bungalow room service menu is available and it is a notch about the rest of the food on property 
  • There are private beach bungalows outside of the overwater villas available for use to guests of the bungalows
  • You can jump off your bungalow into the ocean as the water is about 15 feet deep – but they say not to dive
  • You can request, but it is not guaranteed, to stay in a sunset or sunrise bungalow
  • The deck includes a tranquility tub, two seating areas, an outdoor shower, and ladder to the ocean

Sandals South Coast

What I really loved about the overwater bungalows was the privacy, the Butler service, the amazing room service menu, and the ability to take a bath on my deck or jump right into the ocean. Oh, and the sunset views!! every single night I sat outside to watch the sunset across the ocean.

Sandals Royal Caribbean Overwater Villas

This room category is definitely my favorite of all the rooms Sandals Resorts offer. The overwater villa is essentially divided into three spaces with doors. When you first walk in, you have a pantry with a fully stocked bar, coffee machine, fridge, and a table for dining indoors. Your Butler will stock your bar and fridge at your request. 

In the second room, you have a massive area with a king sized bed, two comfy chairs, a work station, big TV, and a large see through area of the floor to see the marine life. 


In the third room, a tranquility soaking tub, shower, separate toilet, and walk-in closet. 

Each of these three spaces can be closed off to the other rooms and all have access to the deck, which is the entire length of the villa. 

Sandals Royal Caribbean

Quick Facts:

  • Sandals Royal Caribbean is about 10 minutes drive from the Montego Bay Airport and comes with a private BMW luxury transportation
  • Sandals is all inclusive: including meals, top shelf alcohol and activities – which includes scuba!
  • Overwater bungalows come with 24 hour Butler service
  • A special overwater bungalow room service menu is available and it is a notch about the rest of the food on property 
  • You can walk right into the ocean from your villa with the stairs that lead down into it
  • The overwater villa is at least twice the size of the overwater bungalow 
  • The deck off the overwater villa comes with an infinity edge plunge pool, 4 separate seating areas, outdoor shower and a hammock

Sandals Royal Caribbean

Sandals Royal Caribbean 

Sandals Royal Caribbean

So how close is it really?

Looking at my own travel, door to door from Washington, D.C. to Montego Bay, Jamaica was 6 hours, including a layover and plane change. 

When I went to Bora Bora, total travel time was about 22 hours with three layovers and three plane changes. In addition, I had to take a 25 minute boat ride to the resort. 

Going to Maldives can sometimes take more than a day. There are no direct flights from DC and most flights change over in Qatar, then go onto Maldives. From there, you take a boat or plane to your resort. Timings vary. 

Price Comparison

This question I was asked most frequently, and the price is comparable. 

Here are the main things to consider:

  • Flight price to Jamaica ~$400 v. Tahiti + Bora Bora could be $2000-3000+
  • Rooms in Jamaica $2500+ a night v. Rooms in Bora Bora $1600-$6000+ a night 
  • Sandals is ALL-INCLUSIVE. You never have to guess or budget for meals, drinks or activities. In Bora Bora,. there is no all inclusive plan. You can find rooms with breakfast deals and sometimes half board, but you should plan to spend a few hundred a day on food and drinks alone. Activities can be pricey and you will need to pay $150+ per person for boat transfer from the airport. 

Ultimately, when all things were considered, yes, the price is comparable. The benefit of going to Jamaica for their overwater offerings was that it could be closer depending on where you live. Which for me, meant no jetlag, no 24+ hours of travel and the ability to enjoy my vacation the moment I landed without being exhausted from a lack of sleep. 

**I do want to add a disclaimer that these rooms at both properties are pretty well booked up until the end of 2023. However, there are several spaces where 1-2 night availability remains. I would highly recommend calling into Sandals reservations and staying for 1-2 nights in one of these rooms and splitting your stay with another room category. I did this and the transition between rooms is seamless. The Butler service is amazing! Plus – you basically get two vacations because once you get to your bungalow, you rarely leave!**

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Disclaimer: I was a guest of Sandals Resorts. As always, opinions are entirely my own. 


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