There's something magical about spending your vacation in a villa that does beachfront one better, with accommodations that perch directly above the water. Imagine going to bed with the gentle sounds of the sea all around you, then waking up to colorful tropical fish swimming under your feet and seabirds coasting in for a landing on your private deck. It's like treehouse meets beach camp, an opportunity that you won't want to miss out on.
Sandals Royal Caribbean Spa Resort and Offshore Island
The 1,600 square-foot overwater bungalows each have an outdoor private infinity pool, Jacuzzi tub, and showers, as well as hammocks dangling over the sea, glass floors, and butler service. These are not the first overwater lodgings in the Caribbean (as some have claimed), but they are some of the most accessible and sought-after.
Cayo Espanto, Belize
The Cayo Espanto resort in Belize has just one overwater bungalow, but it's a beauty. The Casa Ventanas, like all of the rooms at this private-island resort, features an open, modern layout. Unlike the other rooms, however, the 1,100 square-foot Casa Ventanas sits on a private dock 150 feet off the island. Freeform wooden walls, local antique furnishings, shuttered windows, and a plush bed—not to mention an ultra-private deck—make for a romantic and memorable stay.
Popular resort activities include snorkeling and scuba and fishing as well as indulging in spa services. Cayo Espanto is located off the island of San Pedro on Belize's Caribbean coast.
Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge, Panama
The Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge consists of nine overwater bungalows strung pearl-like off a rainforest-covered island dotting Panama's Caribbean coast. The bungalows at this small ecolodge are solar-powered and comprised of natural building materials like thatched roofs. Accommodations come in two sizes (plus the large Master Suite), but all are two stories high and have decks for enjoying sunsets and watching dolphins; guests also can snorkel the coral reefs right from their bungalow.
The Punta Caracol Suite accommodation includes a king-sized bed, two twin beds, lounge chairs, and a hammock while the Luna Suites are slightly larger and include a bigger terrace, as well as a solarium with stairs for immediate access to the clear ocean waters below.
The Master has an octagon design with 1076 square feet (100 square meters) of interior space, and spacious outer terraces including one on the upper level, which gives it a spectacular panoramic view. The Master Suite has a king-size bed in the upper room, and four twin beds in the lower room.
You arrive at this eco-resort by taxi boat (or taxi) from Isla Colon (Bocas Town), a 10-minute ride. Located on Isla Bastimentos on the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama, Eclypse de Mar, in a nature preserve, has both over-the-water accommodations and a treehouse where you can stay. An on-site restaurant is open only on the weekends and is just for guests.
At this remote and sustainable resort electricity is provided by solar panels and is only available in the Bungalows from 6 p.m. until 8:30 a.m. You can get Wi-Fi in the rooms and restaurant. Breezes provide natural ventilation. Warm water for showers is available all day.