Stay in an Overwater Bungalow to Get the Feel of a Paradise

by Thomas Martin
Overwater bungalow

A trip to the Maldives is only complete if you enjoy living in an overwater bungalow that creates an incredible experience of living on water. The Maldives, comprising a conglomerate of tiny coral islands, are like beauty spots on the Indian Ocean smeared by lush green forests, turquoise blue crystal clear waters, and white sandy beaches that allure tourists with the assurance of a blissful vacation. In addition, the captivating landmarks of the island country together with the opportunity to engage in several exciting, adventurous activities, including water sports, create a compelling attraction for tourists. Yet, the most beautiful experience of spending a few days and nights in a bungalow standing on the water is one that no tourist should miss. Almost all resorts in the Maldives have overwater bungalows that create an irresistible attraction for tourists.

The specialty of an overwater bungalow

Imagine a small house with a slanted roof that resembles a thatched roof standing in water and supported by piers that act like the foundation of the entire structure. You can quickly figure out what overwater bungalows look like. Such bungalows are usually located near the shore to help gain easy access to the resort’s main building, amenities, and private beaches. The line of bungalows on the water remains connected to the mainland with the help of wooden or bamboo planks that act as walkways. Sturdy pillars built in the water hold large platforms that form the base of the bungalows. Some bungalows even have a glass floor or a big glass opening on the floor for viewing the water below as if to remind you that you are living on water constantly.

What are water villas?

In the Maldives and other island destinations like French Polynesia, you might occasionally hear about ‘overwater villas’ or ‘water villas,’ nothing but overwater bungalows. The term ‘villas’ is more prevalent in the Maldives for all sizes of bungalows on water. Still, in French Polynesia, the term refers to the more luxurious bungalows on water. No matter what you call it, the bungalows on the water are the same except for the varied levels of luxuries.

A concept of the sixties

Today, there are over 7,000 overwater bungalows worldwide as hoteliers market these as epitomes of luxury with a price tag that matches the offering. The concept first took shape in Tahiti during the sixties when a group of American expats engaged in resurrecting and creatively repositioning the dilapidated Raiatea Hotel. The lack of a beach was a boon for the developers as they built stilted bungalows similar in design to the Tahitian fishing huts and placed them in the reef’s calm waters.

The rows of bungalows perched on the waters of the Indian Ocean in the Maldives are a sight to behold and just too inviting for tourists keen to get a taste of luxurious living surrounded by water on all sides. Despite the concerns about extreme weather and environmental impact, hoteliers are aggressively marketing tour packages. They are luring tourists who just can’t wait to spend their time in the bungalows amid the saline and pristine environs while soaking in numerous luxurious amenities. 

Choose a bungalow as per your budget

The Maldives welcome tourists with open arms, and you can fulfill your dream of living in a Maldives overwater bungalow of your choice by matching your budget. The bungalows are available in a wide price range to accommodate all kinds of tourists, but the amenities and luxuries vary according to the price band. 

Those on a budget can choose a single-room bungalow with a private pool but must weigh their options to choose between overwater villas, beach villas, and ocean and lagoon views. Bungalows with two and three rooms are costly. Deciding about the villa orientation and position can be tricky because both types of villas ocean view and lagoon view, provide the same kind of experience of living on water. However, you should consider the position carefully, especially if you prefer to have an unhindered view of the sea. The lagoon-facing bungalows usually face the resort, something that you might not like. Another factor to consider is whether you prefer to enjoy the sunrise and sunset from your room.  

Take note of the Transportation cost

When choosing the bungalow, consider the transportation cost, which can be exorbitant compared to the bungalow’s tariff. Carefully consider the accessibility of the resort from Male, the capital of Maldives and the only international airport. Sometimes, a seaplane ride is the only option to reach the resort from Male, and a roundtrip seaplane ride can cost you as much as $555. A more pocket-friendly option is to choose an alternative that is accessible by a speedboat from Male, especially if you have a fear of flying or are on a budget. However, a roundtrip price by speedboat would still run into three digits.

Cost of food and drinks

When planning a trip to the Maldives, besides choosing the resort wisely to stay within budget, you should also consider the meal cost and the cost of drinks. This is especially important if your chosen resort needs a dining facility. Most hotels in the Maldives offer an assortment of meal plans that are a logical choice when the resort does not provide meals. You can choose from a wide range of plans, with the lowest offering only breakfast and the highest including food and drinks and some tours. The best way to keep the cost low is to opt for the lowest price band so that you can adjust your meal cost by eating out with an eye on your pocket. In such a case, what you spend on food and drinks will be considerably lower than the package that includes all meals but without drinks.

Unless you are a huge eater and drinker, not opting for the meal plan when staying in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives is a prudent choice for better rates and maximum flexibility.

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