In case you haven’t heard, Sandals Resorts has unveiled Tahitian-style over-the-water accommodations at three properties in Jamaica and St. Lucia — so your fantasy suite just got a whole lot closer to home. And when the company decided to import some thatched-roof romance to the Caribbean, it did so with its signature all-inclusive ease. Over the past 15 months, Sandals has debuted 33 Over-the-Water Honeymoon Bungalows and five Over-the-Water Villas — all with exclusive amenities that include private transfers, butler service and special dining menus with 24/7 room service.
But beyond the pampering that these love nests offer, it’s important to consider the resorts and islands themselves. So if you’re ready to splurge, here’s our guide to choosing an overwater bungalow at the Sandals property that’s right for you.
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island in Montego Bay, Jamaica
Bungalows: Five spacious Over-the-Water Villas opened in December 2016 and 12 Over-the-Water Bungalows debuted in March 2017. Enhancing the seclusion: All 17 butler-serviced units are built in a heart-shaped along a wooden walkway, and attached to Sandals Cay, the resort’s private island. Here, guests can enjoy a newly redesigned pool and pool bar, along with The Jerk Shack and Royal Thai restaurants, while the rest of the resort is a quick boat ride away.” But the amenities — especially in the villas, which have infinity-edge pools and floating water hammocks — and 24/7 room service mean you really don’t have to “go ashore.”
Resort: Centered around a Georgian-style Great House and set on 15 acres, the resort has 227 rooms, eight restaurants, five bars and seven pools, but retains an intimate ambiance. One caveat: its proximity to the airport means there’s jet noise throughout the day.
Location: Once off the plane, you’ll be here in minutes — and have easy access to sights and activities both nearby and in Ocho Rios. In addition, the “Stay at 1, Play at 3” option means you can enjoy the beaches, pools and amenities, as well as 12 additional restaurants, at Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Inn.
Vibe: A British pub has fish ’n chips on the menu and traditional afternoon tea is served daily at 4pm — but The Jerk Shack and several swim-up bars create a blend of old colonial charm and lively Jamaican fun.
Sandals South Coast in Whitehouse, Jamaica
Bungalows: The 12 Over-the-Water Honeymoon Butler Bungalows, opened in December 2017 and identical to those at Sandals Royal Caribbean, are located at the most secluded end of the beach (past the French Village). With their vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors (with glass viewing panels), contemporary decor and sun deck with private Tranquility Soaking Tub and hammock for two they’re a modern take on South Seas seduction.
Resort: For room to roam (2 miles of beach and 500 acres of land) and romantic bells and whistles (an overwater wedding chapel and an over-the-water bar) it’s hard to beat this property with its three villages (Italian, French and Dutch) set along the beach and most restaurants and bars located near the central Piazza. Tennis courts attract active (and at times slightly older) couples, while nine restaurants and seven bars, a Red Lane Spa and complimentary water sports (including diving) mean there’s plenty to do beyond lounging 24/7.
Location: Sandals South Coast isn’t in the center of the action — in fact, it’s far from it. At the airport in Montego Bay, you’ll hop a complimentary shuttle for a 1½-hour drive on mountain roads to Jamaica’s southern coast. You’ll see some of the island’s lush interior landscape, but almost all off-resort activities will need to be done via group excursions.
Vibe: For a 372-room all-inclusive resort, it’s surprisingly laid-back. The tranquil setting lends itself to relaxed romance with just the right amount of poolside fun.
Sandals Grande St. Lucian in Gros Islet, St. Lucia
Bungalows: The resort’s nine Over-the-Water Honeymoon Butler Bungalows debuted in May 2017. They’re located along a jetty-like walkway that’s just steps from the beach and offer all the same amenities as the bungalows at South Coast and Royal Caribbean — but with views of the calm waters of Rodney Bay.
Resort: Sandals Grande St. Lucian features 311 rooms, 12 restaurants and six bars (from a swim-up pool bar to a British Pub) — plus access to two other properties, Sandals Regency La Toc and Sandals Halcyon, offering an additional 15 restaurants. There’s a mile-long beach, 7,800-square-foot Sunset Pool, nine-room Red Lane Spa and complimentary watersports (including scuba) on property as well as a golf course at Sandals La Toc.
Location: Set on a 17-acre peninsula on St. Lucia’s northwest coast with views of Pigeon Island National Park, the resort feels secluded, but offers easy access to the towns of Gros Islet, Rodney Bay and Castries. Complimentary transport (one hour, 20 minutes) is provided from Hewanorra International Airport.
Vibe: St. Lucia’s Creole heritage blends African, French and English elements, reflected in vibrant fabrics and upbeat music that’s a mix of chak-chack, calypso and reggae rhythms — which the resort celebrates with themed entertainment nights and street festivals.