Is An Overwater Bungalow Worth the Splurge?

Overwater Bungalow worth the Splurge Pin

If you’ve ever stared at photos of overwater bungalows and dreamed of visiting one, you are not alone. We had always thought it would be impossible for us to stay in an overwater bungalow, but managed the splurge for our honeymoon last April.

Veligandu Island - Maldives - Overwater Bungalows

Is an overwater bungalow worth the splurge?

Yes! An overwater bungalow is the ultimate vacation if you are looking for relaxation and privacy, all with an amazing view. You don’t even have to leave your “hotel room” for a tan! Snorkeling with sea turtles is just a few steps from your balcony. No need to walk to the resort bar- just choose a drink from your mini fridge. You will not have a care in the world while admiring the ocean view from your overwater bungalow deck.

Maldives - Heron at Overwater Bungalows

How much can you expect to spend?

Our overwater bungalow price tag (all inclusive)

$3,229 for 3 nights

At the end of April 2017, we stayed in an overwater bungalow with a Jacuzzi at Veligandu Island Resort in the Maldives. This resort is considered one of the more affordable resorts in the Maldives, but is still not “cheap” by any means.

The overwater Jacuzzi bungalows are also more expensive than the regular overwater bungalows, but we got our money’s worth! We used the Jacuzzi multiple times each day, sometimes sitting in there late into the night drinking champagne! The Jacuzzi room doors also open up to the ocean so your view is unbeatable.

Veligandu Island - Maldives - Jacuzzi view

Cost Breakdown

At Veligandu Island, this will depend if you opt for all inclusive or just full board. Full board includes your buffet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All-inclusive includes unlimited bottled water, soft drinks, beer, house wines, and spirits. You’ll also get to drink some of the items in your room’s mini bar which is really nice. We loved not having to leave our bungalow view for a refill!

End of April 2017, we paid:

$760 per night All Inclusive, Jacuzzi Water Villa (stayed 3 nights)

$571 total for seaplane roundtrip transfer to Veligandu Island

Total: $2,851

Total with taxes: $3,229

Veligandu - Maldives - WC at Overwater Bungalow

What else is included?

At Veligandu Island, the All Inclusive Package also includes some amenities and activities on the island.

  • One sunset cruise, regularly scheduled times (you’ll book on arrival)
  • One Kuramathi or Rasdhoo Island excursion, half-day, regularly scheduled
  • One 1/2 hour group windsurf lesson (equipment included)
  • One 1/2 hour group snorkeling lesson (not including equipment)
  • Free use of kayaks and windsurfers
  • Free use of fitness center, beach volleyball and badminiton courts, table tennis, billiards, darts

Since we only stayed three nights, we actually didn’t make enough use out of these extras. We only did the sunset boat cruise!

Maldives Sunset Cruise

How did we afford it?

Staying in an overwater bungalow is certainly more expensive than our typical vacation; however, we felt it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a perfect splurge for our honeymoon. All-inclusive is great because you don’t have to worry about a thing while you’re there. It truly is just a relaxing vacation. But at $760 per night, we knew we wouldn’t be able to spend an entire week there. That being said, the seaplane transfer to the island isn’t cheap, so you want to make sure that you stay long enough to get your money’s worth from that.

Maldives - Seaplane and Veligandu Island

We decided 3 days was the perfect amount of time, but wanted to make it worth it to travel to that part of the world. Fortunately, we had two weeks off and so we made our honeymoon a 3-part extravaganza. We started in London, which helped us choose the Maldives in the first place. (It was only an 13-hour flight with connection from there, compared to over a day of flying from the U.S.) Had we just done an overwater bungalow for our honeymoon, we would have needed to choose a closer destination. Since we could only afford 3 nights in the Maldives, we decided to look on a map and choose one more destination to add on to the trip. We decided on Sri Lanka, because it is only a one-hour flight from the Malé airport!

TIP: We’d suggest finding an overwater bungalow destination where you might be able to tie two trips into one. This way you’ll still get the experience, but maybe not the sticker shock of an entire week in the bungalow!

Veligandu Island at Sunset - Maldives - Overwater Bungalow

The second major thing that helped us afford the overwater bungalow was Zola. Since we are not “things” people, we decided against having a regular wedding registry. Besides, we had lived together several years and already had pretty much everything we needed! Instead, we only made a honeymoon registry. Our guests could contribute to our honeymoon airfare, all inclusive package, hotel stays, and activities. Once your guests contribute, you can opt to transfer the money to your account, or you can wait until a later date and transfer it all at once. This worked great for us, as we transferred the funds whenever payments were due for our accommodations. For example, our Sri Lanka safari required a deposit and subsequent payments prior to our travel date.

Veligandu Island Maldives - Happy Honeymoon

Would we do it again anytime soon?

Probably not… unless we happen to win the lottery! We have so many places we’d like to see in the world that I can’t imagine splurging a few thousand dollars to do this again right away. I think it would be a great trip for us to save up for maybe our 10-year anniversary. Maybe next time we’ll try out Bora Bora or Tahiti!Married with Wanderlust alternate logo

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How to Afford an Overwater Bungalow

21 thoughts on “Is An Overwater Bungalow Worth the Splurge?

  1. I’ve always wondered how much the overwater bungalows cost because I am dying to stay in one. It definitely is a splurge, but someday I will save up enough to get the all-inclusive package 🙂

  2. I have always wanted to stay in an overwater bungalow! I think a honeymoon is the perfect reason to splurge on such a beautiful setting. Thanks for sharing all this useful information. It’s good to know that lots of lovely extras are included.

  3. This looks like a great honeymoon spot. Although the cost per night is somewhat high, since it is all inclusive, you are getting a lot for your money. We have been on cruises during peak season when we paid about the same amount, but this did not include all the amenities like drinks, etc. which were extra. We have not experienced an over-water bungalow yet, but would love to some time.

    1. I totally agree on the all inclusive vs. trips where everything is paid separately. Sometimes they seem cheaper at first but really add up!

  4. What a great spot for a honeymoon! Great tip on putting money towards the trip too, but using Zola! I’d never heard of that. In my twenties, I went to Bora Bora and we stayed in an overwater bungalow. Loved it! I would highly recommend for your 10th year anniversary!

    1. Such a great idea to do this again for our 10th anniversary! Will give us a good reason for another splurge 😉

  5. I think it’s great you were able to have this experience for such a special occasion! Although I must admit I’m not sure if we could justify the expense ourselves…well at least at not this stage in our life. Maybe one day! It’s a dream though really, the idea of staying in an overwater bungalow somewhere in the Pacific or the Maldives – although they’re a little further away from home for us. I guess if we were spending that much though, then an extra few hundred for the flights is probably a drop in the ocean!

    1. It definitely is a bigger expense than we normally spend on traveling, but fortunately our honeymoon registry helped us a ton! Depending on where you’re located, there are now several overwater bungalow resorts in the Caribbean as well, so might be something worth considering someday!

  6. Sometimes you just have to do things like this though don’t you? What a place to do it too. I’ve actually just seen incredibly cheap flights from Australia to the Maldives so am seriously considering a trip here. I wouldn’t stay anywhere else than an overwater bungalow to be honest as to me, that’s what the Maldives is all about. Thanks for the tip about the seaplane though, hadn’t factored that in.

  7. I just got some serious envy reading this post and looking at your photos. I have always wondered whether it was worth it as well but I think you are right, a honeymoon would definitely be a good reason!

  8. This is definitely a once in a lifetime experience (amid you’re lucky). It is something I’ve always wanted to do, and this was the most informative overview I’ve ever read about overwater bungalows.

    1. I’m so glad you found our overwater bungalow post so informative! I hope one day you’ll get the opportunity to stay in one 🙂

  9. Wow, I bet that was a honeymoon worth spending on! It’s super expensive for me at the moment but, since you could afford it, it was worth every penny. 3 buffet meals each day, unlimited wine and spirits, plus a spectacular ocean environment…what’s not to love?

  10. I agree an overwater bungalow worth the splurge and just wow wow wow. I have never stayed in one but it is definitely on the bucket list. I am definitely saving my pennies to go on a holidays like this one day. Veligandu Island Resort in the Maldives definitely sounds like it was worth every penny.

  11. Hello! We are planning to do a side trip to combine with Maldives for our honeymoon too. Just wondering how much you spent for the whole honeymoon and for how long so we can have an idea?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jewel, Congrats on your upcoming wedding! It’s hard to say exactly how much we spent because we combined three locations: London, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. We did share the costs for a Sri Lanka safari if you are interested in that side trip: https://marriedwithwanderlust.com/guide-to-safari-in-sri-lanka/. I’d also recommend a Honeymoon Registry! That’s what we did and it made a huge difference in being able to have the honeymoon of our dreams. Check out our post on that at https://marriedwithwanderlust.com/dream-honeymoon/.

  12. Overwater Bungalows are expensive but it offers lifetime memories and amazing travel experience. If I am earning high enough to spend this much money, then I would definitely going for overwater bungalow trip to the Maldives or Bora Bora.

    1. We totally agree that it’s worth saving the money for this once-in-a-lifetime experience! Would love to see Bora Bora if we ever get the opportunity to do it again!

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