Good to know for 2018: The Caribbean and Mexico have joined in on the burgeoning over-the-water bungalow market.
Luxury Travel Advisor got a peek at Sandals’ latest over-the-water bungalows in Jamaica at Sandals South Coast and Mexico’s first over-the-water bungalows at El Dorado Maroma, A Spa Resort, by Karisma.
And if over-the-water bungalows aren’t your thing, we also give you the inside scoop on Barbados’ hottest new all-inclusive resort for Millennials.
Sandals South Coast (formerly Sandals Whitehouse)
The Over-the-Water Bungalows at Sandals South Coast include hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings and custom-crafted king-size beds adorned with soft linens. Private cocktail parties are included for guests staying in this room category. Happy hour, anyone?
Nice Touch: While airport transfers to the hotel are included for all guests, those staying in Over-the-Water Bungalows get a little extra treatment. These guests receive personal airport greetings and expedited immigration.
Hint: Those looking to ride in style while traveling to Jamaica can also arrange for a private luxury vehicle by booking an Island Routes Private Luxury Transfer with Island Routes Caribbean Adventures.
Another impressive room option is the Italian Beachfront One Bedroom Walkout Butler Suite category, which has been recently renovated. These rooms now have walkout access right from the patio, and a master bedroom with a handcrafted four-poster king bed and a large smart TV.
The hotel’s Red Lane Spa includes 10 treatment rooms. Guests may book spa treatments by speaking with their butler, concierge, dialing ext. #8700 from their room or from any resort phone and by visiting the Red Lane Spa. Note: Couples typically book one day in advance; however, same-day and pre-paid bookings are accepted.
Hint: Wedding parties and groups in general are typically pre-booked and pre-paid a month in advance. This is all accessed online and it is arranged by the Weddings Department on property.
For all spa enquiries, connect with Donette Armstrong ([email protected]), spa director.
Luxury Travel Advisor was told the best restaurant of the nine located in the hotel is Sushi on the Sand, a sleek and modern sushi house offering exotic, made-to-order sushi. This restaurant is only open to guests and is located just in front of the beach. Diners have the option to sit outdoors or inside by the bar to see the chefs making the sushi. Note: None of Sandals South Coast’s dining options require reservations.
Tip: Guests staying at Sandals South Coast and looking to get in some time on the greens typically go to the Negril Golf Course. Transfers can be arranged on property by Island Routes at an additional cost.
To further customize a stay at Sandals South Coast, reach out to Simone Grey ([email protected]), sales manager.
Suites at Palafitos – Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma have sweeping views of the ocean.
El Dorado Maroma, A Spa Resort, by Karisma
Just about a year old, Karisma Hotels & Resorts launched Mexico’s first Palafitos – Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma, A Spa Resort, by Karisma.
These elegant suites come with ocean views, glass-bottom floors, direct ladder access to the ocean, outdoor “Aguas del Amor” showers, private infinity pools, indoor Jacuzzis and decks with lounge chairs that look out onto the ocean horizon.
Special services for Palafitos guests include 24-hour room service, exclusive beach beds, customized beach picnics and full butler service. Hint: Guests staying five nights or more can enjoy a moonlight dinner on their own private terrace, where a chef will present a curated menu inspired by seasonal ingredients.
And the rooms aren’t the only hotel features located over the water.
At the 1,600-square-foot Overwater Náay Spa, the signature treatments are designed based on the traditional Mayan herbal practices and richness of the region’s marine life, which highlights the benefits of “Maroma’s Sea Moss.” This unique sea moss, found only in the Caribbean, is rich in mineral salts and contains high antioxidant and detoxifying powers. Note: This is the most requested treatment, so be sure to book at least 24 hours in advance.
Seen here is the Overwater Grill & Wine Bar that has a menu inspired by the sea and its surroundings and is open for guests only.
For weddings, bridal spa treatments are available. Brides can sit back and unwind with a 25-minute facial, a 25-minute therapeutic massage, any manicure style except acrylic or Gelish, use of Hydrotherapy Zone Steam room, a sauna and a Jacuzzi.
For all spa enquiries, connect with Juan Carlos Medina Cetina ([email protected]), spa manager.
Luxury Travel Advisor was told the best restaurant at the hotel is The Over Water Ocean Grill & Wine Bar, which, like the other dining options in the hotel, is open for guests only. We were also told the terrace is where you’ll find the best seats in the house and that the slow-braised short rib served with Hoisin sauce, carrot puree and seasonal vegetables is the best menu option.
To further customize your retreat at El Dorado Maroma, a Spa Resort, by Karisma, reach out to Nayma Sanchez ([email protected]), sales manager.
Sugar Bay Barbados’ Deluxe Oceanfront Room has a roomy living area complete with a sleeper sofa.
Sugar Bay Barbados
For Millennials who prefer their rooms on land, we recently uncovered a new chic, all-inclusive resort in Barbados — Sugar Bay Barbados.
Luxury Travel Advisor has learned the best rooms here are the Deluxe Oceanfront Rooms. Along with some of the best views on property, these rooms include a living area complete with a sleeper sofa and a larger bathroom.
Note: Deluxe Oceanfront Rooms can accommodate up to three adults within the existing bedding of a king bed and the sofa bed. Guests can choose twin beds over the king bed on request.
For families, we were told to recommend the Oceanfront Family Suites. These suites have balconies with full ocean views, sleep up to four adults or three adults with children, and have a modern bathroom and a large separate living room with sofa bed and extra space for a roll-away bed. Good to know: The Oceanfront category of rooms provides the hotel’s best views of the Caribbean.
For all room enquiries, connect with Shelly Foster ([email protected]), reservations manager.
The hotel’s Karma Spa includes eight treatment rooms, including a hydrotherapy and a Jacuzzi room. It is recommended that treatments are booked at least 24 hours in advance.
Insider Access: The best treatment here is said to be the Karma Full Body Massage. The two most requested masseuses on property are Andrea Clarke, the spa manager, and Dominique Garner.
The resort has a boho-inspired décor. Shown here is the Beachfront Lounge.
Nice Touch: For wedding-bound travelers, the spa offers wedding parties complete buyouts, group treatments, free hair and makeup consultation.
To further customize your spa experience, connect with Clarke ([email protected]).
Both of the hotel’s restaurants, Umi Asian Fusion and Sizzle Steakhouse, are open to guests and locals, alike. Tip: We were told the Picanha Steak at Sizzle Steakhouse and the Volcano Roll at Umi Asian Fusion are both must-orders.
Note: December to May is the busiest time of year for the hotel. For that time period, we were told to recommend booking at least four weeks out.
To further customize a vacation to Sugar Bay Barbados, reach out to Jamal Griffith ([email protected]), group sales and marketing manager.