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Overwater Villas in the Caribbean

Caribbean Resorts with Rooms Perched Above the Sea

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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 sea birds coasting in for a landing on your private deck. Once found only in South Pacific destinations like Fiji, overwater villas and bungalows have now come to the Caribbean, in destinations as diverse as Bermuda, Belize, Panama, and Turks & Caicos.

9 Beaches, Bermuda

© 9 Beaches resort

The exclusive, 84-room 9 Beaches resort in Bermuda includes six Paradise Pier Cabanas, which stand on stilts over deep water facing Daniels Head Island. Resembling small fishing cottages, each cabana has ample windows, French doors, soft-sided walls and fabric roofs. Two-by-four-foot clear viewing panels in the floor let you peer down on the fish swimming below. The resort itself, located on the western tip of Bermuda, also includes a full-service restaurant, beach bar, and room service delivered via golf carts roaming the 18-acre property. Other amenities include tennis, a fitness center, water toys and a dive center.

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Cayo Espanto, Belize

© Kirsten Noelle Hubbard

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 1,000-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 ultraprivate deck -- make for a romantic and memorable stay. Popular resort activities include snorkeling and scuba and fishing as well as indulging in spa services and catered meals. Cayo Espanto is located off the island of San Pedro on Belize's Caribbean coast.

Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge, Panama

© Raul Pinzon, Punto Caracol Acqua Lodge

The Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge consists of nine overwater bungalows strung pearl-like off a rainforest-covered island off 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 three sizes, 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 resort's restaurant serves breakfast and dinner daily, and tours and transportation to the nearby town of Bocas and local Indian villages are available.

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Coral Lodge, Panama

© Cuna de Vida

Located in Panama's Caribbean San Blas Islands, this eco-friendly resort not only has overwater bungalows but also a fine-dining restaurant that hovers just above the waves. Villas are well-appointed with private jacuzzi tubs, hammocks, and private sun decks, and you'll find abundant diving and cultural activities here, including interacting with the local Kuna Indians.

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