7 Honeymoon Destinations Like Bora Bora (But Cheaper!)

By Jim CampbellJim CampbellJim CampbellJim is the owner of Honeymoons.com. A lifelong traveler, Jim's wanderlust has led him to spend months living on the Mayan Rivera, instruct SCUBA diving in Croatia, sail from San Diego to Hawaii, and cruise the Caribbean on a catamaran. Jim launched his honeymoon business while planning his own honeymoon in 2019. Since then, he has helped thousands of honeymooners plan their trips through his honeymoon travel agency.Meet Our Team | Updated on June 25, 2024 | Posted In: Honeymoon Destinations


by Debbi K. Kickham

The turquoise lagoon and sand-fringed islets that surround Bora Bora, along with the deluxe packages, spectacular overwater bungalows, and romantic vibe, place it on the “most desired” honeymoon destination of many couples. It is a high-cost destination that does not fit into everyone’s budget. I’ve been there, and I can honestly tell you — Bora Bora, and all of Tahiti — is enormously expensive.

This article will help you find some alternatives that provide the experience and feel of an overwater bungalow destination, such as Bora Bora, without the high prices. The sparkling shorelines and breathtaking islands listed below have overwater bungalows at budget-friendly rates that promise a romantic escapade. In other words, you can enjoy “high-end” without the “high spend.” Who doesn’t love luxury for less?

Jamaica

jamaica 00

For an affordable tropical getaway, the Sandals Resorts in Jamaica are ideal. The stay at these resorts is all-inclusive, which means that, after paying for your accommodations, you do not have to spend more money when you are there. Just put your wallet in the hotel safe — and that’s it. All you need to do at that point is enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. You’ll love the gourmet cuisine at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all of your beverages and alcohol (every kind of cocktail imaginable!), all kinds of snacks and treats at various food venues (bring on the ice cream!), and even many watersports. All of these wonderful offerings are included in the price of your beautiful Sandals accommodations.

A dinner-for-two in Bora Bora can easily cost more than $200. And you could spend more than $30 for cocktails by the pool, not to mention that the flight to Bora Bora is much, much, more expensive than a flight to Jamaica. (I’ve done it, and it’s quite costly. And you won’t believe how uncomfortable and tired you will be after such a long-haul flight to Papeete, Tahiti, even if you book First Class. It’s simply exhausting.) Over-the-water bungalows have exotic palapa-style architecture and glass floors that allow undersea views. I call it “Fish TV,” and you will have the time of your life gazing down at the tropical sea life right below you, in your overwater bungalow, one of the world’s most over-the-top escapes.

The bungalow patio features a soaking tub, an outdoor shower, and a suspension patio with a swim-up platform. A butler service brings meals to the room, makes reservations to restaurants, and helps with anything needed during the stay. A Sandals bungalow is not cheap and is reserved quickly, but the amenities included in the price, and more affordable airfare to Jamaica, make great economic sense, when you compare it to a Bora Bora honeymoon. In fact, on one of my trips to Bora Bora, I spoke with a guest who was checking out, and I asked her about her folio, knowing, of course, that it was enormously expensive. You know what she said to me? “My hotel bill was a tuition payment.” That’s how costly Bora Bora is. We both commiserated about the price of things in Tahiti — but if you can afford it, it’s definitely worth it, because the islands of Tahiti are exquisitely gorgeous and a bungalow there, in a serene warm-water lagoon, is heaven on earth. But for most people, a trip or honeymoon to Tahiti is just too high-priced — especially after having just paid for a wedding. Here are some other ways you can bliss out in beautiful style.

Best Time to Visit

Jamaica is a top destination for honeymoons and weddings. It depends on your preference when deciding the best time to visit. July provides a roasting-hot beach vacation and December a much-needed winter escape. The months of September and October are the months when accommodations are cheapest. There is a chance of rain, but still plenty of sunshine. Springtime is also a good time.


Vanuatu

Vanuatu is a South Pacific Island country home to the four-star Holiday Inn Resort, which is a member of IHG resorts. It is surrounded by palm trees and welcomes couples looking for the vibe of Bora Bora at a cost that is more affordable. Overwater villas have direct access to the Erakor Lagoon, a spa, outdoor pools, and a restaurant with a relaxing view.

Vanuatu is comprised of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometers. The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge.

With its three-star rates in a five-star location, this resort makes the ideal romantic retreat for budget-conscious travelers. Prices for the overwater bungalows are $250 to $300 per night, much cheaper than those in Bora Bora, so booking an overwater bungalow here is a no-brainer. There are also regular rooms to book for less.

Best Time to Visit

Nearly anytime is an excellent time to visit Vanuatu. There are a few things to consider. It boils down to where you stay and what you want to get out of the honeymoon. Weather conditions that are warm and yet comfortable are from April to October. November through March is the wet season. Showers are brief and have no impact on most tours and activities.


Thailand

Thailand will seduce you with its tempting tapestry of unsurpassed natural wonders, delicious cuisine, spiritual people, and vibrant scenery. It is with good reason that Thailand, one of the world’s top destinations, is called “The Land of Smiles.”

Couples honeymooning here should consider themselves very lucky, as the Kingdom offers attractive diversions for every interest. Here you’ll find everything from glittering temples – known as “wats” – to elephant rides,  beautiful beaches, jaw-dropping waterfalls, spectacular shopping, and of course, Thai massage.

In Koh Samul, an upscale hotel, KC Resort & Over Water Villas overlooks the Gulf of Thailand. It is a minute away from the beach. Things that await romantic visitors include balconies and whirlpools that decorate beautiful rooms, deluxe suites with gulf views and outdoor hot tubs, and Bora Bora-style villas located over private infinity pools.

Besides the romantic getaway, there is a sensational spa along with:

  • A saltwater pool.
  • A thrilling rooftop lounge.
  • An outdoor infinity pool that has a bar

Prices start at $218, which is a better deal on overwater villas and more accessible to reach than Bora Bora.

Best Time to Visit

For the best weather, visit Thailand from November to February. November to March is best for seeing the west coast beaches and January through March and July through September for east coast beaches. Thailand festivals take place from November to April. The lowest prices are found from May to September, when there are discounts and promotions on tours, accommodations, and flights.


Indonesia

Another Bora Bora-style destination is the Pulo Cinta Eco Resort on Indonesia’s Gulf of Tomini private island. Friendly prices await excited couples. Perched on stilts above the sea are wooden villas that are part of the high-end, all-inclusive resort.

A Nordic vibe is created with thatched roofs and wood paneling in the charming villas that are more inviting and cozier than those in other luxurious destinations like Bora Bora. The $272 price includes airport transfers, drinks, and delicious meals in an open-air restaurant on the beachfront.

Best Time to Visit

May, June, and September are the best month for an Indonesian getaway. The days are clear, crowds are smaller, and things are less expensive than in July and August. April through September is the prime time to visit for surfing and diving. The low season is October to April. Although there are frequent downpours, the temperature stays around 86° F.


Malaysia

A Malaysian paradise is quite similar to Bora Bora at a much lower cost. Prices at the AVANTI Sepang Goldcoast Resort start at low season prices of $107 and rise to $132 during busier times. The resort opened in 2011 and is off the coast south of Kuala Lumpur Airport. This spectacular resort offers romantic couples the opportunity to pamper themselves and relax in stunning water villas with the luxury they dreamt about without emptying their bank account.

Best Time to Visit

The preference of the area you want to see impacts the best time to visit. The west coast and capital are hot year-round. It is the perfect for a beach or city honeymoon. Rain occurs all year but does not interfere with your enjoyment. The west coast has the most rainfall in September and October.

Visiting the east coast may be preferred during those months. From March to October, stunning Kuala Terengganu mosques, Perhentian white sand beaches, and the Tioman diving hotspot are at the forefront.


Fiji

If Bora Bora is not in the cards due to high prices, Koro Sun Resort in Fiji is a great choice. It is a beachfront retreat with variety of non-traditional types of rooms and a romantic and thrilling vibe that enhances the escapade. Edgewater accommodations are close to the shore, described as fantastic, and cheaper than accommodations further in the lagoon.

Along with the fancy accommodations the resort offers, there are free water activities and sports, a fabulous spa, relaxing outdoor pools, and great dining. It is the ideal location for an adventurous couple. Prices start at $259. Full-board and half-board meal plans can help plan a trip within your budget.

Best Time to Visit

Temperatures in Fiji are pretty constant. Highs are in the 80s. You may have to deal with tropical storms from November to April. July through September is the peak season, but prices are much higher. May to June and October are the shoulder seasons. Crowds have recently departed or have yet to arrive.


Honduras

On the northwestern coast of Roatan Island is Anthony’s Key Resort overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is ideal for honeymooners looking for an all-inclusive resort at an affordable price and who prefer to stay in an overwater bungalow.

Roatan is a favorite destination for lovers of the Caribbean. It is well-known for its beautiful beaches and turquoise water. Bungalows are available on an offshore key that is reached by boat taxi or a jungle-covered hillside.

The beachfront, family-owned resort welcomes couples with rates starting at $750 for two adults per night. Some high-end amenities include a dive center and an outdoor pool, a fantastic spa, an open-air restaurant having views of the sea, floor-to-ceiling or louvered windows, and private or shared decks.

Best Time to Visit

The dry season in Honduras is from December to April. Temperatures sit between 79 and 90 degrees. There are typically fewer downpours at this time. Temperatures are hotter from May to November. Conditions are more humid, and downpours are more likely. The threat of hurricanes exists during the later months. Humidity causes the temperature to feel hotter.

May through October is the most cost-effective. Events and festivals during this time include Independence Day, pods of whales frequenting the water around the Bay Islands, and the Mardi Gras-style party of the San Isidro Festival.

FAQs

When is visiting Bora Bora cheapest?

The cheapest time to visit Bora Bora is typically late August through early September. The cost ranges from $301 to $665 per night per person. Sightseeing, travel, and food average $84 to $229 per day per person.

What is the best Bora Bora resort?

Luxurious honeymoon accommodations are provided at the Four Seasons Resort in Bora Bora

Is Bora Bora worth the price?

If you have the financial resources and time, it is the most famous French Polynesian atoll. There are many other islands in the French Polynesia collective to explore that provide an authentic Polynesian experience.

What is a Bora Bora vacation like?

It has a picture-perfect landscape. Bora Bora provides a stay in an overwater bungalow, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, where you look for fish through a glass floor. There is a wide selection of marine life in the lagoon.


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