Our Southeast honeymoon was completely paid for by Chris and I, as well as our amazing wedding guests who donated to our honeymoon wedding fund. This post was not sponsored by the hotel in question. The two of us wanted to keep our honeymoon relaxed and sponsor-free!
This October, Chris and I tied the knot in Australia (yay!!) and quickly left on a month-long Southeast Asia honeymoon where we spent time in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Seriously, if you’re looking for some bang for your buck, Southeast Asia is the PERFECT place to plan a honeymoon. Not only can you have an incredible hotel for a budget price, but the food is also cheap, the beaches are great, and coming from Australia the flights weren’t too bad either!
Expect a full breakdown and honeymoon itinerary from us in the future, but for now, I want to tell you about our biggest splurge of the trip: staying in an overwater bungalow in Langkawi Malaysia!
My First Overwater Bungalow Experience
Before my honeymoon, I had never stayed in an overwater bungalow. My husband Chris was lucky enough to stay in one on his trip to the Maldives for work (lucky him!), but I had never experienced the luxury. With so many cheap hotels and villas in Southeast Asia, I had never really felt the need to treat myself. But since you only get to honeymoon once, now seemed like the perfect time!
A few years ago my parents went on a trip to Thailand and Malaysia and spent a night in one of Berjaya’s luxury overwater bungalows for their anniversary. They couldn’t stop raving about their outdoor hot tub and the amazing experience, so we decided… you only get married once? Why not go for it!
So in addition to our medium-range and budget accommodation, Chris and I booked two nights at one of Berjaya’s overwater bungalows!
An Overwater Bungalow With an Overwater Jacuzzi
Berjaya’s overwater bungalow was by far the nicest room I’ve ever had at a hotel. Our room was beautifully decorated with a giant king-sized bed, comfy couch, pristine bathroom with an indoor-outdoor shower and a porch with chairs and a table overlooking the Andaman Sea!
By far the best part about our room was the jacuzzi bathtub! To be honest, I spent half my time in this bathtub just enjoying the view and a good book. During the day I’d fill it up with cool water so I wouldn’t overheat (it was seriously HOT outside), and in the evenings we’d sip wine and crank up the bubbles.
Chocolate Cake and Fancy Breakfast
One of the best things about Berjaya is their free chocolate cakes for guests who are celebrating! Honeymoon? Free Cake! Birthday? Free Cake! Anniversary? Have a free cake!!!
The small chocolate cakes are seriously good, and I literally ate the whole thing myself since Chris refused to help me (he hates chocolate cake… what a weirdo). Who doesn’t love a good chocolate cake and some wine in the evenings from your own little hot tub? Talk about luxury!
Berjaya also delivers a massive breakfast to your room in the mornings, which was amazing. On the first day, we were able to have it late enough in the morning that we could use it as brunch and not pay a dime for lunch. However, on the last day, we had to check out really early to catch our flight, so we only ordered a few things so we’d have time to eat it. The food was delivered right at 6 am as the sun was rising, and I was shocked to see they’d doubled everything we ordered because they were worried we hadn’t selected enough food!
It was amazing eating our breakfast at sunrise surrounded by all the early morning dragonflies. I just wish I had more time to enjoy it before I rushed to the airport!
Thai Food With a View
Part of our package included a free dinner at one of the hotel restaurants. We picked the place with the best reviews and chose the Thai restaurant overlooking the water. It was a short little walk from our bungalow down the pier to the restaurant, where we had a perfect view of a slowly incoming storm.
The Thai food itself was actually pretty good, and we were given a set meal with a glass of wine. It was also kind of nice that with the price we paid for the room, we didn’t really have to pay for other food while we were there with the giant breakfast and free dinner.
Who Needs a Pool or a Beach?
Before we moved into the overwater bungalow, Chris and I actually spent a few nights in a rainforest chalet (the cheaper accommodation at the hotel), so we had plenty of time to check out the pool and beach on those days. The pool was very nice (although a little crowded) with a swim-up bar where you could order daiquiri slushies. It also had a beautiful waterfall and was the perfect temperature for how hot it was outside.
The beach itself was a little rocky and underwhelming after the beautiful beaches of Thailand, so to be honest, we didn’t spend much time swimming there. However, they did have jet ski tours and kayaks for rent!
But once we moved into our overwater bungalow, spending time at the main resort felt like a total waste of our beautiful room. I much preferred to read a book in the jacuzzi tub and enjoy the incredible view! I only wished I could jump into the ocean from our bungalow, but I guess I’ll just have that to look forward to on a future adventure?
Cute Monkeys (and Scary Monkeys)
Berjaya is actually situated on the edge of a large wildlife reserve near the Sky Bridge and Seven Wells Waterfall. Because of this, you get some pretty incredible wildlife, especially up near the rainforest chalets. One day we awoke to an entire family of brown monkeys on our balcony! Unfortunately, a bunch of our clothes and swimsuits were out there drying, and not many of them were able to survive the monkey party without landing in the dirt…
Even if you’re staying in an overwater bungalow, you’ll still have an opportunity to see wildlife around the resort. I spotted the cutest black monkeys with white fur around their eyes and long tails both around the lobby and the pool. According to our taxi driver on the way in, “the brown ones are mean, but the black ones are nice!”
I literally spent a solid 20 minutes watching the black monkies play around the lobby. They were so cute!
The World’s Most Awkward Afternoon ‘Hi-Tea’
The last part of our package which we were very excited to try was the afternoon “hi-tea”. However, when we checked in, the staff seemed really confused about this concept. When we asked them about it, they had to confirm to get the exact time and location of said afternoon tea, which was a bit strange. If it’s included, everyone should know about it, right?
Well… we arrived at the “hi-tea” in the sports bar, which in and of itself was super weird. We were the only people there, and the staff seemed very surprised when we arrived. This was a bit strange considering there were actually snacks, finger sandwiches, fruit, and tea set out.
We ate a few (very stale) sandwiches and some fruit and laughed about how awkward the situation was. The staff eagerly replenished each mini sandwich we ate, which was a bit of a waste considering I don’t think anyone else was coming…?
It honestly felt like “hi-tea” was something the owner of Berjaya read that fancy hotels do, and therefore insisted the staff create one with zero instruction as to how to run or promote it. I honestly bet you day after day that stuff just sits there and is eventually thrown out because no one eats it. At least it was a hilarious experience!
So… Was it Worth the Expense?
If you’re considering staying in Berjaya or another fancy overwater bungalow for your honeymoon or anniversary, I’m sure you’re wondering: is it worth the cost?
Honestly, staying in the overwater bungalow at Berjaya was one of my favorite parts of the honeymoon, and I’m really glad we decided to splurge. If you can afford it, I would recommend staying in the overwater bungalow for 2 nights so you can get a full-day experience, and then find cheaper accommodation closer to town, where you can eat the affordable (and amazing!!) Malaysian food on offer, rather than overpriced resort restaurants.
Personally, I wouldn’t really recommend the rainforest chalet at Berjaya unless you really like resorts. Chris and I aren’t huge resort people, so the rainforest chalet felt a bit pricey for what it was offering. Plus it smelled like mildew and everything was damp like the room hadn’t been aired out or opened up during the entire rainy season.
If Chris and I could do it again, we would definitely keep our two nights in the overwater bungalow, and spend another 2-3 nights off the resort somewhere else on Langkawi.
How to Find the Perfect Honeymoon Villa on a Budget
Not everyone wants to shell out a ton of money for an overwater bungalow, and that’s okay! If something this fancy isn’t in your budget, there are plenty of other affordable holiday villas in Asia! Besides, cheaper accommodation means you can have a longer trip! That’s how we got our honeymoon vacation to stretch an entire month.
If you’re looking for a romantic honeymoon villa without spending a fortune, have a look at this stunning villa with a private pool in Koh Lanta, a two-bedroom villa with a kitchen and large pool in Koh Samui, or even this incredible jungle villa in Siem Reap!
You can find such amazing (and romantic) accommodation for your Southeast Asia honeymoon for under $100 USD a night, there’s no need to splurge on an overwater bungalow unless you’re really dying to have the experience.
Personally, I’m glad I had a really wide range of accommodation. My overwater bungalow experience was definitely the priciest room of the trip, but we picked plenty of romantic cheaper places too. Don’t let a strict budget keep you from having the honeymoon villa of your dreams!
Let’s Hear From You!
Do you dream of staying in an overwater bungalow? Have you ever shelled out for a fancy overwater bungalow on a trip? Let me know in a comment below!
Also, I’m super curious to hear what you did for your own honeymoon. Did you go to Southeast Asia? The Carribean? Fill us in on your incredible trip!