Imagine sleeping in a traditional hut standing on a rock surrounded by water, with only the most simple wooden bridge to get there… for cheaper than a hotel room! New Caledonia isn’t a cheap destination so I always imagined accommodation over water in New Caledonia would not be in my budget. But I was wrong! Let me tell you more about this jewel we found in Mare and another accommodation over water in Noumea.
Be aware that there aren’t that many options in New Caledonia. Accommodations over water are a lot more popular (and expensive!) in French Polynesia for example, a bit further away in the Pacific Ocean. Check this if you’re dreaming about an overwater bungalow experience anywhere in the world.
Planning a trip to New Caledonia? Check out these travel tips to organise your stay!
New Caledonia: Accommodation over water in Mare
Hut on the Rock, Seday Guesthouse
If I had to pick the best place to stay in New Caledonia, I would straight away get this one in my mind.
I realise it’s not what everyone has in mind when they look for accommodation over water: the view and the exclusivity is the only luxury you’ll get in this hut.
It is the only hut like this that exists in the “tribe stay” offer. “Tribe stays” are not like the traditional hotel. It provides a more authentic experience and an opportunity to exchange with local people, the Kanaks.
The comfort is usually minimal and kept traditional with the mattresses on the floor and shared bathroom and toilets a few metres away. There is no air con, but the breeze was coming in nicely from the window and the door that we let slightly opened.
We don’t need more than that, as long as it’s clean! So the Gite Seday was perfect for us.
Unlike in the resorts, there’s no swimming pool but who cares when you can refresh in the beautiful lagoon? We spotted a few anemonefish (Nemo!) while snorkelling there and in the morning, a big Napoleon fish came to greet us. Make sure you bring your snorkel gear with you as you cannot rent it easily around the island. Check out this article for more packing tips for your trip to New Caledonia.
Jacques, who owns the Gite Seday, was a fantastic host and we learnt a lot about Mare and the Kanak culture while he and his family served us dinner.
Where: Gite Seday in Roh, at the North of Mare, one of the Loyalty Islands that you can reach with a domestic flight from Noumea
Price: Less than 50 euros for two people per night and 60 euros for three people (maximum). Click here to book
New Caledonia: Accommodation over water in Noumea
Escapade Ilot Maitre
In a different style, this hotel in Noumea is the best beachfront accommodation in New Caledonia and close to what most people define as Paradise.
If you’re after luxury – and you have the budget for it – this will be your favourite option.
After a short boat trip from Noumea (20 minutes), you’ll reach the small Ilot Maitre to stay at the only hotel on the island. And there, your bungalow over water will have all the comfort you could dream of. The hotel offers all you need as well including facilities for a fun stay with a restaurant, a bar, a swimming pool, a massage centre, a water-sport centre… and even a chapel if you want to celebrate something special!
The Ilot Maitre lagoon is known to have resident turtles so make sure you keep an eye open!
I didn’t go myself to this hotel. We were travelling as a group, and this would have exploded our budget. But for a romantic getaway as a couple, it sounds fantastic.
Where: Escapade Ilot Maitre, a small island in front of Noumea.
Price: Around 230 euros for two people per night, breakfast included. Click here to book*
Have you stayed in any accommodation over water in New Caledonia or elsewhere? Share your experience in the comments!
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