Arriving at the Bungalow Beach Resort on Anna Maria Island changes your mood almost immediately. Just past the parking lot on this quick little bend of a gulf front road, you find yourself passing through the property's gazebo entrance. It's an almost ceremonial right of passage that requires you to leave your worries behind, live in your bathing suit and sandals and relinquish yourself to peace and serenity. To the unsuspecting guest, it's an oasis within an island.
Most guests are surprised to learn the property is actually a former army barracks (rumor passed down from previous owners). Today, each of the 15 charming cedar bungalows has been magically transformed into a romantic little getaway that preserves its 1930s clapboard construction and old Florida island charm. It's a very relaxing place to stay.
This beautiful place has bungalows that range from one room studio to three-bedrooms, and feature white wicker furniture, and the original architectural design of hardwood floors, bead-board walls and wood-beamed cathedral ceilings. Stepping inside one differs from most hotels. The white and beige interiors convince you immediately that the place is impeccably clean and fresh.
A variety of personal touches make you feel at home when staying at Bungalow Beach Resort. From plush linens, to your basket full of embroidered towels, flowers and candy . . . each visitor enjoys simple, upscale niceties that make this place special . . . without crossing the line of big, pretentious resorts. In fact, calling the place a "resort" at all seems out of sorts, since the homey feel and air of privacy leaves you often wondering if you might have the entire place to yourself.