This adults-only, all-inclusive resort in the Florida Keys provides options for those seeking respite or fun.
This past Labor Day weekend, I packed a small overnight bag and laptop with plans to work all weekend—only from a beautiful spot called the Bungalows Key Largo.
Despite the best intentions of being productive, the resort charmed me into resting instead. It was the laid-back spirit of Key Largo whispering in my ear to just be the spirit of Jimmy Buffet songs.
I was driving there when I received a news alert about Buffet’s passing. Buffet’s lifelong love affair and advocacy for the Florida Keys is part of his legacy and we toasted it many times that weekend.
A couple from Maryland I met at the tiki bar when I first arrived told me they had returned just three weeks after their first visit to the resort. The husband, Gary, said they loved the spot because there was no stress once they got here and that the resort “was just a place you could turn everything else off.”
Drenched in timeless island elegance, Bungalows Key Largo is a luxurious tropical adult-only getaway that is six hours from Ocala. And, after my visit, I echo Gary’s sentiment.
Elegance Secluded in Nature
Key Largo is the first island of the Florida Keys. The resort is positioned on 11.5 waterfront acres, overlooking the enchanted Buttonwood Sound at Mile Marker 99.
After you get to the resort, you park your car and never need it again during your stay. You’ll be transported from the reception area by golf cart into a tropical botanical garden with individual bungalows and everything you need to rest or have fun—with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.
One of my favorite aspects of the resort, second only to the Gulf views, was the tropical garden architecture that changed as the shadows changed. I was inspired to take notes on what I’d like to replicate in my own backyard.
Zen or Adventure
From the Zen Garden Spa, which offers treatments inspired by nature, to the open-air Fitness Tiki Hut that is stocked with exercise equipment, and daily yoga sessions on the beach, you could easily decide to turn your stay into a wellness retreat.
There were plenty of opportunities for water-based activities, such as stand-up paddleboards, water trikes, kayaks and custom boat tours where you could watch the sunset or go snorkeling.
The resort has two impressive pools, each with jacuzzis. The Sunset Pool overlooks the Florida Bay, with the Sunset Tiki Bar nearby, and my favorite, the Zen Pool.
I was impressed at how easily I could find privacy throughout the resort, despite visiting on a holiday weekend when it was fully booked.
I never had to wait for a cabana at the Zen Pool or by the beach, or for a hammock on the beach. I never felt like I was crowded in with anyone. All big pluses when it came to relaxing!
There are 135 individual 900-square-foot bungalows in the resort. Every bungalow has a private veranda with a rain shower and a soaking tub, a spa-inspired bathroom, a 60-inch Beyond TV, a Keurig coffee maker and a mini-fridge stocked with refreshments.
Those who choose waterfront bungalows benefit from the million-dollar water views, but guests of the garden bungalows have only a five-minute walk to get to them.
The bungalows were thoughtfully designed with organic textures and soothing tropical hues. I loved the private veranda with the soaking tub.
With three restaurants and the oceanfront tiki bar, guests are offered many options for dining:
SUNSET TIKI BAR
Open from 11am to 11pm. The friendly staff served tropical drinks, handcrafted specialty cocktails and a bar food menu.
Expect local seafood and Mexican fusion. I really enjoyed the fish tacos!
This was the first stop for breakfast every morning and
I loved the fresh smoothies. The dinner menu includes pasta, seafood and steaks.
BOGIE & BACALL’S
The most sophisticated dining option at the resort will cost you an additional $300 per couple if staying less than 4 nights. Menu options include seafood dishes and prime steaks, all in a setting reminiscent of its legendary namesakes.
When I was there, the resort hosted a lavish Labor Day beach celebration with an impressive seafood buffet and a live band.
I drove the I-75 and Florida Turnpike route all the way down south in under six hours on a Saturday morning. The resort charges $300 per bungalow for early check-in; otherwise, travelers should plan to be there at 4 p.m.
If you want to fly, the resort is 60 miles from Miami International Airport.
For a dramatic entrance to the resort, guests can opt for a scenic seaplane ride from Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
If You Go…
Bungalows Key Largo
99010 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, Florida 33037
Reservations: (866) 801-0195
bungalowskeylargo.com and on Facebook and Instagram.