After a few rum runner cocktails, it would be easy to assume that the two tiki huts bobbing in the waters near Key West, Florida, like a pair of shore birds, were a sun- and libations-fueled illusion.
But they’re neither a mirage or a mistake — they’re a set of one-of-a-kind, floating bungalows.
Both iterations, the original Tiki Suite (now two-years-old) and the Grand Tiki (new as of January 2021) are thatched cabanas with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, king-sized beds, and three French doors that open up to the ocean where guests can potentially spot dolphins, manatees, sting rays, conch, starfish, and other saltwater denizens. The newer, slightly more luxurious version, also has a 50″ LED TV and Blu-ray player hidden in the footboard of the bed, a mini refrigerator (the OG edition has a roto-molded cooler), and underwater lighting.
To get out to the suites guests have to hire a water taxi. Though the abodes are only 50 feet from shore (and anchored in water that’s only about three or four feet deep), the closest land is military property and they’re not keen on civilians wandering around on their beach.
For that reason, Armada Experience, the company that owns the accommodations, recommends that patrons bring everything they need for their trip, including food and toiletries.
“It’s intended to be more of a glamping experience,” explained co-owner Altah Petrov, adding that because the stay is more removed it makes for easy social-distancing.
Vacationers aren’t left to their own devices, though. Both Suites come with matching paddle boards and snorkeling gear, or if you’re a landlubber, a double hammock for reading or watching the sunset.
Petrov said at present they are only allowing reservations for six months into the future. There are a handful of dates currently available for the first edition, but more for the second release, which just went live this month.