Tired of staying in the same old hotel rooms when you go to the beach? Looking for a change in scenery? Want to experience the Gulf Coast beach the way they used to? Then get your reservations in for one of the last of its kind on the gulf: the bungalow. And Barrett Beach Bungalows are the cream of the crop.
When I was growing up in the 50s and early 60s, there were few hotels and motels on the beach. It was mostly privately owned houses that the snow birds would lease to locals during the summer when it got hot down here and they flew back up north. And there were also a lot of what we call bungalows: small two or three room houses or attached apartments. I stayed in my share of both as a child.
Barrett Beach Bungalows is the top of the line when it comes to combining old beach charm with up to date conveniences. There are five separate bungalows of various sizes which will sleep different numbers of people. My wife and I spent almost a week in Marlin's Hideaway and we absolutely loved it.
Marlin's is the northern most of the bungalows and has it's own entrance and separate parking space. It is a two bedroom house with a single bathroom. The bedrooms will sleep two per room and the large living room has fold-out sleeping for two more, giving you a grand total of six people who can stay there comfortably.
The living area has a large double-wide sliding glass door that faces the beach so you can sit on the couches and watch the water, the sea gulls, and people walking on the sand and the marvelous sunsets that Florida has year round.
Or you can step right outside those doors onto the private deck that Marlin boasts, sit at one of the tables on the chairs or lounge chairs and watch the splendor of God's handiwork in the sky every night. We would sometimes walk the short path from our door to the lapping waves for the sunsets, and at other times, after spending time in the sun, have our dinner on the deck being entertained by the fiery Florida skies at dusk.
And you never have to leave the property. Marlin's Hideaway comes with a full washer and drier and has a good sized full kitchen. The Marlin shares a pool next door with the other bungalows and we made use of it often. It's good sized and it has a direct unobstructed view of the beach and sunset if you want to watch from there. Marlin also has it's own outside portable grill which we used. It did not come cleaned after the last person but there was a scraper there so I was able to clean it well prior to using it and left it cleaned for the next renter.
Property host Liz Barrett is usually around sometime during the day if you need help with something and will take care of any problems if you have one. Marlin's Hideaway comes with most of the amenities that you may need. The living area has a TV with cable, CD player and VCR with movies. Each bedroom also has it's own television. The kitchen has a fridge, a microwave, a dishwasher and a full stove with oven. The bathroom has a full tub, and the shower comes with a shower seat for those who need one.
For eating, there is a two seat dinette table with chairs and two bar stools for the eat-at counter. There is also a table in the living area. Plus the table on the deck seats four comfortably. The bungalow is exquisitely decorated and clean as a whistle. Oh yeah, the reason it's so clean is that a professional crew comes in between each renter and does that work and you do have to pay the cleaning fee so be forewarned about that charge. There are many other conditions and rules for the rental so do make sure you read them all prior to making your reservation.
The pool is completely fenced and this is a pet friendly property (for an extra charge) so there may be other people's pets there. But if you are bothered by them, there is a pet area behind a see-thru picket fence for your doggie to stay in and still see you. The pool area is also pet friendly unless someone is bothered or has allergies, etc. There is also a full sized private beach volley ball court for your use as well as a firepit. We sat around the fire one night and it brought back some delightful memories of spending a large part of my life on the beaches of this area.
There is a small shopping plaza across the street complete with an ice cream shop which we made use of often. There is also an internet cafe which we ate at but the bungalow does come with it's own high speed wireless internet service.
The beaches at Indian Shores are some of the last unspoiled beaches on the coast. Yes, there are some large condos close by, but it's like stepping back into time at Barrett Beach Bungalows and we can highly recommend them to everyone who wants to come down and experience a little bit of how it used to be.
All of the bungalows have their own feel so if you are in the area, you may want to drop in and see...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.