BLUEWATER KEY, Fla. — Vacationers are plunking down thousands of dollars a week to sleep in tents or RVs at luxury “glamping” resorts featuring massive televisions, private docks and farm-to-table dinners, with concierges ready with fishing guides or to rustle up cowboys for horseback rides.
It’s all part of the newest trend to target both retiring Baby Boomers and Millennials looking for active adventures in which not a single moment is wasted in a boring hotel room, and where Mother Nature takes top billing. Today, when even the most casual of travelers expect to find comfy beds and clean showers wherever they choose to sleep, experts say there’s a demand for experiences that go above and beyond.
“These are no longer stripped-down campgrounds,” said Mark Ellert, the president of Guy Harvey Outdoor Resorts. “These are summer camps for adults, and adults have expectations about those creature comforts.”
At Bluewater Key RV Resort near Key West, the creature comforts come in the form of sprawling tiki huts equipped with high-end appliances, flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi. Private docks float on the sparkling blue water and a concierge will whip up a Jeep rental so you don’t have to move your RV. Bluewater Key only permits RVs that are at least 24 feet long; pop-ups, truck campers and tents are banned. During the winter, when the weather further north is worst, high-end RVs gather at Bluewater, their owners cooking in their custom kitchens, sleeping in memory-foam beds, relaxing in massaging loungers. Some of them are worth more than $2 million.
In the summer, vacationing families fill out Bluewater.
For Miami native Lizbeth Lara, this is paradise. The palm trees waving in the soft summer breeze. The sand between her toes. Meeting new friends in adjacent sites, sharing…