The pleasant overwater bungalow turns 50

The overwater bungalow – that iconic pitch of a paradisiacal pleasant vacation, station in transparent blue H2O on stilt legs – turns a large five-oh this year. The thatched huts, mostly given with such oppulance amenities as thrust pools and potion floors to improved see a fish below, are a tack on a bucket lists and Pinterest play of aspirational travelers a universe over. Yet their start lies in a surprisingly boring practice in problem-solving.

Back in a ’60s, 3 tanned, party-hearty California kids – Hugh Kelley, Don “Muk” McCallum and Jay Carlisle – left their 9-to-5s in office of their pleasant dreams in French Polynesia. Opening hotels on Moorea and Raiatea, a contingent was dubbed a Bali Hai Boys, after a visionary island in James Michener’s novel “South Pacific.”

Carlisle, now in his 70s, reminisces about those days:

“Our Hotel Bali Hai on Moorea thrived with a beachfront property, nonetheless Hotel Bora Bora on Raiatea struggled,” he says. “It didn’t have any beaches.” A critical problem, indeed. “Inspired by a vernacular thatched-roof fishing huts,” he goes on, “Kelley subsequent a thought of building bungalows on petrify stilts out on a bay, providing approach entrance to a lagoon. We drilled down by hand; there were no electric drills or anything. We did all of a work.” That was in 1967.

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