The Guide: Accommodations

By: Kara Inglis & Hannah Wallace

IT’S THE LAST THING YOU SEE BEFORE YOU DRIFT OFF TO SLEEP and the first thing that greets you in the morning: your hotel room. And whether you’re looking for a starlit sky and the soothing sound of waves or a shining cityscape and 24-hour dining, Sarasota’s lodging services have it all. Fresh off the […]


Hotel IndigoIT’S THE LAST THING YOU SEE BEFORE YOU DRIFT OFF TO SLEEP and the first thing that greets you in the morning: your hotel room. And whether you’re looking for a starlit sky and the soothing sound of waves or a shining cityscape and 24-hour dining, Sarasota’s lodging services have it all.

Fresh off the plane, you may choose to luxuriate in a spa tub next to marble counters, and then wrap up in a warm hotel robe before slipping under a down duvet for the night. Or perhaps you prefer to walk barefoot over hardwood floors and crawl under a charming hand-sewn quilt in a four-poster bed. When your eyelids grow heavy from a long day of travel, business or adventure, our local rooms have just the thing to match the personality of your dreams.

The Ritz-Carlton Members Beach ClubBut we all know hotels aren’t just about sleeping. From the comfort of your room, you can watch a 42-inch HDTV from a chaise lounge or a stunning Gulf view from your fully furnished balcony, all while eating a gourmet meal from an award-winning on-site restaurant.

You might sip fresh-brewed coffee by the pool, stroll to the shoreline, take a spin on the dance floor or a spin class in the gym, all without leaving your lodging. When it comes time to explore, enjoy your proximity to all the wonders Southwest Florida has to offer, whether you’re walking across the street or taking a complimentary shuttle to the nearby shopping mecca. Wherever you want to go, here’s where you can stay.

Guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, can also enjoy the nearby Gulf-front Members’ Beach Club on Lido Key.

DOWNTOWN SARASOTA
Best Western Midtown, 1425 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. (941) 955-9841. bwmidtown.com. Convenient to the shopping and restaurants of downtown Sarasota, as well as beaches, area attractions and more. Guests can relax in the heated pool and enjoy complimentary continental breakfast buffet.

Hotel Indigo Sarasota, 1223 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota. (941) 487-3800. srqhotel.com. Famed for its inspired service, boutique design and invigorating atmosphere, Hotel Indigo is an oasis of 95 cool, welcoming guest rooms with hardwood floors and decorative area rugs, spa-inspired showers, oversized beds and luxurious linens, all at the edge of downtown Sarasota and convenient to the airport, St. Armands Circle, Lido and Siesta beaches and more. The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota Opera House and Sarasota Orchestra are all within half a mile of Hotel Indigo, and the Ringling Museum, Asolo Repertory Theatre and Sarasota Ballet are less than three miles away. On-site amenities include twin spa wading pools, a salon and the European-inspired H20 Bistro, which serves casual bites and freshly brewed coffee.

Hyatt Regency SarasotaHyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota. (941) 953-1234 or (800) 233-1234. sarasota.hyatt.com. The AAA Four Diamond-rated downtown Hyatt Regency Sarasota provides the quintessential “Florida chic” experience with its waterfront location, a bright, airy design inspired by Lily Pulitzer and a fresh Floribbean cuisine at Currents Restaurant. The hotel boasts 20,000 square feet of meeting space divisible into 20 separate meeting rooms; its private 32-slip “green” marina leads directly to Sarasota Bay and accommodates boats up to 38 feet. CB Outfitters is located on site for boat rentals, charter fishing and sundries. Other first-rate attractions located just minutes away include the Ringling Museum of Art, fashionable shopping and dining on Armands Circle and more than five dozen golf and tennis facilities.

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota. (941) 309-2000. ritzcarlton.com/sarasota. The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota brings world-famous Ritz-Carlton service and amenities to downtown Sarasota, where guests enjoy the site’s combination of city sophistication and Florida. Guests and members also enjoy unlimited access to the spa (just ranked third in the U.S. and Canada by Travel + Leisure magazine), private Gulf-front beach club and a Tom Fazio-designed, nationally ranked championship golf course.

In room, you’ll luxuriate with down duvets, Italian Frette-brand linens, Bose CD players, desks and chaise lounges, furnished balconies with bay, marina or city views, bathrooms with double marble vanities and plush Ritz-Carlton robes. The award-winning Vernona restaurant serves exceptional regional American cuisine, using fresh ingredients like Muscovy duck breast, Alaskan Coho salmon and Maine diver scallops. There’s also the Bayview Burger Bar and the Cà d’Zan Lounge, a popular spot for relaxed cocktails and upscale pub fare including the filet patty melt, the wild mushroom and truffle Parmesan pizza, and the burger Rossini, with foie gras and port-glazed shallots.

LIDO KEY
The Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel, 1540 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota. (941) 388-2181 or (800) 225-2181. helmsleysandcastle.com. This full-service resort offers a friendly, tropical atmosphere on 600 feet of private beach. Enjoy casual, open-air meals or elegant dining in one of the two on-site restaurants. Relax in one of two heated pools—enjoy a drink from the pool bar—or take advantage of sailing and other water recreation arranged through the recreation department. Each room is equipped with a refrigerator, coffeemaker, safe, hair dryer, iron, ironing board, make-up mirror and daily newspaper. Browse the gift shop for souvenirs, ice cream or items you may have forgotten. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available throughout the property.

Lido Beach Holiday Inn 233 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota. (941) 388-5555. lidobeachholidayinn.com. The Lido Beach Holiday Inn’s spectacular outdoor pool overlooks the beach for one of the area’s best views of the water. From there, you can walk to nearby St. Armands Circle (the area’s Rodeo Drive) or take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary shuttle, which also goes to downtown Sarasota. The Sand Dollar Rooftop Restaurant, another breathtaking view, offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and room service. Beach cabanas, beach chairs and bicycle rentals are available.

Lido Beach ResortLido Beach Resort, 700 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota, (941) 388-2161. (800) 441-2113. lidobeachresort.com. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico from the eighth floor, the resort’s renowned Lido Beach Grille is a favorite among locals, as is the famous tiki bar. Guests can walk to St. Armands or stay on site to enjoy 300 feet of private beach, two heated beachfront pools and a 900-square-foot fitness center. Rooms include deluxe kitchenettes and one- and two-bedroom suites, with a refrigerator, microwave and complimentary high-speed Internet access. A catering staff, chef and 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting space are available for functions on site and on the beach.

SIESTA KEY
Gulf and Bay Club, 5730 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota. (941) 349-3000. gulfandbayclub.com. Siesta’s idyllic Crescent Beach serves as the setting for this premier residential resort. One-month rentals of fully furnished two-bedroom, two-bath let you stay alongside athletic courts, a fitness center, saunas, three heated pools, barbecue areas and two clubhouses. There’s also a lake, covered parking, a library and 24-hour security.

Holiday Inn Express Siesta Key/Sarasota, 6600 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. (941) 924-4900. hiexsarasota.com. Surrounded by restaurants, shopping and the country’s No. 1 beach, the Holiday Inn Express offers single- and double-bed guest rooms as well as upgraded poolside king rooms with pull-out sofa and flat-screen TV. Brand-new two-room executive suites each offer a kitchenette, living room, 42-inch flat-screen TV and sleeper sofa. Guests enjoy complimentary hot breakfast each morning, USA Today, wireless Internet, fresh fruit plus popcorn, cappuccino and cookies, all made fresh daily.

Hyatt Siesta Key Beach, 915 Seaside Drive, Sarasota. (941) 346-5900. hyattsiestakeybeach.com. A Hyatt Residence Club, the beachfront Hyatt Siesta Key Beach creates a new standard of vacation ownership with luxurious accommodations within a world-class setting. Private terraces, personalized grocery services and complimentary Wi-Fi go hand-in-hand with the site’s poolside cabanas, beachfront fire pit, beach amenities and valet, plus Hyatt concierge services.

The Palm Bay Club, 5960 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota. (800) 725-6229. palmbayclub.com. These vacation condominiums, ideally located between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on Siesta Key, feature a quiet beach for sunning or shelling. The one-, two- and three-bedroom suites are all fully furnished and provide breathtaking views of the Gulf and tropical landscaping. Guests also enjoy two heated pools, lighted tennis courts, yacht basin, fishing pier, private clubhouse and exercise equipment.

Sarasota Surf and Racquet Club, 5900 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota. (941) 349-2200 or (800) 237-5671. sarasotasurf.com. Siesta Key’s only full-service tennis resort located directly on the beach, Sarasota Surf and Racquet Club offers fully furnished one- and two-bedroom condominiums with complete kitchens. In addition to world-class service, guests enjoy two heated pools, four tennis courts (two are clay), a fitness center, business center and free property-wide wireless access, beachside barbecue grills and maid service.

Tropical Shores, 6717 SaraSea Circle, Sarasota. (941) 349-3330. tropicalshores.com. A serene private beach on Siesta Key hosts Tropical Shores’ deluxe accommodations, including lush tropical gardens, heated pool, volleyball, free Wi-Fi, brand-new rooms and more. The one-room efficiencies and two-bedroom deluxe units are non-smoking and include fully stocked kitchens.

NORTH COUNTY/AIRPORT-ADJACENT
Comfort Inn, 5000 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. (941) 351-7734. comfortinn.com. Within walking distance of the Ringling Museum and the FSU Center, the Comfort Inn offers complimentary deluxe continental “Sunshine” breakfast daily, USA Today newspaper on weekdays, free high-speed Internet access as well as a business center, exercise room and outdoor heated pool.

Comfort Suites, 8305 Tourist Center Drive, University Park. (941) 360-2626. comfortsuites.com. Guests enjoy the free “Savory Starts” breakfast seven days a week, including pastries, eggs, sausage and more. Suites include microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, hair dryers, irons and ironing boards, and the site also offers free wireless high-speed Internet access, on-site laundry facilities, a 24-hour business center and a 24-hour fitness center.

Courtyard by Marriot, 850 University Parkway, Sarasota. (941) 355-3337 or (800) 321-2211. courtyardsarasota.com The closest hotel to the Ringling Museum and the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, the Courtyard by Marriot is a state-certified Green Lodging Hotel. Guests enjoy complimentary high-speed Internet, an exercise facility, outdoor pool and spa, and a full-service restaurant, the Bistro, serving Starbucks coffee. All guest rooms were newly renovated as of January 2010.

Golden Host Resort, 4675 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. (941) 355-5141. goldenhostresort.com. Located on five acres of tropically landscaped grounds between the Ringling Museum and downtown Sarasota, the Golden Host Resort offers a 50-foot heated pool and shuffleboard courts. Deluxe continental breakfast served daily. Rooms include high-speed Internet and data ports, iron and ironing board and hair dryer. The legendary Bahi Hut cocktail lounge, located on-site and a favorite among locals, adds to the hotel’s historic significance.

Hilton Garden Inn, 8270 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. (941) 552-1100. hiltongardensarasota.com. There are 115 rooms—including allergen-free “PURE” units—a comfortable lounge and the Great American Grill, heated outdoor pool and state-of-the-art fitness center with spa. Complimentary 24-hour shuttle to and from anywhere within five miles of the hotel, including the airport (just one mile away).

Holiday Inn Sarasota Bradenton Airport, 8009 15th St. E., Sarasota. (941) 355-9000. hisrq.com. When guests walk into the two-year-old Holiday Inn, they’re greeted by a stunning six-story atrium, glass elevators and waterfall. Resort-style amenities and business facilities include indoor pool, sauna, steam room, massage therapy, room service, free Wi-Fi, 1,700-square-foot ballroom, board room and concierge services to arrange everything from tee times to fishing charters. The on-site Sporting News Grill boasts nine 50-inch HDTVs showing premium sports packages, plus an outside terrace for alfresco dining and relaxing around the fire-pit conversation area.

Hyatt Place, 950 University Parkway, Sarasota. (941) 554-5800. sarasotabradenton.place.hyatt.com. Located adjacent to the airport, the Hyatt Place offers guests complimentary breakfast, parking, Wi-Fi Internet and airport/local shuttle. The hotel features a guest kitchen serving freshly prepared, café-quality items 24 hours a day and a bakery café serving Starbucks specialty coffees, beers, cocktails and wine. Guest rooms feature a 42-inch, flat-panel HDTV, Cozy Corner sleeper sofa and Hyatt Grand Bed. Additional amenities include 24/7 fitness center, outdoor pool, e-room with computers and printer, bocce ball court and meeting space.

La Quinta Inn and Suites, 1803 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. (941) 366-5128. lq.com. In addition to 12 suites, La Quinta’s 90 standard rooms include a pull-out sofa. The charming interior décor, including hardwood floors in the lobby and each room’s entranceway, complements on-site amenities like a fitness center, heated pool and laundry room. Guests also enjoy continental breakfast. Pets are welcome (some restrictions apply; call for details).

Ramada Waterfront, 7150 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. ramada.com. Surrounded by spectacular marina views, the 85 guest rooms and suites, pool, restaurant and popular tiki bar feature free Wi-Fi and free parking convenient to both Sarasota and Manatee counties. More than 9,000 square feet of meeting space can accommodate functions with up to 700 people.

Residence Inn by Marriott, 1040 University Parkway, Sarasota. (941) 358-1468. marriott.com. The pet-friendly Residence Inn offers extended-stay needs with full kitchens. Also included in the rate is complimentary breakfast daily and evening social (light dinner and beverages) Monday through Thursday. In addition guests enjoy complimentary wired and wireless Internet and a 24-hour business center. The hotel received complete renovation fall of 2011, which brought the brand-new Infusion décor and furniture package.

Springhill Suites by Marriott, 1020 University Parkway, Sarasota. (941) 358-3385. marriott.com. Springhill Suites is all-suite hotel featuring suites that are 25 percent larger than comparably priced rooms and include separate areas for living and sleeping. Free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast buffet, pool and 24-hour business center, fitness center and market.

BRADENTON BEACH
Runaway Bay, 1801 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach, (941) 778-0000. wagnerrentals.com. Set amid Anna Maria Island’s charming neighborhoods and exceptional restaurants, the more than 150 individually owned condominiums are available for weekly, monthly or seasonal rental. Each unit includes a fully equipped kitchen, and Runaway Bay also features a tennis court, sauna, exercise equipment, fishing pier and the island’s largest heated swimming pool.

EAST/INTERSTATE-ADJACENT
Country Inn & Suites, 5610 Manor Hill Lane, Bradenton. (941) 363-4000. countryinns.com/bradentonfl. Convenient to I-75, Country Inn accommodates vacationers, business travelers, small events and business meetings alike. Rooms include pillow-top mattresses, refrigerators, microwaves and free Wi-Fi, and the site offers a heated outdoor pool, fitness center, guest laundry and business center. Complimentary breakfast buffet includes waffles and scrambled eggs.

Fairfield Inn and Suites Lakewood Ranch, 6105 Exchange Way, Lakewood Ranch. (941) 552-4000. marriott.com. With 87 sunny rooms and suites, the hotel provides complimentary high-speed Internet, a breakfast buffet, 24-hour coffee bar, newspapers and even cookies every evening. Plus: a Kids Corner to occupy the youngsters.

Hampton Inn and Suites, 8565 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Park. (941) 355-8619. hamptoninnsarasota.com. Here you’ll find all the conveniences vacationers have come to expect of the Hampton. Business travelers can take advantage of the business center, AV equipment, complimentary printing, photo copying service and more, while vacationers enjoy convenience to Lakewood Ranch and I-75.

Holiday Inn Lakewood Ranch, 6231 Lake Osprey Drive, Lakewood Ranch. (941) 782-4400. hilr.com. Voted the No. 1 Holiday Inn in North America for 2008 and the first green-certified hotel in the area, the full-service, boutique Holiday Inn Lakewood Ranch offers a workstation with two line data ports in each room, as well as complimentary high-speed Internet service, ergonomic chair and iron and ironing board. The hotel’s own Alamo Steakhouse and Grill features dishes like certified Angus beef or blackened alligator in an Old Florida-inspired environment. Corporate meetings, weddings and sports events are all catered in-house, with 2,500 square feet of meeting space.

Sun-N-Fun RV Resort and Campground, 7125 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. (800) 843-2421. sunnfunfl.com. Years of experience serving those traveling by RV have resulted in a facility perfectly suited to campers for convenience, family fun and relaxation—a great, pet-friendly alternative to hotel stays. The site plays host to more than 150 activities in season, not to mention offering wireless Internet access, an on-site restaurant, Olympic-size swimming pool, holistic day spa, fitness center, poolside bar and grill and live entertainment. Cozy vacation-home rentals (and sales for those in search of a permanent winter home) are also available.

Wingate Inn and Suites, 5464 Lena Road, Bradenton. (941) 755-0055. wingatebradenton.com. Choose from 78 large guest rooms or deluxe doubles, which include refrigerators, microwaves, free wireless Internet, recliners and more. Families and extended-stay guests may prefer the junior and executive suites, which also offer kitchenettes and Jacuzzi tubs .Take advantage of the on-site heated pool, 24-hour business center and fitness center as well as a whirlpool spa.

SOUTH SARASOTA COUNTY
Bentley’s Resort, 1660 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey. (941) 966-2121.bentleyssarasota.com. Convenient to I-75 and directly across U.S. 41 from Oscar Scherer State Park, Bentley’s offers quality, sophistication and style for a relaxing stay, as well as ample facilities for weddings, business conferences, banquets and more. Also features an on-site rest-aurant and poolside tiki bar. All rooms here are non-smoking.

Best Western Plus Ambassador Suites, 400 Commercial Court, Venice. (941) 480-9898. bestwestern.com/ambassadorsuites. Newly renovated and non-smoking, this all-suite Venice hotel offers in-room kitchenettes, refrigerators and free wireless Internet. Allergy sufferers can rest easy in one of the laminate floor rooms.

Hampton Inn and Suites Bayside, 881 Venetia Bay Blvd., Venice. (941) 488-5900. hamptoninnvenice.com. Newly renovated and near to shopping, restaurants and beaches. Guests enjoy complimentary breakfast, free newspaper, high-speed Internet access and a fitness center.

Thanks to its recent $22 million renovation, the Hyatt Regency Sarasota includes a 32-slip private marina that was named to the Florida Clean Marina Program

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