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9 Top-Rated Resorts in Sarasota

Home to an attractive downtown and waterfront that have benefitted from a great deal of revitalization over the past decade, Sarasota, Florida has become a popular vacation destination for sun seekers. Accommodation options range from luxurious urban establishments, such as the The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, to beachfront properties, like The Resort at Longboat Key Club, a romantic location that is as popular with couples and wedding parties as it is with families.

Less ritzy than alternative Gulf destinations, like Naples to the south and Miami to the east, Sarasota also offers many affordable accommodations options, especially if you're prepared to travel a little farther up the coast. Some of the best places to stay include smaller resorts, like Turtle Beach Resort on Siesta Key, and Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages on Holmes Beach.

1 The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Photo Source: The Resort at Longboat Key Club
Photo Source: The Resort at Longboat Key Club
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Located just a short distance from Sarasota's lovely St. Armands Circle, with its many fine boutique shops and great restaurants, The Resort at Longboat Key Club sits at the southern end of a magnificent beach that stretches some 13 miles north toward Bradenton (it takes around four hours to walk its length, so take the bus back). Undoubtedly the most luxurious resort in the area, the Longboat Key Club covers some 410 acres overlooking the Gulf. Consisting of a mix of 223 rooms and suites, the resort boasts eight on-site restaurants and lounges, plenty of great golf (45 holes all told), tennis courts, a fitness center, and spa. There are also plenty of things to do on the water, too, from kayaking and boating (rentals available, along with a marina capable of docking a 150-foot yacht), to sunbathing (rent a cabana) and swimming.

Come bedtime, guests can lay their heads in their choice of guest rooms. All standard rooms come with private balconies and large screen TVs (not that you'll need them with views like these), bathrobes, and pillow-top bedding. Larger units, like the one- and two-bedroom suites also come with separate living and dining rooms, plus full- kitchens.

Address: 220 Sands Point Road, Longboat Key, Florida

2 The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

Photo Source: The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Photo Source: The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
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Located just steps away from historic downtown Sarasota - one of the top places on Florida's Gulf coast for shopping, dining, and entertainment - The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota offers guests great water views over Sarasota Bay. Accommodations consist of 266 well-appointed and elegantly furnished king or double queen suites with spacious marble bathrooms and comfy bathrobes, balconies, and HD TVs, right up to a luxurious penthouse suite with separate dining area and twin balconies.

There's also much for guests to do on this attractive 11-acre waterfront property. Features of note include The Ritz-Carlton Spa, hair salon, fitness center, concierge services, and dining (private and in-room dining options are also available). Guests also have use of the beach and other facilities at The Beach Club on Lido Key, as well as an 18-hole golf course and tennis facilities.

Address: 1111 Ritz Carlton Drive, Sarasota, Florida

3 The Westin Sarasota

Photo Source: The Westin Sarasota
Photo Source: The Westin Sarasota
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Another great spot from which to explore Sarasota's many attractions, The Westin Sarasota - one of the area's newest hotels - looks out over Sarasota Bay and is just steps away from the popular arts district. The hotel's accommodations are modern and bright, an effect that is accentuated by the floor-to-ceiling windows and décor, and room options include classy executive suites, which come with a good-sized private balcony, spacious bathrooms (plus slippers and bathrobes), separate lounge area, and handy fridge (a slightly smaller 'deluxe' suite can also be booked). Some pet-friendly units are also available.

On-site amenities include access to a rooftop swimming pool with amazing views over the city and bay area, a gym (ask about the equipment loan system), plus a full-service spa. Dining includes an alfresco rooftop option, along with a fine-dining restaurant (in-room dining is also fun). Additional perks: complimentary shuttle bus service to local attractions, theaters, and the beach, as well as free newspapers and bottled water.

Address: 1175 N Gulfstream Ave, Sarasota, Florida

4 Hyatt Regency Sarasota

Photo Source: Hyatt Regency Sarasota
Photo Source: Hyatt Regency Sarasota
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The Hyatt Regency Sarasota offers guests a comfortable vacation overlooking beautiful Sarasota Bay near the city's world-class art district. On-the-water fun includes use of a variety of people-powered watercraft including paddleboards, paddleboats, and kayaks, while the hotel's marina can be used to dock your own (or rented) motorboat. The resort can also arrange for fishing charters on the Gulf, just a short sail away, as well as scuba diving trips. Other guest amenities include on-site (and in-room) dining, meeting spaces, a beach shuttle bus, swimming pool, and fitness facility.

Each of the hotel's pleasantly decorated rooms and suites come with great balcony views of either Sarasota Bay or the city. Other features include a choice of king or double queen beds, seating areas with large screen TVs, and spacious tiled bathrooms.

Address: 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, Florida

5 Lido Beach Resort

Photo Source: Lido Beach Resort
Photo Source: Lido Beach Resort
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Boasting some of the best views in Sarasota, Lido Beach Resort offers everything needed for a memorable Florida vacation: access to beautiful beaches; tons of great on-site activities; superb amenities; and proximity to great shopping, dining, and entertainment. Situated steps from Lido Beach and just a few minutes' stroll away from St. Armands Circle, the resort offers a great mix of rooms and suites, many of them recently renovated. A good option are the beach-view suites, which come with king beds and pull-out couches and comfortably sleep up to four guests. Other highlights include full kitchens, dining areas, spacious walk-in showers, and balconies.

On-site amenities include indoor and outdoor meeting and function spaces, as well as large terraces and ballrooms well suited to weddings; two large pools (one for adults only) overlooking the resort's 300 feet of private beach; three hot tubs; a large fitness center; and sun umbrellas and private cabanas. A variety of fun activities can also be arranged by resort staff, including sunset sailing trips, fishing charters, and scuba diving adventures.

Address: 700 Benjamin Franklin Dr, Sarasota, Florida

6 Zota Beach Resort

Photo Source: Zota Beach Resort
Photo Source: Zota Beach Resort
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One of the newest resorts to open on the island of Longboat Key, Zota Beach Resort - owned and operated by the same hotel group behind the nearby Longboat Key Club - offers 187 bright, contemporary-styled guest rooms and suites. Guests not only have easy access to nearby St. Armands Circle, with all its shopping and dining options, but also to a beautiful 13-mile stretch of beach just begging to be enjoyed. On-site amenities include a fitness center and a large pool with an expansive terrace overlooking the Gulf. For a little added indulgence, book one of the aptly named "Zen lounges." These lovely, private, poolside cabana-style seating and relaxation areas come with comfortable seating, HDTVs, safes, and fridges.

The freshly decorated and well-appointed rooms include a fridge and coffee maker, and some have pull-out couches. Both king and double-queen bed options are available. A number of easy-access suites for those with mobility issues are also available and come with roll-in showers, grab bars, and lower counters.

Address: 4711 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, Florida

7 Turtle Beach Resort

Photo Source: Turtle Beach Resort
Photo Source: Turtle Beach Resort
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Located a little farther north of Sarasota on Siesta Key, Turtle Beach Resort offers a number of affordable accommodation options for those seeking a beach vacation. Consisting of stand-alone cottages (some pet-friendly), the resort is popular with families due to its spacious accommodations. A popular choice is the resort's two-bedroom Victorian cottage, complete with separate living and dining rooms, a master bedroom, full-kitchen, and private patio with hot tub and views of the bay. A number of one-bedroom units are also available at the Turtle Beach Inn, an adults-only building that's part of the same resort. Each comes with its own gazebo, hammock, and hot tub.

Included in your stay is access to an array of fun stuff, including bikes and kayaks, hammocks, and a heated outdoor pool. Less fun but no less important are the laundry facilities. Guests can also make use of the resort's fishing gear, as well as beach umbrellas and chairs (a sandy beach is located just a few minute's walk away).

Address: 9049 Midnight Pass Road, Siesta Key, Florida

8 Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages

Photo Source: Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages
Photo Source: Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages
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Located a little farther north of Longboat Key on Anna Maria Island in Bradenton, the family-run Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages is a great option for those looking for an affordable Florida beach vacation. Highlights include direct access to the beach plus shady shelters, a lush garden, and well-stocked library. Nearby fun includes boat and fishing charters, sea kayaking, jet-ski rentals, and plenty of great golf courses.

Guests can choose from a beachfront suite or cottage, each with plenty of living space and full-kitchens, as well as large patios with hammocks, seating, and great Gulf views. Need something a little larger? Then check out one of the resort's penthouse suites. Boasting sweeping Gulf views, these larger two-bedroom units come with two bathrooms, spacious private decks, and separate kitchens and dining areas.

Address: 2710 Gulf Drive N., Holmes Beach, Florida

9 Holiday Inn Sarasota, Lido Beach

Photo Source: Holiday Inn Sarasota
Photo Source: Holiday Inn Sarasota
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Located just steps away from the Gulf and a short walk from St. Armands Circle, the Holiday Inn Sarasota, Lido Beach offers guests a great beach vacation experience. Standard guest rooms come with good-sized balconies and HD TVs, while the larger two-room suites come with whirlpool tubs and separate walk-in showers, pull-out couches, and floor-to-ceiling windows. These larger units also come with a separate living room and dining table, providing opportunities to save money by eating meals in the comfort of your own suite.

On-site amenities include a fitness center; meeting and conference rooms; a good-sized, outdoor, heated swimming pool; restaurants; and kids' programs. There's plenty to see and do nearby, too. Popular attractions include the Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium and the Ringling Museum, which portrays the life and times of the famous Ringling Brothers Circus.

Address: 233 Benjamin Franklin Drive, Sarasota, Florida

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