9 Top-Rated Resorts in Sarasota, FL
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Home to an attractive downtown and waterfront that have benefited 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 sprawling beachfront properties, such as The Resort at Longboat Key Club, a romantic location that is as popular with couples and wedding parties as it is with families.
Although a little less ritzy than alternatives like Naples to the south and Miami to the east, Sarasota also offers many affordable accommodation 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.
To help you find the best places to visit and spend your precious vacation time, we've put together the following list of the best resorts in Sarasota.
Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.
1. The Resort at Longboat Key Club
Located just a short distance from Sarasota's bustling St. Armands Circle, with its many fine boutique shops and great restaurants, the recently renovated Resort at Longboat Key Club sits at the southern end of a magnificent beach that stretches some 13 miles north toward Bradenton - a beach that's so long, it takes around four hours to walk its length (you might want to take the bus back). Undoubtedly the most luxurious resort in the area, the Longboat Key Club covers some 410 acres overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
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 a full-service spa.
There are also plenty of things to do on the water. Popular water-based activities include kayaking and boating, with rentals of boats and Jet Skis available from the resort's marina. Alternatively, bring your own boat, and the bigger the better as the marina is capable of docking yachts of up to 150-feet in length. Swimming and sunbathing (rent a cabana) are other popular activities.
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. Nice touches like bathrobes and pillow-top bedding are included. Larger units, like the resort's popular one- and two-bedroom suites, also come with separate living and dining rooms, plus full kitchens.
Address: 220 Sands Point Road, Longboat Key, Florida
Accommodation: The Resort at Longboat Key Club
2. The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Located just steps away from historic downtown Sarasota - one of the best places to visit 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. Also available if your budget will stretch that far is a luxurious penthouse suite with a 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; a hair salon; a fitness center; concierge services; and a variety of dining experiences, including private and in-room dining options, as well as al fresco dining at the fine dining restaurant.
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
Accommodation: The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
3. The Westin Sarasota
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.
A variety of room options are available, including classy executive suites, which come with a good-sized private balcony, spacious bathrooms (plus slippers and plush bathrobes), a separate lounge area, and handy fridge. A slightly smaller "deluxe" suite can also be booked, as well as a huge Presidential Suite offering a high degree of luxury. 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 called Evoq (in-room dining is also fun). Additional perks include a complimentary shuttle bus service to local attractions, theaters, and the beach, as well as free newspapers and bottled water. Parking is available, but only through valet services.
Address: 1175 N Gulfstream Ave, Sarasota, Florida
Accommodation: The Westin Sarasota
4. Hyatt Regency Sarasota
The Hyatt Regency Sarasota offers guests a comfortable vacation overlooking beautiful Sarasota Bay and close to 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 motorboat, or a rental. 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 dining in the popular waterfront restaurant (in-room dining is also available), meeting spaces, a beach shuttle bus, swimming pool, and fitness facility. Valet parking is available.
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
Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Sarasota
5. Lido Beach Resort
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 just steps from Lido Beach and only 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. These bright units come with king beds and pullout couches, and comfortably sleep up to four guests. Other notable features 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. There are also two large swimming pools (one for adults only) overlooking the resort's 300 feet of private beach, along with 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 - all of them adding up to one of the best family vacation destinations in Florida.
Address: 700 Benjamin Franklin Drive, Sarasota, Florida
Accommodation: Lido Beach Resort
6. Zota Beach Resort
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 swimming 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 resort's Viento Kitchen and Bar restaurant is a popular choice for dining, not just for guests but also locals, and is worth a reservation. Valet parking is included with your resort fees.
The freshly decorated and well-appointed rooms include a fridge and coffee maker, and some have pullout 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
Accommodation: Zota Beach Resort
7. Turtle Beach Resort
Located a little farther north of Sarasota on Siesta Key, Turtle Beach Resort offers a number of affordable accommodation options for those seeking a Florida beach vacation. Consisting of charming 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 things to do, 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
Accommodation: Turtle Beach Resort
8. Holiday Inn Sarasota, Lido Beach
Located just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico 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, pullout 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; and a good-sized, outdoor, heated swimming pool. Also of note are the restaurants and kids' programs.
There's also plenty of things to see and do nearby, too. Popular Sarasota 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
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Sarasota - Lido Beach
9. Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages
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 family beach vacation.
Highlights include direct access to the beach plus shady shelters, a lush garden, and a 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
Accommodation: Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages