Holiday Inns

By staff December 1, 2004

If home is where your heart is, welcome to Sarasota, where spaces abound to fulfill every heart's desire. You can escape to the balmy, tropical tradewinds of our barrier islands, or immerse yourself in stylish hotels and national chains mere moments from galleries, shopping, fine dining and attractions for the entire family.

Some adjoin nationally renowned golf courses, tennis courts, marinas and other recreational outlets where you can get your game on. Others feature tropical poolside bars with libations to help you drift away from the woes of civilization.

Amenities are plentiful, and because so many business travelers have discovered Sarasota, most of the rooms are equipped for high-speed Internet access. So take a look around. Our resorts will give you something to come home to.


Located near the city center overlooking Sarasota Bay, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is a stylish beach resort with city sophistication. For the discriminating guest, the resort offers elegant accommodations, award-winning dining, famous personalized service and unlimited access to the spacious spa and beach club.

The 266-room resort (all rooms include 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) is a classic Mediterranean Revival blending The Ritz-Carlton tradition of refined elegance with the warmth and charm of Florida's Gulf coast.

Locals and visitors meet to have drinks, dance and enjoy live music at the comfortable, classic Cà d'Zan Bar. The resort's signature restaurant, Vernona, serves award-winning contemporary Continental cuisine with a Mediterranean spirit, The Lobby Lounge offers traditional Afternoon Tea, and the bayfront Bay View Bar & Grill are available for the pleasure of the public.

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is just minutes from championship golf, premier arts venues, nature sanctuaries, distinctive shopping, fishing and watersports. Plans include a Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course to debut in early 2006.

The Ritz-Carlton Members Beach Club is located on beautiful Lido Key and features an exclusive tropical retreat with a private Gulf of Mexico beach with chairs and cabanas, Gulf-front swimming pool, a casually elegant restaurant with poolside dining and much more. Younger guests are entertained island-style at the beachfront Ritz Kids facility, along with their own children's pool. Complimentary shuttle transportation to and from The Beach Club is provided for hotel guests. For reservations call (800) 241-3333.

Just steps away from downtown Sarasota, Sarasota Quay, theaters, museums, restaurants and the G.WIZ children's hands-on museum, Hyatt Sarasota on Sarasota Bay provides a relaxing escape into an oasis of lush gardens, blue waters and spectacular sunset views. A panoramic atrium anchors 294 guest rooms, including 12 suites. Relax by the new lagoon pool with cascading waterfall and a 12-person hot tub, enjoy tropical beverages at the Hurricane Hut, or challenge yourself with water sports, championship golf, fishing, boating, bicycling, health club and more.

The Hyatt's 10,000-square-foot Sarasota Ballroom provides a generous pre-function area, office and storage space, permanent registration desk, and the flexibility to divide into eight sections. With this addition, the Hyatt Sarasota's total meeting space extends to 20,000 square feet, making it the largest conference facility between Tampa and Fort Myers.

Also, the Hyatt introduces its private marina with state-of-the-art Bellingham floating dock system. Located at the marina, the Boathouse restaurant provides a casual dining setting with bay views. For reservations, call toll-free (800) 233-1234, or locally (941) 953-1234.


The Holiday Inn Lakewood Ranch is a full-service hotel, beautifully decorated in a Southwest theme. For the traveler who can't leave work at home, each guest room consists of a workstation with two line data ports, complimentary high-speed Internet service, ergonomic chair, and iron and ironing board to keep clothes crisp. There's also a refrigerator, hair dryer, coffee service and 25-inch television, all just seven miles from the Sarasota/Bradenton airport. For reservations, call (941) 782-4400, or visit their Web site at

If you're traveling by car, check out Sun N Fun RV Resort on Fruitville Road, which offers more than 150 activities in season to guests. In addition to recreational vehicle space, Sun N Fun has cozy vacation home rentals (and sales). There's an on-site restaurant, Olympic-size swimming pool, exercise room, poolside bar and grill, plus live entertainment. For information, call (800) 843-2421.


The Radisson Lido Beach Resort is a favorite among visitors and locals for its outdoor, beachside pool bar and old Florida charm with a simple, elegant tropical design. Located beachfront on Lido Key, 222 suites, kitchenettes and deluxe guest rooms are all just a short drive from the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport and a comfortable stroll from the unique shops and cafes of St. Armands Circle.

Meeting facilities consist of 5,800 square feet of flexible space with several breakout configurations available. The Sunset Terrace offers a casual atmosphere and spectacular views of Lido Beach and sunsets. Beach functions are also available, complemented by a full-service catering staff and award-winning chef. For reservations or information, call toll-free (800) 441-2113 or visit

With 600 feet of private powder white sand beach, the full-service resort Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel radiates a friendly tropical atmosphere, with spectacular views and superb accommodations. Two restaurants provide casual open-air or formal dining and live entertainment nightly in its lounge. Guests can enjoy two heated pools and a pool bar with complimentary hors d'oeuvres in the afternoon.

The Sandcastle's recreational department arranges Aqua Cat sailboats, aqua cycles or kayaks, and offers lessons on each. Each guest room includes a refrigerator, coffee maker, in-room safe, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, makeup mirror and daily newspaper. Professional meeting space accommodates all the needs of the corporate traveler, too. For information or reservations call (941) 388-2181 or toll-free (800) 225-2181.

The Holiday Inn Lido Beach is one of Sarasota's classiest hotels, directly opposite the Gulf of Mexico and just two blocks from St. Armands Circle. It features an outdoor pool overlooking the Gulf and provides complimentary transportation to and from the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport. Guest rooms offer one king or two queen beds and a host of amenities.

The Sand Dollar Rooftop Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with room service. Beach cabanas, beach chairs and bicycle rentals are available. For reservations call (941) 388-5555 or (800) 892-9174.


Long recognized as the No. 1 tennis resort in the nation and a top-notch destination for couples and families, the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort's 208 one- and two-bedroom villa suites are nestled in the secluded surroundings of Longboat Key. Accommodations feature a private sun balcony, private master bedroom, living/dining area, full kitchen and master bathroom with whirlpool bath and steam showers. Twenty-six specialty suites, including three private beach houses, give guests the ultimate in luxury.

A modern six-story clubhouse houses the spa, with men's and women's facilities and an array of treatments performed by licensed therapists, as well as a salon with a variety of services. There's also a business center and Sports Shop in the high-rise.

Tennis is the game to play at The Colony, so guests enjoy 21 courts (10 hydro-soft, two lighted), complimentary court time and game matching, nine daily clinics and private and semi-private lessons led by outstanding and entertaining instructors.

Additional amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, complete with weight training and cardiovascular equipment, aerobics, fitness classes, personal training and body-fat analysis. The resort's highly praised children's recreation programs for ages 3-12, offered 365 days a year, are free to all guests.

From the Colony's dining room, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, guests can bask in views of the Gulf of Mexico while savoring contemporary Continental cuisine and one of the nation's finest wine lists. It's open nightly for lunch and dinner and also for Sunday brunch.

The Monkey Room, with its choice of outdoor and indoor seating, features creative and flavorful dishes with island influences. The adjacent lounge has live nightly entertainment. Outside, bartenders serve exotic drinks on the Monkey Room Patio. Tastebuds Gourmet and Wine Shop also offers sandwiches, cheeses, pastries, wine, gift baskets and more.

Banquet and conference facilities, an elegant designer boutique (Le Tennique), water sports center and private, sugar-sand beach round out the amenities. Call 800-4-COLONY or (941) 383-6464, or visit

Located just steps from a private white sand beach and the sparkling waters of the Gulf, the Hilton Longboat Key Beach Resort is a tropical resort accessible from Interstates 75 and I-275. Newly renovated rooms are decorated in jewel tones with contemporary furniture. Oversized rooms offer two queen or single king beds, honor bar and complimentary coffee maker, hair dryer and in-room safes. Daily local newspaper delivery, premium television channels and telephone with dataport are standard. Call (941) 383-2451.


The Best Western Midtown is located in the heart of Sarasota, central to shopping, restaurants, beaches and downtown, and just minutes from all area attractions. Call toll-free (800) 722-8227 to reserve one of its beautiful guest rooms.


With a 75-slip marina, bathhouse facility and full-service marina, the Holiday Inn Airport is a boat lover's dream. Some rooms feature private balconies and patios that overlook the marina, and guests staying in one of the 178 guest rooms or four suites receive complimentary shuttle service to the Sarasota-Bradenton airport. There's an outdoor heated pool, sundeck and outdoor tiki bar, plus indoor and waterfront dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Business and special occasion travelers have access to a 10,000-square-foot conference and banquet facility. Call (941) 355-2781 for reservations.

Located just one mile north of the airport, the Hilton Garden Inn is a lushly landscaped hotel featuring all the comforts and conveniences that appeal to vacationers and business visitors, including complimentary shuttle to and from the airport. Nearby attractions include the Crosley Mansion, Ringling Museum of Art, Mote Aquarium, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the theater district. There are 115 rooms, a comfortable lounge/bar, heated outdoor pool and fitness center with spa. Call (941) 552-1100.

The Courtyard by Marriott is located directly across from the Sarasota-Bradenton airport and is near the Ringling Museum of Art, Ringling School of Art and Design, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and Asolo Theatre. It's also just a 10-minute drive to Lido Beach and the Sarasota Youth Baseball Complex. Amenities include wireless high-speed Internet, a heated outdoor pool and whirlpool, fitness center and the Courtyard Café breakfast buffet. For reservations call (941) 355-3337 or (800) 321-2211.

The Best Western Golden Host is located less than one-half mile south of the Ringling Museum, FSU Center, Sarasota Classic Car Museum and Jungle Gardens. Nestled on three acres of tropically landscaped grounds are a 50-foot heated pool and shuffleboard courts, and plenty of room amenities, including data port telephones, irons and ironing boards, hair dryers, and complimentary deluxe continental breakfast. If you're seeking a wicked Mai Tai or a rollicking weekend crowd, head down to its legendary Bahi Hut cocktail lounge. Call (941) 355-5141.


Physically located at 6600 S. Tamiami Trail, the Holiday Inn Express is a contemporary, tropically appointed 131-room hotel that's convenient to Siesta Key. Fine dining and shopping are walking distance from the hotel, and it's less than half an hour to local attractions like St. Armands Circle, museums and Mote Marine Laboratory. Amenities include complimentary continental breakfast, outdoor pool and whirlpool and a health and fitness center. Business services include copying, fax machine and printer. To reserve, call (941) 924-4900.

Nestled between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on Siesta Key, The Palm Bay Club's two heated pools, lighted tennis courts, yacht basin, fishing pier, private clubhouse and exercise equipment complement a secluded beach that's ideal for sunning or shelling. Suites are all fully furnished and provide breathtaking views of the Gulf and tropical landscaping. For reservations, call toll-free (800) 725-6229.

Situated directly on the Gulf of Mexico near Siesta Key Village, Sarasota Surf and Racquet Club features spacious one- and two-bedroom condominiums perfect for couples or families. Each includes cable television, VCR and fully equipped kitchens. Guests can enjoy stunning views from fully enclosed lanais. Other amenities: a fitness center, four onsite tennis courts, two clay courts and a beachside barbecue grill and picnic area. Call (941) 349-2200 or toll-free (800) 237-5671 for reservations.

One of Sarasota's premier residential resorts, the Gulf and Bay Club is located on three miles of Crescent Beach. It offers one-month rentals of two-bedroom, two-bath units that are fully furnished and enjoy 24-hour security. Other amenities include athletic courts, fitness center, saunas, three heated pools, barbecue areas and two clubhouses. There's also a freshwater-stocked lake, covered parking and a library. Call (941) 349-7101.

Midnight Cove Condominium Resort comprises 11 acres of lush, tropically landscaped grounds on the white sugar sands of Crescent Beach and the Intracoastal Waterway. Vacation amenities include two heated swimming pools, tennis courts, boat docks, fishing, barbecue facilities and one of the area's most beautiful private beaches. Choose from mid-rise buildings, garden apartments or spacious townhomes, all with breathtaking water views. For information, call (941) 349-3004.

Fronting the Gulf of Mexico on Crescent Beach, Crystal Sands combines one-and two-bedroom suites with two- and three-bedroom villas. Guests can enjoy two heated pools and a fabulous beachfront for daytime strolling or sunset watching. Rentals are available by season, month, or two-week minimums. The staff is available 24 hours a day. Call (941) 349-7007.


Each of the king and two-double-bedded rooms at Springhill Suites features separate sleeping, dining and work areas. The many amenities include pull-out sofa beds, pantries and refrigerators, complimentary high-speed Internet and two-line telephones with data port. Rated three AAA diamonds. Call (941) 358-3385 or toll-free (800) 287-9400.

Newly renovated, the studio, one- and two-bedroom suites at Residence Inn by Marriott offer an average of 50 percent more space than traditional hotel rooms and provide full kitchen amenities and complimentary hot breakfast. It's located directly across from the Sarasota-Bradenton airport and just a few miles from Lido Beach. It's also pet friendly and offers on-site laundry facilities. Call (941) 358-1468.


The Hampton Inn & Suites offers spacious guest rooms and suites with kitchens, complimentary breakfast, free newspaper, high-speed Internet and a fitness ccenter. Plus, it's minutes to area beaches. Call (941) 488-5900 for reservations, or visit

Holiday Inn Venice boasts 155 comfortable rooms and three spacious suites ideal for families, groups and individual travelers. Its outdoor pool, hot tub and beach volleyball court make it a fun locale for weddings, group gatherings and reunions. The Buffalo Bill's restaurant serves barbecue and now offers a formal catering division for weddings and meetings. Call (941) 485-5411 or toll-free (800) 237-3712 to reserve.

Venice's newest all-suites hotel, the Best Western Ambassador Suites, is conveniently located at I-75 at exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard). Guests can easily enjoy sandy beaches, 40 challenging golf courses, shopping and more. It offers free breakfast, local calls and high-speed Internet, plus an outdoor heated pool, exercise facility and full conference and business center. Executive suites come with Jacuzzi tubs. To reserve, call (941) 480-9898.

For top-quality vacation properties from Anna Maria Island to Venice and all points in between, you can also turn to ResortQuest. The world's largest vacation rental property management company, they can show you countless privately owned homes, villas and condominiums, fully equipped with luxurious amenities like pools, spas, tennis courts and boat docks.

ResortQuest is also a full-service travel agency and can help with any transportation needs. For information, call toll-free (800) 237-9505, or locally (941) 383-9505. Or visit their Web site:

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