Lying just south of Tampa, Sarasota offers some of Florida’s finest weather and beachfront accommodations. With those offerings come heftier price tags than its neighbors to the north, but vacationers willing to shoulder that hike won’t be disappointed by the sand and sun here.
Below, we’ve compared seven of Sarasota’s beachfront hotels and resorts and brought you the best three, taking into account price, location, amenities, and customer reviews. Though winter used to be the high season, Sarasota’s increased popularity makes it an enviable spot year-round. Be prepared to spend accordingly.
HOLIDAY INN AT LIDO BEACH
From $260/ night
This place, located just four miles from the city center, knows what it means to be a seaside hotel. Its Sand Dollar Rooftop Restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, while the Coconut Tiki Bar does a more casual lunch and supper downstairs. A large outdoor pool overlooks the ocean, and guests can hop across the street to swim or lounge at Lido Beach. Amenities include free parking, free Wi-Fi, and a fitness center. No need to hire a pet-sitter, either—the Holiday Inn at Lido Beach is pet-friendly.
LIDO BEACH RESORT
From $270/ night
Three hundred feet of private beach and free shuttle service to the St. Armand’s Circle shopping center make the Lido Beach Resort a standout spot. Most rooms are suite-style and include a kitchenette. The pet-friendly hotel caters to everybody—one of its pools is all-inclusive, while the other is adults-only. Other amenities include three hot tubs, a fitness center, and a beachside bar. Guests can play volleyball on the beach or arrange for kayaking, paddleboarding, or boat tours. Beach umbrellas and cabanas are available for rental.
THE RITZ-CARLTON SARASOTA
From $529/ night
This place spares no expense (and makes sure you don’t either). It’s money well spent, though: all rooms have a private balcony, and guests have access to the Members Beach Club a few miles down the road, which boasts a heated outdoor pool and a private beach. Also available for guest use: tennis courts, the Golf Club, kayaks and paddleboards, fishing poles, complimentary exercise classes, and even free overnight shoeshine. The hotel is pet friendly and features a spa center and gym. Guests can eat at any of the three full-service restaurants—try Jack Dusty, a swanky waterfront spot known in Sarasota for its delicious seafood.