Sarasota hotels

Old Feb 19th, 2006, 05:25 PM
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Sarasota hotels

Looking for a hotel on the beach in sarasota. will be going in Jan. so not spending that much time on the beach,but like to walk on it.

siesta key doesn't seem to have much.

we have come up with 3 choice on Lido key. the Helmsley sand castle, Radisson Lido and the HOliday Inn Lido beach. for the holiday inn you have to cross the street for the beach ( makes it noisy?). one comment on the radisson says the beach is crushed shell? and the helmsley is a little old.

any opinion on these? or other possibilities?

thanks
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Old Feb 19th, 2006, 07:35 PM
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As for "crushed shell" beach, I think it may refer to along the waterline where the shells wash up. I believe that most of Lido beach has the nice white sand everyone is looking for. Others who have stayed at that hotel might have better information on it. BTW: I don't believe that it is called the Radisson any longer. I think it's now called the Lido Beach Resort.
If budget is not an issue you might go just north over the bridge to the Inn on the Beach on south Longboat Key. It is a very nice resort hotel directly on the beach. It has great amenities including a very good restaurant, tennis courts and a golf course. It is less than a 5 minute ride to St. Armands Circle where you can find plenty of shops and very good restaurants.
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Old Feb 19th, 2006, 07:44 PM
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Sorry about that, the Inn on the Beach is actually the Longboat Key Club. Many years ago it was called the Inn on the Beach at the Longboat Key Club.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 02:05 AM
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How about a small studio or 1 bedroom condo on Siesta Key beach? There are hundreds of them lined up right on the beach. In many instances they are cheaper or no more than a hotel room. The difference is that you don't get the hotel type services, so if that's important to you than the condos won't work. OTOH, it's much more quieter than Lido Key. You can walk the beautiful Siesta beach for miles......

www.siestakeychamber.com
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 05:29 AM
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only staying 4 nights. so not sure condos will work?
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 06:04 AM
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With only 4 nights I would stay on Lido at the Radisson---and yes, it is now called the Lido Beach Resort. St. Armands circle is very near, the beach is wonderful and their retaurant on the top floor--Christophers is outstanding. Plus you are only a few miles from downtown Sarasota.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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If you stay on siesta key versus lido, are you further from sarasota - eg. the ringling museum, selby gardens.etc?

Palm bay club on siesta key seems a possibility also

thanks again.

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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Palm Bay Club is very nice btw.

It will take you about 15 more minutes to get to the Ringling Museum from Siesta Key. Selby Gardens, oh maybe 5 more minutes.

Downtown Sarasota, about 10 minutes.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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I stayed at that Holiday Inn Lido Key you mention. Yes, you cross the street to the beach. The beach was terrific with it's own hotel chairs and rentable cabanas. And I LOVED the location. It was the best location we have had at any time in Sarasota. It's 3 short blocks walk at the most to St. Armaud's Circle, great restaurants, promenade etc. And it is also private because it is behind one row of single family dwellings just off the ocean/next door to it.

The combo is dynamite and it has a very nice bar too. The bar was expensive and the entire was not like any other Holiday Inn I've ever used. It was billed as a Sunspa Resort at one time, I believe (around the year 2000?)- but it is very nicely appointed and an excellent choice.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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Another vote for the Radisson/Lido Beach Resort. IMO it is one of the nicest hotels in the area for the price. The main building is new (maybe three years old?) which is a BIG plus in my book, with all the heat and humidity many of the older hotels are not very nice. The location is great - the hotel is right on the beach and very close to St. Armand's Circle with upscale shopping, dining and entertainment.

Siesta Key is nice also and a little more laid back. Siesta Beach (not Turtle Beach) is the best beach in the area and is a bit nicer than Lido Beach. The problem there is finding a decent place to stay - I used to live there and honestly can't think of one hotel I would recommend. Condos might be an option although that's not my type of thing, I like the hotel amenities . . .
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Yes, thank you- it is a Radisson now. Grab it.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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JJ5,

you got it wrong. The Holiday Inn is still the Holiday Inn. The Radisson is now a Lido Beach Resort.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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Another, more luxuriuos possibility is the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. It's just a short walk from downtown Sarasota and it's not located on the beach, but they do have their own beach club on Lido with frequent free shuttles. For any cultural, shopping, gastronomic experiences this location can't be beat. Very central. Just a thought.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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Not IN Sarasota but nearby: the Manasota Beach Club; Total relaxation; totally great food; totally UN-"look who I am" and unforgettable.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Sorry, someone just returned told me it was NOT a Holiday Inn but a Radisson now. So that is not true? It was billed as Sunspa or Sunspree Holiday Inn Resort the first time I was there. I still think that that particular location is the best I've ever had in the Sarasota area. I've had higher end but not half as handy or fun as where this sits. Especially if you are not a beach potato but want to walk to active venues.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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I am also considering the Lido Beach Resort. I noticed there is a Hilton in Longboat Key that is less expensive. Can anyone comment about the Hilton or it's location? The Lido Beach Resort looks great, but I'm not sure I want to spend $374/night, if I'm rarely in the room.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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the former radisson lido resort hotel is on the expensive side. we kind of have ruled out the holiday inn for now. so were are left with the helmsley sandcastle on lido or the palm bay on siesta key. any more opinions. ritz is too expensive. trying to stay around $200 or so.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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I've stayed at the Hilton when I was just a visitor to the area about 13 years ago. It was fine then, but it is a somewhat of a long drive to Lido Key and downtown Sarasota. If you just want to hang out at the beach it's fine. There are some great restaurants and stores nearby, but beware that LBK is the "stuffy" island around here. Many residents believe that the rest don't belong. I know I'll get flamed for saying this, but it's true. Sorry.

I would pick Palm Bay Club over Helsmley, but again, if you want or need hotel amenities, the condo may not offer some or any.

OTOH, you will be on the best beach in the area and some funky to average to fine restaurants and shops are available right here on the island, so a short drive to the Village or the South Bridge area is all that's required.

The cultural stuff will require a little longer drive to get to.

Decisions, decisions....


There is a nice little "romantic" resort on Turtle Beach - Turtle Beach Resort , which is located at the south end of the key. I believe they offer private cottages with private hottubs, etc... It's located across the street from the Turtle beach, but at that point there is hardly any traffic except when one of the better restaurants, Ophelias opens for the evening, next door. OTOH, the restaurant will deliver to your cottage with a waiter, so if you want a romantic dinner just for 2, it's perfect.
It is a much longer drive to get to downtown Sarasota or the museum.
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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 03:54 PM
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Why palm bay over helmsley?

Paragragh 2, which island beach are you referring to?

How is traffic in general in early January? on either or both islands.




I would pick Palm Bay Club over Helsmley, but again, if you want or need hotel amenities, the condo may not offer some or any.

OTOH, you will be on the best beach in the area and some funky to average to fine restaurants and shops are available right here on the island, so a short drive to the Village or the South Bridge area is all that's required.

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Old Feb 20th, 2006, 04:32 PM
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I visited Helmsley couple of times just for a meeting with business partners that stayed there and I just don't like the place. That's all I could tell you. I would pick the Holiday Inn before staying there.

I'm talking about the one, the only, the fabulous Siesta Key Beach! (I'm a resident, so take my advice as you want), but it's truly the best beach in the area.

Early January should be fine. The snowbirds are still here, (and they are a PITA, but we do love them and especially their money ) but the holiday visitors have gone home and the spring visitors have not arrived, so it actually is the "quiet" time in between the 2 storms.
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