Escape to Florida’s Gulf Coast, with its white sandy beaches, azure ocean, mangroves and parklands. Sarasota is found south of Tampa, with many miles of perfect coastline and shallow waters for those of all ages to splash and play in the surf. Even in the coldest months, temperatures average in the early 20s, making it a year-round holiday destination. The city was once home to the country’s most famous circus, a heritage you can explore at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the circus master’s former residence, Ca’ d’Zan Mansion (a 56-room Venetian Gothic palace.
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
With all of its 266 rooms overlooking the bay, this hotel carries all of the classic elegance and British sensibilities you’d expect from the Ritz-Carlton group. The freeform pool features palm tree islands, thatched pagodas and provides views across the marina (the ideal spot to watch the sun set) and there’s a separate kids pool and club to entertain younger guests. Tennis courts and a Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole golf course are available and there’s a complimentary shuttle to the resort’s Lido Key Beach Club located. All bedrooms and suites at the AAA Four Diamond resort have balconies and are decorated using fine art, and contemporary and vintage furnishings.
Art Ovation Hotel, Autograph Collection
Celebrating all things creative and close to the Ringling College of Art and Design, the Art Ovation Hotel is a unique boutique property. Bedrooms and suites come equipped with sketchbooks, colouring pencils and a ukulele, there’s an Artist’s Studio for makers to work onsite, and an enthralling programme of installations, performances and workshops. Guests also benefit from the use of loaner two beach chairs, coolers, bicycles and kick scooters while staying. The Perspective Rooftop Bar provides views across the city, marina and park with a warming fire pit, while the Overture Restaurant is the place for modern American dining.
The Sarasota Modern, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
Striking and minimalist, The Sarasota Modern has been inspired by midcentury architecture. With 14 room categories, it caters to a diverse range of guests; from digital nomads (desks with USB ports are provided in each), to honeymooning couples and groups seeking self-catering facilities. It has a playful spirit, with its Wink Wink Modern Lounge and Wink Wink Modern Pool Bar, with the adjoining Tiki pool bar with overhanging palms. Order Polynesian-inspired or vintage-style smoking whisky cocktails. Beach chairs, beach towels, beach blankets and bicycles can be borrowed and there are ping pong tables, deck games and a pool table.