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Old 09-12-2010, 06:39 AM
 
781 posts, read 1,055,235 times
Reputation: 1528

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Hope you can help me here. I was actually looking for a Marriott since I get points with them, but I don't see any. Looks like they are all non-chain places. Any recommendations? When I searched it seemed to me most want you to stay a week. This won't be until next Memorial Day week, but we want to start planning our trip now. We have a wedding in Orlando and then will drive over to Sarasota/Bradenton area for some sun, fun, and real estate searching. Thanks
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,758,544 times
Reputation: 2856
When planning a trip I always start with Tripadvisor. Here are a few that I am aware of that I have heard good things about. Here's how I would rate each town.

Siesta, world famous beach. Lots of stuff to do. Nice walkable village with many quaint shops and restaurants. This area will be the busiest of the three.

Lido, will be not as busy as Siesta but not as laid back as Anna Maria. It's a bit secluded but still within walking distance of St. Armand's circle. Although the shops are quite pricey there are several reasonably priced restaurants on the circle.

Anna Maria, this town is still like old Florida. They have a building height restriction on the island so you won't see the tall condos and buildings like on the other two keys. It's very sleepy and laid back.

Siesta Key
*Sun, Sand & SAVE 25% to 55%* Siesta Breakers #603 - Sarasota Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor

Beachfront Penthouse at Siesta Key Public Beach - Siesta Key Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor

Casa Blanca Villa Siesta Key, Best Beach - Siesta Key Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor

Lido:
Beau Lido Suites (Sarasota, FL) - Motel Reviews - TripAdvisor

Anna Maria:
Anna Maria Island Private Tropical Garden Home - Holmes Beach Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor

Anna Maria Beach Cottages (Anna Maria, FL) - Lodging Reviews - TripAdvisor

Cherryfish an exclusive Anna Maria beachfront home - Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor

Limefish a stunning beachfront villa on Anna Maria - Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor

Lemonfish, an elegant, luxury home on Anna Maria - Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor

Anna Maria Island's Pirates Den (Holmes Beach, FL) - Resort Reviews - TripAdvisor

Luxury Beach Vacation Rental on Anna Maria Island - Holmes Beach Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FL
5,648 posts, read 9,941,389 times
Reputation: 6871
I have a Marriott card, too, and it is frustrating when you can't use the points where you want...the beach here is a good example. We like to spend a few days out there from time to time. It's just different than driving there for the day.

You've probably already considered this but there are a couple of Marriott family hotels (one in Bradenton, one in LWR, 3 in Sarasota, etc.) so, if it is worth it to you, you could stay for free and just drive to the beach which is what we do now. It's not so bad...maybe 20-35 minutes depending on where you want to go. If you don't stay on the beach, I can share some great public beach locations that are almost always nearly empty--no lifeguards but no crowds. Another idea might be staying at the Residence Inn on Treasure Island (St. Pete area). I haven't tried it but I've been thinking about it to use my points for a beach stay.

We have stayed at the Turtle Crawl Inn on Longboat and thought that was pretty good. We've also stayed at the Tortuga Inn on Bradenton Beach and liked that one. The place we liked best was a house we rented on Siesta a couple of blocks from the beach. Come to think of it, we've stayed in two different houses that they manage. I think we did four nights but I think they are flexible depending on their demand. Prices are negotiable, too, so don't be afraid to try. The place that handles them is Siesta Key Banyan Tree Resort.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:35 PM
 
781 posts, read 1,055,235 times
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Thank you both VERY much for such in depth answers. Now going to check it all out. You are truly a wealth of information and it is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Parrish, FL
164 posts, read 336,868 times
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Also check out Lido Beach Resort. Have stayed there several times and love it...beachfront, nice amenities and just a short walk to St. Armand's Circle.

Away from the beach, consider Holiday Inn Lakewood Ranch. We stayed there a couple of times in the past year when we went down to look at real estate (we didn't have much time to spend on the beach so didn't want to spend the extra bucks for beachfront). It is very nice and centrally located to Sarasota and Bradenton areas.

Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:50 PM
 
34,728 posts, read 54,541,266 times
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We have stayed further south since our daughter lives in Venice/Nokomis area and have stayed at the Inn on the Beach several times--local hotel--
it is not luxe but we have found it very clean and very well maintained
and the staff very helpful
the Venice Beach is just across the street from the hotel so very walkable--
you can get a kitchen unit and do some light cooking as well
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