Over the summer my mom, my sister, and I took a trip to Sarasota, Florida. I had never been to Sarasota before so I was not familiar with the area. We had marked out a few things we wanted to see and do while in Sarasota and then that determined where we chose to stay.
I am a true believer that where you stay on vacation can really help enhance your experience. We never skimp on hotels with the thought "I only need it for a place to sleep". You want to really enjoy where you are staying.
We chose The Hyatt Regency, Sarasota for it's location and amenities.
We flew into the Sarasota/Bradenton Airport and did not rent a car, so we Ubered to the Hyatt Regency which was less than a 5 mile drive ( 3.2 miles as Google maps says).
We thought the Hyatt Regency was in a great location. We wanted to spend most of our time doing activities in the downtown area, not just the beach.
The Hyatt Regency is not an ocean front hotel.
However, it is a bay front hotel, and there is a small beach / sandy area. It is not intended for swimming, but there is seating on the beach.
We were impressed with the view from our room. We had a bay view. You can barely tell where the bay stops and the sky begins! We also had an arts center and park across the street. The first night we were there, we walked around the park and down to the bay. I think we walked to the bay every day on our vacation. It was so peaceful and beautiful. On select evenings the park hosted outdoor movies on the large screen and a few food trucks were there.
Check out our standard room with balcony.
It was very spacious.
Although there were three of us in the room, there weren't enough "supplies" ( toiletries, towels, cups, etc.)
We called the front desk, who called housekeeping to bring them up. When I say it took them hours to get to our room, I am not kidding. The staff here is so nice, but the service was very slow. We found this to be true at the restaurant/pool bar as well.
Speaking of restaurants, there are two main places to eat here and we tried both multiple times. The main restaurant is Currents, ( which is inside the hotel lobby). Outside near the pool is the Hurricane Hut.
During our visit, we ate one dinner and one breakfast and Currents, and two lunches at the Hurricane Hut. Here is a sampling of what we had.
We also had Key lime pie for dessert.
One morning we had breakfast at currents and I had this healthy breakfast bowl, which was only okay.
We had lunch at the Hurricane Hut twice but we neglected to take photos. We ordered fish tacos and a grilled veggie wrap. The tacos were better than the wrap!
We spent a lot of time at this amazing swimming pool. It had a a waterfall and a hot tub. No lazy river though, which would have been nice.
The star of the resort though was probably the marina. Our resort fee covered the cost to rent small water crafts like kayaks, peddle boats, and paddle boards.
All three of us tried paddle boarding. This was a first for my mom and I and probably the highlight of the trip for me. It was challenging but in a good way. The marina attendant said that morning the water had been a little choppier than normal. This was a body of water that fed into the bay.
My mom came back to the dock a little early, but my my sister and I paddled our way all the way over to the opening to the bay. The views were great looking out to the bay and I wish I had my camera!
Other outdoor activities that were included in our resort fee included lawn games and bike rentals. We definitely took advantage of the bike rentals. We were allowed to take the bikes off the resort, so we rode them all over town!
Our resort also offered a complimentary shuttle to Lido Beach. The beach is probably less than 5 miles away, but it would be very difficult to walk or ride bike because you have to cross a highway and a very long bridge. On the day we wanted to go to the beach, the shuttle was broke down! However, the front desk attendant told us that the hotel would reimburse us for the Uber ride. When I returned, I showed them our receipt for the Uber and they deducted that amount off my room charge.
On the way back from the beach, we took the free Bay Runner Trolley.
Overall, the Hyatt Regency was a great pick for our first visit to Sarasota, especially not knowing the area. If you are staying on the mainland I would highly suggest this resort.
If you want to see the highlights of all the activities we did while in Sarasota ( including our Murder Mystery Tour), click HERE.
Till next time, M & L
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