The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota: Glorious Gulf Coast Relaxation

With its hospitable, attentive staff, stately restaurant Vernona, and generous views of the Gulf of Mexico, the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota is the ideal base for visiting one of Florida's most traditional destinations.

Here, guests bask in numerous amenities in a spacious, quiet environment rich in tasteful color. Sarasota is home to miles of beach, popular golf courses, spring training baseball, and the Ringling Museum and its grounds. Speaking of golf, hotel guests have use of the Members Golf Club where a beautiful par 72 Tom Fazio course sits just a short ride from the hotel.

Book this hotel now with confidence! Personal Service. Best Rate Guarantee. 100% Luxury Hotels. Book Now! After a busy day of shopping, sightseeing or golf, enjoy a treatment in the Members Spa. Vernona's dinner selections include the duck confit ravioli, or a lobster mac and cheese. Either apple cobbler or the key lime pie make tasty desserts. After a restful night in the comfort of your suite, commune with nature in nearby Myakka River State Park (ask the hotel concierge to reserve a birdwatching walk with local guide Owen Comora where you'll see species like the pie-billed grebe). Outdoor enthusiasts may camp in the State Park.

Another such option is a mangrove excursion on Lido Key, where you'll kayak through natural tunnels and canopies and encounter heron, ibis and other Flordia mainstays in the shallow passages. A 40-minute ride to Warm Mineral Springs affords visitors the opportunity to wade in water boasting the third highest mineral content in the world. There are long term plans here to develop lodging accomodations.

Hungry again? Check out Nancy Krohngold's barbecue, a huge local favorite. There are also lunch choices: The Polo Grill And Bar if you're dressy and the Old Salty Dog if you're not.

The Mote Museum Aquarium tour is also fun, featuring dolphin, manatee, sea horse research, and some of the most innovative science this side of Woods Hole. The aforementioned Ringling Estate is a day trip in itself. It boasts an art museum that showcases Rubens and other masters, John and Mable Ringling's Moorish influenced mansion Cà d'Zan, an immense "miniature" circus, and enough gardens and exhibits to evoke the era of Ringling, Hearst and Gatsby.

All that Victorian luxury will set the tone for some down time in your suite at the Ritz-Carlton, if not a little shopping in Sarasota's St. Armands Circle section. This getaway has something for the sportsperson, the gourmand or the historian. No one puts on The Ritz quite like sunny Sarasota.

Ritz-Carlton Sarasota
1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive
Sarasota, Florida 34236

Bijan Bayne

Bijan C. Bayne is an award-winning Washington-based freelance writer, and author of Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball, which was named to the Suggested Reading List of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. The book is also cited in Booktalks Plus: Motivating Teens to Read by Lucy Schall. In July 2002, Bayne, who speaks Spanish, won the Robert Peterson Research Award for his pre...(Read More)

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