The beaches here are lined with condominiums, many of which are actually all-condo projects operated as hotels. Among the rental agencies requiring stays of less than a month are Argus Property Management, 2477 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, FL 34231 (tel. 941/927-6464; fax 941/927-6767; www.argusmgmt.com); and Florida Vacation Connection, 3720 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, FL 34228 (tel. 877/702-9981 or 941/387-9709; www.flvacationconnection.com). The hotels below are organized by geographic region: in downtown Sarasota, on Lido Key, on Longboat Key, and on Siesta Key. The high season is from January to April. The bed tax in Sarasota County of 5% plus 7% sales tax adds a 12% total tax to your bill.
A Bradenton B&B -- The Londoner Bed & Breakfast, 304 15th St. W. (www.thelondonerinn.com; tel. 941/748-5658), is Bradenton's only B&B and a famous one at that. Serving as the backdrop for psychic thriller The Message, the Londoner, a restored 1926 house, is a quaint, not creepy, seven-bedroom, seven-bath B&B with wood floors and modern amenities including Wi-Fi and flatscreen TVs, daily afternoon tea, and a traditional English breakfast. Rates range from $120 to $180.
Most visitors stay out at the beaches, but cost-conscious travelers will find some good deals on the mainland, such as the Best Western Midtown, 1425 S. Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) at Prospect Street (www.bwmidtown.com; tel. 800/722-8227 or 941/955-9841; fax 941/954-8948). This older but well- maintained motel features newly renovated rooms and is 2 miles in either direction from the main causeways leading to the Keys. Rates range from $89 to $99, sometimes lower if booked online.
Downtown's top hotel before the opening of the Ritz-Carlton , the Hyatt Sarasota, 1000 Blvd. of the Arts (www.sarasota.hyatt.com; tel. 800/233- 1234 or 941/953-1234; fax 941/952-1987), is adjacent to the Civic Center and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, and within walking distance of downtown shops and restaurants.
Hyatt Place, 950 University Pkwy., Sarasota (www.sarasotabradenton.place.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/place/index.jsp; tel. 941/554-5803), opened in the summer of 2009, is 3 miles from downtown Sarasota and features free continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and plasma TVs.
Most other chain motels are near the airport, including Quality Inn (tel. 800/228-5151 or 941/355-7091), Days Inn (tel. 800/329- 7466 or 941/355-9721), and Comfort Inn (tel. 800/521-2121 or 941/351-7734). All stand side by side on Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) near the FSU Ringling Center for the Cultural Arts and the Asolo Center for the Performing Arts.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.