Only Place to Stay in Sarasota

“We came to Gulf Beach after a long and tiring drive. We immediately relaxed under the care of the desk clerks who are efficient, friendly and laid back. You park your car in front of your room and then get into it by pressing numbers on a lock so there is no key to try to keep track of during your stay.

Our room was cheerfully decorated, very clean, roomy and the kitchen was fully stocked with dishes, toaster, micro wave, glasses, etc. The dishes were so nice, I loved using them each morning for breakfast on the screened-in porch where I could hear and see the surf. Very comfortable bed and a nearby couch that had extra blankets to snuggle into on a cold day (we had several) while reading.

The location is fabulous. You can walk about a mile along the beach in one direction and get to Armand’s Circle for shopping and restaurants and incredible sunsets on the walk back. Wow!

If you walk along the beach in the opposite direction, you’ll come across a Tikki Bar and then the County Park where there is great bird watching. A guide will take you on a kayak to paddle around looking at wildlife in the little pond area that has so many trees you can’t believe there are hotels on the other side of them.

All of this without ever getting back into the car. If you like driving, Sarasota itself is a few easy minutes away.

This is the only place I want to stay when I come back to Florida.”

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple


Old Time Beauty!

“My husband and I decided to take our daughters to sun and sand after the several feet of winter snow in Philadelphia had us on the brink of a break down! We booked it by fluke after I was unable to find a place anywhere nearby. I called the Gulf Beach Resort, spoke to Greg and waited while he searched and searched for a room that would accommodate us. Perhaps he took pity on us, but he did a great job! When our flight was cancelled DUE TO SNOW, we called him before we even knew if we would be able to get down to Florida. He left everything set up for us so that, even if we came in after the office was closed, we would be able to get into our room. Planes, trains and automobiles later, we arrived well after midnight but Greg had everything set up for us.

This place is fantastic – unbelievable location, stunning views of the beach and sunset, super clean, super friendly staff, everyone bends over backwards to help and accommodate, herons and osprey walking around like they own the place thank-you-very-much! Condos and timeshares, but rooms available also. Tiki picnic areas, playground, heated pool, beach literally 10 paces from our room, relatively short walk and shorter drive to Lido’s center of town. The shops are beautiful, restaurants great. It is like straight out of a movie depicting a 50′s-60′s era family place. Quiet, relaxing, lovely!

So…below is a break-down of pros and cons:

PROS
- location (stunning)
- Greg and staff SUPER-friendly, knowledgeable and helpful
- affordable and family friendly
- clean, well-maintained
- spacious
- most rooms have kitchenettes for preparing meals
- kayaking, playground, shuffle board, picnic area with grills, heated pool
- Lido close by, great shops and restaurants

CONS
- they do NOT provide beach towels, so bring your own
- Lido’s center of town is great but PARKING is a NIGHTMARE (walk or bike if you can)
- restaurants booked months in advance, so make reservations if you want to avoid a wait.
[We ate at the Blue Dolphin Cafe for breakfast several times. Great food, even better staff, loooooong wait. And they fudge it. If they say it is a 20 minute wait, count on 1 1/2 hours, no kidding. Not exaggerating. Or....go early, like 7 am. La Colonne is a nice Italian restaurant: food good, service ok. Crab & Fin: beautiful, GREAT food, pricey but delicious. Service ok.]
- traffic out of Lido is CRAZY! Start out early if leaving the key.

We loved it here! We can’t wait to go back. You just don’t find charming places like this around anymore. I looked at it and cringed at the thought of a developer coming by and putting in yet another….well, you get the idea.”

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family


July 4th and Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix Boat Races

Book your stay now for the week of July Fourth, and get front row seats to the
Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix Boat Races. While we do require a 3 night minimum stay during the period of July 3 through July 6, 2014 we welcome race fans.

Gulf Beach Sarasota offers direct beach access for race fans, and after the races you are just a short walk from Sarasota nightlife on St Armands Circle.

Book today for the best selection of rooms during this annual Sarasota racing event.


Lido Beach’s first, and last, motel

Take a look at the recent article on us in the Herald Tribune.

“The Gulf Beach Resort — the first and last “motel” on Lido Beach — provides a visual reminder of times past and the way vacation lodging once existed.

Over the last three decades, all but two of the original dozen or so “motels” from the 1950s and ’60s on Lido Beach have been demolished and their sites redeveloped with more modern resort facilities. . .”
Read More

The Historical Gulf Beach Resort Motel at 930 Ben Franklin Drive on Lido Beach was built in 1949-1950.


Trip Advisor Certificate Of Excellence – 2012 and 2013

The Gulf Beach Resort Motel is proud to have been awarded the Trip Advisor certificate of excellence the past two years running. This award is given to select hotels and resorts as an indication of exceptional service and high levels of guest satisfaction. Thanks to our many returning guests for the high ratings and great reviews!


Overton Family Reunion

Our family reunion in July 2012 at Gulf Beach Resort will always be our most memorable reunion.

The amazing beginning of this story is: When our three children had young families of their own we started going to Myrtle Beach every year to “South Winds Motel” which was a twin to “Gulf Beach Motel” in Sarasota.

The kids, grandkids and greatgrandkids couldn t wait till July to meet up with old friends they had made over the years…….sadly enough as investors bought one unit at a time they got control and tore our beloved South Winds down and replaced it with a beautiful huge high rise! We went back after several years and found out sadly this did not work for our family. So we thought we have our memories of years past.

Then a year ago one of the granddaughters was on her honeymoon and while exploring the area waiting to go on their cruise, she called and said NAN I found our South Winds!!!!

Long story ………but needless to say we were all so excited we planned our Family Reunion for July 2012.

Overton Family Reunion

Our kids also planned a Wedding Vow Renewal for our “60th”.

Wow what a terrific, wonderful, exciting time was had by 49 family members attending. My husband and I will treasure these memories the rest of our life. God has blessed us beyond measure.

All the staff went out of their way to do everything to make us feel at home……….bringing back all our memories of friends at Myrtle Beach.

Thank you thank you thank you all !!!

We have booked for July 2014 and there will even be more of our family able to attend.

I can’t wait………..

Jackie Overton

 


Top 10 Reasons People Like to Stay at Gulf Beach Resort Motel!

Why People Love to Stay at Gulf Beach Resort Motel!

(This list has been compiled based on input provided by our guests)

1. Location…Location…Location!! Our property is right on the beach and every unit is just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico. The water temperature is relaxing and comfortable.
2. Reasonable and affordable prices!
3. Friendly and courteous staff!
4. Friendly family atmosphere!
5. Most of our units have fully-equipped kitchens.
6. The majority of our units have private screened-in patios. The units on the second floor have an exterior corridor which have unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico.
7. Our bbq grill/picnic area is perfect for families and friends to cook out.
8. Quaint, cute, eclectic décor.
9. For many guests Gulf Beach holds many memories of family vacations, weddings, family reunions and other special events that have been celebrated here.
10. Lido Key is quiet and the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing vacation or weekend.

Return to Gulf Beach Resort Motel to enjoy a relaxing vacation and make more memories!
Call us at (941)388-2127 or Toll Free U.S. & Canada at 800-232-2489
Email us at: reservations@gulfbeachsarasota.com or gulfbeachresort@aol.com

 


How We Found the Gulf Beach Resort Motel

My name is Judy Wilson and I would like to tell you my story about how my husband and I found the little “gem” known as Gulf Beach Resort Motel on Lido Key.

Almost 29 years ago we decided since we had never been to Florida we would give it a try. Not knowing where to go a friend suggested Sarasota. We wanted to be at the beach so I started to investigate what motels were at the beach in Sarasota. I was told that if we wanted a place on the water we would have to go out to one of the Keys. I didn’t even know what a Key was so, with more investigation, I found Lido Key, Siesta Key, and Longboat Key and started making calls. Unfortunately this was for Easter week and of course there was no availability anywhere except for one unit on Lido at Gulf Beach Resort Motel.

This made us a little nervous. If this is the only place available what kind of place would this be? We decided to make the reservation, but also made a reservation in Sarasota just in case. Arriving at the Sarasota Airport (at that time it was more of a carport) we rented a car and found our way to Gulf Beach Motel.

As we drove in we were not really impressed. It looked a little run down, but when we saw the beautiful beach we were sold! Our unit was clean and comfortable and the screened in lanai was a definite plus.

Since I was a sun worshiper, most of my time was spent on the beach. In the eighty’s Time Shares were the big thing, and sales people would canvas the beaches looking for potential buyers offering them a free dinner at a local restaurant if they would listen to their sales presentation.
I have to say we did have a few free dinners that week, and were actually thinking of investing in a Time Share on Lido Key until a gentleman staying in another unit at Gulf Beach told us something we had no idea of.

He explained that the units at Gulf Beach were all individually owned and operated as a condominium. This gentleman asked us why we would think of buying a Time Share for two weeks when we could buy a Gulf Beach unit to have it for our use throughout the year or otherwise rent it. That’s when it all started!

There was one unit for sale. The price was right, so we jumped on it. This was 2 days before we were scheduled to leave for home. Somehow we managed to get everything settled before we left, and made arrangements to return two months later to redecorate and enjoy our newly owned “little piece of paradise.”

That was, as I said, 29 years ago. Since then we have witnessed many wonderful changes both in the overall appearance of the property and the staff. We have an exceptional Manager, Assistant Manager, Desk Clerks, Maintenance men, Housekeepers, and Board who work diligently to make Gulf Beach the best it can be. Improvements are always on going and our hospitality has been complimented over and over again by our guests.

This is not another impersonal high rise that seems to be going up all over. We are a family of owners and staff who take a personal interest in all our guests to make them feel a part of our family and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.

We welcome you to join us and experience the true nature of Gulf Beach Resort Motel. You won’t be disappointed.


Allen & Betsy – London, UK

“My wife Betsy and I have enjoyed visiting Gulf Beach Resort for almost 15 years now. Our earliest visits in the late 1990’s provided a Great Winter Escape from the frigid winters of northern Ohio, where we then lived. To drive or fly from Lake Erie to the Gulf of Mexico in January or February was like exchanging planets–the contrast was that extreme. For us, being in Florida has always meant warm, moist and fragrant air you feel you can almost swim through, white cumulus clouds floating through limitlessly blue skies, and the complex energies of the waters of the Gulf exerting their forces at the sandy verge just beyond our doorway.

It also seems right to us to be staying at a place where we feel in control of our surroundings, which are on a very human scale; no elevators, no overly disinfected corporate chain hotel ambience, and small enough that other guests become our neighbors rather than fleetingly glimpsed anonymous ciphers.

Although we share most things when we’re there, naturally we also have our own quirky personal fields of activity. Betsy quickly returns to her ongoing obsession with gathering shells from the beach, reminding me somehow of a heron with her graceful and methodical probing (watch for her next time – you’ll see what I mean: tail up, beak down). As for me; I love swimming laps in the small pool, keeping track of the sets of five different strokes, and upping the number each day as I regain my strength (and probably my sanity). That, along with a bit of biking and jogging, comprises what I call my mini-Triathlon: all taken at a comfortably leisurely pace, of course.

Nowadays, having moved to London in the UK in 2006, our visits give us a much- needed break from the city, and a chance to dip our toes back into the American cultural world, a reminder of where we come from. We look forward to our next visit in July, when we’ll escape the hectic crowds of the 2012 London Olympics for the comfortable cocoon of Gulf Beach Resort, where we can enjoy it all on tv from a safe distance!

In so many ways, Gulf Beach will always be our beloved home away from home.”


Memories From 1982

Year 1982: I, a native Virginian, had been to and seen ocean resorts from Athens to Luzon. My son had just joined the faculty of the University of South Florida. My wife and I went to visit him there. Figuring it would be nice to have a beach condo in Florida for future visits, I got a real estate agent to show me the small, secluded ones. At this one, it was “laid back” in time. I saw that it’s most important occupants were a pair of herons which would visit any fellow citizen whenever a door was left open. They were treated as royalty because they ruled the place, where all occupants were “family.” If you were lucky at night time a mysteriously distant peacock would sing you to sleep.

Ah, 1953! It was a great year. Gen. Eisenhower was inaugurated as President, with Nixon as V.P. Postage stamps were 3 cents. No computers and e-mail. Some things, though, remain the same. The sign at G.B’s front hasn’t changed much since the hotel/motel was built in 1953, except for being “lit up.” The place is officially designated as “Historic” because it was one of the very few remaining properties built simply as a small beachfront hotel. Though of the past, G.B. is modern, with all the electronics, etc.

930 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota. A short walk down the street and you’re in government protected wildlife parkland reserved for native flora and fauna. Back to 930. There, the beautiful beach with its fine, white sand lights up at sunup. Sundown is glorious, directly across the water. The Lord made this place for you and me. God, may it last forever!

GULF BEACH CONDO HOTEL
MATHEW J. BOWYER CREATIVE WRITING
MEMBER: AUTHORS GUILD & AMERICAN PHILATELIC SOCIETY