Condé Nast Traveler readers voted on their favorite Florida resorts outside of the Keys and the Orlando area to make the rankings.
Three Sarasota resorts have been honored by Condé Nast Traveler readers as part of the magazine's readers' choice list of the top 30 resorts in Florida.
The Zota Beach Resort, Ritz-Carlton Sarasota and The Resort at Longboat Key Club all made the magazine's 2019 list released this week. Condé Nast Traveler readers voted on their favorite Florida resorts outside of the Keys and the Orlando area to make the rankings.
The Zota Beach Resort at 4711 Gulf of Mexico Drive in Longboat Key snagged the list's 15th spot. The hotel, formerly known as the the Longboat Key Hilton Beachfront Resort, underwent renovations and added a new 84-room tower in 2018. The name "Zota" was unveiled in 2015, and at the time owner Ocean Properties explained the name change like this:
“Zota is believed to be a native word meaning ‘blue waters.’ The word ‘zara’ may be a Spanish reference to Sahara-like sands, and as the name of the area evolved over time, Longboat Key and the surrounding area became known as ‘Zara Zota,'" or “Sahara by the blue waters.”
“It is an honor to receive this recognition from Condé Nast Traveler readers. Our team is proud of this recognition and hope to continue exceeding expectations every day,” Roy Padgett, general manager of Zota Beach Resort, said in an emailed statement. "We are incredibly thankful for our guests and want to ensure a memorable experience happens with every visit.”
Also on the list is the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota at No. 18. The Ritz, a luxury hotel in downtown Sarasota overlooking the bay, has 266 guest rooms, a private beach on Lido Key, a spa, a golf club, about 60,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, a 12,000-square-foot ballroom (the largest in Sarasota) and two restaurants — Jack Dusty and Ridley's Porch.
The Resort at Longboat Key Club came in at No. 20. The resort, just north of St. Armands Circle at 220 Sands Point Road, has 218 guest rooms and suites, a spa, on-site dining, tennis and golf.
The No. 1 resort on the Condé Nast List is the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa.
Other nearby resorts on the list are the Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande (No. 3), the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina in Fort Myers (No. 4), Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach (No. 8), The Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach (No. 9), LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort in Naples (No. 14) and The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club (No. 19).
This story originally published to heraldtrbune.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.