More about Longboat Key Club & Resort
Classiest Sarasota Getaway
Just returned from five days at The Resort at Longboat Key and have nothing but praise for this tastefully understated classic on Sarasota's most upscale barrier island. Service - at reception, on the two golf courses, at the private beach and in the Sands Pointe restaurant was attentive and friendly. Many of the guests were obviously repeat visitors. Sally Langham, the hotel's popular chanteuse, greeted some guests by name. Our 650-square foot club suite, newly remodeled, was perfect for our brief getaway. Can't wait to go back. Would like to save this secret for ourselves but, honestly, the Resort at Longboat Key Club deserves the credit.
Friendly staff, spacious rooms, a delight to stay in!
The Longboat Key Club offers something for everyone. During a busy season (spring break) the beach was relatively quiet and staff was always eager to set up a beach chair with canopy or umbrella. The clay tennis courts were plentiful, clean, and great to play on. The spa services (manicure and massage) were excellent. The staff was always friendly, courteous, and ready to help. The suite was spotless and spacious, and the in room washer, dryer was a nice convenience. The only negatives were a slow check in and not too helpful concierge desk.
Our restaurant preferences were: Euphemia/Hay Loft, Zorias, and an Italian restaurant at 15 St. Armand's Circle.
A Beach Resort with a Country Club feel
My wife and I stayed at the Longboat Key Club or, as the locals call it, the "Inn on the Beach", for three days and nights during the second week of March 2006. We had reserved a King room and were upgraded to a club suite. Our two boys, age eight and five, stayed with their grandparents who spend the winter months in one of the many nearby apartment buildings on Longboat Key. When we booked, we checked with the reservation clerk to see if the boys could use the beach and pool during our stay and were told this would not be a problem. It was not; the boys enjoyed the pool and the beaches to the fullest.
The Club Suite
Our room was on the fourth floor of building two overlooking the pool and beach, both of which were immaculately maintained. The suite was configured with a large king-sized bed on one end of the large room and a sitting area with a loveseat and club chair on the other. There was a galley kitchen with a full-size fridge, stove, oven, microwave and dishwasher as well as a hidden washer dryer; all of the appliances were in excellent condition and appeared to be new. This was also true for the furniture in the suite. The kitchen was separated from the main room by a granite counter with seating for four. A balcony ran the length of the suite with a chaise lounge on one end and a table and four chairs on the other.
The resort offers golf, tennis and activities for the kids. I can only speak to golf as our boys were content to play at the beach and pool during our short stay and neither my wife nor I play much tennis. The resort owns the only two golf courses on Longboat Key, the 18 hole Islandview course which is within walking distance to the resort and the 27 hole Bayview course which is a couple of miles down the Gulf of Mexico Drive, the main drag on Longboat Key. The courses appear to cater mainly to their members who appear to primarily consist of septuagenarians, and not the resort guests. Both guests and members make reservations for tee times by using a pin number (provided to guests at the time the reservation is made) and calling an automated telephone number. Guests are told they can only call 2 ½ days prior to obtain a tee time while members can call two weeks prior to obtain a tee time. However, at the recommendation of a former member, we called 5 days prior and were able to make a tee time with the pin number provided by the reservationist.
The Islandview course is a relatively short and simple course with some slightly elevated greens, narrow fairways and lots of sand. It sets up very nicely for the senior golfer as there are very few carry-over decisions to be made. However, there is nothing about the course, other than convenience to the resort and being one of the only games in town, that justifies the resort level green fees. The layout is just not that interesting and several of the greens were in very bad shape with large burned out or bare spots. At any other location, this course would rank as an average municipal course.
The Bayview courses, particularly the blue and red courses are much nicer. They are more challenging and in better condition than the Islandview course. The Bayview courses feature lots of sand and water and require more shot making abilities. Although not disclosed at the time of reservation, resort guests are restricted from making times on the Bayview course prior to 12:14 pm and Wednesdays are unavailable altogether because of a weekly women’s tournament for members.
Although our sample was limited to a breakfast and a pool-side lunch, we found the food to be very good.
The Longboat Key Club definitely has the feel of a country club. The resort is cashless, as are many country clubs, with all expenses charged to your room. In addition, it is quickly apparent that there are members/owners who are regulars and are recognized by the staff. This may set some people off, but we did not sense any separate levels of service for members/owners and resort guests (except at the golf courses as noted above). During our stay we met several nice families who have been coming to the resort for 10 years or more. For the most part, we encountered a very nice group of people during our stay.
First, Longboat Key is a retirement community. Second, it is a beach community. Third, well there is no third. There is not much else to Longboat Key but go to the beach, ride a bike, play tennis or golf. If you are looking for a greater variety of things to do, this is not the place to go. There is no night life to speak of and the only other attraction of note is the charming Mote Aquarium which, although small, can fill up ¾ of a rainy day for both children and adults. However, if its beaches you are after, this is a great spot. The white sand beaches are beautiful with sand that has the soft and fluffy consistency of flour or baking soda.
Nice Location But Watch Out for Construction and Tacky Management!
We just returned from a week-long stay at this resort. Our beach view one-bedroom suite was very well-appointed and had a great view of a long, white, sandy beach. The Longboat Key area is very nice and quiet--which is exactly what we were looking for. However, the resort needs some repairs and the management needs some customer relations training.
The first night, the fire alarm went off three times (they claim that they were false alarms) and we were forced to evacuate. That same night, we noticed that our toilet was broken and needed to be repaired. And a few days later, we had to ask housekeeping to bring us new pillowcases, because they had given us ones with stains on them.
Four days into our visit, we noticed ear-splitting banging and drilling coming from the room next door. We had to call management three times over the course of a few hours to complain before we finally received an explanation. (They kept promising to check into it and call us back, but no one ever did.) It turns out that the condo next door was being remodeled with a construction crew and everything! They actually had placed us in a room for which we were paying $400 per night--yet they were replacing all of the windows, doors, and patio doors in the unit next door. Unbelievable! Incredibly, they told us that they couldn't stop the remodeling, so we insisted that they move us to another room. They did, but they did not do anything to compensate us for the trouble or inconvenience. In fact, when we found cheese and fruit and cheese in our new room, we thought it was some sort of apology from management. It turns out that it was actually meant for some other guest, so a bellhop came by and took the items away!
On the day that we were leaving, we asked if we could check out at 11:30 a.m. instead of 11:00 a.m., because I was in the middle of feeding our baby. Despite the earlier problems with the room, they actually refused.
Overall, I would say that the location on the beach is very nice. If they did some repairs on the units and gave management some intense customer relations training, then it has the potential to be a very nice resort.
Poor quality of service
The location is the only selling point of this property. We have stayed at many beachfront properties, the difference at the LBKC is the lack or non-existence of service. The resort charges a $25/night "service" charge per room. There is also a 20% service charge with each drink and/or meal order. What happened to rewarding quality of service rather than assuming your service is quality? Even in a cashless resort, tipping can be done on each check. The history of tipping is for a job well done, not because you showed up for work. That overall lack of pride in the work is reflected in the quality of service provided at this resort. We loved Sarasota and Longboat Key. However, we will try other properties when we return.
what a great place
What a lovely getaway - i loved the resort - the beach was the best we had seen throughout our stay along the Florida Gulf - it was peaceful and quiet and the staff were helpful and friendly. (the boys on the beach are so good - nothing is too much trouble) The barman is excellent - ask for Bimini but go careful on the Longboatinis.
We had a room in block 6 overlooking one of the water but not the beach and i actually preferred this as it was much quieter - watching dolphins feed twice a day, the fish jumping and the birds was a wonderful experience.
As other reviewers said some guests are return visitors and are welcomed as such but i do find kissing all the staff in the bar and reception a bit much. You do feel slightly put off by this as though it is a totally private club however this did not spoil the overall experience.
We did expect to use the bus service into st armaunds however this only ran in the day and at limited times however we either drove or took a taxi.
The kitchen facilities were an extra bonus and had we stayted longer would have used them more. This is a lovely relaxing place to stay and i thoroughly recommend it.
This resort was as great as the reviews I found on Tripadvisor. When we checked in, the front desk told us when they can, they like to upgrade guests. They "upgraded" us from our Club Suite to a Deluxe 2-bedroom condo. This was much more than we had expected but with two kids, we certainly took advantage of the extra bedroom/bath and full kitchen.
The beach is wonderful - with an abundant # of cabanas free of charge. The pool was exceptionally clear and easily big enough to accomodate all the guests. The only issue I could find with the whole place is there was not enough available lounge chairs at the pool. I believe this is because guests would come down early, put a towel or item on chairs to "save" them for later - and also while they were out on the beach.
The tennis facilities were first-rate. The clay was maintained regularly throughout the day and we could always get a court when we wanted - at NO extra charge.
The pool bar and restaurant were very good as well. We had excellent service throughout the resort.
We stayed "Island-side" and had an ocean view. Daily we saw dolphins and stingray swimming in the clear water below and also got to watch the sunset from our balcony.
The resort is expensive - but you certainly get what you pay for. We'll be back again.
Well Worth The Money
Stayed 2 nights on 5th floor of building 3 - perfect and luxurious accomodations including a full kitchen. Our suite overlooked the pool and the Gulf. Everything was wonderful - all of the hotel staff we encountered were friendly and very helpful. Only thing we would change is to not have a room overlooking the pool - tended to get quite a bit of noise from it until later in the evening (we kept our balcony doors open to enjoy the wonderful breeze and sound of the water.) We will go back later this year and will try to get a suite in building 4 next time.
My boyfriend took me here as a surprise and actually proposed to me here. He had the entire staff in on making our weekend incredible. When we got to the room there was a dozen long stemmed roses in a gorgeous bouquet and after he proposed to me that night on the beach when we got back to our room there were chocolate covered strawberries. My fiance said he was so impressed with the staff. The grounds were incredible and the drinks were great. The beach was so private. The bed was super comfy. The restaurant at the hotel was very good. Would highly recommend the Chart House which is right down the road. We will go back for sure!
Had a superb week here 22 to 29 June 2006. Accommodation was excellent and staff extremely helpful and friendly. The location was wonderful. We had a gulf coast view which was definitely picture postcard. What more can I say, other than we shall be returning. Many thanks to all staff at the resort.