Exceptionally Friendly & Fabulous Bedding!
My husband attended a conference at the Sarasota Hyatt in March, and I joined him. We found the hotel staff to be exceptionally friendly!!! Also, the bedding was amazing (including the mattresses and linens) - we slept very soundly - very, very comfortable! We had a balcony view over the bay - we highly recommend it! I only have two recommendations: (1) More than one computer available for guest usage since there is a courtesy request of 15-minutes per visit. There is only one computer (to share) for quick reading of e-mail, etc., and there is ALWAYS going to be that one "guest" who lands on the computer and stays there parked forever with no consideration of other guests - very annoying. (2) The pool area is simply beautiful! However, the Hyatt has a marina, in from which what I could gather, these folks have full access to the pool area. My husband and I counted from our balcony one afternoon (5 towels being carried by youngsters running with Hyatt towels from the pool to one of the boats in the Marina). I don't think they were "borrowing" these towels because we were at the hotel another 5 days, and we never saw that boat or passengers - again! Additionally, I'm not 100% sure, but it seemed one day that there was a group of "visitors" to the pool - 3 women and 2 children. They had their "own" towels and snacks, and did not really appear to be hotel guests. The hotel should perhaps monitor the pool area a bit better.
Otherwise, the hotel and staff were exceptional. I'd highly recommend this hotel to anyone, and will plan on making my next stay at the Hyatt Sarasota.
Okay, but some problems
I stayed at the Hyatt Sarasota for five nights for a conference and felt that it has a somewhat pleasant appearance, but that it is ultimately very shabby, inconvenient, and boring.
ROOM--We stayed on Floor 1 (the second floor). The good: nice desk, good TV (cable, etc.), decent beds (firm mattresses, although I'm not a huge fan of new and unwashed sheets), nice balcony, nice sink, good air conditioning. The bad: pieces of dust clinging to the ceiling, air vents that are completely clogged with about an inch of dust, a terrible coffee machine (if you could even call it that), no refrigerator, only two very small trash cans, bad water in the shower, a rather small an unpleasant shower.
These are not minor issues to me. In part, you're paying a lot of money to stay here and these and other issues came to feel like part of a larger pattern of indifference to comprehensive upkeep of the hotel, as if they could cut corners here and there and not have to care about it.
STAFF--Most of them were very nice, although in nearly all cases it felt canned and slightly forced. People would say things like, "I hope you have a pleasant day sir." But why say things like that if you actually don't care? I don't consider an atmosphere of disingenuous well wishing something worth patronizing. The guys in the front were, however, genuinely nice and very helpful. One of them gave us a ride downtown for a few bucks. The maids were also very nice and very helpful, coming in in the late afternoon and asking whether there was anything else they could do after making the beds, etc.
GETTING OUR ROOM--We arrived around 1:30 pm on a Friday and they said there were no rooms available even though we had a reservation. They told us to check back around 2:30 or 3. We checked at 2:30, 3, and 3:30 and still no room! We eventually came back around 5 at which point we got something.
It was very frustrating not to have a place to sit down and to put our stuff after the flight down there. The front desk staff had largely applied one of those, we can't do anything about it, approaches. They said it was because they had many people checking in, although there was little evidence that this was the case. There was only a handful of other people, as best I could tell, in our situation waiting for a room. Many of them were more upset about it than me.
FOOD--We had a $15 breakfast in the "boat house" on Sunday morning. I'm vegetarian and there wasn't that much to eat, which is to be expected with most breakfast buffets. No problem. Waiters were all very nice and repeatedly came to our table asking us if we wanted anything to drink. The food, as best I could tell, was pretty good, although I'm not sure that it's worth the price. I was, however, not too pleased to see a roach climbing around the cereal bowls. Again, if you know you have a problem like this, do something about it. Pest control.
LOCATION--We didn't rent a car since someone suggested to me that one wasn't needed. There is almost nothing of interest within walking distance of the Hyatt. We made almost daily walks to the Whole Foods (about 15 minutes). But we were always alone and there was nothing to see en route.
VALUE--I wouldn't choose to stay there again. It's simply not worth the price. I'm not sure I would actually really want to be there for any price, but as it stands it's clearly a no.
We wanted to escape for the weekend, so we decided to book this hotel because of the Marina access. Thru Hyatt.com we were able to book a "Military Rate Room" for $78.00 + 8.58 tax per night. Contacted the Marina (941) 953-1234 and talked to the Dockmaster, Rich (very nice guy!), so we also booked a boat slip for $2.50 per foot. Our boat is 21" feet long, so it was $52.50 + $3.67 tax per night.
The public boat ramps are nearby and the hotel has their own private parking for free. We got a King size room on the 8th floor with a spectacular view to the Marina. The rooms are spacious, eventhough the bathroom area is very small. The room needs better maintenance on the carpet, the ceiling, walls and air filter. The lagoon style pool with waterfalls is beautiful. Unfortunately, the pool area gets too crowded in the afternoon with people who arrive in their boats but are not hotel guests. We did tried their Marina side restaurant (Boathouse) for lunch and it was pretty good but expensive. It is better to walk (15-20 mnts) to downtown Sarasota (Two Señoritas is good and the gelato at Café Epicure is yummy!). If driving, just across the Ringling Causeway bridge, south of Hyatt, we found St Armand's Circle and Mote Aquarium at Lido Key. If you travel north, cross to Longboat Key and take US789. On the north tip, we found an extraordinary restaurant: Mar Vista-Dockside Restaurant on the intracoastal located at 760 Broadway St (next to Morris Crab Shack). If you keep traveling north, on Bradenton Beach there is another great restaurant The Beachhouse with oceanview and exquisite seafood. Don't miss visiting the Ringling Museum of Art: Adults $15, students $5, (discount coupon on Sarasota Guide Map)includes the visit to the Mansion (former residence and terrace) and also the miniature Circus~really impressive! We will definetely return to Sarasota.
Watch how much that extra amenity will cost you
Nice facilities and staff, excellent view from our seventh floor room. Tiny bathroom and standard size tub; I rather expected a little better in that area for $169/night. My only complaint was with an extra room amenity I ordered, which was listed as $55 on the e-concierge page. What it ended up costing was $75 and change by the time they tacked on a delivery charge and gratuity. I emailed Hyatt and am awaiting their answer. It's possible I overlooked some small print somewhere about this, but I thought $20 for delivery and gratuity of a small gift basket was a little steep.
My wife and I stayed here while visiting the wonderful Ringling Museum. The hotel is undergoing a major renovation which is badly needed. The rooms were small and dated and in need of new carpet and bathroom overhauls. That being said, the staff were very accomodating and we were even upgraded at no charge, to a balcony room. The rooms were very clean and the value for money was very good. Skip the boathouse restaurant and eat off property at St. Aramands Circle.
The hotel is perfect for exploring all of Sarasota including St. Armands Key (wonderful shopping and restaurants), Lido Beach, Siesta Key (Amazing Beach) and the aforementioned Ringling. The marina setting is lovely and all in all it's an exceptional 3 star property; upon it's completion of the renovations, it will no doubt rise to a beautiful 4 star.
Nice hotel, Great staff
Stayed the night of 12/11/2007. Hotel is under renovation, and they provided a notice upon check in that stated noise might be a factor between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Never heard any though. The staff, from the valet parking staff, the check in clerk to the restaurant staff were extremely courteous and accommodating. Best I have seen in a long time.
Room rate of $89.00 is a great deal.
Restaurant food prices were quite high, the food OK.
Nice place, will stay there again.
Hotel in Transition
We recently stayed at the Hyatt while visiting the area. While we had no problems during our stay, I would not come back until after the renovation is complete. The place seems abandoned. There were maybe five cars in the lot while we were there. The lobby is under construction so you have to walk several feet with your luggage through a rear door near the pool area to check in. The rooms are not redone yet and are old and dated. On the plus side the beds are comfortable and pillows are generously given. The staff we came in contact with were all polite but it was like a Twilight Zone episode...where were all the guests?
They moved my room!!!!!!!
I made my reservations directly with the staff 3 months prior to my three night stay. When we arrived we were told that our room would be moved the next day. I would not return unless under new management.
go after construction is done
We stayed at the Hyatt for a wedding weekend. Pulling up to the hotel was a little confusing since the main entrance was closed for construction. The property is beautiful and our newly remodeled room was gorgeous. One of the other wedding guests commented that he recently stayed in Denver at the Hyatt and furnishings were identical.
My favorite part of the property was the large, tropical swimming pool complete with waterfalls and a large hot tub. Our room overlooked the pool and that was enjoyable to watch the pool activity.
All the food from the hotel was delicious. We ate rehersal dinner and sunday brunch in the Boathouse. We had a seated dinner during the wedding. Everything I ate was wonderful. I would recomend the crabcake sandwich and cinnamon bun french toast.
Overall the hotel was nice. Construction noise was annoying and parts of the hotel were closed but overall it was a place I would stay at again. Of course I would wait until after the renovations were finished.