Essential Guide to Gulf Coast Hotels & Villas

  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 28 June 2023
  • Revised 12 March 2024
Essential Guide to Gulf Coast Hotels & Villas
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 28 June 2023
  • Revised 12 March 2024
Essential Guide to Gulf Coast Hotels & Villas
  • By Christopher da Costa
  • Published 28 June 2023
  • Revised 12 March 2024
Florida’s western side fringes the iridescent turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and with that comes a multitude of picture-perfect white sand beaches that stretch for hundreds of miles.

Known for its striking sunsets and year-round warm waters, not to mention the glorious seafood and world-class fishing opportunities, the Gulf Coast proves to be a fantastic addition to an Orlando theme park holiday, but also serves as an incredible destination all by itself...

Where’s best to stay on the Gulf Coast?  

St. Petersburg 

Home to an award-winning beach and located around 90 minutes’ drive from Orlando, St. Pete’s is close enough to enjoy a few nights by the sea if you need a little break from the hustle and bustle. Filled with museums and art galleries, as well as a plethora of fantastic places to eat, St. Pete’s exudes a seaside town feel with a cultural edge. 

Stay at… 

Sirata Beach Resort – one of our Prime Value hotels set right on its own private beach that is perfect for families, with two pools and a couple of first-rate beachfront bars for total relaxation. 

Beachfront view from Sirata Beach Resort

RumFish Beach Resort by TradeWinds – another Prime Value gem, this excellent family-friendly hotel has a great kids’ activity programme as well as loads of water sports activities, golf, and tennis. It’s ideal for those who want an energetic holiday.  


An upscale seaside town with boutique shops, fine dining restaurants, and championship golf, Naples enjoys a lush setting close to the Everglades and appeals to discerning travellers who are keen to experience a more sophisticated side to the Sunshine State. 

Stay at… 

The Cottages at Naples Bay Resort – this family-oriented hotel has 2- and 3-bedroom cottages with fully equipped kitchens, offering a leisurely self-catering vibe with the bonus of resort-style features, which include four resort pools, a lazy river and six tennis courts. 
Views of the marina from Naples Bay Resort

Naples Grande Beach Resort – for a touch of luxury and impeccable service, this lush 23-acre resort sits on a private stretch of powder-white sand with its own boardwalk and a variety of top-notch leisure and sporting facilities on site, not to mention the spectacular Gulf and coastal views from its hotel tower rooms. 

Anna Maria Island 

An ideal destination for couples, Anna Maria Island is a blissful and charming barrier island that rests between peninsular Florida and the Gulf of Mexico and stretches for seven miles, with flour-soft sands every step of the way. Trying the island’s seafood is a must! 

Stay at… 

Anna Maria Island Condos – these oceanfront condos have fully equipped kitchens and range between 2 and 4 bedrooms, featuring private pools and balconies for ultimate relaxation and ease. 

Anna Maria Island Villa

Anna Maria Island Villas – beautiful villas with private pools right by the sea, what more could you want from self-catering holiday accommodation? This is beachfront living at its best. 


Clearwater is home to one of the best beaches on the Gulf Coast and is close to Tampa if you fancy a dose of lively city and theme park action. Water-based sports activities are popular here, and the Board Walk offers a chance to wander by the sea and enjoy gorgeous sunsets and delicious food and drink. 

Stay at… 

Holiday Inn & Suites Clearwater Beach Harbourside – this quaint resort boasts a laid-back, Key West-style vibe and sits peacefully by the harbour, just fifteen minutes away from the inimitable Clearwater Beach. 
Sunset views from Holiday Inn & Suites Clearwater Beach Harbourside

Barefoot Beach Resort – set right by Indian Shores Beach, this family favourite has a large pool and spacious apartments for unwinding in a beautiful waterside setting. 

Marco Island  

A member of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands – and the only developed one – this pretty spot serves as a tranquil retreat with pristine parks and marvellous beaches yet is close to Naples and the Everglades, if you feel like exploring the area. 

Stay at… 

Marco Beach Ocean Resort – this deluxe property oozes a Mediterranean feel and sits atop a picture-perfect stretch of white sand beach. With excellent dining and a beautiful spa on site, this is the epitome of beachside luxury. 
Marco Island Villa
Marco Island Villas – our elegant three- and four-bedroom villas each have private pools, fully equipped kitchens, and enough space for the whole family, providing a wonderful setting for a tropical getaway. 


Florida’s third-largest city is vibrant and full of culture, history and fun, with theme parks, museums, and restaurants worthy of spending more than just a day here. Just a 90-minute drive from Orlando, Tampa is a great option if you want to get away to the Gulf Coast and discover a different vibe that the Sunshine State has to offer.  

Stay at… 

Sailport Waterfront Suites – this all-suite resort is positioned on Rocky Point Island and features waterfront views from every room. Its retro vibes and uninterrupted views make this a firm favourite for a chilled-out stay, plus it’s a stone’s throw from Downtown Tampa and Tampa International Airport. 
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay

Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay – surrounded by 35 lush waterfront acres, the Grand Hyatt is a fabulous choice for couples wanting a dreamy escape full of walks, nature and excellent food. 


This pretty town has everything and is a world away from the electric buzz of central Florida’s theme park attractions. From the famous Ringling Museum to its impressive art and historic district, as well as some incredible beaches, Sarasota is the ultimate destination to loosen up. 

Stay at… 

The Resort at Longboat Key Club – one of the premier deluxe hotels in Sarasota for both families and couples, this resort boasts world-class facilities and amenities as well as an exclusive setting on the sugar-soft sands of Longboat Key. 
Hyatt Regency Sarasota
Hyatt Regency Sarasota – this luxurious hotel features an abundance of first-rate amenities, including a great restaurant, a large pool with waterfalls, a 24-hour gym and lots of outdoor activities like sailing, kayaking, fishing, and bicycle rentals. Its eco-friendly, private 32-slip marina offers more water sports for an active getaway. 

Fort Myers, Sanibel & Captiva Island 

This relatively untouched region of Florida is paradise for nature lovers. Filled with wildlife, inviting beaches and a rich and interesting history, Fort Myers and the pretty coastal islands of Sanibel and Captiva offer an enchanting stay for the whole family. Spend your relaxing days on the water, fishing and paddleboarding, or on dry land searching for shells and bird-watching. 

Stay at… 

Fort Myers & Cape Coral Villas – each of these three- and four-bedroom villas are a little slice of paradise, with spacious living spaces, fully equipped kitchens and private outdoor pools. Many villas offer striking views of the water and quick access to boating opportunities, plus they’re close to Fort Myers and its shops, restaurants, and golf courses. 
Fort Myers & Cape Coral villa
Sundial Beach Resort & Spa – set on Sanibel Island, this impressive resort features condo accommodation and a wealth of fabulous facilities, including five swimming pools, six tennis courts and some of the best waterfront dining in southwest Florida, which overlooks the sparkling waters over the Gulf of Mexico. 


Are there sharks on the Gulf Coast? 

The short answer is yes, yet sharks can also be found off the coast of Devon and Cornwall in the UK, and you probably wouldn't think twice about swimming there. Shark attacks are rare, and it is considered safe to swim in Florida’s Gulf Coast waters, where many enjoy the multitude of water-based activities peppered up and down the coastal resorts. Nevertheless, it is always best to be aware of changing conditions and to look out for any coastguard safety information.

When is hurricane season on the Gulf Coast? 

Florida’s hurricane season typically lands between June to November (this is the official six-month period) and peaks in September, which is the most likely time to witness landfall hurricanes. 

When is the best time to visit the Gulf Coast? 

Florida enjoys a year-round tropical climate, but generally, March to May and September to November are considered the most pleasant times to visit, as the summer months bring along some epic humidity and almost daily afternoon rains. 

As Florida specialists, we are here to guide you every step of the way when it comes to booking a Gulf Coast holiday, so when you’re ready to dive in, give us a call or enquire online and let’s start planning your dream escape!

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