Last Updated on March 24, 2023
Just off the coast of the sun-soaked city of Sarasota, FL, Siesta Key is a little slice of tropical heaven famous for its white quartzite sand beaches. Soft as talcum powder, it was surprisingly cool on mine and my partner’s feet as we learned about the Key’s fragile turtle nesting grounds, stories that feed the soul and tug on our heartstrings. We also found the perfect hotel in Siesta Key.
Siesta Key exudes a small-town beach-bum vibe—especially in the off-season. If you’re into that feel with an added bohemian flavor to boot at a reasonable price, then Siesta Key Palms Resort hotel in Siesta Key is the perfect place to stay.
Siesta Key Palms Resort
The renovated retro hotel in Siesta Key features a wonderful balance of modern amenities while maintaining its historic mid-century charm. Located just over the Stickney Point Road bridge five minutes from the beach, the resort offers an ideal jumping off point for visiting both Siesta Key and Sarasota.
It’s an adorable off-the-beaten-path place to stay if you’re looking for a casual spot that’s like a breath of Costa Rican beach life, but lighter on the pocketbook than a direct beachfront property. If you’re like me and often opt for a bohemian vibe when I can find it, the resort is a gem.
After parking your car in a sandy lot, you’ll find yourself in a little oasis filled with palm trees and flowering plants. The narrow brick pathways are set in fine white sand and also lined with palms and tropical foliage. Colorful hammocks are strung strategically between the trees.
Whimsical, bright crossroad signs point the way in the direction you need to go, and reggae rhythms pulse through the air in a playful and joyous manner.
Hotel in Siesta Key, FL rooms
The laid-back, Caribbean-inspired property is comprised of attached single-story units with one and two rooms, each offering an outdoor patio area. The lodgings are rustic enough that kids and adults can feel comfortable tracking in sand from the pool and the beach.
Colorful units ranging from studios to villas contain everything you need to be comfortable during your stay. Each one has a full kitchenette with a proper electric stove, granite counters, and a full or half refrigerator. Shelves and drawers offer plenty of pots, pans, plates, and cutlery. Most of the rooms have Roku/gaming hook-ups along with cable TV.
We stayed in a Siesta Suite that included a queen bed and sleeper sofa, ideal for a couple or small family.
Be prepared for a certain level of humidity, after all, you are in Florida. The air-conditioning comes through a wall unit, so it’s never going to be like central air, but it certainly does the trick.
Parking and Wi-Fi is complimentary, as are the onsite bicycles available for exploring the property and local area.
The folks that run this hotel in Siesta Key, FL have put so much attention to detail and the care shines through in so many ways.
Caribbean Vibes All Around
A touch that I appreciated was how the resort designed their two lovely warm-water pool areas (one designated for 21 and over). Siesta Key Palms brought in sand from the beaches and spread it generously around both pools, so you feel like you’re at the beach versus a hotel environment. The effect is really cool.
The adult-only pool area sports a volleyball net and more hammocks, while the family-friendly pool contains a large firepit and palapa platform. And of course, there are tiki torches.
Both pools are open until 11 pm. It was delightful floating under the stars in the warm evening air surrounded by colorful, festive lights. Or just chilling with a beverage while enjoying the reggae beats.
Family-Friendly Hotel in Siesta Key, Florida
Siesta Key Palms Resort is enthusiastically family friendly. With the range of options to cook onsite, from your kitchenette to the family-size barbeque grill in one of the common areas, families can prepare meals in-house and save some money.
There is even an onsite laundry service at this hotel in Siesta Key, Florida.
Prices in the off-season (summer) are more reasonable, a thought to consider when booking.
Siesta Key, Florida restaurants
Though some meals can be prepared at the resort, Siesta Key has a terrific dining scene. Most of the action is on the north end in Siesta Key Village. Keep in mind that during high season, tourists (a lot of snowbirds), fill the streets, restaurants and hotels, meaning lines and higher prices. You’ll want to plan accordingly.
Miguel’s, Siesta Key Summerhouse Steak & Seafood, and Gabbiano’s are ideal for fine dining.
The Cottage offers up eclectic tropical vibes, while Siesta Key Oyster bar touts expertly shucked, fresh oysters and tasty mains.
Don’t miss Pi 3.14 Craft Beer & Spirits, a local haunt, for terrific pizza.
Big Water Fish Market
A lovely spot for a casual meal of fresh-caught local seafood in a storefront ocean deli setting, Big Water Fish Market is cute and kitschy and their handhelds (sandwiches) are beyond amazing.
The Mahi-Mahi with Swiss cheese on a soft Brioche was tender, rich, and juicy. A chilled Red Stripe paired nicely. The menu offers wild, fresh Florida seafood prepared in creative ways like the Snapper Sundown with a divine coconut lime sauce.
Try the homemade vinegar-based pepper sauce—a terrific accent.
Star Thai and Sushi Siesta Key
This is one of the funkiest and most fun sushi places I’ve ever encountered. Walking in, you feel like you’re truly in Asia with its Asian Bohemian Fusion, dark wood decor sprinkled with bamboo plants, decorative screens, and traditional red Japanese lampshades.
The sushi is super fresh, and Head Chef Angel delights in creating food art that will feed your soul along with your tummy. A traditional Chinese black lacquer boat carries a bounty of tender hot Hamachi slices on daikon, topped with thick jalapeño pieces and tobiko. Buttery, creamy, crunchy, warm, and spicy, it doesn’t get better than this.
The folks at Star Thai and Sushi Siesta Key have something special going on. If you’re into sushi, you’ll love this place!
Ophelia’s on the Bay
Ophelia’s is a beautiful, low-slung wooden building situated on the edge of Little Sarasota Bay. Their glass-walled dining rooms provide lovely views of dolphins and manatees swimming by during the day and the shimmering light of the full moon at night.
The menu is inventive, each dish crafted with an average of 12 exquisite ingredients. Seafood dominates with a healthy dose of turf to satisfy any carnivorous cravings.
How about a Surf-and-Turf of Szechuan pepper crusted Wagyu beef, scallion-miso demi-glace, black garlic butter poached Maine lobster tail, ginger pickled lions mane and sriracha potatoes? Executive Chef/Owner Daniel Olson has been with Ophelia’s for decades and we certainly benefited from his mastery.