April 25, 2018

Favorite Luxury Resorts

Resort R&R

From offbeat to old-timey, Florida resorts cover the spectrum. Some are well-known; others are off the beaten path.

Diane Sears | 2/1/2007

Manasota Beach Club

Old Florida Resort

Manasota Beach Club

With a clubhouse dating to about 1915 and some of its 12 cottages built in the 1920s, this 25-acre gulf-to-bay property near Sarasota offers an authentic slice of old Florida. The cottages -- several built by prominent Sarasota architects in the 1970s -- range from one bedroom to five, and only some have air conditioning. It's managed by Sydney Buffum Crampton, whose parents, Robert and Sydney, bought the property in 1960. Amenities include nature trails, tennis courts, a swimming pool, kayaking, sailing, croquet and nearby golf and boat rentals. The resort's kitchen and dining room are open from Thanksgiving through April and offer various meal plans. Rates range from $295 to $485 per night for two people in season and $250 a night or up to $2,000 a week in the summer. "Lots of families come here and have for many generations," Crampton says. "They're surprised there's still a place like this."

Water Color Inn

Small Resort

Water Color Inn
Santa Rosa Beach

Recognized as one of the top 10 resorts in North America by Travel + Leisure magazine last year, the beach-themed inn opened in 2002 and is the first residential/resort community developed by St. Joe Co., the largest private landowner in Florida. "We're the only AAA four-diamond hotel in northwest Florida," says Stacy Hamilton, director of resort marketing and sales. The inn includes 60 Gulf-front rooms, almost 150 privately owned vacation rental homes, a recreational complex, restaurants and a spa. Part of its charm is the 499-acre resort's activities on Western Lake, where guests can canoe, kayak and fish. Prices for a standard room range from $370 to $495 a night in season and $250 to $395 a night in winter. Vacation rentals for one to six bedrooms run $280 to $1,555 a night in season and $230 to $1,030 a night in winter.

Tags: Dining & Travel, Around Florida

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