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“Old Florida Cottage Getaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rolling Waves Cottages

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Rolling Waves Cottages
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6351 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, FL 34228   |  
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West Palm Beach, FL
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Old Florida Cottage Getaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

What a treasure! This cluster of beachfront cottages exudes Old Florida and Charm. The cottages are adorable, have everything you would need, and feel spacious even for a group.
From my first conversation with Shelley on the phone, to her warm welcome upon our arrival, to sitting and chatting with her at the firepit, she really made this girls' getaway perfect for our group. We will be back.

Room Tip: We'll probably rent cottages number one (2br) and three (1br) which are side-by-side to accomoda...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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39 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Bern, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We were in Bradenton Beach in a Hotel we didn't like and were therefore phisically looking for something else nearby. Shelley welcomed us in a most friendly way, even late at night. So we moved to her place the next day and it was definitely worth it!! A wonderful spot, nice cottages, friendly people, calm area, close to the ocean, sandy beach - a dream :-)
It's not cheap, but off season you might get a discount.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Portland, Maine
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

I found this gem last year when looking for a self catering cottage on the beach near Sarasota.
I had no idea I would fall in love with these quaint, perfectly located beach cottages! We just returned from our second year at Rolling Waves- we were there the first week of April; this time we brought our best friends with us... and got married!

Location: these cottages are steps from the beach! We have private access to our area and there are few people on the beach than the fellow cottagers and those from other houses/cottages along the beach as well. Really a gorgeous, clean, noncrowded, perfect almost private beach! This is not a party area, more of a cookout/entertain/ bonfire/ beach sunset/cocktails with friends location. There are some awesome restaurants nearby, some you can ride a bicycle too.

People: our second year and we have met fantastic people each time! Some couples looking for romantic and quiet, some families looking for laid back and relaxed. The families with kids have been fantastic too! It seems to draw cool/laid back fams with great kids (I say this as a childless couple)! Shelly (manager/caretaker) lives in one of the cottages and is superb! She is there whenever you need her and always solving ANY problem you may have! (Thanks for the sewing kit, Shelly!)

To Do: we rent bicycles a mile down the road, there is a convenience store same area. Restaurants all along the island (ask Shelly for recommendations). Walk the beach for great shells and water watching! Dolphins make their rounds usually twice daily. People fish from shore or a mini water wall down the beach a little ways. Great bike and running/walking paths. Kyaking tours locally, sunset excursions. Shoppping further down island, some bars towards Bradenton Beach (although we always hung at the cottage or the firepit at night with fellow cottagers!)

Weather: we went last week of March last year and first week of April this year: perfect! Water is cool, but swimmable once you get used to it- swim to just past the first sand bar and snorkel for sand dollars in abundance! Warm days and slightly cool nights, no need for air conditioning! (although the cotages have window units!)

Amenities: these are self catering cottages, so have really beach/cottage appropriiate linens. Kitchens are outfitted with all supplies- we have a gourmet group and drove down to bring special knives/blenders/processors etc. but not necessary for normal cooking. If you ever need extra "anything" look in the laundry "hut" between cottages 1-3 (I think). TP/paper towels/soap/dishsoap etc all provided! New addition: awesom Krups coffee makers!

And, if you have any issue- talk to Shelly- she will fix immediately! We had some ants one morning, and before we were up and on our way for the day, she had an exterminator there.

Great experience, wonderful time. This has been booked as an annual event with friends.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Portland, Maine
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

In my other reviews, I've been as objective as possible. I make no claim to objectivity in this review at all. This was our second trip to RW, and it just got better. We plan to make it our annual winter trip for as long as it lasts. More on that later.

We enjoyed our 2012 trip so much, we got married there this year. This may be the prettiest, quietest strip of beach in all Florida. Shelley and her aide de camp, Kelly put together an impromptu wedding on a moment's notice, knowing nothing more about the bride and groom than a few scant details we had provided about our sketchy, half-formed plans. The residents of the 8 cottages, completely of their own accord, provided champagne, applause, and kind wishes. We all shared a beautiful sunset. It was the very best example of strangers becoming friends for a few wonderful moments.

But, enough about us and how smitten we are with the place. Here's what's really good about Rolling Waves: There once was a Florida, back in the early 70s when I lived a few miles from RW, that was a gentler, less populous place. Bradenton and Sarasota were just starting to become popular with the retirement crowd and condos were rare. Supermarkets were Florida chains rather than corporate giants. Kids rode bikes, shot bottle rockets into salt water marshes and hunted snakes, and Silver Springs and Weeki Wachi still had no algae and manatees were things you saw walking home from school, which kids actually did once in America.

Rolling Waves cottages were built, I would guess, in the late 50s or early 60s. They harken to a time when AC meant a "swamp cooler" or evaporative cooling unit was built into the attic of every house. They have one, or two, or three outlets per room. They're small. They're 50 meters from the Gulf of Mexico, so when they have been closed up for a couple of days, they get musty. The blinds are old and wooden in some of the cottages. Frankly, if your metric of hotel/ motel comfort is W or Marriott, you may not like this. From a selfish point of view, I hope you don't. I would like to think that I can always find these Hemingwayesque cottages, that others choose to bypass in favor of something more sophisticated. I'll be happily airing out my cottage and heading to the nicest beach in SW Florida to read a book.

The management is better than almost any place you have stayed. There's a fully stocked supermarket and liquor store a couple miles up the road. The local restaurants are great. You can cook burgers, make Margaritas, sit on the beach, read a book...there are no Spring Breakers...if you must get the name of your Tequila tattooed across your butt, this not your vacation spot.

At night, there is a fire pit that is stocked with wood. All you gotta do is light it. And look at the stars. And dodge the smoke. You've done this before.

Bike rentals are a mile up the road.

Supermarkets are nearby and really well stocked, but not cheap.

Liquor stores are well stocked with great prices.

My fear, and I'm totally editorializing at this point, is that the owner of this gem might sell to the right buyer who would raze the cottages and build some castle on the beach that would make 2 or 3 people happy and leave hundreds longing for the simpler times described herein. Places like this are rare as hen's teeth.

If your goal is a Florida vacation to reminisce with your spouse, kids, friends, or whatever, come to Rolling Waves. If you seek sophisticated, expensive, trendy...please go elsewhere and leave this gem to those of us who love our diamonds unpolished.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

My husband and I loved our stay at Rolling Waves! We stayed in Cottage 5, and it by far exceeded all of our needs. We loved how we were right on the beach. We spent most of our afternoons either on the beach or laying in the Hammock. We were also grateful that the heat worked in the cottage as it got pretty chilly during our stay. It was by far the most relaxing spring break we have had. The location was great because Publix was right down the street, and we were able to go to dinner at St. Armands a couple nights as well. In addition, check-in and check-out went so smoothly, which made our vacation that much better as there were no hiccups. My parents live in the area and are also planning on staying at Rolling Waves in the near future; for a small getaway trip. We look forward to staying at Rolling Waves in the Future!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobe Sound, Florida
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Just got back from staying at Rolling Waves and loved it! Can't wait to go back with my family in the fall. Shelly was so friendly, even though she was sick, and couldn't have made our stay any better.
The cottage we were in, #3, was so nice and quaint! It fit us perfectly, my mom and sister in the bedroom and I on the futon. We had a great deck in the back, off the kitchen.
Shelly has the place looking so nice from the hammock and "sunset" table to the firepit at night. There are twinkling lights on the trees at night which really gives the place a great look.
The beach is beautiful and the sunsets!!!!!!!!!!!!
This was a trip with my mom and sister but I definately want to go back with my family sometime in the fall.

If you're looking for a great place to stay, nothing fancy but just what you need and only steps to the gulf - head to Rolling Waves!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

it was excellent! we had six people in cabin #1 and plenty of room. It was the perfect location and it was very homey and comfortable. We felt safe here and Shelley is an excellent source of information. The firepit and beach were very relaxing and we all absolutely loved it. I can't wait to come back again!

Room Tip: higher numbers closer to the beach
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rolling Waves Cottages

Address: 6351 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, FL 34228
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Longboat Key
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Longboat Key
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rolling Waves is a quaint Longboat Key getaway, where cozy cottages give way to the white sands of one of Florida's most picturesque private beaches. Each cottage has a full kitchen, separate bedroom, bathroom, sitting room, AC unit, and outdoor seating area with BBQ. The beach and ocean are only steps away from your front door. We also have a large beachside fire pit, lounge chairs and laundry. Enjoy your next vacation in your own private cottage at the beach! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rolling Waves Cottages Hotel Longboat Key

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