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“Small but great” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gulf Beach Resort Motel

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Gulf Beach Resort Motel
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930 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 46 Hotels in Sarasota
Marlton, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Small but great”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

The beach location is wonderful and the "Tiki Hut" really great for getting out of the sun. Not being in a hi-rise definitely has it's benefits if you don't miss the views. Not crowded either unless you consider visits by snowy egrets and blue herons crowded! Nice pool. Clean, comfortable accommodations and friendly staff. We had unit 204B which was clean, had everything we needed/wanted. It was a bit small however we didn't spend much time inside so it was fine. Nice screened porch to enjoy also, just a general friendly atmosphere. Enjoyed our stay, will return and would recommend. Cannot beat the value for your dollar.

Room Tip: There are units closer to the beach that are two stories - they are larger I think but if you are lo...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
GulfBeachMotel, Manager at Gulf Beach Resort Motel, responded to this review, May 24, 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review about your stay at Gulf Beach Resort Motel. It sounds like this may have been your first visit with us and we certainly appreciate all of your kind comments. I'm glad you were able to enjoy your encounters with our "part-time" guests. The birds have been coming to Gulf Beach for many, many years and are always welcomed by staff and guests. Most people enjoy that we are not a high rise building and that you can access the beach by simply walking out of your front door. We appreciate your recommendation and look forward to having you return to stay with us again!
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147 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    48
    78
    11
    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
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English first
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2014

The wife and I went down to Sarasota to see her sister get married on the beach at Gulf Beach Resort Motel and had an excellent time. Staff was friendly and helpful. All the maids smiled and asked how I was at every passing, and the front of the desk guy was really cool. Amenities were standard for a motel; mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, etc. I had the opportunity to peak inside several of the other rooms and I noticed that a lot of them had kitchens with stoves and full sized refrigerators/freezers. I also noticed that no two rooms were alike, which I thought was pretty neat. It seemed like they were in a slow process of renovating the place room by room. Ours was one of the newer ones, and my only complaint was that the bed was a little uncomfortable. The highlight of the place for me was its immediate access to an awesome beach, where me and my goddess spent most of our time. There was a cool tiki-bar type place within short walking distance that we ended up frequenting often.

Overall, this place is awesome and I would love to return again soon.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GulfBeachMotel, Manager at Gulf Beach Resort Motel, responded to this review, May 3, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your stay at Gulf Beach Resort Motel. I appreciate your comments about our staff. They all take pride in their jobs and make every effort possible to make each guest's stay as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. We are unique in that each room is decorated differently which makes it possible to accommodate almost anyone's needs. It sounds like you enjoyed our beach and some of the restaurants and bars that are within walking distance of our property. It was such a pleasure to have your friends and family stay with us while celebrating a wedding on our beach. I hope that you will return to visit with us again and enjoy all the different venues that this area has to offer.
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florida
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

Just returned from spending a night at the Gulf Beach Resort Motel. We loved it! It is quiet and calm in comparison to the tumult of the St. Armand's Circle area. It is close to downtown Sarasota: we went to the ballet last night. The staff is friendly. Our room was smallish but plenty large enough for two. It was nicely furnished with a full kitchen, granite counters, which we didn't even use. Best of all it is on the Gulf of Mexico and a brief walk out the door has you on the beach with your own books, snacks & whatever goodies you want for company. You really feel like you are stepping back in time at this motel (in a good way!!) Following shortcuts, you can walk to St. Armands. When in Sarasota, we will return here.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GulfBeachMotel, Manager at Gulf Beach Resort Motel, responded to this review, April 28, 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review about your stay at Gulf Beach Resort Motel. It sounds like this may have been your first visit with us and I am so glad you discovered us! Most of our units do have fully equipped kitchens which make it easy to keep beverages and snacks handy for spending the day at the beach or preparing meals to enjoy on your patio or at the outside tables. I'm glad you were able to attend and enjoy the ballet. Sarasota offers such a variety of cultural activities and events that our proximity to the downtown area makes it easy to participate and enjoy all the options. We are so happy that you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to having you return to stay with us again!
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

This is my second time staying at the Gulf Beach Resort. Last year I stayed with my husband and 4 yr old son. This year just my son and I visited April 15th thru the 22nd. I can not say enough great things about this wonderful treasure and so happy to know it is on the historic registry.

Yes, it is an older property but it adds to the vintage charm. You are so close to the beach that it is heavenly. You couldn't miss the beautiful sunsets if you tried. The rooms are clean and spotless. The staff goes out of there way to be friendly and helpful.

St Armands is right around the corner for great dining and shopping. Also the Lido Key Tiki Bar is a few steps down the beach.

Rooms are more than reasonably priced, especially for this exceptional location. We will definitely be returning next year. Thanks for another great vacation!

Room Tip: Wall unit air conditioners are a bit noisy while sleeping so be prepared.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
GulfBeachMotel, Manager at Gulf Beach Resort Motel, responded to this review, April 28, 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review about your experience at Gulf Beach Resort Motel. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay last year and chose to return to visit with us again. Your comments about our property are very much appreciated as I know our all of our staff works very hard to make each guest's stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. It sounds like you took advantage of all the things our beautiful little key in Sarasota has to offer. We certainly look forward to having you return to stay with us again next year!
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Roanoke, Virginia
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2014

Amazing! This motel is truly a little slice of heaven on the Gulf Coast. We originally were to be there 2 nights, but we enjoyed it so much we took advantage of a cancellation they had and stayed an extra night. This is truly a throwback to "old Florida" as they call it. If you want glitzy, over-priced rooms with perks you probably won't use there are other places nearby. If you want to stay in a clean, comfortable room on the beach the Gulf Beach Resort is the best combination of excellence and value.

We were in Room 314 our first two nights and it was wonderful. From our balcony, we could watch the sun go down. There are several such balcony rooms (a shared balcony) where you can have this gorgeous view. The room itself was clean and more than adequate for our needs. The kitchen area was small, but generously supplied with cookware. The bed was extremely comfortable.

Our 3rd night was spent in room 309 which is an absolute gem. The view is unbeatable for the price. A very spacious 2-bedroom which was more than the two of us needed, but we were glad to spend the extra for another night at this wonderful, family-oriented resort. We were truly just a few steps from the sand.

We are already trying to figure out if we can get back down there this summer. Greg, Karen, and the all of the staff we met were gracious and accommodating. If you want a long laundry list of on-site restaurants, workout rooms, etc., this isn't your place. If you want to enjoy a great time at a beautiful beach I can't imagine doing better than the Gulf Beach Resort.

Room Tip: Ask about the rooms with ocean view balconies. They are just a little more than the ones further bac...
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GulfBeachMotel, Manager at Gulf Beach Resort Motel, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review about your stay at Gulf Beach Resort Motel. All of our staff takes pride in making each guest's stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible so I do appreciate your comments about the state of the rooms and your experience with our employees. It is nice to hear that you were able to enjoy our beautiful sunsets and beach. We do not have some of the amenities that some of the larger hotels have but we try to keep the property true to its original intent, to provide families with an affordable vacation spot. I certainly hope that you will be able to return to visit with us this summer. You may even experience a turtle nesting on our beach!
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Standish, Maine
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

I love the location and the low key nature of the motel. It is great to be able to walk out the door right to your car or the beach without having to go through a lobby and pass a lot of people. However, I would NEVER stay in Rm. 109 again. The mattress was terrible. My husband got back aches and I had trouble sleeping. We moved to Rm. 111 and it was SO much nicer for only $10 more. I loved sitting in the sunny screened-in porch in the morning, walking the beach, going to the tiki bar a few hotels over, kayaking in the bayou, walking in the nature parks, and visiting shops and restaurants; Louie's Modern in Sarasota was great and we love Tommy Bahamas at the Circle. We saw two dolphins on the morning we were leaving.

Room Tip: The rooms are all different. Look at pictures on website. Just don't select Rm 109. The mattress...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GulfBeachMotel, Manager at Gulf Beach Resort Motel, responded to this review, April 14, 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review about your stay at Gulf Beach Resort Motel. It sounds like you were able to enjoy a lot of the activities that our area offers. There are so many areas for kayaking that people seem to love exploring. Our proximity to St. Armands Circle makes it a popular shopping and dining spot without having to go very far. I am sorry that you had a bad experience with the bed in your unit. We will definitely investigate the condition of the mattress and make every effort to correct the situation. I certainly hope that you will return to visit with us again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

As advertised, this motel is a throwback to the 60's. Room was small, but super clean. Everything worked. Guests were quiet and friendly. What's great about this place is it's location on the beach. Not across the street, or over a long boardwalk, or behind the dunes. It is right on the beach. Awesome.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
GulfBeachMotel, Manager at Gulf Beach Resort Motel, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your stay with us at Gulf Beach Resort Motel. We love the fact that our guests are so friendly and happy to be here. We've seen a lot of friendships formed among guests that have lasted for many, many years. So much so that they plan their vacations to all be here at the same time. It's also fun for the staff to see people return year after year. One of our best features is that our property is right on the beach. Guests can walk out their door and feel the sand beneath their feet not far from their unit. I appreciate that you chose Gulf Beach Resort as your vacation destination and we look forward to having you return to stay with us again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gulf Beach Resort Motel

Address: 930 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Sarasota
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 46 Hotels in Sarasota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located directly on Lido Beach in Sarasota, Florida. Private beach and heated pool. Most units have fully equipped kitchens and private screened in porches. Each unit is uniquely decorated and we offer a variety of choices to suit your needs. We are within walking distance of renowned St. Armand's Circle shopping and restaurant district. We are the perfect place for family and class reunions, weddings, family vacations or just to get away for some special time with each other. ... more   less 

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