We stayed at the resort July 23rd thru 28th, and had one of the most enjoyable vacations we've ever had. That is saying something because my adult son is confined to a heavy power wheelchair, and travel in general can be a real hassle.
I will say we looked for weeks for an accessible place to stay as we really wanted a house, maybe one right on the beach, but we had no success. Most had a least a small step to get in, were already booked, or we could get no reply when requesting info. Sunrise Garden Resort was really perfect for us, and we're really glad we found it. We felt like we had plenty of privacy.
So my first contact with the resort was when I called and asked about accessibility, Amanda put me on hold and ran out and checked that Unit 1 would work for us. It is a king bedroom, full bath, and large living area with a bar that separates the full kitchen.
My two adult daughters shared the king bedroom. There was plenty of room in the living area for a roll away bed that I rented for my son ($45 for the whole week) and an electric hoyer lift I rented as well,($145 delivered from Davidson Drugs (941) 365-7378) to be able to get him in and out of the bed and wheelchair. I slept on the sofa, and was very comfortable. It folds out to sleep two, but I didn't pull it out as it was roomy and comfortable for me as it was.
The location of the resort is really great, less than a block from the bay side, and a 3 block walk to the beach. We didn't need to drive anywhere really, other than the Publix grocery that was awesome, by the way.
I loved that the Waterfront Restaurant, Two Scoops ice cream, and some other shops were almost adjacent to the resort. All of that was easily accessible for the wheelchair too. City Pier was especially nice to walk. We saw a large group of manta one afternoon, and beautiful sunsets.
Again, the girls that manage and work at the resort were just amazing with any questions, even my accessibility questions, which I'm sure were not the usual. There are even a couple of boat tours that offer accessible pontoon boats. We didn't get to do one only because we hadn't thought about it in advance, and they were all booked. So go ahead and ask some questions about activities when you book your stay, and be sure to get those activities booked before you get there.
Any question I asked was either answered immediately or they would say "let me make a few calls and find out." For instance, the roll away I didn't think to ask for until 4:55, right before the rental place closed. I'm not sure how they did it, but it arrived less than 20 minutes later.
Anna Maria Island is a very different place, a different time almost. It seemed like no matter the need we had, everyone really wanted the answer to be yes, and everything was just worked out. Another example of that...we ran to the Publix the first evening to get food for breakfast. We got there at 9:20, and even though they closed at 9, they were still welcoming people in. I must have seemed a little hurried when I got in. One of the workers asked if she could help me find anything and then said take your time, we are here for a while stocking and cleaning up, no hurry. Island life is genuinely a little different! Truly the first experience like that I have had, and the first vacation I have taken where I really wasn't "ready to go home and sleep in my own bed." This resort and the island were like home, only better.
also check out Island Haus Coffee, very good coffee and cute little shop. Love the Beach House Restaurant too. The ONLY thing I didn't like about the island is that the water tasted dirty or maybe sandy? to us. No worries, just drink rum! Actually we just bought plenty of spring water at the grocery. Good idea to have bottles on you while walking or being out in the heat anyway.
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- Also Known As:
- Sunrise Garden Hotel Anna Maria
- Sunrise Garden Resort Anna Maria, Anna Maria Island