Sometimes, a sweet little beach bungalow trumps a traditional hotel room or suite. A trip to idyllic Siesta Key is one of those times for many travelers. Here are our favorite beach cottages on the beautiful barrier island.
Located in the southern part of Siesta Key, Turtle Beach Resort has 10 cottages (two studios, two one-bedrooms, and six two-bedrooms) overlooking Little Sarasota Bay. The structures themselves are simple and quaint, with a hodgepodge tropical decor that is slightly kitschy. Each cottage has a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and a full-size kitchen outfitted with a full fridge, microwave, toaster oven, four-burner stove, oven, and coffeemaker. All units have a private patio facing the water, as well as a separate private courtyard with a hammock and hot tub. Guests have access to free laundry facilities; bikes, canoes, kayaks; gas grills; and a heated pool.
Siesta Key Bungalows' collection of 10 bungalows are on an isolated area on the Siesta Key inlet, sandwiched between the Heron Lagoon and Little Sarasota Bay. There is a tiny on-site beach that serves as a dock to the lagoon for kayaking and fishing. Though they could use some upgrades, the 10 bungalows are clean and simple with tiled flooring, wicker furniture, and sofa beds with white covers. The full-size kitchens have four-burner stoves, ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, coffeemakers, and tableware. Each cottage has an outdoor area (some screened), but no hammock or private hot tub, like the units at Turtle Beach. The Tortuga and the Ringling bungalows have the best views of the lagoon. A good option for couples looking to escape, the property offers a number of outdoor activities including a pool, free kayaks and bicycles, and walking trails.
Situated across the street from the gorgeous white-sand Siesta Key Beach, Beach Palms suits travelers and families in search of a quiet and relaxing stay at reasonable rates. The property is reminiscent of Old Florida and the candy colored cottages bring to mind the kaleidoscopic hues of Key West. The property consists of two main-building suites and three separate cottages. The decor is a bit dated and some items are in need of an upgrade. The cute, colorful cottages have porches and private patios and are surrounded by palm trees, lush plants, and flowers. Cottages have two bedrooms, a living room, and a fully equipped kitchen. All come with beach chairs and umbrellas, and have hammocks outside. One potential drawback of the property is that it doesn't have a pool (though it does have a communal hot tub). Guests wanting that feature might prefer Siesta Key Bungalows, which has a heated outdoor swimming pool.
Beachpoint Cottages is a laid-back, family-run complex, whose small beach bungalows come with one or two bedrooms. Each has a full kitchen (with an oven, four-burner stove, refrigerator, and all the requisite dishware and utensils), a lounge/living room area, and separate bedrooms. The appliances aren't new -- some of the ovens, in particular, are showing their wear and could use a deep clean -- but everything is functional and in good working condition. Decor is quirky and cozy, and some cottages have been more recently renovated than others. Some cottages have space for inflatable beds or include Murphy beds, guaranteeing room for larger groups and families. Self-sufficient guests will find the property a fun and relaxed place to lounge and cook, and will appreciate having access to the communal grill patio, fire pit, and tiki hut (there's no pool here, or even a hot tub, like Beach Palms). The hotel offers affordable bike and kayak rentals, laundry facilities, and free Wi-Fi.