Seaside Beach Resort - Anna Maria Island
Serviced Apartment in Bradenton, FL
Luxury Ocean-View Apartment
Luxury Ocean-View Apartment
According to the catchy TV ad for booking.com, luxury is a very individual thing.
It can be a fluffy white robe in your hotel room, a spa that does Indian head massages, or beds as soft as the down on a swan’s back. But for me, an uninterrupted sea view through floor to ceiling windows and a purely private space on the beach below with my own designated, cushioned lounger is luxury indeed.
Last January I opted for the ultimate beach base in the penthouse apartment of the appropriately-named, Seaside, on one of the small, but perfectly-formed Florida Gulf coast islands, Anna Maria.
This little bit of paradise has the best of both worlds – a laid-back, unhurried atmosphere, perfect beach and sea plus a smattering of great dining and fun things to do all just a few steps away from the luxury apartment.
With one very spacious bedroom with TV, a fully-fitted kitchen, open-plan lounge/diner and a vast, private balcony, this is an ideal location either for a romantic getaway for two, or a family holiday or group trip. As well as the comfortable king-size bed in the bedroom, there are two queen sleeper sofas in the living room, making the penthouse easily large enough for six. Decorated in bright tropical style, it is spotlessly clean, a particular pride of the management.
There is a very large TV with cable and HBO in the lounge as well as a DVD player, although you might have to drag your eyes from the spectacular views across the Gulf of Mexico especially the gorgeous sunsets. Free Wi-Fi keeps you in contact with the outside world, if that’s what you want, as well as free local/long-distance phone calls. Also, if you are not catering for yourself every day, Seaside’s sister resort The Tortuga Inn just across the road has Le Petit Café takeaway for snacks and full meals if you want. There are many excellent restaurants and eateries within walking distance too. A well-stocked Publix supermarket is a couple of minutes’ drive away.
The island is just seven miles long and you can leave your car behind to explore by taking the free trolley service which runs every 20 minutes from 6:00am to 10:30pm, or as near as ‘island time’ allows. There are three separate areas on the island, Bradenton Beach in the south, where Seaside sits closest to the waves, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria itself with its 100-year-old city pier and many quaint shops and restaurants.
Thankfully there are no high-rise buildings here, three stories is the tallest. A party island it is not, there’s even a law preserving quiet time between 10:00pm and 7:00am.
Staying at Seaside, with its private stretch of beach gives you a feeling of exclusivity. The pool is fairly small, but private, and often you find yourself the only one luxuriating in its warm waters. But guests have the option to use the bigger pools at The Tortuga Inn, or any of the other resorts within the group close by.
It’s great not to have to rush down at 6:00am to ‘bag’ your lounger, because it is your designated spot with uninterrupted views of the sea, which, incidentally is a crystal-clear light green colour. If you must have exercise, take a walk along the water’s edge or even join a free open-air yoga class on the sand.
This really is a perfect place that I’ll return to again and again.
Ruth Brindle specialises in travel to Florida and is a theme park veteran
Photographs courtesy of Anna Maria Island Resorts
|Reviewer's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Services||Housekeeping, Washer & Dryer, Fully Equipped Kitchen, Free High Speed Internet, Swimming Pool, Parking|
|Number of Rooms||There are seven studio apartments on the ground floor, two hotel rooms on the penthouse floor and one large penthouse.|
The Penthouse (sleeps 6) has a full kitchen with an electric range, microwave, toaster, coffee maker and a dishwasher. The Gulf Front Studios (sleeps 4) have kitchenettes with sinks, mid-size refrigerators, hot plates, microwaves, toasters and coffee makers. The Gulf Front Rooms (sleeps 2) have mini-kitchens with mini-fridges, microwaves and coffee makers.
Laid-back, relaxed island atmosphere, nothing is too much trouble for the friendly staff.
Last updated on 16-03-2015