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“Historic and Lovely”

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Gasparilla Inn & Club
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Boca Grande
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 February 2012

This beautiful old inn is worlds apart from the overblown luxury resorts that one associates with Florida. In fact, it may disappoint travelers accustomed to the luxury found in hotels like the Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton. It reminded us of New England Inns such as the Equinox in Manchester VT or the Harbor View in Martha's Vineyard. Our room was pleasant but unremarkable, but the public spaces are spacious and lovely. The staff was friendly and helpful, and their service charge removes the nuisance of tipping. The little town of Boca Grande is another charmer. When you pass from the typical Florida strip malls on the way in onto the island and into this town it seems as if you've entered a time warp. If you are a golfer, I can guarantee that a round on their golf course will be one of the most memorable in your experience. We used their main dining room only for breakfast, and you will probably be better off dining in town.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank elfhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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265 - 271 of 315 reviews

Reviewed 10 February 2012

I spent a long weekend at the Gasparilla in December. It was such a wonderful experience. The inn is beautiful. It is a mix of Southern-style charm and elegance. The service was impeccable! The room was very nice. The bed was extremely comfortable. I would highly recommend it. I really hated to leave.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank vegas0ne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2012

We spent a long weekend at Gasparilla in January, and it was a wonderful experience! The Inn and surrounding cottages are charming. The Inn and rooms are decorated beautifully and we found ample space in the typical inn room. We also rented a cottage, which was a nice way to organize a family trip. We used the cottage to gather before dinner for cocktails, etc. The beach club was fantastic. We enjoyed the spa, fitness center and lunch buffet offered at the club. The entire Inn property was immaculate and extremely enjoyable. It was also great to rent bicycles for exploring the island. Staff was friendly and provided wonderful service. We would definitely visit again!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank SouthernTraveler127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2012

Ignore the pretensions of the hotel's website and stay at this hotel!! The old, Victorian shingled hotel has been renovated to perfection. The staff could not have been more helpful or welcoming. The rooms themselves (we had a King superior) were high ceilinged, light and comfortable. Our bed was very comfortable and the sheets and towels light and fluffy. The bathrooms were old fashioned in design, but totally functional and charming. There is comfortable seating and tons of light everywhere. Wireless internet, ping pong tables, nooks and crannies for hanging out and relaxing. The facilities are wonderful -- well maintained, scenic golf course, a spectacular beach club and lovely well kept tennis courts. This is a true, old fashioned resort experience for young and old alike. There is a lovely playground right on the green in front of the main hotel, bicycles and golf carts to get around the island. The demographic is OLD -- and I am sure it is because of the silly promotional materials -- but the facilities, the lovely decoration and the staff make this a resort experience that will appeal to all age groups. It has become our new "happy place".

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank pfpedersen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

We (two adults, three kids) stayed here over spring break 2011 for a week. I'll list some pros and cons, but overall we had a very nice experience and will likely return.

Pros:
• Old-school country club feel, but friendly, relaxed culture. We felt it was a nice blend of civility, luxury and Florida beach culture.
• Beautiful hotel, with several nice common areas to mix with other guests
• Cottage layout was nice, giving us a large common living room with TV and fireplace (this is a nice departure from just having several adjoining hotel rooms at most resorts)
• Food and service was excellent. We had several great dinners in the dining hall and the Pink Elephant
• Decent wifi and cell coverage
• Rates includes coffee & treats in the morning, plus tea & treats in the afternoon.
• Nicely integrated into town, giving guests the ability to eat casual meals (especially important with kids). Our favorite was Sisters, especially its pizza.
• The hotel & town reminded us of La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and the town of La Jolla Shores, CA. Nice, but laid back feel. To be clear, this is not a resort walled off from the town. Some people looking for ultra exclusivity might dislike this aspect. Golf, tennis, hotel and beach club are spread out and mixed in with other private houses, condos, businesses, etc.
• Beach Club is nice (though far from Vegas-style luxury), wasn't crowded and has a nice, though expensive lunch. Kids game room is a welcomed outlet for kids to escape the sun
• Beach was pretty, not crowded. Good shelling
• Golf course is easily accessible, scenic and rarely crowded
• Good fishing charter options nearby
• Decent playground for little kids
• Housekeeping was great and flexible to our schedule
• Several flight options to get best rates (Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers)

Cons:
• While we had great weather (sunny, low 80s), it can change quickly and is not predictable this time of year. Gulf water was pretty cold (high 60s). If you need guaranteed warm weather, go to the Caribbean.
• Meal options are expensive and only provide good value when you're pretty hungry (especially breakfast). Local restaurants are a much better value, especially for breakfast and lunch.
• Wind blows frequently on golf course. Several days we had a multi-club wind, which we heard is quite common. They also don't have lower greens fees for afternoon or nine holes. With little kids, this is pretty frustrating and unfair towards families that golf.
• Beach is narrow at beach club, dropping off sharply from beach chair area. This means you can't see your kids playing on the beach while sitting in a beach chair. If you have little kids, this is an important consideration. Water also gets deep pretty quickly. This seems to be related to the club's sea wall, as the beach surrounding the club widens out and is more little kid friendly
• Pretty gusty winds at beach on some days. The club should consider clear, plexiglass wind barriers to protect sunbathers. These are quite affordable given the high-end club experience they are trying to provide and quite common at other resorts
• Lunch at beach is nice, but not a good value ($24pp) unless it's your only meal for the day. I would prefer some burger/sandwich only options.
• Hotel/cottages are not beach front. This didn't bother us, but may be a deal killer for some.
• Pricing of cottages is unfair to families. They charged extra for three kids in one room (over $100/night, I believe) and charged separately for a roll away ($50/night). At a minimum, if you charge extra for a third kid (which they shouldn't) it should include the roll away.
• We were told everyone in each room had to be on the meal plan or not at all. This is unfair to families that have an older child than wants to be on meal plan and a younger one that doesn't eat enough to justify the meal plan cost. This caused us not to do the meal plan at all, which actually worked out well since we enjoyed the dining options in town.
• Walking around resort requires crossing several public roads. While traffic was minimal and drivers were courteous, parents with little kids might dislike this
• Zero nightlife, other than a great dinner!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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11  Thank weltraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2012

The hotel was amazing! They had so many thoughtful little gestures like water bottles on bedside nighttable during turndown service. There were so many fun rooms in the hotel to explore, pool room, reading rooms, ping pong portch. The gym/spa was paradise. Super clean and relaxing. We even played bingo with the other guests one night that the hotel sets up! There were lots of kids so if you have kids they will find friends, if you don't have kids and want a more quiet adult centric environment maybe not the place for you. This could also be due to the fact that it was Thanksgiving so big families were gathering together. Regardless, its a great weekend getaway. The whole island of Boca grande is charming with the lighthouse and shops and restaurants..

  • Stayed: November 2011
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1  Thank ashleychloetravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2011

My husband and I stayed here in October and had an absolutely wonderful time. We've been wanting to come here for years but the cost has always kept us away. After seeing a special deal on their website, we decided to come. Now we can't wait to return.

The hotel and the rooms are luxurious. But in an "Old Florida" style. The hotel is not showy or flashy or gaudy or ostentatious. I have a hard time understanding some of the more recent reviews that say the hotel is tired, dated, and dingy. I completely disagree. The only way these reviews make sense is if someone is comparing this hotel to a completely brand-new, ultra-modern, hip, boutique hotel - because that is not the Gasparilla Inn. And who would want it to be? The whole charm of the place is that it is understated luxury and "Old Florida." It is chic, not garish. If you want to go to a Marriott, then go to a Marriott. But if you want to experience a taste of sophisticated Florida from a bygone era, then come to The Gasparilla Inn.

The sevice is perfect. The staff is polite and friendly and always there to help. I've stayed in plenty of fancy, modern hotels and I haven't seen service like this in years.

The bed was wonderful. Tempurpedic beds and super soft linens. Fluffy towels. Turn-down sevice. A bottle of water that you can drink without being charged like they do in the modern style hotels. All very luxurious. I wouldn't change a thing.

Lots of space in the hotel to roam around, sit down and read a book, play pool/billiards in the wood-paneled pool room (what modern hotel has a billiards room?), sit in the bar and enjoy a drink, or sit on the front porch in a rocking chair.

And the crowning glory is the golf course. Oh, what a golf course! Golf heaven, really. If you like golf you must play this course. It is surrounded by water as it is on the bay. A great design. If you have a loved one who likes golf, you must surprise them with a stay here, since that is the only way you can play the course.

The only part about the hotel that I wasn't into was the restaurant. It was nice, we ate there one night, and the service was perfect and the food was good. But for the price (very expensive) I didn't think it was worth it. But that might just be me - I don't like to spend huge amounts of money on dinner. Personally, I don't need the white tablecloth and overly-attentive service.

The beach club that is across the street is also part of the hotel. They have a decent gym, a lap pool, a spa with saunas and steam rooms and massages, and another pool that is by the beach. Watching the sunset from the beach club is very nice. One drawback that we encountered was the red tide. I see that another reviewer mentioned it. The red tide is not there all the time and only happens once in a while, but when it is there it does detract from the whole experience. There were a bunch of dead fish on the beach, due to the red tide, when we were there and you wouldn't want to sit out on the beach where the water laps up. For us, being from Florida and living near the beach, this wasn't a big problem. But if I had come all the way from up north hoping to spend time frolicking on the beach, I would have been disappointed. I suggest you call ahead of time and make sure red tide isn't going to be a problem. Just know, though, that the beach club is a little set back from the acual beach so even if it is red tide, you can still enjoy the beach club and the pool.

One of the reviewers mentioned how hot it was. Well, yes, Florida can be very hot and humid in the summer. It is like that everywhere in Florida. We live in Florida and are used to it and we will play golf in the middle of the day in summer. But it is not the ideal condition. You will sweat a lot. In the summer, it is much better to play in the early morning and at the end of the day. Florida can be tough in the middle of the summer. But Florida is absolutely gorgeous in every other season.

The town is very cute and there are about 5 other restaurants that you can go to. There isn't a whole lot to do, other than golf (and fish - it is apparently a big tarpon fishing place, but I don't know when the season for that is and I don't know anything about fishing) and relax and sit in the sun. If you are looking for action and a modern glitzy place, then this isn't for you. However, if you are into golf and if you like experiencing "Old Florida" and if you want some old-style luxury, then this is the perfect place for you. My husband and I are already planning for next year to scope out the hotel's website to look for another special deal so that we can come again.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Morel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gasparilla Inn & Club

Address: 500 Palm Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921
Region: United States > Florida > Southwest Gulf Coast > Boca Grande
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Boca Grande
Price Range: $313 - $760 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 139
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Gasparilla Inn & Club is pleased to welcome you to relax and enjoy one of the oldest and most unique premiere destinations on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Opened in 1913, the historic Inn has always greeted guests with warm hospitality, a tranquil atmosphere and a picturesque setting. Guests are offered a host of spectacular resort amenities and activities while basking in the Florida sun and enjoying the Inn's "old-Florida" charm. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Gasparilla Inn & Club Hotel Boca Grande
Gasparilla Inn And Club
Gasparilla Hotel Boca Grande
Gasparilla Resort Boca Grande
Gasparilla Inn Boca Grande
Gasparilla Inn Florida
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande, Florida

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