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Terrific Florida Gulf Coast Hotels and Places to Stay in Southwest Florida • McCool Travel

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Terrific Florida Gulf Coast Hotels and Places to Stay in Southwest Florida • McCool Travel

Our favorite Florida Gulf Coast hotels suggestion list will help visitors navigate and decide from among the thousands of amazing hotels, inns, vacation rentals, and other places to stay in Southwest Florida.

These Florida Gulf Coast destinations—from Marco Island in the south end to Dunedin at the top—include Naples, Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Punta Gorda, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, and Clearwater Beach.

Links for each property connect directly to pages listing research rates, reviews, and information on Booking.com, VRBO, or TripAdvisor. We MIGHT receive a VERY small commission if you book a stay. Note that the rate is the same whether you book through our link, directly with the website, or through a different link.

Our Favorite Best Naples Florida Hotel

Our favorite hotel in Naples Florida is Inn on Fifth, the only luxury hotel located in the heart of downtown Naples.

suite at Inn on Fifth in Naples Florida
suite at Inn on Fifth in Naples Florida

The Inn on Fifth is within walking distance of the beach, shops and amazing restaurants on Fifth Avenue and Third Street, and Tin City. They also provide elegant and complimentary transport service to guests, up to two miles from the property. For an enhanced experience, book one of the Inn on Fifth Club Level Suites, with a private balcony, rooftop deck (with pool and hot tub), and dedicated concierge lounge (great snacks and drinks).

Other Florida Gulf Coast Hotels in Naples and Marco Island

Collier County has 115 hotels and condos, including 66 in Naples and 24 in Marco Island, according to the local tourism office. The following are some favorite Southwest Florida places to stay in Naples and Marco Island.

Our favorite moderate hotel in Naples Florida is Lemon Tree Inn. It is located a few blocks from Fifth Avenue. Across the street is Bellasera Resort, an elegant property with oversized suites.

Several relaxed luxury Florida resorts in Naples warrant consideration. On Vanderbilt Beach, The Ritz-Carlton Naples is magnificent and its sister property, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, is perfect for golf lovers. Naples Grande Resort is a short walk to the Waterside Shops. Inn at Pelican Bay is a four-diamond boutique hotel located a mile from Vanderbilt Beach and walking distance to many great restaurants and shops.

Other highly-ranked independent small hotels in Naples are The Gondolier Inn, Trianon Old Naples, Naples Bay Resort and Marina, Hotel Escalante, and Inn of Naples.

Highly-rated Naples Florida hotel properties include Staybridge Suites Naples Marco Island, Holiday Inn Express Naples Downtown, Hilton Naples, Springhill Suites Naples, Hyatt House Naples.

This Old Naples Barefoot Bungalow is in a superb location, just 1000 feet from Naples Pier.

The best Marco Island hotels are the Florida Gulf Coast resorts. JW Marriott Marco IslandMarco Beach Ocean Resort, and Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort are the three major Marco Island waterfront properties. This highly rated Marco Island rental home has three bedroom and a private pool.

For area travel information, please read our favorite Naples Florida restaurants and Things to Do in Marco Island.

Our Favorite Place to Stay in the Beaches of Fort Myers

In the area including Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, and Captiva Island, our favorite place to stay is South Seas Resort, located at the end of the Florida scenic drive onto Captiva Island. Occupying 330 acres of nature preserve with 2.5 miles of private beach, South Seas Resort is a tranquil but also adventurous (your choice!) waterfront resort on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Rent a golf cart so that you can explore all the secret places and hidden paths.

See our South Seas Resort review.

Captiva island sunset at South Seas Island Resort
Enjoy phenomenal Captiva island sunsets at South Seas Resort Captiva

Other Places to Stay in Fort Myers Beach area

Popular and highly rated Southwest Florida resorts on Fort Myers Beach include Lighthouse Resort, Outrigger Beach Resort, Pointe Estero Resort, and Diamond Head Beach Resort. On the islands, we have heard stellar words from friends who have stayed at Shalamar Cottages on Sanibel Island and Tween Waters Inn on Captiva Island.

Vacation rentals, especially condos, are popular on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. But there are also rental houses. This massive Sanibel Island house and this Captiva Island rental house are ideal for a multigenerational vacation, family reunion, or other event.

For more Fort Myers Beach information, please read Fun Things to Do in Fort Myers Beach.

Best Punta Gorda Hotels

Our favorite Florida Gulf Coast hotels in Punta Gorda include The Suites at Fishermen’s Village and Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside—which is located at the bridge, on the Harborwalk trail, and has onsite tiki bar. Right next to that hotel is SpringHill Suites by Marriott Punta Gorda Harborside.

See our The Suites at Fishermen’s Village review

tiki bar at Four Points Punta Gorda
tiki bar at Four Points Punta Gorda

This Punta Gorda vacation rental house is on one of the many Punta Gorda canals and allows convenient kayaking from your backyard. For remarkable sunsets from your own private outdoor space, check out this Manasota Key waterfront cottage. Get totally off the grid on Cayo Costa, an offshore tranquil island with no vehicles. This Old Florida Beach House features solar energy, fresh water, and vast stretches of private beach.

For more Punta Gorda information, please read Fun Things to Do in Punta Gorda.

Favorite Florida Gulf Coast Hotels in Sarasota

One of our favorite places to stay in Sarasota is the Casey Keys Resort (formerly called Bentley’s Boutique Hotel) in Osprey, south of Sarasota. It is located across the street from Oscar Scherer State Park and closer to Venice Beach and Caspersen Beach.

Some of the best Sarasota Hotels are Art Ovation Hotel, Carlisle Inn Sarasota, Ameniti Bay, and Casa Limonada. Luxury hotels in Sarasota include The Ritz-Carlton-Sarasota and Hyatt Residence Club Sarasota. The classic Lido Beach Resort is a Florida Gulf Coast favorite for many people.

Like most of the Florida West Coast, Sarasota County has plenty of vacation rental properties. Try this Lido Key gulf front condo near St Armonds Circle or this downtown Sarasota vacation rental.

lobster sand sculpture in Siesta Key Florida
enjoy the soft sugar sand from your Siesta Key resort

For more Sarasota information, please read Cool Things to Do in Sarasota.

Best Places to Stay on Anna Maria Island

Our favorite places to stay in Anna Maria Island are vacation rental properties. According to the local tourism agency, the 23 hotels on Anna Maria Island and the Manatee County portion of Longboat Key represent only 11% of the available rentals (570 rooms out of 5,200 units). If you are unfamiliar with vacation rentals or want more tips, see Airbnb Advantages Over Hotels.

Two Anna Maria Island vacation rentals we like are Holmes Beach cottage and this Anna Maria Island condo.

private pool and yard at Airbnb in Florida
private pool and yard at a Florida Gulf Coast vacation rental

Two recommended Anna Maria Island hotels to try include Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club and Bridgewalk.

For more Anna Maria Island information, please read Cool Things to Do in Anna Maria Island and our favorite Anna Maria Island Restaurants.

Best Places to Stay in St Pete Beach

At the southern end of St Pete Beach is a tiny community called Pass-a-Grille. One of our favorite Florida west coast hotels and a favorite place to stay in Pass-a-Grille is Coconut Inn.

Coconut Inn Pass-a-Grille at night
Coconut Inn in Pass-a-Grille is one of our favorite Florida Gulf Coast hotels

The famous “Pink Palace” of Don CeSar is three miles away and a little further is the highly rated Treasure Island Beach Resort.

For more St Pete Beach information, please read Fun Things to Do in Pass-a-Grille.

Best Clearwater Beach Hotels

Our favorite place to stay in Clearwater Beach is in the Indian Rocks Beach section. We have stayed in many Indian Rocks Beach rental properties and hope to stay in this gorgeous IRB Beach cottage next. Enjoy the magnificent Gulf Coast sunsets from this IRB beachfront condo or this gulf front condo rental. See our favorite Indian Rocks Beach Restaurants.

Of the giant oceanfront hotels in Clearwater Beach, our favorite is Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach. Other Clearwater Beach hotels include Opal Sands, Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach, Hampton Inn and Suites Clearwater Beach, and Marriott Suites on Sand Key.

sunset at Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach
sunset from Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach

The 8th floor Clearwater Beach condo rental provides sensational Florida Gulf Coast sunset views.

Best Place to Stay in Dunedin

The Fenway Hotel in Dunedin is a music-themed boutique hotel. The Fenway is a sister property of Epicurean Hotel in Tampa—which is associated with the classic Bern’s Steakhouse (one of the best Tampa restaurants). See our Fenway Hotel review and Epicurean Hotel review.

Fenway Hotel pillows
Fenway Hotel in Dunedin is a favorite hotel along the Florida West Coast

Another suggested Dunedin Florida hotel is Best Western Plus Yacht Harbor Inn. This Dunedin waterfront condo is very walkable to downtown Dunedin.

We hope you enjoyed this summary of the best Florida Gulf Coast hotels. Certainly we did not list every hotel but we definitely would like to stay in them all.

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