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Longboat Key and The Resort at Longboat Key Club
Article by: Norm Goldman
Paintings by: Lily Azerad-Goldman
Located on a barrier island just off the coast of Sarasota in the Gulf of Mexico is paradise
personified, Longboat Key.
This private island is only 7 miles from the Sarasota/Bradenton airport and a 2- hour drive from Orlando.
Eleven miles of sandy white beachfront, overlooking the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, provides the ideal
location rekindling those dormant love passions.
With a population of only 8,000 permanent residents, and the absence of t-shops, noisy traffic, mini-malls, fast
food outlets, neon signs and everything else that is horrendous in many beachfront communities, Longboat Key well
deserves its renowned reputation as an ideal get-away for families and couples.
The first inhabitants of Long Boat Key are believed to be the Timucan and Caloosa tribes. In 1539 the Spanish explorer
Hernando DeSoto landed in the area with
his men in their longboats; more dramatically, however, Jean Lafitte from New Orleans, who was called the gentleman pirate, used this area in the 1800's.
In the early 1920's, John Ringling of circus fame purchased considerable acreage on the south end of the island.
Ringling constructed a golf course and planted Australian pine trees along Gulf of Mexico Drive. He also began
construction of a luxurious hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on New Pass, which he eventually abandoned, and invested,
instead, in The John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in
Thanks to the Arvida Company that the development of the island, and its transformation into a first class resort
destination, was initiated in 1956.
Accommodations may be plentiful in Longboat Key; however, there are very few that can boast having an AAA Four-Diamond
rating that eloquently captures the beauty and spirit of this corner of the globe.
The Resort at Longboat Key Club rightfully merits
their superstar classification, when you consider its dramatic vantage point overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
The history of this resort dates back over 40 years, when Longboat Key Club commenced operations as a country club
with 18 holes of golf.
In 1982 the Resort at Longboat Key Club was built as part of a planned development that included condos, private
residences, an expanded country club and a resort.
You have to admit you are truly pampered when the 232 elegant rooms and suites provide everything from full kitchens,
refrigerators with ice makers, Cable TV and movies-on-demand, Internet access and data port access, hair dryers
and bathrobes, iron and ironing boards, coffee makers and mini bars, a twice-daily housekeeping service, including
a nightly turndown service.
Here everyone is made to feel at home.
Guests relax in an atmosphere comparable to a country club with a private beach, 45 holes of championship onsite
golf, 38 tennis courts (6 lighted for night play), a fitness center with massage therapies, heated pool and Jacuzzi,
sail boats, rafts, boogies boards, bicycles, a double beach lounger, daily delivery of newspaper and coffee.
Added to all of this is the sprawling outdoor heated pool providing a perfect place to bask in the sun, leaving
thoughts of travel and everyday stress behind.
Just steps away the patio bar features refreshing drinks and casual meals.
What more can you ask for?
As the day winds down, many guests regroup at the resort's signature Sands Pointe restaurant, the 2002 recipient
of the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine.
Before enjoying the restaurant's culinary delights and relaxed atmosphere, guests can take in the first glimpse
of the picture-perfect sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. You may even get lucky and spot the mysterious Green Flash,
said to be the last rays of the sun jumping off the lower atmosphere after the sunsets.
Or, if you prefer, you can enjoy in-suite dining, due to in-room service provided from 7 A.M to Midnight.
Each room has a large private balcony with a spectacular view of the beach, lagoon or golf course. Breakfasting
on your balcony enwrapped in a bathrobe supplied by the resort and watching the sunrise's reflections over the
Gulf of Mexico is something you won't want to miss.
As evening falls, the famous Florida's West Coast's sunsets put on a spectacular show that is likewise best seen
from the privacy of your balcony, especially while sipping those sweet cocktails prepared in the comfort of your
What a sensuous ending to a memorable day of fun and relaxation!
For those celebrating a special event or occasion, you can take advantage of some of the various packages offered,
such as the Island Romance or Stay and Play family package.
There is also a year around "Kids Klub" for children ages 5-12 from Monday through Saturday. Activities
include crafts, tennis, golf, and field trips to the movies, Jungle Gardens, Mote Marine, bowling and a near-by
If there is such a phenomena as a storybook wedding, you certainly have come to the right place.You can have a
rehearsal dinner, reception, on premise wedding, post wedding brunch, entertainment, linens, plant rental, room
décor, on-site photographer, and an on site Florist.
It is a sort of place that one dreams about when thinking about the perfect wedding environment that satisfies
just about all of your whims.
One caveat, after you have savoured the elegance and beauty of The Resort at Longboat Key Club, you may not want
to go home. It is indeed a legendary resort for romance.
Address: 301 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, Florida, 34228
Tel: (888) 237-5545
Web Site: www.longboatkeyclub.com
Norm and Lily Goldman are a unique husband and wife team, writer and water colorist, who write and paint about romantic destinations. You can see more of Norm and Lily's work at their website sketchandtravel.com