The crystal clear seas and white sand beaches of Florida’s West Coast are calling you, but when it comes to booking your stay, the plethora of choices can be overwhelming. Does your dream vacation include a private beach, or do you prefer a luxury hotel with an outdoor pool and full service spa?
In this guide, we’ll simplify your quest for the right home base for your vacation by exploring the top ten best resorts on the Florida Gulf Coast. Our top pick, Edgewater Beach Hotel in Naples, offers incomparable service, outdoor pools, and a quiet, peaceful getaway.
By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to book the best West Coast Florida resorts—so get your credit card ready!
Top 10 West Coast Florida Resorts
- Waterline Villas and Marina, Anna Maria Island (Best Overall)
- Edison Beach House, Ft. Myers (Best Home Away From Home)
- Henderson Beach Resort, Destin (Best Family-Friendly Retreat)
- Ritz Carlton, Naples (Best Luxury Hotel)
- Portofino Island Resort and Spa, Pensacola Beach (Best for Adventurers)
- The Resort at Longboat Key Club, Longboat Key (Best Golf Resort)
- The Pearl Hotel, Rosemary Beach (Best Upscale Adult Space)
- Edgewater Beach Hotel, Naples (Best Beachfront Resort)
- Marco Beach Ocean Resort, Marco Island (Best Budget Beach Resort)
- Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater (Best for Outdoor Fun)
Best West Coast Florida Resorts
1. Best Overall – Waterline Villas and Marina, Anna Maria Island
Perched on Holmes Beach on the Florida Gulf Coast, you’ll find Waterline Villas and Marina, your very own island paradise. Surrounded by the gulf, this pet-friendly establishment is best for those seeking a quiet escape to the salty air of the West Coast.
Anna Maria Island is a beachside community on the Florida Gulf Coast known for its welcoming vibe, and that’s exactly what you’ll find during your stay at the Waterline.
Dip into the seat at Holmes Beach, unwind in the waterfront outdoor swimming pool, test out the fitness center, or rent bikes to explore everything the island has to offer.
The luxury resort maintains a laid-back vibe with upscale amenities. Each room even offers gourmet kitchens for in-room dining. You’ll find yourself unpacking as if you’ve arrived home.
2. Best Home Away From Home – Edison Beach House, Ft. Myers
If you’re seeking a beach getaway with a piece of history, then the Edison Beach House is the spot for you. Located in Fort Myers Beach on the Gulf of Mexico, this luxury hotel offers a home away from home vibe.
Sitting on the north end of Estero Island on the Florida Gulf Coast, you’re only a short drive from the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, Bonita Beach Dog Park, and Sanibel Island.
With 24 luxury suites, in-suite kitchenettes, beachfront views, and a heated Gulf front freshwater pool, you’ll be hard-pressed to convince yourself to leave. The charming Edison Beach House is ideal for families and couples who are craving a home-like stay by the beach.
3. Best Family-Friendly Retreat – Henderson Beach Resort, Destin
Located in Destin, Florida, at the Henderson Beach State Park, is this piece of Florida panhandle paradise. This high-end retreat is ideal for those seeking an upscale getaway that won’t require you to leave the resort. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the nearby Santa Rosa Beach.
However, if the sugary white sand and calm seas aren’t entertaining enough, you can relax in the ocean-front rooms or treat yourself to Henderson’s well-equipped spa and fitness center. Rent a bike, take a few yoga classes, or unwind in the resort’s lazy river.
During Spring and Summer, you can even enroll your kids in the Poppy’s Kids Club for some creative fun. If you’re rolling single, you might have fun checking out Panama city beach, only a short drive away.
Overall, Henderson Beach Resort on the Florida Gulf Coast is the kind that will help craft a family vacation you won’t soon forget.
4. Best Luxury Hotel – Ritz Carlton, Naples
Of all the Florida Gulf Coast resorts, the Ritz Carlton Naples hits the mark for elegance, making it one of the best luxury hotels on the West Coast. Ignite your taste buds at the on-site restaurants before hitting the sea for some fun in the sun.
The luxury beach resort features a full-scale fitness center, outdoor pool, valet parking, and a world of comfort. Enjoy multiple swimming pools, including an adults-only pool and a kids’ splash area.
Located adjacent to the Ritz Carlton golf resort, the Ritz’s prime location makes it one of those resorts in Florida for those who appreciate the finer things in life. The resort offers a unique upscale club experience, ensuring a beach vacation you’ll remember for years to come.
5. Best for Adventurers – Portofino Island Resort and Spa, Pensacola Beach
In Pensacola Beach on the Florida Gulf Coast, you’ll find the Portofino Island Resort, one of those luxury hotels that offers more than just opportunities to relax.
With direct beach access to a variety of fun resort activities, guests can sign up for an adventure package that includes everything from jet skiing, an inflatable bounce house and water slides on the sea, and an adventure cove.
An off-site adventure park also offers even more thrills to entertain the kids in the family (or the inner child in the adults). There, you can find the longest zip rail in Northwest Florida, go-carts, and rope courses.
The beach resort spans 28 acres, meaning you’re within walking distance of anything your heart can desire. Nestled between the gulf coast and the Santa Rosa sound, the prime location offers plenty of private beach area for those who want that island vibe with a little extra fun included.
6. Best Golf Resort – The Resort at Longboat Key Club, Longboat Key
The Longboat Key Club is an upscale beach resort located near Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach. Sitting on 410 acres of a secluded barrier island, the resort offers private beach access with unparalleled access to the gulf.
Tea off at one of the resort’s golf courses or practice your hand at tennis. Either way, you might find yourself choosing the green over the sea. The Resort at Longboat Key Club has earned Golf Digest’s title of “Best Places to Play” and offers 45 holes alongside the Sarasota Bay.
When you are ready to dip into the ocean, though, you’ll have your choice of beaches. With Clearwater Beach and Siesta Key nearby, you won’t have to worry about trying to find a place to lay out in the sun.
7. Best Upscale Adult Space – The Pearl Hotel, Rosemary Beach
The Pearl Hotel might be located on the Florida Gulf Coast, but at first glance, you might wonder if you’ve stepped off a cruise in Europe. The castle-style exterior screams old-school cool with a mix of modern glam.
Of all the luxury hotels in Rosemary Beach, Florida, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one nicer than this.
If you’re interested in exploring the Panhandle, you’re only a half hour away. You’ll find Panama City Beach and St. Andrews State Park, but it’s likely you might not want to leave.
With free private parking, complimentary wine at check-in, and free bike rentals, you’ll arrive feeling like royalty. Considering you have to be 25 to check in and the resort boasts an adults-only pool, this is one of those resorts that might be better suited for those parents who need a break from their children.
8. Best Beachfront Resort – Edgewater Beach Hotel, Naples
On the edge of the serene waters of the Florida Gulf Coast, you’ll find the Edgewater Beach Hotel, our best overall pick for your West Coast stay. If you’re seeking an upscale but peaceful retreat, then this is the spot for you.
With private beach access and two heated swimming pools, this dog-friendly hotel offers accommodations for the whole family.
Sign up for annual membership to enjoy yearly social engagements or book a one-time stay to explore downtown Naples, nearby golf courses, and all Florida’s Gulf Coast has to offer.
If there are any golfers in the family, then this is the place for them. Naples is home to dozens of golf courses, making this resort ideal for those eager to swing their shot on the green.
Including the private balconies, on-site dining, outdoor pool, and kayak and paddle board rentals, there’s something for everyone at this Florida Gulf Coast gem. Oh, and there’s even free private parking for one vehicle included in your resort stay.
9. Best Budget Beach Resort – Marco Beach Ocean Resort, Marco Island
Talk about the island life. If Panama City Beach marks the north side of our resorts on the Florida Gulf Coast, then Marco Island is the opposite. This quaint piece of paradise is a lesser-known Florida gem.
Located adjacent to local attractions like Big Cypress National Preserve, Marco Island offers a peek into the nature of outdoor activities in Florida life. This beach resort offers free wifi and a fitness center and is within walking distance of gourmet restaurants with continental breakfast.
But best of all? Marco Island is the kind of place where strangers will treat you like friends. Because it’s a less popular location than where the other resorts in Florida are located, you’ll find a quiet atmosphere and untouched beauty, all for an affordable price.
10. Best for Outdoor Fun – Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater
Located on the lively Clearwater Beach, Sandpearl Resort is ideal for those seeking a beach resort that combines elegance with adventure and relaxation. The luxury beach resort features upscale guest rooms, a full-scale spa, and a lagoon-style spa.
If you’re craving more than just Clearwater beach, check out the aquarium, home a handful of rescued bottlenose dolphins. Afterward, unwind on your private balcony, take a refreshing plunge in the climate-controlled outdoor swimming pool, or treat yourself to the full-service spa and fitness center.
One thing is for sure: you won’t want to leave.
West Coast Florida Resorts Shopping Guide
Now that you have an idea of the different types of resorts along Florida’s west coast let’s narrow down your options. What exactly are you looking for in your gulf coast vacation? This guide covers important things to consider before booking your resort!
1. Location Is Key
Are you traveling with family or venturing on your honeymoon? Do you want to explore the surrounding town, or are you staying put at the resort?
Those two factors could be the difference between a quiet escape like a stay at the Waterline Villas or a more fun-filled adventure at Portofino Island resort.
Definitely consider the time of year. Although Florida is typically hot year-round, if you’re venturing in winter, panhandle water is colder than the sea by Marco Island.
2. Amenities Can Matter
Half the part of picking your resort is the amenities it comes with. There’s the obvious: private bathrooms, laundry facilities, and free wifi are included in most resorts in Florida, but are you seeking that extra spark?
Do you need a video game room for your youngsters? A hot tub to unwind in? Wet bars by the pool? Make a list of what’s important in your stay and double-check that your resort comes with the basics, like a spa or fitness center, ideally with no extra cost.
3. Luxury or Budget-Friendly?
Keeping those amenities in mind, what you’re searching for among the resorts in Florida may depend on how much you can afford. There’s nothing wrong with making this the trip of a lifetime, but it’s also okay to have a more low-key budget friendly trip, too.
Resorts in Florida, like the Watercolor Inn, border somewhere in between.
4. Value for Money
And speaking of that dolla dolla bill, it’s definitely in your best interest to compare the resorts you’re searching for to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
If the resort is ranking in the hundreds a night and the only thing they’re advertising is their free wifi and fitness center, you might not be getting the best value for your money. By comparing different resorts, you’ll be able to figure if you’re balancing cost and quality effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What amenities are a must-have?
While the answer to this question is subjective on your budget and the type of trip you’re searching for, the majority of Florida resorts should include a complimentary fitness centre, outdoor pools, and free wifi.
Some resorts will include spas, maybe a hot tub, a virtual concierge service, on-site dining options, extra guest rooms, and private beach access in the cost, but keep in mind those tend to be more on the luxury side.
What are the best Florida beaches on the west coast?
The great thing about Florida’s west coast is that you’re going to find similar white sand beaches regardless of where you end up—that’s the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of beaches, first start by looking at the different Florida towns.
If you’re seeking a golf resort, then a resort in Naples and the nearby La Playa Beach might be up your alley. If you want more of an island vibe, then check out Bonita Springs or Marco Island. And, of course, for those looking for more of a nightlife scene, Panama City Beach.
Are there family-friendly resorts on the Gulf Coast?
Absolutely! You’re not far from Disney World, after all. Most resorts in Florida cater to families and offer kid-friendly amenities while still keeping a private space for the adults. If this is important to you, check for adult-only pools or for activities geared towards the little ones.
There you have it, folks! Now, you’re better prepared to book your resort for your Gulf Coast Florida vacation. Remember to start by comparing towns, listing required amenities and double-checking your budget.
Our top pick, Waterline Villas in Anna Maria Island, stands out for its upscale island charm. But if you’d like to keep that vibe at a more alternative cost, then check out Marco Beach Ocean Resort. Wherever you pick, you’re guaranteed to have some fun in the sun on those sugary sandy beaches.
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