Written by chefcat on 08 Jun, 2003
This lovely Gold Crown resort is about 100 steps from Crescent Beach on lovely Siesta Key. Units on floors 3 and 4 have spectacular views from their kitchens and living rooms. Those on the second floor have a limited view, because of a motel between…Read More
This lovely Gold Crown resort is about 100 steps from Crescent Beach on lovely Siesta Key. Units on floors 3 and 4 have spectacular views from their kitchens and living rooms. Those on the second floor have a limited view, because of a motel between the Calini and the beach. The first floor units have spiral staircases leading from their lanais to the ground as compensation. No need to leave the unit and use the halls and elevators when you want to go to the pool or the beach.
There is a simple rectangular pool. Although large, it''s rather unimaginative. The temperature was always warm. Aside from the umbrellas set at tables around the pool area, there is no shade. So our visits here were restricted to the late afternoon, when the crowds were showering up for dinner and it was peaceful. At that time, we even had it all to ourselves on a couple of occasions!
This is the first time we have seen a pool at a timeshare that is a community pool, meaning that it''s is shared by several of the other small motels in the area. Unfortunately, on our arrival evening, someone defecated in the pool. The pool was closed until Monday. We were told there was no way to find out who did it, since so many use the pool. Be forewarned about this!
The Jacuzzi is small and screened. We made liberal use of it, especially at night.
The units are quite large, all two-bedrooms with two baths. The kitchen was well equipped with everything we needed to cook meals. Two gas grills are provided. We never had to wait to use them.
The living area is nicely furnished, as well as comfortable. We loved the chess set provided - my husband and son enjoyed a match nightly. Cushions are provided for the loungers out on the deck. Plenty of lamps provide excellent lighting, something all too often ignored in timeshare units.
The master bathroom has a tub/shower and double sinks. The second bathroom has only a shower.
Staff here is very kind and tries to be helpful. It should be noted that the office is closed all day on Sunday, which makes it a little rugged if you have a problem that pops up after the staff leaves on Saturday.
Most guests the week we stayed were quiet and respectful of others. There was one family with five rambunctious children that were at the pool (all day, every day). Also a big, extended family had several units and commandeered the pool entry stairs with their kiddies'' beach toys. We saw one toddler pour a whole diet coke into the pool. It would be great if they''d build a kiddie pool. There is adequate room on the grounds for one (even though it probably wouldn''t obviate the above problem totally.)
For this reason, we opted to go to the beach every day (evidently, parents no longer take their kids to the beach.) The sand is blinding white and as fine as we have encountered anywhere. Everyday we were treated to a wonderful dolphin "show". We had brought two inflatable rafts with us and one morning, we were sunning and dozing as we stretched out on them to enjoy the gentle waves. A dolphin breached about 6'' from me and soaked me with his blowhole spray!
Check-in and check-out were very quick. We arrived about two hours in advance of check-in and our unit was ready for us! There''s ample underground parking, which keeps your car from becoming molten-hot.
Every night at sunset, we''d be sure to be back in our unit to watch it. There is a hotel nearby with a huge roof deck. Someone blows a horn every day at the moment the sun sets to herald the close of another perfect day. We had sun every, single day while there in early October.
Be sure to sort your recyclables, as you are expected to put them in the appropriate bins upon leaving, down in the garage. Also, all dishes must be washed and returned to their respective cupboards before departure, so you cannot plan to leave them in the dishwasher, unfortunately. Because of this, I''d recommend running glasses and silverware expecially through the dishwasher before use. I bring disinfectant just for this purpose whenever we stay at timeshares. Beds must be stripped and sheets left in the entrance hall, and trash emptied, as well, so be certain to allow ample time for these tasks. Preparation to leave took us in excess of an hour.
All in all, Siesta Key is peaceful and beautiful. We have already made plans to return.
Written by thecopes on 11 Jan, 2003
On Siesta Key proper, there are a wide range of eating options, although most places lean toward the open air funky beach style joint. A short drive over the Stickney Point Road bridge into Sarasota offers everything from fast food to fine dining. I'm not…Read More
On Siesta Key proper, there are a wide range of eating options, although most places lean toward the open air funky beach style joint. A short drive over the Stickney Point Road bridge into Sarasota offers everything from fast food to fine dining. I'm not ashamed to admit that one of the favorites was for dad to get into the rental car and make a Wendy's run and bring it back to the pool at the condo.
Here's a rundown of places we enjoyed:
Daiquiri Deck (5250 Ocean Blvd, Siesta Key) -- As the name implies, they feature about every flavor of daiquiri you can think of and they are quite good and reasonably priced. The outdoor deck is on the main drag in Siesta Key and is pretty good location to do a little people watching, sip a watermelon frozen daiquiri, and munch on some fried clams. They'll make virgin versions of the daiquiris for the kids.
Phillipi Creek Oyster Village (5353 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota) -- Just a short drive away, this creekside restaurant has both indoor and outdoor casual dining and pretty good seafood. We even tried some gator. No, it doesn't taste like chicken - it tastes like gator! Look for the giant great white shark in the parking lot. They claim it came out of the creek but I think that's just to scare the kids so they'll be careful out on the dock!
Turtles on Little Sarasota Bay (8875 Midnight Pass Rd, Siesta Key) -- Located on the south end of Siesta Key, this dressy casual restaurant features seafood and great views out on the deck. The night we went it was very crowded and the only spot on the deck was next to some smokers, so we were forced to dine inside. The fresh grouper was excellent.
Sam Seltzer's Steakhouse (7113 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota)
-- Within a short distance from each other are Outback, Ruth Chris, and Sam Seltzer's Steakhouses. Every time we drove by, Sam Seltzer's was packed so we decided to check it out. After a long wait (outside on a comfortable porch with ESPN on the TV!), we sat down to a traditional steakhouse meal that was excellent and reasonably priced. Portions were huge - we dined on prime rib sandwiches for another two days!
Shells Seafood Restaurant (7253 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota) -- This local chain was also packed every night and provides great seafood at reasonable prices in a casual, kid friendly atmosphere. Good chowder, conch fritters, "u peel 'em" shrimp, calamari, and fresh fish which they'll prepare grilled, blackenend, or fried in either six or ten ounce portions.
Coasters at the Southbridge (1500 Stickney Point Rd, Siesta Key) -- Nice location on the water with casual outdoor dining. As we finished our meal, it started to sprinkle. We made it inside just as the downpour hit - I felt sorry for those who were still eating and not as lucky. There are some nice shops adjacent to the restaurant for browsing and walking off your dinner (or for refuge from the rain!).
Olive Garden (4900 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota) -- I'm not a big fan of Olive Garden, but this one in a typical strip mall location was pretty good.
Carraba's Italian Grill (1940 Stickney Point Rd, Sarasota) -- Just over the bridge from Siesta Key, this is where we really wanted to go for Italian food but it was always so popular and crowded, we wound up at Olive Garden instead.