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, Airbnb, 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.
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.
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.
This Old Naples Historic Coral Cottage is in a superb location, between Naples Pier and the 3rd Street restaurants and shops.
The best Marco Island hotels are the waterfront resorts. JW Marriott Marco Island, Marco 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 a private pool, sits on a canal, and is a short walk to Tigertail Beach.
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 Island 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 Island 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 Island Resort review.
Other Places to Stay in Fort Myers Beach area
Popular and highly rated 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 Sanibel Island house is close to the beach and on a lagoon. This Captiva Island rental house is ideal for a multigenerational vacation, family reunion, or other event.
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.
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 waterfront cottage on Manasota Key. 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.
Favorite Florida Gulf Coast Hotels in Sarasota
One of our favorite places to stay in Sarasota is the 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.
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 8 Great Airbnb Advantages Over Hotels.
For your next Anna Maria Island vacation, look here:
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.
Best Clearwater Beach Hotels
Our favorite place to stay in Clearwater Beach is in the Indian Rocks Beach section. We have stayed in this Indian Rocks Beach vacation rental and other properties. You cannot possibly stay closer to a Florida Gulf Coast beach than in this beachfront cottage. Here is a lovely beach bungalow with a private pool.
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.
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.
For a fun Florida Gulf Coast vacation experience, rent this houseboat on Honeymoon Island, west of 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. Let us know in the comment section your favorite places to stay in Southwest Florida.