New boutique resort in Sarasota is a motel makeover

Siesta Key Palms Resort (Credit: Mike Lang| Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
Siesta Key Palms Resort (Credit: Mike Lang| Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

Renovation and refurbishment has transformed a 1950s-vintage, drive-up motel in Sarasota to a modern boutique resort with an Old Florida feel.

Developer Henry Rodriguez bought property in spring for $2 million. It is located at 1800 Stickney Point Road in Sarasota, just east of a bridge to Siesta Key.

Rodriguez has finished an $800,000 upgrade of the cluster of three buildings and 21 rooms with two swimming pools formerly known as Elephant Ears Suites, and he has renamed the property Siesta Key Palms Resort.

Among other work, bathrooms and floors have been rebuilt, new plumbing and electrical installations were done, and a tiki hut is now part of the swimming pool deck.

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In the first week of July, 13 of the rooms at Siesta Key Palms opened to the public, and the other eight rooms were scheduled to open by mid-July.

All 21 rooms at the Sarasota property will have Tommy Bahama furniture and kitchenettes. Outside, the property is replete with pockets of fine white sand, lounge chairs and hammocks, and resembles boutique resorts in Key West and Miami Beach.

“They’re boutique resorts because they don’t sell hotel rooms, they’re creating experiences,” Rodriguez told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “So what we did, we said, ‘How can we create an experience where they feel like they went back in time?’”

Rodriguez also told the newspaper that high-season rates at Siesta Key Palms will range up to $400 a night for a courtyard room and $600 for a two-bedroom suite. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune] Mike Seemuth

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