When we planned our Florida trip we were looking for a quiet beach area to stay with our 10 month old son. When doing the research we found Anna Maria Island and we have been informed that it is a very nice and quiet island which is perfect for a family beach vacation. And I must say, Anna Maria Island is very peaceful and beautiful. More like the old Florida. No big hotels, no fast food places and even Starbucks is nowhere to be found. But you have everything you really need. Nice restaurants, grocery stores (publix) and pharmacies. Apart from that you will find a lot of small local stores which are really nice. Holmes beach is more or less in the middle of the island. You can reach the north and the south of the island easily by car or the free trolley that is operating during the day.
When we looked for the actual vacation rental that was somewhat more difficult. There are many places and it is hard to make a choice. But we finally found the place that looked just perfect and I must say the price was also very attractive compared to some of the other vacation rentals on the island.
The villas are situated around a lush and beautiful garden with a water fountain in the middle. Each villa has its own patio where you have your privacy. But you can also sit in the garden on one of the several chairs. Additionally you will find a gas BBQ and a hot tub. (Which we did not use, because it was just too warm). Also every villa has its own parking space and additionally there is guest parking. You will also find a laundry room where you find 3 washers and 3 dryers. But also you will find a lot of beach chairs, toys for kids, bikes, body boards and many other things that you are allowed to use during your stay. There are also enough handcarts to transport all you need to the beach. Our son just enjoyed the ride to the beach that way. Basically you do not need to bring any beach equipment.
There are a few restaurants close by. You could actually walk or even bike.
We rented No. 104 - the frangipani villa. The villa has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a combined living/kitchen area. The villa is just beautiful. The furniture and the decoration is really nice and you can tell that the owners put a lot of work and love into that place. Everything seems so well-thought-out. The kitchen is equipped with everything you need including a dish washer and there is enough space to store your goods as well. If you get bored (I guess you wont) there is a TV in each of the rooms and a VCR/DVD player in the living room with a lot of tapes and also books. The beds are really comfortable and the closets are spacious. We have not seen any of the other villas but I guess they are as beautiful.
Since we travelled with our son, we were offered a baby bed and a high chair which was perfect and very helpful.
Now I would like to write something about the owners. Christy and Chuck are wonderful people. They take so well care of the villas, the garden and the guest. No surprise that there were a couple of regulars while we were there. You can tell that they love what they are doing. The place is really beautiful and very well taken care off, but still you will see Christy and Chuck doing small improvements here and there to keep the place in a perfect shape. They make the place special. And compared to the many anonymous places you can find, they make you feel at home.
If you do look for some more shopping and activities there is plenty to do in the area. A big outlet shopping mall in Ellenton, Bush Gardens in Tampa, museums etc... The ride is not too bad and you can still come home to a quiet place to relax.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Island Garden Villas is a lush tropical setting for your unforgettable island adventure. Just across the street from the sugary white sands of the Gulf beaches, our villas offer a serene and relaxing retreat. Whether you come for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Island Garden Villas, with the tranquility of its flagstone courtyard, charming old world fountain and enchanting tropical gardens is the perfect spot. Accommodations include fully equipped kitchens, cozy living areas and luxurious bedrooms. We have everything you will need for the perfect beach vacation including beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels, as well as bikes for exploring the island and a fabulous hot tub for relaxing after a hard day at play. As a family owned and operated establishment, our guests receive the utmost in personal care and attention. Come, escape to paradise. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Island Garden Villas Hotel Holmes Beach
- Island Garden Villas Anna Maria Island/Holmes Beach, Florida