This is our 2nd time to this area. Went to Siesta Key last year and stayed for a week. The beaches got hit by red seaweeds and lots of activities were affected as a result. During the visit we drove north to Anna Maria Island and had dinner on Rod and Reel pier, wonderful place to hangout and treat your stomach with some delicious seafood.
So this year we decided to stay on the island (after confirming there is no red seaweed). We checked out hotel/resort ratings and found 2 places: Cedar Cove and Palm Tree. Palm Tree is all 1 story and is 1/2 block away from the beach, and Cedar Cove is right on the beach, has a unit available on 2nd floor but costs more. In the end we booked the Coconut Suite for a wk.
Met Eric upon our arrival, a very calm and cool guy I would say. Complete opposite to Jeff whom I spoke with on the phone, who is just like an old friend/neighbor. Checked out our suite, which is on the second story of the building closest to the beach. Had beautiful direct gulf views in both living room (which has a balcony) and bedroom. Rooms are clean and nicely maintained, the floor plan is fabulous. Kitchen is nicely equipped and we end up using it a lot, including cooking some fish we caught from Anna Maria city pier, :).
Eric became the hero of my son when he grabbed a snake on the beach the second day. The snake was non-poisonous as told by Eric but nevertheless made some folks nervous. It was quite happy though, swimming and chilling until being escorted back to the bushes. My son said he wanted to grab the snake like what Eric did, ...
The activity list provided by resort was very helpful. Although I would like to add Mixon Fruit Farm, Siesta Key Drumming Circle and Mote Aquarium too. Went to a dolphin watching/shelling/eco tour with Captain Kim (recommended by Jeff). Didn't see the dolphins, but still I would highly recommend the tour. Captain Kim is a wonderful lady to hang out with. She showed us the bay, told us all sorts of stories. We explored around a sand bar and while we were shelling, she picked up all kinds of live marine animals from the grassy area (snails, crabs, scallops and sea stars), put them in a container and showed to us. Our 3 yr old son was thrilled as you can imagine.
The 3 piers are all wonderful. On the last day at the Holmes Public Beach pier we saw a group of dolphins playing and feeding, just fascinating stuff. Saw a few at city pier a few days earlier as well. If you like fishing, rent a rod from City Pier or Rod and Reel Pier and enjoy the surroundings. There was live music at Cafe on the Beach (Holmes Public Beach) and City Pier. We became friends with Mike (the singer at Cafe on the Beach) and my son had a total blast, he danced vividly as Mike sings, for at least 20 minutes. Lovable experience.
Didn't rent a bike or scooter. Comparing to Siesta Key, the beaches at Anna Maria are not as wide and I didn't see many people ride bikes on the beaches (which we love to do). For youngsters, renting a bike or scooter and exploring the quiet and beautiful island would be an interesting activity.
One day while I was building a sand castle I noticed there were so many sand fleas in the sand. Luckily enough, we were not bitten (last year we were and it was not fun at all). Still I would recommend putting on insect repellent during evenings hours while on the beach.
Overall, it was a great trip. Jeff is super kind and Eric is super cool. And our "home" is very sweet. The only things I would improve if I were the manager would be:
* Expand the activity list
* Provide simple floor plans for every suite and overall resort layout on internet (so people knows where each unit is and how they are laid out). Doesn't have to be fancy, could simply draw by hand and scan in the drawings.
* For coconut suite, carpet could use a change.
Now I can't wait to go back again. Definitely would recommend this place to anyone.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A boutique resort located in the heart of your island paradise. Penthouses, gulf view suites, Key West style cottages and your own private sugar white sandy beach. Sip wine and the watch beautiful sunsets. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com and Ebookers so you can book your Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages Hotel Holmes Beach
- Cedar Cove Resort And Cottages
- Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages Anna Maria Island/Holmes Beach, Florida