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Longboat Key is a place that has a special place in my heart. Growing up in Sarasota, I spent over two decades frequenting the family's beach house. I spent the days nestled in the sand, making memories and enjoying the bath-like water of the Gulf of Mexico. It is and will always be one of my favorite places. Of course, a lot of changes and new spots have been added to the area over the last several years, and I have to say I found a new spot on the Key to love and frequent.

Of course, you might have already spotted Indy and I spending a few days in the sun at Zota Beach Resort a couple of weeks back via Instagram. The new luxury resort boasts 187 rooms and suites with modern touches, a wonderfully convenient Restaurant and Bar, as well as a gorgeous pool overlooking the Gulf - just to name a few perks. It's secluded island ambiance gives you a breath of fresh air especially when you're looking to get away from the constant hustle and bustle of city life. Noise? The only thing you'll be hearing is the crashing of the waves from your patio. It's a bright, airy and inviting place to be, no matter how old you are. 
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Honestly, I don't know who had more fun - me or the two year old. We spent plenty of time poolside playing with toys, and at least as much time on the beach cozied in the sand (or in Indy's case, chasing birds).

We even woke up to meet a baby sea turtle hatchling in the care of the Longboat Key Sea Turtle Watch. To say that that made my stay is an understatement. I have to confess that I have been intentionally traveling the Florida Gulf Coast with the boys during sea turtle nesting season in the hopes we would catch the hatchlings and finally, we had our moment! It just so happened to be at the very beach where I, as a kid, I got to help Mote Marine guide the hatchlings to water in front of the beach house. So, it was incredibly special to sort of replay that moment. 
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That all being said, here's everything you need to know about Zota Beach Resort to get you ready to book a flight to The Sunshine State this season. PSA: I just spotted $79 each way tickets on Jetblue from NYC, so I might be visiting again, sooner than I expected. Maybe this time, sans kid(s)! Who knows?

Fly In With Ease With Two International Airports Nearby
Both Sarasota and Tampa International are easily accessible to and from the resort. Which really makes it a quick hop, skip and a jump to quality beach time. SRQ is the smaller airport of the two. It is ridiculously easy to get in and out of - so if you can fly there, do it! 

Leave It With The Valet
Once you arrive, you'll be greeted by the sweetest valets who will whisk away your car and luggage so you don't have to worry for another second about a single thing- aside from checking in and deciding where to enjoy your Pina Colada: pool? or beachside? I say both! But you decide. 
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After you're all checked in, head up to your room and be prepared to fall in love. I personally love the colors, decor and overall ambiance. I could easily just lounge all day with the patio door open, the breeze blowing in, and the calls of gulls in the distance. Take a moment to really look at the details: from the motion sensor light-up bars in the closet to the teak headboard and nightstands. I want to transport that room into my apartment STAT! Especially that seafoam velvet corner-sofa. Swoon. We were in the King Gulf View Room and it also came with a work space table with two chairs, a huge TV, coffee maker and a gigantic bathroom. 

As for the view, there's no bad view. But if you can, do yourself a favor and opt for the Gulf View. Order yourself breakfast from room service and just sit out there and take it all in. It was absolutely amazing. 

Also, as a city girl who rarely sees the stars at night, being able to look up to the sky and see the stars in full bloom every night was such a dream.
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Viento Kitchen and Bar + Cascades Pool Bar 
You'll never have to venture far for food and drinks. We ate nearly all of our meals at Viento Kitchen and Bar. The food was delicious, the staff was doting and cheerful, and the view was unbeatable. I personally loved the perfectly crisp and light Calamari Fritto at dinner, and of course nearly everything on the breakfast menu. 

If you're looking for a quick lunch poolside, Cascades is the spot to go - the only big decision you're going to have to make is on the rocks or frozen for your meal pairing. It's a slightly more casual vibe than Viento, being that it's poolside and you're likely sporting just a swimsuit. 

Room service is from Viento. I ordered Belgium Waffles, Fruit, Pancakes, Eggs, A Latte and Yogurt. It was all delicious and you can't beat eating breakfast in your robe overlooking the water.  

If you're bringing along kids, the kid's menu is pretty extensive and the portions are perfect. 
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With plenty of umbrella-shaded chairs beneath the palms, you can catch up on your book or take a dip in the sparkling infinity pool or hot tub. You can splurge and opt for a Poolside Zen Lounge (a super-slick Cabana equipped with a couch, tv, drinks and privacy...)

Pick up a game of life-size chess or jumbo jenga before heading to Cascades Pool Bar for a light snack and drink...
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Settle yourself into the soft, sandy beaches of Longboat Key. Take a dip in the crystal clear bath-like water. If you spend enough time you're likely to spot a dolphin or manatee cruising by...

Zota has umbrellas, beach chairs and luxury loungers to make your time in the sand as low-key or luxurious as you please. 
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Bring Your Pet! 
And not just your kids, your fur baby is welcome too! Zota is dog-friendly.

Additional Note-Worthy Perks
Zota has a beautiful fitness center,  as well as an enormous venue space that is perfect for weddings, corporate retreats and events. I see another girls trip brewing and I might have just found our spot! 

So, if you're looking to getaway this season - hop a flight to Sarasota and make yourself at home at one of Longboat Key's finest, Zota Beach Resort. 
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