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Hyatt Regency Sarasota Review: Family-Friendly Fun

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Heading to Sarasota soon? Take a look at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, the city’s largest hotel. It caters to a wide range of travelers from families to those in town on business. This Hyatt Regency Sarasota review will help you decide if it’s the right choice for your visit to Circus City!

We had an amazing stay at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota and have no real complaints, but it may not be right for everyone whether because of style or basic preferences. The location and amenities are excellent for the entire family. It’s just across the marina from The Ritz-Carlton and next to The Bay public park, which has frequent events, a nice new playground, walking paths and even a small beach for watching the sunset.

The interior decor is clean and bright in the lobby and just plain fun in the halls, though some guests may long for more updated furnishings in the rooms. This isn’t a hotel that’s trying to be sophisticated or luxurious, and the lack of pretension suited us just fine on a family getaway.

Rooms at Hyatt Regency Sarasota

Standard rooms at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota are a reasonable 390 square feet and are configured with either one king bed or two double beds – I wish the rooms offered queen size beds instead of doubles, but it seems that the smaller beds are becoming standard in many hotels. In addition, you can request a crib for free or add a rollaway bed to king rooms for around $25 per night.

Thanks to my Hyatt Globalist status we were upgraded to an Executive Suite which added a parlor (connecting room) with a queen size sleep sofa. We also had my brother and his wife with us in another room, so the helpful team at Hyatt Regency Sarasota put them in a room connected to the parlor. It was a great set up for our group and thankfully included three bathrooms!

If you’re traveling with teens or feel like the standard room may not meet your needs, you can book a room as you normally would and then reach out to the hotel to see if they can offer a “family rate” for a second room – these can be 10-50% off of the regular rate!

Activities at Hyatt Regency Sarasota

The Hyatt Regency Sarasota pool deck is the star of the show. The pool isn’t especially big (for Florida), but it’s extremely pleasant and the setting is beautiful. It offers a zero-entry side that’s perfect for younger kids plus a hot tub for parents and older kids to relax. We had a few poolside lunches (plus my welcome drink) at Hurricane Hut and were very pleased with the food. In the afternoons there’s even a free popsicle cart that comes around!

While it doesn’t offer as many activities as the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando (understandable as that hotel is nearly triple the size), the Sarasota outpost still has some great options. There’s a small turf area with yard games like corn hole and giant jenga plus a boat house with water activities. I took a kayak out on my own one evening, while the kids and I tried our hand at fishing on our last day. They also offer bikes, paddleboards and more as part of the resort fee.

You might not opt to spend a full day hanging out at the hotel, but you’ll probably want to go do an activity in the morning before it gets too hot and then spend the afternoon enjoying the cool water. That was the perfect balance for our trip!

Read more: Fun Things to do in Sarasota with Kids: A Delightful Weekend Getaway

Dining at Hyatt Regency Sarasota

Breakfast is served in Currents Restaurant, which has a beautiful wall of windows looking out onto the marina. The menu offers both sweet and savory classics, or there’s the option of getting breakfast from the substantial buffet (which includes many foods that are on the a la carte menu). There’s a fun map on the wall showing the local farms where items are sourced.

The buffet offered everything from cereal to lox and bagels to rotating hot dishes like french toast. It’s good enough to have once or twice if you’re paying for it (especially if your kids order the kids’ buffet, which is very affordable). You may want to explore other local options for breakfast a few times during your stay if you’re paying. We stuck with Currents since it was covered for us as Hyatt Globalists.

As I mentioned above, we had a few lunches at Hurricane Hut. My kids were particularly fond of the burgers, and I was pleasantly surprised by the salads. The hotel is intimate enough that the staff can figure out which table you’ve staked out even if you order at the bar and then hop in the pool. Note that the “lunch” menu is served until 6:30pm, so families with young children might even opt for an early dinner by the pool.

We didn’t stick around the hotel for dinner, as there are lots of great restaurants to sample in downtown Sarasota, St. Armands Circle and several other nearby areas. If you do choose to have dinner on-site at Currents, the menu skews toward seafood and beef with typical hotel pricing averaging $35 per entree.

One thing to note: every reservation should come with a welcome drink as part of the amenity fee. But my brother, who joined us on this trip, didn’t receive a drink voucher at check in. Be sure to ask if you don’t get one!

The future?

The Hyatt Regency Sarasota is the city’s largest hotel but definitely not one of the newest. It opened in 1975 as a regular Hyatt (which is why there’s no club lounge, sadly). After nearly a half-century and a few refurbs along the way, rumor has it that the hotel will eventually be replaced with a Thompson.

We love the Thompson brand, a more sophisticated luxury-but-cool offering from Hyatt and I’m sure the transition will be a good one. Right now there’s no firm timeline for when this project will occur, and one long-time staffer I chatted with doubted it would be anytime soon. The property was purchased in 2022 and constructions initially discussed for 2023, but the latest information indicates a summer 2024 start at the earliest and as of this writing the hotel is still bookable into early 2025 with no indication of that changing.

How to stay at Hyatt Regency Sarasota for free

Because I’d rather travel for free than pay for it, I used points from my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card to cover our visit. As a Category 4 hotel, rooms at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota go for just 12,000 to 18,000 points per night. Cash rates for most nights outside of summer are generally over $200 per night, with peak nights in the $400-500 range; check prices for your dates here. It’s a great way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you transfer them to Hyatt!

This is also an excellent place to use free night certificates you can get from holding the Chase World of Hyatt credit card. The value of the free night definitely exceeds the $95 annual fee. Cardholders get a category 1-4 free night certificate on every anniversary, plus an extra one for every calendar year in which they spend $15,000 on the card.

Since Hyatt doesn’t charge a resort fee on award bookings and our Globalist status covered breakfast and parking, all I paid Hyatt for was two lunches on the pool deck! Even those were mostly covered by the $100 credit on my Chase World of Hyatt Business credit card.

If you’re just getting started with points and miles (or need to improve your strategy) be sure to read about my top picks for the best credit card for family travel.

Planning your family trip to Florida

Debating where to go in Florida with these kids? Don’t miss these fun ideas!

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