Shopping - Sarasota County Blog

The Life of Luxury: Sarasota accommodations

From manicures to boats, gowns to hors d’ourves, Sarasota’s upscale accommodations, shops, and locations help anyone live the life of luxury

Romance is in the air! Say "I Do" again and read more about Valentine's Day activies in southwest Florida.

If there ever is a time to indulge and truly embrace the luxury lifestyle, it’s on vacation and during a holiday. Put them together and there’s no excuse not to go all out. Perhaps it’s for a special day, a special gift, a special someone, or just because, Sarasota’s got you covered. Go ahead, you’re on vacation and you deserve it.

Where to Rest

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, with its stunning views of both Downtown Sarasota and Sarasota Bay, offers every amenity imaginable. Spend a day at their golf course or beach resort for a tropical taste of luxury. Between the indulgent bedding, the spa, and Jack Dusty restaurant, I cannot imagine any reason to leave.

For a Bit of Pampering

Paint Nail Bar on First Street downtown, provides the crème de la crème of the manicure and pedicure world. The bright Scandinavian-inspired salon looks right off Instagram. Clients are never rushed, services always tailored. Enjoy a pedicure from the insanely-comfortable armchairs with a complimentary drink, take a deep (fume-free) breath, and ahhh.

The Met Day Spa and Salon on St. Armand’s Circle embodies the utmost spa experience from a manicure to a blowdry to a full day of relaxation. Their luxury packages make the decision making easy.

And yet it can get even easier. To skip the whole driving to and fro, chit chatting with the receptionist, and wishing you weren’t out with massage oil in your hair, many local masseuses, including LMT Colin Fairweather of Balance Health + Fitness, will provide their services at your home, hotel room, or vacation rental.

Wine and Dine

Stepping into the dining room at French restaurant Maison Blanche induces gasps. With its wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor white billowing curtains and curved walls, its simplicity emphasizes its luxury. The cuisine mimics the décor. Chef Martinez excludes exorbitant flair as his culinary creations wow in their perfection. The menu is not long and changes seasonally, emphasizing the use of fresh ingredients and mastering those items. Their outstanding wine list leaves nothing to be desired.

To grab some champagne and caviar to enjoy on a picnic or yacht, Morton’s Gourmet Market in the Hillview neighborhood is the ultimate picnic basket packing locale. Within the giant orange market, shoppers will discover local fruit, fresh bread, artisan cheese, wine, flowers, and baked goods for a feast of any caliber.

Where to Shop

Treat yourself to something special from designers such as Elizabeth & James, James Perse, and Chan Luu at Lotus Boutique. The three branches – two on Main Street in Downtown Sarasota and one on Siesta Key - specialize in women’s clothing and accessories, but also feature a few household goodies. Stroll through the airy shops, passing rack upon rack of stunningly styled displays. Personal stylists help assemble the perfect look.

Take a stroll around St. Armand’s Circle and hit up any – or all – of the shops along its perimeter. From gowns to jeans, Foxy Lady is the go-to for many local socialites. Lilly Pulitzer is a Sarasota favorite. When in Rome, right? And below the restaurant of the same name is my personal favorite shop, Shore. Full of merchandise for men, women, and kids, Shore offers the perfect mix of casual yet quality goods. Also on St. Armand’s, shoppers find twelve jewelers, many of them local, and art galleries for that space at home missing a little something special.

For a shopping spree, Sarasota’s University Town Center puts the credit card in danger by putting Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Anthropologie, Lululemon, Lilly Pulitzer, Rolex, and Michael Kors under one glass roof. If all that spending created an appetite, Le Macaron French Pastries can fix anything.

Slightly off the beaten path, in the uber-cool Burns Court neighborhood, L Boutique provides stylist services to all clients at their contemporary women’s boutique. L Boutique has it all, from undergarments by Hanky Panky to gala gowns by Badgley Mischka and anything in between. Next door is L Kids, where children can be as sublimely dressed as their adult companions. If a vacation photo shoot is on the agenda, this is the place to buy the ultimate picture-perfect attire. The street surrounding abounds with local shops, restaurants, and galleries.

Getting Around

Uber and Enterprise work well, but to truly ride in style, the MPH Club has the ultimate lineup. Lamborghinis and Audis await your hands on their wheels as you cruise along the coast with the sea air breezing by.

Enjoy the pinnacle of seatravel with a private tour on board the Marina Jack II. The 96’ long vessel, docked at the marina in Downtown Sarasota, provides an aquatic ride smooth as silk with a first-class crew to assist on the voyage.

Things to Do

Once the hair is styled, the gown selected, and the knots kneaded there really is no other choice than to head to the opera. Sarasota Opera, located in downtown Sarasota, is a rather intimate venue, seating 1,200 guests, each with a fantastic view. Plenty of dining options for before and/or after the show are within walking distance.

Few things embody grace and style as much as the Sarasota Ballet. Swoon at their pirouettes, gasp at the leaps, and applaud at the ease with which they appear to do it all.

The Game of Kings, as Sarasota Polo Club at Lakewood Ranch calls its sport, deems most popular amongst aristocrats and Prince William. And now you. Fulfill a childhood dream and learn to play with masterful players. Or grab a big hat and spectate as the stunning creatures and their riders play chukker after chukker.

Sarasota boasts dozens of public golf courses, so there is no shortage of ranges to try for that perfect round. Of them, University Park Country Club in Lakewood Ranch is considered the elite. Detail by detail, the 27-hole course maintains perfection.

IMG Academy, the internationally-renown school of athletes, offers an adult program with stunning lodging and amenities to fully immerse in the program. Top-notch instructors help in perfecting that backswing.

For another type of swing, IMG also offers tennis programs, with the same outstanding amenities and lodging. On staff is IMG founder and tennis legend Nick Bollittieri.

Just Because

Flowers from Elegant Designs Floral Art Studio extend beyond anything found in a typical flower shop. The staff are truly floral artists and each arrangement is chosen with care, placed with love, and given with each personality in mind. My husband surprised me with an arrangement full of cabbages, succulents, and ranunculus. I cried.  Not only because he bought me flowers, but because they spoke to me that he truly knew me, which is priceless.