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Design in Detail: Zota Beach Resort

Longboat Key’s premier new beach resort is about much more than just taking a dip in the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Around the resort grounds, inside your relaxing guest room and everywhere in between, Zota Beach Resort was designed with colors, patterns and details that flow effortlessly from the beach to breakfast in bed. Here, you can immerse yourself in true Florida-style luxury for a coastal experience that extends beyond the water’s edge.


With 187 rooms and suites that evoke an “ocean casual” feel, the Zota Beach Resort is one of the most unique independent resorts on the Gulf Coast. Part renovation of a former Hilton, part brand-new construction, Zota’s indulgent, relaxed atmosphere means that guests of all ages can enjoy warm breezes, a cool atmosphere and not a care in the world.

The resort’s upscale guest rooms and suites are filled with light. Spacious balconies with floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping views make you feel like you’re still on the beach, and the modern carpet was selected to mimic the movement of the sand beneath the waves. If you need space for your entire family, 30 one- and two-bedroom suites include spacious living rooms, as well as kitchen and dining areas in select suites. 

The island-inspired decor flows seamlessly from the guest rooms to the resort grounds, from the palm-tree lined, infinity-edge pool to private, well-appointed cabanas that line the sleek, modern pool deck. Everywhere you look you’ll find decor that brings the outside in, whether it’s inspired by sand, waves, sunshine, coral, or the sunset.


When designers imagined the Zota Beach Resort, they envisioned a getaway that paid homage to both the history and natural beauty of this sought-after island destination. A color palette of summer whites and azure blues reflect the sugar-sand beaches and crystal clear waters of the gulf, while wood accents throughout the property serve as a tribute to the Calusa Indians and their longboats (for which the island was named). And the live-edge headboards, included in every guest room and suite, make you feel like you’re asleep in a hammock on a summer day.

Guests will also find tributes to the local history, including art pieces and decor that nod to the opulent lifestyle of the Ringling Brothers, the circus magnates who built their legacy in nearby Sarasota and the surrounding area.


Whether reminiscent of today or a time long past, the resort’s bold, unique and unexpected details make it a place that you’ll keep discovering time and again. And the adventure begins as soon as you arrive, where a reflective pond winds its way through the main lobby. Look up for wood-decorated ceilings that mimic the canopy of the banyan trees and mangrove tunnels, and outside for art installations that call to mind the gentle, lapping waves.

A pristine boardwalk connects the resort property to its famed white-sand beach, giving guests easy access between the waves, the luxurious and large hot tub and pool deck, and those second-to-none sunsets that make the Gulf Coast a destination for travelers around the world.

Some of the resort’s most amazing views are from its upscale Viento Kitchen + Bar, an indoor/outdoor dining experience that captures that Florida feeling not only in its decor, but its Floribbean-inspired menu. Be sure to look for the floating wine bar, which adds a chic, sophisticated touch.

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