Ringling Beach House in Siesta Key, Florida – Full Review!

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We’ve just returned from a weekend at the popular Ringling Beach House in beautiful Siesta Key, Florida. So was it worth it? Here’s everything you need to know about this Siesta Key hotel!

Ringling Beach House in Siesta Key

As Florida locals, we’ve spent more than our share of time at the beautiful Gulf coast beaches. But one beach that has eluded us until now is Siesta Key! This fun little beach town has been our wish list for quite some time. So for Spring Break this year, we decided to finally make it happen. We enjoyed a few beautiful days exploring the beaches and the cute-as-a-button Siesta Key Village.

Where is Siesta Key?

map of Florida showing location of Siesta key

Siesta Key is an eight mile long barrier island, located on the west coast of Florida near Sarasota. It’s connected to the mainland by two bridges, allowing easy access for visitors. It’s known for its sandy beaches and has become a popular destination for tourists looking to enjoy the pretty beaches and and relaxing beach town vibe.

Ringling Beach House Location

map showing location of the hotel and main sites

The hotel is located on Beach Drive, the main roadway through Siesta Key. There is a public beach access point just across the street from the hotel, and many more up and down that main road. If you wish to head over to the main beach concession area for lunch, it’s about 0.6 miles, or a 15 minute walk.

It’s about a 10-15 minute walk (~0.4 miles) to reach Siesta Key Village, a small downtown area where you will find a variety of restaurants and shops. If you’re not up for walking, it’s easy to catch an Uber or you can try to catch the free trolley that runs around town. Overall, I found the location to be very convenient!

Getting to Siesta Key

If you are coming to Siesta Key from out of town, the closest airport is Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. It’s located about 10 miles north of Siesta Key, a 35-45 minute drive. From there, you can opt to rent a car, grab a taxi or rideshare, or hire a car service.

Note that Sarasota Bradenton International Airport is a smaller airport with limited routes. If you don’t find an easy connection there, another option is the larger Tampa International Airport. This is about 70 miles north in Tampa, and will be a drive of roughly 1 hour, 45 minutes.

There is plenty of parking available at Ringling Beach House. Each room comes with one parking space, but you can pay extra for a second vehicle if necessary.

Our Room at Ringling Beach House

our two bedroom apartment at Ringling Beach House

The Ringling Beach House is made of individual apartments, rather than traditional hotel rooms. These are all full apartments with kitchens and separate bedrooms and living spaces, making it a really great choice for an extended stay or a large family group.

We stayed in a two bedroom apartment, which had a ton of space! There was a small living room, dining area, and a fully equipped kitchen. Plus two separate and private bedrooms. More than enough space for our family!

the bedrooms in our apartment at Ringling Beach House

In general, the room was a little rough around the edges. Someone had clearly renovated… but done it DIY style, if you know what I mean. Just small things like bad painting jobs, poorly cut trim, sliding closet doors hung without the bottom slider track… that kind of thing.

poor workmanship in the room
This is what I mean by “rough around the edges”. ;)

The noise was also a bit disappointing, as the master bedroom looked out directly onto the main road. There was a fair bit of road noise and a ton of noise from drunk people walking back from downtown in the late night hours. The people walking past the windows also made it feel.. not very private. The property does have some rooms towards the back by the pool, and those might be a better choice if the noise is bothersome to you.

view from the bedroom
View from the master bedroom.

The room was equipped with “starter” quantities of things only. For example, just a few trash bags were provided, a couple loose dishwasher pods, a single roll of paper towels, etc. You are expected to supply the rest of your needs. This is pretty common for a vacation rental (not a hotel), but I didn’t quite realize that’s what we had signed up for until we arrived.

We were only there for the weekend so didn’t really need much. But if I had run out of that single roll of toilet paper, I would have been pretty ticked off. ;)

basket of goodies in the room
They left us snacks – very thoughtful!

They did leave a cute little basket of snacks and things to get us started – which I thought was a sweet touch!

The Pool & Amenities

pool at Ringling Beach House
Ringling Beach House pool.

Note that since this is an apartment style building, there is no traditional hotel lobby or common areas. This isn’t really a problem, but it is important to know if you plan on arriving before the check in time, as there will not be any place for you to hang out or leave your bags. In fact, there won’t even be a bathroom to use when you arrive. We left our stuff in the car and went exploring upon arrival.

The only common area is the shared swimming pool, which is a nice relaxing spot to take a dip after a day at the beach! The pool is on the smaller side – not much bigger than our home pool. But there were never more than a few guests there at a time, so it didn’t feel crowded at all.

beach wagons for guests
These are the beach wagons for guests.

Another great thing about Ringling Beach House is that they set you up with beach gear! Every unit had their own beach wagon, umbrella, small cooler, folding chairs, and beach towels. Very convenient if you’re coming from out of town and don’t have your own gear.

The Beach!

Siesta Key Beach

The main attraction here is the beach, of course. There are plenty of public access points for the beach all along Beach Road, including directly across from the Ringling Beach House. This was really convenient – we just loaded up our beach wagon and headed over each morning.

one of the beach access points
The beach access point across from the hotel.

As Floridians, we are used to great beaches, so can be kind of hard to impress in that department. Overall, I thought this was a really nice beach. It was pretty and wide, but not nearly as expansive as something like Clearwater Beach. It was windy with nice big waves when we visited, which was fun for my son! And it was not too busy, even during Spring Break.

getting frozen drinks at the concession stand
Refreshments from the beach concession stand.

There aren’t many shops or restaurants along the main drive, but if you head down to the main concession area (about 0.6 miles down the beach) you can find plenty of options there, including adult beverages. But that is a bit of a walk from the hotel!

The Service

So you have to frame the service appropriately for what it is. In this case, it’s much more of a vacation rental than a traditional hotel. There is no hotel lobby here or common areas. There isn’t even a restroom available besides the one in your room. As such, there is no “front desk” with staff members available. This isn’t a bad thing – but you need to go in with the right expectation.

A few days prior to arriving, I received an email with check in instructions and suggestions on things to do in the area. I thought that was helpful and a nice start!

When we arrived, there was no staff member on the property at all. But there was a phone number posted on the door, so we called it. They said it was fine to park at the hotel while we went to the beach, and they would call us when the room was ready. No one ever did call us. We wandered back around 3:30pm, to find the room was ready. A call would have been helpful though – we would have come back sooner.

There is also no housekeeping service. Again, fine for a vacation rental type place, but I would have expected it to be better equipped for a longer stay. For example, there were exactly three bath towels for three people. And exactly three beach towels. I would have like fresh towels after washing away the sand and saltwater- but no way to get them.

Would we visit again?

Yes, we would definitely consider Ringling Beach House next time we visit Siesta Key. Overall, it was a comfortable place to stay with easy access to the beach and the amenities in Siesta Key Village. I’m not sure it’s the best value to be found in town, but it worked well enough for our family, and I would visit again.

Ready to book a stay at Ringling Beach House? I recommend checking out the rates at Booking.com. We prefer to book our hotels through them when possible, because they have competitive rates and very generous cancellation policies.

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