This was our first time to Anna Maria Island, but we’ll certainly come back! We left Chicago at 8:30 and were enjoying fresh fish and eggplant fries (yum!) at The Beach Cafe next to Gulf Sands by early afternoon! The condo was great – clean, bright, airy and comfortable and the new bathrooms were beautiful! The view of the beach from the balcony was awesome, and although the weather was a bit cool during our stay, we enjoyed warmth and sunshine there each morning, followed by hours each day on the beautiful white sand beach. It was so nice to have access to the beach chairs provided in the unit’s storage room downstairs! Although we didn’t end up using the pool, it was large and tastefully landscaped all around, so we’ll be sure to enjoy it next time we’re down!
Our timing was lucky – we had a ball at the Holiday of Treasures Open House evening hosted by the local merchants and even got to ride in one of the decorated boats in the Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights the next night (fun)! All the shopping was so close and there were so many great places nearby for fresh seafood! The free island shuttle was an awesome way to get around the island, with pick-up and drop-off right next door!
We were in need of a stress-free, relaxing get-away, and got just that! Although we could have stayed so-o much longer, we left happy and refreshed! Thanks so much for everything!
Submitted via FlipKey/TripAdvisor by Leslie Jones from Chicago, Illinois, for her stay in 12/2014
This was only our second time to the island and first at this condo. We love this location, as it is convenient to everything and the view is amazing! We enjoyed the beach each day except for a stormy Wednesday. We used that day to visit Snooty at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton and a $2 movie at the DeSoto Mall.
Guest Book entry by the Coble family from Oak Ridge, North Carolina, for their stay in 7/2014
Our family consists of kids ranging from 4 yrs to 18 yrs. We have stayed at Gulf Sands multiple times and for the cost of unit 103, it was by far the best deal! The furnishings were nice, appreciated the Tommy Bahama bedding and touches of this sort. This was a nice place for sleeping 6, we love how Gulf Sands is just a short walk to Publix and right next to AMI’s Beach Cafe and the public beach is fun having volleyball nets and a kids play structure. It’s the perfect unit for the perfect price. There also is a newer elevator for those who need to avoid steps.
Submitted via FlipKey/TripAdvisor by Tricia Boubin from South Sioux City, Nebraska, for her stay in 6/2014
We visit the Tampa area every year, and have always made a day trip out of Anna Maria Isle. This year, we decided to make a 4day/3night stay, and boy was it worth it. We got to experience the true Anna Maria life just long enough to make us know we have to come back again. We always squeeze in an Orlando park or two when we come down, and Anna Maria got us well rested for the venture. Holmes beach has always been on our calendar, and when we learned this property was right on it, next to all the facilities, it became the top on our list. Place is clean, and beds are comfortable. If you want to be a beach bum for several days, you will not be disappointed.
Submitted via FlipKey/TripAdvisor by Robert from Des Moines, Iowa, for his stay in 5/2014
This was the best vacation ever! Golf Sands 103 was an excellent choice. We won’t stay anywhere else in the future. From the fabulous beach view to the sand toys in the locker everything was spectacular.
Submitted via Glad To Have You by Patty from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for her stay in 3/2014
This was our third visit to this wonderful vacation spot on Anna Maria Island. Each year the owners make terrific changes to the unit. This year we enjoyed a totally renovated master bath. The location is absolutely excellent—a gorgeous view of the Gulf from the balcony, just steps from the unit to the beach and a spectacular large pool. This year we discovered new biking and kayaking adventures—all easily accessible from the unit. The owners and rental agent are very responsive.
Submitted via HomeAway by Jean for her stay in 2/2014
From the moment your drawn into the condo by the view from the verandah, you feel at home! You find a spotlessly clean, we’ll decorated place you can relax, every detail is taken care of right down to the basket full of info on the island itself. Access to the storage locker was great, providing beach needs and saving us room in our vehicle to get some extras from the local shops! Did I mention the master bath, talk about a WOW factor, it rivals those we have seen in high-end hotels, well really on HGTV. This place is absolutely perfect, the location couldn’t be better! So close to the beach, if you leave the windows open at night you will be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves on the shore! Just outside is the free shuttle stop, yes I said free! The shuttle runs on a regular schedule with stops all over the island allowing very easy access to shops and restaurants! The island itself is a little bit of heaven on earth, great shops ,restaurants and locals, not to mention the fabulous beaches!
We did have some questions for the owners and they were answered instantaneously. If you are a couple looking for some time for yourselves or a family looking for fun in the sun, this two bedroom slice of paradise is for you! I highly recommend this condo on this island, you will absolutely love it!
By the way, as a chef, in my travels, I look for great food and we found it! The Sandbar Restaurant met all my standards and more! Wonderful food great staff and over the top location, check it out when you’re on the island!
Submitted via HomeAway by Darwin for his stay in 11/2013
From the minute you walk in and take in that view from the verandah, you feel at home. Everything we needed was already in place, the owners really pay attention to detail! Even access to the storage locker, which allowed us the use of the beach chairs saved us so much room in our vehicle to grab some extras from the local shops! Did I mention the master bath, talk about a wow factor, very upscale rivaling baths we have seen in high end hotels, well really on HGTV!
Upon our arrival we found the unit spotless and very we’ll organized, complete with a basket of island info that was very helpful. We did have a couple questions for the owners and they were answered immediately! Top of the line customer service, amenities and location. I highly recommend this beautiful rental and gorgeous island for any couple or family looking for a great vacation. I mean come on people, if you leave the windows open at night you can hear the waves on the shore, talk about being on the beach!
The island itself is great, great shops, great food and quality fishing, not to mention the beaches.
Submitted via HomeAway by Darwin for his stay in 11/2013
We stayed here in May 2013, and had a wonderful time. The beds were comfortable and it was well stocked. Beach access was simple and the view, although from the side that included public beach access and parking lot, was still enjoyable. We never used the pool, although it appeared clean, because the beach was too wonderful to waste time at the pool :). The only things I would caution about: 1) There is no elevator, and even first floor rooms must use the stairs to access, so it is not handicap accessible; 2) During our stay, the washer and dryer worked, but not very well. 3) We found evidence of a cat recently in residence (several very fine hairs on furniture/master bed, mild scent in master closet), so if you’re allergic, ask about this. None of these things affected our stay, and for the price we paid, we felt we did well by renting this unit, and would do so again.
Submitted via FlipKey by Cadi74 from Birmingham, Alabama, for their stay in 5/2013
The location was great and the pool was wonderful. The only thing that I can suggest is maybe have a queen bed in the other bedroom where the twin beds were. The condo was o.k. with the cleaning except that I had to wash the rugs in the master bathroom before using and the tile in condo was really dirty. We had to throw away our white socks after we got home. I think the cleaning company needs to be told to clean a little better.
Submitted via HomeAway by Alice A. for her stay in 3/2013
This is our second year spending a month in this condo unit. It was better than ever even though the weather was a little cool. The owners have made several improvements: a new mattress and box spring in the master bedroom, new shutters in both bedrooms, a new flat screen TV mounted on the wall in the master bedroom, and new Rachel Ray cookware, among other things. The Condominium takes very good care of the common areas. The pool is clean and well maintained. The Condo was installing new plantings during our stay. It is a perfect location—just steps to the pool and a very short walk across the parking area to the beach. This year because of the cool weather we had a new appreciation of the balcony. Because it blocks the north wind, we could comfortably sit outside in the sun with fantastic view of the beach. It was like actually being on the beach without the chilly wind.
Submitted via VRBO by Jean B. from West Kingston, Rhode Island, for her stay in 2/2013
Each time I’ve stayed the condo is nice, clean and has a homely feeling to it once you enter. The condo is in a great location and I love how I can just walk right out on the beach. I am a big fan of the pool area! The temperature is just right and there are shaded areas if needed to get out of the sun. The latest update I saw was the elevator that had been installed. This update was useful when carrying up my luggage and groceries. Keep up the great work! Can’t wait to schedule my stay again.
Submitted via VRBO by Julie V. for her stay in 2/2013
We were on the island for the first time for a family wedding—we love your place and the island. We are pretty big foodies and were more than pleased to find both Eat Here and Beach Bistro—big city eating on the island. Skinny’s was an amazing lunch spot.
Guest Book entry by Brad and Leah from Cincinnati, Ohio, for their stay in 11/2012
We have had another two weeks here and have had so much enjoyment and fun. The weather was, yet again, so good to us . . . We are now trying to work out when we can come again.
Guest Book entry by Jenny, David, and Stephanie Haynes from the United Kingdom for their stay in 10/2012
Yes, we’re back again as we enjoyed the condo, the area, the restaurants, the free trolley, and of course the beach. You maintain such a nice clean fully equipped unit, there’s no decision, COME BACK AGAIN, AND WE DID.
Submitted on VRBO by Bud and Fran from Marengo, Illinois, for their stay in 8/2012
We had a wonderful time here with 3 teenage kids and 2 sisters. The location is perfect and we loved being so close to the beach! Sunsets were absolutely perfect—amazing! Watching dolphins every day and hearing the drums play at sunset was a memory we will never forget. Took a trip to the MOTE aquarium—the kids thought it was the best! They loved the fossil creek—$5 to sift thru sand and got 25-50 sharks teeth each. Enjoyed dinner at Rotten Ralph’s and Sandbar and breakfast at the beach. Weather was wonderful—couldn’t ask for a better trip. Fun way to bring 2 families together.—Loved all the beach stuff in the storage unit. Great condo, would love to come back.
Guest Book entry for a stay in 8/2012
I have been to your condo on several different occasions, sorry I haven’t been on here sooner to write. Each time I’ve stayed the condo is nice, clean and has a homely feeling to it once you enter. The condo is in a great location and I love how I can just walk right out on the beach. I am a big fan of the pool area! The temperature is just right and there are shaded areas if needed to get out of the sun. The latest update I saw was the elevator that had been installed. This update was useful when carrying up my luggage and groceries. Keep up the great work! can’t wait to schedule my stay with you guys again.
Submitted via HomeAway by Julie V. for her stay in 7/2012
This was our second annual trip to Anna Maria and I could not imagine having picked a better place to stay for myself and my 3-year old son. I am so immensely grateful for a week full of sleeping in and waking to a bright, clear beach, breakfast on the terrace, morning jaunts to neighborhood attractions (Mote Aquarium, Jungle Gardens, Wild Cat Sanctuary), early afternoon naps, and lunch on the terrace and afternoons wither splashing at the pool or bobbing in the warm waves of the Gulf (while searching for pirate treasure!) We were also lucky enough to be treated to a nighttime lightning storm our last night here—so beautiful! THANK YOU for providing a perfect sanctuary from our busy New York City lives.
Guest Book entry by Sara and Sebastian Kellner from Astoria, New York, for their stay in 5/2012
What a wonderful rental on Anna Maria Island! It was exactly as pictured and described. Wonderful view from covered, shaded balcony. The balcony had two chairs and two loungers with cushions on all. Plus dining table and smaller tables. Spent all breakfasts and many other times there enjoying the gulf view. The condo was nicely decorated, the king bed was comfy. All was clean and quiet. Big flat screen TV was great. Tons of towels and beach towels. Washer and dryer were nice to use. Didn’t use kitchen much—except for coffeemaker and fridge—but looked like all the basics were there. Great closet on parking level that was filled with beach chairs and umbrella (in good shape) along with inflatables, sand toys, etc. The beach was lovely and May must be a great time to visit as it was never crowded. Restaurants also not crowded. And NO bugs anywhere. This was our first visit to Anna Maria Island and we will be back and would rent this condo again for sure. Both the owner and rental company were nice to deal with and professional. Couldn’t ask for a better experience. I wholeheartedly recommend this condo to anyone lucky enough to snag it.
Submitted via VRBO by Nancy from Washington, Pennsylvania, for her stay in 5/2012
Nice “off season” time—beach not crowded, no bugs . . . lovely! Our first trip to Anna Maria Island and now we have ANOTHER “favorite” place for vacations! And this condo was perfect: great décor, great view, quiet, big TV . . . what more could you need?! Enjoyed mornings on balcony, days on beach, sunsets and good meals: Starfish Co. and Seafood Shack (both in Cortez), Waterfront Rest. And Rod & Reel (Anna Maria) and Mr. Bones BBQ. Enjoyed seeing a dolphin leap out of the weather next to us while we were on pier then swim under pier after grabbing a fish . . . We’d return here anytime—wonderful stay!
Guest Book entry by Nancy and John from Washington, Pennsylvania for their stay in 5/2012
Once again a wonderful vacation in Anna Maria. Found some good places to eat and have cocktails. Connected with old friends. Love the beach. Beautiful weather. Your condo is our home away from home. We also were lucky to have wonderful cool breezes at night. All in all a great time away from all the stress at home.
Guest Book entry by Tom and Helen for their stay in 5/2012
My wife and I had a wonderful week on Anna Maria Island. We really loved the location of the condo it was only steps from the white sandy beach and the trolley stop is adjacent to the condominiums making it easily accessible to go anywhere on the Island.. The condo was very clean with a nice balcony overlooking the beautiful sunsets. There’s plenty of restaurants on the island but I’d have to say two of our favorites were The Sand Bar for the view/sunset and The Blue Marlin (quality of food). Since we enjoyed our stay so much we’ve already booked our trip for next year.
Submitted via VRBO by Michael and Kathy for their stay in 4/2012
My husband and I came down here for our 25th wedding anniversary/husband’s 50th Birthday get away. The condo was the perfect place to relax on the balcony with the spectacular view! The location is perfect with the trolley stop and Beach Café next door. Absolutely loved the décor of the condo! So cozy and comfortable. We spent every day on the beach and every night out for dinner as you can see on the previous review! This Island is a paradise away from home. We will be back! What a blessing to have such a beautiful place. We really enjoyed our vacation. 85-88 degrees and sunny everyday but one. Going back with a great tan and well rested. As far as restaurants on the island, Sandbar and Beachhouse are great for a sunset dinner but food is marginal. Waterfront—EXCELLENT FOOD! Nice outdoor seating. Blue Marlin—small cozy restaurant with excellent services and outstanding food. Hurricane Hanks—great bar atmosphere with a great Grouper sandwich, good place for lunch. I manage a group of 28 restaurants and clubs in Chicago so take my advice and you’ll enjoy your dinners! Most places close down by 10pm however is your looking for a cool place to hangout for a drink, Bridgetender Bar is hopping after 10pm.
Guest Book entry by the Abbates from Sleepy Hollow, Illinois, for their stay in 4/2012
This Gulf Sands condo offered a perfect location for our family of five to enjoy the island and all that beach life has to offer. We had an excellent view of the beach and water and were just a short stroll to the sand. This condo comes with a storage closet full of beach chairs, sand toys and umbrellas. Our children loved the pool, which was clean and very well maintained. The condo was very clean, stocked full with soft towels and had very comfortable bedding and beds. We spent lots of time on the balcony and enjoyed the big screen TV. We ate at the Cafe on the Beach, which was extremely convenient (walked there next door in flip flops.) We also drove to the Cortez Kitchen and had an awesome lunch including sushi, Grouper sandwiches and clam chowder—loaded with clams. We bought gorgeous fresh shrimp and stone crab at the fish market next to Cortez Kitchen and enjoyed some of our best meals cooking at the condo. We drove to the DeSoto Memorial National Monument for a sobering look at Florida’s early history. The children were fascinated by this free adventure and they had hands on activities and a cool walking trail near the water. We also went to the state museum in Bradenton to see Snooty the manatee, fossils and more Florida artifacts.
Submitted via VRBO by Judy R. from Omaha, Nebraska, for her stay in 4/2012
This was our first trip to Anna Maria Island and we loved every minute of it! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful condo. We enjoyed its location, view, conveniences, and comfort! The weather was gorgeous this week (sunny and low/mid 80s every day). Our kids loved the beach and pool. We also especially enjoyed the Starfish Company for fresh seafood and Mr. Bones. We also had a very fun boat trip with Capt. Kathe (Katie!) that we would highly recommend (found conch, crabs, sand dollars). Thank you so much for the use of your home and to welcome us to Anna Maria Island!
Guest Book entry by the Brandt family from Lowell, Michigan, for their stay in 4/2012
As we draw near to the end of our four weeks in this fantastic condo, we appreciate even more all the special things about this wonderful vacation spot. It is literally steps from the Gulf of Mexico. We have had so many great walks on its wide, white sand beach. And, what can beat swimming in that gorgeous turquoise water. A real plus is the very large storage locker where we could store our sandy beach chairs and other beach paraphernalia. Though we brought our own chairs, the condo had 3-4 of its own and lots of other play things. The heated pool at the condo is also perfect—we spent many happy hours in it. The view of the Gulf from the balcony and living room of the condo is really excellent—perfect places for reading, lounging, entertaining friends and watching the dolphins play. We really did see dolphins close to shore almost every day. The condo is well equipped, clean and beautifully appointed. It is also very convenient to stores and restaurants. The owner and his rental agent, Coastal Cottages AMI, have been very helpful, and the description of the apartment is very accurate. We have no hesitation recommending this lovely spot.
So, what do we really think about this wonderful beachfront condo on Anna Maria Island? We have already put down our deposit for next year!
Submitted via VRBO by Jean B. from West Kingston, Rhode Island, for her stay in 2/2012
It was a treat to be on the beach and to ride our bikes around such a lovely island. We visited with my sister, who lives just four miles over the bridge. When the short cold snap hit, we went to the Big Bend Power Plant (in Apollo Beach) to see the manatees and to the Clearwater aquarium to see “Winter” the dolphin. We were very comfortable here and enjoyed the neighbors. Thank you for the chance to get to know Anna Maria Island!
Guest Book entry by Joe and Anna McDonald from Middleport, New York, for their stay in 2/2012
Thanks for sharing your home, we really felt comfortable here. We stayed our first night in Florida up on St. Pete Beach and during our stay here we traveled down to Siesta Key to compare the beaches for future visits. We have to say that we very much preferred Holmes beach. We used the fishing charter service up the road by Wells Fargo and had great success. If you want to deep sea go before February 1 or after April 1. There are restrictions on a number of fish during those 2 months. We attended the annual Forks to Corks event at the Ringling Museum and had a wonderful time sampling all the local fare. Thank you also for the Wi-Fi—my children were able to stay up on their school work during the week as well.
Guest Book entry by Michael and Rebecca Carr from Minneapolis, Minnesota, for their stay in 2/2012
We really love this place! Out your door, and a few steps away is the pool, and a few steps more you are on the beach. Within a few hundred feet you have a park for the kids or grandkids, a beach cafe that has evening entertainment, beach volleyball, and the free island trolley that takes you around the island.
This condo is comfortable and nicely decorated. The view from the balcony and master bedroom of the white sand beach and ocean is a great one. The units’ balcony overlooks Manatee Beach, a great place for morning coffee. The storage unit includes beach chairs and other water sport items. Long walks on the beach are priceless. And, the sunsets on Anna Maria are awesome! We would definitely come back!
Submitted via VRBO by Ronald G. from Huntley, Illinois, for his stay in 11/2011
Thanks for sharing your very clean and comfortable condo. We needed a relaxing get-a-away and found it here! The location is prime. Walks on the beach, breakfast right next door at the Café on the Beach, reading on the beach, under an umbrella, many wonderful places on the Island to eat, and awesome sunsets . . . it doesn’t get any better! Please we enjoyed for food and drinks: Sandbar, Rod & Reel Pier, Duffy’s, MarVista, Gulf Dr. Café.
Guest Book entry by Mike and Sally Miller from Atlanta, Georgia, for their stay in 10/2011
Had a wonderful time here once again, even though we did have some rain and windy days. Enjoyed the beach and Café for breakfast. We are off on our long journey home to the United Kingdom.
Guest Book entry by Oessa and Stephen Perciva for their stay in 10/2011
Have had a wonderful week! The condo was very nice, as was the pool. The weather couldn’t have been better until today—its pouring with lots of thunder and lightning—which makes it a little easier to leave for home. Thanks for all the amenities—we didn’t lack anything.
Guest Book entry by Norm and Bernice Knapp from Rochester, New York, for their stay in 9/2011
Anna Maria has been our beach vacation for 30 years. Enjoyed it with family and friends!
Guest Book entry by the Crawford family for their stay in 8/2011
AWESOME place! We absolutely loved staying here! This is the perfect place for a family to stay. You literally walk out your door, down the steps, and you are at the pool and a few steps more you are at the beach. You don’t have to cross the road like at many other places. I cannot say enough great things about this condo and its location! We have never been so pleased, therefore, we booked again for next year.
Guest Book entry by the Bates family for their stay in 7/2011
We absolutely loved staying here!!! Greg and the rental company are so nice to work with. This is the perfect place for a family to stay. You literally walk out your door, down the steps, and you are at the pool and a few steps more you are at the beach. You don’t have to cross the road like at many other places. I cannot say enough great things about this condo and its location!! We have never been so pleased, therefore, we booked again for next year.
Submitted via HomeAway by Elisabeth for her stay in 7/2011
We had a great mother and daughter’s getaway at the condo. It was a beautiful location. We loved the view from the balcony of the white sand beach and clear blue ocean. The beach is right next to the condo. We enjoyed using the beach chairs and reading and relaxing. It was an easy walk to come back for lunch. We rented Redbox movies from the box in front of the CVS, which was very convenient. The nearby cafe had evening entertainment and even a “drum circle” on Friday night. The condo was beautifully decorated and very comfortable. We would definitely come back!
Submitted via HomeAway by Lydia for her stay in 6/2011
We like the unit because we could walk (2-4 blocks) to grocery store, CVS, restaurants, shopping and trolley stop. This unit has a casual, comfortable beachy feel. It has a great heated pool which we used daily. The unit has a balcony that overlooks Manatee Beach. A great place for morning coffee. My husband loved the large flat screen HD TV. We rented bikes for a week and biked all over island. We found lots of great places to eat. The sunsets on Anna Maria are so awesome! We would return to this unit again.
Submitted via HomeAway by MN for her stay in 3/2011
This beach condo was so comfortable and beautifully decorated. The view was spectacular. We saw dolphins everyday from the balcony and the sunsets were amazing. The beach cafe right next door was perfect for a quick meal or cocktail. You don’t even need to rent a car. The trolley takes you around this quaint little island. There were so many shops and restaurants. We loved the Waterfront restaurant and of course the Sandbar Restaurant. We especially like Hurricane Hanks for the grouper sandwiches. Anna Maria Island is the best little getaway for families, couples, or a girls getaway. The long walks on the beach are priceless. We have been to the Bahamas, Cancun, The Virgin Islands and Acapulco. This is the best for the price and the flight time from Chicago. In 2 1/2 hours you’re in paradise and in the United States.
Submitted via HomeAway by Beachbaby for her stay in 1/2011
Just spent our first week on Anna Maria Island, will definitely not be our last! The condo was central to everything on the island, had a trolley stop right outside the condo, and easy access to everything we wanted and needed. We loved how comfortable and at home we felt inside the condo – instantly felt comfortable in the living space. We loved that the beach was just a few steps from the condo, the ocean was in full view – it was the perfect couple’s get away. We also noticed that the island was very family-friendly with lots of play areas and city parks everywhere for families with young children. We can’t wait to go again!
Submitted via HomeAway by Greg and Connie for their stay in 9/2010
We spent the first week of June at this unit and will certainly return as soon as we can. The beach is beautiful (as well as the water) and the accommodations exceeded expectations. The Trolley service at the door taking you all over the island eliminates the need for a car. Next time we’ll just take a cab from the airport and save the rental money. NO OIL OR TAR! The pool, sundown on the beach or from the balcony make this a more relaxing and comfortable place.
Submitted via HomeAway by Bud for his stay in 5/2010
I can’t wait to come back. This condo is very tastefully decorated, spotless and the most beautiful balcony view of the beach. The location is perfect and the trolley takes you all around the Island. The beach cafe is right next door with entertainment and good food. The sunsets are spectacular and the sand is pristine. This is the perfect getaway for couples, girls get away, or families looking for a laidback casual beach vacation. Very inviting. I will be back . It truly is paradise. Must see: The Sandbar Restaurant, The Waterfront Restaurant, and Hurricane Hanks for the best grouper sandwiches.
Submitted via HomeAway by Beachbaby for her stay in 5/2010
This beachfront condo was my husband and I’s second honeymoon! It was such a nice place that was a walkable distance to local attractions and restaurants. The condo was clean and up to date with a great view from the balcony. We always felt safe and really couldn’t have asked for a better place!
Submitted via HomeAway by SunSeeker for her stay in 4/2010