Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Gingerbread House
Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Gingerbread House
Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Gingerbread House
Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Gingerbread House
Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Gingerbread House

Hotel Holiday Happenings in Sarasota County

Now here’s a unique way to celebrate the holidays—enjoy special events happening at Sarasota area hotels. No reservation required (mostly).

Whether you’re a visitor or local, anyone can enjoy hotel décor that’s decked out for the holidays, sample special dishes, or ring in the new year with style.

Here’s a sampling of holiday events that will take place at Sarasota area hotels this year.

Check with hotels in advance for reservations.

Zota Beach Resort

A newer addition to Longboat Key’s beachfront hotels, Zota is know for its elegant but laidback style, Gulf of Mexico views and its delectable food. Come enjoy Christmas Zota-style during its Christmas brunch, held on Dec. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Zota’s Viento Kitchen + Bar. The brunch welcomes locals and guests to enjoy a chef carving of leg of lamb, honey-baked ham, grilled Tuscan chicken, smoked salmon, an omelet station, and seasonal desserts. Reservations are required, and the price is $49.95 per adult, $24.95 for children ages 4 to 11, and $10 per person for bottomless mimosas. Price includes complimentary valet parking.

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota Gingerbread House

In addition to the events below, The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota has an annual display made from gingerbread, frosting, and candy, created by executive pastry chef Lyndsy McDonald.

This year, see Santa and his reindeer taking a tropical-themed vacation with a hotel, restaurant, and spa suspended over water made of melted sugar. Yum!

  • Gingerbread Cookie Decorating. Dec. 8 to 15, 9:30 to 11 a.m. Give your little ones a chance to decorate gingerbread cookies with guidance from the hotel’s pastry team. $45 per person.
  • The Polar Express. Dec. 14, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Families can “travel” to the North Pole and enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores, just like in the movie “The Polar Express.” $25 per person.
  • Breakfast With Santa on the Bay. Dec. 16, 9 a.m. to noon. Enjoy a breakfast buffet with Santa as well as face painting, balloon art, photos, and cookie decorating. $59 per adult, $39 per child under 12, free for children under 3.
  • Christmas Ballroom Brunch, Dec. 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy a delectable brunch and The Ritz’s Christmas decorations. $124 per adult, $42 for children under 12, under 3 free.

The Westin Sarasota

The Westin Sarasota has become famous locally for its rooftop bar located on the nineteenth floor, and offering stunning views of downtown Sarasota and Sarasota bay. Enjoy New Year’s Eve on the rooftop or elsewhere in the hotel at either of the following events.

  • New Year’s Eve on EVOQ Terrace: 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Enjoy entertainment, a cash bar, champagne toast at midnight, and valet parking. $30 per person.
  • New Year’s Experience on the Roof: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The second annual New Year’s Experience on the Roof includes a top-shelf open bar for four hours, champagne toast to ring in the new year, entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts. Attendees must be 21 years or older and have a valid photo ID. $179 to $229.

The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Located right on the Gulf of Mexico with picturesque views, this AAA Four-Diamond resort will make a big splash for the holidays. Some special events hosted by The Resort at Longboat Key Club include the following, which are limited to resort members and their guests:

  • At the Santa Celebration on Dec. 24, 5 to 7 p.m., Santa Claus will visit the resort lobby, the Dickens Carolers will sing Christmas songs, and members and their guests can enjoy light holiday bites.
  • Christmas Dinner -- Dec. 25, 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. in the Harbourside Ballroom. From carving stations to salads, as well as a raw bar and desserts, you won’t go home hungry at this dinner. As a bonus, the kids can take a complimentary photo with Santa. $65 for adults, $25 per child.
  • Beach Olympics -- Dec. 28, 2 p.m. at Longboat Key Club Beach. After all that Christmas eating, get the family moving with team competition games right at the beach. $25 per person.
  • New Year’s Eve Celebration -- 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Harbourside Ballroom. The Resort at Longboat Key Club will celebrate the new year with a “Casablanca” theme, including casino games, food stations, dancing, and an open bar. Reservations and a seven-day cancellation notice are required. $250 per adult.