Budget accommodations—especially during the winter—are fairly hard to come by in Naples. The Sea Shell Motel (82 9th St. S., 239/262-5129, from $79 d) and the Sea Court Hotel (40 Tamiami Tr. N., 239/435-9700, from $99 d) are both somewhat dated and far from posh, but they’re clean, reasonably well-maintained, and close to downtown.
The Naples Courtyard Inn (2630 9th St. N., 239/261-3870, from $109 d) is not part of the Marriott chain; rather, this brightly painted semitropical motel has a selection of nice, if basic, guest rooms that have been recently redecorated. Most of the guest rooms are standard motel rooms (some of which are adjoining), but there are also a handful of one-bedroom suites with kitchenettes.
Each of the guest rooms at the Lemon Tree Inn (250 9th St. S., 239/262-1414, from $129 d) is individually decorated, which means you could get a plain hotel room with a gorgeous four-poster bed or a gorgeous guest room with a plain bed. The best guest room is the St. Croix Suite, with a separate entrance, two bathrooms, a kitchenette, and hardwood floors. All the guest rooms open up onto the courtyard and have mini-fridges and microwaves. There’s a pool on-site, where the daily continental breakfast is served.
The Gulfcoast Inn (2555 Tamiami Tr. N., 239/261-6046, from $109 d) is a fantastic budget option, especially in the off season. Located just behind a country club and just a five-minute walk to the beach, the inn offers surprisingly spacious guest rooms with kitchenettes and free Internet access. Some guest rooms have tile floors and are tropically decorated, while others are a little dowdier; all guest rooms overlook the large pool area and the poolside bar. There’s also a Japanese restaurant on the property.
It bills itself as a “boutique family resort,” and it’s hard to argue with that self-assessment of Inn of Naples (4055 Tamiami Tr. N., 239/649-5500, from $159 d). Despite the fact that it’s situated on the busy Tamiami Trail, having swampy Sugden Park out the back door gives it a surprisingly secluded feel. Inside, the property reflects a recent renovation, with fresh bright paint and up-to-date appointments masking decades-old hotel architecture. All guest rooms have private balconies and flat-screen TVs; in addition to hotel-style accommodations, there are also a handful of one- and two-bedroom suites.
Right on Naples Bay is the thatched-roof Cove Inn (900 Broad Ave. S., 239/262-7161, from $179 d). As far south on Ninth Street as you can go without falling into the water, the inn’s location is its prime attraction, but the clean spacious guest rooms are a good value. With mini-kitchens in the hotel rooms and suites with full kitchens, each guest room in this condo-hotel reflects the individual decorating choice of its owner. Accordingly, some of the guest rooms are hilariously chintzy, while others are just stocked with a typical array of pastels and pelicans.
Upscale lodging options abound in Naples, and although quite a few of the well-heeled head directly for the Ritz-Carlton (280 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., 239/538-3330, from $359 d), there are several other impressive and luxurious places to stay. Wrangling one of these plush beds during high season can be something of a challenge, but off-season rates for those prepared to wilt in the summer humidity are surprisingly manageable at most of them.
Perfectly located on Fifth Avenue downtown, the historic Inn on 5th (699 5th Ave. S., 239/403-8777, from $229 d) combines boutique-style intimacy with top-shelf grandeur. The 76 large guest rooms and 11 decadent suites are all decorated in a style that’s not overly ostentatious, with pillow-top bedding and nice touches like free Wi-Fi and iPod docks; the suites have Jacuzzis and balconies. There’s a beautifully landscaped pool in the back, and one of Naples’s best spas is on-site.
Also located downtown somewhat closer to the Tin City area is the Bellasera (221 9th St. S., 239/649-7333, from $249 d). Guest rooms are spacious condo-style accommodations, with contemporary upscale furnishings and luxurious touches that range from DVD players to marble countertops in the kitchen. Studio suites (a.k.a. regular hotel rooms) have refrigerators and a king-size bed, while the larger 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom suites have full kitchens and, in some cases, laundry rooms.
For those looking for elegant but reasonably priced beachside accommodations, the Hilton-owned Edgewater Beach Hotel (1901 Gulfshore Blvd., 888/564-1308, from $399 d) is an excellent option. All the guest rooms have recently been updated and are well-maintained. The property is family-friendly and perfect for a beach vacation while still being quite classy, with lavish modern decorations. Guests can get guest privileges for the spa, tennis, and swimming pools at the nearby Naples Grande, which is a bit fancier than the Edgewater but incredibly expensive.
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition