My husband has a commitment in Bradenton during this coming Sunday. So, I figured, why not do a quick family getaway since it’s a Labor Day weekend. Many Florida beaches on the Gulf side are plagued by red tide right now, so I really don’t want to risk spending a good bit of money/points on a beachfront hotel, and not being able to get in the water. I’m still debating on where we will end up staying, but that’s a post for another day.
However, my research has turned up an interesting find, and I wanted to share it with you guys right away. Introducing Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club, Autograph Collection
This is a brand new Marriott property located near one of the best beaches in Florida. It’s not beachfront, but according to my research, it takes only 5 minutes to walk to a beach. Besides, the resort provides a free shuttle to their own beach club that apparently has bathrooms and even an air-conditioned space to relax. There are no resort fees, and here is the best part:
I seriously couldn’t believe my eyes, and had to check several times to make sure it’s actually 35,000 points for a 2-bedroom/2-bath unit. Unbelievable deal. If you have an Amex SPG card and just got a renewal certificate, you can use it to book this property.
As you can see, paid rate is close to $500 per night, which is normal for spring months. So, being able to use just 28k Marriott points instead (on a 2-bedroom unit, no less!) is an incredible bargain. And it even has a kitchen, plus washer and a dryer. Since it’s a new property, TripAdvisor doesn’t yet have many reviews, but they are mostly positive.
Be aware that cancellation policy is quite strict:
Here is a map to give you an idea where the resort is located:
The closest airport is in Sarasota (SRQ), but Tampa is pretty convenient also. If you are looking to add a stay here after visiting Disney, it’s about a 2-hour drive. Sure, there are beaches that are more convenient and easier to reach, but Anna Maria island is a hidden gem, and coming here is worth the effort. Take it from a local, this is what real Florida is all about.
Sunset on Anna Maria island
Rethinking applying for Amex SPG Luxury card
Discovering this resort has been a game changer for me. I wrote about new Amex SPG Luxury card and said I feel a bit lukewarm about the offer But now it’s not a matter of if I will apply but when.The resort has a restaurant, so it shouldn’t be too hard to use up $300 credit if you eat on-property. Note that the card doesn’t currently pay us commission, just to get that out of the way in case someone wants to question my motives.
I’ve been wanting to take my parents to Anna Maria island for few nights, but there were no points options available. Until now! Unfortunately, my parents are not coming here till 2020, so I’m sure the rate will go up by then. But I’m going to keep an eye on it and hopefully apply for this card in June of 2019.
Sure, being able to get a room in Maldives for 60k Marriott points per night is probably a better deal on paper. But, if you are a regular family who just wants a spend a spring break in a quant Florida town by the beach, this is it! Grab it while you can.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.