Smuggler's Cove Resort
Bradenton Beach, Florida
Smuggler's Cove Beach Resort is located on Anna Maria Island, between the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway. Resort amenities include a heated pool, Jacuzzi, horseshoes, bicycles, fishing dock and bayfront barbecue grills. During your stay, no need to worry about beach chairs, umbrellas or beach towels - all are provided! As is wi-fi internet, bicycles, games and a book exchange. Attend one (or several!) of the scheduled activities at Smuggler's Cove, whether it be a welcome breakfast, hot dog/chicken roast, shell hunting and crafting or sipping Florida Dreamsicles and playing trivia games by the pool.
Smuggler’s Cove offers well-appointed studio and one-bedroom units Each studio is equipped with a queen-size bed, while the one-bedroom units include a king- size bed in the bedroom and a queen-size sleeper-sofa in the living room. Both configurations have large, fully-equipped kitchens with refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, standard and microwave ovens, as well as cookware and appliances. Each unit also has a large TV with a DVD player and stereo CD-players.
Anna Maria Island is well known for its dazzling white sand beaches and clear blue Gulf waters. There's plenty of ways to stay busy besides the beach, however! Nearby is a cultural center with outstanding art museums, great dining choices, and fabulous shopping. There are also seventeen golf courses and, within an hour's drive is the Mosi Museum, the Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, and more. Less than three hours away is Walt Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, and other world-famous attractions.
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Smuggler's Cove is an older resort, but the units were clean and well-maintained. The staff people were all very friendly.
Our 2 bedroom unit (201) had a full kitchen, dinette, living area, two king bedrooms, and a single shared bathroom. There were adequate cutlery and dishes in the kitchen and the appliances were in good condition. The living area had a 27 LCD TV, sofa bed, love seat, and chair. One of the bedrooms had a 19 inch tube TV. A towel exchange was done Tuesday (for Saturday check-ins).
The internet connection was spotty and very slow at the beginning of the week and was lost altogether by the Thursday of our stay. This was apparently due to some sort of equipment failure they were in the process of fixing.
We had made a few local calls which the resort waived charges for. Free local newspapers were available at the front office each day. My wife borrowed a book from the office library and rented a few movies for the kids ($1 each).
Smuggler's Cove has a nice garden area overlooking the inter-coastal waterway, but only a handful of units overlook this. Most units have a parking lot view. Our unit (201, the westernmost unit) was probably the only one from which you could catch a glimpse of the Gulf across the street. There is a dock on the inter-coastal waterway with a fish cleaning station. There are also BBQs and picnic areas dispersed through the garden. The BBQs were of decent quality, but a few were overdue for a grille replacement. The igniters did not seem to work on any of them, but a lighter seemed to float around between them (you sometimes had to look for it).
There were a few garden hoses around the property, which were handy when my son and I needed to rinse some SCUBA gear after a dive. As for SCUBA, we dove on some ledges about 10 miles off Anna Maria Island, but the visibility was terrible, averaging around 20-25 feet (this was the second week of July).
The resort had a nice pool area, which was shared with the other two RCI resorts on the property (Gulf Stream Beach Resort and The Penthouses at Gulf Stream). Pool towels were provided.
A private dune walkover across the street leads to a nice Gulf beach, where the resort provides white plastic loungers (sometimes there were not enough of these and they are locked up by 4 PM). Beach umbrellas were provided at the office, but we used our own as theirs were pretty small. The dune walkover itself is past due for replacement -- wear footwear to protect against splinters.
Our family partook of the complimentary Monday breakfast (donuts, coffee, and juice) and Tuesday hot dog BBQ ($1 per person -- good value).
In summary, this was a nice, clean, base for a visit to Anna Maria Island. This was our second stay on the property (last year we stayed at Gulf Stream Beach Resort on the same property) and we would be happy to stay again.
I am at Smuggler's Cove at the present time and just loving it. Very clean. Very friendly people, employees and owners/guests.
I have been able to walk to my hearts content, from beach to sidewalks. The traffic is a bit heavy but it's also February.
The pool and jacuzzi are wonderful. Laundry facilities down the hall included extra soap and softener sheets besides what were provided in the room when I checked in.
My room is a studio and for the price, it's wonderful! Full kitchen minus a dishwasher. Refrigerator even has ice maker.
Compared to the "resort" I stayed at for two previous nights before checking in here, this is heaven!!
Beach access directly across the road with the rather cool Gulf of Mexico. Chairs are out there provided by Smuggler's Cove. And what gorgeous sunsets!! Bring your cameras.
I love the location but the facility is little more than a converted Motel Room a la Roadway Inn or possibly an Econolodge. The room I was in was clean. The fridge was a bit long in the tooth and the kitchenette was spartan.
It wasn't a fair trade for my Sapphire Beach week in St. Maarten. We did a week trade. Under the RCI points scheme we could have gotten the room for far less than the 38,000 points our unit is worth. Ibelieve it would have cost 23,000.
The room was functional and more importantly, clean. Linnen change is made once a week.
The pool and hot tub are adequate and a lot of free activities are included.
Were we disappointed NO. But we weren't entranced either.
The location is the major factor. Their beach was fantastic and a short walk netted you three terrific restaraunts in the area.
When I win the lottery, I will buy a condo on Anna Maria Island. This is my Margaritaville!
Much to do a short distance away from outlet shopping to two terrific museums.
In my opinion Smugglers is worth no more than 90.00 a night tops.
- Laundry Room
- Outdoor Pool
- Playground Area
- Whirlpool/Hot Tub
- Car Rental
- Drug Store
- Grocery Store
- Health Club
- Horseback Riding
- Live Entertainment
- Medical Facilities
- Shopping Area
- Water Skiing
1501 Gulf Dr N
Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
- Resort cluster
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