Review: Sarasota Modern, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel

The Sarasota Modern is a Tribute Portfolio Hotel by Marriott. Located in downtown Sarasota, it markets itself as a boutique hotel “with artistic flair to create an inviting space for modern thinkers”. In this post we share our experience at the hotel during our 3 night stay in June 2019.

Property Overview:

The hotel has a total of 89 rooms and suites and some have balconies and some are loft style. Since the hotel recently opened, they’ve been promoting themselves via Instagram with influencers showing how fun it is to stay here, especially in one of their Deluxe Suites located on the top floor and include a 200 sq. foot balcony with an outdoor claw foot tub.

View of the hotel and building construction

They have fun and unique amenities like a VW van shuttle, bikes to borrow, a cocktail demonstration on some days, a gym, outdoor games by the pool, 3 pools including a cool plunge pool, a Sunday afternoon pool party with DJ, and a nice gym.

Art at the Sarasota Modern
Max in the elevator at the Sarasota Modern

They also have fun art in the common areas for you to enjoy and take photos with and a restaurant/bar that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with indoor and outdoor seating.

– Really nice and comfortable sound-proof rooms.
– Convenient location to walk/bike in Sarasota and access beaches.
– Good pool bar and nice outdoor seating at the restaurant.
– Fun decor and design and nice balconies in some of the rooms.
– Nice gym with good equipment.

– Crowded pool area used for external parties and day passes holders.
– Needs better maintenance and attention to detail overall.
– No water in the gym for 3 days.
– Loud fans and smell from these fans affect enjoyment of balconies.
– Markets itself as a more adult-oriented boutique hotel but it was overrun with kids.
– Resort fee and what it includes is not transparent and this place isn’t really a resort.

Detailed Review:

Pool Area: We expected to stay at a more adult-oriented boutique hotel but this place was overrun with kids everywhere; from a pre-school graduation party one afternoon and a baby birthday party the following afternoon, the pool area was taken over by these special events that made it next to impossible to enjoy the pool area. We were also looking forward to using the outdoor ping pong table advertised in their Instagram feed but it had to be removed to accommodate the special events at the pool. There is very little shade by the pool area but they offer complimentary sunscreen. The other problem with the pool area is that they sell access for day passes so it can get very crowded for such a small pool area to begin with. The also supposedly cold plunge pool was not cold either…we thought it was a hot tub. They also kept running out of towels which was annoying as they charge a resort fee and generate revenue from special events by the pool.

View of the hotel from the pool area
View of the pool area from our room
Pool area
Setup for the kids birthday party

The restaurant: The restaurant is really nice and the outdoor seating actually provides a lot of shade. They have a great selection of craft beers on tap at reasonable prices. Since we had a room with a nice balcony, they let us take our beers up to our room, which was a nice touch. ..and what is up with Sarasota water? Both the water in the coolers at the pool and served at the restaurant had a strong odor and chemical taste to them, which we experienced in other places in the area. You might want to visit Whole Foods to buy bottled water.

Max sitting in the lobby at Rudolph’s Restaurant

The rooms: We really loved the room and found its design and furnishings to be of high quality which accentuated our comfort. Two things this hotel got right; the bathroom nightlight and the sound-proofing. The fans over the restaurant and construction can be quite loud but when the patio doors are closed, you don’t hear anything. We also didn’t hear too much noise from the other rooms or hallways. It’s a toss-up; you’ll want a room away from the fans but the farther you get from the fans, the closer you are to the construction of the building beside the hotel. There was also garbage from the previous stay left in our room which should not have been there.

Bedroom in a King Balcony room at the Sarasota Modern Hotel
Seating area in a King Balcony room at the Sarasota Modern Hotel
Bathroom in a King Balcony room at the Sarasota Modern Hotel

The location and parking: The hotel is in a great location to walk/bike into Sarasota town. Since we come and go a few times per day, we only used the valet parking at night and were able to find street parking near the hotel very easily. They just don’t have space for a self-park lot but it is annoying to have no choices other than valet to park at this hotel. Thankfully, the valet parking is included in the resort fee…at least for now.

Max in downtown Sarasota

The gym: The hotel has a nice gym with 2 Peloton bikes and windows which makes it appealing to workout. What is not appealing is the water dispenser which was out of service and broken the 3 days we were there despite us telling the front desk. We also noticed the gym hadn’t been serviced while we were there, i.e garbage not removed and towels replenished.

Gym at the Sarasota Modern


We were really excited to stay here and wanted to love it, but just couldn’t. We feel that this hotel advertises one thing and delivers something else. Their lack of transparency for their resort fee based on how they use the common amenities on the property is also misleading.

We also had an issue at check-out; our bill was never emailed to us despite asking twice. We feel that overall this hotel talks a big game but then under-delivers on small things. It was really disappointing to not be able to use the pool due to the external parties but thankfully there were beaches nearby for us to relax at.

Have you ever stayed at a hotel and been disappointed?

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