Tropic Isle a favorite for families
SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Michael and Michele Patrick have made Tropic Isle Inn a family
destination with a host of amenities and reasonable prices.
Anna Maria Island is packed with overachievers. Sometimes I think the Island is the quintessential place where young, vibrant retirees go when they want to kick off their wingtips but still keep their laptops booted up. Michael and Michele Patrick, the owners of Tropic Isle Inn, have embraced this philosophy and are living their dream in the tropical mode.
Two years ago this month, the Patrick’s purchased the long-established Tropic Isle Inn in Bradenton Beach, saving Anna Maria from another condominium. Michele Patrick moved from Gainesville to oversee their new endeavor while Michael Patrick finished up his career as the Assistant Dean for Admissions for the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida in Gainesville, finally retiring in April 2009.
The couple undertook a complete renovation of the inn, doing most of the work themselves. Not only did they redecorate all of the units, with the help of their daughters, they also updated the plumbing, electric, air conditioning and roof. However, the renovation that made the biggest difference was actually a demolition. One of the buildings on the almost two acres of property was in very poor condition as well as taking up a lot of actual and visual space. Once it was gone, the entire property benefited from more light, greener space and great parking facilities.
The 14 unit Tropic Isle Inn is one of those old Florida, famil-oriented walk to the beach places that Florida has always been known for. The 14 units offer just about any size and configuration most people would need. They have six downstairs one bedroom poolside units with full kitchen; there are six upstairs king/queen hotel rooms with refrigerators, microwaves, and some with pull out sofas; for larger families or two couples, Tropic Isle has a poolside two bedroom with full kitchen and living room and a townhouse with two bedrooms, full kitchen, living room and deck with fabulous Gulf view. All units have one full bathroom and either a patio or deck, and no visit is complete without one of their Cord-a-Roys the ultimate in lounging.
Tropic Isle is unique in that it has a private beach across Gulf Drive reserved for the exclusive use of its guests. The inn has a free form heated pool, which was also part of the Patrick’s renovation of the property, plenty of poolside lounge chairs and lots of space for kids to romp while their parents can take advantage of the abundant shade under the plant-covered trellises and wonderful gazebo. Beach chairs, pool toys, barbeque grills, outdoor shower, nearby trolley, complimentary laundry facilities and dog friendly makes Tropic Isle Inn a first rate family vacation spot. In addition, the inn has permanent and portable handicap ramps, and since Michele Patrick is a full time physical therapist, the inn also has a variety of bathroom accessories for guests who may have some physical challenges.
Beach weddings at Tropic Isle Inn are really special, starting across the street on the private beach. Wedding couples can work out just about any arrangement they want relative to catering their event, including tents and entertainment. Weddings can be booked after season only in fairness to other guests, and 75 percent of the inn’s rooms must also be booked in order for the entire inn to be used for a wedding.
Michele Patrick says they are all about family and providing reasonably priced accommodations for long and short stays with special discounts for Florida residents, returning guests and military. The Patricks have two property managers and a housekeeper, and if a guest has a problem after office hours, they live only 5 minutes away.
Tropic Isle was voted one of the top five small businesses for 2009 by the Anna Maria Island Chamber, which thrilled Michael and Michele Patrick, who have worked hard on establishing themselves and their business in the community.
So if you’re looking for a spot to unwind, have a family reunion or get married, Topic Isle Inn combines tradition with bare feet for the overachiever in all of us. Tust call it the tropic of Anna Maria.
Tropic Isle Inn
101 22nd Street North
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