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Colony Beach & Tennis Resort (closed)

Longboat Key, Florida

By Roger Cox, Editor

CLOSED. After 40 years of operation, the Colony ceased operations on August 15, 2010.


Caneel mar2015

Develop your tennis skills during your luxury Caribbean getaway to Caneel Bay Resort. Work with our outstanding Peter Burwash International Tennis staff, surrounded by lush U.S. Virgin Islands National Park land. Enjoy our 7 private beaches, massage cabanas, fine dining—all located on the secluded island of St. John. For information and reservations: 340-776-6111 or visit www.caneelbay.com

Doubles Boot Camps

Ladies Tennis Retreats. Gather your friends and join the Cliff Drysdale team for the Best Week in Tennis. Hosted at 4 select luxury resorts in Calif. and Fla., these 5-day getaways combine, drills, match play, luxurious lodging, and dinner parties. October 5-9 and 19-23 in Key Biscayne, Miami. October 12-16 in Amelia Island, Florida. Call 305-365-4297 or visit Drysdale Luxury Retreats



Caneel mar2015

Develop your tennis skills during your luxury Caribbean getaway to Caneel Bay Resort. Work with our outstanding Peter Burwash International Tennis staff, surrounded by lush U.S. Virgin Islands National Park land. Enjoy our 7 private beaches, massage cabanas, fine dining—all located on the secluded island of St. John. For information and reservations: 340-776-6111 or visit www.caneelbay.com

Doubles Boot Camps

Ladies Tennis Retreats. Gather your friends and join the Cliff Drysdale team for the Best Week in Tennis. Hosted at 4 select luxury resorts in Calif. and Fla., these 5-day getaways combine, drills, match play, luxurious lodging, and dinner parties. October 5-9 and 19-23 in Key Biscayne, Miami. October 12-16 in Amelia Island, Florida. Call 305-365-4297 or visit Drysdale Luxury Retreats


See Also

If you're looking for something similar to the programs and atmosphere the Colony offered, check out:

If you're looking for other havens for active players, notable for their strong game matching, look at:

Rates and Reservations

Rates vary seasonally and by location. In general they are highest over the year-end holidays and from February to mid-April, lowest during the summer, and somewhere in between during the rest of the year. Choices range from a one- or two-bedroom condo (which they call a suite) to a beachfront cottage or expansive "Specialty" suite.

Visit the website for current rates

Colony Beach & Tennis Resort (closed)
1620 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Longboat Key, FL 34228-3499
941-383-6464
Toll-free: 800-282-1138
Fax: 941-383-7549
Web Link: Colony Beach & Tennis Resort (closed)


Travel Essentials

Seasons. Year-round, but busiest over Christmas week and from February to April.

Travel Instructions. The nearest airport is Sarasota Ca d''Zan in SarasotaBradenton International (SRQ), which is 9 miles away and accessible on several national and commuter airlines as well as Canadian Airlines. The alternative is to fly into Tampa International, 72 miles to the north. Rental cars and shuttles are available at both airports.

General Tourist Information. Visit the Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau website or contact them at 655 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236; (941) 957-1877 or (800) 522-9799, or the Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website or contact them at P.O. Box 1000, Bradenton, FL 34206-1000; phone (941) 729-9177.

©2016 Roger Cox


Caneel mar2015

Develop your tennis skills during your luxury Caribbean getaway to Caneel Bay Resort. Work with our outstanding Peter Burwash International Tennis staff, surrounded by lush U.S. Virgin Islands National Park land. Enjoy our 7 private beaches, massage cabanas, fine dining—all located on the secluded island of St. John. For information and reservations: 340-776-6111 or visit www.caneelbay.com

Doubles Boot Camps

Ladies Tennis Retreats. Gather your friends and join the Cliff Drysdale team for the Best Week in Tennis. Hosted at 4 select luxury resorts in Calif. and Fla., these 5-day getaways combine, drills, match play, luxurious lodging, and dinner parties. October 5-9 and 19-23 in Key Biscayne, Miami. October 12-16 in Amelia Island, Florida. Call 305-365-4297 or visit Drysdale Luxury Retreats

LBK Text+Graphic

The award-winning Tennis Gardens at Longboat Key Club offers 20 Har-Tru courts, NTRP game rating, tennis concierge services, daily clinics, professional instruction and courtside dining at Court 21. Enjoy full resort amenities with our "Tennis Tune Up Package" and USTA member packages, starting at $300 per night. Call 855-434-0484 or visit www.longboatkeyclub.com



Your Call

Here's what others have had to say about Colony Beach & Tennis Resort (closed).

  • 1½-Ball Rating "Horrible and sad. This place has finally imploded. We can all hope a group with experience running a hotel comes in and revives the Colony, because it certainly isn't being run well now! The location is the only strength. Weaknesses: everything."—J.H., Adv., July 2010
  • 3-Ball Rating "I went to The Colony over our kids' spring break and while I wasn't sure what to expect after a legal battle between the owners and management shut the place down for a year, I was pleased to see the place open for business. It was quiet to be sure, but in some ways this just meant a guaranteed beach chair and an easy time booking tennis courts.
    My favorite tennis instructors were still there and I got plenty of tennis in. The Colony has such a great set up for tennis families that I wanted to put the word out to those who were unsure: it is up and running!"
    —S.L., Adv. Int., April 2010
  • 4-Ball Rating "We have not been down to the colony in about 4 years, prior to that my family and i had been there 5 years in a row. not only was the tennis wonderful, but the the place is totally beautiful. the beaches rival the carribean. the staff and managment always went above and beyond to make sure my stay was first rate. granted the condos need some updating, but other than that , the layout is perfect. my favrorite vacation"—W.D., Adv., April 2010
  • 1½-Ball Rating "After visting the former "jewel" of resort tennis destination 8 years ago I had to visit again just to see what the situation was. What a sad finding. The posts are accurate. The place is in total disrepair. I could not recommend this place for anyone at this point. This is an awesome location and hopefully will be refurbished to its former top resort."—R.K., Adv., March 2010
  • 2½-Ball Rating "I took a group of 20 there in January 2008. Instruction was good but not phenomenal. Courts and resort are beautiful, but condo are in a sad state of disrepair...Rusted stoves, inadequate AC, old shag carpeting and electric outlets that kept tripping the breaker switch! Also, had a major problem at check out when the weekend staff attempted to impose a surcharge on every member of my party despite my protests. Finally straightened it out but didn't get much more of an "oops; sorry" from the group trip coodinator."—S.B., Int., February 2010
  • 3½-Ball Rating "Strengths: Beautiful location, wonderful tennis instruction, both hard and soft courts, wonderful deli and restaurant-bar on location. Weaknesses: none"—P.J., Adv. Int., January 2010
  • 1-Ball Rating "The accommodations were gross and unkempt. During our entire stay, there was a pair of dirty, old socks under the stairs that no one bothered to clean up. The exterior of all the buildings looked old, dated and worn. All around the courts there was piled up junk, including a cement roller, a ladder, and other misc. equipment.
    Although The Colony resort was rated number 1 for 8 years by 'Tennis Magazine,' I believe the tennis was mediocre at best. Most instructors were very unenthusiastic and couldn't even feed 2 balls at once. The drills and coaching were dated and the courts were in disarray. Additionally, there was no shade or seats for the clay courts #4, #5 & 6 and for the others across the street. The round robin didn't happen on any of the 5 days I was there, even though I was specifically told it normally has "12 to 20 people in attendance" daily.
    The "spa" (eeeewww) was more an old gym locker room. My friends and I wouldn't dare use the services. It looked more like the place that Flo from that show “Alice” might get her hair done. Nasty!
    The looped video that the resort plays on the TVs in the rooms pretty much sums up this "resort". It's literally from the 80's with Bud Collins' and the host. It showcase the resort and talks about the great, I kid you not, jazzercise classes (picture circa 1982 Jan Fonda).
    In addition to all of this, The Colony is in currently in litigation between the resort management and the condo owners. It closed in September '09 and was slated to reopen in December '09. If and when it opens, I beg you, do not go. This place is terrible! I should have stayed home!"
    —C.D., Adv., January 2010
  • 1½-Ball Rating "I tried the Colony for one day December 28, 2009. The tennis program seems moribund. It appears to have suffered from the ongoing unresolved dispute between the Resort's property owners and managers. Only two tennis pros were available, and my adult clinic included only one other participant. The cost of the clinic exceeded the amount I had been quoted before visiting. I would recommend staying away until the combatants resolve their disputes, allowing normal operations to resume."—M.G., Int., January 2010
  • 3½-Ball Rating "STRENGTHS: Lots of clinics, lots of pro's that work on your game but do not go to re-engineer your game. Plus the beach location. WEAKNESS: Rooms are nice and spacious (kitchens are nice features), but they are getting way dated."—J.H., Adv. Int., July 2009
  • 3-Ball Rating "We have visited the colony several times over the past 5 years, most recently over Spring Break after they started a 50% off internet offer. The Colony resort has a very unique combination of har-tru courts at the beach with a kid's program.
    Unfortunately, the resort's overall value has declined over the years due to lack of investment(the condos are way overdue for updates; the hardcourts are in bad shape)and somewhat diminished services (i.e. the kids program is now only half-day). Locals will tell you the resort is in a legal disagreement with the homeowners association. We hope the problems get solved, because it would be very sad to see this replaced by a high-rise development. If you go, call first to confirm any amenities that you really are counting on."
    —F.Z., Adv., April 2009
  • 4-Ball Rating "Excellent instructors, lively clinics, focused on strokes and strategy. Encouraged matching to play more tennis in the evening and did a good job matching levels. Facilities were top notch high end resort with nice condos overlooking the courts. Evenings were free to pursue your own entertainment."—G.M., Adv., March 2009
  • 4-Ball Rating "highlights of the colony are Sammy the pro who has been there for many years and is the best my whole family fights over taking kessons with him and the colony's wonderful location the rooms could be fixed up they are not what they used to be but we go there for the tennis"—G.O., Adv. Int., February 2009

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©2016 Roger Cox