This boutique hotel might be just a decade old, but the striking building has become iconic to this easygoing waterfront city on southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. The 63-room luxury lifestyle Condé Nast Johansens property is located in the restored historic downtown district of Punta Gorda Florida, a short walk away from Fisherman’s Village, a small marina full of shops and restaurants on Charlotte Harbor.
While Florida is not often celebrated as a foodie destination, Punta Gorda is home to a number of great restaurants including The Perfect Caper, Southwest Florida’s premier dining destination helmed by 7-time James Beard semi-finalist, chef Jeanie Roland. The Wyvern Hotel embodies Punta Gorda’s laid back vibes and offers a niche for visitors who aren’t travelling with families looking for a place to enjoy sophisticated pursuits in a boutique setting.
During our stay, we bedded down in a spacious Deluxe King room with views of Peace River and Charlotte Harbor. The pared-back aesthetic of the room caters to relaxation with a sofa and uber-comfy bed, while the chair and desk in the bedroom make it easy for business travellers to get some work done. Bathrooms come equipped with a separate shower and bathtub, plus a large vanity area that’s ideal for couples who need plenty of space in front of the mirror. Plush bathrobes can be found in the wardrobe and an iPod docking station and coffee machine round out the in-room amenities.
The biggest draw at the Wyvern, and one that consistently brings non-guests in each Friday and Saturday is 360 Perch, a rooftop bar offering views of Charlotte Harbor. Enjoy tapas plates made with seasonal ingredients from their rooftop herb garden, or sample cocktails, like the Thai basil martini, and local craft brews. Grab a table or hire a booth and enjoy live music most weekends from local talent – if you’re in town during one of the music festivals held in Punta Gorda, you’ll often be able to catch featured artists warming up at 360 Perch. The roof deck is a great place to relax in daylight hours too – take a dip in the heated pool or just soak in the rays from the comfort of the loungers.
The ground level of The Wyvern offers another dining option in the form of 88 Keys, a contemporary American restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As you might expect from the waterfront city, seafood features heavily on the menu, but chef John Ellis also serves up delicious surprises like tenderloin tips pot pie. The first thing you’ll notice at 88 Keys is the red art deco piano, put to good use every Friday and Saturday when the restaurant has live music for guests.
As you walk through the corridors and the lobby of the hotel, you’ll notice a number of contemporary paintings on the wall. It’s all part of the Wyvern Hotel’s partnership with the Visual Art Center Punta Gorda to bring a rotating selection of pieces from largely local artists.
The Wyvern Hotel’s prime position in the downtown district means that you’re in walking distance from its best attractions. Laishley Park is located right across the road, offering access to world-class fishing and the Boca Grande Pass. It frequently hosts festivals and events, which you can enjoy for free from the proximity of 360 Perch's rooftop bar. Punta Gorda is a 40-minute drive north from Fort Myers airport.
Rooms start at $124 per night
101 E Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950, thewyvernhotel.com