One of my whirlwind research trips in March 2009 involved scoping out what’s new in Punta Gorda to fill in some holes in South Florida: An Explorer’s Guide. A lot has changed since I worked on that first edition. Hurricane Charley hit a week after my initial visit, and I had to return much later – and delay the book – to see the rebuilding. Now that several years have elapsed, Punta Gorda is back on its feet, with new things to see and do opening all the time.
The Wyvern Hotel is the latest addition to downtown, and scores big points as one of the most luxurious yet intimate hotels I’ve reviewed in Florida. With a Spanish-influenced restaurant, Lulu, on the first floor and a busy bar adjoining the rooftop pool, they’ll tempt you not to leave and walk a block to the downtown restaurant district … although I did, since I needed to add a couple more restaurants to my book. I appreciated the large and elegant bath with tub and shower, the free wifi, and free parking, but the crown jewel? The bed. Comfy and fluffy in all the right places, it was a bed that was just plain hard to get out of in the morning, it was that good. Can’t wait to return!
Here’s where you’ll find great hikes within an easy drive of the Wyvern Hotel.
Our thanks to Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands and the Wyvern Hotel for providing a complimentary stay while we researched hiking trails in the area.