At first glance, the Wyvern Hotel looks like a stately, hundred-year old establishment that has been meticulously maintained and lovingly preserved. In reality this 63-room, full service boutique hotel in downtown Punta Gorda, Florida welcomed its first guests in November of 2008. The hotel was thoughtfully designed to harmonize with historic architecture in this charming Gulf Coast Florida city and is fast becoming a symbol of the renaissance of Punta Gorda, which was decimated by Hurricane Charley in August 2004.
From its location on the broad Peace River at the entrance to Laishley Park and Marina, the Wyvern is an ideal spot to begin a walking tour of the city center. Wander brick-paved, tree-lined streets past historic homes, quaint shops and art galleries. More than 25 giant murals, many depicting Punta Gorda’s history, have been hand-painted on walls of downtown stores and office buildings. Dozens of restaurants and cafes offer a variety of cuisine, ranging from casual wraps and salads to the new Laishley Crab House, said to be the largest waterfront seafood restaurant in southwest Florida, all within easy walking distance from the hotel. Lulu, the Wyvern’s on-site restaurant, serves cutting edge Latin fusion cuisine with sensual signature dishes such as gingerbread pancakes; ripe plantain vegetarian lasagna; mussels over french fries; and chocolate, bananas, and chipotle bread pudding.
After a long day of exploring, guests often relax in the rooftop pool and watch the sun set over the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor before retiring to their spacious suites, which are decorated in earth tones with blue accents and furnished with heavenly beds, desk, mini refrigerator, comfortable love seat, and chairs. Bathrooms include marble floors with a spacious stand-up shower and separate garden tub. Every room is equipped with all the modern technology required by today’s business traveler: complimentary hi-speed Internet access (booth wired and wireless), large LCD flat screen TV with cable and video on demand, and an iPod docking station.
It is obvious that Wyvern management and employees strive to provide comfort and impeccable service. Guests can enjoy in-room dining, door and valet service, and 24-hour bell service. Tiny details tell the story best: each day, housekeepers craft the end of the toilet paper into a rose, custom soaps are tucked into specially folded pockets in thick hand towels, and gourmet Ghirardelli chocolates are left on turned-down beds. Even the room keys are luxurious. Rather than a traditional key card that must be inserted in a slot, Wyvern keys need onlly be “swiped” across an electronic reader to gain access to guest rooms. For added security, the hotel’s elevator requires this same card to be swiped before it will ascend.
A search for accommodations in October returned prices ranging from $126 to $419, but the hotel’s website suggests that guests call directly to guarantee the lowest possible price, stating, “We will match or beat any advertised rate on Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz or Travelocity.” A current special offers a free upgrade to a Deluxe room overlooking the harbor with any three night stay.The Wyvern Hotel is located at 100 East Retta Esplanade in Punta Gorda, Florida.