The hotel rooms are amazingly clean considering how much sun screen and sand must go through each of them. I assume they must steam clean them regularly or something - there were no odors at all and the room looked like we were the first people to ever stay in it. For tall people, the shower head was nice and high, so no ducking required, and there was a nice flow of water. The bathroom was much colder than the main room area, which was a bit of a nuisance, but nothing that a hot shower couldn't fix.
The beach was amazing (it IS Florida) and was not especially crowded the week we were there. Umbrellas on the beach did cost $25/day to rent from the resort and really aren't optional except for the most serious sun worshiper. Once you paid for the umbrella, though, you had a spot all day, whether you left for half the day or half an hour. We rented a front-row umbrella each day about 10 am, although you might have to get there earlier in the day during the busier season (we were there in late April). The staff did server drinks/food on the beach, but during the week this was very hit or miss - they did not cycle by very often, especially if not may people were ordering. During the weekend, there was much better service coverage. It was relatively easy to walk up to the bar and grille to get food/drinks if you wanted to, as well. The beach towels were provided and were free, and there was no cumbersome checking in/out of the towels.
We did not spend much time in the pool, but it did appear to be heated a few degrees and there was also a little shade in a few spots in the pool if you were looking to escape the sun a bit. The deck area got crowded, but we were always able to find two adjacent chairs somewhere. Poolside service was pretty responsive.
We never ate at the 'nice' restaurant on site, but we did eat most (all?) our lunches at the Tate Bar and Grille. It was generally good, but nothing to write home about. Prices were high, but not unexpected for on-site food. 18% was added to pool and beach service, which is fine, but if you are not careful you will end up double-tipping without realizing it. Wine and beer choices were a little limited outside (not sure about inside), so that was a bit disappointing. The options they had were not bad, they just were very extensive. Some of the mixed drinks, however, were very good.
You do not really need a car and can save yourself the $20/day valet fee (I think that is what it was) and rental car fee, and just get transport from the airport for about $50 each way. There are several restaurants withing easy walking distance (breakfast at the Clear Sky Cafe was very good), several ice cream places, myriad surf/knick-knack shops, and even a CVS pharmacy for things you forgot.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With a stunning location along a 700-foot expanse on the sugary white sands of pristine Gulf of Mexico beach front, Sandpearl Resort's casually elegant surroundings provide guests with a vacation experience unmatched on the beach. Just 18 miles from Tampa International Airport, our guests will experience the old Florida tradition of hospitality at our brand new world-class property. Our friendly staff will help make your stay memorable through plush amenities and impeccable service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandpearl Hotel Clearwater
- Sandpearl Resort Clearwater, Florida