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Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel & Conference Center
Ranked #12 of 32 Hotels in St. Pete Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 June 2014

My bride and I attended a family wedding event this past weekend at the Grand Plaza. A block of rooms had been set aside for family and friends of the bride and groom. We had secured one of the hotel’s “…Bay & City view guest rooms offer[ing] fabulous views of Tampa Bay and the city of St. Pete Beach.”

The room was about the size of a cruise ship junior suite with a balcony. The room was comfortable up to a point. The AC unit had an annoying clacking sound whenever it started up and then again when it shut down. Those two clacks were not obvious during the day, but in the quiet of the night they were disturbing. We found that heavy drinking at wedding parties did mostly eliminate the noise.

Heavy drinking also assisted in sleeping in our well lit room. Our room looked out over the parking lot, Gulf Boulevard, and eventually the bay. Since the hotel wanted to ensure the property could be seen really well at night all the way to Tampa, Orlando, and points beyond, the entire front of the building was awash in lights. The in-room shutters on the other hand could not be closed tightly enough to fully block that light. This made sleeping (without copious amounts of alcohol) difficult but getting to the bathroom in the middle of the night
was a breeze.

We dined at all three of the property’s restaurants. The food choices were neither inspired nor inspiring and nowhere near to what is offered on cruise ships which is really saying something. There was nothing on any menu that said, “Florida.” There are far better dining choices up and down Gulf Boulevard that are lower in price, yet higher in quality and variety.

Now for a few observations for those planning a wedding at the Grand: The one we attended occurred around five in the afternoon on the beach. The bride, groom, and wedding party were situated so we were all facing head on into the blazing sun. Those without hats, really dark sunglasses, and probably SPF 5000 were more than slightly uncomfortable. The positioning of the party and the sun should be taken into consideration when planning this glorious event.

After the ceremony, we all were directed to the penthouse ballroom facility. This was a very bright (key word here) and airy room where hors d'oeuvres and cocktails were served before dinner. The dinner tables had fantastic views of the Gulf of Mexico looking through huge windows…that were totally devoid of any moveable curtains or shades.

If you had your back to the windows you only had to contend with the heat and the sweat running down your back and into your butt-crack. Heaven help the poor bastards on the other side of the table. That intense afternoon sun was blinding…even with sunglasses.

One other annoyance occurred during our attempt at check-in around two in the afternoon. You can check-in anytime you want, but you won’t be getting a room until four. I asked the desk clerk for our discount. “What discount?” she asked. I pointed out that we were paying for 24 hours of room usage, but we are only getting 8 hours. I thought a 2/3 price deduction would be in order. She did not.

Were it not for the wedding, I doubt that the Grand would ever be a choice for us. We have had better experiences just up the beach at the Tradewinds…not so much in the restaurants, but the accommodations were better.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jon R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,074 - 1,080 of 2,745 reviews

Reviewed 10 June 2014

My wife and I honeymooned in St. Pete Beach in May 2014 and chose The Grand Plaza Hotel as our place to stay. The hotel was nice and the staff was very freindly and always helpful. The bed in the room was very comfortable and you couldn't beat the view of the Gulf of Mexico.
Spinners restaurant on the roof is a nice atmosphere with an incredible view, though the menu could use some work and the food was average at best. The drinks and desserts were very good however. Great place for a nightcap if you're not into the Bongo's scene down on the beach.
The Palm Room was good for breakfast for a couple of mornings and Bongo's had good drinks and decent live music every night. I was concerned that the music may keep us up at night seeing as Bongo's stays open until well past midnight, but the rooms are well enough insulated that as soon as you close the balcony door, the music was a soft background muffle, and you can't hear it at all with the a/c running.
Minor disappointments with the property include the difficult parking situation (lots of weddings were being held and there is not enough parking to accomodate hotel guests and wedding guests together) and the extremely slow/unreliable wifi.
Overall, our stay was pleasant and relaxing and we would consider staying at The Grand Plaza Hotel again.

Room Tip: Get a room with a view of the Gulf. You just can't go wrong with that decision.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Our stay at the Grand Plaza was as usual excellent,from booking in at reception the staff were attentative to our room requests,the rooms are lovely and have been upgraded,the beds are very comfortable.
We have come to this hotel twice a year for the last 12 years and would highly recommend it.

Room Tip: We would recommend the beach view rooms,lovely to wake up to seeing the beach
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HILLSHELEN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2014

The front desk was accommodating and kind at check-in. Anything we needed during our stay, they had a concierge and if it was after hours, the staff knew where to send us, restaurants, museums, sites.
The rooms were large, comfortable and clean. The mattresses were comfortable, which is important. We had a balcony and a view. We could see the parasailing while having coffee outside.
They have a restaurant and outside a bar/restaurant area.
The lobby is clean and inviting. We had many guests there and we had room to sit and chat. It will be fun going back ourselves for a vacation. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: We had the midrange room, with a partial gulf view. Gorgeous!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Allison G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

I have mixed feelings about this place. The location right on the Gulf is perfect. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. There is free wi-fi, HBO, parking, fitness room, beach towels, etc. Every room has a balcony and a view (ocean, bay, or combo). The decor has been updated (hotel was built in 1971), but there is still some evidence of its age (cracks in ceiling).
We arrived much earlier than our 4 pm check-in time, but got a room right away. Our room was facing north but had views of both the ocean and the intracoastal. Room had the usual amenities and nice TV, refrigerator, microwave, and coffee pot.
Hotel has a fitness center (no, we didn't even look at it), nice pool with good lounge chairs, the Spinners revolving restaurant on top floor (reservations a must; and it's $$$$), a nice breakfast buffet on main floor ($12) with inside or outside dining, and a nice outside Bongos bar/cafe with lots of tables and chairs (some in the sand and some on the boardwalk). Food in Bongo's is good but over-priced (It's a resort after all), and the drinks ($8+) have very little alcohol.
We had a problem with our mattress being very lumpy and complained the next morning. Almost immediately they replaced it with a nice new mattress.
Maid service was slow (mid-afternoon), and I did complain upon check-out that maid hadn't done any cleaning, just changed the linens. The service manager agreed and comped our second night.
If you sign up for the Grand Plaza Beach Club membership (free), you get 10% off your room, food, and drinks. We called the hotel directly to book our reservations and negotiated a slightly better rate than first quoted and got up-graded to top floor, nicer room.
This is a noisy place as it is next door to the Sirata Resort and Tradewinds, and the loud music and revelry goes on till 1:30am. (Yes, I took my ear plugs with me!)
The beach is wonderful here. Renting a "cabana" (lounge chairs and umbrella) is $25, and you'll need this if you plan to be on the beach for more than an hour.
Watch out for sting rays (April-October) and sea lice (miniscule larva of jelly fish). Shelling is not good here , just lots of penny-sized ones and broken pieces.
You can rent a paddle board, jet ski, and go para-sailing here. We chose to swim, eat, nap, eat, and drink and eat. A nice get-away for a couple of days and only an hour from our home. Next time, no thanks.

Room Tip: The higher up, the better.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank wacotx46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

I had a very enjoyable stay at this location for a short beach getaway weekend. When we checked in, we were informed that our room was randomly upgraded to a Penthouse Suite, which was a very peasant surprise. The room was clean, large with kitchenette and living room and also had a great view of the beach side (Gulf) and the bay. There are a few restaurants and bars in the facility as well as a few restaurants and stores a short walk away from the property. The staff in the hotel such as the counter and restaurants were very friendly. The beach is a few steps outside. There is an area on the beach that offers the covered lounge chairs that are not part of the hotel so you have to pay rental fees if you want to use them. The hotel pool area is nice and situated next to their restaurant bar, "Bongos" that offers an array of beverages and has a good food selection as well as live entertainment. The restaurant on the top of the hotel, "spinners" is also worth a try as it rotates and you get great panoramic views! The next time I do a short getaway to the St. Pete area, I intend to return to this establishment.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank C B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

This was our first time at the Grand Plaza. We have been vacationing in St. Petersburg since we were children and staying at another resort just a few hotels down from the Grand Plaza. We were apprehensive at first (because we had stayed so many times at the other resort) but were pleasantly surprised when arriving at the quick check-in and quality of our room. We were on the 9th floor with an full ocean view and it was breathtaking. We thoroughly enjoyed our balcony with the ocean view and music coming from Bongos every afternoon and evening. I enjoyed the "no resort fee" and even though we paid to rent a cabana one day, I respected the hotel in not charging us for amentities that we did not use. We ate at Bongos and the food and drinks were delicious. We ate breakfast at the restaurant and it was very reasonably priced and had a great buffet. We enjoyed drinks poolside and was surprised that we had a poolside waitress so we didn't have to leave and get our own drinks. Our room was beautiful, clean and large. The wifi was great and free which helped when we had to get on each morning and answer our emails. The cleaning staff were awesome. We had a small refrigerator, microwave and safe in our room which I appreciated. Parking was never a problem and we came in on Memorial Day weekend. The location is great -- with Crabby Bills Seafood right next door. We did not use the revolving restaurant at the top because that is just not our style while on vacation but heard really great reviews about it from other guests. Let's see....I think that about covers our stay. We will definitely return again.

Room Tip: I would recommend spending a little more if you have it for the full ocean view room. It is worth e...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank gskaggs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel & Conference Center

Address: 5250 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-2408
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > St. Pete Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 Business Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 Romantic Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#10 Family Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#10 On the Beach Hotel in St. Pete Beach
Price Range: £108 - £308 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel & Conference Center 3*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel is located directly on the beach and Gulf of Mexico. The Resort features a wide selection of luxurious guestrooms with furnished private balconies and all the best full service resort amenities for the leisure or business travelers. Featuring 4 Restaurants - Spinners Rooftop Revolving Bistro & Lounge, Level 11 Rooftop Lounge, Bongos Beach Bar & Grill, and the Palm Room Restaurant. 3 Lounges, Heated Swimming Pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel Saint Pete Beach
Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel And Conference Center
Grand Plaza Beachfront Hotel
Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel & Conference Center St. Pete Beach, Florida

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