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“Bit of an Identity Crisis”

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TradeWinds Island Grand Resort
Ranked #10 of 32 Hotels in St. Pete Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Grand Junction, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Bit of an Identity Crisis”
Reviewed 8 January 2009

This resort has clearly worked to improve since some negative reviews, but it still has a bit of an identity crisis. I was at the TradeWinds for a conference, but booked some extra days with the family before the conference started. The conference facilities were clean, comfortable, and well organized. The rooms at the resort were dated, but I could tell the staff were working hard to keep them clean and maintained. The resort facilities were a mixed bag - is this resort for families, singles or special events? Bargain basement or luxury hotel? For example the queen rooms have been updated with pillow top beds, but the staff (and sleepers) still have to wrestle with non fitted bottom sheets. I had to remake my bed every night as a result of pulling back the covers. The on-site restaurants are quite nice, and tasty (and expensive), but when we went back to our room to sit on the (admitedly tiny) balcony to enjoy the night sky, we were confronted with the most loud, obnoxious, amplified "red beard the pirate" show. Now I'm sure the kids who attended the show enjoyed it, but did the entire north side of the resort have to also listen? My twellve year old son likes pirates just fine, but he thought the whole thing sounded stupid and unpleasant..
St. Pete's beach is a really nice beach with great sand and surf to play in, the hotel's pools were nice too, but the resort "ammenities" were overblown, big giant plastic things. It felt like a really low rent theme park. The best ammenities we liked were the paddle boats, and my son did like the big giant slide - but that costs extra - watch out for your wallet.
All the food on-site was good to excellent, though expensive. We really liked lunch at the "Shack" by the beach and pool, and the staff were very friendly and helpful.
Best recommended restaurants in the area, btw, are both by the Publix grocery; a great Thai place, and an Italian & Pizza restaurant (the Italian had Lobster Ravioli - delicious- for $15, including salad!).

  • Liked — great conference facilities
  • Disliked — Red Beard the Pirate
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank adventuremam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Philly
1 review
Reviewed 7 January 2009

There was many things to do or just relax on the comfortable dual chase lounges on the beach. We played tennis and loved the clay courts. The pools were very nice and convienient. The adult pool was nice for us as we didn't bring the kids this time. The big slide was great for the kids and even a few adults. I would deffinately bring the kids next time. They would have a blast. The room was clean with a tropical feel. The restaurants and bars delivered good food and drinks and the entire staff was professional and curtious. A real nice getaway overall.

  • Liked — overall facilities
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bluefish11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winter Haven, FL
1 review
Reviewed 4 January 2009

We took our kids age 5,11,13 last memorial weekend for 3 nights, only problem was having to leave! Wished we couldve stayed longer, so we are going back memorial day w/e again, for 5 nights. rooms are a little small, but who cares, we were hardly ever in them anyway, so much to do. beach is absolutely beautiful, and the memorial day fireworks were the best we've ever seen. truly a tropical, fun, family vacation, cant wait to go back!!!! great food too! The Dive-In movie they held one night was fun. They put up a huge screen out by the pool and the kids can swim while watching the movie. Everyone was exceptionally nice, truly a great vacation experience from the moment we stepped into the lobby and they handed us drinks with little umbrellas, which I thought was a nice touch, the kids got a kick out of that. I recommend this for anyone looking to have fun all day with your kids!

  • Liked — Tropical atmosphere with lots of activities
  • Disliked — Room size
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank bickel5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfax, VA
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2009

I got a room here for $86 per night for two nights. I immediately went to trip advisor to read reviews and that's when I discovered the $28 (including tax) amenities fee. So I ended up paying $56 more than the price I agreed with Priceline. That's a scam and probably illegal. I agree with the other reviewer that this situation is ripe for a class action lawsuit. I got stuck in the "Priceline" room but what do you expect when you book on Priceline? I found some of the other reviewers to be overly critical of the rooms. OK, they might not be typical 4 star quality, but they were certainly comfortable, clean, and adequate for my tastes. The hotel itself was quite nice. The beach is beautiful, the pools are heated, and the jacuzzi was perfect. The service was mixed. The Eastern European girl who checked me in was very friendly and remembered my name when I came down later to ask a question. The the tall middle aged man who checked me out was quite rude. I wish I wrote down his name. I complained about the $56 amenities fee and he just stuck his nose up at me. I was so annoyed and wanted to tell him off, but I behaved myself. Stay away from the Starbucks stand in the lobby - they charge $5 for a latte, which is a complete gauge. Regarding food, if you're looking for pizza, I highly recommend Monster Pizza. If you're looking for seafood, check out the Reef at 6712 Gulf Blvd. Great food and atmosphere and reasonable prices. Bottom line: hotel is fine, location and beach are great, but Priceline is going to get sued unless they tell Tradewinds to eliminate the amenities fee.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Raybird99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level 6 Contributor
59 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2008

I laughed when I got back and read the reviews recently posted before this one. I also booked on priceline and from reading this site knew full well that there was a $25 fee. However, I also paid $30 more per night once we got there for an ocean front room that was quite a bit bigger than the "priceline room". Also there are 3 or 4 restaurants there that other than the sports bar don't actually serve "bar food". We ate at the Italian place and it was pretty good, although pricey. It was weird that the on site Pizza Hut was closed for renovations and then suddenly opened with no changes.

Overall, this place is clearly better than a lot of places along this beach and Treasure Island and it is also older and dated than hotels in other areas of Tampa, but not a rip off even at $80 + $25 when it is listed for more on their website and on expedia. I would recommend asking for a ocean front upgrade if you do priceline it, why else would you be on the beach. It is funny how some people are so cheap and then complain that they get a bad room. I guess that is why they have different rates out there.... LOL.

I do agree that they have some bad policies though. Apparently the tennis racket is included in the resort fee, but it is $4 for balls... Also that slide is a rip off too. Ironically, everyone on here complains but it was in full use while we were there by some people willing to pay for it.

However, if you are reading this and can do the math it is likely that an upgraded room, with the resort fee will get you a good time for cheaper than comparable places in this area.

  • Liked — The beach
  • Disliked — The extra charges
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank wrldtvler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
270 reviews
265 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 559 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2008

We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite facing the Gulf and were very happy with this property. I've read the recent reviews on the site --maybe the reviewers got PriceLine rooms that are not as nice and people are really pissed at the $25 resort fee ($35 a night for the suites). But actually we felt we got great value here. OK, stay away from the mini-bar at $4 for a soda or bottle of water, but otherwise it's fine.

Staff were really nice; the resort doesn't nickel and dime its guests since the resort fee covers everything from business center to telephone to paddleboats, lounges and ocean buggies. Breakfast buffet is an excellent value, especially since little kids eat free. Children's menu at the Flying Bridge made it a fantastic value feeding our kids. Bermuda's for dinner is one of the best all-time hotel dinners at a great price.

We enjoyed our suites with a great Gulf view and St. Pete beach is quite a beautiful beach. We liked the variety of things you can do at this property and that it is really good for families with kids. We found this resort through a guide of family resorts in America. Tampa makes a good destination; easy airport and transfer, good weather and nice nearby attractions. We had good dinners as well at the Don Cesar and Renaissance Vinoy resorts.

Our main issues with this resort: 1. There are very few 2 bedroom suites on the property of over 500 rooms. Those that exist are mostly right in front of the elevator in the Jacaranda building. Not a great place for a suite since people congregate right there. 2. When you walk into a suite, you walk right into a bedroom. This is so that the parlors face the Gulf. Problem is that you have to wake up people just to walk in and out. We had the kids in what was supposed to be the master bedroom to avoid this problem, but that obviously wasn't the intention in building it.... 3. Water pressure in the guest rooms is poor, presumably due to the fact that the resort claims to be environmentally friendly. Problem is that I was rinsing my toothbrush in the bathtub since I couldn't get enough water out of the sink to get the toothpaste out. In the kitchen, we couldn't clean bowls and plates because the sink was so light on pressure. This environmental stuff is silly when taken to such excess because it just forces people to use even more water. This was by far the most annoying thing. 4. There are two elevators for the entire Jacaranda building; they need more. Sometimes you get on an elevator going down but it winds up going up and it can take a good few minutes to get out of that building using the elevators. 5. There is a canal on the property with swans, one of which is known to be aggressive. It bit my daughter. Not badly but it was quite a shock; if they know it is aggressive, maybe they should get rid of it. 6. There is only one towel shack for all the pools and you have to walk a bit to get to it. You can't get towels without showing your room key and I did have to argue the next day because they did not show on their records that I had returned the towels. It would be nice to make the place a bit more towel friendly.

Other than the above, we were very happy and would return. It may be that with this resort, you are happier if you book the upper-tier rooms. On the whole, I am sick of the concept of resort fees -- whatever a resort charges is what it should charge in the room rate -- but overall, the place is quite reasonable and I'm sure that over the Christmas holidays we were paying more than what other people are paying for these rooms.

  • Liked — great familiy resort -- doesn't nickel and dime its guests
  • Disliked — room layout and placement; water pressure; not enough elevators and an aggressive swan
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank 649ic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
46 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2008

We booked our stay in October on Priceline for $99 a night. I should have done more research on here - it seems like this hotel wins for all of the St. Pete 4* bids. I had a family member decide to join us last minute and they booked through Priceline for $75 a night. I then read the reviews on here and I got quite nervous. But we decided to make the best of it. Just like the other Priceline reviews - we got the really small room with the one tiny strip of a window. Two small double beds. I asked for our family to be close to us (our room had a door to adjoin the room next door) but they put them a floor down at the other end of the building. Exact same room as us - with the thin 1 foot wide window. This must be the "Priceline room" I suppose. There was the $25 a day resort fee that covered parking and the amenities. We headed down to the pool and found the towel hut. We gave them our room key and the woman said "go get a towel" and we couldn't find the stack - we only saw two big laundry bins tossed full of used towels. We asked where they were and she pointed to the laundry bins with the tossed, unfolded towels. This was a little odd - it felt like these were used towels we were getting. We went down to the beach and rented two chairs with a shade. This was nice - but you only get 2 chairs per room and our other room had 4 people. You had to pay an extra $30 for another two chairs. We then went to go down the giant slide and it turns out it wasn't included in the resort fee - it was $4 a ride or $35 all day. Then we went on the water trikes and our one tire was full of water so we were really leaning - I thought we were going to fall over. So we only stayed out a few minutes and gave up. The guy said a bunch of football players broke them all. We have stayed in a lot of different hotels and this hotel is not a 4*. Our room was dated and small, the amenities were all dated. The restaurants served all fried bar food. This place is definitely a scam for the priceline customers. We decided to go to the beach for a few hours before our 11am checkout. As we were getting dressed around 8am the staff knocked on our room to clean it. We put up the do not disturb and headed to the beach. When we came back around 10am the same guy kept walking by and putting his hands up on the glass looking in the window!

  • Liked — fairly low price bid won
  • Disliked — could have bid half and it still wasn't worth it
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank 407Gator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about TradeWinds Island Grand Resort

Property: TradeWinds Island Grand Resort
Address: 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-2323
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 ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#4 Top resorts Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#4 Spa Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#8 On the Beach Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#10 Romantic Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#13 Family Hotel in St. Pete Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — TradeWinds Island Grand Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 585
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
TradeWinds Island Grand spans 20 lush, tropical acres and boasts a heritage of award-winning service and certification as a Florida Green Lodge. Overlooking the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Island Grand is located on the white sand beaches of St. Pete Beach, consistently ranked one of America's Top Beaches by TripAdvisor. Discover 201 things to do with a variety of recreation activities including JetLev flight center, The Floating Water Park, children's programs, paddleboats, tennis, stand-up paddleboards, a three story tall inflatable waterslide and more. Island Grand offers multiple dining and entertainment venues along with sand-in-your-toes beach bars. Pamper yourself with a beachfront massage at Body Works Salon & Spa. Relax on a beach cabana or lounge next to one of 5 heated pools and 2 whirlpools. Our on-site resort transportation and car rental agency makes getting to Island Grand easy and stress free. It's not just a vacation. At TradeWinds, it's a totally immersive experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tradewinds Island Grand Beach Hotel Saint Pete Beach
Tradewinds Island Saint Pete Beach
TradeWinds Island Grand Resort St. Pete Beach, Florida

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