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Reviewed 28 November 2011

I personally would not rate it a 5star luxury hotel. Though a lot has been updated, and on the surface it seems nice but it is the little things that make it seem not worthy of the luxury 5-star rating. For example the plumbing seems to be old- every time the water runs it makes a tremendous noise.The bathrooms were not cleaned thoroughly-whatever falls on the floor remains there. The beds are beautiful and comfortable but the sheets are not changed daily.The room had a slight musty smell.And this was in the upgraded suites.
Also, it seemed to be filled with mature guests. Because it was Thanksgiving, there were lot of families there.But mostly older guests. There is not much to do at the hotel itself and our teenagers got bored .Luckily, the downtown location helped- they could walk over to the IMAX theater, etc.Room service is a bit tardy,but overall good.Parking is not free.
The morning restaurant staff is not very alert.We normally had to wait at least 7-10minutes for the server to even approach the table.One day we had to wait for over 15minutes for someone to serve us- this was when the restaurant was empty.The staff though not unpleasant , seems too busy to be disturbed. Front desk, concierge, bars, you have to wait until they decide to look up and acknowledge you-mind you this was when there were no other guests they were attending to. Since we are used to being greeted and helped on approach at most other luxury properties, I felt a bit disappointed with their attitude.

On the upside, it has a beautiful old architectural building. It has a beautiful lobby where you could sit and relax, enjoy drinks. It is a beautiful building.The location is excellent.Walking distance to downtown restaurants and clubs. We were there during Thanksgiving, and the downtown was converted to a picturesque wonderland with lights, buggy rides, bands, etc.
So all-in-all, if you get a great deal, it is worth considering a stay at this property given the location.But only if you go with low expectations.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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Thank MDarp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2011

We stayed here to have a relaxing Thanksgiving and also to explore the town of St. Petersburg. I had researched and read about the Vinoy online and, loving old historic properties and homes, I was excited to check in. We were NOT disappointed.

The lobby has recently been redone and everything you have read is TRUE--it is absolutely gorgeous, artsy and welcoming! They hotel has maintained the old charm of it's turn of the century era through the architectural details, ceiling painting in the main dining room, winding stairwells here and there. Yet there is a splash of modern opulence everywhere you turn. The decor is unusually contemporary and it works.

The front porch is a wonderful place to spend hours, either first thing in the morning or upon your return from a long day out. Our room was in the "newer tower" and it was a bit of a walk, but the walk took us through a gorgeous courtyard, past a mesmerizing waterfall, past the spa, all quite enjoyable. We did not mind hiking around the property, coming and going, at ALL. I would recommend to anyone that doesn't get around well that they should request to stay in rooms above the lobby.

My family enjoyed the fitness center (which is not like any hotel fitness center I've ever seen, it was more like a club), we had spa services that were fine (a bit overpriced though and be careful, they included the tip and didn't mention it so I way overtipped for my services!), we enjoyed the fabulous pool and just relaxing in the lobby several times. The food here was FANTASTIC. We had a package that included breakfast and one day we ordered from the menu and the next day there was a buffet. We also had room service the first night. The chef here really pays attention to food quality, everything was homemade and it all worked. Several times as we relaxed on the massive front porch we saw food and drinks being served that made our mouths water and our only regret was that we were not able to stay longer and try everything!

Regarding the room, it was spacious and very comfortable. The Renaissance beds never disappoint and we all slept very well. The bathroom, with the separate water closet and double sinks, was spacious and the way the closet was situated provided a private dressing area, a unique feature in a "standard" room and much appreciated when traveling as a family. I was disappointed at the front desk attendant's unwillingness to place us across the hall so we could view the water/marina. We faced the tennis courts and were high enough to see the Bay from our Balcony, sort of. But the hallway we stayed in for 3 days/2 nights had only one other guest during our stay. In my opinion, at times of lower occupancy, a Rewards guest should be bumped across the hall for a better view, IF THEY REQUEST (without an additional $30 per diem charge). Most lesser hotels will upgrade room views when occupancy is low and the Vinoy's policy seems to be charge for everything, even for "Rewards" guests, so that was surprising and disappointing. The only other negative was housekeeping...although the room "looked" clean, the bed-making was really sloppy (we had to remake the beds and it made us wonder if sheets were even changed from prior guest-not a nice thought), the towels were cheap and threadbare and the shower/tub was not clean at ALL, neither were the bathroom floors (same hairs on them during our entire stay). We asked for extra handtowels (we only had one for three people) for two days and they just kept bringing us more thin bath towels. We asked for foam pillows several times and they kept bringing us more feather pillows. Perhaps a language-barrier issue with housekeeping? One last thing, Wi-Fi is not free!! $15/day. Very surprising in this day/age!

Overall, this hotel was a fabulous and wonderful mini-vacation break and the food, atmosphere, location and proximity to so many activities is SUPERB! If housekeeping and towel quality were up to par, I would give it a perfect rating! Stay here with confidence!

Room Tip: Prior to check-in, ask for a room in the newer tower on the Marina side. Any guests with difficulties getting around should request a room in the main building, above the lobby, to cut down on a lot of stairs and elevators to/from their room. Try the grouper sliders and the "Society cocktail" with fresh raspberries and mint!
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank mamamooch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2011

The Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club made my 3-day getaway to St. Peterburg a rather special one. History, cool design and class define the building structure. Centrally located near shops and restaurants, a pretty well equipped gym, walking distance from The Dali Museum, Museum of Fine Arts and the Chihuly Collection. The front patio was glamourous.The staff was attentive and always ready to help. It's got my seal of approval.

Room Tip: Make sure to ask for a room with a full view of the bay as they may choose to give you one where the view was partially obstructed by a beautiful tree they have in front of the hotel.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank RonaldoDaSilva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2011

The Renaissance Vinoy is a spectacularly gorgeous hotel that is worth experiencing. It oozes the type of old world charm you rarely find any more. Be sure to take a walk around and just soak in the atmosphere, high ceilings, arches, architecture, and all that goes in to making this such a beautiful hotel and resort.

The rooms are good sized and beautiful. Try to get a room with a bay view. And, unless you need a suite or apartment to accommodate a family on vacation (most of which are in separate towers), ask to stay in the main (historic) building.

The restaurants are quite good and the service excellent, though, not surprisingly, they are somewhat expensive. If the weather is suitable, plan to enjoy a nightcap while sitting on the terrace by the lobby bar. Very nice.

The swimming pool is gorgeous. Try to work in time to enjoy it.

The gym / workout facility is one of the best I've evern experienced in a hotel. I was so impressed. Everything was in perfect working order. The amenities were nice. The selection of equipment was exceptional. I wish all hotels could have facilities like these. I know I will look forward to working out the next time I return to the Renaissance Vinoy.

The service personnel I encountered were quite nice. But, there is still a slight smugness one feels that may be attributable to the fact that this hotel has a long history of being a vacation spot for prominent and wealthy guests. It was very subtle but there was a touch of snobbery that I might not prefer. Still, I got great service and will plan to return to this hotel the next time I am in the Tampa/St. Pete area.

If you have read some of my other reviews, you will recognize that I am partial to great historic hotels. This is clearly one of those. I recommend that this hotel be experienced and enjoyed. And, while you are there, be sure to walk down the all on the main / entrance level and spend a few minutes walking through the museum-like display of the hotel's history and highlights, including its brushes with the rich, powerful and famous of the past nearly 100 years.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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Thank GlobalNomadTCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2011

With a new renovation being done that rivals the one done in 1996, I'd love to tell you this place is perfect. It's not. But it is so rich in character and history - not to mention the best location, that there just isn't another place to stay. The staff is wonderful, albeit a bit stretched thin like most places in this economy, but not an unfriendly face among them. With the hotels docking for visitors on boats right across the street, you can ordera dring and rock away the night (in rocking chairs, that is) and just take in what people have been coming to enjoy at this resort for almost 100 years. Ok, there was almost 20 when it was empty and we almost lost it, but what a cool place. All the new staff go through training to learn about the hote's history, and I think it helps to make them very proud to work here. On-site historian Elaine Normile gives a brief historical tour of the place which is very interesting, or just wander on your own. Don't miss the Chihuly white art glass installation in the main ballroom!

Room Tip: Don't get room 108 if you are a light sleeper. While the garden view is beautiful, you can hear the ice machine if you are a light sleeper. Didn't matter much to us, but it might to others.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Softsoutherner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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