What’s Your Vacation Style?
Clearwater, Florida is frequently ranked among the top five Florida beaches and often lands on prestigious lists as one of the best beaches in the world. Whether you opt to fly into the Tampa International Airport or the St Pete-Clearwater International Airport, drive-in, or even arrive via boat, both Clearwater Beach and the city of Clearwater serve as a premium vacation destination.
A favorite for couples, families, and even those traveling solo, Clearwater Beach is situated on a scenic barrier island. The famous 3-mile strand of pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear water won’t disappoint as you explore the inviting city of Clearwater. The downtown is located just across the Intracoastal Waterway, and the entire area provides an abundance of activities for enjoying fun-in-the-sun. Show off your watersport skills, enjoy a few boat and fishing tours, and chow down on bar food or experience high-end dining. Plus, discover a variety of retail shops and boutiques, and select from an extensive collection of motels, hotels, and condos for a memorable west-coast Florida getaway.
Travelers on every budget will find their perfect lodging scenario with over 90 unique hotels in Clearwater. Ranging from old Florida-style motels run by ‘mom and pop’ operations, upscale high-rise beach resorts with full-service spas and onsite dining, to 1 and 2-bedroom condo living, there are ample properties to cater to your desired vacation lifestyle.
If you prefer a slower pace, fewer hotel guests, and nostalgia consider booking an old Florida-style motel
While these properties are typically older, they have been remodeled and include a variety of amenities that you would expect to find at larger and more expensive hotels. Keep in mind, these properties are smaller, quieter, and room-styles aren’t appointed in a typical cookie-cutter hotel room design. That said, take a step back and enjoy the architectural features, charm, and history that these properties highlight.
The East Shore Resort
The East Shore resort at 473 East Shore Drive, is a quaint little facility operating 11 uniquely appointed units. Every 1 and two-room studio unit offers a kitchen with a microwave, toaster, coffee maker, and stove top. Some units feature screened porches and guests enjoy access to free laundry facilities, picnic areas, and Weber grills to prepare fresh catches from a charter fishing tour or the marina. A lovely tropical garden showcases the pristine pool and is the perfect setting to relax with some fresh fruit, cheese and a glass of wine. If arriving via water, boat slips range up to 65 feet in length.
The Palm Pavilion Inn
Another small and charming property located at 18 Bay Esplanade is the Palm Pavilion Inn. This famous little boutique hotel is located beachfront and offers an array of amenities. If you are a business traveler, you’ll appreciate the free WiFi, FAX service, and luggage hold, should you require it. For families, this Clearwater hotel provides cribs for no charge. The facility is serviced via interior corridors, maintains a full-service restaurant and a fun, yet cozy bar. Offering live music, picturesque sunset views and open since 1926, the Palm Beach Pavilion and Bar is a great place to mingle with vacationers and locals.
Barefoot Bay Resort and Marina
Ranked highly by TripAdvisor travelers, the Barefoot Bay Resort and Marina at 401 East Shore Drive often exceeds guest's expectations. This small family-owned and operated facility is only a three-minute walk to the beach and offers free WiFi and parking. Some rooms overlooking the panoramic waterfront offer a sofa, two queen beds, and kitchenettes. Each includes a full refrigerator, microwave, sink, dining table, and coffee maker. Inviting rooms whimsically painted in a shade of bright yellow offer a variety of in-room amenities and comfortable furnishings.
Outside, enjoy a dip in the sparkling pool, relax on the deck, rent a jet ski nearby, or fish directly from the adjacent marina and prepare your day’s catch on the facility’s grill. There’s also a convenient on-site coin laundry.
The Barefoot Bay Resort and Marina are conveniently situated on the Intracoastal Waterway and provide easy access to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Pier 60, Beachwalk Promenade and Encounters with Dolphins. Plus, it is super-convenient to shopping and dining. Primely located, this may be susceptible to traffic in peak season, holidays and Spring break, due to its location near the causeway ramp.
Amber Tides Motel
For affordable Clearwater lodging, guests may wish to check out the 17-room Amber Tides Motel on Hamden Drive near the Intracoastal Waterway. Providing a homey and retro-style Key West ambiance, this family-friendly hotel is less than a ten-minute walk to the beach and Pier 60. Guests reviewing this facility on Trip Advisor, often give kudos to the friendly staff for personalized service and mention the enjoyable sparkling pool, garden, and picnic area.
Would you consider condo-style living at an affordable price?
Prestige Collection - Harbourside at Marker 33
If you don't mind staying a few minutes outside of Clearwater, consider the charming town of Indian Rocks Beach seven miles to the south via Gulf Boulevard. Harbourside at Marker 33 is a brand-new property offering well-appointed one and two-bedroom condo units. Each condo provides a living room, considerable balcony, and separate sleeping areas. Ideal for a family with children, extended families, or couples vacationing together, units offer a spacious and fully equipped kitchen with a sizable banquette-style dining area and includes an in-suite washer and dryer.
Several standard hotel rooms are also available and typically feature a pair of queen beds, specious bathroom, in-room mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee maker.
The property features the fun-for-everyone Splash Harbour Water Park, a poolside bar, gift shop, indoor mini golf course, Jimmy Guana's indoor/outdoor restaurant with live entertainment. Too, there are boat rentals and deep sea fishing directly from the on-site marina, and if you opt to arrive by boat, there are public boat slips here as well.
Plus, Harbourside at Marker 33 offers exciting activities including painting classes, yoga, wine tastings, books for children, family board games and many engaging things to do. The quiet secluded beach is every bit as spectacular as Clearwater's beach and often much less crowded. The facility operates on-site beach gear rentals and bike rentals too.
One of the stellar perks of this location is that it lends opportunity to experience the best of prime destinations on the Gulf of Mexico - Clearwater and St Pete which are 7 miles north and 10 miles south, respectively. For a nominal fee, ride the SunCoast Beach Trolley and purchase an affordable 1, 3 or 7-day pass to ride back and forth to these vacation hot-spots and all the quaint coastal towns in between!
Or perhaps maybe you prefer bustling resorts and luxurious high-rise hotels in Clearwater?
Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
The Hyatt Regency offers nearly 300 well-appointed guest rooms ranging from 400 square feet, 1 and 2-bedroom suites to a Presidential Suite. This Clearwater resort provides guests turndown service on request, deluxe bath amenities including a makeup mirror, hairdryer, and plush robes, walkout balconies, a lap-top size room safe, and kitchens with a full-sized refrigerator, stove top, and microwave.
Guests enjoy a 24-hour on-site gym, a relaxing pool, full spa service, meeting and event space, and a washer and dryer on each floor. Grab a quick pastry and coffee at Skimmers in the morning, utilize the Swim Bar and Grill while relaxing poolside, and dine with business associates, family and friends at SHOR American Seafood and Grill for a scrumptious meal.
While this facility offers an abundance of luxurious amenities, is in the prime beachfront location, and close to Pier 60, consider two drawbacks — daily parking and traffic. Self-parking is $21 daily, and valet is $25 per day. Plus, the beach and street areas are filled with tourists exploring the pier, public beach area and there is additional traffic in the marina area where boat tours and fishing charters depart
Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach Hotel
Discover the sophisticated and elegant Wyndham Grand across the street from Clearwater’s marina where fishing charters and popular boat tours depart. Steps away from Pier 60, take a short walk over to enjoy spectacular sunsets or watch them from your room which provides water views of either the Gulf of Mexico or Intracoastal Waterway.
Decorated in cool, crisp colors, the Wyndham offers a wide-selection of rooms to suit traveler’s needs. From deluxe queen, king, kings with bunkbeds for larger families, parlor, hospitality suites, and even a Presidential Suite, one of Wyndham’s 343 rooms are sure to please.
Unique amenities at this grand hotel include a ‘blanket’ fort for families designed by PellOverton Architects. Receive a flashlight and how-to make hand puppets guide, and pretend you are camping after a fun day of beach activities and boat rides. Plus, the Wyndham offers a timed lockbox to store phones to allow family time without distractions. A helpful Instax® instant camera provided by the hotel will help capture vacation photos that can be printed in real time. Cool, huh?
Enjoy access to the colossal sundeck, therapeutic outdoor whirlpool, large sparkling pool, and a fully equipped fitness center, indulge yourself in relaxation. Dine on fresh-caught seafood or farm to table fare in one of several restaurants. Each offers a menu of traditional food along with refreshing cocktails. There’s also 24/7 room service!
Opal Sands Resort
One of premiere Opal Collection hotels in Clearwater is the fabulous Opal Sands Resort, promising opulent stays. Two-hundred thirty rooms offering floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies with scenic gulf views are comfortably decorated. Here, enjoy concierge services, a 24-hour business center, fitness center providing state-of-the-art equipment, and a beautiful zero-entry climate- controlled pool and hot tub. The full-service spa offers a variety of services including body and skin treatments, massage, salon, and day packages.
Exquisite menu items are offered at several onsite dining areas while overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy a snack and beverage at the beachfront tiki bar, pool bar, and fine-dining at the Sea-Guini Restaurant and lounge. The Opal Sands Resort also offers on-site paddleboard, jet-ski, and kayak rentals and offers guests complimentary bike rentals.
The Opal Collection offers the Paws Program, and for $75 a night, per dog, you may bring Fido and Fifi. Two well-mannered dogs weighing up to 30-lbs or less, are accepted at this Opal resort and its sister, the Sandpearl Resort (also in Clearwater). Rooms are fitted with custom dog bowls, and beds and furry pals will enjoy their Canine-Care kit with fresh dental chews, biscuits and waste pick-up bags. Note: Dog-friendly outdoor areas vary by property.
The Sandpearl Resort
Finally, the Sandpearl Resort, also part of the Opal Collection, is located at 500 Mandalay Drive just blocks from its sister hotel, via Coronado Drive. Dressed in Floridian-inspired décor, the 253 rooms offer stunning views of the bay, Intracoastal, and the Gulf of Mexico. Amenities include high-speed internet, movies on demand, twice daily housekeeping, refrigerators — full- sized or mini, depending on room style, and a coffee maker.
Plus, enjoy luxurious shampoos and toiletries, plush robes, layered bedding and plush duvets, bottled water and a stocked mini-bar available for purchasing snacks. Twenty-four-hour in-room dining service, a marketplace, and a variety of snack bars and restaurants help satisfy your appetite for small-bites, and traditional meals.
Splurge and dine at Caretta on the Gulf, Clearwater’s only four stars/four diamond restaurant featuring standard and organic menus and expertly paired wines by professional sommeliers. Caretta’s lounge also provides a sushi and raw bar, live entertainment and specialty cocktails.
Outdoors, enjoy the 700-foot private beach, chairs and cabana rentals, beach hammocks, food and beverage service from Tate’s Island Grill, seasonal sand sculpture lessons and family S’more nights. Relax at the lagoon-style pool, or take a leisurely afternoon walk along Clearwater’s Beachwalk.
Whether you choose a luxury Clearwater hotel, a quaint ‘mom and pop old-style motel’, or the Indian Rocks Beach condo property outside the city limits, the Clearwater area is an excellent option for a relaxing and memorable Florida west-coast beach vacation!