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Historical Traveler Reviews Sandpearl Resort Clearwater
New Resort in Run-down Town
The reasonable rates ($200 booked in May 07 well before opening) and new property are what brought us from Illinois to Sandpearl. We were quite concerned driving into Clearwater for the first time as the area seems extremely run down and outdated--certainly not the setting expected for a resort hoping to become a 5-star. Our family was relieved upon entering the well-appointed lobby and greeting the kind staff. The rooms were large and nicely done; however, future guests may be interested to know that our bayview balcony room was the same size and had the same number of beds (plus pull out couch) that our friend's junior suite had. The only difference was that they had a slightly larger bathroom with separate tub and shower. This family (four plus infant) were forced to select a junior suite level or higher on booking because they were a party of five. They paid more and, in our opinions, were taken advantage of--receiving nothing better or roomier for the cost. Although other reviewers seem quite impressed with the pool area, we found it to be just average. Certainly, it is better than a boring rectangular shape with no landscaping, but it falls short of other four and five star hotels we've visited. It should be noted that if guests encounter any problems or inconveniences, it is worth the time to seek out the front desk manager. We found out late one evening that a planned power outage was taking place the next morning from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for voltage increases. This left the bathroom pitch black, and as there are no mirrors in the main bedroom, we couldn't even use natural light from the balcony doors for hair, makeup, etc. Plus no hot water for showers. This was quite problematic as we had plans the next day. A polite complaint to the front desk resulted in a partial refund for that day. The beach itself was less than we expected. As advertised, Clearwater has beautiful soft, white sand, but the Gulf waves along the property were almost non-existent, so don't haul the boogie boards with you. Also, we had to watch our step walking along the water as hundreds of little dead jellyfish lined the shore each day. That, in combination with the seaweed everywhere, actually kept us away from the beach more than we'd hoped. Bottomline: Sandpearl is lovely, but the surroundings may prevent the hotel from becoming a major vacation destination.
Only resort to consider when staying in the area.
We did a four night stay thru the weekend into the first of the week. We found the property to be as advertised. The properties occupancy rate was packed during the weekend and practically empty through the week. To follow up on a few questions in this forum: Cabana's rents for $150 a day or $75 for a half. They also have chairs of different sort to rent out on the beach. Along with the nice rooms, the pool area is why you really want to stay here. It is worth the price of admission. As others have mentioned, the pool water is COLD. Everything is a tad pricey hear but no different from any property of this caliber anywhere in the states.
When we arrived we had to put our luggage and coats in the holding area and changed in there to go to the pool because the rooms were not ready yet. (1:00pm) We then had a problem later with luggage being delivered that was not ours. We did get ours right after that but the coats were missing. As much as they did try to help and seemed genuinely apologetic they never did recover the coats. That was not our only incident, We were charged someone else's total room stay when we arrived home. This was also dealt with swiftly. I mention these issue's because things like this have happened to everyone at one time or another and the only thing that makes it tolerable is the staff that you are dealing with. We found everyone to be very helpful and courteous.
This property is really your only choice in the near future of this area. A few other properties are being built by major chains and it seems that this area is in for quite a change. That can be good and bad all depending on how you look at it. (like cutting down all the tree's to name streets after them.) Bottom line, if your looking for an upscale property on a nice beach in a beachie area then there is really no other choice in Clearwater. I will post a video and as many different photo's as possible to get a feel for what is a great property. I recommend Sandpearl Resort.
No acknowledgment of honeymoon
Booked a one night stay following our wedding, before leaving on official honeymoon.
Front desk, as would be typical of any upscale resort, failed to ask if we were there for any special occasion. I did mention that we had just been married, with no response and certanly no bottle of champagne, etc. provided in the room.
Similar issues as other posters with some service issues.
Fantastic new hotel!
My husband & I recently stayed at the Sandpearl for our 10th Anniversary getaway. I was a bit nervous to book this property as it didn't even open until about ten days prior to our arrival! I am so happy that we did! The property is brand new and very luxurious. The staff was so courteous and helpful... they honestly bent over backwards for us no matter if it was at the front desk, in the restaurants, at the pool... everywhere! You can tell that they have been trained in customer service for sure!
We booked a Gulf Front Jr. Suite and it was amazing! The views of the Gulf of Mexico and the sunsets were out of this world. One night we walked down to the pier to watch the sunset but decided that it was much better enjoyed from our own balcony! The bathroom in this room was unique as it had shutters that opened up so you could actually be showering in the glass shower and looking out at the ocean!
The main areas... particularly the pool... are really fabulous! We found the pool area basically pretty empty during the week... definitely more crowded on the weekend. The pool staff was very nice and eager to please. I did find that they could have used more staff on the weekends... I'm sure it was just a staffing kink that needed to be worked out. We also found it annoying (as did a previous poster) that you couldn't enjoy a drink in the pool. Our waitress explained that it was a city ordinance that prevented this... not Sandpearl management.... it was still annoying.
The restaurant Carettas on the Gulf was fantastic! We had dinner there one night and breakfast there one morning. Both of our meals were fantastic and the staff was very knowledgeable about the menu. The bar / lounge was nice... very low key. We ate poolside from Tate Island Grill and the food was very good there as well. Yes, food and drinks at this resort are pricey but you should expect that when you are staying at a 5-star resort. I felt everything was well worth the money.
In addition to the wonderful property itself, I really liked the location. You are within walking distance to the Pier, several restaurants and miles of beaches! Frenchy's Rockaway Grill is just next door and was great for casual dining and drinking. Staying at the Sandpearl you really don't even need a car unless you are looking to explore the area. We took a cab to this property from the airport and never even set foot back into a car for our entire 4-day stay. It is true that there is construction going on in this area... and lots of it! We were not bothered by it as the bulk of it is down the street quite a distance. The area itself is very diversified... The Sandpearl is clearly the nicest hotel in the area... down the road a block or so is the Hilton which is somewhat comparable... go a couple of more blocks and you have the EconoLodge and several "Mom & Pop" motels.
All in all we really loved the hotel and will definitely be back! I would not recommend this property for people with small children. The pool is fantastic but it seemed that this property and the restaurants were definitely more adult oriented.
One small thing that bothered me enough to mention. I booked this trip and told the reservations agent that is was an anniversary celebration. I also mentioned this when we checked in... not once did the property acknowledge this by even putting a card or something in our room. I definitely wasn't looking for a "handout" or something free but acknowledgement of this would have been a nice touch.
We had a great time!
This resort is brand new. Everything is wonderful. The bed had tons of pillows and a soft, fluffy comforter. Views of the Gulf were amazing.
While sunning at the pool, waitresses make sure you are taken care of. Gotta love that. The cabanas are awesome with flat screen TV's, a sofa, chairs and ceiling fan.
We only have 2 complaints...cold pool and slow/disorganized vehicle valet.
We will definitely go back.
Go to iprefer.com and sign up so that you get upgraded when available.
What a Weekend Getaway!
My husband and I stayed at this resort for a weekend getaway and we could not have been more pleased. From the moment we walked in the door until the time we checked out we were thrilled with everything. The employees could not have been friendlier - especially those Mountaineer Fans!!! The valets, the greeters, the wait staff - everyone was just lovely. The resort was absolutely beautiful. I have no idea what some of the others are talking about with "construction" dust - we didn't see any of that. Everything was well appointed from the rooms with extremely high ceilings, to the immaculate pool area, to the bar/grill area. The rooms were very clean, plenty of towels, comfortable beds and pillows. I would maybe recommend additional wait staff by the pool as it was sometimes difficult to get drinks - but not for lack of the waitstaff working, just more guests than they could handle. I would definitely stay at the resort again!
Brand New, but Could Use Some Improvement Already...
My husband and I (along with our 3 year old son) recently stayed at the Sandpearl Resort to celebrate our 6th Anniversary. Things began well, as upon arrival we were upgraded to a Gulf view room for no charge (we had reserved a Bay view).
Our room (standard - 2 doubles) was beautifully appointed. Very comfortable beds, soothing colors/decor, nice TV and alarm clock/radio. Although brand new, our room was not immaculate - lots of construction dust and marks on the walls and carpet. There are mini-refrigerators in the room which are a nice convenience. Rather than purchasing from the resort or mini-bar, hit the CVS a block away from the resort for soda, beer, wine and snacks and save yourself a ton of money!
Housekeeping has a lot of improving to do. We used wine & water glasses during the first night of our visit that weren't replaced the following two days and only after we complained. Same with water - you are supposed to receive two bottes of water (included in the 'Resort Fee') per day. Ours was not replenished until we complained. Turndown is also supposed to occur every night, but we only received turndown service one out of three evenings.
The Marketplace (which serves Starbucks coffee) in the lobby is a nice convenience, especially during the off-season as the local shops don't open until later in the day. The first morning we visited, the staff working was painfully slow but polite and knowledgable about the drink menu (we are Starbucks addicts). The second visit - forget it. The two employees barely spoke English, on top of lacking knowledge about what they were serving. All of the pastries served are baked on-site. The sticky buns were awesome; the muffins horrible - overbaked and flavorless. Most of the muffins contained nuts (even the blueberry!), but there was no warning of this anywhere - so those with allergies beware.
The food at the Tate Island Grill was terrific. Excellent burgers and wrap sandwiches. The prices were reasonable and comparable with what you'd pay elsewhere in the area. The kids meals are a little pricey, but worth the convenience not to leave the resort. The service was not always warm and friendly; the quality of the food and drinks made up for it.
The pool area was beautiful; our son enjoyed it immensely. The beach area adjacent to the resort was clean and gorgeous.
I hope my frankness doesn't deter anyone from trying the Sandpearl - we loved it and had a terrific stay. Just expected a little more for how much hype we were initially fed. We hope to make the Sandpearl a favorite return destination. For the price, I hope the kinks are worked out before our next visit.
A nice place but still has some kinks to work out
We just returned from a three night stay at the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater. Overall it is a beautiful resort with an upscale feel. The staff is friendly and accommodating, although a little confused when asked a question. Having been open only 3 weeks they still have some learning to do to become a true 5 star resort.
We had a one bedroom Mandalay Suite on the top floor which had a partial ocean view. The room and furnishings were beautiful and it was nice to have everything new. A few items in the room were not complete though. The closet door to the washer & dryer was hard to open and close because the door had not been installed properly and was missing screws. Door handles were also coming off when used due to improper installation and tags were still on items. These were minor and overall the room was nice with modern furniture, a very large bathroom, soothing earth tones, granite counters tops and top-of-the-line kitchen appliances. We had plenty of room and the flat screen TVs were a plus.
This resort is a LEED building featuring "green" amenities. Recycled toilet paper is not my favorite because it is almost sandpaper. The shower has no water pressure for conservation although the HUGE bathtub is a total waste of water if used. I would rather have more water pressure to rinse the shampoo out of my hair (seriously, it was barely more than dripping) than have a tub that my son thinks is a kiddy pool!
One thing that did bug me was the pool area. We spent a whole day there to relax but that was hard to do. We ordered lunch poolside and did not get any condiments, utensils, or napkins - just the food in a basket. I had to go back to the restaurant to ask for these items so we could eat - not good service for the high prices we paid. Then we ordered drinks and had them at the pool edge to enjoy while lounging in the pool but were told that is not their policy and had to return them to our chairs. This bothered me because kids were allowed to jump from the pool edge into the shallow end - that seemed more dangerous than a plastic cup. I was surprised that kids were allowed to be disruptive to other guests as well, splashing and being loud without being told to calm down. We reminded our six year old to behave, not sure why others could not do the same.
There is a resort fee of $15 per night. Resort fees always seem like a way for hotels to charge more for items that should be included in the room rate. Sandpearl is no exception to this. The few items that the fee covers should be included at no additional charge. They also charge $18 per night for valet parking and there is no self parking - again, another way to charge more for something that should be optional.
I would stay at the Sandpearl again with a special promotional rate. The location and beach are nice and there are activities for kids. The Spa was not open yet but the fitness facility was well equipped. Be prepared to pay higher prices for room rates, dining and just about anything there.
I agree 100% with the previous review... not only is this a beautiful resort but the service was impeccable. Every staff member we came across greeted us with a smile and were very attentive to our every need. The experience begins as you pull up to the valet- all of the gentlemen were extremely friendly and asked us about our stay daily. As you walk into the grand lobby you are greeted by the pr staff who are quick to escort you to check in and point you in the right direction for your every need. The bellman had our bags to our room within minutes of our arrival. The concerierge gave us great advise for a restaurant for dinner and went as far as printing directions and locating it on a map for us. Being a brand new resort I was a little worried about there being a couple of quirks that haven't yet been worked out... we only notice one- our first room did not have hot water- but that was no problem... they quickly moved us to another room... sent the bellman with the new room keys- and to grab our bags and went as far as upgrading us from a pool view regular room to a gulf front junior suite at no charge for our inconvenience... I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the Sandpearl Resort and I hope to go back many more times in the future..
SandPearl has the "WOW & IT" Factor.
Review by Lauralee Conklin
This place has The "W-O-W~ Factor"! As we arrived in our car you can see SandPearls, grandeur on the second level toward the valets we were greeted by two playful children statues in the water that just makes you do a double take they look so real spashing one another. They are so cute! The Valet's welcomes you with enthusiasm and are very snappy dressers. At the entrance the PR Dept. welcomes you, but it's really hard to pay attention when your eyeballs are taking in some of the most glorious scenery in all directions. Straight out~ the sugar white sands, Dunes, the Gulf of Mexico and their tropical Oasis surrounding the winding saline pool & Waterfall we sit atop. To the right & left behind the courtesy desk & the check in desk are amazing paintings from Christopher M. Stills. The staff explained many details & the history within the paintings. They are Mind blowing ~ the details just amazing! Soaking in the details for no stone left unturned; Chandeliers made with conch shells dangle overhead various cushy sitting areas. Heading toward the bar & restaurant the views never are obstructed from the pool & beach, you hear music and find a really beautiful self-playing Steinway piano playing some toe tapping music. Upon entering the next area there's a resident artist painting some very colorful renderings of her vision of a tropical oasis.
The Restaurant "Caretta on the Gulf" not at all typical. Very boutique, trendy, very impressive & luxurious. Caretta's staff has real passion, personalities and pride in their jobs~ it shows. Upon entering the ambiance is set with deep dark mahogany woods, paired with paprika colors, and multi-colored glass mosaic tiles from the floors to the unique structured ceilings & bars (which top would have made amazing jewelry). Like Bloody Mary's? Oh, theirs is the Bomb! Very best of Tampa Bay, we all agreed. They have wonderful signature drinks, and don't forget to try their Margarita too, great poolside cocktail. One thing I had not seen was a dance floor, I'm not sure if I missed it or what.
For supper, everyone's tables there have views, there are no bad seats here, and you have plenty of seating outside in you so wish. Being to your escorted to your seats; you see a Sushi & Raw bar, Wood burning Pizza oven with flat breads being cooked in them (highly recommended) plus a special occasion room, Wine Room, and Breakfast room.
The staff is quick & quiet about keeping water glasses filled to the rim. On the menu; it was hard to choose, such a wonderful array. Our group had fresh oysters from three continents, Lamb chops, two different kinds of Steaks, Stuffed Ravioli's with wild mushrooms, Scallops, & more. Presentations were picture worthy as well as palate pleasing. (The chef made me a special mint sauce because I don't like mint jelly on my lamb.) Outstanding service & foods all the way around, there was very good portions served, no complaints, only compliments.
Next time I'll have to bear the chore to go get pampered with a massage behind the waterfall's area. I hear it's a real treat. They also have an onsite serving Starbucks coffee what they call "The Marketplace" with fresh pastries & also health conscious foods all day.
Looking at the lagoon style pool from all directions; we heard it calling our names. Love the pools entrance, just like walking into the Gulf waters. It's an environmentally friendly pool and uses no chemicals. Very comfortable lounges & a pool that does not burn your eyes or smell of chemicals. Curb service on the beach, poolside or within the private cabanas could be improved, it was a bit slow. What's really cool over next to the really awsome eatery beachside called Tates Island Grill is the Old Fashioned Fire Pit! Beach Side Fires are Back! It's surrounded by large limestone rocks; What a great concept! I'm almost a native here and remember Beach-side barn fires here along Clearwater Beach's northern beach. What a great nitch & memeries it brought back!
There is also a very special little beach house available with bedroom, bar and all. Very nice, love the bathrooms claw-footed tub.
There many programs offered here for children & adults. I liked the Green building education enrichment program. It highlights the energy and environment-conscious measures utilized here that gives SandPearl is the elite. Check out this site for its LEED technology. [--]
There's also a fitness programs, and the fitness room equipment overlooks all the scenery of course, nice gym they even have water with lemons & cups for you in there. The steam & saunas were not ready yet, but close. Tell you it takes a few days here to enjoy it all. It's worth the money. The drinks are avg. of about 7 or 8 dollars, dinner menu average is around $28, Lunches really vary; can be 8 or up to 14 dollars. I wanted one of the ham sandwiches but I wanted it on that wonderful fresh baked Flatbread, not a problem. Their spinach salad is very good and it also has sliced grapes in it. Don't miss their soup even that has a wonderful presentation I've never seen before.
All -in- SandPearl Resort~ IS ALL THAT!!! It's got the "IT" and the "WOW" Factor everywhere! Thinking of a wedding or a corporate meeting the? Absolutely Great for that! The ball rooms and conference rooms are really sharp. The ball room has these unique yet tasteful carpets with 4 colorful turtles in a circle. And on the third floor are many conference rooms and some are beach front rooms, (personally probably be hard to keep people's attention with the scenery of a Pirate ship floating by in the Gulf).
The hotel rooms are refreshingly light & bright with dark euro style furniture. The beds are & sheets are quality and the showers are roomy with a bright bathroom and a nice granite counter with handy shelf. There's coffee maker, desk, goodie fridge. Wanted to see the presidential suite but it was occupied. I hear it's awesome! They have a variety of floor plans to choose from, some have full kitchens. The Northwest corner units are the big full size units. Rooms facing south & west look over pool, Beach & Gulf, rooms facing north, look over Beach & Gulf; higher the better, but all has views. East rooms look over towards downtown, but you'll see another one of the builders fine building across the street called Belle Harbor, but you'll see the intercostals waterways, marina & Island Estates, and a very pretty city lights at night which is astounding, because at night the water of the Gulf is very dark, except for pier 60 that's sparkling in the waters & the distant boat lights teetering in the waters distance.
There special service planners for your special event, I can see this place is really going to take off. If you go, you won't be sorry. It's worth the extra money. Hilton on Clearwater beach has no leg to stand on compared to this outstanding Pearl on the Beach.
Our attendance was August 27th & 28th 2007 for the grand opening day. Impressive, can't wait to come back. We give 5 + Stars.
Lauralee Conklin, Bobby Wandachowicz; we are not affiliated what so ever with JMC nor Coral hospitality. Just our points of views.
TripAdvisor Reviews Sandpearl Resort Clearwater
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