Pier Hotel is pleasant and decent A review of Pier Hotel
We just stayed at the Pier Hotel in room 207 for 3 nights, from Friday through Sunday night in early June 2004. It was our first time in St. Petersburg and we chose it because of its website and due to its AAA rating, also from this website. We paid $88/night because they had an off-season special on their website. It was decent, the room was fine, we had a single room with a king size bed, air conditioning, free local phone calls, t.v., a fridge and microwave. At nighttime, light from the hallway comes into the window above the door, which is kind of distracting. The shower curtain in the claw-foot bathtub was filthy with pink mold so I left a note asking housekeeping to change it (with a $3 tip) and they changed it. The fridge was clean but the inside of the microwave had food spatters. I am pretty picky and didn't have a problem staying there. Jane at reception, she is the hotel's marketing and public relations manager, is very pleasant, nice and helpful in recommendations. We ate at Pacific Wave restaurant (which was recommended by the hotel and also a New York Times article)--I would NOT eat there, the food was mediocre and a complete ripoff. I asked the server how much the macadamia-encrusted sea bass special was and she said $29, when the bill came it was $36. If the food had been excellent I'd be happy paying that, but for that price, it should have been delicious (the fish was totally overcooked and tasteless). We told Jane about our experience, she was very apologetic and recommended a much more reasonable place nearby. St. Petersburg does not have that much going on except for the Salvador Dali Museum (worth the trip alone!), it is pretty dead at night and at times unsafe. The hotel is in a good location, it's easy to walk almost everywhere or drive and find a spot. There is free parking across the street in the garage but you have to park on the roof, where your car gets completely baked, plus it's closed on Sundays. There's a lot for $5 next door to the hotel. The free breakfast they offer each morning from 8-10? AM is fine, they have english muffins, bagels, cold cereal, coffee, orange juice, oatmeal, and fruit from a can. Oh and also granola bars and fruit n nut bars. The guy who mans the front desk in the evening, I think his name is James, is pretty strange but harmless. All in all, it is a very inexpensive place to stay, we felt safe and it is nice and quiet. Things we recommend to do in St. Pete's: visit the beach, go dolphin watching on a dolphin boat, visit the Dali museum. Don't go to: The International Museum, Sunken Gardens (nice but not worth it, we thought), Pacific Wave Cafe. We went kayaking in Ft. Desoto Park to see manatees and dolphins but missed them! Oh--and good luck finding a gas station in downtown St. Pete's. We drove around for 15 minutes and had to ask the locals where one was. We think it was the only one in the entire town.