Sandwiched between the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Bay are two romantic beach destinations -- Clearwater Beach and Sand Key. The enchantment begins with wide swaths of white sand, coupled with seaside restaurants and hotels cooled by gentle gulf breezes. These barrier islands provide, whatever one's ideal is, a selection of romantic hotels.
Clearwater Beach Romance
Warm gulf waters constantly lap at the feet of couples throwing Frisbees and the blue skies seem to never end on Clearwater Beach. Throw in a few sunsets over a bottle of champagne, and romance is sure to follow. One of the most popular beach destinations on Florida's Gulf Coast, Clearwater Beach host a number of hotels, but few provide the romantic ambiance of Sandpearl Resort or the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites. The Sandpearl Resort, the luxury option, was one of "Travel + Leisure's" Top Resorts in U.S. and Canada. The resort is steps from the sand, providing two restaurants, a private beach club, spa, and kid's club. Holiday Inn, the more affordable option, provides two beach-side pools overlooking the gulf, as well as a waterfront restaurant, hair salon and organized beach activities.
Sand Key Romance
Sand Key, a barrier island mostly occupied by condominiums, offers two romantic enclaves -- Sheraton Sand Key Resort and Marriott Clearwater Beach Suites on Sand Key -- that are a world apart from buzzing Clearwater Beach. Both properties are bordered by Sand Key Park, Clearwater Bay and sugar-white Sand Key Beach, providing a sanctuary to give one's undivided attention. Sheraton Sand Key Resort has a beachfront pool, five dining outlets, tennis courts and beach activities. Marriott Sand Key is an all-suite property, offering guest rooms pleasing for any romantic escape. All guest rooms, either with ocean or bay views, have private balconies, flat-screen televisions, DVD players, mp3 radios and sitting areas.
Clearwater Bay Romance
While the street paralleling Clearwater Beach is a constant sea of sunburned tourist and tacky shops sweet talking in souvenirs, the opposite is true of the road along Clearwater Bay. The area is serene with low-rise motels, unassuming hotels and quiet sidewalks overlooking swaying sailboats. The charming ambiance combines with locally-owned accommodations to create a less-hectic side of Clearwater. The Parker Manor Resort, a quiet Key-West style house, provides guest with a pool, dock, tiki bar and barbecue grill. Sea Captain Resort on the Bay is a romantic motel known mostly to locals looking for a weekend away. The rooms provide kitchenettes for guest to enjoy a home-cooked breakfast while enjoying waterfront views. The Beachhouse Inn, a staple of Clearwater for more than 25 years, has captivating rooms -- all a few short blocks from the beach.
The one thing about romance is it does not cost a thing, but romantic hotels are a different story. Fortunately, Clearwater Beach provides plenty of accommodations that won't have your heart pumping because you're broke. Pelican Pointe Hotel & Resort, located across the street from Clearwater Beach, is an efficiency property with rooms beginning at $65 per night as of 2010. The hotel provides an indoor and outdoor pool, hot tub and on-site restaurant. The Echo Sails, a bay-side property, is a serene motel filled with couples and families looking to avoid the throngs of beach-side revelers. Family-owned for 15 years, Echo Sails provides efficiency rooms starting $55 per night as of 2010.
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