Widely regarded for decades as a quiet Florida mecca for retirees, St. Petersburg has gradually acquired a new and more dynamic image as a city that has something for residents and visitors of all ages. Vacationers who’d like to sample what the city and its nearby beach communities have to offer will find an interesting mix of motel accommodations with something that’s likely to suit almost any taste or budget.
Hampton Inn St. Petersburg Suites Downtown
Overlooking St. Petersburg’s downtown bay front, this all-suites motel puts guests within easy walking distance of many center-city attractions, including The Pier, the Baywalk shopping and entertainment complex, the Florida International Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. The motel’s classic Mediterranean architecture and decor give it a warm and inviting appeal, but its suites and common areas are up to date with most amenities today’s travelers want. The suites feature microwaves, refrigerators, DVD players and high-speed Internet. A second-story courtyard features a heated swimming pool, and guests can work out in the motel’s fitness room. Although there is no on-site restaurant, the motel serves a complimentary hot breakfast. Nearby restaurants include Bella Brave, Cafe Alma, Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant, Central Avenue Oyster Bar and Parkshore Grill.
Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort St. Petersburg-Marina Cove
This two-story, 155-unit resort motel is an ideal destination for families, offering a wide array of outdoor activities and spectacular views of Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway. Recreational facilities include a marina, two outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs and a fitness center. Izzie’s Playroom has arts and crafts activities for young guests, and there are treasure hunts and scavengers to keep kids active. All rooms and suites feature microwave ovens, compact refrigerators and high-speed Internet. Periscopes Waterfront Restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, while the poolside Banyan Tree Marketessan offers light fare at lunchtime.
Island's End Resort
Located in St. Pete Beach, this waterfront cottage motel transports guests on a nostalgic trip to an era that’s long past. Frommer’s says that the motel offers “some of the area’s best sunrise and sunset views.” The quaint frame buildings of the motel nestle amid lushly landscaped courtyards and provide a retreat from the hustle and bustle of 21st century life. You can try your luck fishing from the motel’s pier, search for shells along its beach or relax in one of the garden gazebos. Accommodations include six one-, two- and three-bedroom cottages, each with full kitchen facilities and wireless Internet. The motel serves a complimentary light breakfast each morning, and nearby restaurants include Hurricane Seafood Restaurant and the Seahorse.
Trade Winds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach
Set on 20 acres of prime beachfront property, this sprawling motel complex is actually two resorts in one: the Island Grand and the Sandpiper. Between them, they have 741 guest rooms and suites. The Island Grand features a sprawling garden atrium crisscrossed by meandering canals that you can navigate by paddleboat. Both resorts rent water sports equipment -- motorized and nonmotorized -- and have a total of seven swimming pools. The KONK Club provides a full schedule of activities for children, and adults can work out in fitness centers at both resorts. With 13 on-site restaurants, guests can count on plenty of diversity in their dining choices.