My boyfriend and I stayed at Gulf Gardens (Unit 2) at the end of September. We had a fabulous week and are already trying to figure out when we can make it back. We booked through VRBO.com and were very pleased with that process. The resort is very modest, but extremely quaint, and CLEAN.
Gulf Gardens: We were looking for a cottage-type getaway where we could relax and unwind, but still cook our own meals and we got exactly that. I felt I relaxed more on this trip than any of our all-inclusive trips. Our unit's kitchen was stocked with every supply you will need for your stay. The complex has a BBQ that you can use as well as a shared outside eating area. We didn't use these amenities but will try to take advantage next time. The pool is extremely clean and quiet. When we were there there weren't any other guests really using the pool. The beach is right across the street, so we spent most of our time there. In the mornings we'd brew our coffee and bring them across the street to enjoy as we walked along the beach. Madeira Beach is one of the cleanest beaches I have been to. We walked a couple miles north, and as soon as you crossed into Redington, the sand was much less groomed than what it is in Madeira.
Let me also mention that the property managers Imre & Maria are extremely warm and helpful. They went out of their way to make sure you were comfortable and happy with your stay...I even got a hug when we left!
Location: Within walking distance is a great little ice cream shop, a few convenience stores, and a little further up (walkable if you like long walks) is John's Pass to the south, and to the north the CVS & Wynn Dixie are not far either. Everything is right there. Madeira Beach being between Clearwater and St. Petersburg makes it a great home base for your stay. There is lots to do close by.
When we went it was after Labour Day, so it was VERY quiet. We loved it though. It felt at times like we had the beach to ourselves, and we never had to wait for a table at the restaurants. I would go back at this time of year again.
Great value!! If you're looking for an all-amenities resort, go to one of the resorts in Clearwater and pay big bucks. But if you're looking for a more affordable, do-it-yourself type getaway where you will feel at home, I would HIGHLY recommend Gulf Gardens. The value cannot be beat...you will be very happy with your choice. I can't wait to go back :)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.