I usually stay in the chain hotels to take advantage of loyalty programs as well as to have a consistent, predictable experience. With out one of my usual hotels in the area, I tried the Plaza Beach Resort based on other Trip Advisor advice.
My wife and I were both very happy with the property. This was not a typical vacation trip, but instead, was a working trip for both of us. The property was close to the client she was meeting with during the day and I was able to work using my laptop and hotel WiFi. The advantage I had was that I could take my laptop to the snack bar area near the pool and have enough shade, AC power, and WiFi signal to work just feet from the sun and sand. I was able to walk the beach, dip in the pool, and walk to a variety of place for lunch.
Once work was over, we found the Publix grocery store across the street to get a variety of foods we could prepare in the kitchenette (microwave, full-size fridge, cooktop, no oven) and eat with the plates and utensils in the room. Very handy and saved us money over eating out every meal.
We had a king room. There is one recliner chair (no sofa) and several chairs for the the kitchen table. Living area here was fine, but the bathroom is very...compact... It is one person-at-a-time in the bathroom.
The room was very clean which is an accomplishment for housekeeping given how sand ends up everywhere. Tile floors make it easier for them to clean. Fit and finish of the room was fine, but remember, this property was probably built in the 70. The owners have done a nice job keeping the paint colors and decor somewhat modern.
We really appreciated having beach chairs for guests rather than having to rent them. Were we there with small children, the collection of beach toys, shuffleboard, mini-golf, and other amusements would have been a very nice compliment. Given how we were traveling this time, we just didn't have time to take advantage of them.
While we will most likely stay here again in future trips to the Gulfport/St. Pete Beach area, there are few things to keep in mind:
- Gulf Blvd is the main road in front of the property and any noise at night from loud motorcycles or cars is going to bounce off the condo next door and carry into any of the south facing rooms. Probably the same issue with the north facing rooms. If you are looking for a very quiet room, this probably isn't the property for you, however, we did sleep with the windows open since that part of Florida was having a heat wave while we were there.
- We had a "pecking" sound above and behind our room that no one could figure out. It wasn't loud, but at 3:00am, it was noticeable and just random enough to make it hard to fall asleep. Might have just been our location.
- There is no housekeeping on Sundays. I think this is perfectly fine and prefer a minimum of service during my stays. No one changes the bedding and towels every day at home, why should I make that big a deal on the road? If you expect that kind of service, just know that you can change your towels at the desk on Sunday.
- You get a single, old-style punched hole key. A second key is a $10 cash deposit that you get back upon checkout.
- Runners will like going south on Gulf Blvd into Pass-a-Grille and then running back. About 5+ miles round trip.