"You know, there are the big hi-rise hotels with few in-room amenities and an 'okay' dinner a phone call away and no personal interaction right down the street, " Dave told me as I was settling up the bill. "Not that there's anything wrong with those places; there's a time and place for them. But if you're looking to be independent, make your own meals, have a cup of tea whenever you like, come on out and say hi to your neighbors, well, we think we have that down"
And he's absolutely right. Gulf Tides Inn is one of those places that really defines what it means to travel; to go to a place and really take it in, to get into the pace and feel of the place and really sink into your vacation.
At the detail level, the place is simple. 10 small apartments in four beautiful yellow buildings surround a small, clean tile-lined pool. Each unit has a living room, full sized kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Ours had a VERY firm king bed and a queen pull-out. Outside there was plenty of outdoor furniture (including some BEAUTIFUL outdoor dining sets), a small shower and a three-burner gas grill (which we used quite a bit). Over in the corner was a pile of beach furniture to take along on the short one block walk to the sands of St. Pete Beach, all provided to guests free of charge (the big Tommy Bahama chairs were great!). In fact, a couple times during our stay I remember thinking "if I really take a look around, i'm amazed by the amenities that are provided for us here that I would have to pay extra for somewhere else."
But the details aren't where this place gets its magic.
One of my favorite things about traveling is the people I meet...and I think Gulf Tides is the kind of place that attracts that same type of traveler. We met some lovely people that really made our stay shine (there for their second annual visit for 10 nights). Our kids swam together a bit, we spent an evening around a table just talking about our lives and where we're from, we shared pool/beach gear and hell, if I needed a cup of sugar or something I'm sure they would've been happy to provide. Crossing paths with your neighbors all the time really creates this 'community of traveler' feel that so many places try to provide, but Gulf Tides really nails it.
As I said, the beach is just down the street. It's a public beach with some large sandbag jetties (read: eyesores) but all you have to do is walk south a bit and the beach opens up. The water and beach are both very clean so there's nothing to worry about there.
It's location is perfect as well. Being up on 68th you're close to downtown St. Pete Beach and surrounded by other small rental buildings and condo communities. Some great ice cream places and a few good restaurants are within walking distance.
All the big box hotels are about a half-mile south on Gulf Dr. After a night or two when you drive down there to hit the grocery store, you might catch yourself wondering why you'd possibly stay at a place like that when you have it so good up at Gulf Tides. I know I did.
Gulf Tides really brought this trip to Florida to a level I didn't think it would come close to hitting, and we only stayed for three nights! It felt so natural, so clean and simple, so quiet and easy...it's what a vacation is really supposed to be. I can't wait to return!
All the rooms are good; I think some have more beds than others but am not sure. 1-4 are efficienci...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.