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“Fantastic place to celebrate our anniversary ” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Birchwood

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The Birchwood
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   340 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (Formerly Grayl's Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 46 hotels in St. Petersburg
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic place to celebrate our anniversary ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We stayed two nights this past weekend at the Birchwood. Beautifully furnished clean new and with a location that can't be beat. The rooms are huge and the bathroom included a large tub and walk in rain shower. The restaurant and the rooftop bar The Canopy are wonderful as well

Stayed July 2014
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31 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Key Largo, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I booked a room on the 3rd of July for the 4th, explained to 2 people on the phone I had teenagers and one had a cast on her leg and I was staying at the hotel to take them to see the fireworks on the rooftop for the convenience of not having to leave the hotel. I planned to have people meet me for dinner on the roof as well. As we went up to watch the fireworks we are stopped because you must be 21 because they serve liquor. I asked hotel manager if age limit was on website and he said yes, so the next morning I checked when I got home and its nowhere. Ron the manager admitted it was not on there and they were going to change it. I also had a noisy air conditioner that wasn't working right and at 5am got to hear the restaurant in the alley doing something . I got no sleep. The room was 300 and I told them I felt deceived and someone should have told me on the phone about the age because I could have made other plans. I felt we should split the room charge but Ron said he would have to ask the owner. That was over a week ago and still no call back. Also all the stairs and elevators are locked when I went down to get ice from front desk I got locked out of hotel and had to find someone, there is no ice machine and if you call down to the front desk you may or may not get an answer. Employees were very nice but it was not staffed to handle the holiday rush. Not a 350 (25 for parking the car overnight) experience. I couldn't get into the restaurant so I guess hotel guests get no priority. Poor customer service. I travel a lot and even cheap hotels do better than this. Beware you will not get any help if you need it.
Room was very pretty but to noisy.

Room Tip: I chose a back room thinking it would be quieter than the one facing the street but it wasn't.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Tampa, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Weekend get away well worth it!!! This was a cute spot boutique hotel well designed! The food was incredible. I think our servers name was David. He was friendly and polite and gave us some of his recommendations. Jane our hostess was very sweet she checked up on us prediodicly to see if we needed anything. From the appetizer to the main course and to dessert 5 stars. We after went to the roof top bar to hang out. I have to say I was a little disappointed the wait staff were caught up in serving the cabana areas and not so much of the others. I am sure they will find a solution to that. We will be back again definitely for dinner!!!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We did not stay at the hotel but visited the rooftop bar for late night drinks. Had live music and plenty of comfortable seating. Very mixed crowd which made it comfortable regardless of your years. Beautiful view and overall a great place to have some drinks with friends and have good time. Will go back!

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
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Frankfort, Michigan
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2014

Stayed there mid-April. Usually stay at the Venoy, but decided to try them out. Made three night reservation 6 months in advance.

Came back the second day after all day at the Blues Festival, and it appeared all our things had been packed up. Didn't think much of it until the day we checked out I called the home answering machine. They had called the second day, saying it was past checkout time and I needed to contact them (or else??). There was another message a few hours later saying never mind.

They had actually moved us out of the room! That despite the early multi-night reservation and the fact they had reserved a balance on my credit card for the whole stay. I tried for two days to reach the GM to complain. When I finally reached him, he went through the obligatory apologies, promising to get back to me with an explanation, but no follow up and no offer to comp us for the inconvenience.

Bottom line, they pay more attention to appearances than actual customer service. Nicely appointed rooms, and the staff is friendly, but other examples include running out of coffee in the morning, and waiting 15 minutes in their lobby bar and having no one offer to take a drink order. By the way, avoid the roof top bar. Very crowded, long lines, and no priority for hotel guests.

It appears the Birchwood has a management problem. Lots of sizzle, no substance. Back to the Venoy where they know how to treat customers.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

IN A NUTSHELL: Very good, verging on excellent; this newly opened, design-conscious, upscale, boutique hotel offers guests spacious rooms, two great lounges (one rooftop), onsite restaurant, and a ball room...located on Beach Drive within easy walking distance of all that makes St Pete's downtown waterfront district a world class destination.

More details...
-My stay at The Birchwood occurred only three weeks after they opened, yet the guest experience is already verging on excellent.
-At the time of my stay room rates were $180 to $250 a night.
-The complimentary continental breakfast included french toast, bacon, scrambled eggs, toast, cold cereal, yogurt, grapes, orange juice, and coffee.
-Staff said there are 18 rooms total, two of which have enhanced accessibility features for guests with mobility challenges. I stayed in one of the two enhanced rooms.
More info...
PROS:
-All the staff I met were very friendly and very concerned about my needs.
-New construction within historic exterior walls.
-Clean...my room was spotless.
-Beach Drive location
-Bold yet tasteful interior design incorporating both contemporary and classic elements
-Convenience of two onsite lounges and a restaurant.
-Mattress and bedding was very comfortable.
-Prestige...this establishment has a built-in prestige factor if that sort of thing is important to you.
-A very good continental breakfast.
-Rooftop lounge (The Canopy) is just great. Cabanas, sofas, view...wonderful when not overly crowded.
-Free wireless.
CONS:
-You have to pay for parking unless you know where and how to park free in downtown like St Pete locals.
-The very friendly and accommodating staff seem a bit unsure of themselves, needing to check with management regarding minor / routine issues. Of course, they are still refining day to day procedures and this issue should take care of itself over time.
-The wood frame of the bed in my room was *extremely* creaky...so much so that the noise it made startled me whenever I rolled over in the night. Fortunately, there's an easy fix for this.
-Some guests will be disappointed by the lack of pool or exercise room, but this is St Pete...drive to our top rated beaches if you want to swim, and take a walk / run along our waterfront parks for exercise.
-Being a huge fan of St Pete...I was dismayed to find that the guest book in the room had "Tampa" on the cover of it. This may not be a big deal to some, but St Petersburg is NOT Tampa.
POINTERS:
-When reserving a room, make sure you discuss the type of view your room will have. Some rooms do not have a "view."
-Continental Breakfast started at 7AM.
-Guests staying at the hotel do not have to stand in line to access the rooftop lounge when it is busy. Let the front desk know that you would like to go up to "The Canopy" and they will make sure the attendant knows.
FYI about reviewer: I live in St Petersburg, FL. I love it. I have a background in both quality management and hospitality management, so I'm particularly strict with hotels, but I also understand the challenges faced by hoteliers. I will revisit this review in the future and make updates as necessary.

Room Tip: Spring for a room with a view of Tampa Bay...it is worth it.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunedin, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I stayed at the Birchwood for her birthday and it was perfect. Great boutique hotel with unique large comfortable rooms. The staff was helpful and attentive. We ate at the restaurant and the dinner was delicious and again the wait staff was awesome. Afterwards we took a walk down Beach Drive and looked in the shops. When we returned to the hotel we went to the rooftop bar for a nightcap, what a view. I would highly recommend this hotel.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Birchwood

Address: 340 Beach Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (Formerly Grayl's Hotel)
Location: United States > Florida > St. Petersburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 46 hotels in St. Petersburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Birchwood 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grayls Hotel St Petersburg

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