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“A Great Affordable Family Hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove

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Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   6800 Sunshine Skyway Lane, St. Petersburg, FL 33711 (Formerly Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort St Petersburg - Marina Cove)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 45 Hotels in St. Petersburg
Tampa, FL
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“A Great Affordable Family Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

My wife and 19-month-old son recently took a 4-day "staycation" in St. Pete Beach and we were looking for a place that was not only affordable but also had plenty of activities for a child his age to do since you can only stay on the beach in 95-degree weather for so long. After searching all of the places actually on St. Pete Beach, we took a chance with the Magnuson Marina Cove in south St. Pete, and we absolutely would do it again.

The hotel grounds were kept in great shape, and in the days of glistening towers and $35-a-day cabanas elsewhere it was nice to stroll around the Banyan-tree shaded property while making your way to the main swimming pool which my son absolutely loved (the second pool was under renovation while we were there). There was also a small playground in a pretty big sand box, and plenty of shade to sit in and feel the breezes coming right off of Tampa Bay.

The room was clean and comfortable, with plenty of pillows, TV channels to choose from, a free safe, and a fridge that came in handy. Despite the hotel being more than 50 years old there wasn't too much noise coming in from the outside whether it was from the neighbors on both sides of our room (who both had small children with them) or the cheerleaders practicing for a local competition (I guess) on the other side of the parking lot.

One of the biggest surprises was the hotel restaurant Periscopes. You never know what you're getting with an on-site restaurant, but Periscopes was nicely-priced, had tasty food served in huge portions, and had a very friendly staff (especially since they had to deal with a cranky worn-out child). The place was so good we actually ate there three times during our stay (two dinners and one breakfast) which is three times more than we would for most on-site restaurants. And save plenty of room for the oatmeal pancakes the next morning, they are HUGE! If we didn't have the little one in tow I'm sure we would have had a drink or two at the outdoor tiki bar which looked like a fun place but taking care of the kid was job number one so maybe next time.

I know some people are turned off by the age and the first appearance of the hotel but I can tell you it's a great throwback to family-oriented hotels that had family first and not big shiny buildings. Keep in mind the place was built in the 50s so all of that time around salt air does take a little toll on the building, but again it was maintained and kept up well. The adjacent beach is just a little patch of sand that is nice to sit by and relax while listening to the waves or feeling a breeze off the water. The beaches you're vacationing for are only 10 minutes away, and the staff at the hotel (from the front desk staff, to Periscopes, to the man cleaning the pool in the morning) are professional, helpful, and very friendly.

The only flaw is getting back to the hotel if you're not heading south on I-275 is a bit tricky (not that the hotel can do anything about it). So if you're coming back from Fort Desoto or St. Pete Beach do some research before you leave or ask the front desk personnel before you accidentally take a trip over the Skyway Bridge!

Room Tip: We used credit card points so that made the stay even better.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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274 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
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English first
st. louis, Missouri
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011

Ok, so i found a package deal that was super great on price, checked out the hotels website & thought I had found the deal of a lifetime, so I booked it. After I booked, i thought I'd check out the reviews on here just to see what was said about the place. So many bad reviews. I was bummed out, I didn't take the insurance and couldn't get my money back, I figured I might as well go. SOOOO glad I did! This is a very cute, small, quaint resort. The people who give it bad reviews are either insane or have impossibly high standards. No, it's not a 5 star, luxury resort, but I didn't want or expect that. I wanted a nice, clean, relaxing, friendly place & got a lot more than that. The service is outstanding, the grounds are well kept, my room was always clean and if you don't want to leave the property, they have everything you need right there, 2 places to eat, 2 bars, 2 pools (more on that later), a hot tub, a small private beach & a marina with an all day snorkeling excursion that leaves from there. So, trying to be objective & helpful, here are some other things - the large pool was open & well kept, the smaller pool was being refinished, so it was unavailable & there were workers there some of the time, but it was not really a distraction. There was a distinct smell, due to low tide or something, I knew to expect it & after the first day didn't even notice it again. I did go on the snorkleing excursion - Calypso Cat - $39, we left at Noon & came back at 5p, snorkel equipment, soda & water included & you can bring your own food & adult beverages & they let you use their coolers to keep everything good & cold. We went to 2 areas to snorkel & Egmont Key & got to explore, tons of wildlife on the island and the crew that runs it are AMAZING. Super fun & friendly, definitely a must do! The food at the deli & the restaurant was decent & not more expensive than the places where I live. Breakfast wasn't my favorite, but they do have a mean chicken parm for dinner. It was more crowded over the weekend, way more children, but during the week it was very quiet. The bar near the big pool was nice, open air (kind of), a nice outside area, you can order food & a lot of people not staying at the hotel stop by & hang out, it was nice to have the locals & new faces pop in. Over all, I got a great deal on a fantastic vacation, i couldn't be happier with it. I do have pictures, I may try to upload at a later time, but don't discount this great little place because of the bad reviews you see here.

Oh! and it's pet friendly!

Room Tip: The rooms have a fridge, so you can keep drinks & snacks around. Also, the 2nd floor rooms have...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011 via mobile

We stayed here on our honey moon because the beach resorts were full. We were very pleased with the hotel staff. They were very educated on the attractions in the area. We were upgraded to a better room overlooking the bay for free. The maids were very professional. We tipped them well. Take plenty of quarters for the toll roads in the area. No hidden fees, great price. Thanks guys.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
springmans, General Manager at Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove, responded to this review, August 15, 2011
Congratulations on the wedding. We are a perfect quiet honeymoon getaway. I am so glad you enjoyed your upgraded room overlooking Tampa Bay, some of the best views in St. Petersburg. Maybe you can come back and see us for your 1 year wedding anniversary.
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Savannah, Georgia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

First off, this hotel is no resort, its simply misrepresentation. The "hotel" is very small, rather like a motel. Upon arrival you will think 'is this the same place I saw in the picture??!" If there wasn't a no refund policy we would have turned around immediately. They must have spent a bundle on their website so that they didn't have to upgrade their rooms. The pictures of the "beach" are very doctored and it is more like a sea wall where someone dumped some sand. It smells very bad, water is green and murky and there is lots of grass on the beach. There is one "cabana/hut" thing and 1 or 2 chairs out on the beach. The hotel staff were never seen in the pool area. Towels are small around the pool. The room bathrooms need some work (shower was hard to turn off, there was a bar that was screwed on to the tub to "fix" it.

The A/C was also barely able to keep the room cool. We spent the first half of the night with no sheet on us until the room got to a reasonable temperature. (We kept the blinds closed during the entire day and were gone most of the day on two occasions).

The hotel also only gets a westward wind so don't expect any relief from an afternoon sea breeze, it is about 10-15 mins from downtown St. Pete and the actual beach. If I were going back to the area I wouldn't stay here. If you are looking for a place stay in a non-chain hotel in St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, or Indian Rocks Beach. All 3 of those places are within walking distance to the actual beach.

The restaurant was ok, food out at the elevated bar is delivered from the restaurant at the motel and is mediocre at best. Stick with the basics, even my wings were over cooked and dried out. Burgers and quesadillas were good.

There are two pools, one of them was under construction and completely closed and the hot tub is a very small (5 persons max). The Rooms are very dated and the TVs are small, the grounds are ok, there was some trash about and guests are allowed to smoke anywhere they please. People were smoking in the pool area which makes it hard for a family to enjoy.

I have a feeling most of these other reviews were by the hotel staff themselves.

Buyer beware! For this level of rating I would expect better. If you are used to motel 6 and think it deserves 4-5 stars then this is right up your alley.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
springmans, General Manager at Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove, responded to this review, August 11, 2011
We are sorry that you feel you did not get to enjoy the full use of our property. Our 155 room hotel is by no means large but then again it is not considered small either; it is about average size for hotels in the US.
What sets us apart from our competitors are all the amenities that we offer. The Calypso Cat catamaran offers daily dolphin tours out of our marina to Egmont Key and is an overwhelming hit with guests from all over the area. Tennis, shuffleboard, fitness center, bike rental and children’s playground round out a nice selection of things to do right on the property.
During our heat wave across the US, the AC units are certainly running at capacity. We really would have appreciated you letting us know while you were here so we could have looked at the AC and made any necessary adjustments to help keep you cool. We appreciate that you noticed our renovation of one of our two pools on property. We are looking forward to putting that back in service in approximately 4-5 weeks.
We know there are many choices when traveling but we really feel we offer a great value. If you’re looking to walk on miles of beach in commercially congested areas, then we are not your choice. We offer a quaint environment away from traffic and congestion.
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Toronto
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2011 via mobile

I stay two months every year. It's older but very well kept.

  • Stayed November 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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springmans, General Manager at Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove, responded to this review, August 8, 2011
Stay 3 months and come back soon. Thank you for the kind words.
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Sebring, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

I booked the hotel for a family trip to go fishing since it was close to the pier. When we first got there the hotel appeared ok but not as the website or pictures it seemed a little run down on the inside,other than the front, We you look at the photos of the townhouse they looked big, when we walked into the town house it was very small, the staff said it was a full kitchen, I dont know what they are thinking but a kitchen that can only have one person standing in it,witha mini fridge and two burners is not a full kitchen, The stairs to the top room were very small tight ,hard to take bags up.I'm glad I was a small guy. This was a very misleading trip. I read the reviews seen a few negative ones but I also took in consideration for the manager after i Saw what he wrote,which reassured me, But after the stay I was very disappointed. Its definately a 2star hotel, far from great. Just walkin to a room You can see that the carpets stained and room,batheroom walls etc is very outdated and old.could use some paint and new fictures. The security just stay parked, My wife and other friends caught a guy playing with himself in the hot tub, and when told security they took took long to respond, Lucky My kids were not with my wife or we would have had problems. I have also seen other comment were people commented about the sea weed on the pirvate beach,but i thought maybe the staff did not get to it. When we stayed there the private beach was covered in it,blocking the water, They could have atleast talking 2 of the maintenance people like 20 mins to clean, smelll was bad, the kids were sad, only upside was they had the pool which was ok,other than they never came and brought fresh towels. Overal it was definately not What I expected,The price was way to high for what the hotel was and the room was just pure disappointment, especially when we get there and the family friends looks and you like what is this,what did you pay for. dont go here expecting anything but a old run down motel 8. The only real nice part was the lobby.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Gray
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

When I booked this hotel I had my reservations because of some of the other reviews of this hotel that were not very good. I tried to take those with a "grain of salt" knowing some people can't be pleased no matter what you do for them. I'm really glad I ignored those reviews and went with the good ones. Magnuson and it's staff went out of their way to make sure our stay was pleasant. Friendly staff, pools were great, room adequate. No it is not a 5 star and it is Florida people (things deteriorate with salt). We had a drain problem with the tub but it was fixed the same day reported. Beach really isn't for swimming although you can if you choose (more like a lake with mossy patches in water), but we could see wildlife (stingrays, fish, crabs). Again the pools are great! Hotel in great location, only few minutes from shops, grocery, wal-mart, and beaches. We only ate at Periscopes 1 night and it was great for a relaxing night at the hotel. Did not try the snack bar or Tiki Hut so can't report on those.

Room Tip: Take the Island Boat Adventure on the Calypso Cat - its right there in the Marina and a great day of...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
springmans, General Manager at Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove, responded to this review, August 3, 2011
We are so glad you chose to stay with us. Our staff is very helpful in all the different departments. We know things can happen in a guest room, but it is always our goal to respond right away and get it fixed.
We are very close to local attractions, from the beach to shopping. You gave the best "tip" though... The Island Boat Adventures on the Calypso Cat is right in our marina and a great way for families to hang out and enjoy the sun.
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Additional Information about Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove

Address: 6800 Sunshine Skyway Lane, St. Petersburg, FL 33711 (Formerly Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort St Petersburg - Marina Cove)
Location: United States > Florida > St. Petersburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in St. Petersburg
#2 On the Beach Hotel in St. Petersburg
#2 Top resorts Hotel in St. Petersburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove 3*
Number of rooms: 155
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are minutes from Fort Desoto Park and the Gulf beaches. We are also in close proximity to downtown St. Petersburg and all it has to offer: Tropicana Field-home of the Tampa Bay Rays, The Pier, Salvador Dali Museum, Mahaffey Theater, and Jannus Landing. For the business traveler, we are close to Eckerd College, USF, St. Pete College AllState Center and all Children's Hospital. Our guests will enjoy all the amenities of a full service resort. Stay in touch with your friends and family with our complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access. Take time to enjoy our pools, hot tub, volleyball court, bicycle rentals, tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, and fitness center. You can relax at the Nepa Hut Beach Bar overlooking Tampa Bay and the world famous Sunshine Skyway Bridge, unwind in Nemo's Lounge, dine in Periscopes waterfront restaurant with views of our marina, or have a relaxing lunch poolside at the Banyan Tree Deli. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn St Petersburg
Holiday Inn Marina Cove
Holiday Inn Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg Holiday Inn

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