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“Warmed Up to It” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Coral Reef Resort

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Coral Reef Resort
5800 Gulf Blvd., St. Petersburg, FL 33706-2252   |  
Hotel amenities
Blountville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Warmed Up to It”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2011

Was first put off by the wreck of a motel out front, as we arrived on a rainy day (no fun at the beach). Pay no attention to it as it won't affect your stay. As the week went on and the weather warmed, so did we... to Coral Reef. Room was a one bedroom which was a little dated (mirrored walls). It was clean though and towels and such could be replaced daily. Bed linens were changed mid week. No individual balconies... that was a drag, but was ok. Limited ocean view, unless you are lucky and get a room upfront. Service and staff were very good. Nice salt pool and large chlorine pool, both were very clean. Three hot tubs... all very nice. The beach was large and walkable... beautiful gulf sunsets. We ended up the week happy and satisfied.

Room Tip: Ask for something upfront on a high floor.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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92 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2011

As the title suggests, it is a hidden paradise. Passing down the road, all you see is the run down closed hotel. But if you take the time to get past that, you will find a very nice place. You see about 16 years ago the property was owned by one developer. Before he finished the whole change to condos he sold the hotel portion of the property, which is up in the front. After several years of decline it was closed and still remains closed today. However the condos are behind the hotel on the beach side and are very nice.

We actually own a week there and have seen the vast changes over the last 5 years. All the units have been remodeled over the last 3 years. Units have been completely re-tiled from the floors to the bathrooms, new wood cabinets and granite counter tops, and new furniture this last year. All the windows have been replaced as well as the railings on every floor. It is about 95% complete. Our kids just love coming here every summer and the location is perfect. We have been coming to the west coast for 20+ years and have stayed at dozen's of properties. So believe me when I say it has the BEST POOL ON THE BEACH! There is nothing to even compare it to. It's a HUGE free form pool with two waterfall islands in the middle. The beach is just a few steps away with cabanas, parasailing, water bikes and beach bars all just a short stroll. And you will not find more beautiful sunsets anywhere on the planet. It's just a perfect place to relax.

The main reason I don't give it 5 stars is because it does lack several resort amenities. There is no longer a beach bar and restaurant because it was also on the hotel property and when the lease run out it was closed. It used to be the best on the beach, now it's just an eyesore. They don't have many activities or a game room for the kids. There's no spa. And no grills for cooking out. But other than just a few things it is a great relaxing get away. The lush tropical landscaping makes you feel like you are in the islands and the 3 hot tubs are always enjoyable with a frosty beverage in the evenings. So come and have fun in the sun.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
leigh on sea
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2011

Got a 4 night stay here the day we moved out of our motel in Pass a Grill Beach, so were lucky with price and accommodation. Stayed on 3rd floor, basic kitchen, cosy living room and large executive bed with double sinks in bathroom. Good cleaners and very kind GEE at front desk. However this is why I am glad I don't have a timeshare here:

The pools looked great when we arrived...mostly empty, couldn't wait to jump in and swim to my heart's content. However only one pool is heated and that wasn't good enough because clients were allowed to save sunloungers early in the morning with towels even though a sign told them not to. Nobody appeared to want to enforce the "Don't hog the sunbeds" rule. The week we were there there was a largish lady with large children who not only hogged the chairs whether they were there or not; they hogged the swimming pools with their beachball tossing game so I couldn't do my laps nor would they move so I could swim back and forth and get some laps in.

Other than that: it was very nice to stay here. Didn't know til the hour I left that the laundry/drier are FREE so could have had a free wash before I flew back to London.

Another problem: the night before I left the party upstairs decided to turn on their TV at 12 a.m. and then at 1 a.m. decided to turn on their radio and at 2 a.m. the toilet flushed. Evidently no noise insulation between bedrooms on floor 3 and 4 and certainly no carpet in upstairs bedroom because I heard the channel changer clunk on the floor above...A noisy night and I had to fly the next night to London.

Other than that: nice place, great location and no wi fi reception in room worth speaking of. This needs to be sorted because carrying a laptop down to poolside or the office is not on when you just want to check out a restaurant.

Also a lot of little kids were allowed in the spa pool even though most health clubs won't allow kids under 12 into the spa. A lot of them were unsupervised.

Maids very pleasant.

Probably not again. I think St Pete Beach has priced itself out of the market, at least my market for awhile.

Room Tip: when you see the Walk-Ins Welcome, grab a deal
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2010

A while back, I bought a timeshare week at an auction, sight unseen and am so glad that I did! We just spent a wonderful week there in a unit on the first floor. Those expecting the amenities of a gold crown resort will be disappointed, but anyone liking a self catering apartment will be pleased. We really enjoyed the place. It was very quiet and peaceful, as mostly seniors and a few young families were there this time of year. Totally uncrowded at the beach as well. The room was a fairly standard 1 bedroom with the bath, floor and furniture recently updated. Tons of drawers for storage and two bathroom sinks made it nice for a family. The one sleeping on the sofa bed said it was comfortable. Only 30% of the units have the "new" kitchens but they are all scheduled to be completed in another year. We found ours to very useful as we had not budgeted to eat out much. The grocery is a 15 minute walk or a quick drive and there is a handy dollar store next door for all that stuff you may have forgotten to pack. We were pleasantly surprised at being able to pick up a good wi-fi signal in our condo, although this is not true for the entire complex (one guy from another unit was trying to balance his laptop on his knee in the office on checkin day and it was a pretty funny site, but it was a bit too hot to sit out at the tables by the pool that day, so I see why he was in there) . The abandoned motel was hidden behind the vegetation as best as the condo association could and the old Bongo's was a real eyesore and needs to be torn down. We liked the huge swimming pool and best of all was the beach being only about 50 steps from our front door. We saw dolphins several times during our week long stay and watched the sunset a few times. My son enjoyed looking for shells. There was a once a day activity planned at the Tiki hut and I went to the Sangria party and the ice cream social, where I meet some of the staff and other owners and guests. There were some minor maintenance issues around the complex like the need for some touch up paint in places, but the staff was very responsive to anything we needed fixed in our unit (like lightbulb replacements). The remodeling on the floor above us was actually very quiet and the guys knocked off work fairly early in the afternoon, so it never was a bother to us at all. The staff at the linen exchange were always friendly and light housekeeping was done in the room midweek, on Wed, at no charge. The washer/dyers were also no charge and were not busy any of the times we used them except on Friday evening. This was just like other timeshares that we have stayed in, in that you take you trash out to the barrel at the end of the building and do your own dishes. On the last day you strip your linens and pile them on the floor. Those used to staying in regular hotels may not be used to this routine, but we find the privacy of not having a maid everyday in our room is nice.
We also experienced the lake in the parking lot that another reviewer mentioned and had to move our car during the storm. The problem seemed to be a blocked storm drain at the end of the lot. We did notice a few locals parking in the lot to access the beach - they seemed to know exactly when the security guard made his rounds and ran for their cars right before he got there!
St Pete Beach is a lovely place. I like the quiet small town atmosphere much better than Clearwater. Very relaxing, which is what I was looking for in a vacation. We went party boat fishing and on a sunset dolphin watch cruise while we were there, and both were a blast. Fort Desoto is worth a visit if you like historical sites. The weather was really nice this year for September, a little on the hot side but not as much rain as I expected for this time of year and best of all no hurricanes.
Overall we had a great stay and will definitely come back again.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2010

I had read the reviews and thought I was prepared for the sight of the abandoned hotel. I wasn't, it is downright creepy and unfortunately, it is hard to avoid the sight of it. As others have said, the elevator area is shabby and the luggage carts are rickety. I also have to agree, as I live in Florida, that our salt air makes everything rust and corrode very quickly. However...

We had a one bedroom unit. We were quite comfortable. It was clean, with nice tile floors and granite bath counters. It was well equipped with a full kitchen. We had unit 503 and we had a nice view of the beautiful beach. The staff were friendly and there is visable security.

Here are my "heads ups:" This location is great, Publix a 2 minute drive, restaurants walking distance. (Hint, the liquor store by Publix is a LOT more expensive than the one closer to the hotel. ) Parking is not great. On the weekend, clearly the locals use it. One day it rained and the parking lot was a lake. The lot is about 40 yards from the hotel and it was not easy carrying a week's worth of groceries. If you don't want to use the rickety luggage carrier, bring a cart.

St. Pete Beach is awesome, wide, white sand. We saw a huge herd of dolphins one dusk, for at least at half hour. Beautiful sunsets. However, the hotel only provides access. They don't have beach towels or chairs on the beach. It is cheaper to buy a chair at Walmart than rent them for the day.

Notice I am saying "hotel." This is not a resort experience. They have a few activities. On Monday they have a Sangria Party. This is cheap wine or beer but it is free and they are generous with it. We are seniors and were a little uneasy about the heavily tatooed young couples there, but have to admit that we never heard so much as a curse word or a raised voice.

The pool is clearly old but it must have been a stunner in it's day, huge, free form with rock islands. It was clean and QUIET. No music playing, just a few people quietly enjoying the sun. There is a smaller, heated pool. The big one will be too cold in a couple of months. We enjoyed it. You just have to have tunnel vision as the old hotel looms over it.

There are no private balconies but on the cat walk in front of the slding doors you have a table and chairs. As we were almost always the only ones out there, this worked for us. The units have dishwashers with detergent, a bottle of dish detergent, enough coffe and filters for a day or so. They have ice-makers. I noticed the last day that the "lobby" (which IS a trailer) had books and games to loan as well as coupon books for local eating places, etc. There is also free laundry.

The resort info says it has free wi fi around the pool but I didn't have to think about that. We got free wi fi in our unit all week from the Tradewinds next door.

If I had reason to go back to St. Pete, I would stay here again. We traded RCI points and this was very cheap. I heard the old hotel is being torn down next spring. When they finish fixing this up, it has the potential to be quite something. Meanwhile, we enjoyed our unit and would recommend it to anyone who wants clean, quiet and good value. If you are looking for a true resort experience, you will be disapointed.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2010

do not be put off by the run down place to the front of this place it has nothing to do with coral reef a sctsman owns it unfortunatly it does look it belong to c/reef but not so. had a fantastic time staying here our bed was superb condo was cleaned every day, pool was beautifully clean. I have read some bad reviews,but having stayed there ourselves i have nothing bad or negative to say our stay was all good good good, and hope to return nxt year.sila dents was a lovely place to eat we travelled right up the coast from st pete through to madeira beach reddington indian shores treasure island clearwater right up to caladesi island reccomend it oh so wish i was there now instead i have a long winter ahead in good old blighty start saving i guess.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Plata MD
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2010

The abandoned hotel and restaurant/bar will scare the living bejeebers out of you when you enter the premises. BUT...When you finally get to the Coral Reef you'll find it to be more than adequate. Very few can stay at the Coral Reef so you have the pools designed for the Reef and the other (abandoned place) all to yourself. Rooms are not fancy at all. We stayed in unit 606. A 1 BR w/sleep sofa probably about 500 sq. ft. and found it very clean and more than sufficient to have an enjoyable stay. The bathroom was granite and tile w/new cabinetry while the kitchen was quite dated. WHO CARES in was clean and it all works hey...you're in florida!! Why spend that much time in your room anyway? The staff were mostly pleasant, with exception to the night security man but I guess everyone can have a bad day. Enjoyed a very good and very real conversation with Danny and his co-worker from N.Y. (didn't get his name unfortunatley) Thanks guys!!

Coral Reef was very quiet. I'm used to mingling with others and that didn't happen much. No gathering place i.e. no grills to cook on, the bar/gazebo you see in the middle of the pool is permanently closed, no organized activities. The only amenity is the pool. AND WHAT A POOL. A huge free form and a small salt water. There is a parasailing, wave runner rental and dolphin watch boat trips ton the beach next door to the Coral Reef. Cool stuff.

The Coral Reef is on a WIDE, WIDE BEACH. I mean HUGE beach. Good restaraunts near by. Silas Steakhouse was HORRIBLE. Crabby Bills for dinner (Walking distance) and The Frog Pond for breakfast were our favorites. Parking at the Reef can be tough. Too many locals use it for beach access. Maybe if the night security guy was as rude to them, the folks that pay to stay there wouldn't complain so much. There's my dag pal.

Jeff H.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Coral Reef Resort

Address: 5800 Gulf Blvd., St. Petersburg, FL 33706-2252
Location: United States > Florida > St. Petersburg
Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 11 Specialty Lodging in St. Petersburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 64
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Also Known As:
Coral Reef Hotel St. Petersburg
Coral Reef Beach Resort

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