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“Nice place for a relaxing girls' getaway!”
Review of Sandpearl Resort

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Sandpearl Resort
Ranked #7 of 98 Hotels in Clearwater
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Iowa
Level Contributor
32 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Nice place for a relaxing girls' getaway!”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

My sister and I stayed four nights in August at the Sandpearl. We had a great relaxing getaway!

What we liked and a bit that could be improved -

It's all about the BEACH!
The wide stretch of powdery white sand, the calm, mostly clear water, the antics of the various seabirds, we enjoyed it all, and could enjoy those things anywhere on Clearwater Beach. Staying at the Sandpearl made it easy though, with the lounges and umbrella ($25) and beach service. When it got too hot we walked up to the pool and cooled off in the shade, or up up to our very comfortable room. We liked the sofas and the fire pit along with the beach bar in the evenings.

The ocean water was calm and fairly clear in the mornings. It got stirred up and cloudy with quite a bit of seaweed by afternoon, but it was hot then anyway. We only rented the umbrella one day because we didn't use it much in the afternoon.

The SERVICE -
Service was generally very good and always friendly. We arrived at about 10PM on our first night. We were surprised that the champaign and mimosas served were quite good. It's a nice touch. I am a member of IPrefer, Sandpearl's customer loyalty club. As such I am entitled to a complimentary room upgrade when available. Arriving late, apparently there were none available, so that was a disappointment. After freshening up we asked at the front desk for directions to walk to Fenchy's. A very helpful young man walked us all the way there! And we enjoyed Frenchy's very much - delicious ceviche and tasty tuna poke!

We found the concierge mostly to be be very good with answering questions and making reservations for us. They set us up with Florida Free Rides which was great! We did ask for a cab to be called to take us to the airport when leaving. The concierge instead called a car service which was $45 (plus tip) to PIE instead of the $30 fare for a cab. Yes, it was more comfortable, but not what we asked for.

Service at the pool, beach and restaurants was friendly, but often slow. We were on vacation time anyway, so who cares, right? Food and drinks were fine - resort prices and quality. We did enjoy a pretty good "mudslide" as a treat in the afternoon. Sipping that ice cream concoction in the pool pool was exactly the relaxation we were envisioning! I was surprised that they did not bring around any ice water or complimentary snacks like most resorts will. They had a nice cooler of water flavored with fruit at the activity desk, though. We also enjoyed chatting with the friendly barrista at the coffee shop each morning.

The POOL-
There is only one fairly small pool for this big resort, so it was a bit crowded in the afternoon. We enjoyed floating and relaxing there anyway. After the first day, we joined in on the typical resort game of reserving your lounge chairs early with a towel and a small personal item. We did come and go from those chairs all day, though. We enjoyed our breakfast muffins, yogurt, coffee and tea there to start every day, then a walk on the beach.

The thing that really surprised me at the pool was that there was no one checking to make sure people there were resort guests. There were no wrist bands. I hate to even write this, because I don't want to encourage pool crashers to sneak in. I have no idea how many people were actually hotel guests, or club members, and how many not. Maybe during extra busy times like spring break they check? Not that I like to wear a wristband - but they could do a much better job with this! We were a bit leery to be so freely giving out name and room number for charges. Didn't want to find out that a crasher had added their own drinks on to our bill! We had no problems with this, though, and after a couple of days recognized quite a few people, so I hope the hotel employees are just so good at their jobs that they know their guests.
It was way too hot to use the 2 hot tubs, but I imagine they get quite crowded during the cooler months.

The ROOM -
As I said previously, we were disappointed not to get the IPrefer upgrade. We may have been able to get it the next day, but really we were perfectly happy with the room we had. The view from inside was across to more hotel rooms, but from the balcony was lovely across the pool and out to the beach. The beds were comfortable and we had enough space. There was very little wear and tear apparent and the bathroom was large and in good condition. We had everything we needed and housekeeping was good at responding to a couple of requests - extra water bottles especially. The tap water is not so tasty, so the complimentary bottled water was a very good thing.

The SPA - We thought we might use the spa, but ended up enjoying ourselves without spending $200+ dollars on a massage. The "perk" that Sandpearl offers for IPrefer members is 15% off spa treatments. They also charge tax and an automatic gratuity of 18%, so we decided 15% off of way too much is still way too much!

IPrefer - I have stayed at other resorts with IPrefer and have had a bit more "special treatment" than at Sandpearl, so I was a bit disappointed there. We did ask for a late check out - another IPrefer perk , and were allowed a 1:00 checkout, so that was the only extra we received. I booked an IPrefer rate of 25% off, but the same rate was available on the Sandpearl website.

All in all, we had a very good time and I would recommend the Sandpearl. If you stay, be sure to enjoy Frenchy's Rockaway and The Clearsky Cafe, both next door to Sandpearl. The best food we had was at Island Way Grill - we took Florida Free Rides across the bridge - delicious food and nice ambiance too, with a good waiter - Mike! We also enjoyed sailing on the Kai Lani and an eco tour from the Marine Aquarium. Clearwater Beach is a great place to relax on the beach. We will be back!

Room Tip: If you are an IPrefer member, don't count on the upgrade. Just book the category you will be hap...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Teri S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
313 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2013

A very nice family resort if you have kids 7 yr+. If you are a pool person you will find this pool area quit average and a bit boring. If you are a beach person you will love this place. The beach in front of the hotel is amazing. The staff are friendly and service minded. If you want to have breakfast at the hotel and especially the buffet you really must love pancakes, waffles and omeletts because thats it. If you are more into European style breakfast you may be disappointed. During our 14 day stay the espresso machines where out of order 75% of the days :(

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew18985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roanoke, Virginia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2013

I stayed here with my husband for a mini vacation in late July early August. From the moment we arrived it was amazing! We were welcomed like celebrities and offered mimosa's and champagne. Our hotel room was upgraded to a corner junior suite with a gulf front view, complimentary! The room service food was the best we have ever had, although costly. We will for sure be back!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mattnheaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
146 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2013

For some reason, every other hotel in the St. Pete area tries to call itself a "resort." I'm not sure I'm comfortable calling this place a resort, but it is the closest to a resort I've found in the area---and I've stayed in several. Great location, great beach, modern rooms and good food. Cons = Pool was extremely crowded and guests would come down in the morning and reserve the chairs with towels and most would rarely use them. I never counted more than 1/2 of the chairs used at any one time. Then when we wanted to find two chairs next to each other, we would have to wait around for someone to leave (which took forever). Plus when we did find somewhere to sit one day, we sat next to three young girls who told us that they didn't even stay at the hotel. They were locals and knew that the hotel wouldn't check to see if they were guests. The non-guest, local girls stayed the whole day! How many others at the pool were non-guests taking up space. This is not what I pay a 'resort fee' for. This is poor hotel management. Further the resort fee is unnecessary. I can't see what it is for. I am not there to workout---why should I have to pay for the gym which is free in the other 98% of the hotels I stay in? I did use their beach towels, but if you want to use the beach umbrellas, you have to pay an additional $20+. Parking will cost you another $20 per day unless you are willing to park offsite---which is nearly impossible. Pros = great service throughout the hotel. The view from our room was incredible. A+ for that. Breakfast was excellent (however expect to pay $21 per adult). They have a coffee shop onsite too. I know I wrote more cons than pros, but if you go in knowing all of the additional fees, you won't feel nickel-and-dimed. Overall, I would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the gulf.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tampa_Dude2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013 via mobile

I was so disappointed with our stay here. We stayed for two nights, and choose this resort because of its ratings with triple A and reviews. Definitely below par of other hotels. The carpets throughout the hallways were dirty, linens and towels were not "plush", the furniture clearly showed wear... small signs of a lower caliber hotel. My frustration started at check in, where I stood 4 deep in people while staff were running around to make sure everyone had a complimentary glass of champagne rather than add a person to ease check-in. The attendant then tried to tell me that we received a "complimentary" upgrade to an oceanfront room. I informed her that we had actually booked an oceanfront room, so I was not upgraded but merely given the room I had (pre)paid for. Some points to know:
1. They will bill your credit card at time of booking for one night's stay.
2. They have a $25 per room per day charge for Resort fee that includes your use of the business center, wireless access, and two bottles of water per day.
3. Valet parking is $20 per day
4. Pool is ok, but jammed full of children and kids bring all kinds of floats and water toys in the pool.

I was surprised at the poor attitude of staff, who did not smile back or say hello in the hallways. My prior experience at the Hyatt Or Sheraton sand key was much better and staff were more attentive and hotels were cleaner. I'd skip this one in the future.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Baltotraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

This resort spa was absolutely beautiful... It is ideally located and the pool beautiful..
We stayed 4 nights... I loved the pool area which is ideally located by the beach.. The pool personnel were very friendly as were the rest of the hotel employees.. This place is awesome and I would love to stay again..
If you go, useFlorida Free which is like a taxi service whereby the drivers work only for tips..
We used them several times just calling the number given to us by the concierge... We'd ask the driver for a specific activity ( jet skiing). Within ten minutes we were at a wonderful facility ...

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Houldie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuart, Florida
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We booked the cheapest room available as I knew we wouldn't be in it much..the view was actually nicer than we expected, 5th floor facing south..could see a sliver of the beach, the boats, the bridge and hear the music from the restaurant below..we loved it. Room was spacious and clean..bathroom too.- Property is charming..beach sand is like flour ...lemon yellow umbrellas billow in the breeze with blue sea and sky as back-drop.. just beautiful! Great location..poolside grill was excellent. Staff was superb from valet to front desk, from waiters to very helpful concierge. Beach chairs/umbrellas cost too much ($26 for 2 chairs, one umbrella)/ pool area gets crowded/walls between rooms are indeed thin..my only complaints. Kids have major activities going on all day making this a great resort for families with smaller kids. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cindy c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandpearl Resort

Property: Sandpearl Resort
Address: 500 Mandalay Avenue, Clearwater, FL 33767-1738
Location: United States > Florida > Clearwater
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Clearwater
#3 Romantic Hotel in Clearwater
#3 Business Hotel in Clearwater
#3 Luxury Hotel in Clearwater
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Clearwater
#5 Family Hotel in Clearwater
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandpearl Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 253
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a stunning location along a 700-foot expanse on the sugary white sands of pristine Gulf of Mexico beach front, Sandpearl Resort's casually elegant surroundings provide guests with a vacation experience unmatched on the beach. Just 18 miles from Tampa International Airport, our guests will experience the old Florida tradition of hospitality at our brand new world-class property. Our friendly staff will help make your stay memorable through plush amenities and impeccable service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandpearl Hotel Clearwater

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