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“Very nice 4-star place but not 4-star treatment” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandpearl Resort

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Sandpearl Resort
Ranked #6 of 95 Hotels in Clearwater
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Ohio
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Very nice 4-star place but not 4-star treatment”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2014

We enjoyed staying here in late June. The property is well-located and very nice and well-maintained. It presents itself nicely as a 4- or 5-star accomodation, and it is priced like one too - and maybe worse. It's an expensive room for Clearwater Beach and in addition you pay a $25 per day resort fee, and $20 per day for mandatory valet parking, which you should expect for a high-end resort. However, with the resort fee, I'm not sure what you really get - wifi, I guess. Their card insert in the check-in package says it includes beach chairs and umbrellas at the beach, but it does not - that is another $25 per day.

The staff is not 4- or 5-star by any means. The check-in process was horrible. It took 15-20 minutes for the front desk person to get us checked in. Not sure what she was doing the whole time on the computer, but for hotels today, that's way too long for check-in. Then we got the wrong room type - king instead of 2 doubles. When I went back down to the front desk to get a different room, they told me I booked a king room, which I did not - It was me and my 2 kids with me, certainly I didn't book a king. Then it took another 15 minutes to get me the room type I booked. No apologies from the staff, in fact the two people working on it for 15 minutes just seemed rather annoyed. The pool and beach staff is mostly bunch of young college kids who just seem to fool around all day with each other and don't pay much attention to the guests, and seem annoyed when you ask for anything simple, like a couple towels.

Again, the place is beautiful, the rooms are very nice, and it's in a in a great location, but the pricing is way out of line for what you get and how they treat you.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bigbacon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2014 via mobile

we Stayed 7 days rooms are no better than regular hotel Over priced hidden charges Everywhere looked into my bank account found charges they couldnt explain had to stay on phone and argue 2 day With them Over 500 dollars of Unexplained charges before we checked out'. they said it Was 100 dollars a day incase we used the guest services watch your c account if u stay
Oh yeah we didn't use guest service but just incase isn't that stealing

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank joseph l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandpearl_GM, General Manager at Sandpearl Resort, responded to this review, July 23, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us.

In your review you mentioned hidden charges. I am not sure how you booked your room with us but if you booked through the website the charges are listed clearly on the booking page and are actually calculated into your daily fees. If you booked through an outside company such as Expedia, they should have communicated to you the extra fees in advance. I am sorry if that was not the case. Please accept my apology for the confusion.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write the review.

Regards,
Eric Waltz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2014 via mobile

Not the 5 star experience I was expecting. People reserve pool sunbeds at ridiculously early hours and don't turn up to occupy until noon meaning you get the seats with no umbrellas or not possible to get 4 seats together even if you are at the pool at 9.30 am! The staff are unconcerned by this and the majority of sunbeds are empty all morning (bar the nicely laid out towels). Also if you want to go on the beach because all the beds have been reserved you have to pay $25 plus tax for one beach umbrella (only 2 sunbeds per umbrella please!).....
Maybe my expectations were too high given the price paid but I would not go back. The cleaning in the suites was also questionable - grimy rim round bath and sand in bottom on arrival - yuk.
I agree with previous reviews though that the staff in Carettas are great and eating there was very enjoyable especially the Sunday brunch.
There must be better places to stay in Clearwater at this price!

Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Stort T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandpearl_GM, General Manager at Sandpearl Resort, responded to this review, July 23, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for reviewing your recent stay at the Sandpearl Resort Clearwater Beach.

Please accept my apology for the issues you experienced. In your review you commented on our service seeming rehearsed. Believe me, this is not how we train our associates. We like to create a feeling of being at home and normally pride ourselves of being a very friendly, service oriented hotel. I am sorry that you did not feel that was the case during your stay. I will also speak to the manager at Tate's Island Grill about your comment on the server turning off the lights around you while you were still eating.

If you would like to speak personally regarding your stay with us please feel free to reach out to me at the resort.

Regards,
Eric Waltz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, md
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2014 via mobile

We visited this resort to attend a friends wedding, and it was fantastic. Prior to the trip we had never heard of this resort, and generally avoided Florida beaches. The resort itself was very well kept, and had really nice furnishings inside. Outside, the pool had a great layout with plenty of chairs and definitely felt very upscale. We ate at each of the restaurants on-site and the food was great, across the board. For lunch we ate outside at the bar by the pool, overlooking the beach and for the evening we ate at the more upscale restaurant. The resort definitely had a very high end feel - and was a great deal across the Board for food, travel and accommodations. We can't wait to return!

Stayed September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Vrs222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaniWood, Front Office Manager at Sandpearl Resort, responded to this review, July 15, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for writing a review on your most recent stay with us. I am delighted to hear your visit to the resort for your friend's wedding was a wonderful experience and that our property made an impression on you. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Regards,
Lani Wood
Rooms MIT
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2014

We stayed at the Sandpearl in Clearwater at the end of June and I am sorry to say it was our first and last trip to the property. It was very disappointing. We stayed with a group of 15 family members (adults and children) on our annual family vacation. We were very excited for our trip after reading all of the positive reviews of the property on TripAdvisor. The property itself was fine. We all had either 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom suites which was enough space for the families however, the property itself is starting to get a little worn down (carpets in the hallways needed to be replaced and walls should be painted). Other than that, the rooms were spacious for our needs and the views were great.

The service at the property was sub-par throughout our stay. Restaurant service was very slow and we often felt ignored by the staff. One day while sitting outside at Tate’s grill the server left the food at the table beside us for so long after the other patrons had left that the birds were swarming our table- pretty disgusting. There were not a lot of options for food choices at the property and when we asked the concierge about an Italian restaurant that was 1 block from the hotel- he basically stated he had no information on it- very helpful. The food at the Italian Restaurant (off-property) ended up being 100 times better than the food at Caretta’s that we ended up going twice. We ate at Caretta’s for dinner and breakfast however, the food was often cold- especially on the buffet. Nothing like eating cold pancakes for breakfast- yum! There were also many days when our rooms did not get serviced until we called. I returned to our room at 5:00 pm (after being gone since 8:00 am) and the room had still not been serviced so I called to the front desk to ask when it would be cleaned and I was told that they service rooms until 5:30 pm. It seemed a little late to me since that is usually when most people are getting cleaned up from being at the beach and pool and getting kids and families ready for dinner. I ended up just telling them to just bring some clean towels and forget the service for that day.

The beach was nice- however, it would have been nicer (seeing that I was 8 months pregnant at the time) if periodically people checked on you to see if you wanted to order a drink or food- again, horrible service. The pool was packed and we had to get down early in order to try to get some pool chairs together- often times they ran out of nice towels. One day we rented a cabana for the day. The cabana cost $300 and was the biggest waste of money. Not once did anyone from the pool staff come to ask us if we needed anything- no offer of new towels, food, drinks, etc. You would think that by coughing up the money for the cabana someone would pay attention to us- nope we were again, totally ignored. We eventually had to track someone down to get a lunch order put in for the kids. Later we found out that the person who was supposed to be staffing the cabana was actually the same person that setup all the beach chairs and was the server for the beach (no wonder we never saw him).

The kids participated in some of the activities- the camp was fun for them and they also enjoyed watching the nightly movies by the pool. We did participate in s’mores night, however, do not be fooled by the very nice campfire photo that is shown on the website for toasting s’mores. The fire pit that the kids are able to use for this is a little rinky-dink fire as the little kids are not allowed to be near the larger campfire- it’s 18+ only. The website was definitely a little misleading.

Overall, we were not impressed by the Sandpearl and I would not recommend this property to anyone travelling to Clearwater Beach. When we were checking out of the property the guest services representative asked him how our stay was. My husband replied “well, it could have been better and we were actually a little disappointed”. The GSR responded with “well, that’s too bad”. Never once did he ask us why we were disappointed or to elaborate. That comment about summed the entire trip up for us.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Katie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandpearl_GM, General Manager at Sandpearl Resort, responded to this review, July 23, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay at the Sandpearl Resort.

Please accept my apologies for your trip failing to live up to your expectations. We normally pride ourselves in being able to create memories and exceed expectations however it appears we have failed.

In your review you commented on the service. One example was the service you received at Tate's Island Grill. I will make sure to speak with the Restaurant Manager of Tate's regarding your comments. I will also speak with the Front Office Manager regarding the Concierge not providing you adequate information on local restaurants. We make sure that all of our associates are educated about the local businesses so I am not sure what happened in this instance.

In the review you also mentioned the s'mores fire pit. Previously we did have individual fire pits that were enjoyed by families however just this past week we added a second fire pit for families and s'mores only. We were receiving feedback from our guests at Tate's that there were too many kids around the fire pit why they were trying to relax and enjoy the sunset. We now have two separate facilities to make both parties happy.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write the review. If you would like to speak personally regarding your stay, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at the resort if you feel it appropriate.

Regards,
Eric Waltz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2014

We are actually here now. I was looking forward to staying at the Sandpearl and we are mostly enjoying our stay, but there are a few negatives that are difficult to get past.

The employee who checked us in (Seamus?) seemed like he was new to the hotel. We are iPrefer members and we got through the whole check-in process and then we asked about whether the complimentary upgrade was available. We were told the only upgrade available would cost us double the amount per night that we had booked our room for. Clearly we stuck with the room we had booked, which is great, but we have heard of many others who received complimentary upgrades. Then there was no offer to have our bags sent up for us. Again, not the worst thing in the world, but something that would never occur in other high-end hotels.

We are here on a holiday week and the staff seem like they're over it. Meaning, asking for towels at the activities desk seems like a chore for them and as if we are inconveniencing them in some way. Not just one employee, but multiple people over several days. Just a different level of service than what we had expected. There are some staff members who seem like they actually enjoy their jobs and being around guests, but it seems this is the exception rather then the norm. The staff at Caretta's, especially Jessica at night and Michael (?) at breakfast seems much more well-versed in doing their jobs well.

This resort definitely caters to families with children. Which is great if you're visiting with kids, but expect to be splashed in the pool and/or hit with a ball in the pool at some point during your stay. I have stayed at kid-friendly resorts in the past, but never have I stayed somewhere at this price level where there are so many kids. Couples without kids are few and far between. This has nothing to do with the resort, but something to be aware of. Maybe just the time of year?

There are positives. The food is very good, and we've learned after a few meals at restaurants in town that it's worth it to stay on property for meals. The sushi is especially delicious. The breakfast buffet also offers a lot of choices and the quality is great. Sitting at the tables outside offers a spectacular view.

The beach is beautiful and the sunsets are magnificent. The pool chairs are comfortable although you have to get out early or it's difficult to find multiple chairs together. People seem to reserve chairs very early.

In all, there are other places we'd return to before returning to the Sandpearl. We would most likely never return around a holiday because it seems that the staff gets too overwhelmed by the volume of people. We have a few more days left and hope that we will get to experience more of what we had been expecting.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ollbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandpearl_GM, General Manager at Sandpearl Resort, responded to this review, July 10, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay with us.

Please accept my apologies for your arrival experience not living up to your expectations. The arrival experience is something that we normally take great pride in and I am sorry that did not happen this time. While you are right, we did just end a very busy stretch, that is no excuse for all of our associates to provide the same level of service at all times.

If you would like to speak personally regarding your experience with me please feel free to contact me at the hotel.

Regards,
Eric Waltz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2014 via mobile

The elegant Sandpearl Resort sits in the heart of Clearwater Beach, ranked by many as one of America's best beaches. With a wide span of beach just steps away from a great pool and many Gulf-facing rooms, the Sandpearl makes the most of its location.

Modern and elegant decor is well placed in the bright, clean and spacious lobby. The staff is so friendly that one young woman actually apologized to me when she missed the opportunity to open the front door for me. The valet is efficient and professional, the front desk staff welcoming and accommodating. I was immediately greeted with a smile, a room upgrade and offered champagne or a mimosa. My visiting family was offered sand buckets for the kids, and we all felt welcome.

The beach is a wide span of sugary white sand, clean and well maintained. The hotel offers beach chairs in a section near the resort, and the waters of the Gulf are warm and calmer than the ocean. Lots of activities for kids are also available--during a holiday weekend this would not be the best place for a quiet solo or romantic getaway.

As a Preferred Resorts loyalty member, I was immediately upgraded from the Gulf View King room I had reserved to a junior suite. I don't know why you'd stay on the other side of the resort--the Gulf views are stunning. The junior suite was huge, complete with a large private balcony, a deep tub with a view of the room, and comfortable furnishings. Overall, definitely a resort worthy of a luxury brand and well priced. Considering I visited during a busy holiday weekend, I still had an enjoyable stay.

As a frequent traveler, there were a few details noticed that are best described as pet peeves, certainly not a reason to stay away and to the credit of the hotel, never reported by me before now:
--Much has been said about the resort fee. I agree it seems strange, although I appreciated the list provided at check-in of amenities covered by the fee.
--There is plenty of shade and covered chairs by the pool but if you want an umbrella on the beach you have to pay extra. This seems a little odd for a beach resort in an area where the sun is so strong--I actually stayed away from the beach for this reason. It would be better to provide the chairs with shade as an option, then charge for the cabanas as many resorts do. The wait service on the beach was also inconsistent--some severs did a great job of checking in with guests while others seemed totally oblivious.
--The complimentary upgrade was very nice but unfortunately my room adjoined a very loud family. Reminder to myself and all travelers to ask about adjoining rooms when seeking quiet!
--The hallway was often littered with room service detritus, including the champagne flute presented to me at check in, removed during turn down service and stayed there until I brought it back in my room the next day.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank FourDayTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaniWood, Front Office Manager at Sandpearl Resort, responded to this review, July 26, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review on your recent stay with us. I am happy to hear that our staff made you feel welcome and at home during your visit to the Sandpearl Resort and that we left an impression on you. We are delighted you were pleased with your spacious room accommodations and resort amenities. We greatly appreciate your feedback regarding your stay and hope you return to us soon on your next visit to Clearwater Beach.

Regards,
Lani Wood
Rooms MIT
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
#2 Luxury Hotel in Clearwater
#3 Romantic Hotel in Clearwater
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Clearwater
#3 Business 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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