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“a break from the theme parks”

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Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel & Conference Center
Ranked #14 of 32 Hotels in St. Pete Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Warfield, Berkshire
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“a break from the theme parks”
Reviewed January 1, 2007

Straight to the point, I agree with other reviwers about door slamming and echo in corridors, americans are not quiet when they have had a few drinks, and want to share the conversation with all on that floor.

We found the hotel welcoming and very helpful, a bit disappointed that the only bar is either on the beach or at the very top of the hotel, a lounge bar would be nice.

Waiting staff were useless to be blunt about it, took 20 minutes to take our drinks order for dinner after having been sitted, and the food in the revolving restaurant is overpriced, especially the wines, with poor service. I would rate the service as the worst I experienced whilst in the states. Even Subway was more friendly and helpful.

The rooms are large and spacious, though with floor tiles they do get dirty and were never cleaned during our 5 day stay. the mirror ceiling in the bathroom is qwirky, but not noticeable unless in the bath.

When booking I would recommend a room on the sunset side of the building, reception informed me the sun rise side the sun does blast into the rooms, so no lie in possible, though it is away from the elevator, so a catch 22 situation, quiet but sun, or lie in but some noise.

The hotel does cater for a lot of weddings but they have there own floor in the hotel with bar and function room, so once in the hotel and married you don't see them too much except for a cigarette, as hotel is non smoking.

Pool good, a few more loungers would be good and some wind breakers, as when windy it does go straight across the pool front. Gym is a basic hotel gym, nothing out of the ordinary. Kids play room is a few arcade machines from a bye gone era.

Plenty of places to eat in the area, I would recommend Patricks 5 minute walk away for a romantic meal only has 25 seats so need to book a day in advance, not cheap but service and food fantastic, for the two of us with wine it cost approx $80, but I would return.

  • Liked — the sunsets
  • Disliked — the dirty tiled floors
  • Tips/Secrets — get a room on sunset side of the hotel
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Dogcoat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Key West, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2007

The Beginning...

I did a lot of research looking for a room for Christmas on St. Pete Beach which is an area my husband and I are very familiar with. I did not want to spend an arm and a leg on a room but I also did not want to stay in a dump. I opted for the Grand Plaza because the rates were reasonable (a standard room with a king bed overlooking the street at a rate of $158.00 a night plus tax) and it was formerly a Hilton and a Holiday Inn so some quality had to be there. It is also on the beach which was a nice touch. I booked through the hotel’s website which was showing less expensive rates than Expedia and other travel websites were for the same property. However, I found out later from my father that they called the hotel directly and talked them down to $128.00 a night plus tax.

It turned out that we arrived a day early. My husband went in and asked what rates were for the week and he was told that a standard room was going for $98.00 a night plus tax and the penthouses were going for $198.00 a night plus tax. That was a no-brainer. We ended up taking the Penthouse for just $40.00 more a night than we had intended on spending for a standard room and then told the front desk agent that we already had reservations so we got a better rate for walk in. However, I do not suggest doing this as Christmas is typically busy here on the beach and 2006 happened to be particularly slow so the hotel was starving to book its rooms.

Our Room...

There was no bellman around when we checked in around 7pm so the girl at the front desk told us where we could find a baggage cart to bring our stuff upstairs. The hotel was undergoing some updates so some of the floors are unfinished with painting going on and some dust around the hallways. The Penthouse floor was nice, kind of a world of its own. There was also a ballroom on this floor that overlooked the Gulf. Our room, Penthouse #1, was large with a table and kitchenette, a sitting area with a big screen TV overlooking the gulf through huge windows, a Jacuzzi bathroom and king bedded bedroom also with huge windows overlooking the Gulf. We were happy with the room even though there were a few issues:
•The tiled floor was extremely slippery. The cleaning solution used by housekeeping did not give the floor a clean feeling. Instead my shoes kept slipping on the floor and when I walked barefooted I found that my feet became slick and I felt like I need to take a bath.
•The picture on both TV’s was awful both in color and in clarity.
•There were scratched in the paint on the walls, the furniture, and the railing in the room which could have been easily fixed or replaced.
•A few light bulbs were burnt out when we entered the room and the remote control batteries were dead so I had to get new ones.
•There was only one hanger in the closet. I called housekeeping an requested more and they scoured the hotel and found five more hangers that looked like someone pulled them out of there car that they had from their dry cleaning.
•The hotel offers free wireless internet. We have a wireless card and we use it in every hotel that we stay in without a problem. We could not log on here; it showed that we had excellent signal strength but we could not log onto the internet. The hotel insisted that the problem was not on their end so I brought my laptop to the front desk so that they could set the parameters on the computer to the way they needed to be but they just ended up screwing up the computer so that it was unusable at all. We ended up spending two hours the next morning (Christmas morning) on the phone with Dell fixing what the hotel screwed up. It turns out that about ten other guests that I ran into also could not log on to the internet through the hotel’s wireless connection. The girl at the front desk offered to let us use the computer in the lobby for free since our internet connection did not work so I took her up on that, but it turns out that that internet connection was not working either. Anyway, if you need internet here you’ll have to have something like a Cingular or Verizon air card.

We slept well here the first night. On the second night there was a wedding in the ballroom next to our room that caused some noise, but it ended pretty early so it was no bad at all. Plus, the wedding party was nice and kept inviting us to the party. We slept well again on Christmas Eve, but things changed on Christmas night…we’ll get to that later.

Christmas Day…

We had reservations at the hotel rooftop restaurant, Spinners, at 3:00 for Christmas dinner. It was a buffet style dinner with ham, turkey, prime rib, veggies, salads, shrimp, cookies, pie, and breads. The restaurant is fairly nice, but it is spectacular in that it spins so you have revolving views of St Pete beach. However, it did make me a bit queasy at first until I realized that if I just focused on the people at the table instead of a fixed object everything was fine. Lines were pretty long for the food, so we ordered drinks and talked for a while. We helped ourselves to some food and were less than impressed. The shrimp were awful; they tasted as though they had sat in the freezer all year long and they were cleaning out their fridge for the upcoming New Year. The salads and breads were fine as were the veggies (kind of hard to screw that up). The ham was okay, the turkey was dry, and the one piece of prime rib I got was cold. We went back up to see if more prime rib would be coming out and if it would be hot and we were told it would be ten minutes and that someone would come to our table to let us know when it was out. That never happened. We went up to check a few time and there was no more prime rib at all so we had dessert instead. When we were ready to leave we asked our waitress to have the restaurant manager come to our table. We mentioned the prime rib had been cold and that there was no more there when we went back for a warm slice and all he said was, “Well, it’s there now.” He was very rude and if he would have just been nice about it or offered us a free cocktail to make up for it it would have been fine but he didn’t so we spoke to the hotel manager about this manager named Jonathan. The other guests we spoke to about dinner had the same thoughts and they too were less than impressed with the Christmas fare.

Later that night we went to the hotel’s beach bar for a drink and the night manager was there talking it up with the bar tender. The night manger happened to be the restaurant manager of earlier. When he saw us approach the bar he quickly wrapped up his conversation and took off. We had a drink and went to bed around 11:00PM. We heard noise coming from the Penthouse next door but we had planned on watching TV for about an hour and relax so it wasn’t a big deal. However, when we wanted to go to sleep at midnight the noise got even louder with people banging on the walls, loud rap music playing and we could smell cigarette smoke (this was a non-smoking hotel by the way). We called the front desk and asked if there was something that they could do to remedy the situation. We called three more times over the course of the night with nothing done to fix the situation. Then, finally at 3:00am my husband got dressed and went downstairs to talk to the staff. He told the person at the front desk that he was having trouble sleeping and that he was going to hang out with them and play card with them or something until morning. They were a bit taken aback and said that his not being able to sleep was not there fault. He replied by saying that it was their fault that he could not sleep because of the party going on next door to our room. The staff pretty much dropped their jaws at that and said that they could not believe that the night manager had not stopped the party yet; it turns out that the party was being held by a friend of the night manager who had given them the room free of charge to party in that night. Not to mention that there was underage drinking going on and some drug activity as well. So, at about 4am the party was stopped and on his way back up to the room my husband was yelled at by one of the kids partying next door that he ruined their party. Kids were stumbling into the elevator to leave, none of which should have been driving.

The next morning when housekeeping came to our room we asked if she had cleaned the room next door to ours yet. She said that the room was unoccupied and that she had just cleaned it the day before when the family that was staying there checked out. We told her she should check it out and when she did there were cigarette butts all over the place, more beer bottled than one could count and garbage scattered across the floor; it was just awful. My husband spoke to the day manager later on that morning and we got one night comped to us to make up for the lost night of sleep. It was a nice gesture, but not quite enough.

In General...

The hotel also has a gym which was decent for hotel gyms and an outdoor pool which we did not use because it looked kind of funky, but other people seemed to enjoy it. Also, there is lots of parking available at this hotel which is a nice feature.

I must say that with the exception of the manager Jonathan, and one of the bar tenders at the Bahama Mama’s, the hotel’s beach bar, the rest of the staff here was very nice and accommodating. The best part of the stay was Laura, our waitress that served us breakfast each morning at Palm Room Restaurant, the restaurant next to the pool. She was very sweet and helpful. The breakfast buffet was good and there were great selections on the menu as well. I was a little disappointed that this Florida hotel did not serve fresh squeezed OJ but the coffee was good. I highly recommend eating breakfast here if you intend on staying here after reading this critique.

  • Liked — On the beach...
  • Disliked — Can i only choose 1 thing?
  • Tips/Secrets — Call and check the occupancy rate. If it is low then don't make reservations as the walk in rates were MUCH lower.
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank Island_Gen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level 5 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2006

I am a local and, my boyfriend and I like to get away every so often and spend the night out at the beach. This last stay was our third one and it will be our last stay here. Parking is the number one problem here. The parking spots are unbelievably narrow; you really have to watch yourself. The very first time we stayed here, we had someone back out of the parking spot next to us, and they ran their side mirror all the way down the side of our truck. Most of it buffed out, but not all. If you have to leave for some reason, I doubt you will find a parking spot when you return (if in the evening (on the weekend.)) This hotel has many, many weddings hosted here and they will have several going at one time. We never had any problems with cleanliness in the room, with any of the nights we had stayed. Room service food was just okay. Not worth the price charged. Beds were very comfy for sleep. That is if you can sleep over all the door slams. The corridors have an extreme echo and the doors to the rooms do not have strut at the top of the door, so they slam very, very hard and the echo reverberates down the entire hallway and into your room. You can actually feel the vibration from each door slam. The views are nice. The porch is spacious. The bathrooms are a tab bit small, but not really a problem for us. We had plenty of towels. Overall nice place, but I just cannot get over the doors slamming ALL NIGHT LONG!

  • Liked — Views
  • Disliked — The door slams from each room
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank ssims2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2006

Stayed here at the end of November for 4 nights. Hotel is very nice. Beach is perfect in front of the hotel, nice and wide and you can walk for miles. Be sure to eat at Crabby Bills...it is almost next door. They have a great outdoor deck to have dinner and watch the sunset. Food was great!

One small annoyance was the noise of slamming room doors. This sound was increased by the all tile floors in the rooms and hallways...I think carpet would have been a better choice here. Also, the lobby area by the elevators is a bit small. Our bathroom was a bit small and the mirrors on the ceiling really need to go.

Other than those small things we had a very nice stay.

  • Liked — Very clean, nice staff
  • Disliked — Loud hallway noise due to tile floors
  • Tips/Secrets — Head to John's Pass fro great seafood and shopping
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Marla S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 8, 2006

I enjoyed my two night stay at the hotel. The room was clean. There was a live band at the beach front, it was ok with me, but a little noisy for my husband. The bed was nice and comfortable. Housekeeping was great. My problem was that at check in I was given a room with an adjoining door and was not told this information. The weather was cooler than expected so I really was unable to enjoy the outdoor activities (swimming pool and beach grill).

  • Liked — The bed
  • Disliked — The adjoining door
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Africaflower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, OH
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2006

We stayed at this hotel in Nov 2006 and had a wonderful experience. The staff was extremely helpful, room was very tropical and clean. When we contacted the hotel to make our reservations, the staff person on the phone was very pleasant and helpful. Gave us extra information on transportation from the airport and an overview of the area. We were a little disappointed on our view from the room. We were told when we made the reservation that we would have a gulf view room, which we did not have. Other than that we would recommend this hotel to anyone, in fact if we go back to the area, we would pick this hotel again.

  • Liked — close to the beach
  • Disliked — our balancy was small
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bdd95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
232 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2006

We recently spent a night at the Grand Plaza. In my opinion the hotel is adequate for a night, but we are pleased we weren't there any longer than that.

The rooms are an odd shape (due to the circular design of the hotel) which meant that our room was a little awkward in regard to layout. The bathroom was also very small. The room was clean enough though and the balcony pleasant.

The hotel pool bar is very run down and in need of a refurb. The breakfast buffet was okay, and the staff at breakfast were very friendly.

The beach is however the best aspect of this property.

Would we stay again, no but it is not awful either.

  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank craigpatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel & Conference Center

Property: Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel & Conference Center
Address: 5250 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706-2408
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > St. Pete Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#6 Romantic Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#7 Top resorts Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#10 Family Hotel in St. Pete Beach
#12 On the Beach Hotel in St. Pete Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel & Conference Center 3*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel is located directly on the beach and Gulf of Mexico. The Resort features a wide selection of luxurious guestrooms with furnished private balconies and all the best full service resort amenities for the leisure or business travelers. Featuring 4 Restaurants - Spinners Rooftop Revolving Bistro & Lounge, Level 11 Rooftop Lounge, Bongos Beach Bar & Grill, and the Palm Room Restaurant. 3 Lounges, Heated Swimming Pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel Saint Pete Beach
Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel And Conference Center
Grand Plaza Beachfront Hotel
Grand Plaza Beachfront Resort Hotel & Conference Center St. Pete Beach, Florida

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