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“Been there 4 times, this was the last time...ever”

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The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club
Ranked #7 of 42 Hotels in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
west palm beach
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Been there 4 times, this was the last time...ever”
Reviewed August 29, 2010

Ok, so we have stayed at this hotel 4 times now, and have written rave reviews in the past. In fact the last time wasn't perfect, but it was riding on the success of the times before. So, now here is an honest review.

We were there this time, as all of the other times, for a Red Sox game. This hotel has a contract with major league baseball, so it is a good bet you'll run into your favorite player while staying there. That and the place is the nicest or second nicest hotel around, and close to the stadium, makes it a perfect place to stay to catch a rays game when your favorite team is in town....so we had though.

I am not going to only dwell on the negative experiences we had, but will tell you some of the good things of this hotel so you can make your own decisions. First, the location is fine, kind of an economically depressed area, so unless you plan on staying in the hotel the whole time or have a car and a GPS, not much to do. The lobby is a fun area, wide open, and kind of like a southern plantation feel with rocking chairs out front on a big porch. Everyone, including most of the guests, is very friendly. Without sounding mean or belittling, it seems like the further down the chain you go the nicer the people are. The bell hops are VERY nice and funny, the people in the pool area are great too. The waiters and bartenders are very accommodating, security is nice, the people who just seem to be hanging around to open a door for you, etc, are all VERY nice. It is this level of service that we love, and that made us keep coming back to this hotel.

Of course, in a hotel like this, expect to tip everyone, so expect between 20 a day for valet parking, 15 a day for slow internet service (will get back to this), and 20-30 a day for miscellaneous non food related tips, just expect about 50 more a day in tips, and just live with it, if you don't like this, then don't stay at a hotel like this. So let's move on from this.
The hotel is divided into 2 sections...an older historic one, and a newer tower one. The older historic one is a better place to stay as far as location within the hotel, but is the non renovated side. So the rooms are smaller on the whole, the carpet is fair at best, the mattress so-so, etc. Between the 2 sides though you'd be happier to stay on the old side unless you want to be in the room most of the time.

The pool is pretty hopping, the bar called Alfrescos is good, good food, good services, but not open all that long with respect to daylight hours. We have now eaten at the 2 main restaurants as well. Merchands is an up scale restaurant on the main floor, very good menu, good food, good service, so so ambiance, pricey, but good. Amazing sunday brunch, but like 50 a person, but still if price is not an object you won't be disappointed. Downstairs in a grill room/country club type atmosphere is a steak house known as Fred's. Very pricey but great staff and great food, and was very quiet, so no problem getting a table and good service. About 50 a person without drinks, about 80 a person with drinks. Steak was phenomenal, oysters were great, escargot was good, bread was great, scallops amazing...worth the money and to not have to go venture out. The bartenders pour VERY stiff drinks too. Sounds good so far, well here is where the rest of the review gets negative. So please listen to both sides and make your own opinion.

Let me preface this with, I know stuff happens beyond the control of the hotel and the guests on here blame the hotel, and I am not one of those guys. What I do blame or look for is HOW DID THEY HANDLE THE INCIDENT. This is what in my eyes separates hotels and hotel chains. So, little stuff first. I would never stay here for business, it is a bit loud, no real business room, internet is VERY slow, painfully slow, and expensive at 15 a day. So, a lot of guests are couples and large families lots of kids. So, yes it is noisy most of the day in the halls, and the rooms must be thin and the doors heavy because every door sounds like someone is slamming it (very annoying at 3 in the morning). If you are staying here with a lot of kids and know what to expect and they will love the big pool and waiting to hound for autographs (though it is asked to please not do this) then they will like staying there. Not too too romantic, but not a bad couples place either.

Unfortunately, it pains me to say this, but red sox nation is not always the classiest of people. I myself am a member, so I am allowed to admit it. This place was jam full of loud people, and big drinkers. So it was a zoo, people screaming in the hall, bottles broken, etc. I would never stay there if you were not there for the game and didn't know what to expect. Make sure there is not a red sox or yankees game going on that day if you are staying there and not there for the game. So needless to say, we have not slept at all because of the noise allowed in the hotel hallways.

Also, this year they are charging 5 a person for roundtrip to the game on the shuttle. It is 8 for 2 by cab, so 16 by cab, or 20 by shuttle. Shuttles may be ok if it weren't raining, but it was. And then you sit in the rain (because if you actually sit where they told you to, you'd never get on one that comes around, because the other 50 guests are sitting in the rain on the front of the pull in area instead of where they said to (under a canopy at gate 4) and the driver instead of pulling to where they should, picks up whomever is sitting in the driveway). So, we WAITED 1 hour and 20 minutes for a shuttle. And at that point, just took a cab. I do not suggest the shuttlle if it is raining, or if you plan on waiting until the game is over to get on one.

Finally the real fun part, that I did not want to put on here, except the management handled it so poorly I feel I must. Not to scare you from the incident, because like I said, we can all stay there 500 times and I doubt this will happen to anyone else, BUT, the way they handled it shows me that I wouldn't be happy with how they handle any of life's little problems. The first time we stayed there our tv didn't work, no biggie. The second time our AC was messed up some, no biggie. This time we had no hot water. We were in such a nice room on the corner overlooking the garden, that we decided to wait until the next day to tell them to see if they could fix it while we were out. So, we woke up Saturday morning very itchy, to notice that I was covered in small ants in the bed. These ants bite. Hard. I had huge welts (still do 30 hours later) all over me. We called the front desk, they said they'd come and spray while we left the room. I did not want to be in a room with a bug problem, I did not want to be in a room that was just sprayed, and I did not want to be around 1000 dead ants. No thanks, we were ULTRA calm, I always believe(d) that you get more done with honey kind of thing. So, we asked to switch rooms, to which they replied they were very booked. A young lady came up to give me benedryl which we asked for, so I thought it was going to be handled well, so I kept quiet. They did indeed move our room, to a similar area, but to a room no joke half the size. The first room had the toilet separate from the shower sink area, this one toilet right in, etc. So I was a bit mad, but somewhat ok. Still awaiting to see what they'd do about the pain and inconvenience and the being totally scared and freaked out about going to sleep later. They sent a security guard to take a statement and take pictures (to cover their behinds in case I died I guess), he was nice, and still made me think, wow this hotel is managed great and I will stay here again (twice a year). (*management take note+we would have stayed here again, even to this point, with the ants, the bad room, the noise in the halls, the uncomfortable beds, the not sleeping, the terrible shuttle to the game but you failed in not handling this properly.)

Well, we got our bill, and nothing. No comp, no here is 50% off your next night stay, nothing. So to this I say, forget your vinoy, I will never stay there again, hilton it is for the 2 times a year we come to spend more than a 1000 dollars a weekend. I;d stay away from this place if you read a review about another place that sounds good. But the choices are very limited down there.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank bman577
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sedona, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
230 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2010

We visited St. Pete's during the Fourth of July weekend. The room was good, and clean/quiet, but because a government rate was used and it was a holiday weekend, the view was not overlooking the marina. We never ate at the hotel as it was pricey and did not serve organic food. If you have a car, consider parking on the marina side of the street instead of paying money in the parking garage.

While it rained most of the time, we enjoyed our stay in this lovely hotel, especially the veranda overlooking the palm trees and the marina. Servers will bring you whatever you desire from their kitchen.

The concierge staff is so helpful and nice. Take their advice and visit the Parkshore Grill (organic/natural foods) and be sure to request George as your server! This is a pricey restaurant, but worth it! They have an outdoor cafe which is quite nice. Also, see the Dali Museum and take a walk/bike ride along St. Pete's pathway. If you have a car, drive west about 20 minutes to see the St. Pete's beach, and/or drive to Sarasota and its beaches. Tampa is very close, too, but we decided to stake out the local Starbucks (a nice walk from the hotel) and buy our breakfast (baguette/cheese) at the newly opened organic-type grocery store just east of the 'bucks. Overall, this was a very nice visit.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank SedonaMich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2010

We found the hotel to be exactly as advertised; an oasis to relax in style. Rooms very large, bright and comfortable. Only downside: crowded and noisy pool area. St. Petersburg one of the few American cities inviting you for a stroll, but rather on the dull side.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ijnlg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2010

Stayed here 3 nights on business. Hotel has charm and character. One of the older hotels in the area. Seemed like an exclusive type of hotel and a bit more classy then I would normally stay in (picked by trip administrator).

The location was great - on the water and short walking distance to shops and restaurants. Nice area to walk in at night.

Rooms were clean. Pool was great! Never used the fitness center but it looked well outfitted.

One downside was that wireless was not complimentary ($10/night).

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MTBOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
1 review
Reviewed August 10, 2010

Excellent......Hotel has everything I hoped for and more!!....No need to drive as great restaurants onsite and within walking distance. 400 Beach was a favorite one of ours!...The spa is very small, but, I had the best massage I have ever had in my lifetime...and I have had many all over the world...The therapist was called Katie and was from Scotland...I would go back here just to see her again!!....The staff throughout the hotel was helpful, friendly and efficient!!!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Happytravels0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2010

Stayed for 4 nights and had a room overlooking the front of the hotel and Tampa Bay. Room was large and bathroom spacious, both very clean. Also had Aveda products in the bathroom! Decorated quite traditionally in keeping with the rest of the hotel.
Hotel itself was quite busy and there always seemed to be a function of some sort on, which seemed to be mainly conferences.
The pool area was very busy especially at the weekend and I did wonder whether non-residents were able to pay daily to use the facitilies. Lots of people sitting on sunloungers eating a lot!
The hotel also charges for parking which I think is a bit of a cheek too.
Didn't use the restaurant as it was quite pricey but there are restaurants and a great deli within 300 yards so plenty of choice.
One big positive is the great concierge service - our tour company had given us completely the wrong directions and the concierge deduced where we were (20 minutes away!) from our sketchy description and directed us faultlessly to the hotel, then recognised us from my husband's Scottish accent later and welcomed us personally. She also gave us info on things to do etc and was generally really helpful and polite.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank squirrel2203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
177 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 215 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2010

On the plus side: Excellent food in every venue. From fish tacos to fancy desserts and homemade ice cream, the cuisine is superb. Whoever is in charge of the kitchens has both flair and the discipline to maintain a high level of consistency. The bar drinks are very good, too. In the spa, my massage was excellent and my facial was so-so. You can order a drink in the spa! There's a wonderful hot tub, steam room, and sauna in the women's side. In my room, the bed was excellent and the view very nice. The location was fun--walking distance to some very nice restaurants, parks, museums, and the pier.

Now for the minuses: The first towel I grabbed after a shower was threadbare, torn, and stained. The room was pretty shabby--nicked paint, peeling wallpaper. The TV was housed in an armoire from which the doors had been removed; the unfinished part of the cabinet was apparent. But at least my room didn't have bedbugs, as did several others of my colleagues' rooms. Yes, really.

I would stay again if the price were right (or someone else was paying) and I had a chance to inspect the room carefully.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Janeite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

Property: The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club
Address: 501 Fifth Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701-2620
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > St. Petersburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in St. Petersburg
#2 Business Hotel in St. Petersburg
#3 Family Hotel in St. Petersburg
#4 Romantic Hotel in St. Petersburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club 4*
Number of rooms: 361
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Classic Bayfront Resort comprising restored Vinoy Park Hotel & Tower (1992). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Vinoy Resort And Golf Club Hotel St. Petersburg
Renaissance Vinoy Hotel
Renaissance Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg Renaissance
Vinoy

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