We had just wrapped up a 10-day stay at the Thunderbird and arrived at Tampa airport on Thursday to find that our plane was delayed and we wouldn't be able to get back home to Seattle that day. We coaxed the ticket agent into letting us reschedule our return flight for Sunday morning, but when we called the Thunderbird we found that they were booked up, so we took the shuttle back to Treasure Island and just started walking up Gulf Blvd pulling our suitcases behind us until we arrived at the Swashbuckler Motel.
The Swashbuckler looks pretty modest from the outside, and I could tell my girlfriend had her finger resting just above the veto button, but we were tired of walking and tired of looking at "no vacancy" signs or hearing rates that were outrageous, so we pulled our suitcases up the office and tried the door, which was locked. With some trepidation we tried the phone number on the door, and our call was immediately answered by Brian, the manager, who said he'd hurt his back and was upstairs resting but would be right down. After a couple minutes Brian came down, walking slowly but carrying a big, welcoming smile. He said they only had one apartment available at the time for a short-term stay, and he showed us the place. Well, we thought it looked very nice, but when he told us the price, well, it looked amazing!
Brian was extraordinarily friendly and helpful and really went out of his way to make our stay enjoyable -- I can't say enough good things about him. I also can't say enough good things about our studio apartment, which was spacious, attractive and impeccably clean. All the furnishings were tasteful and modern -- they looked just about brand new, actually -- and everything worked perfectly. Now I should mention that I think the room in which we stayed was one of those that is usually rented more long-term, as it doesn't appear to be one of those that are pictured on the Swashbuckler's website.
As far as amenities go, it was pretty no-frills. There is a small, but nice pool (there aren't many rooms at the Swashbuckler, so it doesn't really need a big pool), and the pool is situated such that it's very private (some of the little motels in this area have pools that are right on Gulf Blvd, but the Swashbuckler's was tucked away. There's a nice lawn in the back with picnic benches and lawn chairs, and there's also a little courtyard of sorts in the front that separated our room from the road, which is probably why, while Gulf Blvd is pretty busy, I didn't notice any car noise inside our room.
As for location, it's not in the thick of things as much as some of the places (like hte Thunderbird) that are further south on Treasure Island. There's a Circle K or some convenience store a short block away, and I think there was some sort of ice cream place across the street and a restaurant or two within a quarter mile, and of course John's Pass, with all its stores and dining options, is 1 mile to the north. Yes, the beach is across the street, and you have to cross the street and walk down a little boardwalk to get to it, but it's really no more than a 2-3 minute walk from the door to the sand. Your reward for being on the "wrong side of the road" is the unbeatable price. On that note, though, we tried several other little motels on that side of the road, and the Swashbuckler was by far the cheapest. Not only was it the cheapest, but the accommodations were a lot nicer than most of them, which is why the Swashbuckler Motel may just be the best value on Treasure Island. This is even truer if you're planning a longer stay, as the weekly and monthly rates are just unbelievable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Swashbuckler is located in Treasure Island, FL within steps from the beautiful Treasure Island beach. We have a generous size pool with large sun deck, BBQ area; clothes care center and onsite parking. We offer fully furnished efficiencies, studios and one bedroom, two bedroom/one bathroom accommodations. The rooms are completely furnished including a fully equipped kitchen with a full size refrigerator, built in microwave, cook top range, all dishes, pot pans, toaster, Foreman grill, coffee maker, dish towels, linens, beach/pool towels, beach chairs and beach umbrellas. There is Direct cable T.V.offering 150+ channels plus free movie channels. Free Internet. 25 inch TV’s in the bedroom and living room. The bedroom has a full/queen size bed and most rooms will have a pull out sofa. We are located within walking distance of Historic John's Pass Village and Boardwalk where you will enjoy a variety of venues to include shopping, water activities, fishing, several different restaurants, casino cruises, night life and so much more. There is beach trolley that stops right at our front door if you prefer not to drive. Taxis, Limo service and free transportation options are available. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Swashbuckler Hotel Treasure Island
- Swashbuckler Motel Treasure Island, Florida