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Bilmar Beach Resort
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Reviewed July 13, 2014

We are a local to the Bilmar Beach Resort and this was our first stay there. We were looking for a one-night getaway with a balcony on the Gulf and on site dining. We were very happy with our stay at the Bilmar. We stayed in room 741. Yes, it is an older hotel, but we will be back. We are including pictures of room 741, the views from the room and best of all - the sunset.

The beach is practically at the door, but it is expansive, so it is a walk to the water.

We were there July 6 - July 7 2014.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank TB-Karen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMBBR, General Manager at Bilmar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2014

Dear Karen,

Thank you for staying with us and for sharing your great photos with other travelers. We love our locals and hope to see you back again soon. While we enjoy our 50 years of traditions with our guest we are also committed to constant upgrades in service and facility so I am sure on your next visit you can enjoy something new and fun.
See you soon, Clyde Smith – General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2014

A MUST READ

I was recently married, this past May 31st. My bridal party and I all reserved the ENTIRE PENTHOUSE FLOOR- costing us over $3,000 in 1 weekend. I also had 11 other rooms booked with our wedding guests, another $3,500 for just the hotel, in 2 days. Not including Sloppy Joe’s & Bazzie’s Beach Bar profits that we definitely contributed to.
Although most of the staff was courteous, we came across some horrible ones, incredibly rude and short and seemed like they didn’t want to be bothered. This weekend was supposed to be all fun and excitement, it ended, HORRIBLE.
After the wedding, my now husband and I stayed an extra day in the penthouse room #840 to enjoy at least 1 relaxing day. We were by the pool with my 2 children (12 & 8 years old) and had ordered lunch from Sloppy Joe’s. The server brought our bill immediately (which I thought was oddly rushed) and I told her to just keep it open because we were going to be there most of the day. She said she may need to transfer the tab to the bar if it got too late, I told her that was perfect and I gave her $10 as her tip on the $50 bill (just in case she had to leave, I wanted to make sure she was paid). My husband got a call from the church, that we were married at 2 days before, they noticed some candle wax that had spilled on their carpet and asked if he could try to clean it out. He left, taking my SUV packed full of our wedding stuff and my purse.
The kids and I stayed around the pool for another hour after my husband left and then the kids decided they wanted to go in the ocean… no harm, right? I left all of our stuff at the pool, except my bag (it had my $1,200 camera inside) and before I could get out of my lounge chair a short, brown haired, middle aged woman stood in front of me and asked me where I thought I was going? I explained the kids wanted to go to the beach and we would be back up in less than an hour. After I explained that I had just been married, we were guests at the hotel, my credit card was on file, and my husband left us without a vehicle momentarily, she proceeded to tell me that I wasn’t going anywhere until I paid my bill. I explained I only had $40 cash and my tab was $ 51, all I could give her was $40. She said, “Well, that’s not $50, is it? If you can’t afford your tab, you shouldn’t be buying drinks” I explained it was a food purchase, my children are with me and that I just spent $1,200 in 3 nights at this hotel, $10 wasn’t a big deal. At this point, my children are headed to the beach, I told her she could keep all of our towels and shoes up at the pool, we would be back and she actually said, “Are those smart phones? I’ll just keep those instead” ??????REALLY?????? I told her she couldn’t have our phones that I was waiting for my husband to call me back and she said, “Well than you’re not going anywhere!” I stood up from my chair and told her she was being a little aggressive and I was walking past her, if she touched me, we would have a serious problem” Yelling only 12 inches behind me, “I’m calling the cops! You’re walking out on your tab!!”
Immediately I was on the phone with the Bilmar trying to get someone to help me with this woman who was out of control… They told me it was my problem. 30 seconds later, as I’m trying to catch up to my children, the Treasure Island Police come flying through the sand. My youngest was in tears, the officer got out yelling that he should arrest me and if I say a word without him telling me to talk, I was going to jail. He threatened to arrest me if I didn’t pay me tab. I explained all I had was $40, he escorted me back to sloppy Joe’s (wouldn’t let my children come with me- yes, they had to stay by the shoreline, I had to ask strangers to keep an eye on them). Then, this woman took the $40 stating that,”She felt sorry for me and my poor children that I couldn’t even pay a $50 lunch tab.” The officers asked if she wanted a trespassing warrant against me, again, she said, “no, she obviously has a tough enough life”. I asked her what her name was and she said “I’m the general manager, Kim Lasky” What she didn’t know was I am very well aware of who Kim Lasky is, that was not her.
At this point other guests from the Bilmar came down from the pool with our stuff and were saying how disgusted they were with this woman’s actions. I told them I couldn’t believe it either after all of the guests we just brought to this hotel and all of the money we spent… This woman turns to the cops and says, “Since she’s such a trouble maker, I think we do need a trespassing warrant.” She looked right in my eyes, with a smile of course and said,” you are never allowed on this property again”
I left where the officers were to get back to my children to find both of them crying, they thought they ”weren’t ever going to see me again” because they thought I was going to be arrested. I got on the phone with Clyde, the real general manager and he acted disgusted by her actions as well. There was NO reprimand, I was told, and I think this particular person needs more training on how to deal with people…

Just to give you, the reader, and idea of whom I am… I am a Pinellas county native who has been frequenting the Bilmar, regularly since 2008. I’m a 31 year old with a Bachelor’s Degree in science specializing in nursing, a critical care degree, and I run an operating room at a major hospital. She had no idea who I am and if I was capable of paying my tab or not. She sure did love to put me down and embarrass me in front of whoever would listen. I will NEVER go there AGAIN! I just recently found out the woman who was responsible for this is a “junior” manager of Sloppy Joe’s gift shop. WOW.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
23  Thank Allie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMBBR, General Manager at Bilmar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2014

Dear Allie,

I can never apologize enough that what had been an extremely positive wedding experience for you ended so unfortunately. As we discussed on the day of the incident this was not an acceptable way to handle any guest interaction. I personally apologized to you and your husband and children. I also assure you that the appropriate follow up was done the manager you encountered and I am confident any situation like this would be handled MUCH differently. By your many years of experience of staying at the Bilmar Beach Resort I hope you know we are known for our service and hospitality. I can never undo the embarrassment we caused you on that day but I can assure you and all Trip Advisor readers we will not let such an occurrence happen again.
Sincerely, Clyde Smith – General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2014

This is the 5th year we've stayed at the Bilmar.. as usual a great trip! Spend 10 days enjoying Treasure Island and will, of course, come back next year.

The hotel is clean, employees are helpful and nice.. a very enjoyable stay.

However, I am disappointed that the new ownership has cut back on their entertainment down at Bazzies. We only went once the whole time we were there. I do not enjoy going to Sloppy Joe's to listen to our favorite entertainment (Bradley Ashby).

I will also tell you that this new "resort fee" is NOT going over well with your guests. I heard many of them at the beach discussing this. You are now charging for amenities that should (and have always been) supplied to your guests free of charge. You are giving a chair (and not one you can even lay out in) and an umbrella (that you didn't even have available) and charging $15 a day for it?? No thanks... I'll continue to rent from Taylor Beach Rental. I don't have kids so I don't use the free breakfast (I've never known a kid to eat much breakfast anyway) and you want to charge me for internet now? Please... As long as you keep it as an optional charge, I will continue to come back. It is just another way to gig people for money.. you are not a true resort so to charge that type of fee is just ridiculous.

Sloppy Joe's continues to be a great place for lunch but is horrible for dinner. Service is slow and dinner food is mediocre. But the fish tacos for lunch are very good.

All in all.. a wonderful, relaxing trip.. just what the doctor ordered.

Room Tip: We like to stay in 315 right over the bar.. now that there is not much entertainment and the bar closes at sundown most nights.. it has the best view in our opinion.
  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Lisa032
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMBBR, General Manager at Bilmar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 10, 2014

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for choosing to stay at the Bilmar again during your Treasure Island vacation. I appreciate your compliments for our great staff and standards of cleanliness. While we have maintained the traditions of Wednesday Dixieland Jazz and Friday Karaoke the Thursday afternoon entertainment was not appealing to enough guests to offer it on a weekly basis. We are looking forward to rebranding the beach bar soon including permanent sun awning, new look and more entertainment for guests and locals. I look forward to your opinion of the changes during your next visit.

I also appreciate your input regarding the $15 resort fee. We know that not all of the 18 amenities offered as part of the fee will appeal to everyone but we do believe it offers an overall great value by including parking, internet, in room bottled water, $5 beach bar credit, daily kayak or paddleboard, beach chairs and more. These are just 6 of the items for our guests traveling without children. In the fall we will also be adding new amenities including bicycle use, bingo nights and more to provide even more value to our guests of all ages.

Your comments regarding Sloppy Joe’s dinner are concerning and will be shared with the Food and Beverage Director and his team. As of April 1st I am working directly with the entire food and beverage team and I assure you we will strive to provide outstanding service and quality meals for lunch and dinner every day. I agree the fish tacos are excellent; especially with locally caught blackened grouper!

Again the entire team sincerely appreciates your many years of loyalty and we look forward to your next visit. Clyde Smith – General Manager

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Reviewed July 9, 2014

Have stayed at the Bilmar twice this summer for a staycation. Both times I used the App Hotel Tonight. To use the app you have to wait for 9:00 in the morning to post then you can book your room for that night. We went on a Sunday where the prices are cheaper. If you are going with a family you will have to upgrade the room and pay a resort fee. With a free hour of paddle boarding($20 a value) and $5 gift card, the room value comes to less than $100 both times. Also use my promo code JKARL1 when you sign up for Hotel Tonight for your $25 off the room.
Upon check-in, again both times NIkki checked us in. Nikki was very customer friendly and is very accommodating!! We got a room on the first floor with direct beach access. The room is updated with no issues. The hotel has two pools that are well kept. On the property, there is Bazzies Beach Bar and Sloppy Joes, both with excellent food and drink prices and choices.
Across the street, Ricky T's has good food and great entertainment. Also, across the street is a walgreens, publixs and strip malls for all your needs. On Sundays right near the hotel, there is a drum circle which can be very entertaining for people watching.
This is an excellent place to stay just check all the reviews on this website. I like this place our family with the value, service, amenities and surroundings this hotel offers!!!

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank jfk66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2014

Let me say that driving by I probably would not stop and check for a vacancy at the Bilmar based on its street appearance. From the street it looks like a very old motel. Am I glad we took a chance! If we are ever in the area again we will definitely plan on staying at the Bilmar.

Pro's
Friendly resort staff we have EVER experienced. Everyone from the front desk to the housekeepers, maintenance people, waitstaff, etc were friendly.
2 restaurants onsite - Try the skillet for breakfast at Bazzie's. It was delicious. You also get a $5 coupon for Bazzie's.
2 pools onsite
Beachfront - Its a deep beach so if you are hauling a bunch of stuff be prepared.
Very clean
Reasonably priced
Centrally located
Towels & beach chairs (not lounges) included in resort fee
One hour daily kayak rental included in resort fee
Pool service (the frozen drinks are crazy expensive for what you get.)
Complimentary morning coffee & paper in lobby
Free WIFI

Con's
Parking
Very little water pressure in shower.
Sand - we had a ground floor oceanfront room. A mat on the entry would have been nice to wipe your feet on. The tile floor stayed sandy. There was a broom in the room but it was not enough to do the job.
Noise - I question whether it was children or a stampede of elephants in the room above us that kept late hours. I did not hear any sound from the rooms next to us so this indicates to me that its more an issue of not so considerate people vs. paper thin walls. I would not want to stay in a room near the pool, I imagine that noise would carry. We could hear the band at Sloppy Joe's from our room but with the doors and curtain closed it wasn't too bad.
You are unable to lock the patio door from the outside on the beachfront walk out room. While the room and location was great, having to walk around from the street side door to the beach was cumbersome.
Ashtrays in pool courtyard area. These need to be removed as people were hot boxing right next to the kids in the pool and the restaurant.

We were room 133 on the ground floor in the Shells building. We were a beach front King room. We had a microwave, mini fridge, toaster & coffee pot.

Room Tip: You are going to have a lot of sand if you are a ground floor beach front room. Ask for a room away from the pools & restaurants. Mid-building in the Shells building or high in the Palms building would be the least noisy.
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Traveler672
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMBBR, General Manager at Bilmar Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 8, 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for choosing to stay at the Bilmar Beach Resort on your recent Tampa Bay visit. I am very pleased your overall visit was enjoyable and exceeded your expectations. I sincerely appreciate the many “Pros” you shared with your fellow travelers. We are very proud of our hospitable team members and of our standard of cleanliness. I assure you I have reviewed your “cons” and while we have policies established to address most of the items I will work harder to make sure they kept in practice. All 1st floor room should have a walk off mat outside the sliding door to aid in reducing the sand tracked into the room. We also have foot wash stations at each breezeway entrance (along with a shell cleaning station and shower). I apologize for the commotion from your upstairs neighbors. Our 24 hour guest services and security team will always be happy to address this on your behalf in the future. We also stop all music on property by 10pm to allow for a more peaceful evening for our guests. Smoking is not allowed at either pool area and we attempt to monitor this when completing our pool checks throughout the day. We’ll address this more aggressively for everyone’s comfort.

I again thank you for staying at the Bilmar. Our street appearance will soon be given an facelift with pending plans for a front entrance and lobby renovation. This will better project the upgraded appearance and amenities of our guest rooms. We look forward to your future visits.

Sincerely,

Clyde Smith – General Manager

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