The Best Hotels in St. Petersburg–Clearwater

The mellow beach towns of St. Pete and Clearwater boast beautiful sands, flamingo-pink sunsets, and hotels for every type of traveler. If you’re staying in St. Pete, you’ll have your pick of lavish, Jazz Age edifices like The Don CeSar; a funky surfer motel; and a boutique spot with a panoramic rooftop bar. In Clearwater, options range from a glamorous beach resort with an outdoor pool, to an ultra-modern stay with an impressive collection of fine art.

Highlights
3400 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706, USA
Why we love it: A grande dame of the Gulf Coast with a glamorous history and luxurious amenities to match

The Highlights:
- A spot on the National Register of Historic Places
- Family-friendly amenities like watersport rentals and a kids’ club
- A stunning spa with a rooftop terrace overlooking the beach

The Review:
Known to many as the Pink Palace, The Don CeSar is a beachfront icon. Real estate scion Thomas Rowe built the hotel in 1928 as a tribute to his lost love, turning it into a popular destination for such acclaimed Gatsby era figures as Clarence Darrow and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Following his death in 1940, the U.S. Army purchased the hotel to be used as a hospital and convalescent center for airmen returning from World War II, but let it fall into disrepair after the war. Thanks to locals, The Don was saved from the wrecking ball in 1971, reopened as a full-service resort in 1973, and added to the National Register of Historic Places just a year later.

Today, the hotel continues to preside over the windswept dunes of St. Pete Beach, drawing guests with promises of ocean views and epic sunsets. The setting is so iconic, in fact, that movies like Once Upon a Time in America feature scenes with The Don in the background. The 241 contemporary rooms and 36 suites boast coastal charm, with crisp white linens and louvered windows accented by pops of turquoise and peacock blue. Two outdoor heated pools, a private beach, a game room, and complimentary bicycle rentals keep families entertained, while an 11,000-square-foot spa caters to couples seeking romance. When hunger strikes, guests have their pick of everything from a casual cafe, traditional beach bar, and nostalgia-inducing ice cream parlor, to a poolside grill and award-winning restaurant serving local produce and seafood.

501 5th Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
Why we love it: A historic hotel where Old Florida elegance meets contemporary style

The Highlights:
- Unique amenities like a tennis complex, golf course, and private marina
- A wide range of dining options to suit everyone’s tastes
- A prime location near Tropicana Field and The Dalí Museum

The Review:
A member of Historic Hotels of America, the Vinoy Park Hotel opened in 1923—a Mediterranean Revival property overlooking Tampa Bay, designed for America’s elite. It served as a training facility for the Army Air Corps for a brief time in the early 1940s, but reopened as a hotel in 1945 and continued operations until 1974, when it closed in disrepair. Following a $93 million restoration and expansion in 1992, the hotel reopened once again as the Vinoy Renaissance, complete with a new guest tower and an 18-hole golf course designed by Ron Garl.

Today, the Vinoy also boasts 360 guest rooms and suites, complete with well-lit workspaces, pillowtop mattresses, and Aveda bath products, as well as two swimming pools (one heated), a spacious tennis complex, a 5,000-square-foot fitness center with complimentary workout classes, and an elegant spa offering massages in poolside cabanas. Thanks to the hotel’s waterfront location and private marina, guests can even charter a boat for the day and explore the bay. Dining options range from sushi on the Veranda Patio to farm-to-table fare at Marchand’s Bar & Grill. The culinary standout, however, is Paul’s Landing, named for a Navy carpenter who once fished, farmed orchards, and cured meats and seafood along the St. Pete waterfront. Don’t miss the citrus-glazed shrimp and grits, or the crispy Brussels sprouts with key lime.
6300 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706, USA
Why we love it: A classic St. Pete stay with a beachfront location and retro vibe

The Highlights:
- Cabana rooms with private patios by the pool
- The largest heated pool on St. Pete Beach
- A beach bar with frozen cocktails and live music

The Review:
Nicknamed “the Santorini of St. Pete Beach” for its white-and-blue color scheme, the Postcard Inn on the Beach strikes a balance between playful and sophisticated, attracting families and young couples alike. Set right on the beach, the property boasts a large heated pool, fitness center, and beachwear boutique, plus extras like a fire pit, beach cabanas, bicycles, and fun games like ping-pong and beach volleyball. The 196 bright, breezy guestrooms feature local artwork that pays homage to St. Pete’s surfers and sun worshippers of yesteryear, plus lime, teal, and sea foam accents for a funky vibe. Those looking for a little something extra should book one of the cabana options, which come with private patios right by the pool.

In the morning, guests can fuel up with locally roasted Kahwa coffee and freshly baked donuts at on-site cafe, P.S. Grind. Later in the day, head to the Beach Bar & Snack Shack for sandwiches, frozen cocktails, and live music, or Stamps Lobby Bar and Restaurant for blackened mahi tacos, barbecue dry-rubbed burgers, and other classic American dishes.

430 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767, USA
Why we love it: A stylish stay that brings Miami glam to Clearwater Beach

The Highlights:
- Ocean views from nearly every guest room
- A stunning, zero-entry pool overlooking the beach
- A gorgeous art collection with original pieces by Christopher Still

The Review:
A sleek high-rise overlooking Clearwater Beach, Opal Sands Resort stands out for its modern architecture and stylish vibe. Here, everything from the guest rooms to the restaurants to the events venues feature sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico, putting guests squarely in a beach frame of mind. The 230 rooms and suites feature generously sized layouts, complete with deluxe bedding, spa-style bathrooms, and private balconies framing Clearwater’s famous sunsets, while common spaces come decorated with an impressive art collection both created and curated by Floridian master Christopher Still.

When not taking in the vistas, guests can sunbathe by the zero-entry pool and hot tub, or rent a beach chair or cabana and head down to Clearwater Beach. Also available are a waterfront fitness center, a full-service spa, complimentary bicycle rentals, and a corn hole toss on the event lawn. There are even four dining outlets on site, from Sea-Guini (for freshly caught seafood and handmade pastas) to the Sandbar (for cocktails and live music right on the beach).

301 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33767, USA
Why we love it: A condo-style property near Pier 60 that’s perfect for traveling families

The Highlights:
- Spacious, residential-style rooms with kitchenettes
- A kids’ club for children and rooftop cantina for adults
- A prime location steps from the Gulf and Pier 60

The Review:
Steps from the ocean and famous Pier 60 stands the flamingo-pink Hyatt Regency, favored for its friendly, attentive service. A residential-style property, the hotel boasts 287 generously sized rooms and suites, complete with some combination of walk-out balcony, kitchenette, dining table, living area, and workspace. Also on site is a 24-hour gym, a serene spa with sun-warmed shell massages, and a heated pool on the eighth floor overlooking the beach.

Though rooms here cater to those who like to prepare their own meals, the hotel still shines with dining options. Guests can start the day with freshly brewed coffee and pastries from the grab-and-go Market and end it with a handcrafted cocktail at Off SHOR or the Latin-inspired Tropicana Rooftop Cantina (order your drink in a souvenir glass and it will come in a coconut carved into a monkey’s head). For dinner, there’s SHOR American Seafood Grill, which boasts a spacious patio and regional seafood dishes like whole local snapper and line-caught Florida swordfish.

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