The history behind the resort….
The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is a salmon-colored Mediterranean Revival building which opened in 1925 and overlooks the Tampa Bay. In it’s history it once was a training facility for military cooks. Since then it has undergone a $93-million restoration and a 1992 expansion that added an impressive guest tower and an 18-hole golf course designed by Ron Garl. The resort also has a private 74-slip marina, a 12-court tennis complex, five restaurants, a 5,000-square-foot fitness center, 361 recently renovated guest rooms and a shuttle to St. Pete Beach.
Why you’ll want to stay here…
The beaches are about 15 to 20 minutes away, but the Vinoy sits overlooking the bay, their marina as well as Vinoy Park. With great waterview rooms and a cool sea breeze, the resort has a naturally calming feeling about it. The resort also offers an inside/outside bar and rocking chairs to enjoy the view looking out over the front of the resort. Though it has been around since the 1920’s the resort has been refurbished, but they kept the lovely architectural details and the grounds of the resort as it has been. They even kept one of the old Vinoy Solarium’s that was used in the 1930’s. It is a booth on wheels that Vinoy guests could use to nude sunbath. Though no longer in use this little well maintained treasure can be found in the tea garden of the resort as shown in the picture below. The hallway leading out to the tea garden offers resort guests a glimpse into the hotels vivid past with history information and displays.
The rooms in the main hotel offered a mellow yellow wall color with upgraded furnishings and an amazingly comfortable bed. The closet had enough space to hang clothes and included a safe and luxurious robes. The bathroom was a decent size with two sinks and separated toliet room. Probably the only place that still showed the age of the hotel was the bathtub/ shower combo, because it had out-dated tile and grout. But, the rest of the room was very comfortable and it even included a flat screen tv and mini bar with a nice wine/alcohol selection. We also had a great view of the marina outside our large windows.
The only shock was the elevators in the main building were really tiny, the smallest I have ever been on. Their are several tennis courts on property and two swimming pools. The main pool on Saturday had the latest music playing with pools attendants available to bring you drinks. It was a very popular place during our stay until the Florida storms popped up. The Vinoy’s well appointed lobby offered plenty of seating to sit and gather with friends and self serve snacks were offered during our stay. The ease of the adjoining parking garage which you could get to through the hotel was very much appreciated at only $14 a day.
The resort is within walking distance to key attractions like the Museum of Fine Arts, the Dalí Museum and the Chihuly Collection of which also had a nice display in the Vinoy lobby. It also has offers a great view of the Saint Pete Pier which had a five-story inverted pyramid-shaped building that was constructed in 1973. I say “had” because one of the reasons for our trip last weekend to that area was to say our goodbyes to the old landmark as unfortunately they are tearing it down to replace it with a “newer” design. I am very thankful that the Vinoy has kept it’s old world charm and hasn’t decided to tear their resort down and build something newer.
The Vinoy’s Restaurants include the swanky Marchand’s, mellow Alfresco’s, and exclusive Fred’s of which you needed to be either a member or a resort guest to be able to dine at. And to get into see or dine at Fred’s restaurant you had to make reservations and then you were given a secret “password” to enter into the keypad to gain access in to the restaurant. But, their are so many vibrant shops & restaurants within walking distance to the Vinoy or a .50 trolley ride (the trolley stops right in front of the resort) that it’s really hard to choose from. We choose to eat off property most of the time and either walked or took the trolley. We had a great driver named Frankie on the trolley that was very engaging and even serenade us on the trip back to the resort. It was like having our own private taxi as sadly even with the overcast skies and the threat of rain we were the only ones on the trolley that day.
We did try Marchand’s at the Vinoy Resort during our stay before check out, which displayed several golden spoons and chef jackets on the wall for their Sunday Brunch. It was $45pp and the worst brunch buffet I have ever been too. Their were no ice carvings for display nor food carvings or even flower arrangements. Instead for decor they had three tall vases full of colored water. Instead of full size muffins they offered a few selections of tiny mini muffins. Toast had to be ordered through your waitor/waitress at an additional cost as well as any drinks. They offered a couple different types of cereal, some scrambled eggs, bacon and very nice large pieces of sausage and a ham carving station. Their was also some strawberries and salad as well as a pasta made to order station. A small selection on seafood and two omelette stations and that was pretty much it. The room service menu frankly would have been lesser expensive and probably better as it offered vanilla french toast among many other delectable items.
This 5 star resort is clean, very charming and in a great location! I loved our stay and can’t wait to return and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!