A modern luxury approach to an historic St. Petersburg address
For those familiar with the hotel, resort and golf course scene typically found in Florida, experiences usually center around stylish yet utilitarian facilities built with more emphasis on functionality than character. Places that are historic and handsomely unique can be few and far between. The Vinoy Renaissance certainly captures the essence of an historic and creative abode with penchant for modern luxury experiences.
The identity of this hotel lies specifically in its colorful past and its inspired present. It is a magnificent structure that first opened its doors on New Year’s eve 1925. It was built in the pomp and splendor of the roaring 20’s and over the years served as an upscale getaway for the rich, famous and the discerning travelers of the past. It served as a training and barracks facility during the Second World War, it experienced a time of decline and even abandonment. In recent memory it rose from its own ashes to once again set the standard high among classical Floridian luxury accommodations.
From a first approach the hotel is situated in a majestic spot. One has wide open views of local parks, downtown shops and the St. Petersburg Pier. The marina sits right across the street from the entrance for those who have larger hotel parking needs than most. Hotel doormen and check in staff were courteous and quick to serve. What could be a run of the mill busy city hotel lobby is surprisingly intimate and inviting, a good sign of what else lies beneath. The rooms, lobby, restaurants and bars all had a major facelift in 2011 and it still looks refreshingly crisp at present.
The overall feel of the hotel from the open spaces to the rooms and courtyards is light and airy. It is officially a Mediterranean revivalist style and this is what gives it so much character. Stone paved walkways, ornate fountains, high arched ceilings and elaborate décor and stonework. Open air patios are great places from which to enjoy the Florida climate and indulge in copious amounts of sunshine.
Guest rooms are classy without pretense. There is ample space, especially given the age of the structure and balconies provide a welcome view and refreshing breezes from nearby Tampa Bay. Rooms are fully stocked with good amenities and services are promptly rendered. The hotel does such a good job inside and out its hard to decide how to split up your time! Tower guestrooms are exceptionally beautiful and spacious for those looking for the best spots in house. Suites are jaw-droppingly impressive.
The Hotel’s unique story provides it with a whole section uncommon in most places of accommodation. It has a resident historian who gives in house tours and a large history display gallery for those looking to learn more at any time. There’s no shortage of excellent eateries in prime spots like Alfresco’s, Fred’s Bar and Steakhouse and the exclusive Marchant’s Dining Room and opulent bar and grill.
The resort lives up to high expectations with world-class facilities for leisure and recreation. It has a pristine 18-hole golf course nearby, a 12-court tennis complex, a modern and sharp fitness center with complementary fitness classes, a relaxing outdoor pool, sauna, steam and Jacuzzi. The Vinoy is certainly a one of a kind place to stay. It offers a well rounded luxury experience in an unbeatable surrounding of nature, history and charm.