We look at the spectacular Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clear Water, Florida. The full low down on my visit!
Florida is right up there when it comes to my top vacation spots. I have to admit, the first thing that comes to mind when Florida is brought up in conversation, is the word ‘Disney’! But it’s not all about Disney World and Mickey Mouse, there’s so much more when it comes to the famous Sunshine State. On my Florida travels, I wanted to take a detour to Clearwater because I had heard so many wonderful things. From the calm powdery white sands of clearwater beach, to the sophisticated built up waterfront I knew I had to pay a visit to the best city beach on the Gulf of Mexico. I had been following the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, Clearwater on Facebook for some time and from the get-go, I was smitten. The staff seemed to really care about all of their visitors, and that’s something money can’t buy.
I began regularly following the hotel’s Facebook posts, which allowed me to get more of an insight into the character of the hotel and it quickly became apparent to me that this hotel was not your average stay-and-go guesthouse. This extravagant hotel uniquely is located on its own large stretch of white-sand beach, bringing it into a league of its own. The charm of interior furnishings featuring beige undertones and blue accents, paired with warm oak speaks volumes to me about the individuality of the hotel. By keeping up to date on social media and doing my research on this hotel, I instantly got great vibes so I wanted to start making preparations for my Sheraton Sand Key stay.
I decided to stay here for two nights in the summer, and boy it was hot! I hired a car for my journey, which was a very wise idea, otherwise, the cab ride would have cost a penny or two. Pulling up outside, I was surprised by how low the building looked next to its high-rise neighbours but it wasn’t until later I realised the surprise was around the back of the Hotel.
The lobby was light and airy, and each reception pod was manned by a polite and attentive member of staff. On my way to the lifts, I spotted a really cute beach store, and adjacent to this was a convenience store.
I wasn’t sure how far any stores were from the hotel, so it was reassuring to know there were outlets in the hotel serving snacks, and beverages while selling a wide range of magazines, gifts, and beachwear.
All of this exploring became thirsty work, so I didn’t pass up the opportunity of a cocktail or two at the Tiki-style Turtle Bar’. I had to ask for a menu to grasp the complexity of the tailored cocktail selection because there were a lot of options to digest. My favourite drink was this powerfully fruitful and refreshing American-style frozen Strawberry daiquiri you can see on your left, the perfect addition to my mesmerizing ocean view. I physically went up to the bar to order my drinks, but if you want to feel utterly indulged, there are attentive servers on hand who will bring your drinks over to you.
All sunned out, I began getting the urge for a dip in the uniquely triangular shaped pool. The temptation was too much to take, and the next thing I knew I found myself doing breast strokes back and forth, resulting in rippling waves throughout the pool. I did pick a busy time with young children and families splashing about, but there was plenty of space to swim and chill.
The outdoor Snack Bar consisted of your basic American-style stacks, with offerings such as burgers, hotdogs, fries and soft drinks. I think the seagulls took advantage of the food more than the guests, often waiting to grab leftover scraps they could devour in an instant! The snack bar area had a retro feel, carrying on the blue theme of the resort. Located at a higher level with stairs, this snack area felt nicely separated from the pool but you still felt included within the parameters of the pool area. Conveniently shaded from the sun, I often found myself heading over to the Snack Bar to cool down after the mid-summer scorching temperatures I was facing during my stay.
During my stay, I ate at the casual Mainstay Tavern for all of my hearty food needs. I would describe the Mainstay Tavern as a sports bar with an edge, mixing laid-back pub grub with the trendy atmospheric appeal. The menu included a selection of fair priced salads, burgers, pastas and full entrees. I spent most of my time in the Mainstay Tavern, which was always filled with serene warmth whenever I was within the carefree vicinity, but I occasionally I stepped a level and dined at Rusty’s Bistro Restaurant for extra thrills.
Designed for the more cultivated pallete, Rusty’s upscale American & Mediterranean fare and prime rib buffet choices are always there for you when you desire more of a fitful treat. Every night the critically acclaimed chef conjures up new and unique tasty creations for all of the Hotel guests, ensuring every need is catered for. The flawless table service was not too bad either!
I mainly stayed poolside on my visit, but if you see yourself as more of an adventure seeker, you can try out any 3 of the resort’s tennis courts on site, play volleyball on the sandy beach or benefit from the state-of-the-art fitness centre. Guests can also enjoy on-site beach & pool toy rentals as well as on-site watercraft rentals. There truly is something for everyone here, whether you’re a lounger or a jet-setter. I have to say though, the key focal point of this resort for me was the everlasting sandy beach, landscaping for miles and miles into the blue horizon. I’ll always be grateful to have experienced the astounding views of this resort and I hope I’ll be fortunate enough to encounter this majestic beach gem again in my lifetime.