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Living in Luxury at the Sandpearl Resort

Looking for the perfect place to head south as the weather gets cold and be immersed in absolute luxury? Look no further than the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Rated a AAA Four-Diamond Four Star hotel, the Sandpearl Resort will not disappoint.  The pampering begins when you pull into the driveway of the hotel and are greeted by the wonderful valet team, who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have and help you with your bags.

At check-in every guest receives a glass of bubbly – champagne or mimosas for adults and sparkling apple juice for children.  Small touches like this exemplify the Sandpearl’s status as a high-end resort and gives you a glimpse into the ideal vacation that awaits you.

—The Rooms —

The Sandpearl is home to a variety of rooms: from Standard King or two Queen rooms, to large two bedroom suites.  I had the opportunity to stay in a Gulf Front Junior Suite room.

The Gulf Front Junior Suite is a 500-square-foot room that features a private balcony which overlooks the Gulf of Mexico.

A large sitting area features a queen-size sleeper sofa and work area with a desk.

One of my favourite features of the Gulf Front Junior Suite is the luxurious bathroom which boasts both a walk-in shower and a separate Roman style tub that offers a view of the Gulf once you open the plantation style shutters.

With 253 guest rooms in the resort there is a wide variety of rooms to offer something for everyone’s needs.    All the rooms in the resort come with bar-sized refrigerators, coffee makers (stocked with premium coffee and tea), wireless internet, daily newspapers, in-room safes, and twice daily housekeeping.  In addition to these standard services, the resort fee of $25/day provides you with two bottles of water a day in your room, beach towels, and complimentary chairs on the beach.

—The Food —

Sandpearl Resort has three on-site dining options to choose from, ranging from fine dining to the marketplace.  Caretta on the Gulf is the only AAA Four-Diamond restaurant in Clearwater Beach and offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico from both inside and on the patio. Serving food from breakfast until after dinner, Caretta’s has an extensive menu and is one of the area’s most popular destinations for group celebrations, romantic dinners, or just a good night out.  Caretta’s is my favourite place to go for a late night appetizer and drink while sitting on the patio, enjoying the fires burning and listening to the waves crash into the beach.  This incredible atmosphere can’t help but remind you that you are on vacation.

Tate Island Grill is a popular location to go for a quick bite to eat, delicious salads, sandwiches, and seafood on a beachfront deck.  Tate’s provides a relaxed and casual dining experience where you can watch live sport events or simply watch the sun set beyond the horizon.  For an even more relaxing experience, Tate’s service extends onto the pool deck as well the beach.

The Marketplace is a convenient one-stop shop for everything from grab-and-go snacks and entrées, to replace forgotten travel items or choose a gift for that special someone.  Here you can find fresh pastries made daily, Starbucks coffee and tea, salads, wraps, fruit and yogurts, and a light selection of grocery items for picnics off-site or in a condo suite.

—What To Do At The Resort —

There is lots to do at the Sandpearl Resort. Sitting on 700 feet of Clearwater’s pristine beachfront, you can splash and play in the waves all day long or lounge on the complimentary beach chairs and soak in the sun.

If the sand and beach is not for you, the lagoon-style pool might tempt you with their many chairs upon which you can relax in the sun between dips in the pool or hot tub throughout the day.

If you are looking for something a bit more private, pool-side private cabanas are available that have fans, couches, tables, chairs, a fridge, safes, a flat screen TV, and decks with chairs for sunning.

There are beach volleyball nets set up in the sand and balls to borrow at the beach activities desk, along with beach toys for kids and towels.  You can also find the game of cornhole to play on the artificial lawns just to the right of the pool deck.

Make sure to check out the beautiful decorations perfectly placed throughout the hotel.  Sandpearl has an exclusive, luxurious, yet laid back feel which will put you right at home while on your beach vacation.

There is lots to do without going off the resort, and it worth it to take advantage of everything the Sandpearl has to offer.  The Sandpearl Resort offers far better amenities than any of its competitors on Clearwater Beach, and is well worth the trip to check it out.

17 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Clearwater Beach

The beautiful powder white sand and year-round sunshine that is on the Gulf of Mexico is Trip Advisors #1 Beach in the USA is none other than Clearwater Beach.  This popular tourist destination hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year to its many activities along the palm-lined Beach Walk Promenade to the great eats and entertainment you are in for a treat during your visit at Clearwater Beach.

Clearwater Beach is a year-round destination with warm temperatures in the off-season and hot weather in the summer.  Ranked among the most beautiful places to visit in the United States, Clearwater Beach offers miles of sugar-white sand, crystal clear waters, and warm gulf breezes.  I have visited in all seasons and each season has something special to offer to your visit.  From the Christmas Boat Parades to the sand castle festival these events unique for Florida and specific to Clearwater Beach are are some of the many reasons you should visit this amazing destination.

Below are 17 photos we hope will inspire you to visit this tranquil beach town and experience every moment that Clearwater Beach has to offer from the sunrises to the sunsets and everything in between!

Staying at the New Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is rated Trip Advisors #1 Beach in the USA and brings thousands of visitors a year to enjoy the powder white sand and year-round sunshine.  Breaking into the hotel market is the brand new Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach.

Opening in January of 2017, I had the opportunity to visit this beachfront property shortly after its Grand Opening.

Here’s my experience at Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach!

Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, like its name suggests, sits right along Clearwater Beach on the main street.  The beach is a quick walk across the street, and all the shops and dining options are located well within walking distance, so you can easily access everything Clearwater Beach has to offer.


Location, Location, Location!

From a location standpoint, the resort could not be in a better spot on Clearwater Beach.  Steps away the popular hotspot Pier 60, all restaurants and bars are within walking distance, and you are steps away from world-class activities and sights.  The resort boasts stunning views of both Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Bay Marina.

 


The Rooms

These beautifully decorated upscale beach themed rooms have a new and fresh feel to them.  With an abundance of natural light flooding into the room you will be able to feel the warmth of the Florida sun in the comfort and coolness of your own room.  There are a few different room options within the hotel, all offering views of either the Gulf Coast or the marina.  The rooms have a very modern feel, inspired by the pristine powder white sands of the beach and the turquoise waters of the ocean.

If you’re looking for the ultimate view of the beach, the Grand Deluxe Gulf Front rooms are for you. Sitting right on the beach you can watch the waves crash into the sand, and soak in the beautiful Florida sunset each evening.

No matter what option you decide to go for, you’ll get: complimentary bottled water, high-speed internet access, an individual air-conditioning/ heating unit, in-room fridge, complimentary morning newspaper, and much more.


The Food

No matter what you’re looking for, you will find it at the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach.  Their signature restaurant, Ocean Hai, the area’s only Asian-fusion cuisine restaurant offers extremely fresh local seafood, and all dishes showcase locally-sourced ingredients. Located on the gulf-front side of the hotel, you have the opportunity to choose a seat in the shaded outdoor area or in the beautiful indoor dining room.  They also offer a wonderful weekend brunch that I would highly recommend checking out.

Looking for something a little bit more relaxed? Then head over to Dock’s Pool Bar & Grill, where you will be treated to a more casual menu, perfect for a quick bite before you head down to the beach. Make sure to try their frozen cocktails or local craft beer as you soak up the sun at the pool-side bar.

Lastly, whether you are looking for a grab-and-go drink, quick snack, or a place to sit down with friends to enjoy a refreshing drink and light appetizer, eSKPades is the place to check out. Located right in the lobby of the hotel, this great bar features a barista on one side offering Starbucks tea and coffees, ice cream, pastries and sandwiches, and the Lobby Bar on the other. The Lobby Bar offers a light appetizer menu, wine, and other beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

 


 Things To Do

Whether you want to stay in the hotel and relax, head out onto the beach, or explore the surrounding area, there is lots to do in and around the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach.

Looking to stay in at the hotel and get some R&R? Then check out the outdoor heated pool, their state of the art fitness center, or their heavenly spa.

Want to be a bit more adventurous and head outside? The Wyndham Grand sits just to the south of Pier 60. This attraction is a place where you can go fishing, or visit locals who have little stands selling artisan crafts and more. You can also rent jetskis on the beach, go parasailing, and much more! For more on what to do in the area read: The Ultimate Guide to Clearwater Beach in a Weekend.

 

Christmas Boat Parades in Florida

We grew up watching Christmas Parades in our hometowns standing in the chilly December weather with a cup of hot chocolate waiting for Santa to come. This December I experienced another type of Christmas parade – a Holiday Boat Parade!

Dunedin is one among many towns throughout Florida that host Holiday boat parades each year.  During these festive events, you are treated to the beaming lights that reflect on the cool ripples of the Gulf Coast while holiday music floats into the crowds from the lavishly decorated boats.

These Christmas boat parades bring out large crowds of people from the town, and from all around.  One of the highlights of the event comes from the excitement of the children that sit along the docks and sidewalks waving at the boaters as they float by, singing along to the holiday music as they eagerly await for Santa to arrive on the final boat.  I really enjoyed how much the boaters seemed to revel in decorating and sharing their beautifully decorated vessels with the crowd.  You could see the boaters dancing, waving and singing along to the music, and how their enthusiasm was infectious for the crowds.

These parades are staples in Florida, with over 74 holiday boat parades from Pensacola to Key West, thousands come every year to see these events.  This is one of the many holiday traditions that comes with celebration Christmas at the beach.  If you have never had a chance to witness this beautiful spectacle of a Christmas boat parade, it is a must-do in your lifetime.

5 Reasons to Spend Christmas at the Beach

Christmas in Canada means cold days, white fluffy snow, making snowmen, snuggling by a fire and warm cups of hot coco – making it a favourite time of year for many Canadians.  However, many places in the world celebrate Christmas in hot climates and don’t know of the cold winter nights – only of warm breezes and palm trees instead of the crisp smell of a freshly cut evergreen tree.  Spending some time in Florida over the holiday season is a very different, yet a great thing to experience.  It opens up your eyes to how many people in hot climates have been celebrating Christmas for centuries.  Celebrating Christmas on the beach is a much do experience at least once if your life.  

— Getting to Decorate —

If you are spending the time in a vacation home or a rental you still have the opportunity to decorate your home away from home and make it feel like the holidays. If you are staying in a hotel, most decorate their lobbies with trees and wreaths to get you into the holiday spirit.  Regardless of whether you decorate your beach home to the nines with trees, garland and other Christmas paraphernalia, Christmas is really about being with your family and enjoying each others company whether it is in the cold or Christmas on the beach.

— Watch a Christmas Boat Parade on Water —

Christmas parades for Canadians means bundling up to stay warm, bringing a thermos full of hot chocolate or coffee and standing for several hours in the cold temperatures while waving at all the floats, waiting for Santa to come by.  In Florida, Christmas on the beach means the locals have the opportunity to head down to the harbours in their shorts and flip flops to watch their own Christmas parades – on the water! You’ll find this in many cities and towns along the water. Thousands of people flock to their local docks to watch beautifully decorated yhacts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbour in their annual boat parade.  The wide variety of boats spend hours lavishly decorating them to turn them into Christmas floats on water.  The parade is a must see for both first timers and those who have been watching the parade for years.

— Get Out of the Cold Weather —

Being Canadian doesn’t mean loving the cold weather we get for multiple months of the year.  By heading down to Florida and celebrating Christmas on the beach you are guaranteed to have no snow, and to have mild to warm temperatures in the month of December.  By heading south you also don’t have to shovel snow, wear a heavy winter coat and can instead trade it in for getting a tan, flip flops and sunglasses.

— Leave the Crowds Behind —

A normal holiday season consists of rushing around from store to store with our fellow shoppers, and fighting traffic to our holiday parties and family functions.  Escaping to the beach gives you the opportunity to get away with your family but without all the hustle and bustle that typically comes with the holiday season.  December is off-season in Florida, and other warm climate rates are typically better at resorts with less crowds, and you will likely have the beach to yourself!  With all these benefits for heading to the beach, what’s keeping you in winter-filled Canada when you could be spending your Christmas on the beach?

The Ultimate Guide to Clearwater Beach in a Weekend

A weekend in Clearwater Beach is dangerous, because you will not want to leave after experiencing the beautiful coastline, the stunning natural beauty of the area, and the endless choice of entertainment and outdoor activities on both land and water.

Clearwater Beach is truly a year-round destination with warm temperatures in the off-season and hot weather in the summer.  Ranked among the most beautiful places to visit in the United States, Clearwater Beach offers miles of sugar-white sand, crystal clear waters, and warm gulf breezes.

When at Clearwater Beach, there is a perfect mix of play and relaxation – whether splashing or playing in the rolling waves on the beach, or lying on the warm sand all day, Jet Skiing, paddle boarding or boating, you can find plenty of activities to suit your ideal beach getaway.  With flight times range from 3-6 hours from across Canada and the United States, it is a relatively quick flight to paradise, and could be a perfect long weekend destination.

— Watch the Sunset at Pier 60 —

The iconic Pier 60 is a must-see while at Clearwater Beach.  Pier 60 is a 1,080-foot fishing pier and recreational park that features a bait house, telescopes, and six covered pavilions.  You can often find street vendors along the pier selling hand-made crafts that are perfect souvenirs from your time at Clearwater Beach.  Sitting either on the pier or on the beach to watch the sun slip beyond the horizon makes for a perfect way to end your day and start your night.

Pier 60 is a great destination whatever the time of day.  It is a great place to take in the beauty of Clearwater Beach, watch the fishermen reel in their catch, or just listen to the live music that can often be heard floating down the pier.

— Take a Walk to Caladesi Island State Park —

Caladesi Island State Park is one of the few completely natural islands along Florida’s Gulf Coast.  You can get here by boat or ferry, but if you are up for a hike the south end of the island connects to Clearwater Beach.  If you head north from anywhere on the beach about a 45 minute walk will take you right into the state park.

Your walk down the gulf will take you past the many resorts and beautiful beach homes before you reach the quiet of the sand dunes – not far from the park entrance.  As you enter the park, you will see the beautiful mangrove trees covered in seashells.

The pure white sand beaches earned the park the honour of America’s Best Beach in 2008.  Here you can sunbath, swim, or look for shells.  Additionally, you can look for wildlife while hiking the three mile nature trail through the island’s interior, or explore the coast line and have a picnic at the various picnic tables and sheltered founds throughout the area.  If you are looking to do something on the water, then the 3 mile kayak trail that winds you through the bay and mangroves is for you.

On the island there is also a concession stand and restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat or drink.  Restrooms can also be found on the island.

— Visit Clearwater Marine Aquarium —

Located a mile from the beachfront the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a must-see for all ages.  At the Aquarium you can see, touch, and experience bottlenose dolphins, loggerhead sea turtles, river otters, sting rays, fish, coral reefs, mangroves, and much more.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium Dolphin Tale

If you are familiar with the 2011 movie Dolphin Tale, then you may feel like you’re experiencing deja vu, as parts of the movie were filmed here and the star, Winter the dolphin, lives in the aquarium.  The movie is based on Winter’s  journey from losing her tail at three months old, when she was caught in a crab trap line which cut off circulation to her tail flukes.  Winter and the facility garnered global attention following the amputation of her tail, when she became the first dolphin in the world to have a prosthetic tail.  Her story is a true heart-warming tale of survival.

— Get Wet —

Go out and have some fun enjoying one of the many water sport activities there are to do in Clearwater Beach: from renting a Jet Ski, to deep sea fishing excursions, dolphin watching, boat tours, stand-up paddle boarding, and so much more.  These activities give you the true feel of Florida by exploring the beautiful crystal clear waters of the Gulf Coast.

— Go Shopping —

Clearwater Beach has some great little shops along its main street, which are open all day and late at night, and where you can find some great souvenirs of your trip. If you are looking for something less touristy, then Tampa has some great shopping. Ellenton Premium Outlets is also a quick hour drive away from the beach if you are looking for great deals on some premium brand names.

 

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