We just got back from a fun weekend trip in St. Petersburg, Florida and where we stayed at the Hyatt St. Petersburg Downtown. I was very impressed with this new hotel in regards to it’s amenities and location. I think it’s an excellent option for a trip to St. Pete if you want to be downtown close by to some great restaurants, nightlife and breweries. If you are looking for an affordable and fun Florida vacation, here’s why I think this is just the spot.
Why Go to St. Pete
St. Petersburg is in my top three favorite cities in Florida and has been for a long time. My family visited here when I was in middle school to see the Red Sox play the Rays and get some beach time. Ever since then, I have loved the white sand beaches and the fun atmosphere of the gulf coast. As an adult, Andrew and I have visited many times and found so much more to do here than just the beach. There are tons of great breweries to check out, as well as art museums and a vibrant downtown. Every time we go, we find something new to do, whether it be a trying a delicious new restaurant or boating with friends. Check out some of my past articles to see more of what you can do here!
My sister, Nancy, and I decided we needed a visit to show my parents around since they have just moved to Florida. I knew about the gorgeous Hyatt Regency Clearwater nearby but was shocked to see this hotel where we could stay right in downtown for 12,000 Hyatt points a night. Suffice to say, we booked it immediately!
We ended up staying for two nights and had such a fun weekend there. Even better, we could bring Charlie and my parent’s dog, Roxy. They both could stay in one room for $75 for the trip. Not a bad deal at all considering the cost of a dog sitter for the weekend. The only other fee we paid was $15 per day for parking.
The Hotel Rooms
We booked two rooms, each with two queen beds and one pullout. The rooms are pretty spacious, which is typical for Hyatt place. We debated all squeezing in to one room, but decided against it with five people and 2 dogs. I think four people would be very comfortable here or even two parents and three kids. We were placed on a higher floor due to my Discoverist Status and had a lovely view of the city. The only other perk as a discoverist is getting two free water bottles per day. That was convenient for the beach, but I wish they had reusable water bottle filling stations instead like at the Andaz Maui!
We found everything in the room to be clean and fit our needs. The beds were very comfortable with ample pillows and blankets and it was nice to have that sitting area. They have black out curtains, which are nice, but I can sleep all day with those closed! The bathroom was also a decent size and my sister and I had no issues getting ready in there at the same time.
We did not use too many amenities throughout our stay as we had a pretty full schedule. We used the pool on the first day and it was your average pool, with the plus side of being on the roof. There is a nice view from up there, but no hot tub which can be a downside for some. There is a gigantic high-rise of condos and hotel rooms being built directly next to the Hyatt and this new building stole a lot of sun from the pool deck. It was also hard to relax there with all the construction noise.
I checked out the gym on the way out and was shocked at how big it was! There was only one person in there and plenty of equipment. If you like to workout during your stay, this is a great place to do it. We did not eat the included breakfast, except for grabbing a few bacon pieces to go, but it was the typical Hyatt Place breakfast we have seen before. They have all your basics, so if you want a quick and easy, free breakfast, you will be happy here. The bacon was actually a lot crispier than other hotel breakfast bacon and the rest of the ingredients looked to be of higher quality too. Expect scrambled and hard boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, fruit and those sorts of options.
Our favorite part was really how close it was in walking distance to everything. Our first night we took a nice stroll by the harbor and then walked to dinner and breweries with ease. They had also just opened Oak and Stone right next to the Hyatt and it ended up being a awesome restaurant! When we did have to drive, it was not much of a hassle. The parking garage had lots of spaces to and it was convenient not to have mandatory valet like some city hotels require.
A Couple Downsides
However, being in the heart of downtown does have its downsides. We had to wake up early on Sunday but barely slept Saturday night because of a nearby concert. We could hear the reverb from the venue until 11:30 at night. I have not been able to figure out if they need noise to stop at 11 or 12, but either way it was unpleasant to try and sleep with. This usually wouldn’t be an issue for us, but I have to point out that there might be some noise disturbances on the weekends.
We did have a few other issues that I will mainly chalk up to it being a new hotel. The front desk staff definitely needs more training as they kept messing up our reservation. For one of the rooms, we booked one night with my points and the other with my parents points. They told us we can stay in the room for two nights and to just get our room keys switched in the morning. So we did that and then went to the beach and a few hours later I get a call saying you need to have all your stuff and the dogs out of the room immediately! Well this was very alarming and it took over half an hour on the phone for them to understand the situation and get it all fixed.
We had a frustrating check in experience as well. We had just gotten the dogs settled and were leaving the hotel and the fire alarm went off. Andrew and I had to run all the way up the stairs and bring the dogs downstairs. Of course by the time we get down it was a false alarm. They probably can’t prevent that, but it definitely started our trip out in a stressful way!
I think the pros really outweigh the cons in the end. If you are here to experience the nightlife, the late night noise probably won’t be an issue. It is in walking distance to Tropicana Field and the Salvador Dali Museum and only a short drive from the beach. I think families would have an enjoyable stay here as well with multiple children’s museums and aquariums nearby. If you are worried about the noise I would recommend checking online to see if there will be any nearby concerts during your stay.
How to Stay Here for Free
I have looked at various dates up to six months out and have not seen a night under $160. This is why I really stress booking with points. If you have a Chase Sapphire credit card, all you have to do is make a World of Hyatt account for free and then transfer the points. I’ve talked a lot about all the reasons to get a Chase Sapphire card, but if you don’t have one, you can still get this Florida hotel deal.
All you need to do is make a World of Hyatt account and then buy the points you need. Hyatt sells points in 1,000 point increments for $24. So you can buy 12,000 points for $288. This will only be a deal when the hotel night rate is over $288. This does happen during Spring Break, so make sure to check it out if you are paying with cash. The ideal way to stay though is iwht points earned from a credit car like the Chase Sapphire Preferred/Reserve or the World of Hyatt Card.
You can book a room up to a year in advance and the best part about paying with points is you can cancel it up to 48 hours before and get fully reimbursed. Of course if you bought the points, you will have points instead of cash, but you can always use them at another property.
I hope this post has convinced you to take a cheap vacation to St. Petersburg, Florida! It is a fun city with beautiful beaches. Check out my other posts to see all the things you can do there.