St. Pete/Clearwater: NEW & NOW
Wyndham Grand (Clearwater Beach), Fenway Hotel (Dunedin) Set To Open in February
As St. Pete/Clearwater obliterates tourism records, hotel developers are seizing the moment with 1,000 new rooms in 2016, and another1,000 rooms in 2017. Here’s a rundown of the projects:
Wyndham Grand Resort (pictured), Clearwater Beach, Opens January 2017 | When it opens in February, the high-end Wyndham Grand will be the biggest hotel/resort on Clearwater Beach: 343 luxuriously appointed guest rooms; spectacular waterfront vistas; waterside bar and restaurant; 22,000-square feet of flexible meeting space, including the area’s largest ballroom.
Fenway Hotel, Opens February 2017 | The 1920’s-era building, a Dunedin icon, returns to its original role as a hotel. Developer Mainsail Lodging is transforming the Mediterranean-style, waterfront building into a member of the Marriott International Autograph Collection. The reincarnated Fenway, which will feature a strong historical influence, is on pace to open in February 2017.
Hyatt Place, Downtown St. Pete, Opens late 2017 | In late July, the hotel had begun fourth-floor construction on it was to 14 stories. The 175-room hotel is part of a larger mixed-use development—located in the very heart of the city’s urban core—called One St. Petersburg, which includes a 41-story condominium tower (the tallest in St. Pete) and extensive retail.
Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach, Opened February 24 (pictured) | Ocean Properties’ stunning new luxury resort with a sleek, mid-century vibe and a gently curving façade fronting the Gulf of Mexico, brings another worldclass option to Clearwater Beach—and a new level of sophistication to the entire Gulf Coast. All 230 guest rooms boast unobstructed views o the Gulf’s emerald waters, and 17,000 square feet of waterfront meeting space.
Treasure Island Beach Resort, Opened March 5 | This luxury property includes 77 one-and two-bedroom suites, all offering a view of the Gulf, with kitchens and porch or balcony. It gives the “middle beaches” of St. Pete/Clearwater a luxury product that hasn’t existed until now. It’s also part of the same OPAL Collection as the Opal Sands.
Allure Suites Hotel-Beachfront Resort, St. Pete Beach, Opens 2017 | Local owners are renovating and rebranding Plaza Beach Hotel into an independent condo-hotel, expanding from 39 to 66 units. This product will consist mostly of two-bedroom suites, as well as some one-bedroom units.
Postcard Inn, St. Pete Beach | The 196-room, chic hotel underwent a major facelift that included renovating poolside rooms, gutting a restaurant and rebranding it Boathouse Kitchen & Bar, adding new meeting space and other improvements. Now owned by Ocean Properties.
Beach House Suites by the Loews Don CeSar, St. Pete Beach | The 70-room sister-property of the Loews Don CeSar less than a mile to the north got all-new one-and two-bedroom suites to the tune of $7.8 million.
NEW & NOW @VSPC, #LiveAmplified Visit StPeteClearwater.com Dali Museum’s Exciting Series of Special Exhibits Booked Through April
The Dali Museum continues solidify its standing as a cultural touchstone for the destination by presenting an ongoing slate of special exhibitions to augment the remarkable permanent collection of art by the legendary Spanish surrealist. The museum is booked with these showcases through April 2017. Just debuting is Ferran Adria: The Invention of Food. Renowned chef Adria, like Dali a Spaniard, is widely hailed for transforming the landscape of gastronomy. (It’s been said that he changed cooking in the same way Dali changed art.) The exhibit showcases Adria’s culinary work; creative notebooks outlining his innovative thinking; tableware and serve-ware he designed; and breaktaking images of his creations with inspirations from the natural world. The exhibit runs through Nov. 27.
A month after Ferran the museum debuts an exhibit with Frida Kahlo, one of the 20th Century’s most renowned artists. The collection includes 15 paintings, a series of drawings and personal photographs, and extends out doors, where a collection of flowers and plants representative of Kahlo’s own garden will grace the grounds of the Dali’s Avant-Garden. The exhibit runs Dec. 17-April 17, 2017.
Farther out, The Dali will also be hosting a Dali-Duchamp exhibit from February 2018-April 2018.
Other notable happenings: Furthering its mission of rescue, rehab and release, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is just began an expansion, which will allow the marine hospital to care for more injured marine life, including sea turtles and dolphins. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is home to “Winter” the tailless dolphin, who starred in two Dolphin Tale movies.
The Chihuly Collection, a museum-style gallery showcasing the work of superstar glass artist Dale Chihuly, reopens in a new, larger space in downtown St. Pete on Oct. 14. The collection, which was the first permanent exhibit in the world for Chihuly , will now include a stunning sculpture garden, which is set to open in January.
On the heels of The Huffington Post putting St. Pete on its list of Best Street Art Cities, the city’s own mural festival added another 20-plus murals, pushing the street art total to more than 70. Visitors can get a glimpse of some of them and hear the stories behind them with a tour every Saturday morning.
Florida’s Best New Restaurant didn’t come from Miami or Orlando this year. The Mill, offering breezily upscale “home-cooked, hand-crafted” fare in the heart of downtown St. Pete’s buzzing Central Avenue, took home Florida Trend’s top honor this year. The Mill is one of many new restaurants leading the way for a culinary renaissance in St. Pete.
With Florida’s oldest craft brewery, Dunedin, it’s only fitting that St. Pete/Clearwater boast the biggest craft beer scene in the state. Now more than 30 craft breweries call home to the area, dotting the map throughout the destination. To celebrate, VSPC is becoming the first destination to ever exhibit as a brewery at the Great American Beer Fest in Denver in October.
Starting in February, United Airlines will now fly direct from San Francisco to Tampa International Airport. The route is currently the most underserved in the country.