Isn’t it delightful when something actually lives up the hype?
After years of writing about deals at Sandpearl Resort, I was delighted to finally visit the Clearwater Beach destination recently. (Read to the bottom to see a slideshow of more pics.)
My verdict in three words: Worth. The. Wait.
Nearly everything about the Sandpearl exceeded my expectations, from the pinch-me-I’m-dreaming Gulf views to the luxurious-yet-comfortable suites.
I started by lounging in a poolside cabana. Then, over lunch at the resort’s beachfront Tate Island Grill, I had a conversation with the friendly bartender.
Next, it was on to the spa. In my extra-large fluffy white robe, I looked like a kid in a Sunday school play. So it was fitting that my massage felt like heaven. I’m not sure if it was the essential oils or the magical hands of my massage therapist, Kelly, but the 80-minute “Perfect Massage” lived up to its name.
Later, at the Sandpearl’s sit-down restaurant, Caretta on the Gulf, I lingered for hours over the resort’s inaugural beer-tasting dinner (well, minus the few minutes when I snuck onto the balcony to watch the gorgeous sunset).
Full disclosure: I’m not a big meat eater, but the chefs spontaneously whipped up a veggie gnocchi that even the carnivores at the table were eyeing. My new pal Ashley Grant, Tampa Bay guide for About.com, also attended the feast. Her review can fill you in on all the delicious details.
I capped off the night by sitting a spell in the rocking chair on my private balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. That night I easily drifted to sleep, although the entire day had been like a dream.
Moral of the story: A stay at the Sandpearl is worth the splurge. To maximize your money, consider one of the resort’s special offers:
If you’re pinching pennies, try a mini-getaway at one of the resort’s public facilities. The spa, Tate Island Grill and Caretta on the Gulf are open to non-guests. They’ll even cover your valet parking.
Ready to plan your sweet escape? Call 1-877-726.3111 or visit sandpearl.com.