With a Suite Balcony Like This, Who Needs Closets?
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I recently had the opportunity to introduce my dad to one of my current favorite hotels in the US – the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach. I’d been here for just one other night back in September but completely fell in love with it.
Now part of that could have been that we had been upgraded from a regular room to the two bedroom suite overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
We’d heard they treated Diamonds really well, but apparently we hit it at the perfect time. We were arriving around midnight on a weekday during a low period and just staying one night. And they were so concerned that we were only there for one night that they also offered us the use of one of the pool cabanas!
So anyway, needless to say I had amazing memories of wonderful rooms, fantastic service, and close proximity to one of my top beaches. Since we’d be arriving on a weekend night right before the holidays, I didn’t think the chance of an upgrade was very good so I applied one of Diamond Upgrade Certs so I could show off to my Dad a little bit.
We arrived a little before noon. The front entrance is under construction so you now enter the hotel through the parking garage. The stay got off to a slightly rocky start – not knowing where I should go, I’d apparently pulled into the valet area.
For this stay we’d wanted to self-park so we could get in and out quickly, leave stuff in the car that we might want later, etc, etc. I asked them where to go for self-park and they countered with valet parking was the same price (which in this case wasn’t the issue). As we were leaving, with the windows still rolled down I heard them loudly discussing why we didn’t want to valet park.
That always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t expect hotel staff not to critique my behavior or decisions, but I do expect them not to do so in earshot. But we circled the garage and made it up to self-park with no problem. At check-in everything got back to great!
I asked if our 1BR Queen suite had a nice view of the gulf. Apparently it didn’t, and the representative went out of his way to see what he could do for us since we were only staying one night. He put us into what I *think* was the Gulf Front Terrace Suite. It was on the 16th floor, one floor from the top and the same level as the hot tub. I will always be grateful!
The suite features a brief foyer with a full bath off to the left. You walk into the kitchen/living room with great windows.
It didn’t have the dining table I’d expected, but I actually liked the fact it offered an eating counter with stools better.
One of the things I love about this hotel is most, if not all, the rooms have a full kitchen and balcony with table and chairs, which makes it perfect for families and even for entertaining. With this in mind, I’d proposed that instead of going out to dinner with family friends, we just invite them to the suite for tapas and drinks, since the whole point was to catch up rather than eat.
It was the “terrace” that decided our plans.
Amazing views of the gulf, the beach, and of Caladesi Island in the distance.
It had three separate sitting areas. In the main area which was roughly 36’ x 30’ in size there were two lounge chairs and comfortable outdoor couch seating. Off to the side there was a smaller ~20’ x 18’ alcove with table and seating for 8.
My dad doesn’t get as excited about status and upgrades as I do, but this time we were equally thrilled.
The bedroom also had a more modest balcony overlooking the pool with seating for 4.
There was also a second full bathroom, this time with just a large shower instead of a tub/shower combo.
The only criticism I had of the whole suite was there were no closets. None. Not even a wardrobe. There was a door in a logical place for a closet, but it was locked and appeared to be where the AC/Heating unit was housed. So no closet also meant no hangers and no bathrobes. It wasn’t a huge deal, particularly since we were just staying for one night and I knew if I called down they’d probably bring me hangers I could at least use on the hooks in the bathroom. Still, just a little odd for such a fancy suite.
We ran to the grocery store only a mile away to pick up a bunch of cheeses and other snacks. The basic kitchen utensils provided were enough that Dad could make fresh guacamole and other basic dishes. Hosting in our room was a big success!
The next morning we headed down to SHOR for breakfast. They have a nice buffet option but the menu had enough local favorites that we went that route.
On my last visit I’d had the massive breakfast cuban.
This time I decided to go for something lighter, though just as indulgent. The Crab and Asparagus Omelet.
Because of our awesome terrace, we had no reason to visit the pool. But if you don’t have a balcony with a view, the pool, on the 8th floor, is a great place to hang out and watch the sunset.
I’m not sure why I love this hotel so much – but getting great service overall and better than expected rooms both times probably has something to do with it.
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