Florida-West Coast

Grand Plaza Resort, St. Pete Beach

Hi there,

Went venue-shopping in St. Pete Beach and was fairly impressed with the Grand Plaza Resort. 

We loved how upbeat, professional, and friendly the staff was, especially Katie, the coordinator.  We loved the space for the ceremony with its dual palm trees, the cool tiki bar, and the pretty and separated cockatail hour space.  I adored the reception space with its huge panoramic views of the gulf and coasts and actually didn't mind the second bigger space if our guest list expanded.  We loved the uniqueness of the building, with it's rotating restaurant and bar at the top, and it's location as a halfway point between Tampa and Sarasota.  We especially loved the price- about half than what we were finding and getting so much more bang for our buck.

What I didn't like so much:  how much it sort of shows its age, how it doesn't look like it's near alot of outside bars and restaurants (I got some partyers in my family), and maybe the size of the hotel rooms. 

My fiance seems sold, calling his family to tell them we found the venue and while I think it has everything I could want, I'm hesitant- partly because my mom has something against St. Pete and doesnt think it will look nice (they live in NJ) and my sis mentioned the issue of lack of nightlife.

So instead I go to you, knotties.  Who's experienced Grand Plaza, what was it like, and is there a nightlife nearby (if not in walking distance, a short taxi ride?) and anything else that I should consider, either good or bad.

Help!  Their dates are getting eaten up and if we are going to go for it we have to pounce! Surprised

Re: Grand Plaza Resort, St. Pete Beach

  • M1ssJM1ssJ member
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    I didnt care for St.Pete for the same reasons but driving down the "strip" the bars seemed pretty good to go. We opted for CW beach because it was "prettier"
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  • I stayed at Grand Plaza for a weekend for my birthday about 2 years ago (maybe 3?). I had a great time as the stay was free since we won it at a bridal show (lol). The resort did look dated to me. I didn't mind, but I just felt like it was "old." I watched a wedding from the balcony of my room and it looked sweet. We walked to tons of bars but I don't know what you consider nightlife. No clubs or anything of course, but we walked to one of my favorite dives (The Drunken Clam), had fun at some karaoke night at a nearby hotel, had dinner + drinks at madfish that was also walking distance ... you can take the beach "bus" or trolley up and down if you want to explore... you can take it all the way up to clearwater and all the way south to st pete. just an idea! I think st pete is tons of fun but I do prefer Clearwater!
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  • Very very helpful you guys, thank you!

    My fiance might kill me, but maybe we'll make one more trip to go see Clearwater, lol.  We were there for the Uncorked Food and Wine Festival a few months back and we had a blast, but we couldn't find any place to go out to afterwards, but that could've been because of where we were.

    Anyway, I personally love a good dive bar too Krystal, so that sounds awesome to me!  My family, especially my aunts, mother and sister, are more cocktail loungers- are there any upscale places like that near Grand Plaza?
  • edited April 2013
    upscale?? lol, no... i wouldnt even say that clearwater has an "upscale" scene ... maybe shephards but that's more spring break party than upscale ... even though there is a "lounge" that the older people hang out at and enjoy live music away from the club ...
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  • Haha, yeah I figured that was probably unlikely, lol.

    Can you tell me anything you know about this "Miracle Mile" in St. Pete?  I was looking up nightlife and this term kept showing up.  Is it a long strip of bars?  Also, Katie the Coordinator mentioned something about that beach bus you were talking about too, and how it's basically free (except for tips) which might be a great option for people wanting to explore.

    And yeah, I would love to find a lounge-y place for my relatives, but the rotating restaurant had a pretty nice looking bar area.  Maybe that would satisfy them lol
  • M1ssJM1ssJ member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    I agree with Krystal staying in those areas is not catered to "upscale" I guess Island Way Grill or the Sandpearl might have upscale options in CW
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  • I was in a wedding at Grand Plaza last March and found it to be a beautiful wedding, but was not impressed with the hotel. The tiki bar was fun for the day of rehearsal, there are a bunch of local bars, but they are beach bars, nothing upscale, shorts and flip flop type, but they are decent (as far as bars on the strip st. pete has a lot more options than Clearwater beach where I grew up) But Clearwater does have some nicer venue options. The part I didn't like about Grand Plaza, and this is probably the same for any beach venue if I felt like everyone on the beach stopped and watch her wedding (which is fine but a guy in a speedo totally stood within camera view of her ceremony pics!). and then inside the hotel there were kids running around in bathing suits and barefoot. but the top level of the venue is so beautiful during sunset! so if your looking for better after-party i'd suggest st. pete, if your looking for more upscale venue- Clearwater, but keep in mind venues like sand pearl will be more expensive...
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