Many places advertise white dream beaches. The colour white seems to be a flexible term in some places. In Clearwater, however, I definitely found the whitest sand of all the beaches I have seen worldwide so far. The width of the beach is also impressive. A true “icing sugar world”.
But let’s start with the arrival. Those travelling to Tampa from Naples or from the south of Florida are greeted by the mighty “Sunshine Skyway Bridge” that spans Tampa Bay. An imposing cable-stayed bridge almost 9km long.
Clearwater itself is a city about 15km west of Tampa, with a population of about 107,000. Clearwater is also the headquarters of Scientology.
Climatically, the small city between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico is even a world record holder. It even has a world record in the Guinness Book of Records for 361 sunny days a year. Add to that the fantastic sandy beach and the warm waters of the Gulf and your holiday is almost perfect. As a location for the hotel selection, I can recommend CW Beach, the most beautiful beach in Florida if not in the USA.
Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
The Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa is located directly on the wide, snow-white sandy beach. Pier 60 is just a 3-4 minute walk away. The hotel has about 500 rooms, which are bright and friendly.
Of course, you shouldn’t count on a double room booked from Germany having a sea view. We always had a view of the marina, Clearwater Bay or the Mandalay Chanel. But this is also very attractive.
You can usually experience a dreamlike sunrise here. The road in front of the hotel is not very busy. A few bawling holidaymakers in the evening are quickly picked up by the police. As you know, public drunkenness is a misdemeanour in the USA, if not a criminal offence.
The hotel’s own pool area was completely redesigned in 2016. But who would want to lie by the pool on this beach! Speaking of sunbeds, they can be rented directly at the hotel, along with a parasol. The costs are certainly no longer up to date, but we paid about 20 dollars per sunbed per day.
For the culinary needs on the beach, “Tommy`s Tiki Bar” provides. You should be careful when eating, however. The seagulls on the beach are quite cunning and have snatched away the best pieces from many a guest.
A double room costs between € 120/night and € 450/night, depending on the season. Breakfast is extra and can be booked in the hotel’s own restaurant. Here, however, I would strongly recommend the “Beach Shanty Cafe“. Super diner for breakfast. Admittedly, the place doesn’t look much from the outside, but the breakfast is delicious and much cheaper than in a hotel.
Beach Resort & Spa
Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
The Hyatt has only about 300 rooms and is also located directly on the wide white sandy beach. The hotel pool is rooftop. So it is on the roof of the hotel. But as with the Hilton… who wants to lie by the pool here?
In principle, this hotel is divided into two towers, which are served by 4 lifts each…
Unfortunately, only 2 lifts were in operation during our visit. I don’t know if this was for economic reasons, but we spent a lot of time waiting for the lift.
Unlike the Hilton, the hotel is separated from the beach by a small road. But this is more of a bicycle path. Cars do not drive here. Unfortunately, this hotel does not have a beach bar. However, there is a bar in the hotel which is accessible from the beach.
The pier is about a 4-5 minute walk from the Hilten. The Hyatt is just on the other side of Pier 60.
The room rates are a bit higher here, though. On average, you have to calculate between 300 and 450 euros per night. However, these are room rates !!!! No personal prices. Catering is also an extra that can be booked here. But here, too, I can only refer to the recommendations below.
Beach Resort & Spa
Sights & Food:
Directly in Clearwater Beach is the ” Clearwater Marine Aquarium“. Here you can marvel at turtles, otters and dolphins as well as numerous sea creatures. You can also book boat tours through the Mandalay Bay and coastal region.
When jet skiing on the sea, it is not unusual to be accompanied by one or more dolphins.
In St. Petersburg , about 25 minutes by car, there is the “Salvador Dali Museum“
If you’re looking for something to eat in the evening, I highly recommend “Cooters“. Of course, you can have a burger or chicken tenders here, but the speciality of the house is definitely the seafood. Salmon, Mahi Mahi, Alaskan King Grabs, Snow Grabs… whatever your heart desires. Not giving this place a chance, i.e. not paying it a visit, is really a shame.
As an Asian alternative I can recommend Tan’s Chinese Restaurant. A small bistro with delicious Asian food.