Vinoy Resort and Golf Club Review: The Ultimate Florida Getaway

R. C. Staab Avatar
vinoy resort and golf club - Entryway to hotel.

In the hotel industry, the term “resort hotel” is loosely thrown around. Any average hotel with a pool and a sauna calls itself a resort.

But in the case of The Vinoy Resort & Golf Club Autograph Collection from Marriott, the resort name is richly deserved. After an extensive renovation in 2023, The Vinoy is arguably the finest hotel in St. Petersburg. It’s also one of the best seaside resorts in America and one of SheBuysTravel’s top Florida West Coast resorts.

Kudos to Marriott for seizing the opportunity to turn The Vinoy Renaissance into one of its signature Autograph Collection properties. They doubled down on The Vinoy’s historical richness rather than painting it over. The grand lobby with the original ceramic tile flooring and the cypress wood beam ceiling from 1925 set the tone. The original details are balanced with contemporary design elements, including custom, lantern-like chandeliers.

vinoy resort and golf club - Renovated and restored lobby.
Renovated and restored lobby. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

At The Vinoy, new restaurants with outdoor seats and a well-staffed pool area give the resort a hip, upscale vibe. A lively recreational and restaurant scene right outside the front door. Let’s put to rest “God’s Waiting Room” –  a moniker given to St. Petersburg when it seemed like a community filled with gray-haired people waiting to die.

SheBuysTravel Tip:  Guests cannot opt out of the $40 resort fee. However, note the resort fee includes 2 specialty cocktails at Veranda or Paul’s Landing (ask for their best liquor), 2 passes to the St. Petersburg History Museum, 2 e-bike one-hour rentals per day, access to Wellness Classes, 90-minute access to tennis courts and daily enhanced high-speed internet. At check-in, ask for detailed Resort Fee information and your specialty cocktail vouchers.

vinoy resort and golf club - Old photos and mementos of the hotel's past.
Old photos and mementos of the hotel’s past. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Discover the History of This Venerable Resort

Walk up or take the elevator to the mezzanine for a lively history of the hotel told through old photos, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia. The legend of the founding of the hotel is that in 1923, a St. Petersburg developer bet his New York counterpart that he could build a hotel grander than any in New York. The Vinoy rose fast in 1925, boasting 375 rooms and the priciest rates in Florida. Its Mediterranean splendor lured presidents, celebrities, and winter escapees. The Great Depression dimmed its shine.

Post-WW II, it boomed again, only to fall silent in 1974 when it was possible to rent a room for $7 a night. Air-conditioning had not yet been installed. In 1984, a group began the painstaking process to restore it to its grandeur. A $93 million facelift was completed and it re-opened in 1992.

vinoy resort and golf club -  Blown glass chandelier, Luna, by Dale Chihuly.
Blown glass chandelier, Luna, by Dale Chihuly. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

SheBuysTravel Tip: Be sure to peek into The Vinoy Grand Ballroom to see the blown glass chandelier, Luna, by Dale Chihuly. In the 1990s, the chandelier was commissioned and shipped in 58 crates of glass, weighing 1,250 pounds. To install it, the ceiling had to be reinforced.

vinoy resort and golf club - Guest room.
Guest room. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Enjoy Newly Refurbished Guest Rooms

There are 353 guest rooms spread across two buildings including rooms with two queen beds or a king bed as well as suites. The historic building has 243 rooms while the Deluxe Tower has 130 rooms. Both buildings offer rooms with resort views (neighborhood in the rear) and bay views. Accessible rooms are available that include transfer showers.

All rooms feature a flat-screen TV, refrigerator, ironing board and iron, hair dryers, Nespresso coffee maker and shampoo, body wash, and conditioner from Ortigia Sicilia. Rooms have air conditioning and heating.

Pets are welcome. There is a $150 pet fee per stay. The whole downtown area is very pet-friendly.  

vinoy resort and golf club - Outdoor pool.
Outdoor pool. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Splash Down at the Uber Popular Pool

The resort outdoor pool is open from 8 am to 9 pm and offers lounge chairs, private cabana rental, complimentary water aerobics classes, and food service by the pool. Two jacuzzis are particularly popular places to hang out and sip wine with friends.

vinoy resort and golf club - 24-hour fitness center.
24-hour fitness center. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Work Out in a Well Equipped Gym

A 24-hour fitness center is equipped with numerous treadmills, elliptical trainers, and Peloton bikes. Strengthen your muscles with free weights, strength machines, and a rowing machine. This is a first-class hotel fitness center. Group classes and personal trainers are available.

vinoy resort and golf club - Men's locker room.
Men’s locker room. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Soothe Sore Muscles in the Locker Room

After the workout, enjoy a jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna in each of the locker rooms.

vinoy resort and golf club - Tennis courts.
Tennis courts. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Hit a Ball of Your Choice

With 10 Har-Tru tennis courts at the Vinoy Tennis Center, be sure to bring along a tennis racket. Forgot it? Then rent one. Courts are available to resort guests for a fee along with clinics and private and group lessons. The center is open from 7 am to 9 pm and is located in two sections – four courts above the parking garage and six courts further east toward the bay. The resort fee includes “90-minute access” so make sure you ask for the time for which you’ve already paid!

The Vinoy Golf Club is a Par 71 golf course located two miles away. Practice facilities, a bunker and chipping area, and a TrackMan golf simulator are available for golfers. After confirming tee time, contact the front desk to arrange for a shuttle from the hotel to the golf club.

vinoy resort and golf club - Vinoy Spa.
Vinoy Spa. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Pamper Yourself at the Spa

Vinoy Spa offers facials, massages, hair styling, manicures, and pedicures, body wraps, and scrubs, many featuring sustainable and plant-based products like Phytomer and Naturopathica. Pamper yourself with unique treatments like the “Crystal Energy Face & Body Journey,” incorporating crystals, minerals, botanicals, and aromatherapy.

vinoy resort and golf club - Veranda Bar.
Veranda Bar. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Dining Options

Lottie, a French patisserie counter in the lobby, serves coffee and teas plus pastries, sweets, and classic French lunch fare such as nicoise salad and quiche Lorraine. With limited seating, Lottie’s items are mostly for take-out.

Paul’s Landing serves Old Florida flavors with a modern twist, boasting waterfront views and fresh, local ingredients. Think smoked seafood, citrusy dishes, and craft cocktails – all enjoyed with several outdoor terraces, a large bar, and indoor seating. For a hotel resort restaurant, the prices are surprisingly reasonable.

Veranda Bar – While it’s certainly possible to order food, the Veranda Bar at the front of the hotel is where one goes to drink and socialize. With comfortable seating on both sides of the main hotel entrance, it’s a great place to meet friends and people-watch. The busy staff behind the bar makes a very good cocktail indeed.

Parasol is a new poolside restaurant featuring Latin cuisines such as grouper ceviche, tuna tostadas, and watermelon jicama ensalada. The space is located on a level above the main pool area with an excellent view of the bay.

The Vinoy Club Grill offers relaxed elegance. Enjoy American clubhouse dishes and Florida-inspired fare after a round of sunset drinks on the terrace with stunning golf course views

On-site, room service is available for In-room dining.

vinoy resort and golf club - ATM and vending machine.
ATM and vending machine. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Hotel Amenities

Internet and free wifi are in each room and throughout the hotel. The resort fee includes “enhanced high-speed Internet access” so make sure to click on that option and don’t accept the charge even if you are not a Marriott Bonvoy awards member.

Same-day dry cleaning service is available through the front desk if items are dropped off by 8 am. Ice machines are located on 3rd and 7th floors. An ATM is located on the plaza level with an updated vending machine from which one can purchase drug store items such as aspirin and sunscreen, plus a few snacks.

There isn’t a business center per se but two computers and printers are located in the lower lobby.

vinoy resort and golf club - Vinoy Park and Tampa Bay.
Vinoy Park and Tampa Bay. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Around the Hotel
The hotel graces Tampa Bay as part of Vinoy Park. Adjoining the hotel to the north are several parks and the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum. Within a few blocks of the hotel south toward downtown, hotel guests can visit the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, Museum of Fine Arts, and the two most requested popular attractions per the concierge: the new St. Pete Pier and The Dali (Salvador Dali Museum). As part of your resort fee, the hotel is supposed to give you 2 passes to the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

Across the street is the Vinoy Marina so boaters can dock and walk across the street to check-in.

SheBuysTravel Tip: For dining outside the hotel, the concierge suggests several restaurants just south of the hotel along Beach Street NE, many with sidewalk seating and a view of the bay. It’s a busy, popular area considered safe by locals and visitors alike as is much of downtown St. Petersburg.

Airport Access

Tampa International Airport is about 45 minutes away considering traffic. No shuttle is provided by the hotel. There’s a $75 fee for one-way sedan service. Taxi fare is about $60 one way. A similar service is available at the Saint Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

The Basics

Check-in time is 4 pm. Check-out time is 11 am. Cancellation policy varies depending on how a person booked the room.

Valet parking is $45 plus tax per day which includes access to two electric-car charging stations.

The Vinoy is located at 501 5th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701. The phone number is 727-894-1000, and the email is Vinoy.Info@TheVinoy.com.  It was formerly known as The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.

R.C. Staab is a New York-based author, playwright, musical theater writer and lyricist. His latest book, New York City Scavenger: The Ultimate Search for New York City’s Hidden Treasures, was published in Spring 2023. His first book 100 Things to Do at the Jersey Shore Before You Die was published in 2020 and is now in its second printing. In 2021, he walked the entire 139-mile coastline of the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Cape May the book, generating more than 200,000 views on social media. He frequently contributes to New Jersey Monthly magazine and online travel publications. He is long-time member of the Society of American Travel Writers having traveled to 49 of the 50 US States and more than 60 countries. He specializes in cultural tourism, adventure travel and historical sites. His off-Broadway musicals and plays have been produced in New York, San Francisco, England and the Midwest. He is a two-time nominee for England’s Best New Song competition. He lives in New York City with his wife, Valari, and his dog, Skye.
Read full bio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *