Sheraton Sand Key Review (Clearwater Beach)

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Pizzaman, Apr 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Pizzaman
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    Copying this text over from my blog so there's a thread for this property with info. Hoping to copy pictures over later this week.

    We arrived at the Sheraton Sand Key on Sunday and got checked in quickly. We had two connecting rooms on an SPG floor. We had requested both a crib and a refrigerator prior to arrival. Neither was in the room but both arrived shortly after we did.

    The room itself is serviceable. The soft goods (beds and pillows) are in the best shape of anything in the room, and pretty decent. I'd say better than most Sheraton properties I stay at. The desk chair is pretty weak. Not a great place to do work.

    The bathroom is fairly typical for an older Sheraton, and not one I prefer. The toilet and bathtub are contained in a small room separate from the sink. The door clears the toilet by a few inches, but there's some negotiating to get into the bathroom and close the door without falling in the tub. The water temperature in the showers varies widely. We saw this over the course of a few days and in different rooms. It could be due to full occupancy during spring break, but we were showering at off-peak times, so it's likely an issue that occurs on a consistent basis.

    The hotel overall is a bit worn. They overcome some deficiencies with good customer service, but the property can only be considered average IMO. It's a category 4 in Starwood's Preferred Guest program, which costs 10,000 points a night. Considering the Diplomat in Hollywood, FL is a category 5, I'd just as soon spend the extra 2K points a night there.

    The property is located on the beach, so there are a number of options for outdoor activities. The pictures of the property are a bit deceiving in a couple of areas. First, the pool area is much smaller than it shows on the website.

    There's a very small infant pool (8' diameter) and a hot tub. But, there's no way that those two combined with the main pool can satisfy 390 rooms. It's a family oriented property, so at full capacity it's unlikely too many rooms have just one occupant. The pool is really not that much bigger than my pool at home. And my home pool really isn't that big. The pool was completely packed the entire time we were there.

    Of course, there's always the beach, which is why they probably don't have a bigger pool. Unfortunately, this is another area where things are a bit deceiving. The ocean is easily two football fields (200 yards) from the pool. Maybe closer to somewhere over 1/8 mile.

    There are also some tennis courts and a playground around the side of the hotel away from the pool. For families with kids, this is a good area to set up in. There's shade, a place for the kids to build sand castles, and easy access to the pool.

    The price for umbrellas and chairs at the beach is pretty reasoanble ($25 gets you an umbrella and 2 chairs for the day), and there was a beverage cart with plenty of drinks and sandwiches all day long that you could charge to your room.

    This is where the travel game can get the best of you. Our family has been spoiled. Because we keep a big pile of points we can afford to go to top-notch resorts in exotic places. The Sheraton Sand Key is neither of these, but it is a nice, serviceable property for families.

    You're not going to find great food here, but you will find pretty good service. When our daughter got sick on the first day of our trip, we called room service to see if they had chicken soup even though it wasn't on the menu. They didn't, but inquired with the chef and they said they could make a bowl for our daughter if we wanted. I told them I would call back in a few minutes with a full order for the entire family. About 5 minutes later, room service called back and told me the chef had finished up the bowl of chicken soup, and they were sending it up free of charge.

    We also had a positive "rescue" experience with the front desk as well. I had communicated through my Platinum concierge that we wanted to be on the same floor with my cousin's family, and that they would need a refrigerator in their room. My cousin is an SPG Gold member, which is okay but not great in terms of getting recognition from the property. They checked in the day before us. With a full property on spring break, they were on a floor with a lacrosse team (yes, an actual boy's lacrosse team running up and down the halls at night). They also did not receive a refrigerator.

    When I checked in the following day, I asked to speak to a front desk supervisor and explained the issues. Knowing the property was full I wasn't optimistic. But, by the time I got upstairs and situated in our room, the front desk was already moving my cousin and her family. A refrigerator appeared the next morning, and all our requests were fulfilled.

    I definitely think there are better values to be had in the SPG system. Sadly, driving around Clearwater Beach, this wasone of the nicer hotels. The Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach appears to be the cream of the crop, though. We're we to go back, that's most likely where we would end up.
     
  2. mht_flyer
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    I've stayed at the Marriott across the street and the rooms were ok, but the pool area was quite nice I'd say.

    Didn't much care for the beach on the Sheraton side (public beach).
     
  3. Pizzaman
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    Yeah, there's really nothing noteworthy about the beach. Well, except for the schlep from the hotel.
     
  4. Pizzaman
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    A view from the beach and the long walk back to the hotel
    Sand Key Beach-adjusted.jpg

    A view of the pool.

    Sand Key Pool-1.jpg

    View of the beach and Clearwater from the hotel
    Sand Key View-1.jpg
     
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