Watching the forecast the evening before my departure to one of St. Pete’s most historic resorts, I could not believe what I would be in store for during my stay. Unfortunately, of all days, St. Pete was expected to receive the worst rainfall so far this summer. Even with that in mind, I was still trying to remain optimistic about my stay at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort in St. Pete.
Thankfully, as soon as I walked in through the green doors of the historic and luxurious Vinoy Renaissance Resort, I forgot about the weather! I was greeted by the friendly smile of Maria at the registration desk. I gave her my name and started the check in process. She mentioned that my room was not ready yet, but that I had full access to all of the resort amenities. She gave me the layout of the resort as well as where to shop and eat in downtown St. Pete and that she would call me once the room was ready.
Since the room was not ready, I decided to explore the surroundings and start taking a few photos of the resort. I began with the wall that was full of historical information about the resort. The building is a historic Mediterranean Revival style hotel in downtown St. Pete. It was built in 1925 by Aymer Vinoy Laughner and it took 10 months to complete. It was a popular destination for celebrities at the time.
During World War II, it was used as a training school for the U.S. Army. After the war, the hotel continued to thrive for the next 20 years, but in 1974 it closed and most of it’s interior belongings were sold. The old hotel then became a refuge for the homeless and vandals for many years until 1990 when a $93 million restoration brought it back to its former self.
The opulent Vinoy reopened in 1992 and now enjoys being part of the National Register of Historic Places and named a historic hotel by The National Trust for Historic Preservation.
One of my favorite displays of the history of the Vinoy is this pictured below. “China and silver service pieces used in the hotel”. “During the hotel restoration, 1400 pieces of the original service were found wrapped in 1834 newspapers”.
The Grand Ballroom is one of the Vinoy’s most beautiful rooms and is used for weddings and events. It is a elegant and decorative ballroom with the highlight of the room being a Chihuly Chandelier. It’s one of his many pieces showcased at the resort. After taking a few pictures of the historical gallery, it was time for me to head up to my room. The room was located at the Guest Tower building, so I had to walk a little bit to get there. However, as I went through the double doors, I was captivated by the quaint and beautiful area of the courtyard. With hanging plants and tables, it made this section of the Vinoy a secluded oasis where one could sit and enjoy the serenity!
The decor in the bedroom was contemporary with Floridian key lime green walls. The bed was comfortable and cozy with several plush pillows that felt like I was sleeping on clouds of total relaxation.
Even though it was a rainy day, the view from my room was gorgeous. It overlooked the Vinoy Marina, pool and downtown district making my stay even more special of the great city I live in. There is no wonder as to why The Vinoy has been named one of the “500 Greatest Hotels and Resorts in the World” by Travel & Leisure Magazine and one of Condé Nast “Best Places to Stay in the Whole Wide World”.
The resort has a few restaurants on site including Marchand’s Bar & Grill which is it’s most prestigious. If you would like to see some of the dishes and pairing it offers, please see my previous post of Marchand’s here (http://ruthiesroutes.com/5-sensational-dinner-courses-unique-dessert-marchands-vinoy/)
If you are looking for luxury accommodations in St. Pete, FL; be sure to stay at the the Vinoy Renaissance Resort!
Happy Travels ~ Ruthie
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