Published on Sunday, June 17, 2012 10:26
Don't let the minimalist look fool you – the Hilton Clearwater Beach is not a no-frills hotel. Instead, its focus is the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico views from sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows and sunny balconies. Business travelers and family vacationers alike can enjoy a bit of relaxation and sophistication in this beachfront hotel. Family Friendly Beach on the Gulf of Mexico
The Hilton is set on 10 acres of Clearwater Beach's powdery white sands. Lounge on the beach or walk to nearby Pier 60, where free nightly activities include movies in the park and live concerts. For $0.50 you can walk out to the end of the pier and watch seagulls, plovers, skimmers and other shore birds swoop up and around – and even land on the pier for photo ops. Beach Fun for Kids and Adults
The hotel has a Kids' Club with arts and crafts, beach soccer, sand castle building and more with CPR- and first-aid-trained staff members, and also offers rentals of beach bikes and other rides, cabanas, and beach umbrellas and chairs. Family Friendly Beach Destination
The beach is remarkably family friendly; according to Joanna Patterson-Ritzkallah, Sales and Marketing director at the Hilton, the beach has a dress code to keep it that way. Too-revealing swim wear is prohibited, and many restaurants and hotels on the beach (including the Hilton) maintain a no-visible-tattoo policy for their employees. Dining Options at the Hilton Clearwater Beach
Reflections restaurant serves three meals a day (including a breakfast buffet with a great make-your-own-omelet station) and indoor and outdoor seating. Be careful if you eat outside, however – I had a seagull swoop down and start pecking on an extra plate on my table.
Coasters Lounger offers a more casual setting with morning coffee, a light lunch menu, and appetizers and drinks for dinner.
If you just can't stand to leave the beach, the hotel's Tiki Bar serves food and beverages right on the sand – the only one of its kind in Clearwater Beach.
Disclosure: My stay and meals at the Hilton Clearwater Beach was hosted; all opinions expressed are my own. Teresa J. Shaw is editor of the Free in 50 States section and writes about traveling as a working mom on Working Traveling Mom. Follow her on Twitter at @TeresaShaw.