All we knew about the Clearwater Hyatt Regency Resort was what the pictures on the web site told us: the hotel was expansive, beautiful, and on the beach. While that's enough for some people, our family vacation needs included a hotel where both business and family fun would blend together nicely.
We embarked on our journey as members of a media tour. We were curious to see what the Hyatt had to offer and from the suite-style, ocean-view rooms to the poolside cabanas, we were not disappointed.
Clearwater Hyatt Suites are Sweet for Families
The Hyatt's suite-style rooms are, in a word, “sweet.” We enjoyed all of the amenities of the gourmet kitchen with its beautiful granite counters and stainless steel appliances, especially the fridge and dishwasher. The beds were ultra comfortable and the private master bathroom was beautifully designed and well-laid out. The bathtub was long and just right for soaking after a day on the beach and the tiled shower was delightful. But most of all, we loved the walk-out balcony and spent most of our suite-time sitting outside admiring the stunning view of Clearwater Beach.
Family Vacation in Clearwater in a Poolside Cabana
If you're like me and have trouble leaving work behind even while on vacation, then you'll find the climate controlled poolside cabanas to be ideal for mixing work time with play time.
Each cabana is equipped with wireless Internet, a 42-inch flat screen HDTV, private restroom, wet bar, and plenty of comfortable seating. Sliding glass doors open to a covered veranda open to the pool area. I was able to host #CampusChat, my weekly Twitter chat, from the cabana and still have easy access to the pool and poolside activities.
During my stay, I noticed how perfectly the cabanas suited families traveling with infants, young children or the grandparents as they provided an easy escape from the sun and heat. No one had to feel left out when they could sit comfortably either in the shade under the veranda, or inside with AC on where the sliding patio doors provide a nice poolside view.
Life's A Beach When it Comes to Family Fun
Picture this: The boy reclines in the beach chair, his long legs stretched out before him. His feet rest flat against the warm white sand. The thin black ear-bud wire stretches lightly across his chest and disappears into his pocket. He has that contented “life is good” look one feels when everything comes together in just the right way. Right time. Right beach. Right hotel.
What made the Clearwater Hyatt right were the way small touches added up in a BIG way. Little things like picking up lunch packed in handy cooler from “Shor To Go” (located within the Hyatt) and the ocean-side gazebo that serves as a beach necessities shop offering free towel service for guests as well as items available for purchase such as beach gear, sunscreen, and cold drinks, all made it easy for us to be on the beach in a flash.
Families traveling with young children will want to check out Camp Hyatt's activity program for kids for kid-safe aquatic fun and educational activities. For more ideas about how to spend your time in Clearwater, check out: Family Fun in Clearwater, Florida and 6 Free Family Things in Clearwater, Fla. here on TravelingMom.
Colleges in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater/Tampa area
We did finally manage to tear ourselves away from the beach long enough to tour a college – something I recommend whenever you're traveling with teens. Visiting colleges that may, or may not, be on your teen's “list” will offer insights about the different ways each college approaches learning and living. To make sure you keep cool while on campus tours, read over the Summer College Visits Packing List.
If you find yourself in Clearwater, considering visiting the nearby colleges in the Florida St. Pete/Tampa area. (Detailed directions to each of these schools is available on SmartCollegeVisit.)
ñ Clearwater Christian College
ñ Ekerd College
ñ St. Petersburg College
ñ St. Petersburg Theological Seminary
ñ Argosy University
ñ University of South Florida
ñ University of Tampa
We came to Clearwater thirsty and curious, we left quenched and content and wanting to come back soon.
Z. Kelly Queijo blogs about college visits and family travel for Traveling Mom. She is founder of Smart College Visit, a campus visit travel planning resource for college-bound teens and their families.
Disclosure: My stay and meals at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Clearwater, Florida, was hosted; all opinions expressed are my own.