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Located on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast in St. Pete Beach, Tradewinds Island Resorts is comprised of two fabulous hotels: Island Grand Resort and RumFish Beach Resort. The resorts are set on 31 acres of beachfront property and are jam-packed with pools, restaurants and family-friendly activities. To help plan your trip, here is a Tradewinds Resort review.
With its endless white sand beaches and to-die-for sunsets, it’s no wonder TripAdvisor rates St. Pete Beach #2 beach in the United States (neighboring Clearwater Beach nabbed the top spot). At the center of it all is Tradewinds Island Resorts. Comprised of two amazing family-friendly hotels: RumFish Beach Resort (formerly Guy Harvey Outpost) and Tradewinds Island Grand Beach Resort.
My teen son and I spent a few days at the totally redesigned RumFish Beach Resort after a week at Walt Disney World. It was the perfect destination to decompress and enjoy some blissful downtime before the trip home. What we loved the most about Tradewinds is if you are staying at one resort, you can hop between the two and enjoy everything at both.
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Here are 10 awesome things that make Tradewinds Island Resort the ideal destination for your next family beach vacation.
1. Water Activities for the Whole Family
Between the two hotels, there are seven pools, including an adults-only pool at each of the resorts, Island Grand and RumFish Beach Resort. The pools are super clean and some overlook the beach. Each hotel also has a hot tub. I actually didn’t use the pools much, as we were only there for two days and wanted to soak in as much beach time as possible! The Gulf of Mexico was warm and clear and totally relaxing.
For sports enthusiasts who like their time in the water to be a little more active, there are a number of water sports, including parasailing, paddle boards and snorkeling. On the land, enjoy volleyball, mini golf, tennis courts, a game room, and a variety of other beach activities.
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2. High Tide Inflatable Waterslide
Who doesn’t love a giant slide? It’s no surprise that the High Tide Inflatable Waterslide is one of the most popular family-friendly activities at Tradewinds.
The High Tide Slide is three stories high, 200 feet long and has four lanes to race to the finish line. It may look like an amenity for the kids, but I saw plenty of grown-ups shooting down the slide. My teenage son went down the slide once, said it was cool, but didn’t want to go on it again. (He has obviously been spoiled by the big, crazy water slides at water parks!) However we saw younger kids riding the High Tide Slide over and over
High Tide Slide is located on the beach in front of TradeWinds Island Grand. The slide is open to guests of all ages, but kids must be at least 42” tall to ride the High Tide Slide.
3. Lots of Resort Amenities
OK, no one likes to pay a resort fee. That’s the daily fee resorts charge these days as an add-on. Depending on the resort, it can cover anything from the wi-fi charges to parking fees to pool towels.
At the Tradewinds Island Resorts, the “value-packed resort fee” is a fairly steep $45 per room per night. A $45 fee might feel like a lot, but some hotels charge that much just for parking. At Tradewinds, it includes the use of beach chairs, and, my personal favorite, unlimited use of the two-person cabanas right on the beach. The friendly staff sets them up. That’s included in the resort fee, although a nice tip for the staff is not. There are plenty of cabanas to go around, though we suggest reserving one in advance if you want the front row.
We loved having the cabanas for so many reasons! They are padded and comfortable, provide a pinch of privacy, and the shade is adjustable so you can have full sun when you want it, and shade when you don’t. While they’re not fully waterproof, they did protect us from the daily Florida afternoon cloudbursts.
The resort fee comes with an extensive list of perks at both hotels, which are located just steps away from each other. To give you the best idea of Tradewinds Island Resort activities, in addition to the cabanas on the beach and the giant slide, it includes:
Resort Amenity Fee includes:
- Unlimited rides on Island Grand’s waterway paddleboats
- Touch Tank Experience
- Family Pirate Show
- Guided Beach Walks
- Fishing Forums
- Campfire S’Mores
- Sea Turtle Talk expeditions
- Use of two state-of-the-art fitness centers
- Complimentary Yogafit classes
- Tennis court access with times
- Day play for beach volleyball and mini golf
- Beach games, like paddleball, bocce ball and corn hole
- Unlimited access to both resort’s seven swimming pools
- Poolside Invasion activities
- Dive-In Movies
- Pool towels
- Newspaper, available in the lobby
- Self-parking (one parking pass per room)
4. No Cash, No Problem
Tradewinds is not an all-inclusive resort. That means you will need to pay for things like food and drinks. But you don’t have to carry cash! You can charge food and beverages to your room. This is a great perk! It was so nice to enjoy the beach without worrying about leaving my wallet unattended while I swam.
When you check into Tradewinds, you’ll get a wristband that enables you to enjoy amenities at both hotels. The fact that my son and I could wander between Rumfish Resort and Tradewinds Island Grand and enjoy any restaurant, pool, activity or amenity without whipping out a credit card or room key made me love this feature.
5. No Shirts, No Shoes, No Problem
When I think of a beach hotel vacation, what I really think about is lying on the beach with a good book, taking long walks, lying in a hammock or sitting on my balcony and enjoying the view. Tradewinds Island Resorts wins because I was able to do all four!
While there is plenty to do at Tradewinds to keep the family entertained, there are also plenty of opportunities to chill.
Just like you’d expect at a beach resort, the atmosphere is casual. I felt totally comfortable wandering up to the bar in my flip-flops and swimsuit. In fact, I probably would have felt overdressed wearing much more! Rumfish Beach Resort has The Sandbox Beach Lounge, an outdoor beach bar facing the Gulf with live music, drink specials, and a fire pit every evening. We really loved just being able to relax and not dress up or fuss before going out.
6. Family-Friendly Hotel Rooms
There are literally dozens of room types available between the two resorts – from a standard room to Gulf-front two-bedroom suites. Many of these rooms offer patios or balconies, some with breathtaking views of the aqua blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Pet-friendly guest rooms are also available if you happen to be traveling with a dog.
We stayed in a Gulf-front one-bedroom suite at RumFish Beach Resort, which as the name suggests, had a magnificent view of the water. Clocking in at a comfortable 480 square feet, you enter the room from an exterior hallway into the bedroom area. From the bedroom, there is a bathroom and pass-through kitchen, and finally a living room with pull-out sofa bed overlooking the Gulf. Suites feature two televisions, as well.
This room layout was fantastic, because if one person wants to go to bed early, the others can still stay in the living room or enjoy the balcony. In our case, it was all about the mornings. My teen son is a late sleeper. I was grateful to be able to get up in the morning, take in the view from the balcony, and watch the TV news in the suite’s living room without waking him.
Having a full kitchen also came in handy. It was great to be able to keep drinks cold in the fridge and make our own simple breakfasts. If we could have stayed a little longer, I would have stocked up on sandwich fixings and snacks to bring down to the beach for lunch.
Standard size rooms at the RumFish Beach Resort are small but comfortable. There’s not a ton of extra space, but perfectly adequate if you are planning to spend most of your time outside the room. (However, we’d definitely recommend upgrading to a suite if your budget allows!)
7. Enjoy the Spa
If you want to enjoy a little “me time” on your vacation, make an appointment at Body Works Salon & Spa at Island Grand. The spa offers more than 25 treatments. This is a great spot to indulge in a couple’s massage, or maybe treat yourself to a mani/pedi or facial.
I got a facial at the spa when I visited a few years ago. Sadly, I did not have time to visit the spa during this visit to Tradewinds.
8. Great Dining Options at Tradewinds
With 14 restaurants and bars to choose from between the two hotels, there were plenty of options for even my picky son. I am only sorry that we did not have more time to try them all. A weekend trip is not long enough to experience everything.
One place we enjoyed a lot is Flying Bridge. It has outdoor seating by the pool at Tradewinds Island Grand and it is a great spot to grab lunch with a view. I tend to enjoy keeping it casual, so other favorite spots were Salty’s Tiki Bar, where you can get a tropical drink or light snack, and The Sandbox Beach Lounge, which makes a yummy Caesar salad!
Bermudas is the place to go for breakfast. It is a bright and casual restaurant, offering a variety of breakfast plates and regional specialties. If you want to go somewhere on the fancy side for dinner, try RumFish Grill (more on that below) or Palm Court. Unfortunately, we did not have the chance to try Palm Court, but if you like Italian food, I hear it is wonderful.
There are definitely more dining options available at Tradewinds Island Grand than at RumFish Beach Resort, especially now, as hours and availability are impacted by Covid-19. However, it is just a short walk between the two resorts, so you will never be far from a great meal. Room service is also available.
9. Experience RumFish Grill
Of all the dining options at Tradewinds, RumFish Grill is the one restaurant you won’t want to miss. We found it truly extraordinary! In fact, this restaurant was so good, we had dinner there both nights of our stay.
RumFish Grill features an expansive menu of seafood, steak, small bites, and a decent kids menu. The restaurant’s main attraction is a 33,500 gallon aquarium, as featured on Animal Planet’s hit series, “Tanked.” The aquarium encompasses an entire wall of the dining room and served as an impressive backdrop while we were enjoying our meal.
The main restaurant was fully booked the first night of our stay, but we were able to get a table in the bar area (no reservations necessary, and kids are allowed). There is also an outdoor patio, but it overlooks the parking lot and I preferred to stay indoors.
Because we really wanted to experience sitting by the tank and the food was so good, we ended up going back to RumFish Grill for dinner on our second night. That time, we were able to get a reservation for a table next to the aquarium.
Grilled beef skewers with tahini sauce and beluga lentil herb salad at RumFish Grill. Photo credit: Gwen Kleist.
My son and I shared the salmon one night and a steak the other, and capped off dinner both nights with a slice of key lime pie. The pie was creamy and delicious. My son has a pretty big appetite and could have easily scarfed down his own entrée, but I wanted to sample the appetizers and desserts, too, so we agreed to share.
The appetizers are unique and beautifully plated, and some hearty enough to be considered a meal on its own. We loved the grilled beef skewers, which are served with tahini sauce and beluga lentil herb salad. (My some ate the skewers, I ate the salad). Also great were the fresh shucked oysters, and a good old Caesar salad if that’s more your speed.
10. Convenient Location
With its calm, clear water and white sandy beach, St. Pete Beach makes us feel like we were in a tropical paradise. After a couple of action-packed days at Walt Disney World, it was amazing to be able to hop in the car and be at Tradewinds in less than two hours. A long, relaxing weekend at Tradewinds was the perfect way to cap off our Florida vacation, and the short amount of time it took to get there was the best part.
If you decide to fly there, St. Pete Beach is located just 40 minutes from Tampa International Airport. The city of St. Petersburg is just over the bridge, making it a convenient spot to visit if you are looking to spend the day at a museum or more urban dining destinations.