History Meets Modern Luxury at the Vinoy
Bright and beautiful in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg stands a one of a kind, historic hotel, The Vinoy Hotel. At almost 100 years old, the Vinoy has stood the test of time and is the premier waterfront resort in this thriving city on the west coast of Florida. Staying at this hotel is like staying in a museum of architecture, design and art. You don’t just reserve a room for a place to stay. At the Vinoy, you reserve an experience that ends up being so much more than you imagined.
Rich in History
The Vinoy Hotel was built because of a bet in 1925 by Aymer Vinoy Laughner. Sweeping architecture and breathtaking details were what made this hotel stand out from day one. Guests were awe struck by the hand carved columns and detailed frescos. The flooring was even hand painted! The rich and famous flocked to this hotel. With guests including Jimmy Stewart, Babe Ruth, and Calvin Coolidge, the Vinoy was a premier destination of the roaring 20’s.
The Great Depression didn’t slow down this establishment. Wealthy visitors traveled to the hotel by train as well as celebrities, presidents, and the elite of St. Petersburg. During World War II, the Vinoy was used by the US Army Air Force and United States Maritime Service as a housing and training center for military cooks and bakers. The Vinoy was in need of some repairs after the war but then reopened as a hotel in 1944.
Before its decline began, Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio were guests here. Sadly, during the 1950s and 1960s, The Vinoy fell out of favor and fell into disrepair after its popularity declined due to lack of air conditioning. By the 1970s it became low-rent boarding before closing down and selling off many of the hotel’s effects in 1974. The once stately hotel was abandoned and on the verge of destruction but was saved by St. Petersburg’s residents. A huge renovation effort began in 1990. The renovations were painstaking. As many original details were preserved as possible while bringing the Vinoy into modern times and adding new features and amenities. The Vinoy has been on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places since 1978.
Since reopening in 1992, the Vinoy has taken back its rightful place as a centerpiece of downtown St. Petersburg. The Vinoy has regained its reputation of luxury and grandeur. Celebrities including Paul Newman, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Jay Leno, George Clooney, Wolfgang Puck, Joe Namath, Tiger Woods, and Harrison Ford have all visited the Vinoy in its new era. You can be a part of the history of the Vinoy when you visit here.
Full of Decadent Details and Amenities
The Vinoy is a Mediterranean Revival style building that was popular in Florida when it was built. Every tiny detail was thought out and well designed in this hotel, making it a truly spectacular place to visit. The baroque stucco on the exterior is an immaculate detail you just don’t see in modern buildings. The vaulted two story lobby, with balconies on the mezzanine lets you know you are entering a very special building right away. Today, with modern amenities and all the luxury you would expect from a world famous hotel, this is the premier place to stay in the Tampa Bay area.
First and foremost, the architecture and design of the Vinoy is unlike anything you have ever seen. The exterior of the hotel is pink! Bright pink shining off Tampa Bay. A colorful gem in the center of an otherwise normal downtown. With the kelly green trim and details, the Vinoy has that vintage Florida style that is so well loved. The giant columns, the bell tower and verandas take you back to days long gone. You will want to take some time to enjoy the aesthetic beauty of this place.
Every room in the Vinoy is luxurious and so comfortable there is no way you will miss home. Many rooms have private balconies overlooking Tampa Bay. If you are traveling with your entire family, connecting rooms are available upon request. For the ultimate experience, reserve the Executive Suite, Chairman Suite, or 2,400 square foot Presidential Suite.
As you stroll around the grounds of the Vinoy, you will notice that every inch of the hotel is thought out with cozy corners and nooks. Mixed in amongst the Mediterranean design are bright, colorful details in the furnishings and artwork.
There is artwork all around! Between the gorgeous architecture, the artwork and little design details everywhere you look, you realize that the Vinoy truly is a work of art itself.
The grand courtyards and hidden pathways outside beckon you to come out and play. Let them lead you on an unexpected adventure. Every year, gorgeous weddings and posh events take place here and you can see why!
To honor its storied life since 1925, the Vinoy features a historical exhibit where you can learn about all this hotel has been through. You will be amazed at all the details cataloged here and won’t believe everything that has happened at this hotel. You truly feel honored to be able to stay at such an amazing place.
When you are ready to take a break from exploring the Vinoy, there are delicious dining options that will please everyone. As with everything else at this resort, the restaurants and lounges are gorgeous and relaxing.
- Marchand’s Grill serves unique Florida style, American food in a sophisticated atmosphere.
- Fred’s Cellar is a 1920’s inspired restaurant reserved for guests of the Vinoy only. In keeping with the speakeasy theme, you must call ahead to get the password to enter.
- Alfresco’s is a casual dining option with outdoor seating. They have a great happy hour here.
- The Veranda Cafe offers quick options if you are on the go.
- For cocktails and light fare, check out the Lobby Bar and Veranda Patio.
- The Clubhouse restaurant is on the Vinoy golf course.
Stay active during your stay at the Renaissance Vinoy Health Club featuring everything you could want in a gym including fitness classes. Bring your racket to enjoy the world class tennis courts. Your kids can even participate in one of the camps like the summer tennis camp.
In need of a little pampering? There is a full service spa. If anyone in your party likes to golf, The Vinoy has an 18 hole premier golf course. There are two outdoor pools with ample space for lounging pool side. The waterfalls pouring into the pools are so relaxing. For cooler days, one pool is heated. There is nothing like a pool day, under the Florida sunshine with palm trees all around.
Choose a spot on one of the verandas to relax. Wander over to the lush, green park for a quiet moment by the water, surrounded by large shady trees and tropical flowers.
The Vinoy overlooks the fabulous Tampa Bay. You can even travel here by boat. The Vinoy has its own marina where you can rent space, short term or long term.
Surrounded by Excitement
Downtown St. Petersburg is in the middle of a huge resurgence itself. It is quickly becoming an international destination on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with amazing culture and arts, and exciting events year round.
You can walk to the Dali Museum and take in the wondrous artwork of Salvador Dali. This is the largest collection of Dali outside of Europe. You absolutely cannot come to St. Petersburg and not visit here! You can also visit the nearby Museum of Fine Arts.
For Performing Arts, Ruth Eckerd Hall offers the finest in entertainment.
St. Petersburg is home to the Tampa Bay Rays. Take in a baseball game at their unique, indoor stadium, Tropicana Field. If you visit in the springtime, many other professional baseball teams come to the Gulf Coast for spring training and you can attend their exhibition games and practices.
Pack your bags for St. Petersburg and reserve your piece of history at the Vinoy. Your time in Tampa Bay will be luxurious. The Vinoy is perfect for those who want first class accommodations, for lovers of architecture and for art aficionados. Take in all that this beautiful place has to offer and you will be pretty in pink.
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Photo Credits: EveryAvenueGirl
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Elena is the managing editor for Daily Mom. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her daughter, running several businesses, working on Daily Mom, playing volleyball, going to the gym, photographing and reading. You can contact her via email.