Clearwater is renowned for being the global headquarters of the Church of Scientology which occupies the historic Fort Harrison Hotel. The city area isn’t that great with not much to see, but the big attraction is Clearwater Beach, separated by the Intracoastal Waterway. The best hotels in Clearwater, FL are located in this area as its a popular vacation spot.
If you’re not here for the beaches, you may prefer to stay at the hotels in Tampa, FL which is about a 30-minute drive from here. Most people fly into Clearwater from Tampa International Airport so staying in Tampa is also a convenient option. Another reason why Tampa is a convenient option is that it puts you in proximity to two popular areas, Clearwater and Orlando. Orlando is where you’ll find one of the top attractions in the USA and also one of the largest Ferris wheels in the world.
However, if you’re after the sun and sand of what is touted as the best beach in the United States, then you should head to Clearwater with its high-end resorts and budget hotels. You’ll find plenty of beachfront hotels in Clearwater, Florida to suit all kinds of budgets.
Where to Stay in Clearwater, FL
Most people head to Clearwater for the sun and sand, so quite obviously the best place to stay in Clearwater is near the beach. However, if you are headed to the city, downtown renamed Cleveland Street District, is where you’ll find good accommodation. The area has been undergoing a major redevelopment in recent years so many new bars and restaurants have been mushrooming in downtown.
Clearwater Beach on the other hand is a breath of fresh air with idyllic beaches and parks. It’s one of the more sought-after Gulf coast destinations for its beautiful three-mile-long beach. While the main beach area near Pier 60 and Sand Key are popular destinations, those looking for a quieter time will find the north beach area much better.
In a quiet area of Clearwater Beach, you’ll find the gorgeous Edge Hotel, a popular choice for its convenient location. It’s a three-minute walk to the beach from here. You’ll also find several restaurants and shops in the immediate vicinity of the hotel.
Although it’s one of the best hotels in Clearwater, FL for business travelers, the idyllic setting is perfect for everyone. Many amenities such as flexible event venues, high-speed WiFi, and workspaces in all rooms are geared towards business travelers. However, the high rise has plenty to keep a vacationer busy too. Contemporary guest rooms are spacious with carpeted floors and modern comforts. Suites are more spacious with a separate living room and pullout sofa but have only one bathroom. Rooms away from the city side have personal balconies.
The high-rise hotel is not directly on the beach so during the day, the pool deck is a popular spot with guests. While the main pool is the standard rectangular shape, on the edge you’ll find the glass-enclosed, infinity pool. The refreshing Tiki Bar on the pool deck is a busy space as is the 24-hour Fitness Center. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning. For those looking for more, head up to Jimmy’s on the Edge, the 10th-floor rooftop bar and restaurant where you can enjoy a daily happy hour from 3-6 p.m. Sports fans will love the roof with its 300 sq. ft projection screen. Alternately, you could relax at the 28 long foot Firebar or down a complimentary shot at the Fireball Countdown Celebration at 9:00 p.m.
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Clearwater Beach
Within walking distance of the white sands of Clearwater Beach and Pier 60, you’ll find the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Clearwater Beach. The hotel’s location puts you in proximity to shopping, dining, and entertainment, making it one of the most convenient hotels in Clearwater, FL to stay at.
Guests can choose from spacious rooms to one-bedroom suites. You’ll find a wide range of amenities ranging from flat-screen TVs to mini-fridge and microwave. Suites have full kitchens and whirlpool or spa bathtubs whereas all rooms come with bathtubs.
Jimmy’s Fish House and Iguana Bar is an extremely popular dining spot in Clearwater with locals and guests. Located near the pool area on the ground floor, you can enjoy all meals here. Jimmy’s Stone Creek Coffee Shop in the lobby is a good place for breakfast or desserts. There’s also Rum Rumer’s onsite Tiki Bar. An outdoor pool and a state of the art fitness center will add value to your stay here.
Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
You’ll find plenty of beachfront hotels in Clearwater, Florida but the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa is a clear standout. This luxurious hotel sits right on the white sands of Clearwater Beach, offering the ultimate beach experience. The hotel is across the street from a Hooters and Subway near the town’s main traffic circle. If you can tear yourself away from the sun and sand you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in the vicinity with bars, restaurants, and shops on one side and Pier 60 Park just next door.
Given the hotel’s proximity to the beach, it’s a popular venue for weddings and families with children. Guests can choose from a wide variety of rooms and suites that differ in size and view they provide. All rooms have more or less the same decor while bathrooms feature standard Peter Thomas Roth toiletries. While most bathrooms have shower/tub combos, the Royal Suite has a whirlpool hot tub. Rooms come with standard amenities such as blackout curtains, mini-fridges, and coffee/tea making facilities.
When it comes to amenities outside the room, the hotel is big on those. While the beach is the main draw for most guests, with shaded sunbeds and lounge chairs, the two pools are also quite popular. Beachside you’ll find the Tiki Bar while the Sand Bar & Grill is poolside. Other dining options include Carambola, Coasters Lounge, the newly designed lobby bar, and the Spotted Donkey Cantina. There’s also a Starbucks on the ground level. Other amenities at the hotel include a playground, a business center, several meeting rooms, a full-service spa, and a fitness room.
Hotel Cabana Clearwater Beach is one of the oldest hotels in Clearwater, FL, originally built in 1974. It lies to the north of Clearwater Beach and is a little removed from the action. For those looking for a tranquil beach holiday, this location is a bonus as the beach this side of town is less crowded.
Tastefully decorated rooms and suites feature modern comforts like flat-screen cable TV, mini-fridge and private step-in showers. While guests can choose from different room categories, the two-bedroom Petite suites are ideal for families who want a bit of privacy but not separation. The hotel also has vacation rentals that have a beach-casual decor and the convenience of a full kitchen.
There are two heated pools, one at the main hotel and the other where the vacation rentals are. Apart from the pools, there are no big amenities here to look forward to, such as an onsite restaurant. However, you’ll find a gamut of restaurants and bars within walking distance of the hotel so food and drink won’t be a problem here.
Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach
For those seeking affordable yet luxurious hotels in Clearwater Beach, Florida, the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach resort is a great option. The hotel enjoys an excellent location near the famous Pier 60 and the marina. It’s also a stone’s throw from the beach.
Everything about this hotel reflects freshness and vibrancy. Since this is one of the newest hotels in Clearwater, FL you can look forward to sparkling interiors. Guest rooms are a clear standout, offering some of the best amenities in the area. 50-inch TVs, comfortable beds with multiple pillows, cotton robes and slippers are some of the comforts you can look forward to in the rooms. The decor reflects the sugar-white sand beaches and azure waters. All rooms come with a furnished balcony and most look out onto the beautiful waters.
For those who enjoy Asian flavors, Ocean Hai will certainly entice you with its Asian-fusion cuisine. Poolside you’ll find Dock’s Pool Bar & Grille where you can enjoy cocktails and light fare plus lunch. The poolside is gorgeous with over 200 loungers which fill up pretty quickly. Another good dining option is eSKPades where you can enjoy evening cocktails and grab n go favorites. The Lobby Bar is also good for drinks and appetizers. Apart from the restaurant and pool, there’s also an excellent spa, Pallavi Luxury Spa on-site that offers a wide range of treatments and a fitness center.
Hampton Inn & Suites
Another of the relatively newer hotels in Clearwater, FL is the Hampton Inn & Suites. It’s a little further away from downtown (about 10-minutes drive) but perfect for someone looking for an affordable beach holiday. You’re not totally cut off at this location as there are plenty of restaurants, bars, shopping, and activities within walking distance. The popular Pier 60 is also an easy walk from here.
The guest rooms are spacious and comfortable. You can look forward to standard amenities such as HDTVs, microwaves, and mini-fridges. The best part of the rooms is the spacious balcony and seating areas. Some suites come with a wet bar and pullout couches.
You don’t have to go far for dining options as the hotel has an onsite restaurant. The clear standout is the Terrace Bar & Bistro on the sixth floor that offers superb views of the Gulf. There’s also a large outdoor heated swimming pool with cabana rentals and a good fitness center for those looking to work out.
Sheraton Sand Key Resort
With 13 acres of private white sand beach and a fantastic waterfront location, the Sheraton Sand Key Resort offers the ultimate beach holiday. For those looking for hotels in Clearwater, Florida that are on the beach, it can’t get better than this! You won’t find much around this area except for a few restaurants. There’s also Sand Key Park nearby if you can tear yourself away from the sea.
Guests can choose from a variety of rooms that feature one king or two queen beds. All rooms feature the exclusive Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience mattresses so you can be assured of restful sleep. All rooms feature a private balcony or patio. There are also 15 specialty suites on the top floor that provide beautiful views. You can look forward to a wide range of upscale amenities in all the rooms.
However, most guests will be spending time outside the rooms and there is plenty to keep them busy. From a waterfront pool to three tennis courts, a gym, spa, and 13 acres of beach, what more could you ask for!
After all that activity you’ll definitely work up an appetite. The Sheraton Sand has more than enough to satisfy any cravings, with five restaurants and bars. You can choose from fresh Florida seafood at Rusty’s Bistro or enjoy a crisp salad at the Island Grille. For craft beers and snacks head to the Mainstay Tavern or lounge around at the Poolside Cafe or Slo Joe’s Poolside Turtle Bar.
Marriott Suites on Sand Key
Just steps away from what is touted as the best beach in the United States, the newly renovated Marriott Suites on Sand Key exudes luxury and comfort. It’s one of the best hotels in Clearwater, FL for those wanting to be close to the beach. Sand Key Park and Clearwater Marine Aquarium are also nearby.
This is an all-suite property, so you can expect your room to be spacious and luxurious. Suites come with their own private balconies and a wide range of amenities. En suite marble bathrooms with separate bathtubs and showers also feature complimentary toiletries.
Guests can enjoy a full American breakfast for an additional fee or enjoy a snack at the onsite Bistro On the Bay. There’s also a Pizza Hut Express and the Kokomos Bar & Grille poolside. The hotel’s main restaurant, Watercolour Grillhouse, boasts a vibrant nautical themed ambiance combined with stunning views. The Watercolour Lounge is another popular dining space.
While the full-service day spa, salon, and fitness center are big draws for adults, kids will love the swimming pool. Featuring a 35-foot waterfall and a separate kids’ pool, this area is highly popular. Kids can also enjoy supervised activities at Lisa’s Klubhouse.
Opal Sands Resort
What sets the Opal Sands Resort apart from the other hotels in Clearwater, FL is its curved design. Unlike the other block tower resorts that dot the area, this one has an exceptional layout. From its prime perch on the waterfront, almost all guest rooms come with stunning views. The resort also enjoys a great location at one end of Beach Walk. It’s in proximity to many restaurants, bars, and attractions. Also, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a five-minute drive from here.
The Opal Sands Resort resembles some of the shiny hotels of Miami Beach with its modern design. As mentioned earlier, one of the best things about this hotel is that most of the guest rooms face the ocean. All rooms come with large balconies as well as floor-to-ceiling windows. Rooms are stylish and outfitted with several modern comforts plus spacious bathrooms.
The hotel boasts of three exceptional Clearwater restaurants and bars. You can enjoy fresh, locally sourced cuisine, colorful cocktails, and breathtaking views from the dining areas. Whether you’re dining at Sea-Guini, Sandbar, or Reflections Poolside Bar you can be sure of a unique experience.
You’ll find plenty to keep you busy at the hotel. From the excellent-full service spa to the modern fitness center, a large zero-entry outdoor pool, and resort activities, the Opal Resort will have you hooked!
Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
Centrally located on Beach Walk, the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa gives you the best of both worlds. Enjoy shopping, restaurants, and attractions on the pedestrian promenade, or sink into one of the loungers on the beach. With its own private beach access, great location, and excellent amenities, this is undoubtedly one of the best hotels in Clearwater, FL.
You can’t miss the massive shell-pink resort, that stands out for its excellent service and great location. Many of the public areas of the resort look out onto the sea, providing great photo ops of the sunset. Of the 287 rooms at this Hyatt, 256 are suites which means that you’ll have ample space on your holiday. Whilst the rooms feature small kitchenettes, suites come with full kitchens. Bathrooms come with tub and shower combos and are stocked with KenetMD toiletries. All rooms and suites come with furnished balconies and some even have large terraces.
You’ll find multiple dining options at the hotel. Guests can begin their gastronomy journey from the award-winning, contemporary American seafood restaurant, SHOR, and move onto the Latin influenced, Tropico Rooftop Cantina. There’s also Off SHOR where you can enjoy a handcrafted cocktail or for a quick snack you can try the Market.
A standout of the hotel is the eighth-floor pool which offers gorgeous beach views. There’s an excellent bar poolside and plenty of loungers. Other amenities you can look forward to are the Sandava Spa and the StayFit fitness center.
If all you’re interested in is the sun and sand, the Sandpearl Resort is the perfect place for it. Spread out on the beachfront, with nothing but sand between the resort and the Gulf of Mexico, the resort is one of the best hotels in Clearwater Florida beach. Although the resort may feel a little cut off, you can access many of Florida’s renowned State Parks from here. It’s a long walk to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, (about 25 minutes) but if you’d rather hitch a ride, take the Jolly Trolley which stops just outside. You’ll find many water activities nearby to keep you busy.
Part of the OPAL Collection of luxury destinations, the eight storied resort has been the recipient of many awards. Its commitment towards creating an eco-friendly environment made it the first Silver LEED-Certified resort in Florida. Quite expectedly, you can look forward to a luxurious stay here. Spacious guest rooms feature upscale furnishings and several modern comforts. Suites come with a full-size kitchen and extra perks like an in-room washer dryer and whirlpool tubs.
The hotel also boasts the only four-diamond restaurant on Clearwater Beach, Caretta on the Gulf. Open for all meals, the restaurant is renowned for its all-natural, organic menu with expertly paired wines. The Caretta Lounge is also the perfect setting for an evening with live entertainment a sushi and raw bar and specialty drinks. Another good dining spot is Tate Island Grill that offers cocktails, sandwiches, and kids menu. For grab and go light meals head to the Marketplace.
The resort features a huge zero-entry lagoon-style pool that is climate controlled for year-round enjoyment. Poolside cabanas, lounge chairs, and food and beverage services make this a great alternative to the beach. For those who prefer the warm waters of the Gulf, the beach is well equipped for a day out. In addition to this, you’ll find a good fitness center and a full spa complete with a whirlpool and relaxing lounge area.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Clearwater, FL:
- Caretta on the Gulf – If you’re looking for upscale dining options this is the only four-diamond restaurant in Clearwater. Located at the Sandpearl Resort, the restaurant is renowned for its good food and gorgeous setting.
- Clear Sky Cafe – For some excellent seafood head to this cafe that just steps away from the beach on Mandalay Avenue. You can choose from an extensive gourmet menu that will leave you in awe.
- Island Way Grill – Connoisseurs of Japanese cuisine will be wowed by the variety of fresh seafood and sushi. You can also enjoy quintessential southern favorites at this restaurant.
Recommended Activities In Clearwater, FL:
- Dolphin Exploration Tour – Kids will love this tour on the beautiful emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Sightings of the Bottlenose dolphin are guaranteed. You’ll also learn some fascinating facts about the natural wonders of the Gulf Coast.
- Sunset Celebration Cruise – Enjoy a breathtaking Florida sunset as you sail the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re lucky enough you may just spot the legendary green flash over the waters as the sun sets.
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium – The aquarium in Clearwater is renowned for its dedication to rehabilitating aquatic life. The aquarium’s most famous resident, Winter the dolphin, was the inspiration behind a popular Hollywood film, Dolphin Tale.