Recently my family had the blessing of a family vacation to Florida. After a few busy days at Walt Disney World, we moved our Mickey ears a little farther South to the beautiful white sand beach of St Pete, Florida. St Pete Beach has been ranked the #1 beach in the US and I can tell you that St Pete deserves the honour. With the white sand to squish through your toes and the warm blue waters, our stay at the Island Grand by TradeWinds Resorts was the perfect choice and here are 7 Reasons TradeWinds Resort on St. Pete Beach, FL is Perfect for Families. Previously I had written about why I chose a “family honeymoon” at the Island Grand and what activities I was looking forward to; you can read that HERE.
First of all, I can tell you I had a tough time editing photographs because there was just so many beautiful ones to choose from; I didn’t want to miss one and the opportunity to tell you about all the amazing benefits of staying at this resort. The TradeWinds Resorts are loaded with activities for families, couples or single travellers; speaking from a large family perspective, you could spend the entire time on this resort and never run out of things to please all your travellers. I warn you that this post will be picture and detail heavy but I promise it will be worth it so grab a drink, kick your feet up and travel through my words.
Travelling with young kids gets definitely sparks a few safety concerns and I usually seek out extra security measures. At first arrival we were pleasantly greeted by the friendly gate staff who checked to make sure we were on the list for the resort. At the front doors of the resort the door staff were eager to help us with baggage and front desk reception was welcoming. After travelling with kids, the last thing I want is a lengthy check-in; I was relieved reception provided me a quick check-in and answers to questions about the resort I didn’t even know I had.
It’s the little extra’s that a hotel provides that are so important. At a large resort such as the TradeWinds Resorts, you would think that it would be difficult to find your way around but the front desk provided a detailed map and pamphlet that answered our questions so we weren’t THOSE wandering tourists, you know the ones. One of the days on our stay we had a bit of a rainy stretch, I noticed a basket of umbrella’s for guests to take at every entrance. It’s the little things.
The front lobby was truly beautiful. A meeting point for many of the breakout rooms and my favourite spot, the Starbucks bar. If you make your way to the Island Grand, make sure to go see Tiffany; she’ll make your one of the best Starbucks coffee’s you’ve ever had and put a big smile on your face. That’s a great start to any day.
We arrived in the early evening and after a good portion of our day at the Magic Kingdom, we were ready to drop everything, throw on our bathing suits and relax by the pool. The 2 room suite was large and nicely decorated in a tropical decor, in hues of muted greens and yellows.
- Comfortable Beds – All too often you get to your room, the beds look nicely dressed in crisp linens and cozy but when you lay your head down for the night, not so comfy after-all. Not so with these beds; I slept like a baby and more importantly, my kids slept in!
- Full Bath – The bathroom was large with ample counter space to lay out all or toiletries on the one piece granite counter-top. Yes, as a DIY’er I do notice these things. I have a thing for towels. It was so nice to see enough towels already placed in our bathroom with the added touches of the fanned out shells and little soaps made me smile.
- Kitchenette – The kitchen was a good size with a full size fridge, stove top and dish-ware, enough that our large family could easily prepare meals, snacks and drinks for our entire stay. Had we wanted to save on a few meals, we were easily within walking distance to several retailers and grocery stores. After our Disney fun however we were more than happy to enjoy the amenities of the resort and grabbed our breakfasts from the Deli and a delicious breakfast buffet at the Bermuda restaurant located on the resort.
- The View
As mentioned, we arrived early evening and had the chance to enjoy our first gorgeous sunset on the beach of St Pete, right from our room balcony. Isn’t it beautiful? Little did we know preparations were being made for what we later learned be a fireworks display between the resorts, the Guy Harvey Outpost and the Island Grand, that sit side by side. I think I’ll just keep pretending it was just for me. Smirk.
I was amazed at all the activities the Island Grand resort had to offer; every time we turned a corner it seemed there was yet another piece of the resort to enjoy. There are far too many activities to list completely here so I will go over a few of our favourites but to see a full activity list, please view the website.
My favourite family friendly activities:
- Paddle Boats – A quaint little looped pond carries through the resort, under some of the bridge walkways and with it comes carp fish, ducks and the resident swans, Pearl and Sandy. The paddle boats were free to use for guests. Hubs took Baby Girl out to feed the swans while I was giving Baby Ro down time and had a hard time getting her back to the room.
- Games – Throughout our travels around the resort we spotted several gaming stations, and not the electronic type, the type you can actually engage with, like mini-golf, a life-size version of chess and ping-pong. Although ping-pong was a favourite, Baby Girl loved mini-golf. One night there was even glow-golf, how fun!
- Pet-Friendly – As a pet owner, I really appreciated seeing the inclusion of pet-friendly features. Pet-friendly suites, leash-free pet play zone, including fire hydrants and dog walking zone, to name a few.
- Beach-side Activities – We have a blow up dual slide at home here on the farm but it is no match to this monster of awesomeness. This 3 slide over three stories high and 200 feet long High Tide Slide was bustling with kids, and dads. Hubs took Baby Girl down and she was begging for more. I know if my older kids would have been able to join us, they would have been up and down this slide all day.
Island Grand offers 5 heated pools, including one adult-only and one toddler pool which is where I spent a good portion of my time. It was easy to see the neighbour pool where Hubs and Baby girl were swimming and keep Baby Ro cool too. I think we have another water-baby on our hands; he couldn’t get enough of blowing bubbles with dad in the big boy pool.
To all my readers dealing with autism, TradeWinds boasts an Autism-Friendly program, including special diet restrictions if necessary, to assure you of their safety and allow you to relax and enjoy too.
Wish You Were Here
A picture is worth a thousand words and I wanted to keep the feeling of it alive, long after I arrived home. Seeing the silhouettes of my husband and 3-year-old daughter among the white sands and beautiful blues of the water makes me want to be there again. I can feel the heat of the sun on my face, the feeling of my feet in the warm sand, walking among washed up seashells and a vivid memory of watching a sting-ray swim around my family, just by looking at this picture.
Visiting the Island Grand at TradeWinds Resorts was a much-needed family honeymoon and one I will remember as one of our best. The resort was beautiful, clean and full of activities my family could enjoy and the staff always friendly and accommodating. If you are looking for a family friendly destination, I recommend checking out TradeWinds Resorts.
Disclosure: We were provided our accommodations in return for sharing our honest opinion.