While the world stopped and social distancing became the word of the summer, many Floridians were eyeing places they could travel by car to get out of the house while staying away from people.
If you live in the Tampa Bay area, you can pick any resort that lines Pinellas County and not go wrong, but TradeWinds Island Grand is one of the better bets.
The largest beachfront resort in St. Petersburg is 25 acres and provides enough activities, and amenities, to keep you busy without ever needing to leave the property.
Paddleboarding? Check. Three-story water slide? Check. Fresh seafood? You bet.
Want to get a cabana and just look at the beautiful gulf water all day? That works too. There’s truly something for everyone at TradeWinds.
But, really, the stars of the show are those amazing sunsets. Don’t let the afternoon showers fool you. When the rain passes you could be witness to sunsets so stunningly beautiful, it might be hard to believe they’re real.
With the world feeling topsy-turvy, who couldn’t use a break and just really “let go” and admire what Mother Nature has to offer?
After the sunset, head down to the Flying Bridge and grab a fruity cocktail. In the morning, enjoy your coffee in one of the hammocks that line the beach. Your soul will thank you.
Another top quality of the resort is the staff. Friendly, accommodating and seemingly happy to help you with whatever you need.
Do splurge on a water view room. Enjoying a daiquiri while sitting on your balcony with the view, is simply not to be missed.
If conservation, and eco-friendly lodging, are important to you it should be noted that the resort has been awarded the Florida Green Lodging certification by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, for protecting the area’s natural resources, reducing waste and minimizing pollution.
It was also the first resort on St. Pete Beach to plant sea oats, which help prevent erosion, and install turtle-friendly amber lighting on the beachfront.
A small jaunt down the road is TradeWinds’ second property, the RumFish Beach Resort, which showcases a 33,500-gallon aquarium, featured on Animal Planet’s hit show “Tanked,” indoor and outdoor bars, live music and a retail store carrying a large selection of Florida sportswear apparel, marine art and more.
You can stay at the TradeWinds, or RumFish, and fully enjoy all the Florida lifestyle has to offer. Both resorts will give you access to beautiful sunsets, beach serenity and delicious seafood. So really, as their slogan says, you can “just let go.” ♦
Q&A With TradeWinds Managing Director Bob LaCasse
How is the Tradewinds team holding up during this difficult summer season?
The TradeWinds team members are doing extremely well! They remain resilient, energetic and continue to serve our guests with the passion they always have. Our philosophy since March was that the safety of our employees, and guests, was priority #1. Our team has bought into making adjustments whether that means embracing the utilization of PPC, modifying how we service our guests, etc. Despite some necessary modifications, one thing that remains unchanged is the passion our team members have to deliver the service levels “The TradeWinds Way!”
What have been the greatest challenges?
Given how unprecedented this situation has been, initially, we had to create new policies, systems, modify some of the operations, etc. There was no playbook for this one, which means our leadership team had to be innovative and react quickly to a rapidly changing situation. However, I am proud to say that our team rallied together and really stayed ahead of the curve on the adjustments needed to adhere to executive orders, county mandates, etc. While we continue to make adjustments anywhere we can to improve, we really feel that after the initial adjustments our entire team bought into this “new normal” which allows us to safely service our guests while putting the main focus back on taking the best care of our guests as possible.
What are you encouraged by? What does the fall season look like for you?
We are very fortunate that we have an incredible award-winning beach (#2 in the USA TripAdvisor) in our backyard. We have always had a strong level of business that comes from the state of Florida, which means with limited flights, one can take a short drive and “Just Let Go” to one of the best beaches in the country! This a benefit we all have from living in this great state and one we are encouraged by for the remainder of the year during a time where our typical guest segments may be altered. The fall is probably one of the best times to visit TradeWinds and there are some great deals to be had. We want our guests to know that “When they are ready….We are ready.”
Have you done any community outreach during the pandemic?
Absolutely! Right from the start we partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay and hosted food drives on a weekly basis. This was a great opportunity for us to, not only serve some of our very own employees, but also the entire community. Our team rallied together to staff and coordinate the event along with a number of volunteers and of course the great folks at Feeding Tampa Bay.
What do you want the community to know about where the TradeWinds is now?
We just want the community, and all of our past and future guests to know that when they are ready to return that we are here and ready to serve. We would also want them to know that the well-being of our guests, and employees, will always be the main priority and drive any decisions we make. It is for this reason that we have implemented an entire Health & Sanitation program, which includes a list of initiatives with the safety of our guests and employees in mind. We want our visitors to feel comfortable the moment they arrive and allow them to “Just Let Go” during their time with us.
More information: Tradewindsresort.com