Top Tampa Bay Hotels that are Steps from the Beach

One of the many attractions in the Tampa Bay region are the white sandy beaches and warm, calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. For visitors seeking beachfront accommodations, there are many options, from small family-owned motels to large ultra-modern resorts. To help find the perfect beachfront option for you, 10 Best has put together a list of the top options to choose from.

For travelers looking to splurge, there are plenty of luxurious options on this list, including the Don CeSar. The "Pink Palace" is a beautiful and historic hotel on St. Pete Beach that features first-class accommodations, services and amenities.

Budget travelers needn't worry about finding reasonably priced options that provide excellent value for money. The Bon Aire Resort Motel offers beachfront accommodation with a '50s feel. This quiet, family-oriented motel is well known for its repeat customers.

If you're looking for more glitz and glamour, head to Clearwater Beach with its modern resorts and trendy dining and entertainment options. Check out the four-star Hyatt Regency located just across the road from the area's most famous white sand beach.


Shephard's Beach Resort
Photo courtesy of Wayne Cathel

With direct access to the white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, Shephard's Beach Resort is the perfect beach getaway for those looking to soak in the sun all day and party all night. The resort features luxury rooms with modern amenities, a new 7,000 a square ft. pool deck, and a high-end seafood restaurant. However, the real fun centers around Shephard's 2-story nightclub, Wave, and their 11,000 square ft. Tiki Beach Bar and concert stage that features a variety of live entertainment daily, from laid back reggae to high energy dance music. Staying up all night is a definite possibility at Shephard's.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: With modern accommodations, loads of amenities and a-rockin' nightlife, Shephard's offers beach lovers the perfect vacation spot.

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Thunderbird Beach Resort
Photo courtesy of Thunderbird Beach Resort

Some travelers are down for experiencing kitschy, old-Florida establishments. If you want your hotel to be a little more than just a place to sleep, the Thunderbird might be right down your alley. It's a 50's-60's beach hotel that has been meticulously maintained and updated to remain comfortable while still providing the vibe of the family vacations you might have gone on as a kid. Enjoy the beach or the beautiful pool area before hitting the Tiki Bar and enjoying some live entertainment. Convenient to nearby shops, grocery stores and restaurants. This is the kind of place you'll want to come back to year after year.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Friendly and comfortable, the Thunderbird Beach Resort on Treasure Island harkens back to Florida hospitality in the 50s and 60s.

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TradeWinds Island Grand
Photo courtesy of VSPC

TradeWinds is a family-friendly, full-service resort. Easily the largest resort in the area, it boasts a private river where guests can take a paddleboat around the property. The property also features five heated pools, including an one for adults-only and one built specifically for toddlers. Kids of all ages love the High Tide Slide. This massive, air-filled water slide can be seen from up and down the beach. The adults can join the kids or slip off to enjoy some frozen drinks at the pool or on the beach. Mealtime is a breeze! With 11 dining options on property, you may run out of time before you get to try them all.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: The TradeWinds Island Grand Beach Resort is a huge, amenity-stuffed playhouse for all ages located in busy, vibrant St. Pete Beach.

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You don't get much more beachfront than the Doubletree in North Redington Beach. Half of the rooms look out into the Gulf and the hotel itself is only steps from the sand. As it's a Doubletree, the accommodations try to strike a balance between executive and beach resort. The rooms are clean, updated, and large enough for families. Mangos Restaurant serves up Floridian and Caribbean cuisine, and at the pool and beachside tiki bar you can order creative beverages and light snacks. While the resort is not as close to area attractions, this is a good family-friendly option located in a quiet community.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: The Doubletree Beach Resort in North Redington Beach is the perfect spot for a quiet, relaxing getaway.

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Sheraton Sand Key Resort
Photo courtesy of Sheraton Sand Key Resort

The Sheraton is all about easy water access. Located on Sand Key, just south of Clearwater, the resort offers access to both the white sand beach and the Intracoastal Waterway where visitors can take advantage of unique boating opportunities. The beautiful 10-acre private beach is a playground featuring beach volleyball, jet ski rentals, and private cabanas. Nature lovers will appreciate the resort's location next to Sand Key Park that offers a boardwalk and nature trail affording views of natural coastal habitat. With a bistro, sports bar, and poolside grille, you're guaranteed not to go hungry. The rooms are clean, modern, and offer fantastic views.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: The Sheraton Sand Key Resort offers great amenities, a laid-back atmosphere, and plenty of pristine sand located adjacent to Sand Key Park.

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The Sandpearl Resort, located on the white sands of Clearwater Beach, is a large, luxury resort featuring all the first-class amenities a visitor could ask for. Inside, the resort features classic, modern decor and comfortable accommodation with all the perks, including a full-service spa and the city's only 4-diamond restaurant, Caretta on the Gulf. Outside, guests can relax on the beach, having lunch delivered to your beach chairs, or take a short walk to nearby attractions, restaurants and shops. The resort also features a tropical zero-entry pool and beach-side fire pits - in other words, everything you need to enjoy your time in paradise.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: The Sandpearl Resort offers luxury accommodations and amenities located within walking distance of many Clearwater Beach attractions.

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Family-owned by two Chicago brothers, The Plaza Beach Hotel Beachfront Resort is one of three award-winning boutique resorts owned by the brothers on St Pete Beach. Dating from the early 1950's, the resort retains much of its mid-century flavor with beachy retro d├ęcor in the rooms and public spaces. All 39 suites feature kitchenettes complete with full-size refrigerator, glass-top cooker, and microwave. Resort amenities include a tiki bar and pool overlooking the beach, hammocks, beach chairs, and a beach volleyball net. The family-oriented resort also offers fun activities including aqua bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, and dolphin watch trips.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: The Plaza Beach Hotel Beachfront Resort is a family-friendly boutique resort on St. Pete Beach located just steps from the beach.

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Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
Photo courtesy of VSPC

The four-star Hyatt Regency dominates the Clearwater Beach skyline with its beautiful 250-suite building located just across the road from the area's most famous white sand beach. Laze in a beachside cabana or head to the hotel and enjoy an air-conditioned poolside cabana complete with flat screen and drinks service. For dining, the Hyatt Regency offers a high-end seafood restaurant, a poolside bar and grill, and a breakfast cafe. Relax after a hard day in the Sandava Spa or head out to enjoy the nearby nightlife. You're also steps away from other beach-related entertainments including deep sea fishing and dolphin cruises.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Located just steps from the world-famous Clearwater Beach, the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa offers extensive amenities and comfortable accommodations.

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Outside the city

The Bon-Aire Resort Motel is a budget-friendly charmer featuring Florida 50's-style character. Known for warm hospitality, this motel has been making guests a part of the family for over 50 years. Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico the property features 400 feet of beachfront property. Take a break from the beach and enjoy lounging on the terrace under the cabanas or swimming in one of the resort's two pools. The accommodation is well-maintained and exceptionally clean with some units featuring efficiency kitchens. The Tiki Bar, Sandbar Bill's Bar and Grille, a local favorite, offers the best cheeseburger and "Rum Runner" on the beach.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: The Bon-Aire Resort Motel is a budget-friendly, 50's-style motel located close to all the action of St. Pete Beach.

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St. Pete Beach
The Don CeSar
Photo courtesy of The Don CeSar

The Don CeSar Hotel rises in pink majesty from the white sand and turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Built in 1928, the exterior of the "Pink Palace" is pure eye-candy, featuring a fanciful combination of Moorish and Spanish architecture. The hotel's public spaces and guest rooms embrace the glamour of the Great Gatsby era, reflecting the geometric forms and bold outlines of the Art Deco style combined with a Florida coastal vibe. You can relax on the beach in a private cabana, lounge by the pool, or spoil yourself in the beautifully appointed full-service Spa Oceana. World-class cuisine is offered at the 4-diamond Maritana Grille or try the new all-day restaurant, Society Table. Drinks and a light bite can be enjoyed at the Lobby Bar or at the Beacon Bar & Lookout that features perfect sunset views.

Recommended for Beach Hotels because: Known as the Pink Palace, the Don CeSar's luxurious accommodations and upscale amenities embrace Great Gatsby glamour on the white sand of St. Pete Beach.

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Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye is a freelance writer that adopted Tampa as her hometown over a decade ago and never looked back. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no snow climate, and in her spare time...  More About Skye