These pictures make us all jealous. How do you like the hotel and location? Did you get to Tarpon Springs? I was considering the Treasure Island RI for a trip next spring, but the new Marriott Key West Resort's reviews convinced me to go there instead. We will be going in early March, so I thought the chances for warm weather will be greater in KW. Have a great trip.
Our stay at the Residence Inn Treasure Island was simply unforgetable. The GM, the Front Desk team and the food service crew were amazing. Our 1 bedroom suite was huge, contemporary, light and airy. It's amazing to wake up to this marvelous light that filters through the organza window treatments. With the exception of a W/D, the suite felt like a mini-timeshare villa with a fully equipped kitchen and service for 4. The room even had a door to a king studio so it would be possible to have a 2 bedroom/2 bath suite to accomodate a larger group.
Centrally located, the Residence Inn Treasure Island is less than a quarter mile north of the Treasure Island Causeway, a mere 20 minute drive west of the Renaissance Vinoy (if you synch up with the traffic lights). The barrier islands are connected so St.Pete Beach is 3 miles to the south, Madeira Beach is 2 miles north and Clearwater Beach is about 12 miles north.
Tarpon Springs is a 40 minute drive north via Clearwater Beach Sand Key connecting to SR60 and then SR19. At the recommendation of a former co-worker who is half Greek, we had dinner at Mama's Greek Cuisine at 735 Dodecanese Blvd, around the corner from Costa's.
Mama's Greek Cuisine, Tarpon Springs, FL
Hella's Bakery, Tarpon Springs, FL
The Skordalia, charbroiled Rack of Lamb and Seafood Combo still have us salivating. On a tip from Angela our waitress, we enjoyed Galactoburiko at Hella's Bakery. She also recommended we have lunch at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill on Clearwater Beach at Rockaway and Mandalay.
At John's Pass near the very popular Madeira Beach, there is a shopping area, boardwalk and restaurant row that thrives at lunch, dinner and well into the night. We were amazed at the fresh fish (grouper and flounder) at the Friendly Fisherman (below). Our lunch tab was less than $28 including beverages and tip. The restaurant sits on a bar and the activity was festive with a treasure hunt contest complete with folks dressed as pirates.
Further north at Indian Shores, you must try the Salt Rock Grill. The locals flock to this upscale restaurant that sits on the intracoastal. Parties of 10 and 12, young couples, groups of seniors and business travelers. Some locals dock at the pier and walk-in. My wife loved the Surf & Turf and thought the Salt Rock Grill was definitely the hidden gem of the Suncoast.
Waterside patio deck at the Salt Rock Grill, Indian Shores, FL
Experiencing SAND, SEA AND SKY are the essential ingredients to a beach vacation. Thanks to Platinum Elite, we enjoyed an early check-in and a late check-out helping us maximize our experience. The best part of this stay was waking up, stashing our stuff in the room safe, enjoying a relaxed breakfast with a view of the beach and walking onto the beach w/ beach bag, towels, suntan lotion and bottled water without the car keys. (The Residence Inn Treasure Island has ample self-parking underneath and around the building so you can forget about the car and focus on enjoying your stay.) The worst part of this trip was having to leave. I can't wait to go back and am already planning for the fall when we celebrate our anniversary.
Experiencing Sand, Sea & Sky are the essential ingredients for a beach vacation and the Residence Inn Treasure Island makes that happen!
Thank you for the great trip review. I only regret that I had already booked my flights to Key West for my spring trip next year, and don't want to pay the $100 per ticket Delta penalty to change. The TI Residence Inn appears to be the next best thing to a MVC condo, and is one of the few Marriott properties actually located on a Gulf Coast beach. I will save your review for future reference. How did you like the Greek pastries? That is the bakery we visited, but only the address was listed on my receipt and I could not recall the name. I'm glad you found it.
Marriott rewards note: It now costs 40000 miles on Delta for most coach award travel. Since 'miles' do not increase with inflation, this is a much greater abuse of a loyalty program than the increased point requirement for Marriott Rewards, so I guess we should consider ouselves lucky.
A quick postscript on Florida's Suncoast. For those of you who planning a trip to this area and considering transportation options, take a look at the Pinellas Suncoast Transportation Authority which serves the Greater Tampa Bay Area of western Florida. For a map of the service area, see Bus System Map and for a trolley schedule that runs along the Gulf Coast from Clearwater to St. Pete, see Suncoast Beach Trolley.
Marriott has many brands in this area. Among my favorites is the Residence Inn Treasure Island and the Renaissance Vinoy in St. Petersburg.
Thanks for all your great pictures and advice on where to eat. I read another post on this website that said that this particular Residence Inn was not overly friendly to Marriott Gold/Platinum Elite members (offering no upgrades, etc.). Did you find this to be the case when you were there? I am curious because I have booked a trip to stay here in May using my Marriott points and am currently in a studio but would love to be bumped up to a 1 bedroom suite. Any other information you can provide would be appreciated.