I’d been to Clearwater Beach for a day trip several years ago, and was so impressed by the sugar sand, beautiful water, and fun atmosphere. This past year for spring break, we decided to return for a longer vacation right on the beach. We stayed at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa, a family-friendly hotel that is located right in the center of all of the Clearwater Beach action.
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Review of the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
Location of the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
The Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa is located right on Mandalay Avenue, adjacent to Pier 60. If you are driving for your vacation, parking is available at the hotel for an additional fee. Valet parking is also offered.
However, you don’t really need a car for many of the activities at the beach. We decided not to rent a car, and ended up walking to the shops and restaurants that we went to. For our trip to the airport and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, we took cabs/Uber.
If you want to be right on the beach, this is definitely an ideal, great location. We loved being so close to everything during our trip. You can walk almost everywhere!
Rooms at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
There are lots of different guest room types offered at the hotel. We had a Harbor View room with 2 double beds. This room offered a small balcony with a beautiful view of Mandalay Avenue and the harbor.
The room also had comfortable beds (the Hilton Serenity Bed), a desk, a television, a mini refrigerator, lots of outlets/USB ports, a hairdryer, a coffee maker, Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries, and more. It was plenty of room for our family, but was pretty much a standard guest room.
Other room types include two double bed Gulf view rooms, one king bed Gulf view room, and rooms with a limited view. While you’ll save money by having a limited view, I’d recommend getting either a Gulf view or a harborview room. We really enjoyed having the balcony with a view in the morning and the evenings.
The hotel also offers suites, including a royal suite. Accessible rooms are also available if needed.
When you check in to the hotel, you’ll get a key, or can use a mobile key from the Hilton app (like at other Hilton Resorts). You’ll want to keep that key handy at all times on property, because you need it to use the elevators, to get to the beach, and to get to the pool. This is for security purposes since the hotel is so accessible to anyone visiting Clearwater Beach. It was nice having that extra level of security. The hotel lobby is located one floor up from the ground level.
The Pool at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
While the Gulf of Mexico is definitely a big draw to guests visiting the Clearwater Beach area, the Hilton also has a fantastic outdoor pool area for families. It includes a shallower pool as well as a deeper pool – one is an infinity pool while the other is a zero-entry pool. There are chairs and umbrellas all around the pool area (these are free for guests to use), as well as cabanas that can be rented on a daily basis from the activities booth.
We were there during the busy spring break time and found the pool area to be busy. We were able to get chairs and an umbrella, but you’ll definitely want to get there relatively early to get an ideal spot. Guests are unable to reserve guest chairs for a long period of time – after an hour personal items are removed. Guests can get towels at the activities booth and these can be used for both the pool and the beach.
Food service is offered at the pool from the Sand Bar and Grill. Chair service is available, or you can walk to the pool bar on your own to get food and drinks. We had lunch on the day that we spent at the pool and found the service and food to be great.
The Beach at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
You’ll definitely want to spend at least one day at the beach during your trip. It’s located just steps from the hotel and is so gorgeous. There’s a good reason Clearwater Beach has been rated the #1 beach by TripAdvisor two years in a row.
If you want to use the chairs/cabanas/umbrellas at the Hilton, an additional rental fee applies. We were surprised to see this rental fee on top of the hotel cost and resort fee, so you’ll want to be prepared for it.
If we were going to be at the hotel for longer than a few days, we probably would have purchased our own chairs and umbrellas to use for the week. Or, there are some independent rental companies that will rent you these products for your vacation. They can be used right at the waterfront of the beach. If you are driving to Clearwater, you’ll definitely want to pack your own.
Available rentals at the hotel include chairs, umbrellas, cabana shades, and double sun beds. You will rent and pay at the kiosk, and then the beach staff will set you up. A service fee is also added to the rental fee. It was pretty expensive – two chairs and the cabana shade cost over $80 for the day including the service fee. You’ll want to budget for this if you are going to rent from the hotel.
The Hilton offers some fun family games at the beach as well. These include cornhole, ladder ball, large chess, and a Tiki toss. My kids had lots of fun playing these games every time we went down to the beach.
If you are looking to do beach activities, the resort also offers a Bouyah Watersports kiosk with rentals. On our first day, the red flag was up so the activities weren’t offered. But they were open on the other days. You’ll be able to rent kayaks, paddleboards, and more.
There’s a tiki hut called Tommy’s Tiki right at the beach at the Hilton if you are thirsty or hungry during your time on the beach. An employee drives a vehicle around the beach chairs offering chair service for drinks. You can also sit in the tables on the sand by the tiki bar to eat.
Other Amenities at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
There are lots of other things for families to enjoy at the Hilton. During spring break, they offered a number of activities throughout the day, including ceramic painting and balloon animals. There was also a dive in movie offered nightly. I’m not sure if these are available year round or just during school vacations, but it was definitely something that kids would absolutely enjoy.
There’s also a fitness center, a business center, and a full service spa offering massages, salon services, nail services, and body treatments. Complimentary bicycle rentals are available for guests 12 and over. While we didn’t have the chance to borrow bikes, we saw other guests enjoying them.
Near the pool area, there’s also a ping pong table. We played a few rounds – it was quieter in the morning. The resort also offers beach yoga each morning. We saw a group doing it on our first day and it looked like lots of fun. I didn’t remember to bring along fitness clothes for our short visit, but will next time.
Restaurants at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
While Clearwater Beach is filled with delicious restaurants, there are several options available right at the Hilton.
Starbucks – although the rooms at the Hilton do offer coffee makers, it’s always nice to get coffee at Starbucks. The location at the hotel is located on Mandalay Avenue and is definitely pretty busy. I loved being able to get a morning cold brew each day.
Coasters Lounge – this lobby bar offers sandwiches, salads, and light bites along with a full bar. We didn’t get a chance to eat there, but it looked pretty busy during our stay.
Carambola – offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Carambola is a great spot to eat if you’d prefer to stay in the hotel. The menu includes sandwiches, salads, and appetizers.
The Spotted Donkey Cantina – we arrived at the hotel after 7:30pm on a Friday night. Immediately after dropping off our luggage in the room, we headed down to the Spotted Donkey Cantina for dinner. Located right on Mandalay Avenue, this restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating.
Because we were eager to soak up as much Florida warmth as possible, we opted for an outdoor seat. The Spotted Donkey Cantina offers delicious Mexican cuisine as well as a great drinks menu. There’s also a kids’ menu if your children would prefer to order from that.
Tommy’s Tiki – When we booked the Hilton, I loved seeing the photos of Tommy’s Tiki on the beach. It’s such a unique restaurant, and so perfect for a beach vacation.
Tommy’s offers bar seating, as well as outdoor seating on the beach. We ate there during our beach day, and enjoyed the experience. The food is delicious and the drinks were great. There’s also a mobile vehicle that drives around the beach offering drinks.
Tommy’s closes right after sunset and is the nice place to enjoy the sunset. Just sit at one of the tables and enjoy food and drinks.
Sand Bar and Grill – Located right by the pool, the Sand Bar and Grill offers the same menu at Tommy’s Tiki. During one day of our trip, we decided to spend the day at the pool. We had lunch at the pool, with chair service from a friendly employee. There’s also a kids’ menu available. Kids’ meals are served in a sand pail.
Room service is also available at the hotel. We had a huge lunch one day, and decided to just get room service. It was delivered quickly and was delicious!
The Resort Fee at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
The Hilton does charge a daily resort fee on top of the room rate. This resort fee covers some of the amenities and activities offered by the resort, including two bottles of water each day, a 10% discount off water sports at the Bouyah kiosk on the beach, daily morning yoga, and more.
Service at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
We interacted with a number of Hilton employees during our stay and were impressed with the service we received. Our room was always cleaned early, and when I needed additional conditioner for our beach-ravaged hair, it was provided with a smile.
We also needed some assistance from bell services to get a ride to the airport on our last day. Because our flight was so early, we were nervous about getting an Uber at that hour. The employee made a call to a car service for us, and it arrived right on time.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend a stay at the Hilton, due to the wonderful amenities, fantastic location, and fabulous service. You can find more reviews of the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa here.
Additional Resources: Want to read more Gulf Coast travel tips and reviews? Click to read our post with destination recommendations, ideas on what things to do, hotel reviews, and more.