Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Crown Jewel of Treasure Island Florida

This week I had an opportunity to visit Ocean Properties recently opened Residence Inn by Marriott located on St Pete Beach at Treasure Island. This is by any standard not your typical Residence Inn, it is the "THE CROWN JEWEL" of Treasure Island.
From the moment you enter the property a wonderful journey created by the Ocean Properties design team Michelle Mauricio and Paula Siegel begins. After a stroll on the beach I was greeted by General Manager Rick Willson and Shannon Cunningham, Director of Sales & Marketing. Also in attendance was St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau David Downing, Director of Public Relations and the new Executive Director, DT Minich who brings with him the expierience and expertise that helped make Lee County CVB one of the best in Florida.
This all new Residence Inn by Marriott offers 105 outstanding luxurious one, two and three bedroom hotel suites along with a great location, but what really counts is the colorful upscale ambiance, super service and of course the extra amenities such as free breakfast, free high speed internet, green energy efficient stainless steel appliances in fully-equipped kitchens, flat screen TV’s in every room and private balconies overlooking what appears to be a never ending beach.
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Within walking distance or a short drive, you will find a wide selection of restaurants, attractions and shopping. Tropicana Field, downtown St Petersburg and Raymond James Football stadium only a short distance away.
During our stay we enjoyed a hearty meal at Carino's , dinner at the Middle Grounds Grill is a must and I highly recommend the Veal Osso Bucco, but Shannon's choice of the Petite Filet was looking good.
TTRN also recommends : Crabby Bill's and The Hurricane
During a quick stop in Sarasota we visited with Erin Duggan Public Relations Director Sarasota & Her Islands Convention & Visitors Bureau over lunch at the Bijou Cafe. along with Kerry Morrissey and Christina Sorondo. Then a quick stop at the Lido Beach Resort to say hi to GM Shannon Burdge and Director of Sales, Karen Rangel who presented me with a copy of Stephen King's new novel. Ck out how you can win a trip for two for a 3-night stay at the Lido Beach Resort, along with a copy of the new Stephen King novel, set on the fictional island of Duma Key. The main purpose for the Sarasota stop was to attend a meeting of Longboat Key residents at the Hilton Longboat Key regarding local ballot questions 1 & 2 which would allow an increase of 250 new hotel rooms on the Key. The visit also presented an opportunity to have a pleasant chat with Matt Walsh Editor & CEO of The Observer who was covering the story.
NEWS ITEMS Second - Honeymoon - Ten Hot Spots for Summer A survey by ASTA polled 585 travel agency owners and managers to determine the most popular Second Honeymoon destinations and uncover other emerging travel trends for 2008. Hawaii was the most popular second- honeymoon destination with 24.4 percent share of the total response. Cruising was ranked number two. The third most popular second honeymoon destination, the Caribbean, Jamaica and Cancun, ranked fourth and fifth respectively, Europe, ranked number six, and Italy, ranked number seven, proving that interest in European vacations is still strong despite the current weakness of the US dollar. Mexico claimed the number eight position. Tahiti, and St. Lucia fell into ninth and tenth place respectively. American Airlines has expanded the range of features available on the mobile version of AA.com, providing more tools for travelers using Web-enabled devices. The new enhancements allow customers to book flights, view fare specials, request upgrades, enroll in the AAdvantage program, purchase Admirals Club one-day passes and change their flights for many domestic reservations. These additions complement the features in place when the mobile version of AA.com was launched earlier this year. This includes flight check-in, flight and baggage status checks, destination and weather information and AAdvantage member log-in. Throughout the year, American will add further mobile capabilities for travelers on the go, the airline said. For information: http://www.aa.com/ Hawaii, Rising costs of operations, such as the escalation in fuel prices, has led Hawaiian Airlines to increase its round-trip airfares for flights between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland by $30, effective immediately for travel starting on or after May 1.