Category Archives: Spas

Going Green in Clearwater Beach: Sandpearl Resort


Just what makes the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida an favorite?

For starters, the Sandpearl Resort is the first luxury property on Clearwater Beach in 25 years. Newly opened in August 2007, the Sandpearl occupies 700 feet of white sand on Florida’s Gulf Coast next to a new mile – long beach boardwalk.

Part of the “Florida Green Lodging Program”, the Sandpearl is made of eco – friendly building materials and uses green cleaning products so guests breathe easier in the 253 rooms and suites set on eight floors.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design hotels adhere to strict guidelines regarding environmental protection and sustainability. To this end, the Sandpearl Resort incorporates an aggressive recycling program and energy conservation measures using chilled water and heat recovery exhaust systems for temperature control. To fully appreciate these measures, guests are offered back of the house, LEED tours.

Guest rooms have high ceilings, and most have balconies with gulf and pool views, full gulf views or bay views. The two and three bedroom suites have two balconies and full kitchens. These accommodations rates range from $200 to $400 per night. But it’s worth it to check the website often for deals.

Dining at the Sandpearl Resort:

The three restaurants include:

  1. Caretta on the Gulf (fine dining) has indoor and outdoor gulf view seating and specializes in fresh, local and innovative seafood sushi.
  2. Tate Island Grill (casual dining) sitting pool side on the beach serves burgers and veggie dishes in a laid back, beach bar atmosphere.
  3. The Marketplace (casual) has fair trade, organic coffee and healthy sandwiches and pastries

 Special Activities and Amenities at the Sandpearl Resort:

  • · Beach front, lagoon – style, ozone pool and five private cabanas
  • · 11, 000 square foot full service thalasso (ocean) therapy spa with ocean side massage using crushed pearl paste
  • · Beach campfire and storytelling evenings
  • · Guided evening beach walk/nature tours/ astronomy nights
  • Near The Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Good to Know About The Sandpearl Resort:

  • · Avid hikers (and cyclists) can reach Caladesi Island State Park via a two-hour beach hike from the Sandpearl Resort
  • · The $ 25.00 all you can eat sushi at Caretta’s is the best dining value in Clearwater Beach
  • · Children’s theme camps/childcare available
  • · Air conditioning cuts off automatically when balconies doors are left open

Getting to the Sandpearl Resort

The Sandpearl Resort is 21 miles west of Tampa International Airport and 12 miles north west of St. Petersburg – Clearwater International Airport.

Contact the Sandpearl Resort

500 Mandalay Avenue, Clearwater Beach, Florida 33767

  • Local Phone: (727) 441-2425
  • Reservations: (877) 726-3111

For more Florida vacation ideas see:



Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa Tucson


The Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa bordering Tucson’s Santa Catalina mountains is a great destination for golfers traveling with families as there is plenty to do for non-golfers. Outdoor swimming pools, a waterslide, swim up bar, tennis courts, walking trails and the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa insure many guilt free hours on the 27 holes. Members and guests can play any of these three award winning nine-hole courses. Course designer, Jack Nicklaus, visited Westin La Paloma in April 2008 to redo the greens and bunkers on all holes of the Canyon, Hill and Ridge courses.


  •  27 Holes on (over)three courses 5 sets of tees, generous forward tees ease the par 5’s for high handicappers
  • Five interconnected outdoor pools (with waterfalls) and 177 foot waterslide
  • Seasonal dive-in theatre
  • Two separate adult pools with Swim up bar
  • 10 championship tennis courts with 4 clay tennis courts
  • Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa services available
  • All rooms have private balconies
  • Rooms have stone and glass tiles Oversize soaking tubs and separate showers in bathrooms


  • Resort fee
  • No parking near rooms
  • Swim up bar closes at 5 p.m. in shoulder/low season
  • Waterslide sometimes closed in shoulder/low season-check first
  • Speeding golf carts on walkways

A member of Golf Digest’s “Top 10 courses in Arizona”, Westin La Paloma uses native vegetation including agave, palo verde, yucca and flowering cacti irrigated with grey (recycled) water to highlight the natural beauty of these three desert courses.

Try to play the Canyon course as it is the most dramatic of the three, with a number of elevated tee boxes and forced carries. It’s also the most beautiful and challenging of the courses. Along with a moguled fairway, the ninth hole of the Canyon course features a landing area protected by sand bunkers on the left and a long grass bunker on the right. A misplaced tee shot will find players crossing this 8-foot deep grass bunker to reach the pin. You may have an audience as you complete the hole, compliments of the suite balconies that surround the green.

The Hill course has the most generous fairways with fewer forced carries off the tee. However, it also has the greatest number of holes with forced carries from the fairways to the greens.

On many of the Ridge course holes, golfers will have to cross some desert rough from the tee, but then it’s mostly fairway all the way to the greens. This course also features some very dramatic views of the surrounding mountains and glimpses of Tucson in the distance. The Hill and the Ridge courses are equally challenging, though not as tricky as the Canyon course.

Golfers who anticipate spending a lot of time on the courses should try to get the resort fee cancelled or reduced as they may not have time to use all the amenities it covers.