The Cordova Inn, a historic hotel that dates from 1921 (formerly called The Pier Hotel) proved ideal for this getaway. It is an absolutely charming boutique hotel nestled in the heart of downtown St Pete, literally footsteps away from the city’s most interesting and entertaining attractions – the places that are the highlights for any visit to St. Pete, including the Dali Museum, the Fine Arts Museum, the St. Petersburg Museum of History, and the Florida Holocaust Museum. It is along the same road as the world famous St. Petersburg Pier, and just across the street from The Sundial (formerly known as Baywalk) – an entertainment, shopping, dining complex (Ruth Chris Steak House, Sea Salt, and Farm Table Kitchen, attached to Locale Market, an even more upscale WholeFoods).
It has 32 tastefully appointed guest rooms, most with microwaves, refrigerators, wet-bars and all with French duvets and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Many of the guestrooms have the original clawfoot ladies’ soaking tubs. A deluxe continental breakfast (bagels, cereal, muffins is served each morning; coffee is out during the day. The innkeepers are very pleasant, making you feel like you are in a guesthouse.
The Cordova Inn has a charming verandah with a garden (how often does that happen in the middle of downtown?), a lovely dining/lounge area and lobby sitting area and a parking area.
The Hotel Cordova has a storied past and long-time connection to St. Petersburg. First opened in 1921 by the Cordova family (they sold it in the early 1950s and there were a succession of owners), it fell into decline, along with the downtown, and closed in 1999. But then, the revitalization of downtown – particularly the Baywalk (now the Sundial entertainment complex, just a half-block away) – breathed new life into the hotel, as well.
A local investor purchased the Hotel Cordova, saving it from the wrecking ball (which had claimed its sister hotel next door, now a parking lot). The building was completely gutted, then installed with new fixtures, wiring, paint and finally, the period decor. Each detail was lovingly restored to the high standards to which it was originally built in 1921, right down to the water basins in the hall (where servants washed up before serving their wealthy employers). Ropened as The Pier in 2001, the hotel was awarded the 2002 Restoration of the Year Award from the St. Petersburg Preservation Society. In 2014, the property embraced its heritage yet again, renaming it The Cordova Inn.
The owners of The Cordova Inn also own the Barefoot Beach Hotel (13238 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach, Fl 33708, 800-853-1536, www.bareefootbeachhotel.com) near St. John’s Pass (an entire fishing village turned into shops and restaurants) and the Station House Restaurant (260 1st Ave. S, , 727-895-8260).
I could not believe how delighted I was to have found the Cordova Inn on Hotels.com. The Cordova Inn offers an excellent rate, too.
Cordova Inn, 253 2nd Ave. North, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33701, 800-735-6607, 727-822,7500, www.cordovainnstpete.com.
(For more vacation planning information, Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater: 8200 Bryan Dairy Road, Suite 200, Largo, FL 33777, 727-464-7200, 877-352-3224 www.visitstpeteclearwater.com.)
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