The highly anticipated renovation of Florida's Vinoy St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club is complete. Alongside the makeover comes a rebrand: the 354-room hotel is now a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel, and it's the only St. Pete property in the collection.
Ever since its New Year’s Eve debut as the Vinoy Park Hotel in 1925, the hotel has been a landmark of downtown St. Pete, thanks to its signature pink façade, impressive Mediterranean revival architecture, on-site marina, and sunny sense of hospitality. Throughout its colorful history, the historic hotel has hosted celebrities, athletes, American presidents, and discerning travelers from all over the world. (The hotel is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America.)
New and returning guests alike will appreciate the updated hotel’s homages to its glamorous past. “The monumental renovation nods to The Vinoy’s rich history, exuding timeless Floridian glamor and reinforcing the iconic hotel as an irreplaceable centerpiece of St. Pete’s revitalized downtown for generations to come," says Vanessa Williams, the hotel's general manager, in an interview with Travel + Leisure.
Led by renowned design firms Rockwell Group and Hart Howerton, the renovation updated the veranda and porte cochere, the grand lobby, guest rooms, ballrooms, and the on-site restaurants. There’s even a new 2,000-square-foot spa and wellness area.
Some things remain, gloriously, the same. Take the rocking chairs on the front porch, a Vinoy tradition since opening day. Now, there are bespoke chairs designed by the Rockwell Group, complemented by a bar. When you pass through the front door, take note of the ceramic tile flooring and cypress wood-beam ceiling — both date back to when the hotel first debuted.
All of the historic touches are brought to modern life by contemporary design elements that marry the old and new. This was entirely on purpose: the hotel worked with a local historic preservation expert to ensure the updated aesthetic stayed true to its time-honored roots.
“The first goal of working in such a magnificent, historic building is to preserve and restore its existing architectural elements, and that requires surgical-level precision,” David Rockwell, founder and president of Rockwell Group, tells T+L. “Once the bones had been looked after, we could start to think about ways to bring in a fresher, contemporary aesthetic. We focused on adding crisp and luxurious materiality while making sure The Vinoy’s incredible water views were accentuated throughout.”
Prioritizing preservation has two advantages: it's eco-conscious and it honors the hotel's long legacy. “Preserving landmarks like this is important, not just because the act of renovation conserves energy and material resources, but also [because it sustains] the local culture and strengthens a shared sense of history and belonging,” David Rau, a partner at Hart Howerton, adds.
In the lobby, you can shop at Sunni Spencer, an outpost of a local boutique, or get a fascinating survey of The Vinoy's story at the revitalized history gallery. If you’re feeling peckish, grab a slice of pistachio cake or a scoop of gelato at French patisserie Lottie.
There's also Veranda, which overlooks the bay and is the perfect spot for an afternoon spritz or Mediterranean-inspired fare. Opening this summer is Parasol, a Latin American–inspired poolside restaurant — also with unbeatable waterfront views. And in the pipeline is a fine-dining restaurant.
Head up to your room to experience relaxed luxury. Custom art by painter Alicia LaChance draws your eyes to the walls, but don’t forget to look down and take note of the floors’ transition from wood to blue-patterned carpet, reminiscent of sand meeting sea.
Though the hotel has a longstanding history and legendary stories to show for it, St. Pete’s iconic property is ushering in a new golden era. We would argue there’s never been a better time to check into this pink paradise by the sea.
Learn more about The Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, Autograph Collection!