"What's so special about the Vinoy?" I kept asking myself, and that's just the thing.
My ignorance about the place and people and story couldn't stop it from charming, the tallest palms I've ever seen, the quaint harbor, the exquisite eats. All I had to do was take a moment to ask the server or the bar manager or the local dancing to the beat: "What is it about this place???" and almost every single one of the dozen of them pauses before they respond, takes a deep breath before launching into their own personal account. I now understand this staff, this building, this establishment has breathed life into St Petes from 1925 when it was first opened, to 1992-3 when it was reopened and even now. The Vinoy IS St Petersburg.
I heard accounts of those that used to rollerblade down Beach Dr it was such a sleepy town (it's slamming now, especially on the weekend nights where you almost have to push past people congregating around congo drums and great local eats). Those salmon pink walls and teal accents that seem to sag beneath the age of the structure, become mile markers when we hear stories about the addition of the Golf Club and condos and amenities that didn't exist on this side of the state pre- Vinoy.
Born in 1925 doesn't come without a price but what they lack in newness, the staff makes up for in attitude. I had the accidental privilege of meeting Barbara, (just barely mention her name and the reaction you get from staff is an across the board ascending "Ahhhhh!")
I've heard this place is haunted and I've now lived to believe it... floating with the happiest ghosts of the most charming demeanor that mean to awe you, whisk you away to a Cuba that conquered them. I've had a magnificent time at the Vinoy. To have no expectations.... I'm grateful to the people that indulged my endless curiosity. For that, a piece of my heart here, shall remain. @renhotels #renhotels