Travel

Travel Diary: The Hollander Hotel in St. Pete

Chris and I took this past weekend to relax at our favorite boutique hotel in all of Florida, the Hollander Hotel. We’ve been coming here a couple times a year since we first started dating almost 5 years ago after finding it on a whim. It’s our special place to get away since the first stay.

Located in downtown St. Pete, the three story hotel has been around since 1933. The building is old but has been updated by the owners, still retaining its charm. The rooms are basic and comfortable. On the first floor, overlooking the pool, each room has a private balcony. On this trip, we had a balcony room. It was nice to sit on the balcony people watching and sipping on drinks from the bar. It’s also pet friendly (a major plus for us as we like to bring our two dogs with us when we travel if possible).

Inside the Hollander is the Tap Room restaurant and bar where they serve a variety of appetizers and entrees, including the best meatballs I have ever tasted! We ate dinner in the Tap Room on Friday night. Instead of getting my usual meatballs, I tried their burger. Burgers are my favorite food and I always have high expectations for restaurant burgers. This one was perfectly cooked and topped with bacon and blue cheese crumbles. Delicious! Chris tried the Cuban sandwich. His only complaint? It wasn’t big enough, and he wanted more. Connected to the Tap Room is the Common Grounds coffee shop where I grabbed an iced coconut mocha latte each morning. They also have an impressive dessert case with scratch-made treats, including some that are gluten-free. After dinner on Friday, I picked up a slice of their whoopie pie cake to take back to the room. Everything I’ve tried at the Tap Room has been really delicious.

The pool in the back of the hotel is a great place to relax and enjoy a frozen drink or beer at the HH20 Pool Bar. When we arrived Friday evening, we unpacked and headed out to the pool to grab some drinks. They have quite a few frozen drinks to choose from as well as a full bar and craft beers. I decided to try a banana concoction that tasted like a daiquiri with chocolate in it. I probably could have drank several of these.

When we woke up Saturday, the sun was shining and the weather was gorgeous so we decided to grab a quick breakfast at Better Byrd- a casual fast-food like restaurant with a long list of fried chicken sandwiches and wraps + mini donuts. After that, we spent most of the day at the pool relaxing. Towards the end of the afternoon, we were hungry so we checked out a small Chicago-style hot dog place before jumping back in the pool.

That evening, we took the free shuttle offered by the hotel to downtown St. Pete. Hollander offers this service to guests and will take them anywhere within the downtown area. We checked out some of the shops, including Locale Market, a curated grocery store with a restaurant on the second floor. I wish Orlando had one of these, it was so amazing to walk around check out the different areas and fresh goods. We ended the evening with a romantic dinner at Ruth’s Chris.

The Hollander offers a buffet breakfast for $12 on the weekend and since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, the buffet was definitely one of the highlights of our stay. It isn’t a huge buffet, but has all the basics- biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, fresh fruit, and a made-to-order omelet station. There is a Bloody Mary bar with all the fixin’s and mimosas as well.

There is always something happening at the Hollander. Each night is something different- live music, trivia, yoga by the pool on Saturday mornings. The staff knows how to cater to their guests and most everyone we came in contact with was friendly.

Since I was feeling overwhelmed with personal issues the past couple of months, getting away for a few days with my adventure buddy was exactly what I needed to feel refreshed and motivated to start blogging again.

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