Our “European” Anniversary Getaway in St. Petersburg

That would be  St. Petersburg, Florida. So, why the European analogy? You’ll find out in a  minute.

So, last month, my husband and I had a 2-night anniversary getaway. A rare treat since it’s been exactly 1 year since we were able to ditch… err, leave the kids behind. It didn’t start out well. My husband had a huge crisis at work that very day and had to stay late. Is it me or does it always happen when you plan something special?

He finally got home and we were ready to leave when my  coat hanger fell off in the laundry room and ripped huge pieces of drywall. Yeah, it was a bit overloaded. I just said: forget it, let’s leave the sucker behind and fix it when we get home. A month later, it’s still not fixed.

Anyway, we finally made it to  Hotel Indigo St. Petersburg Downtown North (see TripAdvisor page). The cost is 20,000 IHG points per night or around $140, so it’s a pretty decent CPP (cents per point)  value.

This is a very interesting property, and not your cookie-cutter chain hotel. It was built in 1926 and has this old scary elevator from the fourties. Don’t stick your hand when the door is closing, you have been warned! I really loved the open lobby  which made it feel like a part of the neighborhood. During the day, you can  borrow bikes for free if you want to explore the area.

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Upon arrival, we were given 2 free alcoholic drink vouchers (huge margarita glass!) We later enjoyed those while relaxing in a hot tub outside. We also got a corner room as an upgrade. All of those things were  due to my Platinum status that automatically comes with Chase IHG MasterCard (read about it here).

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Nothing fancy, but I kind of like the funky mismatched decor. It reminded me of some of the  bed-and-breakfast places we stayed in over in Europe. I can only describe this style as “shabby-wannabe-chic.”

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The photo  of the toilet is for my reader Ramsey, if he is still round. Actually, I’m including it to show how tiny the bathroom is. Not much they can do, obviously, the hotel was built in the twenties. It was fine for just the two of us, but a family would definitely find it very cramped.

Overall, this isn’t a “family” type property, but could possibly work for a couple with a small baby. Why? You can ditch your car and walk everywhere with a stroller. We just parked ours (costs $14 for valet option per day) and found it extremely relaxing not to have to worry about city traffic. The location can’t be beat. It’s only 3 minutes away from an old movie theater and all kinds of shops and restaurants. Beaches are 20 minutes away by car.

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I really wanted to find a local place for breakfast, so naturally, we ended up eating in Starbucks.

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We also strolled along the waterfront.

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And then we stopped by Italian restaurant called Grazzi and had an absolutely glorious Tiramisu dessert. Did I ever tell you how much I love Italian food?

We ended up going to a movie, also a rare treat. The new “Mission impossible” was playing, and that’s what we ended up seeing. Interestingly, we were the only two people in the theater. So, we are sitting in the dark for about 15 minutes after it was supposed to start, and no movie!

We looked at each other and I said: Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes, he was, so we ended up calling the manager to remind them to play the darn movie. What did you think I was going to say? I’m much more lady than a tramp, y’all.

Spoiler alert! The plot can be summed up by the following: Tom Cruise takes off his shirt to show that he still got it, there is an attractive mysterious babe who is 20 years his junior, and a plain looking annoying male sidekick. There are many  ridiculous scenes with chases and explosions galore, and good guys win in the end. Oh, and there is Alec Baldwin (huh?) The end. Overall, the movie was a fun escape, I recommend it. Thumbs up, way up.

Bottom line

Overall, this was a really enjoyable trip. I absolutely recommend St. Petersburg city itself (see Trip Advisor recommendations for things to do in the area). Hotel Indigo is probably not a good fit for family vacation, but a decent value for 20,000 points per night. We will probably return. Every couple should get away without kids now and again. In fact, out next escape is coming up at the end of the month. It’s hard to keep that spark alive after being married for many years, but these getaways sure do help.

Readers, seriously, burn some of your hotel points for a nice trip with your spouse. Escape from your children, even if it’s just to a nearby city for one day. Pay a relative to stay overnight if you have to. Or maybe use your points to book them a hotel stay in exchange for watching the kids?  Do it now!

Did my pitch inspire anyone?

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5 thoughts on “Our “European” Anniversary Getaway in St. Petersburg

  1. It’s interesting that you posted this because last month I had a couple of friends talking about what a great place St. Petersburg FL is. In our case, it wouldn’t be an easy getaway as we live in Minnesota but on our way down to South America we usually go through Miami so we could stay a day or two there. Wait… is St. Petersburg near Miami? Ooops, just checked google maps, oh well, 4 hours drive. I agree with you, short couple getaways. We did our one night fling last year for our anniversary and are thinking about doing it this year again.

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    • @Leticia Yes, St. Petersburg is a bit far from Miami, unfortunately. I really love that place as it reminds me of Europe. Very walkable city with tons of little shops and cafes. So much fun to visit as a couple! I’m hoping we can make it back in a few months.
      You should absolutely do a getaway with your husband. It’s just nice to reconnect as a couple. As I’m sure you’d agree, kids change things in a marriage. That’s normal, of course, but it’s important to do stuff without them now and again. I got my MIL to agree to keep them for one night at the end of the month. Hooray!

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    • @Shoesinks It was a really cute hotel! It’s not everyone’s cup of tea (TripAdvisor reviews are mixed) because it was a bit shabby. But I didn’t mind. Have you considered trading your kids with another family? Maybe you can watch theirs’ for a weekend and they can do the same for you later on? Otherwise, maybe do what we did: Use hotel points for someone else as a payment of sorts. You provide a short getaway for them, and they watch your kids in exchange. Obviously, it would ahed to be close friends or family. I really hope you can do something with your husband. As much as I love my kids, this getaway was just what the doctor ordered (“marriage” doctor). 🙂

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  2. Pingback: What You Need to Book Now: IHG 2016 Category Changes – Miles For Family

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