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All reviews cabana bar food truck hot tub tennis courts pete beach beach front covered parking pool view shuffle board corn hole first floor living room full kitchen pull out sofa small kitchenette family vacation beach hotel
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Reviewed March 17, 2009

O.k., here's the skinny on the Alden Beach Resort and Suites. I travel quite frequently for both work and liesure and have developed an honest and critical assessment process for my experiences. I did quite a bit of research before booking my stay at the Alden; trust me, I read every review available. Expedia was offering a good price at the time, so I threw caution to the wind, packed the family up and headed to St. Pete Beach for a 4 day stay at the Alden. Here's what I experienced:

Exterior appearance: yes, it is an older hotel just like everyone says. It has a 'motor lodge' type feel and all the rooms are accessed from the outside. If you are thinking that this hotel is going to be like a Hilton or a Raddison, you are sorely mistaken. The management has done a fairly nice job keeping the property clean through painting and landscaping. Actually, most of the hotels along Gulf Blvd. are the older motor lodge type hotels. It appeared that the Sirita and Don Cesar were probably the only higher end hotels on the strip.

Rooms: Just like the reviews say, some have been updated and some haven't. My room was one of the older rooms. I was in a Nassau 1BR Suite overlooking the pool. The room itself was dreary and old. It felt like something out of the early 70's. I thought my wife was going to turn around and leave when we walked in the room. I must say however, for an old room, it was very clean. We did have a full kitchen and the living room area was huge. I think the entire room was around 600 square feet. Once we got over the initial disappointment with how the room looked it actually grew on us over the next few days because A) we didn't spend much time there and B) it was big enough for the kids to run around in and tire themselves out before bed

Location: The location is great; right on the beach. Those with a gulf view room on the 1st floor can literally walk 20 ft. out of their room and be on the beach.

Pools: There are two pools; both heated salt water pools. They are fairly small, but both were very clean. We never had a problem finding a lounge chair at the pool and spent the majority of our days there with the kids.

Other amenities: This hotel is bare bones......the game room was kind of a joke (just a couple arcade games). There is a shuffleboard game that is illuminated at night that seamed pretty cool. The 'playground' they advertise for kids is comprised of a swingset and a miniture jungle gym type apparatus. It was o.k......I expected a little more in this department. The tennis courts are very cool. They are elevated above the parking structure and illuminated at night. The Cabana Bar is o.k.....the drink specials were actually pretty cheap. The hours of operation were weird....3pm to 9pm.....there is no business center and no community computers to use. Also, there is no Spa - my wife was not happy about this.

Hotel Staff: Overall the staff was friendly but not as friendly as other reviews would have you believe. Our room was cleaned in a timely manner each day but the soap/shampoo was never replenished during our 4 day stay.

Clientele: The people staying at the hotel appeared to be primarily working class families from the midwest, Canada and retired couples just getting away for a while. I think my wife and I were the only adults at the pool on any given day that didn't have multiple tattoos or smoke Marlboro lights. We felt a little out of place at first but the kids didn't care and were having a great time regardless.

Elevators: I only comment on the elevators seperately because I saw a few reviews that called them out specifically. During our stay they worked fine, however, they were dirty and in need of some TLC.

Food: Per all of the other reviews, keep in mind that this hotel does not have a restaurant on property. No room service, no nothing. There are some gas grills available in a common area for grilling but I did not use them. I found out from the bartender at the Cabana Bar that the Tradewinds next door has a Starbucks in the lobby (come to find out, it's a specialty coffee place that serves Starbucks Coffee...not quite the real deal) and ended up walking over there most mornings to get coffee. We bought some groceries at the Publix down the road to help get through the few days we were there and there are a ton of restaurants in the area. Our favorite was Hurricane in Passe-a-Grille; about 5 miles south of the hotel.

Overall: If your expectations are low and you're just looking for a quiet, no-frills place to stay on St. Pete Beach, you may like the Alden. If you are used to staying at all inclusive resorts in the Bahamas, Mexico, etc., or even at domestic hotels like the Hilton, Marriot, etc., then the Alden is not for you. I have to give the Alden credit for cleanliness and maintaining a family friendly atmosphere.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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12  Thank dcav1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 11, 2009

Stayed at the Alden from March 3d to the tenth, myself, my wife, and a 11-year-old son. A few of quick points...Firstly, John from Providence possibly works for the Don Caesar, he couldn't have stayed at the same Alden that we stayed at. Second, After some advice from other reviewers, I called ahead and upgraded from a Nassau room to what I think was called a Bermuda Suite. $40 more per night (did anyone do better?). I was in Building #1, number 2 also facing the ocean. Bldgs 3 and 4 were just past 1 and 2. Lastly, the elevator to the 6th floor of bldg 1 worked fine. Though on the slow side, who cares, what's your hurry, you're on vacation!
Service from start to finish was exemplary. The welcome was professional and pleasant. Checkout took 30 seconds! Maid service by Elizabeth was perfect. The room was cleaned the same great way each day. Elizabeth even noticed some of our habits and quirks and cleaned and placed things accordingly. I can't believe I even noticed this.
The hotel highlights include a great location on the beach, a very wide beach. Shaded parking with two cleverly designed tennis courts on top of the parking building. A BAR-B-CUE patio!!! Three barbecues on a deck that also has a jaccuzzi. The patio is definitely a diference-maker. Fill your apartement size fridge with choice cuts from the Publix 3 blocks away. These barbecues saved my family $200 that week. Bring your favorite steak spice. Other guests have told me that they come each year partly because of the barbecue deck. A fantastic idea by the Alden.
Two pools that were warm, NOT cold. Kids from all parts of the U.S. and Canada never wanted out of the water. The pool across from bldg 2 also had a jacuzzi. Just past the pools is a playground that is right NEXT to the Cabana Bar. Pure genius! Unlike other reviewers, the bar was free-pour, and the drinks were very good. The slushies for the kids were a little pricey though. The bar's hours though could be extended. It opens at 3 pm on weekdays and 1 pm on weekends. Seems the hotel was just as busy weekdays, the bar could open sooner. And it could also close later than 9pm.
The Granada room was fine. One of the upgraded rooms. We had a top floor (6th) corner room. I think the Granada rooms ran the length on the corner of the bldg. The next rooms had larger patios.Entry was from the back of the building. Inside is a first room with two Queen size beds. A door separates the living room/kitchen area. The kitchen had both a breakfast nook as well as a 4 chair table. The sofa converted to a bed. A fair size bathroom connected to both the bedroom and the kitchen. Plenty of towels, but aging showerhead and fair water pressure. The room stretches all the way to the front of the building, with a small patio that faces the beautiful sea. All kitchen ammenities are included. All in all a terrific room, not rectangular, but angular with the true feel of a small apartment, not a hotel room. We were very satisfied with the upgraded room. There was also a new flat screen TV in each room! The hotel gets a big thumbs-down though for not having wireless internet. Hello Alden brass! In this day and age, no internet but in the lobby??? This was the same with a reviewer in January two months earlier. I was told they were negotiating a contract with a provider!? Did they not take steps to have Wifi prior to the end of the last contract? Inexcusable. Luckiily, I picked up a signal from neighboring resorts.
Though the sea was cold and not very welcoming, there was quite a bit of activity on the beach.
We had a great stay overall. All was clean, the service excellent. A very nice ocean view room. Lively pools. A sweet barbecue deck. All in all a terrific family-oriented all suites hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank ATidalBore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 16, 2009

This was an OK place to stay, certainly no Don Cesar. The elevator was broken about 85% of our 5 night stay. We were on the top floor which made this quite annoying. The staff was OK. Right on the beach and the pool was nice, but cold. Hot tub was nice in a small terraced area. We went for a wedding, and the people we were with made the weekend great, certainly not the Alden. Luckily the reception and wedding were held at the Don Cesar on the beach. Hotel was pricey as well. We were not in one of the renovated rooms.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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Thank john55c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 14, 2009

We had a perfectly lovely time at The Alden for three days, two nights. I booked a basic room through Expedia for far less than the hotel posted. My husband upgraded us to a room with a Gulf/beach view..which made the cost of the room about the cost the hotel charged for a basic, courtyard view room. A good deal. The room had been renovated within the last 6 months and we could tell. Fresh paint, carpet, new furniture, a very comfortable bed, and 2 flat screen TV's on the wall. The room was spacious for our needs, very clean and inviting. Plenty of towels were stored in the vanity, including beach towels. We were on the main floor and enjoyed just being able to walk outside. We could hear the cleaning people and the carts outside our bedroom, but we had very good sleep while we were there..on the whole, quiet, no neighbor noise at all. The kitchenette area was small, but fine for our needs. We felt secure with a safe in the room, a gated parking area, double locks and bar on the sliding door, and a circuit type key for the main door.

The front desk help were friendly and helpful and extremely accommodating. Internet was down in the rooms, ($10 a day..please...LOSE this charge!!!) so we had to get free high speed wireless in the lobby. A little inconvenient.

The beach is pristine, landscaping beautiful, lots to do at the resort. All kinds of restaurants are nearby.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone, and we hope to be back again!!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Splanky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 29, 2008

First of all, pictures are deceiving. I was quite surprised by the size of the suite when I arrived. The dimensions may have been listed on their website, but I based my impression on the pictures and boy was my impression off. The bedroom was pretty standard, but the living room was tiny. The kitchen table was in the living room and that which comprised the "kitchenette" left little room for meal preparation. If I wanted to have toast and coffee, I had to put the toaster on the floor and the coffeemaker on the table since there was virtually no countertop. Also, there was no dishwasher so I had to wash everything as I used it since I can't stand dirty dishes laying around. The bed was brutal - lumpy - very uncomfortable. The pillows were hard. No, I couldn't go sleep on the couch instead. It was rock hard. Fortunately, I realized before attempting to sleep the 2nd night that one of the accent pillows was soft, so I put a pillowcase on it and that was an improvement. Forget about sleeping in unless you have good earplugs because the room is situated next to the outer walkway and once maintenance/housekeeping begin rolling their carts by, it's pretty difficult to sleep. There's an odor in the place that I can't put my finger on. Don't know if it was musty or mildewy, but I do know that any items of clothing I had put in the dresser carried that smell home and had to be laundered. My room was a gulf front and the view is beautiful. Only problem was, instead of hearing the surf when the door was opened or while sitting outside, I'd hear the air conditioning unit on the building and/or the myriad of people at the bar and/or sitting outside on the grass below. The people at the front desk were nice - I'll give the Alden that.

Stayed: December 2008
5  Thank bet264
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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