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“Rustic Old Hotel”

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Ponce De Leon Hotel
Ranked #25 of 42 Hotels in St. Petersburg
Reviewed 28 May 2012

If you are looking for a hotel with the finer amenities this is not the hotel for you. The hotel is older and has a very rustic look and feel about it. From the hardwood floor in the room to the furniture all show signs of aging. The room was clean but just old. The bed was very firm and not very comfortable. The television was a 16" (yes 16") flat screen that gets very poor reception to the point you receive only about 5 channels clearly. The channel selection is very limited and doesn't contain channels like ESPN. The lighting in the hallways and elevator were very poor and the elevator stopped for no reason twice on me during the week long stay. I wasn't stuck in the elevator but I had to reselect the floor I was going to and it started back up. It is also very, very slow. Overall, if you are wanting one night in a historic, rustic looking hotel to sleep in while you party in St. Petersburg then this might be the place as the location is excellent. If you want a hotel to relax while you or a family are on vacation go somewhere else. The staff was just average, the check-in help was nice and friendly while the other staff had moments of rudeness. I think the hotel is trying to improve this but there is some resistance. There is no storage for your luggage should you request it. Or I should say it depends on who you ask. The two employees argued over this right in front of me with one saying they could store it while I was at work and the other said they had no storage. It reminded me of a classic comedy act the way they went back and forth. I chose to take my luggage with me to the office that day.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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Thank robsdaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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570 - 576 of 656 reviews

Reviewed 22 May 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Ponce for one night while visiting St. Petersburg. The hotel is located in the beautiful downtown district about a block from the water, a two-minute walk to bars, restaurants and nightlife, and a 10 to 15-minute walk to the famous St. Pete Pier.

Parking: This outstanding location has several parking options nearby, including meters on the street (free after 6 p.m. on Friday and through the weekend), an honor system surface lot and garage about a block away. Both times we parked, we were able to get metered parking right next to the hotel - and we took advantage of it being free!

Staff/Check-in: First impression was, what a cute little lobby! Modern furnishings and decor give it an understated trendy feel. Unfortunately, the two ladies behind the desk didn't feel like welcoming or greeting us... and when we gave them our name to check in, they couldn't find our reservation. They asked, "what site did you book from?" and the hilarious part was that we booked it straight from their own website! They eventually found it, honored our request for a room on a higher floor and it was smooth sailing from there. Later, a couple of guys took over in the ladies' place behind the desk and were MUCH friendlier, holding the door open for us, chatting, etc.

The Room: We stayed in a Queen room - the modern look is alive and well here, too. Just the basics - nothing fancy! Yes, the room is a bit smaller than what many people are accustomed to but it is not like you have to walk in and over the bed to get to the bathroom! Well, almost. I think they could have done a little better on the layout because there is plenty of space when you walk in the door but the distance between the foot of the bed and desk is a bit narrow, so you do have to squeeze through - or if someone is standing there - hop across the bed! Other than that, no complaints. The headboard to the bed is kind of cool because it is set up like a shelf and you can put your phone, jewelry, luggage or whatever else on it to save a little room or have things handy. Bed wasn't overly soft or hard, but very low profile and it kind of rattled if you rolled over on it. The flooring is all wood, there is a closet to put your stuff in, a mini fridge with water ($2), complimentary coffee, tea and cups, a small flatscreen TV, robe and the usual bath products. The bathroom is also a bit small but totally functional. The hot water knob in the tub had a sign above it letting people know to let the water run for 2 minutes. Hey, it's an older building people! :) Really enjoyed the FREE WI-FI though, as a big plus.

Final Word: The Ponce is a great place to stay in St. Pete if you're looking to get out and enjoy all this downtown area has to offer. There are so many fantastic restaurants, bars, museums and other great sights to see near this hotel. Take advantage of its proximity to everything, get out and enjoy! The Ponce will give you a decent place to rest when you're ready to retire.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank smootchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

I booked this hotel as a gift for my mom along with tickets to the mahaffey theatre.Had never visited downtown St.Petersburg before.The hotel reeks of mold and looks nothing like the pictures online.Staff was rude and most of the time outside the door smoking cigarettes.DIRTY ROOMS,filthy carpets.We decide to stay as we planned on spending most of our time outside the room.Getting ready to go out and mom couldn't get any hot water the pressure was a slight drizzle,bed had springs sticking out.We had a great time in downtown St.Pete but did not want to return to our room totally gross the smell of mold also permeates the Ceviche restaurant I will never eat there ewwww...love the Clearwater and Tampa Ceviches though.We are going to book all our stays at the Hampton Inn AND SUITES BEHIND THIS HOTEL........it is only 20 more dollars a night but well worth it clean bright friendly......no way never again

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank laurag327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2012

This old gem of a property is located very close to the water in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, FL. Everything else about it is terrible.

The tiles in the bathroom were cracked and covered with mildew (the pink stuff that comes off when you clean your shower). In addition, the bottom of my feet were black from walking barefoot in the room.

When I checked out, I had a question about the amount I was charged for the room. The clerk behind the front desk responded by shaking the paper in my face that had the amount of the room on it. He then said something to the effect of "you signed it D-head". This was completely unprovoked and out of nowhere. I think the guy may have been having a bad day or something. My wife called the manager to let them know who responded that the owner would call her back so she could relay this story to him and he could take action. The owner has yet to respond. I will update this review if he does.

As an aside (since this does not apply to me), I do not remember there being handicapped rails in the bath. The bottom of the bath tub had neither a bath mat or texture to keep me from slipping. While I would strongly advise anyone to not stay this hotel, this advice especially applies to handicapped people, who may need the rails, a little more space and a less slippery tub.

Room Tip: Don't stay here.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank Jville_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2012

If you want something out of the ordinary, something with a european flare and convience at a very fair price you will love the Ponce De Leon in St. Pete. My room was right across from the elevator and I had no noise issues as some reviews mentioned. I had a glimpse of the ocean. Parking is available only a block a away at a garage or lot. Yes it costs a few bucks but you are downtown! The hotel is art deco and reminds me of the hotels in South beach, Miami. The rooms are small but adequate for one or two people.Two resturants are on either side of the hotel both are great and I did not notice any odor from them as mentioned by some reviewers. The staff was fantastic! I will be back!

Room Tip: 510 has a glimpse of the ocean/bay
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled on business
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Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Where to start????? I travel a lot, I’m from Europe and I’m use to going from hotel to hotel. I can assure you that I’ve been treated as good as I was treated here in very few places, 5 star hotels included. Yes, this is not a 5 star hotel but it is as great in many aspects, especially on the customer service part. I had a small problem and needed to change rooms, the owner (who is a great guy) helped me personally. Making sure that all guest are happy is the important thing for them. The hotel is very clean, perfectly located. At the end of the day……great price for a great hotel. A+ for the owner.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Armando L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

Wanted to stay in the "ponce" because we eat at Ceviches and always thought it would be nice to stay. Wife deposited month and a half ago in January for my birthday weekend and grad prix. Arrived Friday afternoon and we were given a room on the second floor with a wonderful view of the back side of the Hampton inn. Two large AC units outside the window for the restaurant going all day and night. Through the wall AC not in service so they installed a window unit which ran day and night, did I mention the 2 AC units outside the window?? The bathroom sink was at the end of the bed in the room next to an Ikea desk with extremely sharp ends on it. The toilet and shower are on the other side of the room in a 4x6 space. Very quaint except if you want to wash, brush or whatever. Pillows on bed were approximately 1" thick and were past service life 3 years ago, when I asked for another couple pillows I got the excuse that the hotel was booked and didn't have anymore. I slept on the thin pillow with the decorative pillow underneath. And to think all for 225 a night.
Holiday inn express not only gives the best service they even ask if they can do anything else and that's at 100 a night. when we went to check out they not only had taken the deposit they charged the whole thing to our card again. Did I mention the front desk clerk eating dinner at the desk and talking to us with food running down his cheek.
Would I stay there again or recommend them ? Yes if it burns down and Holiday Inn builds a new place.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Steve T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ponce De Leon Hotel

Address: 95 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701-3930
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > St. Petersburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#9 Business Hotel in St. Petersburg
Price Range: $110 - $148 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ponce De Leon Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1922, The Ponce de León Hotel is a Spanish Mission Revival building of great historic interest. Located at 95 Central Avenue and Beach Drive, one might notice that this hotel is only one block away from Saint Petersburg’s beautiful and vibrant waterfront and in the heart of downtown. The Ponce de León Hotel is at doorstep to the most popular restaurants, museums and music venues in the city. Some of which include; the Salvador Dali Museum, Janus Live, the Mahaffey Theater, Tropicana Field, Vinoy Park, and much, much more!Boasting 74 modern rooms, and home of one of the city’s most popular and award winning restaurants, Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant. You can unwind with a drink or dine at the hotel bar & restaurant while you enjoy nightly live entertainment. They make their dishes with locally sourced ingredients for the freshest and finest taste. From the moment you walk into the hotel you will be impressed by the style, décor and air of calm professionalism. Ponce de León Hotel is perfectly located in the heart of St. Petersburg’s most popular recreational and business districts, offering convenience, effortless style, and affordability to leisure and corporate travelers. The Ponce de León Hotel combines impeccable service and comfortable accommodation with spectacular views of the waterfront and downtown St. Petersburg. Be delighted by incomparable value harmonized with everyday amenities, service, plus all the attention you expect from a boutique hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ponce De Leon Hotel St. Petersburg, Florida

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