Throughout the hotel’s history, several stories and experiences about the paranormal have been shared and told. Some of the hotel’s most prominent clientele belong to the sports industry. Although the ghosts in the hotel are not vengeful or angry, they have been known to play tricks on guests. Florida Marlins’ right-handed pitcher Scott Ryan Williamson experienced paranormal activity in the hotel in 2003. He noticed a faint light from the hotel’s pool area when he turned off the lights in his room. He got the feeling that he was being observed and when he lied down to sleep, he felt pressure on his back and had some troubles sleeping. He described it as if somebody was sitting on him. He also noticed a man in a coat standing near the curtains.
The strength coordinator of the Pittsburgh Pirates also described seeing a transparent male near the desk in his room. Several individuals have also noticed a male dressed in a formal suit walking the halls of the hotel and seeing him completely disappear into thin air.
There is also the story of the reliever for the Toronto Blue Jays who checked in the hotel with his wife. Although at first, she objected because of the hotel’s haunted reputation, she eventually agreed to stay in the hotel. While her husband was off to batting practice she called him claiming that she and the children witnessed the water turning on and off by itself and the toilet flushing continuously of its own accord. The family was staying in the Old Wing of the hotel, a spot believed by employees to have some of the most paranormal occurrences.
Other guests have also reported flickering lights in their rooms at night, as well as noises that cannot be explained. They have reported footsteps in the halls even when no one is there, shuffling and the sound of chains.
Vinoy Renaissance Hotel was built by Aymer Vinoy Laughner in 1925. The hotel’s construction started in February of 1925 and ended after 10 months. When it opened, the Vinoy was a seasonal hotel, operating only from December to March.
Some of the most famous personalities of the time called the hotel their temporary home. Among the famous people who stayed in the hotel were Herbert Hoover, Babe Ruth, James Stewart, and Calvin Coolidge. During World War II, the Us Army took over the hotel and used it as a training school. After the war, the hotel was sold to Charles Alberding for $700,000. However, in 1974 the hotel closed its doors and most of its contents were also sold.
Fortunately, in the early 1990s, the hotel was bought by Renaissance Hotels and Resorts and Vinoy Development Corporation. A huge renovation was undertaken to bring back the hotel’s old grandeur. After two years of renovation, the hotel reopened and in 2005, it earned the much-coveted AAA Four-Diamond Star status
The stunning Vinoy Resort & Golf Club has successfully blended the charms of a time gone by with modern luxuries and amenities. The hotel has a newly renovated verandah and lobby. It also has an on-site tennis complex, golf course, and spa. One of the premier luxury hotels in Florida, it never fails to leave people in awe.
All guest rooms in the hotel are enhanced by personal touches and warm service which make the hotel your home away from home. Select accommodations also come with balconies with bay views and private spa patios. The Presidential Suite has an area of 2,400 square feet and it is the highlight of the hotel. The hotel also has a smoke free policy and does not allow pets on the premises.
- High-speed internet access
- On-site parking
- Daily housekeeping service
- Laundry on-site
- Newspaper in lobby
- Newspaper delivered to the room, on request
- In-room coffee service
- Cable television
Things to Do
There are various things to discover in St. Petersburg, Florida and one day of sightseeing would not be enough. Lovers of art can go to Florida Dali Museum which is just a short walk away from the hotel. There are various exhibits throughout the year for both children and adults. Another great place to take the children to is the St. Petersburg Pier Aquarium. It is an outstanding way of introducing little children to marine life and their preservation.
Vinoy Marina also offers a plethora of activities for guests. There are 74 concrete boat slips which can accommodate a vessel of up to 130 feet. Long and short term leases are available for guests. Guests can also take a stroll at Sunken Gardens. They have more than 50,000 tropical flowers and plants. The botanical attraction also features a wedding lawn, walk-through aviary, and a butterfly garden.
Those interested in history and the Holocaust can go to the Florida Holocaust Museum. It is the fourth largest facility of its kind in the world and it is dedicated to remembering the tragic period in history known as the Holocaust. The museum’s centerpiece is the Polish boxcar which was used to transport victims to their deaths in camps located throughout Germany.
- King and queen standard rooms start at $269
- King and queen tower rooms with balcony start at $289
- King and queen bay-view rooms start at $299
- Patio spa and whirlpool rooms start at $329
- Executive rooms start at $469
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