Looking for the best places to stay in Clearwater Beach? As a long time resident of the area, I’ve stayed at pretty much all of them. So I’ve rounded up all my favorite Clearwater Beach hotels for you right here. Whether you’re looking for a couples getaway, a family friendly vacation, or a quick weekend trip – there’s something for everyone here.
Clearwater Beach is one of the most beautiful (and most popular) beaches in the country. In fact, it’s consistently ranked as one of the top beaches in the US by authorities like TripAdvisor and Travel and Leisure. And it’s no surprise why – the wide, sweeping, white sand beach is absolutely stunning. And the warm, calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico are just unbeatable.
It makes a great vacation spot for both families and couples, and is a pretty popular spring break destination as well. There are plenty of hotels to choose from, but only a handful that really get my vote. (And I’ve stayed at pretty much all of them over the years.)
You will want to consider the location first and foremost. While Clearwater Beach might look small on a map, it’s actually a pretty long stretch of beachfront. If you want to be surrounded by lots of action, you’ll want to stay close to Pier 60, where there are plenty of daytime activities, nighttime festivities, and a big playground for the kids. But if you want a little more peace and quiet, and fewer crowds, you can consider something further north on the beach or just south in Sand Key.
So without further ado, here are my favorite hotels in Clearwater Beach!
Where to Stay in Clearwater Beach
These are my top recommendations for the best hotels in Clearwater Beach, based on my 25 years as a Tampa Bay native.
Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
The Hyatt has always been one of my favorite hotels on Clearwater Beach, just a few steps to Pier 60 where you can find entertainment at all hours of the day. The beach access is directly in front of the resort, where there are chair and umbrella rentals available. And when you're tired of the sand, you can relax at the rooftop pool and bar!
The Hyatt feels just luxurious enough to make for a great romantic getaway, but still family friendly enough to bring the kids. The only real downside is that the pool is a bit small of the size of the hotel - but it hardly matters when you are steps away from the Gulf of Mexico.
Oh, and there's even a parking garage available, which is unusual for the area.
Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach
The Wyndham shares the same great location on the main strip of Clearwater Beach as the Hyatt. But in my opinion, it's a little bit more upscale. The hotel is newer in general, and the rooms are a bit more modern and fancy feeling.
The hotel has a beautiful pool. It's on the ground level, so you don't get the same views as the Hyatt pool, but it does it make the pool area more accessible from the beach.
Again, you're just steps away from Pier 60 and you can find chair and umbrella rentals available on the beach just in front of the hotel. Just be aware that there is no hotel parking, so you will have to valet your car.
Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
The Hilton Clearwater Beach has been a mainstay on the strip for as long as I can remember. To be honest, the hotel is well aged at this point in its life. But it still makes a for a great family-friendly option, and it can often be had for a lower price than the others on this list. So look out for deals on this one.
This hotel has a wonderful location. While most of the other hotels on the main drive require stepping across the road to access the beach, the Hilton sits directly on the sand. It sits directly adjacent to Pier 60, so you're in the heart of all the action.
The pool is a bit underwhelming here, but it is accessible directly from the beach. The hotel offers their own beach chair and umbrella rentals right in front of the place, and for a little lower cost than the public rentals. There is also a parking lot for the hotel, although, it's often full so you may have to valet park anyway.
The Sandpearl is the newest mega hotel on the beach scene in Clearwater, and will be at the top of the price range. But if it's in your budget, it sure is nice. Everything is new and modern. The pool is pretty unbeatable - it's huge and has a gorgeous view of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Sandpearl is one of the only hotels in the area that provide free beach chairs for guests (at least at the time I'm writing this!). The hotel is luxurious enough for a couples getaway - it's very popular for weddings. But it's also still very family friendly, as with pretty much everything in Clearwater Beach. They are known for their sunset bonfires on the beach!
The only downside of the Sandpearl is that it's located father north on the beach than the other hotels on this list. And while this makes the beach less crowded, it also means you will have a bit of a walk down to Pier 60. But it sure is a pretty walk. And the only parking available is valet.
We recently stayed at Sandpearl and the experience was great! You can check out my full review of Sandpearl resort here.
Sheraton Sand Key Resort
The Sheraton is technically in Sand Key, not Clearwater Beach. But if you're travelling as a family with kids, I strongly suggest that you consider this one. Sand Key is just a short hop over from Clearwater Beach. This is actually the hotel I choose for my own family when we want to stay at the beach for a couple nights.
The Sheraton often has great rates compared to hotels on the main strip of Clearwater Beach, and in my opinion, it's the single most comfortable hotel for families in the area.
First off, the beach is absolutely huge and gorgeous. It's every bit as wonderful as the main Clearwater Beach, perhaps even more so, but way less crowded. The hotel offers their own chair and umbrella rentals right out front. There is a great beachside pool and cafe, and a small playground. Big parking lot with plenty of space. And there's even a little shop in the hotel that sells things like milk, snacks, and cereal, which is so handy with kids.
There are a few restaurants within walking distance, notably Columbia and a great little pizza place. But the downside is that you'll need to drive (or Uber) if you want to go over to the main tourist strip and Pier 60.
If you’re planning a trip to Clearwater Beach, be sure to check out these other helpful resources while you’re here:
Or browse all of our Tampa Bay area travel planning resources – covering Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater.
14 thoughts on “Where to Stay in Clearwater Beach”
Where is cheapest place to park for 5 days???? Really stressed as I’m lost
The only option I am aware of for public overnight parking is at the North Beach Parking Plaza. I believe they charge $30/day for overnight parking.
If you are staying in any of the larger hotels, they will likely have a self park or valet option for you also. We stayed at the Sandpearl recently and it was $25/day for valet parking, so cheaper than the public lot.
Here is a list of all the public city parking lots:
Thanks for the information!! Great breakdown..
If you stay at the Sheraton, you can ride the Jolly Trolley and it will take you into Clearwater. Just show your room key and its free. $5 for a day pace oer person is a great rate as well..
Great suggestion! The Sheraton is such a great family-friendly place, and a more affordable option than the hotels right in Clearwater Beach.
My son lives down there so I’m down in that area a few times a year. There are so SO many little cute boutique hotels that are not nearly as expensive as these big chain hotels. My advice, unless you require room service and maid service, stay at a boutique hotel.
Yes, this is a good point and I will have to look at adding a few of those options to the list as well! I don’t agree that one option is really better than the other. I think it just depends on the type of trip you have planned. We often like to stay at small, less commercial properties when we travel somewhere new. But for the beach, we definitely are looking for the amenities of a big resort – fancy pool, beach loungers, bar service, kid activities, etc. That’s especially true since we are local and can do a “regular” day at Clearwater Beach anytime. But there are definitely some mom and pop rentals in the area that deserve some love too!
What do you think of sheppards resort and the opal
Opal Sands is owned by the same company as Sandpearl. In my opinion, it’s best suited for couples or adults without kids. Both properties are VERY nice and upscale. But Sandpearl is upscale with a family friendly vibe, and Opal Sands is the kind of place where people will be side eyeing your kids at the pool. Sandpearl also has a WAY better location on a wide stretch of beach, where Opal Sands is down at the very end of the beach where it’s not as expansive.
I am not a fan of Shepherd’s. It’s more of a party place – in fact it was a popular place to go clubbing when I was growing up. It’s great for the spring break crowd but not so much for us grown ups. It feels a bit like staying in a night club. They have a small private beach area in front of the hotel with chairs, but it’s very small and crowded. And there is no easily walkable access to the main beach.
I just stayed at the Marriott in sand key with my family and it was a very nice hotel. Just a short trolley ride away from the main strip and a very clean and lovely hotel. They have a nice pool and sand key park is right across the street which is a gorgeous beach. Loved every second in Clearwater.
Hi! We’re thinking about staying at the Residence Inn Downtown. What are recommendations for that area? About how far would you say it is from the beaches, and any good food options if you have some, please? From what I’ve seen so far has mainly been on the beach.
I wouldn’t recommend staying in Downtown Clearwater if you are mainly interested in the beaches. There’s really not much to do in that small downtown area and there is currently a big construction project happening on the waterfront there.
Downtown Clearwater is just directly over the causeway from the beach, so without traffic you could be at the beach in five minutes. BUT… there is a ton of traffic on the weekends and you can easily get stuck just sitting on the bridge for 30-40 minutes.
does anyone know the name of the hotel that is next to the Shepards resort. It was called the econo lodge but since then i think it has been renamed.
The Gulfview Hotel and Hampton Inn are next to Shepherds. Perhaps one of those are what you’re thinking of?