In spring 2016, Opal Sands Resort opened its doors to guests who are seeking a modern, yet luxurious take on a Florida beach getaway. Located in the heart of Clearwater, Opal Sands Resort is a fresh, contemporary and glamorous beachfront retreat overlooking breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. From the moment of my arrival, I was immediately immersed in a creative, coastal-inspired atmosphere, which perfectly complemented the beauty of the destination. I was incredibly impressed by the resort’s passion for local, commissioned artwork that reflects the Clearwater area at each and every turn. An elegant fountain with artistic impressions of a sunset and egrets in flight stands watch over the Opal Sands entrance. An expansive, three-dimensional glass and metal sculpture represents the changing colors of waves as you ascend an escalator to the pristine lobby. A stunning oil painting capturing a vibrant Gulf of Mexico sunset and the iconic Pier 60 stands regal along the entire width of the front desk wall. The design concept of the art collection is “color, reflect, and restore” and it truly helps Opal Sands set the bar for stylish and design-forward luxury resorts.

The beach-chic furnishings and palettes of natural colors didn’t end with the lobby. Stepping into my accommodations, I was immediately greeted by touches of green, blue and turquoise tones throughout the room’s modern decor. My accommodation was just one of 230 gorgeous rooms that boast stunning panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a spacious balcony provided a peaceful space for me to relax and unwind in-between the many adventures taking place around the resort and the award-winning city of Clearwater. My highly anticipated escape to Opal Sands Resort was the perfect opportunity to discover for myself why Clearwater was voted the #1 beach in America by TripAdvisor. The resort is just a casual stroll away from local eateries and shops, water sports and boating, parks, art and cultural outposts, and much more. My first such venture off the Opal Sands property brought my companions and I to the “Little Toot,” a forty foot authentic tugboat that took us on an exciting sightseeing, dolphin watching adventure. Captain Zac and Misty narrated our tour of the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Harbor as we cruised through the sparkling water and squealed in delight to the sight of several dolphins jumping in our wake.

Located a short drive away from Opal Sands is Clearwater’s sister city of St. Petersburg. An afternoon excursion into St. Pete introduced my companions and I to another one of the many unique activities available in the Tampa Bay area. Morean Art Center is a local artist hub that specializes in many mediums including everything from drawing, painting and jewelry to photography, clay, and metal sculptures. Multiple workshops and classes are available for hands-on learning experiences which is how we came to embrace our inner artists and try our hand at glass blowing. Jeremiah, our expert guide, walked us through the process as we created magnificent pieces of art in the glass blowing studio affectionately named “The Hot Shop.” Playing artist for the day worked up a hefty appetite, which was fed at Locale Market’s Farmtable Kitchen, a culinary experience in St. Pete that quickly became one of downtown’s newest foodie havens. With their excellent farm-and-Gulf-to-table fare, it was easy to see why patrons keep returning, but fortunately guests of Opal Sands don’t have to venture into St. Pete if they’re in search of exquisite dining a little closer to home.

From Reflections Poolside Bar to Sandbar beachfront restaurant, Opal Sands Resort is brimming with mouth-watering dishes that tantalize your taste buds with beautifully complex flavors. An evening dinner at Sea-Guini provided my companions and I with one of many such dining experiences on property. Sea-Guini is dedicated to sourcing the freshest ingredients and calls on the best of the area’s local farmers and fishermen. A 10 foot metal grouper displayed over the entrance alluded to the fresh sea-to-table, coastal-inspired Italian cuisine that awaited us inside. We kicked off the evening with a 1-on-1 mixology demo that brought us up close and personal with the precision and preparation of Sea-Guini’s creative craft cocktail program. In addition to twists on classic favorites, other standout features of the restaurant included a large brick pizza oven and a homemade pasta making station where guests can watch chefs create staple components of dishes from the Sea Guini menu. As I dined on a rich Rigatoni Bolognese and savory appetizers, my companions and I were spoiled with Opal Sands boast worthy Gulf of Mexico views.

As a health-conscious guest, I couldn’t depart without a trip to the fitness center and Opal Sands Resort provided an ideal, energizing atmosphere to work up a sweat. I spent my final morning jogging on a treadmill that overlooked the beautiful Clearwater beach rated by USA Today as the “Best Beach in Florida.” Not long afterwards I found myself next door at the Opal Spa. Inspired by the calm and soothing Gulf of Mexico waters, the Opal Spa offered up a tranquil setting to unwind and be pampered. The spa features five treatment rooms as well as indoor and outdoor relaxation areas providing unobstructed views of the coastline. The Spa also boasts signature services and customizable treatments including massages, facials, body wraps, scrubs, rituals and reflexology. I went with the Signature Body Renewal, a nature-inspired exfoliation treatment and massage that refreshed my senses, restored my body and renewed my mind as I mentally prepared for my return to the “real” world.

With its sugar-soft sand and vibrant sunsets, the award-winning Clearwater Beach provides visitors with a truly charming beach town environment. Having Opal Sands situated right in the heart of that destination allows for the most luxurious accommodations you’ll ever need to enjoy the endless adventures available along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Venture out on a deep sea fishing expedition before returning to enjoy the nightly sunset celebration at Pier 60. Take a dip in Opal Sand Resort’s zero-entry Gulf front pool and hot tub. Soak up the sun on lounge chairs while friendly pool attendants cater to all your needs to ensure an unforgettable day of relaxation. Indulge yourself in upscale waterfront dining and handcrafted cocktails as the fiery sun slips behind the Gulf of Mexico and fades into the night sky. Visit the new Opal Sands Resort for yourself to experience tropical opulence at its finest and endless fun for all ages.

Opal Sands Resort
430 South Gulfview Blvd
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767