The west coast of Florida is one of my favorite places to visit. The Gulf water is beautiful, the waves are calm, and the sunsets are gorgeous! I hadn’t been in a long time and it was well overdue. After months of quarantining, fretting, online learning, and canceling our first trip abroad with our kids, we made the decision to plan a weekend away and recharge. Where did we go? The Tradewinds Island Grand Resort.
Our Visit to Tradewinds Grand Island Resort
We had a few stipulations while researching hotels that would make us feel comfortable during our stay. We wanted to be socially distanced while also feeling comfortable enough to enjoy typical vacation activities. The Tradewinds Grand Island Resort has a category of rooms that is separate from the high rise hotel. These rooms are called their Standard Courtyard View Rooms. They are ground floor rooms that open out onto a paved patio with views of two different pools, a restaurant, or the tiki bar. There were no hallways or elevators and it had the feel of a small apartment and it was exactly what we were looking for. In full disclosure, these rooms are not as updated as the hotel rooms, but they do have everything you need to feel comfortable. The room had a small kitchenette with a counter top stove, microwave, and a small refrigerator. Outside the door were two chairs and a small table perfect for enjoying a morning cup of coffee and the ocean breeze.
We planned the trip with the idea that if we weren’t comfortable we would just come home. Thankfully, we did not have to do that. Upon arrival there was a guard gate with a very sweet guard wearing a mask who directed us where to go, due to ongoing construction of their lobby. There was a sign in front of the temporary entrance asking that only one member of the party enter the lobby for check in for social distancing purposes. The check in station was easy to find and the process itself was smooth. The receptionists were wearing masks, 6 feet distances were marked, and hand sanitizing stations were set up throughout the lobby. The layout of The Tradewinds Resorts property also made us feel completely comfortable staying and enjoying this much needed time away.
Amenities and Activities at Tradewinds Island Resorts
The amenities that were open were the 7 pools, tennis courts, mini golf, beach volleyball, and hammocks to laze around in.
They also had snow cones, craft stations, and even hair beading. At the time of our stay, there were a number of amenities and activities that were still closed, but normally, they offer a lot of activities for the whole family campfire s’mores, bocce ball, corn hole, a family pirate show and more.*
One of my favorite parts of our stay was their pool side movie nights on Fridays and Saturdays. After two very early starts and long days on the beach it was nice to have an excuse to clean up early and relax. The poolside restaurant, the Flying Bridge offered outside seating where my husband and I sat while the kiddos sat close by on lounge chairs in front of the big screen.
We couldn’t get enough of the beach so we stuck to that the whole time. On the beach, Tradewinds provides guests with cushioned covered cabanas that are well distanced from one another, and a perfect spot to relax with a good book. Also included in our stay was unlimited rides on Island Grand’s High Tide Slide, a three story high, 200 foot long slide! For added fun in the water they had paddleboard and floating cabana rentals. They had games in the sand which included paddle ball, bocce ball and my kiddos enjoyed a couple of games of cornhole.
Dining at Tradewinds Island Resorts
On property you’ll find 4 full service Restaurants, a Pizza Hut Express, Deli, Ice Cream shop, Starbucks coffee at Perks Up! Cafe, and 6 bars. Even with all they have to offer Tradewinds is still conveniently located so that you can enjoy a walk to nearby gift shops, restaurants, and bars. We drove to a grocery store nearby our first night to stock up on all the needed beach snacks, popcorn for the movies, and lunch and dinner needs.
We had an absolute blast at Tradewinds Grand Island Resort and our kids are still talking about it. It was the vacation we all needed to recharge and unwind.
by Abby O’Connor
photos courtesy of Tradewinds Island Resorts