Last Updated on July 6, 2023
Before arriving at the incredibly lovely Rumfish Beach Resort, I’d heard it described as an ‘aquatic paradise.’ My first thoughts were, “well, of course it is, it’s located right on the Florida Gulf Coast.”
As soon as I stepped onto the property and began exploring, I began to understand the concept.
Rumfish Beach Resort by Tradewinds sports a premier location on 12 beachfront acres of sugary white sands along St. Pete Beach. As the resort proudly proclaims, guests are “only 60 flip-flops away from our connecting resort – Island Grand;” that means though you’re staying at one resort, you get to enjoy all the amenities of both.
This resort is ideal for a family vacation.
It has all the elements: beach, sand, sun, pools, and lots of lots of activities and fun to keep every member of the family entertained. But word of warning, don’t be surprised if at the end of your vacation you’ll be sad to pack up the car or hop on that plane back to reality.
Rumfish Beach Resort is that amazing!
Accommodations at Rumfish Resort
Though the resort offers a total of 352 rooms and villas, nothing about this place feels crowded; it’s laid-back and relaxed.
Renovated in 2020, Rumfish Beach Resort rooms and villas are delightfully decorated in Florida’s classic coastal beachy colors and British Colonial furnishings. Each room includes marine artwork by Thomas Kraus, one of Florida’s finest marine and wildlife artists.
Standard hotel rooms (the most booked) offer limited ocean views. However, the most popular have resort views and balconies. Best views are guaranteed with Gulf-front accommodations.
Premium accommodations include suites with whirlpools, penthouses, and an executive enclave that can sleep up to 14 guests.
During my visit to St. Pete, I stayed in a one-bedroom, 480-square-foot Gulf-front suite with a pass-through kitchen area and living room with a pull-out sofa bed. These suites also include two televisions. The suite was roomy, comfortable, and of course having a balcony with direct and expansive ocean views set the tone for the perfect beach vacation.
Rumfish Resort Amenities
Though there is a $55 per day resort fee, you can’t beat the amenities included in this add-on.
The number one benefit of staying at Rumfish Beach Resort is the beach– St. Pete Beach – a favorite of the most serious U.S. beach fanatics. The wide-berth stretch of sand is ideal for a morning or sunset stroll. And of course, guests can enjoy their own campfire S’mores here or rent their own private cabana for only $15, or nab a complimentary beach hammock. Complimentary beach games include Bocce and Corn Hole and Beach Volleyball is a super popular activity.
Guests will love having the use of four pools (including one for adults-only) and two whirlpools and a large fire pit along with five other open fire tables surrounded by comfy, classy outdoor seating.
Five restaurants and bars are located throughout the property which doesn’t include the 10 additional bards and restaurants at neighboring Island Grand Beach Resort. Whether you’re into beach bar bites, casualfare or a more gourmet seafood option, Rumfish offers everything you’d expect to find at a tropical beach resort.
Other fun-in-the-sun activities include a 33,500-gallon aquarium, a sea life touch tank experience, dive-in movies, a myriad of pool activities, tennis courts, a fitness club, yoga classes, and floating ocean aquabanas and water loungers. A brand-new Sun City Teen Lounge is popular with this age group as is Surf Wipeout, an inflatable surf simulator.
All ages will love the three-story, 200-foot-long High Tide Water Slide, Paddleboats at Pirate Island and Miniature Golf at Island Grand Beach Resort. Kids will love the Magic Show at the Sandbox Beach Lounge and families can join Captain Redbeard for a treasure chest adventure at Pirate Island.
For an extra fee, this aquatic wonderland also offers stand-up paddleboard and kayak rentals, use of a floating waterpark, a “Swim with the Fishes” Snorkeling Adventure, Zing Ray Zip Line, Parasailing, Banana Boat Rides, Guided Jet Ski Tours and Rentals, Dolphin Sunset Cruises, Dolphin Cruise to Shell Island, Diving, Fishing, and Treasure Mining.
Dining at Rumfish Grill
Though I mentioned the myriad of dining choices at the resort along with its neighboring sister property, there is one restaurant that stands out from all others because it provides the ultimate marine dining experience.
The dinner-only Rumfish Grill is dominated by a massive fish tank with an entire ecosystem of native sea life, so impressive that it was featured on Animal Planet’s hit show “Tanked.”
Imagine dining with an aquarium as the showpiece of your experience. However, cuisine here is not about to take second fiddle. Firstly, you’re on the Gulf Coast, meaning the restaurant has access to the freshest seasonal quality seafood available. Secondly, when you have a creative and innovative chef, you’re going to get some of the best seafood and fish dishes around.
Though the menu changes with fresh catches and seasonal offerings from the sea, diners are blessed with such delights as cold-water oysters, Cedar Key clams, and Gulf treasures like Florida Pompano, Gulf Shrimp, Grouper and Mahi Mahi.
Not a seafood lover? No problem, as there are plenty of choices from the land to satisfy each palate like beef, chicken and pasta. And if you’re bringing the kiddos to dinner with you, the kids’ menu has a lot of great options.
But this is one place you won’t have to worry about the kids getting antsy or impatient. That aquarium will keep them occupied, and the restaurant is really good about kids getting up-close-and-personal with the sea life in the tank as long as they’re with an adult.
As a frequent traveler, I’m blessed to visit many places throughout the U.S., but I can guarantee that guests who venture to this resort will be so happy that they did. One family I spoke with making S’mores on the beach one evening said it best, “We are a beach family. And though we’ve been to many beach destinations, hotels and resorts, nothing beats Rumfish. That’s why we always come back.”
NOTE: Visitors to Rumfish Beach Resort and St. Petersburg from outside of Florida should be aware that the NAACP has issued a travel advisory for the state noting, and warning, that under its current governor, Ron DeSantis, Florida has “engaged in an all-out attack on Black Americans, accurate Black history, voting rights, members of the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, women’s reproductive rights, and free speech, while simultaneously embracing a culture of fear, bullying, and intimidation by public officials.”beachbeachfront