Clearwater Beach’s newest hotel is named for a local movie star.
Winter, a bottlenose dolphin with a prosthetic tail who inspired the Dolphin Tale movies, is the namesake for the Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club, a 91-room beachfront hotel at 655 S. Gulfview Blvd.
The dolphin and marine life-themed hotel is part of the Ascend Hotel Collection portfolio by Choice Hotels. Page Development Group, based in Indian Shores, renovated an existing Choice hotel, incorporating sustainable practices with a focus on environmental protection. There’s lighting that’s safe for sea turtles. No single-use plastics are used. There are special window treatments to reduce energy use while minimizing the harmful effects of sun glare off of the Gulf of Mexico.
Renovation costs were not disclosed.
Page Development collaborated on the project with Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a nonprofit marine rescue center that rescued Winter in 2005 after she was caught in a crab trap. She is one of several rescued dolphins who live at the aquarium.
Part of the proceeds from each hotel room night will go directly to the care, education, research and conservation of marine mammals at the aquarium.
“We’re so excited to invite guests to see Winter at our facility and then have them stay in this fabulous and environmentally friendly, Winter and marine life themed hotel,” Frank Dame, CEO of Clearwater Marine Aquarium, said in a news release. “We’re confident that families will be attracted by the newness of the hotel, its commitment to sustainability, and the unique learning opportunities of immersive marine life education.”
The hotel also has an outdoor pool with beach cabana rentals and two on-site restaurants, Cabanas Coastal Grill and Cabanas Beachside.
The hotel is managed by McKibbon Hospitality in Tampa, with Adam Winner serving as general manager.
See images from the July 1 ribbon cutting ceremony and from inside the hotel in the gallery below.