All you need to know about RumFish Beach Resort
Our full review and guide to the hotel where our room leads on to one of America’s best beaches, we fly through the air on a zip wire and enjoy free s’mores every night.
RumFish Beach Resort
Where is it?
Located directly on St Pete beach, one of America’s best beaches, around a 20-minute drive from the city of St Petersburg in Florida.
What is it?
A three-star resort hotel with more than 300 recently renovated rooms, restaurants, beach access and children’s activities.
Is it family friendly?
Absolutely – there is lots to do for children with a packed calendar of activities daily.
They can swim in the sea or the family pool, use water slides, zip wires, take pedalo rides, watch magic and entertainment shows or play tennis or mini-golf.
They aren’t the prettiest from the outside, especially arriving via the car park but the rooms make up for that with their size.
Ours had two queen beds, a spacious bathroom with bath and shower, as well as lots of storage space in the wardrobe which also had a safe.
The real bonus though is the separate kitchen, lounge and dining area. The kitchen has a large fridge-freezer, sink, hob, plates and cutlery.
Next to that is a four-seat dining table and sofa with TV.
And the icing on the cake? Our ground floor room opened directly onto the beach through a sliding patio door. Higher level floors benefited from a small balcony.
The decor was slightly dated but was bright and pleasant with a white and blue sea theme.
Food and drink
With the kitchenette in your room, you can easily self-cater here but if you do fancy eating out there are lots of choices.
The main resort restaurant in the evenings is the RumFish Grill, complete with large fish tank, which featured on US TV. You can go and see the fish in the tank all day and even take tours of it with staff. There is a separate large bar area next to the restaurant.
For daytime dining, there is Gulfside Grill. Again, it’s not that attractive from the outside but don’t let that put you off.
Inside and on the patio, friendly staff do American breakfast favourites and lunchtime meals. We had a lovely stack of pancakes here in the morning. The patio overlooks the family pool and pool bar serving drinks all day.
Staying at RumFish means you can also dine at any of the options at the nearby (TradeWinds) Island Grand Resort.
It’s about a 150-yard walk along the beach and has five places to eat including Salty’s Bar for light seafood meals with fresh shrimp a popular option, a Pizza Hut takeaway and ice cream parlour and several other more adult-focussed options.
Within a five-minute walk of RumFish, there are local restaurants and a 7-11 store or Dunkin Donuts to grab any supplies or quick snacks.
This area is all about the beach so you won’t want or need to head too far but make sure to explore the sister Island Grand hotel for more activities.
This is bigger than RumFish and the family activities are divided between the two sites. At check-in, staff give you a pamphlet and map explaining what is available.
The Island Grand contains the pedalos, water slide and mini-golf options while Rumfish has the zip wire, surf simulator machine and fireside s’mores.
Make sure to take a walk along St Pete beach at sunrise or sunset to take in the stunning shoreline before it gets too hot.
Aside from the beach, the area near the hotel doesn’t have lots of interest but take a 20-minute car or bus ride into St Petersburg to enjoy its pier, markets, museums and laid-back harbour vibe.
The city is well worth a morning away from the beach – the pier has a children’s playground and is a lovely spot to eat, we went to the busy and family-friendly Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille.
We have written a full guide on what families can do in Clearwater and St Pete if you are looking for more ideas.
*The location – it really takes some beating. To be able to open your room door and walk straight on to the pure, white sand on a beach named America’s best by Trip Advisor in recent years is fabulous.
Especially at sunset the beach comes alive with people taking in the view either from a hotel cabana or while swimming in the warm, shallow sea.
*The cabanas – Your resort fee entitles you to a free cabana each day, the helpful attendants will set it up for you and also are the best place to ask about doing any activities. It is important to have a shady cabana on the beach when it gets hot.
*The activities – The range of children’s activities – and the ability to use both hotels – makes the resort stand out. Our children loved the water slide and the zip wire, while we took a pedalo out as a family. All of that was included in the resort fee.
The only extra costs would be to hire jet-skis or paddleboards.
*Dining freedom – Having a good range of options to either self-cater, grab a takeaway pizza, eat at a casual spot right on the beach or enjoy a more formal seafood meal means there is a suitable option for everyone depending on your mood that day.
*Check activity timings – we nearly missed the zip wire as the staff were very strict on finishing it one evening despite a queue of excited children.
Some activities didn’t seem to be obviously available at the advertised time so be persistent and ask the staff.
*A few of the younger staff, who mainly ran the activities, were fairly laid back and casual about assisting you, in contrast to the cabana team and the restaurant staff who couldn’t do enough for you.
*Evening entertainment – if the timings work out try to catch the stunning sunsets on the beach and go to the children’s entertainment.
We saw a great magic show where our daughter was on stage as the assistant and also a fun pirate theme games night.
*The beach is best early and late. Sunrise and sunset are the most spectacular times to be on the sand or in the sea, particularly during the hotter months between April and November.
*Explore both resorts on arrival – it is hard to navigate RumFish and it’s bigger, sister hotel the Grand Island Resort so have a good walk round and check out where all the activities are and restaurants are located.
*Don’t miss the s’mores – there is a fire pit lit every night at RumGish with s’mores to toast on an open fire. It was a lovely way to end the evening and a proper American treat.
RumFish Beach Resort information
Address: RumFish Beach Resort, 6000 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706, United States
How to book: For the best rates book direct at www.tradewindsresort.com/rumfish
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*We received a complimentary stay for the purpose of this review, all views are our own.