Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Guy Harvey Outpost Review

Noah turned seven on September 6th, my little baby who it seems like only yesterday was born. I wasn't sure what we should do to celebrate beyond the normal cake and presents. I had a couple ideas. Noah kind of wanted a party but with friends but since he was in a whole new class I didn't know how to get in touch with the other parents. Noah had been mentioning all summer about wanting to stay in a hotel for a night so, I thought what an awesome way to celebrate turning seven. We live in the land of hotels, but I already had one in mind. It is no secret Noah loves fish. He also is a huge Guy Harvey fan. So, it made perfect sense to stay at the Guy HarveyOutpost for a night. In case you aren't familiar with Guy Harvey he is an artist who specializes in drawing and painting fish. Guy Harvey is a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer. With a Ph.D. in Fisheries Biology, Dr. Harvey is one of the world’s most recognized and celebrated marine wildlife artists. His artwork is the foundation of Guy Harvey Inc, a major publishing, merchandising and licensing organization. Harvey is a vocal and active advocate for marine conservation, having established the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University of Fort Lauderdale, Florida to provide scientific information necessary for effective conservation and restoration of fish resources and biodiversity. He is a trustee of the prestigious International Game Fishing Association, and founder of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, organized to support initiatives of the institute and other marine research, education and conservation organizations. He is Chairman and co-founder of Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, emphasizing sustainable tourism, marine conservation and water sports recreation.

The Guy Harvey Outpost is a Tradewinds resort. It is located on St. Pete Beach. We were all really excited to arrive after we had lunch. It is about a 10 minute drive from our house so that was really nice. The first thing we noticed was the building complete with a fish painted on it. I knew we would feel right at home. The lobby of the hotel was gorgeous and the hallways to the pools were covered in beautiful paintings of fish and sea life. Everyone at Guy Harvey Outpost was very nice. The man at the front desk was especially nice. I could tell everyone working there loved their job.  We couldn't wait to get to our room and change in to our swimsuits. The resort is right on the beach and the view from our suite was begging us to come play in the ocean.  Our suite was one of the nicest rooms I have ever stayed in. We all loved the Guy Harvey decor. There were of course paintings on the wall but even the bed spread was Guy Harvey. We really liked looking at all the different things in the room. It was a 400 square foot suite with a separate bedroom. It had two queen sized beds in the bedroom and a couch that folded out in to an extra bed. It had a full sized refrigerator. It also had a small range and even dishes. The kitchen area was so nice to have because Noah is a milk drinker. We had a microwave which was good because I brought popcorn as a snack. There was also a mini bar that no one was allowed to touch. If you even pick it up it charges you. I threatened Legos on that one because it contained candy. I wanted to make sure he knew I meant business.  

I was happy to see that they are an Autism friendly hotel. They have activities in their Lil' Guys Kids Program that are tailored to children with Autism. I know that must be a blessing to parents of children with Autism.  Tradewinds and Guy Harvey even held the Autism Education conference in January that my mom attended.  They specifically chose Tradewinds for their convention because of the Autism friendliness of the hotels. 

We went down to the beach and swam in the ocean for a little bit. It was so beautiful. The water was so warm and the beach was so clean. You could see through the water most of the time which was very cool. Noah and I spent a lot of time floating and jumping waves together. We left the beach for happy hour. They have delicious rum punch that my mom and I both enjoyed responsibly of course.  After happy hour and a dip in one of the pools, my mom walked to Publix to get us some sandwiches for a picnic on the beach at sunset. When she returned we put our swimsuits back on and headed back down to the beach. Noah and I made a beeline to the ocean. We were pretty much running. As it does often this time of year, it started raining. We packed up and had our picnic in our suite and were able to watch the sunset from inside. We had a huge floor to ceiling glass door. After dinner l decided I wanted to go to The Oasis. The Oasis is the adults’ only area. They have a pool and a really nice hot tub. I spent quite a bit of time down there. It was so relaxing and nice. The hot tub was so hot.  It felt so good on my tired body and sore muscles. When I returned to the room my mom said that she thought I had shriveled up because I was gone for a while. I was just so relaxed.  Noah was fast asleep dreaming about fishing with Guy Harvey and painting with him too. I hung out in the living area for a while until I was ready to go to sleep. The beds were extremely comfortable. They were so soft and plush. 

The next morning we woke up bright and early.  We had a lot we wanted to do. The cool thing about Guy Harvey Outpost is that there is so much to do.  Since it is a Tradewinds Resort you can use both resorts amenities. The extremely helpful man at guest services told me about the cabana rentals. He suggested that I reserve it online the night before. I was surprised at the availability when I reserved it. We had a second row cabana. I picked number 29 because that's the day my birthday is on so I would remember. The resort charges a resort fee. It is $35 and so worth it. One of the things we were unsure about was if we had to pay to park. It was included in the fee. The cabana rental was also included. That right there with parking was worth the resort fee. You can also have access to the water slides, the paddle boats and other cool activities. I think it is totally worth it.

We started off having breakfast at Guy's Gulfside Grill. I had two eggs sunny side up, hash browns, bacon and toast. My mom had a three egg omelet filled with all sorts of vegetables and bacon with freshly squeezed orange juice. Noah had the Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries and syrup. Noah and I both drank apple juice. It was very good too. Our meal was very good and we were all stuffed. After we ate, we went to the Guy Harvey gift shop. One of my mom's friends gave Noah some money as a birthday present and he thought that would be a great place to spend it. He wanted to get something special. He bought a dolphin carved out of wood and a necklace with a shark made out of stone. He really wanted a stuffed Winter the Dolphin but since we live so close to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium I told him we could get one on our next trip there. I saw a dress in the window of the gift shop that I fell in love with. I found out shortly after that it is actually a swimsuit cover up. It is has sailfish all over it. It is so pretty. I tried it on and I bought it. I decided I would also wear it as a dress. I like to get things that I can make multipurpose. I have already worn it as a dress and no one would know that it's a swimsuit cover up. We ran our purchases up to the room and  I claimed our cabana.  We headed over to The Tradewinds.

We wanted to go paddle boating.  I wasn't 100% sure what it was. I was thinking you have ores but no you paddle with your legs. It was fun. It was definitely a workout for those who paddled. There were little rivers on the property complete with ducks and a beautiful swan. You go under bridges and all over the place. Noah was a trooper because he wanted to paddle. He made it the whole time.  We were able to take some great pictures.  We also explored the Tradewinds. They have a bunch of different restaurants and neat stores. We found the ice cream shop and wanted to come back later for some ice cream. 

We went down to our cabana on the beach. Noah and I made a beeline for the water. We spent more time in the water floating and jumping waves.  I asked Noah what he thought about the resort. He said, "This is the best hotel ever.  I love it" and gave it two thumbs up repeatedly through out our stay. Noah loves to "snorkel" so he had his snorkel and mask with him in the ocean. There were schools of small fish swimming around. He got a kick out of seeing them wild. We alternated time in the water and in the shade of our cabana. I would see big fish swimming in the water. When we were in the water we saw some people with a net. They had caught a sting ray. They took it out to take pictures before returning it to the water.  We found some inhabited shells. The resort shares the same rule we do. If there is someone living in the shell it stays there. I was able to find a few different neat shells that were vacant. The coolest thing was when Noah was snorkeling and looking at a school of small fish, he brought up his head and then a bunch of sting rays swam with us. Noah was pretty freaked out while it was going on but loved it afterwards. Good thing we know to do the stingray shuffle.  The stingray shuffle is where you shuffle your feet instead of picking them up to walk. That way you won't step on a ray and get stung or hurt the ray. We swam with wild stingrays without going on a special trip to do so. In all the times I have been in the ocean, which is more than I can count. I have never swum with wild sting rays. They were just hanging out and it was so neat to be so close to them.  We have petted them at the zoo but this was amazing.  Before we left we took another dip in the pool. We also made our way to the ice cream shop. They have Working Cow ice cream which is made right here in Saint Petersburg. There were many flavors to choose from. I had a hard time choosing. I had Cookies n Cream. My mom had Captain Butterscotch. Noah, who is on a cherry kick, had black cherry complete with a cherry on top. We sat under an umbrella and enjoyed our ice cream. We watched the beach and then it was finally time to check out and go home. At this point Noah had asked me a few times if we could come back next weekend to Guy Harvey Outpost. We did decide we are going to go to the beach more often and stay at Guy Harvey Outpost again sometime.

I received a media rate for my stay at Guy Harvey Outpost to facilitate my review.  All thoughts and opinions are our own.


  1. Woah, sting rays! This sounds like a really cool place. And how awesome that they are autism-friendly!

  2. I love the brightness of the room, it's very inviting. Very cool they have programs for children with Autism! It would have been neat to see a stingray!

  3. WOW, that just looks beautiful!! Sounds like Noah had a ton of fun! I'd love to go somewhere like that...

  4. Oh wow, that looks incredible! What a great way to spend his birthday!