The historic Belleview Inn is one of Florida’s best kept secrets. Just minutes from Clearwater and Tampa this gorgeous hotel is a real gem. Whether you’re looking for a unique experience in Southwest Florida or just want to a relaxing weekend getaway, the Belleview Inn in Belleair, Florida is a great option. Just minutes away from Clearwater Beach this beautiful historic Inn gives you the rare opportunity to relax and unwind while you as you take a step back in time.
The Belleview’s unique history
Located in Belleair, Florida, the Bellview Inn has a very unique and captivating history. Originally constructed in 1897, this historic Florida hotel began as one of Henry Plants’ original destinations for his railroad. Sadly, the 35-room inn was forced to close its doors more than 10 years ago after hurricane damage nearly destroyed the historic site.
Three years ago, a developer took on the monumental task of restoring the Bellview to its former glory. From the restoration of the Inn’s original wood exterior to the repair of nearly 100 panels of stained glass in the recreated Tiffany Room, the hotel’s renovation was completed with so much attention to detail.
The architecture of the Bellview Inn is just gorgeous. As an architect, I really appreciated the great attention that was given in restoring the hotel exterior to its original glory. I especially love its small scale and how the hotel maintains that old Florida vibe. It’s a truly unique place to stay.
The interior has been completely refurbished to create spaces that are modern and elegant yet maintain that feeling of a small Inn and make you feel right at home.
I loved learning about the history of the Belleview and the area. You can take a free guided tour and you can even see some of the original artifacts in the reading room along with a movie about the history of the building and the area.
There are also lots of historic photographs giving you a glimpse into what Bellaire was like back in its days of glory. You can even get a glimpse into the building’s structure and see the architectural blueprints.
A small hotel with amazing service
We loved the personal service, the small scale and the intimacy of the Belleview Inn. The staff really went above and beyond to make sure we had the best experience.
From the moment we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised with the complimentary wine and cheese board. There where delicious chocolates at turndown along with fun historical facts about the hotel and city of Bellair.
Our favorite amenity was the breakfast basket left outside our doorstep every morning along with the local newspaper. The wicker basket is filled with delicious muffins, orange juice, and fruit. Having breakfast all together in the room was such a great way to start the day!
Luxurious, comfortable and spacious rooms
The rooms are spacious and comfortable. I loved the decor which was reminiscent of the historic hotel’s glory years yet it was contemporary and provided all of the modern luxuries you would expect in a five star hotel.
We stayed in a pool-view junior suite which was perfect for our family of four. With two queen beds and a sitting parlor with a mini-refrigerator and coffee machine.
Great dining options
Although there are no restaurants at the Belleview Inn Maisie’s Market Place inside the inn offers guests an array of breakfast options, as well as artisanal cheeseboards paired with beer or wine.
You can enjoy a delicious meal surrounded at the restaurant at the Belleair Country Club, just steps away from the hotel. With great views of the course, delicious food, and an elegant dining atmosphere it’s the perfect place for a romantic evening or a family lunch.
There are also lots of great restaurants near the hotel. We got some great recommendations from the front desk.
So much to do
The history of the area isn’t confined to the Inn. The hotel is also located on Florida’s oldest and original golf course, which was designed by Donald Ross in 1897.
As a “city within a city,” Bellaire is surrounded by a variety of great attractions in the Clearwater area including Clearwater beach, Pier 60, Clearwater Aquarium and Tarpon Springs. During our weekend at the Belleview, we never ran out of fun family-friendly things to do.
The Clearwater AquariumClearwater Aquarium is a great place for visiting with kids and learning about ocean conservation and stewardship. My kids loved learning about the rescued animals that call the Clearwater Aquarium home and meeting Winter and Hope, a pair of dolphins who starred in the movies Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2.
Tarpon Springs was a fun and unique place to visit. We spent the day learning about its history, checking out the sponge docks and eating authentic Greek food.
Through a partnership with the Inn’s sister hotel, Sandpearl Resort, guests can enjoy semi-private beach access after a quick drive to the coast.
After a fun morning at the beach, it was great to come back to the beautiful and peaceful pool at the Belleview and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
Since Bellair is only a 2 ½ hour drive from Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Southwest Florida residents can easily take a fun trip for the weekend. On top of the awesome attractions in Clearwater, you can also see a variety attractions along the way, including the Ringling Circus Museum in Sarasota, Longboat and Siesta Key, and Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.
With so much to see and do, there’s no better reason to book your weekend stay today! Visit the Belleview Inn’s website to book your weekend getaway right now.
If you are looking for more fun things to do in the Clearwater and Tampa area with kids check out these articles: