As I’ve written about before, my friend Hottie and I love to celebrate our birthdays together. For the past 15 years, we’ve had a tradition where we plan an entire day of festivities for the other person. This past March, I took it up a notch and combined Hottie’s b-day celebration with a weekend trip to Portland, where we rode bikes, shot guns, and ate viking food.
It was awesome.
Now it’s her turn. In a fun twist, Hottie is coming with me to the Frequent Traveler University in Tampa next week (more on that soon). So we’re pre-loading the weekend with an extra day for adventures. Normally, the day’s activities are a surprise, but yesterday, Hottie emailed me with a question: for Thursday night, suite at the Grand Hyatt Tampa, or mystery hotel?
When it comes to hotels, I don’t really like surprises. Hottie knows this, so she quickly followed up with another email.
Most of our activities are based in St. Petersburg, so how about the Postcard Inn? A good friend of mine stayed there and she said it was clean, with an old 60’s surfer décor, more def on the kitchy side. The grounds are nice and maintained. It used to be an old Travelodge and was renovated but at the end of the day it is an old motel. It is a fun place to catch the sunset.
This brings up some interesting questions. I am an advocate of knowing your travel style and sticking to it. In fact, I should write a post on this, because I think it is important and can potentially save you (and everyone around you) a ton of grief and angst. My travel style is similar to my lifestyle; I know that I am most comfortable and happy with extremes. In other words, I either want to be pampered in a luxury hotel, or have to make it work in a rustic hut with no electricity or running water.
I decided to do a little research. I came across this enchanting photo of the Postcard Inn grounds at night. Doesn’t it look magical?
Then I found another, less professionally staged photo of the same area. A little less magical.
And then I found one taken during the day. Where did the magic go?
All right. Maybe it’s not magical. But it could still be a hidden gem. I read a review on The Coolist. The reviewer described the Postcard as “a vintage vacation spot for culture-minded travelers.” Normally I am not a fan of vintage. I get the creeps thinking about what might be lurking and lingering in all that old upholstery.
But the review kept pulling me in with praise such as, “it feels like the place the locals go to avoid the tourists, the secret getaway that is only accessible to those in-the-know.”
I should mention that I used one of my precious Hyatt Diamond suite upgrades for Thursday night at the Grand Hyatt Tampa. (It was a “use it or lose it” situation). So I’m kind of reluctant to just let it go. But maybe I should. The Grand Hyatt isn’t all that special, plus we are already going to be there for the weekend. But on the other hand, I’ll get Hyatt points and stay credit for the night. And I used my suite upgrade. But maybe the Postcard is too kitschy for me.
Clearly I am caught in the throes of indecision. I could use some help.
What do you all think?