Any resort aficionados can tell you that Miami Beach is the go-to hub for luxury oceanfront resorts. Yet, sometimes we need an escape from a bustling metropolitan, but still, crave a well-appointed accommodation that a big city offers.

That’s where Opal Sands Resort fits in. Located in the tranquil seaside town of Clearwater Beach, this edgy, Miami-inspired resort, which opened spring 2016, offers first-class amenities and modern decor with the laid-back appeal that Florida’s Gulf Coast is praised for. Located a mile south of its established, old-world sister property, Sandpearl Resort, it’s no wonder locals refer to Opal Sands as the Sandpearl’s sassy new younger sister.

Let’s dive into Opal Sands Resort to experience why it’s listed as one of the top 10 Florida resorts for Conde Nast Traveler’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Design Appeal

From a glance, the resort has a distinct presence along Clearwater’s waterfront. Notable architects Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates, whose repertoire includes The Miami Beach EDITION and Fontainebleau Miami Beach, designed the sleek, curved contemporary exterior. Each of its 230 guest rooms and suites features floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and sprawling balconies.

Chic meets coastal throughout the resort’s interior design, where a myriad of blues, greens and white merge to create an edgy-yet-refined setting. Throughout the lobby, art connoisseurs can peruse an array of opulent beach-inspired sculptures and paintings commissioned by famed Florida artist, Christopher Still with assist from local artists.

The Dining Scene

The most difficult decision you’ll have at the resort is choosing how to spend your day. You can’t go wrong in selecting the pool, playa or promenade. We suggest ­gliding into the resort’s zero-entry pool, home to Reflections Pool Bar, before making your way to the beachfront Tiki Hut dubbed Sandbar for sunset. Sip on the resort’s famed Killer Colada, house specialty Beachside Mary topped with colossal shrimp or Opal’s Tangerine Wheat beer brewed locally by Deep Blue Brewing. Hungry? Order a round of spinach and artichoke crab dip, fish tacos or grouper nuggets to share with loved ones. Save room to dine at Sea Guini Restaurant and Lounge, Opal Sands’ fine dining seafood and Italian restaurant specializing in wow-worthy cocktails, like the Smokey Old Fashioned infused with hickory smoke, and handmade pasta and Italian-inspired seafood dishes. Don’t be surprised if there are just as many locals dining at Sea Guini as there are guests. You know a restaurant is great when it’s a favorite among natives.

Luxury Amenities

Spa: With a state-of-the-art fitness center overlooking the gulf and full-service spa featuring five treatment rooms, a salon and indoor-outdoor relaxation rooms, it’s easy to find a reason not to leave the resort for the day…or weekend. We recommend the spa’s Signature Body Renewal, which incorporates dry brush exfoliation with a full-body massage to help promote blood circulation that will leave you invigorated and ready tackle the day.

Courtesy Rolls Royce: No need to call a taxi for a night out on the town. With the assistance from the concierge, guests can arrive at their evening outing in style with the resort’s complimentary Rolls Royce chauffeur service that drives hotel guests to any destination on Clearwater Beach.

Complimentary Beach Cruisers: Get the lay of the land and soak up rays while peddling through Beach Walk on complimentary beach cruisers. The winding promenade begins at Opal Sands Resort and extends north. Spend the afternoon cycling past pristine beaches, Pier 60, unique shops and a myriad of restaurants and sweet shops.

Refreshment Nooks: Need a sugar fix? Opal has you covered with refreshment nooks located on each guestroom floor. The grab-and-go alcove is stocked daily with unlimited bottled water, warm cookies, fresh fruit and daily newspapers. Did we mention free cookies?

Sunset Wine & Cheese packages: Guests looking to retreat to their room for the evening can book a sunset wine and cheese package to set the scene for a romantic and relaxed sundown with a loved one. Pick from a variety of California or Washington wines and room service will pair it with a complimentary cheese and deliver to your room prior to sunset.

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