Make us your home page

Hyatt Aqualea Resort's coral palette a bright spot on Clearwater Beach

The bright coral shades of the Hyatt Aqualea Resort, under construction on Clearwater Beach, make it stand out.


The bright coral shades of the Hyatt Aqualea Resort, under construction on Clearwater Beach, make it stand out.

CLEARWATER — Early architectural renderings of Clearwater Beach's newest hotel gave it a soft, mellow, ivory-and-pink color scheme. But now that it's getting its first paint job, the Hyatt Aqualea Resort is showing its true colors.

It's bright. It's bold. It's three different shades of a sort of shocking pink-peach-orange color. It's definitely a departure from the muted tones of recent beach arrivals like the Sandpearl Resort and Mandalay Beach Club.

The hotel's developer calls the color "coral."

On the beach, where the 250-suite resort is currently under construction, passers-by are giving the color scheme mixed reviews.

"Wow, is that something! Like a radioactive tangerine. But I could learn to like it," said beachgoer Annie Devereaux of Pennsylvania.

"It's a little garish, but it's kind of cool, kind of art deco," said Kevin Burkett of Largo. "To me it says 'Florida,' you know?"

"It's a little much," said Joanie Maynard of Clearwater. "At least it's beachy. Isn't the Don CeSar pink?"

And that's the point, the Aqualea's developer says.

Both of Pinellas County's current iconic waterfront hotels, the Don CeSar Beach Resort and the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, happen to be a striking pink color.

"I think it says a lot about the location and about the profile of this hotel. We want to see the Aqualea established as an icon of Clearwater Beach," said Neil Rauenhorst, president of NJR Development.

"When people come over the bridge, we want them to see the Aqualea. When they're on the beach, they'll see this beautiful structure in the sun. When they leave, we want them to have that image in their mind — that they were in a beautiful place."

Its pink precursor, the Don CeSar on St. Pete Beach, is widely known as the Pink Palace, the Pink Lady, the Pink Castle or just "the big pink wedding cake." It's so recognizable, boaters use it as a navigational aid. Built in the 1920s, its original color came from pink lime mixed into its stucco.

The Vinoy in downtown St. Petersburg, another 1920s-era landmark, is also known for its salmon-toned exterior.

As for the Aqualea, it opens in December. Despite the current economy, Rauenhorst sees a bright future: "It's astounding to me how crowded the beach is every time I see it."

The resort will include 250 condo-hotel units, 18 larger residential condos, a 750-space parking garage, a spa, fitness center, club, pool and restaurant.

And exterior walls painted three shades of coral.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at or (727) 445-4160.

Hyatt Aqualea Resort's coral palette a bright spot on Clearwater Beach 03/12/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 12, 2009 8:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Related Group breaks ground on complex at old Tampa Tribune site

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — When Miami developer Jorge Perez first eyed a 4.2-acre tract on the west bank of the Hillsborough River two years ago, people asked him if he wouldn't prefer to build on the opposite side closer to the downtown core.

    No way.

    From left, Related Group executive associate Arturo Penaa, Jorge Perez, center, founder and CEO of the Related Group, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Steve Patterson, the President of Related Development dig their shovels  during the groundbreaking ceremony of the 400 unit Riverwalk Manor apartment complex on site of the old Tampa Tribune building on Wednesday. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
  2. Eat 3-course meals for $35 at these 100 restaurants for Orlando's Magical Dining Month

    Food & Dining

    In the early 1900s, hotels offered "table d'hote" or "prix fixe" menus as a form of loss leader. Hotels didn't necessarily make money on these lower-priced, multi-course meals, often served at communal tables, but they made up for it on the booze. Prohibition may have contributed to a gradual shift toward a la carte …

    Bulla Gastrobar serves a variety of Spanish and Portuguese dishes.
  3. Plant City farmer hopes robot pickers can save strawberry industry from shrinking labor force


    PLANT CITY — If current trends continue, the region's status as a major strawberry producer will depend in large part on what happens in Mexico.

    Strawberry pickers work during the daytime, when fruit is more likely to bruise. Machine pickers can work at night. The owner of Wish Farms in Plant City is developing automated pickers and hopes to see them at work on a widespread basis in five years. [Times file]
  4. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman sells house for $3 million to new player

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman's multi-million Davis Islands home is staying in the Lightning family. Yzerman sold his 6,265-square-foot house Monday to new defenseman Dan Girardi for $3 million.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman sold for $3 million Monday to Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi. | [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]
  5. Trigaux: As Florida seeks top 10 status as best business state, red flag rises on workforce


    In the eternal quest to appeal more to business than other states, Florida's managed to haul itself out of some pretty mediocre years. After scoring an impressive 8 among 50 states way back in 2007, Florida suffered horribly during and immediately after the recession. Its rank sank as low as No. 30 only four years ago, …

    Florida's trying to make strides in preparing its high school and college graduates for the rapidly changing skill sets of today's workforce. But the latest CNBC ranking of the best and worst states for business gave Florida poor marks for education, ranking No. 40 (tied with South Carolina for education) among the 50 states. Still, Florida ranked No. 12 overall in the best business states annual ranking. [Alan Berner/Seattle Times]