CLEARWATER — Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Fred Bullard’s gesture of love for his wife, a boutique hotel bearing her name, has officially opened.
The Karol Hotel held its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday at 2675 Ulmerton Road. Bullard’s wife, Karol Bullard, jokes her husband — a veteran developer — ran out of other name ideas. Now the Karol is Pinellas County’s first Marriott Tribute hotel, a distinction Marriott gives to boutique hotels with “a distinct indie spirit.”
"Our vision for The Karol Hotel has become a reality, with a spectacular finished product that beautifully captures the spirit of hotel owners Fred and Karol Bullard,” the hotel’s manager, Adam Duffey, said in a statement.
The 123-room hotel, restaurant and rooftop bar is located in Feather Sound. Although the K Club bar and K Club Bistro are open now to guests, the Vantage rooftop bar won’t be open until the end of the month.
The Bullards own the property, which once held a stretch of bars.
In creating the 12-story hotel, the couple infused kernels from their own lives into its design. Some are more overt, such as the Princess K ballroom (for Karol, of course) that can hold 200 guests. But the Ruby Room, a smaller group space, is named for her birthstone.
The K Club bar, which is just off the hotel’s lobby, was designed after one of Fred Bullard’s favorite places: New York’s Polo Bar.
Visitors who are not staying at the hotel can still visit its bistro for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch and dinner. The bar also is open daily.