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The Karol Hotel, named after developer’s wife, opens in Clearwater

The K Club bar and K Club Bistro also are open inside the 12-story hotel in Feather Sound.
The new Karol Hotel held its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.
The new Karol Hotel held its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]
Published Feb. 6, 2020
Updated Feb. 7, 2020

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.”

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"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.

Fred and Karol Bullard, the owners of the Karol Hotel, get their picture taken before a media tour of the Karol Hotel, 2675 Ulmerton Road, on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 in Clearwater. The Karol Hotel is a 123-room Marriott-affiliated boutique hotel opening late fall 2019 at Feather Sound.
Fred and Karol Bullard, the owners of the Karol Hotel, get their picture taken before a media tour of the Karol Hotel, 2675 Ulmerton Road, on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 in Clearwater. The Karol Hotel is a 123-room Marriott-affiliated boutique hotel opening late fall 2019 at Feather Sound. [ DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times ]

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 Karol Hotel held its official opening on Thursday..
The Karol Hotel held its official opening on Thursday.. [ The Karol Hotel ]

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.