Trading into a resort on the Gulf side of Florida in January or February can be difficult at best. We had never seriously considered doing this before, but wanted to try to get a place on that side of Florida to be near some friends who spend the winter months there. So about 10 months ago we started scouting out RCI to see what our chances were.
Actually, we were surprised to find that 5 or 6 resorts came up. Some of the reviews were terrible (thank you, TUG), and some of the dates did not fit into our schedule. We spent about a month tracking resorts, checking every day to see if something new would come up. Finally, we settled on Coral Shores Resort, in North Redington Beach. After checking 2 reviews and their website, we took the plunge.
AND, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Coral Shores is a hidden jewel of a resort right on the ocean. It is small (19 units) and appears to be excellently managed by Paul and Sharon Francis who are actually present at the resort more days than not.
We lucked out in getting Unit 208 which is a one bedroom with an oceanfront balcony—apparently only 3 units are right on the ocean. This is a converted motel, and so the square footage is not huge, but for a couple it was fine. The unit was well-decorated and clean. The kitchen cupboards looked new, as did the refrigerator. There wasn’t a lot of counter space, but the kitchen was well-stocked with everything we needed.
The bathroom was small, but again, everything was where it needed to be. The supplies of tissue and toilet paper were more than adequate, and better than most other resorts. The bedroom had a large closet, queen bed, dresser, 2 nightstands and an extra chair—nice average size.
This resort has efficiency units as well as 1 and 2 bedrooms. There are stairs to the second floor units and to one 3rd floor unit. They have numerous pictures of all the units on their website. Coral Shores consists of 2 buildings built in a U-shape. A coin laundry is available onsite.
The resort property is efficiently compact to include a shuffleboard court, lovely pool area and hot tub. The beach area is nice with tiki huts that provide shade. Free coffee is offered every morning poolside and some guests gather there to chat. Sunset is also a popular time for socializing here. There are some watercraft available to resort guests at no cost. Other than an owners’ meeting, there are no organized activities.
There is attractive greenery and foliage throughout the property, and a pretty fountain sits near the office and entrance area. Parking is located at the front of the resort, with extra parking available on the street. There are several good restaurants in the immediate area, as well as 2 major grocery stores and a Walgreens within 2 or 3 miles. Coral Shores is also within easy driving distance to John’s Pass (3 miles), a shopping and restaurant complex.
While in the area, we enjoyed a day trip to Tarpon Springs, home to sponge diving and wonderful Greek food. We also did a day trip to Sarasota and toured the Ringling complex and St. Armands Circle. Closer to the resort, we shopped at the Wagon Wheel Flea Market (open weekends) and visited The Pier in St. Petersburg. We spent some quality time with our friends at their condo complex and enjoyed a pizza party and several meals. What with shopping at Bealls and enjoying the beach at the resort, we had more than enough to do—in fact, we hope to get back to do a few more things that we didn’t get to!
If you like smaller resorts right on the ocean, you might want to consider renting or buying here. They have several units available for the cost of the maintenance fee (very reasonable) and a $160 closing fee. The foreclosure rate here is far less than most resorts. Overall, we had a great experience here, and look forward to returning in the future!