Sea Jay Motel: A Treasure Island, Florida Treasure

Treasure Island, on Florida’s Gulf Coast is a perfect playground of easy-going beach enjoyment. The Sea Jay Motel, just a block from the beach, matches Treasure Island’s easy-going vibe. 

Sea Jay Hotel, Treasure Island, Florida

Why Treasure Island and Sea Jay Motel?

On a morning stroll along the Treasure Island Beach Trail, I talked with a man who proclaimed Treasure Island a perfect getaway. A friend of mine who now lives in Sarasota but grew up in Detroit recalls his family trips to Treasure Island when he was a kid. During my one-night stay, I thought how much fun it would be to come back with my family that includes a 6-year-old, as well as a college senior. The Sea Jay’s offerings are a perfect motel for such a venture.

Sea Jay Motel shuffleboard court

The shuffleboard court

There is a throwback Old Florida feel that entices one to relax and settle in. One couple, sitting on their patio furniture outside their room when I arrived, gave me a few seasoned traveler’s trips. The Sea Jay Motel and Treasure Island are their home-away-from home for two weeks each year. The wife enjoys playing shuffleboard and appreciates the rules and scoring directions hanging by the motel’s shuffleboard court. Another plus is the quietness of the location, but with easy access to the beach and restaurants.  

The beach at Treasure Island near Sea Jay Motel

Each morning, they walk along the beach for a few miles. Easy access to other parts of Florida is another plus. They were heading to Fort DeSoto State Park when I was heading to St. Petersburg to meet my friend at The Dali Museum.  The Dali Museum has the largest collection of Salvador Dali paintings in the world and worth a visit. 

Sea Jay Motel Accommodations

Another reason Sea Jay Motel receives high marks is the guest rooms. There are several room configurations to accommodate various traveler’s needs. I didn’t need a One Bedroom Suite, but it was great to have. The living space of this option includes a full kitchen on one side and a living room that can comfortably seat six people, seven with three people on the couch. The 55″ flat screen TV, coffee table, lamps and Florida themed art do give a homey feel. There’s also a small table and two chairs for dining purposes.

Sea Jay Motel living room

The kitchen section has ample counter space for meal prep, a sink, a good-sized refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, utensils, pots and pans and enough dinner ware and glasses for four people. As I poked through the drawers and opened cabinets, I was pleased to notice a can opener and a corkscrew among the useful gadgets. 

Sea Jay Motel guest room kitchen

The Florida color palate of the kitchenware that matches the aquamarine blue of the stove and pinky peach of the counters and walls is a well-done touch. It felt a bit upscale 1950s or 1960s. Quite fun.

The soft grey bathroom tiles and dusty rose sink and tub also have that old school Florida feel. So does the bedroom. Like the rest there are several contemporary touches. The dark turquoise plush blanket bedspread, beach scene modern art, flat screen TV and modern furnishings add to an “I wish I had more than one day here” feeling. I can see why the couple I met returns each year.

Sea Jay Hotel bedroomAlthough the ambiance is throwback, the Sea Jay Motel is updated.

Sea Jay Motel Pool and Grounds

About two weeks before my stay, I received a call from Sea Jay Motel’s management telling me that the updated pool would not be finished when I arrived. If it mattered, I could cancel. Honestly, I don’t like to swim, or sit by a pool, so I came anyway. Plus, I was connected to the idea of Treasure Island and a Sea Jay Motel stay.

The pool will be wonderful when it is completed, and the landscaping finished. When the pool is completed, guests will have a lovely view of the marina. Before a wall blocked this view. For those who like to sit in water, there is a wide shelf in the shallow end. New paving and stairs have already been put in around the motel. Landscaping here involves leafy palm trees and lovely flowers. This new pool is replacing the hotel’s original one. 

Regardless of the pool, I’m so glad I found the Sea Jay Motel while looking for a place near Sarasota and St. Petersburg where I was connecting with friends before heading up towards Fort Walton Beach. 

Other Rooms and Suites at the Sea Jay Motel

In addition to my suite configuration, there are several others that accommodate two to four people. Some rooms adjoin. My room cost at was $151 or book directly from Sea Jay Motel’s website. Rates range from $139 to $179. 

Post and photos by Jamie Rhein

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