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Reviewed 18 May 2018 via mobile

Saddlebrook gets a solid B. Not great, not awful. Tennis was good ... accommodations ok...on site restaurants ... boring. The grounds ... if you like palm trees... are lovely. What else is there to say? While I was there very quiet, few guests,

Stayed: May 2018, travelled solo
Thank Susanagogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobSaddlebrook, Manager at Saddlebrook Resort Tampa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hello Susanagogo, thanks for the review. We're glad you enjoyed the tennis. We hope you'll come back and play!

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Reviewed 16 May 2018

I host an annual meeting at Saddlebrook every year and each year our guests are excited to come again. The food is great, the staff is SO friendly and you can tell its a family operated property from the attention to detail that you receive from everyone working on property. We host an evening event on the fairway and poolside and the attendees just love it. Alexis Dempsey is by far the best CSM I have ever worked with. The only downside to the property are the guest rooms as they could really use an upgrade. The meeting space has been completely redone and is modern and clean.

Room Tip: Try to get a room closest to the pool and clubhouse.
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank paigestoveld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobSaddlebrook, Manager at Saddlebrook Resort Tampa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hello Paigestoveld,

Thank you for your kind review! We are thrilled to hear how much you like coming back to our property. Also, thank you for pointing out the family aspect of the resort. We believe its what truly sets us apart from big chains. Seeing the value in that really means a lot to us. Alexis is great! She is a super hard worker and we are lucky to have her. We are also glad you like the new meeting space. We are designing the rooms in the same style. Hopefully they will be finished in time for your next stay with us!

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Reviewed 15 May 2018

"My wife and I showed up for 4 nights and 3 days - including 3 days of adult tennis camp. First time visit. Could not have been happier with the tennis and the instruction. Larger numbers of players each day. We had the same instructor (Will Rhame) for 5 of the six "sessions". We were both very happy with him and he added much to our games(me a 3.5, wife a 4.0). In fact for the first 3 sessions, it was just the 2 of us on a single court with Will. He kept his suggestions simple and did not try to make major changes. "Racquet back, watch the ball". Simple, but easily forgotten. On our last day, we had one player on our court who was not at the same level as other 3, which made it awkard, but was not horrible. The morning stretch with Larry is awesome an something that many adults ignore. Mostly, this was FUN. The entire staff was terrific. A much better experience than some resorts offer with a menu of clinics to sign up for. The tennis was everything we had hoped for and we will return. Howard Moore (the director) even bought us all drinks at the pool one afternoon!! We also were offered a (free) individual video analysis. As for the resort, it is a little tired and in serious need of a face lift. But the room was comfortable, the pool inviting, and the food adequate. Also, there are plenty of options off site for food and night life if one is interested. The poolside bartender was overwhelmed and a second person would be a huge upgrade. We ate breakfast and lunch in our room which saved time, energy, and $. A welcome break in the middle of 5 hours of tennis daily. It is too easy to dwell on the negatives, but our trip was fun, relaxing, and added to our tennis games and enjoyment. If one wants to ensure equal caliber of players for your level, bring a group for even more fun."—J.B., Int., May 2018

Room Tip: If there for tennis, request room near courts.
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank john b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobSaddlebrook, Manager at Saddlebrook Resort Tampa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 May 2018

Hello John B, thank you for such a kind review. We're thrilled you and your wife enjoyed the program so much. Our pros try everyday to make the lessons insightful and demanding, while at the same time remembering, tennis is about having fun! Howard has built a great team over the last 30 years and we believe our pros do just that. Though, is always great to hear feedback that our approach is being executed. We're glad that you will be back and we're looking forward to improving your game further!

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Reviewed 1 May 2018

I spent 3 days at Saddlebrook in their intensive tennis clinics. I am a 4.5 rated female player and play 5 days a week throughout the year in various clinics/drills, lessons, leagues, USTA programs. I received some of the best instruction I have ever experienced at Saddlebrook. The morning and afternoon sessions start off with a series of stretches followed by a tip of the day (whether it be serves or lobs, etc.) Howard Moore the director, took the time to teach our group the first day as well as our last morning. He was one of the most impressive instructors I have worked with in the 20+ years I have played the sport. He specifically honed in on our technical skills and was quick to identify any areas of our game that needed work. He worked relentlessly with each one of us until he saw improvement. As an advanced player, my only criticism would be that the program pay closer to attention to the levels on the court. I had to ask to be switched to a higher level court two out of the three days that I was there. Luckily, I came down with a great group of women who play at the same level so we were able to be instructed together eventually. The courts were in impeccable condition The resort grounds were magnificent but haven't been updated since the 1980s and desperately need renovation which is coming later this year. The food options were limited for such a large resort but the quality was excellent. I had a great facial at the spa, but the masseuse I had was not trained to deal with muscle tightness from sports play which was very odd considering the intensive tennis program there. The hotel staff was very sparse, I had to wait for almost 30 minutes for a drink at the pool bar. The tennis program was the main draw for me and I can't wait to return for the tennis alone. Next time, I will be sure to ask for one of the updated rooms.

Room Tip: Ask for renovated rooms
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank stellch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobSaddlebrook, Manager at Saddlebrook Resort Tampa, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2018

Hello stellch, thank you for taking the time to give us such a positive review. Getting such good feedback from a player as well trained and advanced as you means the world to us! I'm sure you have been to several other camps and worked with many coaches. So, to hear our program was the best really speaks volumes. Howard is a consummate professional who has build a professional team over the past 30 years. We are lucky to have him and his staff. Howard is a fantastic coach and leader for our professional team. We are so glad you will be back and we are already looking forward to improving your game further!

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Reviewed 28 April 2018

We (1 adult 4.5 NRP, and 1 child 13 yrs) recently visited Saddlebrook for a week-long tennis vacation. This was our second visit, returning from last year where we had a wonderful experience with the resort and tennis program. While the junior program seemed to remain strong, the adult program was well below my expectations. Here’s why:
1. The pro for the top group (mix of 4.0 and 4.5) did not provide the tennis instruction I’d expect at a place like Saddlebrook. Although I spent nearly 5 days with him, I can honestly say I didn’t really change a single aspect of my game because of it. On the other hand, in the limited time I spent with two other pros, each gave me a few tangible insights that I’ve already starting incorporating into my game. Given this mixed experience, I will likely not return to Saddlebrook unless they can guarantee that I would not be stuck the entire time with the less effective pro.

2. On one morning, they did not even have a pro assigned to us for a morning session. We stood around for a while, and then just had to play with each other without any instruction. While the tennis program did acknowledge the mistake and process a partial refund, it was not a particularly satisfying process. Generally speaking, I expect a premier resort like Saddlebrook to deliver a nearly flawless experience (or recover in an impressive way), and that simply wasn’t the case here.

3. Seems like there is also some cost cutting as compared to the past. A few minor things -- no fruit cart several of the days, higher student/pro ratios, running out of water --- again made the overall experience not as positive as prior years.

Saddlebrook has some unique strengths with their program, and I did enjoy it quite a bit the last time. However, this time I was quite disappointed with the subpar tennis instruction, and to a lesser extent some other minor things. We were hoping to make this an annual vacation for spring break each year, but I am now planning to give another resort a try next year to see how it goes.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
Thank nrmsp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RobSaddlebrook, Manager at Saddlebrook Resort Tampa, responded to this reviewResponded 18 May 2018

Hello nrmsp, I'm disappointed to hear your experience was not as good as your last trip. I would like to apologize once again for the scheduling mistake. I'm sorry the first pro you worked with was not a good fit for you. Sometimes one pro might be better for one person than the other. As seen by the other pros being able to help in a short time. Please if this happens, tell us and I promise we will address it immediately. I'm sure we can give you a great experience, and one you might have had if you simply would have been assigned to a difference coach from the start. Please allow us to improve your game again.

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