I drove down a peaceful brick-lined street and arrived at a stunning historic home, surrounded by meticulously manicured grounds. Warmly greeted by Matthew, he graciously invited me to explore his beautifully restored residence and the secluded Hibiscus Hideaway—a charming 450-square-foot bungalow nestled within lush gardens. Appropriately named, this rental property comes complete with a hidden outdoor shower!
Ensconced in vibrant foliage, the property emanated a sense of tranquility. As we toured, I couldn't help but revel at the plants and shrubbery, the captivating banyan tree, and the enticing pool. I could clearly see myself unwinding at this oasis, basking in solitude after a bustling day of downtown shopping or a sun-soaked adventure at St Pete Beach.
After the tour, our conversation flowed freely and was fueled by our shared appreciation for the history of St. Petersburg. He shared his passion to further preserve the town's rich heritage by dedicating his time running the popular StPeteWiki.com website, encouraging user engagement and the perpetuation of its historical significance.
During our discussion, we delved into the intricate aspects of renovating his main house and the Hibiscus Hideaway. It became abundantly clear that Matthew placed immense value on honoring the property's history while safeguarding its unique architectural features.
Reflecting on the entirety of our conversation, what resonated with me the most was his strong emphasis on the profound gratitude derived from knowing that his property provides guests with a serene sanctuary to unwind and fully immerse in the tranquil beauty of Florida.
I extend my thanks to Matthew for graciously opening his doors and inviting me in. His unwavering dedication to the care and preservation of his historic home and the Hibiscus Hideaway, is truly commendable. Through his endeavors, he has breathed new life into architectural treasures, enriching the towns we reside in by instilling a deep appreciation for the heritage that surrounds us.
As I departed from the property, I couldn't help but reflect on the significance of preserving our history and the profound impact it has on our collective identity. Matthew's commitment to history stands as an inspiration for us all to cherish and protect the architectural and cultural gems that render our communities unique.
...if you find yourself on property, be sure to keep an eye out for Annie Russell's initials delicately carved into stone, a timeless mark that has adorned this place since around 1925. If you're curious to delve deeper into the rich history of the house, don't hesitate to engage Matthew in conversation. I have a feeling he wouldn't mind the ask.
Find the Hibiscus Hideaway here --> https://tinyurl.com/ywustf6v
The "Host Behind the House" series was created with the intention of shedding light on the captivating brand story of a remarkable guest house host. By providing an intimate glimpse into the life and personality of the host, this series allows guests to develop a deeper appreciation for their stay. In a world where platforms like Airbnb were built upon the fundamental concept of offering a "home away from home," it becomes crucial to comprehend the host's narrative in order to truly embrace the essence of their unique abode.