There are a number of choices when it comes to where you stay on a Floridian holiday. Tampa places visitors in the heart of the city, but a short drive away from the region’s enviable beaches. Its culinary scene is a major draw, offering a great deal of variety, thanks to the city’s infusion of Spanish and Cuban culture and proximity to wine country. Families love the hiking, biking, paddling and bird-watching opportunities, as well as the chance to spot a few alligators, turtles and manatees — and of course, the state’s theme parks are nothing short of iconic.
Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection Tampa
As the name would suggest, it’s all about the food here. The Epicurean specialises in foodie packages, celebrating its dining venues. Élevage Soho Kitchen and Bar serves dishes inspired by Mediterranean and Asian cooking; Chill Bros Scoop Shop is a gelato paradise; Edge Rooftop Cocktail Lounge offers handcrafted libations with tasty snacks; there’s a theatre dedicated to culinary discovery and sister restaurant Bern’s Steakhouse is across the road. When you’ve had your fill you can book some treatments at Spa Evangeline, swim in the pool and visit the fitness centre. Following the food theme, bedrooms have butcher’s block style furnishings, stocked artisan pantries and some even have a private bar.
Le Méridien Tampa, The Courthouse
As its name reveals, this was once a Federal Courthouse (guests can stay in the ex-judges office or an ex-holding cell), but the century-old building now serves as a most unique hotel; the Four-Diamond rated property is on the National Register of Historic Places. Found Downtown, just across from the theatre, its imposing Grecian style frontage gives way to sophisticated contemporary interiors combined with original features. It has a palm tree flanked pool area, a courtroom-turned brasserie, an espresso bar, 130 bedrooms and offers a free shuttle service. Look out for Le Méridien’s 14 points of discovery while you’re here – each provides a flavour of its past life.
The CURRENT Hotel, Autograph Collection
A coastal resort on the peninsula of the city’s bay area, The Current Hotel has a stunning contemporary rooftop bar (the tallest one in Tampa Bay), with an infinity-like outdoor pool and its own private beach. 171 bedrooms and nine suites have floor to ceiling windows to maximise the panoramic views of the ocean. Plus there are two restaurants, a curated gift shop, an in-house art gallery displaying work by local-award winning artists and a fitness centre on the ninth floor. Part of the Marriott portfolio, The Current is a four-star establishment.
The Westshore Grand
If you’d like to stay somewhere surrounded by a modern Florida style, pick The Westshore Grand for your trip. Take the complimentary airport shuttle to this Tribute Portfolio Hotel — it’s found in the business district and has 325 rooms, as well as a gorgeous ninth-floor rooftop pool with sea views. Guests can fine-dine at the alfresco lounge, or grab a coffee and a light meal in the IIly Cafe. Hotel amenities include a business centre, meeting rooms, a gym, salon services, shoeshine, dry cleaning and express checkout. It’s ideal for those travelling for work but is equally well set up to delight the leisure traveller.