It’s not often that a city hosts a Super Bowl with the local team playing in the big game at its home stadium. In fact, this year is the first time that has ever happened. And while Tampa, Florida, beat the odds to make sports history, the city’s hotel landscape is also making headlines of its own. The recently opened JW Marriott Tampa Water Street marks the brand’s 100th property and, coincidentally, is also a Super Bowl headquarters hotel, hosting NFL staff, corporate sponsors, and team ownership groups for all the festivities.
Set in downtown Tampa’s rapidly developing Water Street neighborhood, this new JW Marriott—Tampa’s first five-star hotel—is in a prime location for exploring the city. A 30-second walk from the front door leaves you at the trolley station for a free ride to the city’s main attractions, while a few extra steps lead to the 2.6-mile Tampa Riverwalk with parks, bars, and restaurants along the way. There’s also a water taxi and rentals for mini motorboats, kayaks, and more.
“You’re not isolated here,” said Chris Adkins, the hotel's director of sales and marketing, also noting that the property is next door to both the convention center and the Amalie Arena, which usually hosts concerts and hockey games. “You’ve got this destination hotel that’s in this urban area, so you can peel off and get to wherever you’re going very easily.”
But that’s if you even want to leave the resort-like experience this property offers. JW Marriott Tampa Water Street awes guests from the beginning with an impressive four-story atrium lobby lounge. It floods with natural light during the day and brings in the buzzing city lights at night as you grab a drink at the bar. The atrium is just one of many distinctive architectural elements that give this hotel its luxurious but approachable vibe. It’s a place where urban styles meet modern touches and natural fibers, along with water-inspired elements that pay homage to the city.
“Tampa is a port city, and we celebrate that,” said Adkins. “We pull from that theme of where a lot of cultures, people, and merchandise come together.”
The JW Marriott Tampa Water Street consists of 519 spacious rooms decorated with chic wood furnishings complemented by a palette of black, gold, and soft natural colors. Several room categories feature floor-to-ceiling windows that give way to views of the river, while the 2,230 square-foot Presidential Suite spoils guests with a private terrace and a wet bar.
Though the rooms are made for relaxing, the thoughtful design elements of the Spa by JW make it worth at least a half-day of unwinding to get the full experience. Slip into your robe and slippers and start your spa day with some time in the steam room or sauna, while citrus-soaked towels and smoothies wait right outside to refresh you when you’re done. Then it’s off to the lounge, offering more healthy snacks and fruit-infused water, as well as individual meditation sofas and an outdoor area with a plunge pool. Guests can enjoy the spa lounge before or after their pampering in one of the 10 treatment rooms.
Around the corner from the spa is the outdoor pool area, complete with cabanas, city views, and an Instagram-worthy lawn area that stretches from the nearby bar. The libations come from SIX, one of three dining venues that make up the property’s robust culinary offerings. At SIX, guests can treat their taste buds to a unique take on traditional bistro food as the chefs add a Florida twist to the dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Downstairs, Driftlight offers regional farm- and ocean-to-table cuisine served in an upscale yet unstuffy atmosphere. Meanwhile, the elevated grab-and-go concept at Turntable will seasonally rotate both the food and drink menus, making it Tampa’s perpetually new restaurant.
Complementing the resort-like experience at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street is its sister property Tampa Marriott Water Street. Located just across the road, guests at either property can use the third floor skywalk to pass from one hotel to the next and use all amenities at either one. At the very least, guests at the JW should cross over to indulge in dinner at Tampa Marriott’s Anchor and Brine with riverfront seating and a flavorful menu that could do no wrong.
Nightly rates for the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street start at $299, with booking available on the hotel’s official website. Though the property is already welcoming guests, a formal grand opening is scheduled for April 2021.
NFL. "Buccaneers will be first team to play in Super Bowl at home." Retrieved February 5, 2021.