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With gorgeous beaches, Busch Gardens theme park, up-and-coming breweries and a lively downtown area, Tampa has much to offer visitors. The beautiful Tampa Bay has jaw-on-the-floor sunsets on Florida’s west coast and its Riverwalk and Ybor district are popular places to explore. When searching for a place to stay, you will find a large number of established chain hotels, however, that doesn't mean have to stay in one. There are also a handful of boutique and luxury hotels for something a little different. Need some help figuring out where to set up camp? Below, we've rounded up Tampa's best digs to suit every type of traveler.
Best Overall: Renaissance Tampa International Hotel
For a comfortable stay, excellent service and a convenient location at a reasonable price, the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel is a solid choice. The fashionable, 293-room hotel is connected to two trendy shopping areas: International Plaza and Bay Street, and is close the Tampa International Airport (a hotel shuttle is available). Rooms have a minimum of 378 square feet of space, marble baths, premium bedding and Netflix and Hulu for entertainment. A popular Italian restaurant features an open kitchen and the elegant lobby bar is available for cocktails and snacks. There’s also a heated outdoor pool, whirlpool and fitness center. Parking is free, but breakfast is an additional charge.
Best Budget: Hampton Inn and Suites Tampa Busch Gardens
Budget travelers seeking comfortable accommodations should consider the Hampton Inn and Suites. Located across the street from Busch Gardens theme park (guests can even walk there), the hotel offers all the amenities Hampton is known for (think free breakfast buffet, Wi-Fi and parking). Guests can take a dip in the outdoor pool or squeeze in a workout at the fitness center. Rooms have a microwaves, mini refrigerators and signature bedding for a good night’s rest. TripAdvisor members loved the convenient location and attentive staff.
Best for Families: Sailport Waterfront Suites
With reasonable prices, spacious rooms and a beautiful setting on the bay, the Sailport Waterfront Suites is an excellent choice for families visiting Tampa. Accommodations in One or Two-Bedroom Suites feature a minimum of 515 square feet of space, a full kitchen and dining area, balcony, separate bedrooms and contemporary decor. Families can also have a beach barbecue on the outdoor grills, swim in the pool, play volleyball in the sand or fish off the pier. In the evenings, gather around the fire pit or dine at the restaurant and bar serving American fare. A free shuttle takes guests to the airport or around town. Travelers should be aware that although there is a beach, there is no access point to Tampa Bay for swimming.
Best Boutique: West Wing Boutique Hotel
One of Tampa’s newest hotels is the modern and stylish West Wing Boutique Hotel, located near the University of South Florida. The 125 rooms have several unique layouts that include breakfast counters, kitchenettes with stovetops and cookware, barn doors to separate living areas and fresh, bright décor. Room service is delivered by futuristic new robots – adding a “wow” factor to your stay. Guests can unwind in the outdoor Zen garden or utilize the free shuttle around Tampa. A breakfast buffet, parking and passes to nearby fitness centers are also include in every stay. TripAdvisor members also raved about the friendly staff and the convenient location near Busch Gardens.
Best Luxury: Le Meridien Tampa
Those seeking a luxurious stay in downtown Tampa should consider four-diamond Le Meridien. Centrally located near Ybor City and Channelside neighborhoods, the 130-room hotel was originally a federal courthouse, but has since be re-imagined. Guests can lounge by the lovely outdoor pool, enjoy free access to the Tampa Museum of Art or take one of the rental bikes out for a spin. There’s also live music on select nights at the hotel’s French restaurant and bar. Accommodations have a minimum of 330 square feet and offer leather furnishings, designer light fixtures and plush bedding.
Best Views: Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
Set among a 35-acre nature preserve, the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay has gorgeous views of the bay, and a beautiful boardwalk and walking trail. The 442 guestrooms have oversized windows with city or bay views (be sure to specify which you’d like), but there are several opportunities to soak in the views at one of the outdoor spaces around the property, including two outdoor pools and one hot tub. Other outdoor amenities include two tennis courts, bike rentals and lawn games. The hotel has several bars and lounges, but Oysterscatchers is the most popular, with a sophisticated atmosphere overlooking the beach, the bay and a boat dock.
Best Romance: Epicurean Hotel Tampa
For a romantic getaway in the center of Tampa, the 137-room, Epicurean Hotel combines outstanding food and fine wines with luxurious accommodations. Elegant - yet modern - rooms have a minimum of 350 square feet, pillow-topped bedding, marble baths and iPod docks. The hotel features three dining options, including the Edge, a rooftop tapas restaurant and bar with commanding views of the city, as well as Elevage, an award-wining venue that serves new American fare. The centerpiece of the hotel is the epicurean theater, which hosts cooking classes, wine seminars and other culinary-themed events. Romance packages set the tone with champagne, flights of wine and soothing spa treatments.
Best Nightlife: Hilton Garden Inn Ybor Historic District
Tampa’s Ybor City is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida and it's the place to go for nightlife. The Hilton Garden Inn places guests in the heart of the action within walking distance to Ybor and a trolley ride away from the Channelside neighborhood, another popular area for night owls. The 95-room hotel has a full-service restaurant serving American fare, a breakfast buffet, an outdoor swimming pool and whirlpool, fitness center and business center. Bright and cheerful accommodations are clean and adequate and include a mini refrigerator and microwave, but room service is available as well. Parking is an additional (but reasonable) charge.
Best Business: Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel Marina
Business travelers flock to the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel Marina, and with 20 meeting rooms and more than 43,000 square feet of total meeting space, it’s easy to see why. The sprawling, 719-room hotel is located next to the Tampa Convention Center and has five different dining venues on the property, including a sports bar, lounge, casual restaurant and pool bar. Travelers can melt stress away in the full-service spa with body wraps, massages and facials. Several types of rooms are available and have a minimum of 350 square feet of space with views of the city skyline or Tampa Bay. Breakfast and parking are an additional charge.