On Florida’s Gulf Coast, Tampa is known for its impressive mix of outdoor activities, museums, history and coastal cuisine. It’s also a thriving business center, meaning its visitors have plenty of options for work and play. Dine on divine seafood, spend the day in the historic Ybor City neighborhood or head to the water for marine-animal sightings and water sports. Whatever your style of travel, there’s a Tampa hotel perfect to return to after a long day. Read on for our guide to the best places to stay in Tampa, bookable on Culture Trip.
If you’re looking for hotels in Tampa’s center, this is a great choice in the heart of the action. The suites here are styled for longer stays, with kitchens, sofa beds and sweeping views. If you do fancy being cooked for rather than self-catering, the Corazon Bar and Restaurant is all about tapping into Tampa’s Latin roots via dishes such as crispy yucca with creamed avocado.
This Hilton-branded hotel sits in Tampa’s Westshore District, close to craft breweries and the boat-studded bay. Rooms are bright and spacious with good views. Elsewhere, the hotel sets itself apart with an on-site art gallery that showcases local students’ work. Fuss-free restaurant Buffalo Bayou is your spot for grab-and-go bites, and there’s also the Spaniard for southern Florida fusion food.
At the Epicurean, you are surrounded by outstanding dining options – the restaurant Élevage produces dishes inspired by Mediterranean, Asian, Indian and other cultures and whips up aesthetically pleasing dishes like lobster ravioli with Maine lobster and a sherry sauce. Bern’s Fine Wines and Spirits boasts over 1,000 labels of wine and liquors, and Edge Rooftop Cocktail Lounge features Tampa-area microbrews and craft cocktails. Little Midway Ice Cream and Pastry Parlor offers sweet treats like cinnamon crunch or s’mores cones.
Reconnect with nature at Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, which is located on a 35-acre (14ha) nature preserve. Go bird-watching on the boardwalk or try and spot a manatee by the boat dock. There are also almost 10mi (16km) of bike trails, plus water access for kayaking, paddle boarding and jet skiing. Find a nice spot along the nature trail for dolphin-watching and peach-hued sunsets.
Near the Westshore business district, the Westshore Grand is great for the business traveler – it’s less than 10 minutes from Tampa International Airport. The Straz Center for the Performing Arts and the University of Tampa are both less than 20 minutes away, and, if you are looking to conduct business within the hotel, there are 10 meeting rooms and almost 18,000 square feet (1,700sqm) of event space to choose from.
For a boutique hotel in Tampa with thoughtfully curated amenities and locally designed features, Hotel Haya fits the bill. Coffee enthusiasts love the cold and nitro brews from Made Coffee in St. Petersburg that are available at Haya, and the round lamps in the guest rooms come from resident glass artists at Morean Glass Studio & Hot Shop – bonus points for mimicking the street lamps that line Seventh Avenue. Guests will also find artisan collaborations from T2TheS studio in the Café Quiquiriqui bar – a nod to the area’s cigar culture – and other wares in the hotel’s retail space.
Steps from prime shopping spots, the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel is situated next to International Plaza and Bay Street, where you’ll find more than 200 stores and restaurants, including Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Shop to your heart’s content, then head back to the hotel and spend the afternoon by the pool. Here, you can do it all within walking distance.
Got a packed itinerary and need somewhere central? The Tampa Marriott Water Street is a great place to anchor as you explore Tampa. The hotel is adjacent to the convention center and within walking distance to the Tampa Riverwalk, the Florida Aquarium, Sparkman Wharf and Amalie Arena. Take a nap by the rooftop pool in between your activities, then head out for waterfront and family fun.
Adventure seekers head to the Current Hotel for its numerous outdoor pursuits and killer views of Tampa Bay. Watch the sun fade into the bay at the beach area, and warm up by the fire pit at night. Hit the water for fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding. Access to the 16mi (26km) Courtney Campbell Causeway West Trail is nearby, which offers paved trails for biking and walking.
Vesna Maric contributed additional reporting to this article.
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