So a hotel is a hotel, right? Just a place to crash until you’re up and about the next day? Wrong! A hotel is an experience. It’s another layer to making your vacation as enjoyable and comfortable as possible, and honestly, some hotels just don’t cut it. I’m not here to bash or give bad reviews, but I will share with you the places I would most recommend staying in depending on what experience you are looking for. So here they are!
Martin’s Top Hotel Picks
RESORTS: Tradewinds Island Resort on St. Pete’s Beach
This resort is located on the Western most part of the bay, facing out into the Gulf. I’ve stayed here on a few different occasions and always had a great experience. I’ve been there for a wedding with a large group, and for a getaway to just relax on my own. It is a family friendly location, but doesn’t alienate the adults for the sake of the kids. The service was excellent. The staff was very friendly and professional and catered to the expectations of the guests at every turn.
- Beautiful beach views from the rooms
- Multiple Pools (but why would you need them with the beach right there?)
- Floating Water Park!! (seriously a good time for kids and the young at heart)
- Bars, Restaurants, and Lounges to relax and stuff your face
As for pricing, that will obviously vary based on how many people are in your group, how long you’re staying, and what type of room and accommodations you need. I would recommend contacting the resort to hash out the price, but if you’re going to spend the money somewhere, I’d recommend spending it here. It’s a good time and close to a lot of local attractions if you want to spend some time off the resort as well.
Downtown Hotels: Aloft Tampa Downtown
So this is obviously a different experience than going to a Resort, but a great one none the less. Being downtown, Aloft is in the heart of the city, with close access to event centers, great food, arenas, and the University of Tampa. Staying near a college town pretty much guarantees that there are a lot of good times right around the corner. Concerning the hotel itself, it has tons of amazing qualities. If you are here to explore Tampa and enjoy the local scene, this an excellent spot to make home for your visit.
- Unique modern design to the rooms
- River view Terrace
- Right on the promenade
- Friendly bartenders (a must for anywhere I stay)
- Special deals (40% off every second night)
I’ll admit, this probably isn’t the best place for a big family vacation, but if it’s just the two of you, or a group of friends looking for some excitement, this is where you want to be. It’s clean, comfortable, and has access to everything you would want in the area
Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Holiday Inn Express and Suites Tampa USF – Busch Gardens
When you’re looking for cheap, you always have to keep in mind, you get what you pay for. But in some cases, you do get a little more than that. I know Holiday Inns are everywhere, and there’s nothing crazy special about staying there, but at least you know it’s a respectable place where you get what you expect.
- Clean Rooms
- Friendly Staff
- Good Location (near Busch Gardens, which is always a good time)
- Affordable Pricing
If you’re staying here, it’s not going to be much different than a Holiday Inn anywhere else in the country, but you’re probably not planning on staying in the hotel the whole trip. You’re here to see and experience Tampa Bay, and this is a good place to sleep while you’re not out and about.
Anyway, those are a few of my local recommendations. I wish you the best in finding a great hotel at an even better price!