Tampa Bay is a place where couples, singles, families, and seniors alike can all find a good time. The majority of the area’s sprawling tourist attractions can be found within a few central locations, and beach enthusiasts have just a short drive to nearby Clearwater.
As one of Florida’s main economic hubs, the downtown area has plenty of high-rise offices. These are broken up with entertainment venues, world-class restaurants, museums, and fantastic hotels. Over on Franklin Street, which is pedestrian traffic only, you’ll find exciting attractions like the Riverwalk.
The Channel District is just east of downtown. Be sure to visit one of the best aquatic attractions in the nation there – the Florida Aquarium. If you head north of downtown, check out the famous Busch Gardens and Lowry Park Zoo.
Yabor City And Hype Park North are two of the Bay’s most significant historic areas, and you can take advantage of a plethora of culturally significant restaurants and hotels.
Buccaneers fans can stop by Raymond James Stadium, which has a number of nearby luxury hotels and is close to the airport.
Clearly there’s a lot to do and see. The big question is where to stay to make the most out of your own visit. We’ve broken it down based on priorities.
Where To Stay In Tampa Bay
1. You Want Luxury And Historic Value
It’s on the National Register of Historic Places And was once a federal courthouse. Now, Le Meridien is a luxury hotel featuring 130 rooms and suites. The elegant decor and grand windows are paired with modern amenities, such as a French bistro, fitness room, pool, and flat-screen.
Another option is historic Hyde Park North’s Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection. This contemporary hotel feels chic and luxurious, but it offers walking-distance to some of the best restaurants and attractions offering a taste of local culture. Plus, you can soak it all in from either the pool/spa area or the rooftop’s spectacular view of the city.
2. You’re A Business Traveler
The Westin – Waterside is a great hotel space to combine a little work and pleasure. It’s a short walk to downtown and two blocks from the Convention Center. Yet, it’s also right on the water, has an on-site marina, and features an array of amenities like a heated pool and exercise room. Choose between bay or city view rooms, and you can always check out the harbor view from the in-house restaurant. Rooms feature ergonomic chairs and lavish pillow-top mattresses. Suites feature sleeper sofas and separate living areas.
3. You’re Looking For Value
If you’re looking for value hotel choices in the downtown area, check out the lovely Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina, which is close to the Convention Center. Opt for a waterfront view, or larger families may want to go with a suite for the extra balcony space, separate living space, and extra pull-out beds. Bay views can be enjoyed from the hotel’s causal restaurant, and all guests have access to the sauna, exercise room, and outdoor pool. There is a small fee for WiFi access, however.
If you want to be closer to the Riverwalk, then check out the Sheraton Riverwalk Hotel. With free WiFi, riverfront deck with pool, in-room coffee pots, ergonomic room seating, and other contemporary features, you get a lot of value for your buck. The waterfront grill offers the perfect end to a long tourist day. Club-level rooms provide guests with lounge access, free continental breakfast, and evening appetizers.
Over in the Ybor Historic District, the Hilton Garden Inn is great for the budget traveler looking to have a clean and safe hotel experience. Guests enjoy access to an outdoor hot tub and pool area. Rooms are designed to be simple, casual, and comfortable.
The Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Tampa North is a family-centered hotel near Busch Gardens. The courtyard area features a pool. Whether you choose a suite or regular room, this hotel is reliable for spacious and clean accommodations and friendly staff.
4. You Want To Keep It Basic And On-Budget
Once you get outside the tourist hotspots, you can find more inexpensive hotels, such as the Quality Inn & Suites Near Fairgrounds Ybor City, Sleep Inn Near Busch Gardens – USF, and Comfort Suites – Airport North to be near the airport and Raymond James Stadium. These choices offer a clean room and a simple breakfast for a reasonable price. Quality Inn even has a landscaped pool area.
Do keep in mind, however, that the budget-friendly hotels usually are out of walking-distance from the downtown attractions. Keep the expense of vehicle rental, Uber or taxi service, or such in mind when figuring out if the budget hotels are really a savings for your trip.
5. You’re Looking For Romance
Imagine your own private romantic waterfront oasis in the middle of Tampa. That’s the setting at Grand Hyatt. The landscape easily makes you feel like you’re on your own little love island. There’s two grand pools, and on-site nature preserve and trails, and an in-house Italian restaurant to help you never even leave the hotel. Rooms are sleek and stylish and offer most all of your modern amenities.
The Floridan Palace Hotel is a downtown choice that’s perfect for historical romance fans. The entire hotel screams grandness. It’s original 1926 ceiling is still intact in the hotel’s Mediterranean restaurant. With opulent gold overlay, heavy wooden antique furniture, and luxurious marbled bathrooms, the look is very Beaux-Arts.
For some, romance is in the football action. The elegant rooms at the Renaissance International Plaza Hotel are near the stadium and top echelon dining and shopping. The hotel and it’s in-house Italian restaurant maintain a very polished, hipster atmosphere.
6. You’re Bringing The Family
If you need some breathing room against a large family, then Emerald Greens Condo Resort may be just the ticket. Book early, though, because this property only features 50 condo suites. Each have two beds and two baths and are decked out with memory foam mattresses, full kitchens, and separate dedicated spaces. Guests have access to the nearby Carrollwood Country Club, which includes golf, tennis, restaurants, spa, fitness center, and swimming.
Just a 10 minute drive from Busch Gardens is the family-friendly Comfort Suites at Fairgrounds. The all-suite hotel makes it easy for families away from home. All have mini-fridges and microwaves, and all guests can take advantage of a free hot breakfast. Kids will love the vibrant, fun style of the suites and outdoor pool; parents will love the value for the amount of suite space.
West Wing Boutique Hotel is a newer all-suite property that’s only two miles from Busch Gardens and near the University of South Florida. Free airport shuttle makes travel a little easier with the kids. Suites are more maturely decorated with wood trim and soft colors, and they all have kitchenettes.
Families can easily walk to Lettuce Lake Park from Hampton Inn & Suites Tampa – North. Regular rooms have all the modern amenities, but suites feature the kitchenettes, pull out beds, and separate living spaces. Guests can even grab a to-go bag for their free breakfast buffet, which makes it easier to get the little ones fed on the go.