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March 22, 2024

The Best Luxury Hotels in Tampa

From Michelin-starred restaurants to rooftop pools, these exclusive accommodations have it all.

By Irenie Forshaw

With its vibrant arts scene, dazzling waterfront and picture-perfect beaches, Tampa certainly ticks a lot of boxes. In recent years, the sun-drenched city on Florida’s Gulf Coast has stepped out of Miami’s shadow, carving out a reputation as an enviable vacation destination.

An influx of museums, restaurants and high-end hotels have breathed new life into the city. In 2023, Tampa scooped its first Michelin stars including chef John Fraser’s stylish eatery, Lilac, located inside the freshly minted Edition (more on that, later). Here, we’ve curated a list of the very best luxury hotels in Tampa, from modern skyscrapers to waterfront wellness sanctuaries.

[See also: The Best Hotels in San Francisco]

The Tampa Edition

tampa edition hotel lobby
The jungle-themed lobby greets guests with an explosion of greenery / ©Tampa Edition

When the Tampa Edition hosted its grand opening back in 2022, the luxurious hotel caused quite a stir. “Tampa has established its time is now, and I think it’s about to explode on the scene,” said Ian Schrager, the American entrepreneur behind the Edition brand.

Widely marketed as ‘Tampa’s first five-star experience’, the swish hotel is set within a modern 26-story tower in the city’s new Water Street Tampa neighborhood, close to the waterfront. Stepping foot inside the jungle-themed lobby, guests are greeted with an explosion of greenery. Lush tropical plants spring from every corner and an imposing white marble staircase leads up to several entertainment spaces.

The hotel is home to 172 guest rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows revealing sweeping views of Tampa. Interiors are pared-back and cozy: think faux fur throws, soft woven rugs and billowing white drapes.

As for dining, the Tampa Edition features an array of restaurants including Lilac, the hotel’s Michelin-starred eatery helmed by chef John Fraser, and Azure – an intimate rooftop dining spot serving Greek culinary delights. There are also several standout bars including the red velvet-draped Arts Club and the wood-paneled Punch Room which serves cocktails inspired by the flavors and spirits of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Top Suite: Penthouse Suite

This breezy, light-filled apartment boasts its own kitchen, living room and lavish marble bathroom complete with a deep soaking tub and rainforest walk-in shower. Count us in.

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edititonhotels.com

Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay

grand hyatt tampa bay pool
The idyllic outdoor pool / ©Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay

Our list of the best hotels in Tampa would not be complete without mentioning Grand Hyatt. Located on the upper shores of Tampa Bay within a 35-acre nature reserve, the hotel is ideal for those looking for somewhere a bit quieter to completely relax and unwind.

The waterfront property features a tranquil boardwalk (ideal for bird watching) and a 9.5-mile bayside trail – a lovely spot for taking an evening stroll to watch the sunset.

Rooms are simple yet refined in shades of cream and marine blue in a nod to the waterside location. Many boast gorgeous views out over the bay and forest canopy – the aptly named ‘Bay View’ suites are well worth booking.

Alongside the pool bar, the hotel is home to Oystercatchers – a casual eatery serving a wonderful selection of fresh seafood (there’s even a raw bar filled with everything from tuna sashimi to Wagyu tartare). And for breakfast and healthy light bites, drop by at the 1823 Kitchen & Bar.

Top Suite: Bay View Presidential Suite

If it’s panoramic views of the bay you’re after, you can’t go wrong with this sprawling abode. For larger groups and families, the suite can be connected to a bay view room with two double beds.

hyatt.com

[See also: The Best Hotels in Miami]

Epicurean Hotel

Elevage at Epicurean Hotel
Elevage serves classic cuisine from around the world in a stylish setting / ©Epicurean Hotel

Next, we head to the heart of Tampa’s buzzing Soho district. For food lovers, it doesn’t get much better than this: even the rooms have been designed with food-and-wine themed décor and stocked with personal artisanal ‘pantries’.

The real draw, naturally, is the dining options. Elevage serves classic cuisine from around the world in a stylish setting: expect dishes like charred Wagyu flat iron steak and roasted Chilean seabass; plus an impressive selection of desserts (you can’t go wrong with the pistachio bread pudding).

There’s also a trendy rooftop bar serving cocktails and light bites – and another bar downstairs in the art-filled lobby. The hotel runs a jam-packed schedule of events from bourbon tastings to wine pairing dinners.

Elsewhere at Epicurean, guests can relax at the spa, soak up the sun by the pool or head out on the hotel’s bikes to explore the city.

Top Suite: Balcony Suite

We adore the cozy living room with its cow-print rug, comfy sofas and gleaming walnut floors. The private balcony is a wonderful spot for a lazy breakfast, too.

epicureanhotel.com

Le Meridien Tampa, The Courthouse

le meridien tampa exterior
The opulent hotel is set within a historic courthouse / ©Le Meridien Tampa

Set within a historic courthouse in downtown Tampa, this opulent hotel is the perfect base to explore the city. The property underwent an extensive revamp but lovely details like the marble floors and original oak doorways remain. An old judge’s desk has even been transformed into the reception desk in the lobby.

Upstairs in one of the former courtrooms lies Sal Rosa – the hotel’s signature restaurant which serves elevated Caribbean-Latin cuisine. Le Meridien is also home to an outdoor heated pool and 24-hour fitness center.

The hotel is ideally situated for exploring nearby attractions; the Tampa Museum of Art and Tampa are just around the corner.

Top Suite: Studio Suite King

Le Meridien’s top key is the Studio King Suite. Floor-to-ceiling windows bathe the interiors in natural light; our favorite spot is the spacious living room complete with an executive desk.

marriott.com

JW Marriott Tampa Water Street

jw marriott tampa presidential suite balcony
The Presidential Suite features a private 1,000 sq ft balcony / ©JW Marriott

Last but by no means least on our roundup of the city’s best luxury hotels is JW Marriott Tampa Water Street. Situated along the scenic waterfront, the hotel features 527 elegant guest rooms and suites. Interiors are inspired by the property’s gorgeous surroundings; decorated in soothing hues of cream and ocean blue it’s all but impossible not to feel a sense of calm from the moment you step foot inside.

The hotel is home to a gourmet steakhouse, bustling bistro and laid-back coffee house. Up on the 27th floor, there’s also a stylish rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city skyline and waterfront.

Be sure to make the most of the JW Spa – a serene haven complete with 10 treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge and an exclusive rooftop whirlpool. Treatments span everything from aromatherapy massages to personally tailored facials.

Top Suite: Presidential Suite

Ideal for entertaining, this expansive suite features a private 1,000 sq ft balcony – the best spot for soaking up the views.

marriott.com

[See also: The Best Luxury Easter Eggs of 2024]

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