Guest Review Post by Leigh Caldwell of ThemeParkMom.
Many hotel stays include a fun scavenger hunt or two: Can you find your way back to the elevator? Can you find the closet where they’ve hidden the ice machine?
Thanks to road construction near Tampa International Airport, though, the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay has topped them all. You can see the towering hotel and its 445 guestrooms from a number of major roadways, but can you figure out how to get to it?
Your GPS will not know how to get there.
Neither will Google Maps.
And then trust the road signs.
There are signs along the construction route that clearly tell you how to get to the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.
You just have to stop trying to figure out what the Australian lady on your GPS is telling you to do while shuffling through your Google Maps print-outs while pointing at the hotel repeatedly and saying, “it’s right over there, but there’s no road to it”.
Yep, you just have to stop all that commotion and actually READ the signs.
Once we found the hotel, it was easy to self-park in the parking garage on property and make our way to the lobby, where we were greeted by numerous bell staff members. In fact, the bell staff was in abundance throughout our hotel stay. I never opened the front door of the hotel; it was always opened for me. And that level of service extended throughout this AAA four-diamond hotel.
The staff at the front desk was unfailingly nice. I can only imagine the angst they listen to every day from travelers who had trouble finding the place. (A problem that I should note is in no way this hotel’s fault.) They seem to be trained to handle it all with a smile.
Our room at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay was lovely, as we expected. The centerpiece was a king-sized Hyatt Grand Bed. I enjoy the Hyatt beds because they are firmer than some of the beds provided by other hotel chains. Some of those beds are so soft you sink into them, which feels great when you’re going to bed, but not so great when your neck and back are aching the next day. I loved the look of the giant headboard, which is built like an Asian screen with grasscloth inserts.
There is the requisite bank of floor-to-ceiling windows, and ours provided a quite cosmopolitan view, with Tampa’s downtown, Raymond James Stadium, air traffic at Tampa International Airport and Tampa Bay itself all on display.
The bathroom had plenty of space to stow personal items and hair-styling tools between uses. And there was also Hyatt’s signature line of Portico toiletries, which is downright luxurious as far as hotel toiletries go.
The Public Spaces
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay is a popular place for weddings and charity functions because of its modern, beautiful lobby and ballrooms. It is also home to a favorite restaurant for celebrating special occasions in Tampa, Armani’s.
Armani’s is known for its handmade pastas, veal and risotto, its wine list and, as you might expect, its price tag. There are two other restaurants on the property, as well: Oystercatchers for seafood and Petey Brown’s for hearty American fare.
There are two pools, one alongside the hotel’s tower and a second right next to the waters of Tampa Bay.
Once you know where to find the hotel, it’s location is convenient to a number of different locations in the Tampa Bay area. The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay is a 5-minute drive from the airport, and the hotel provides a shuttle to get back and forth. Raymond James Stadium, where you can watch a Tampa Bay Buccaneers or South Florida Bulls football game, is just 10 minutes away, as are dozens of upscale dining and shopping options at International Plaza.
And this hotel is on the Tampa side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway, making it convenient to drive across to Clearwater in a matter of minutes.
We did have a problem in our guest room during our stay. The toilet was functioning fine when we checked in, but upon our return after dinner, it would no longer flush – not in a “yucky stopped-up” way, just in a “push the handle and nothing happens” situation. It was 8:30 on a Saturday night, and as I dialed the front desk, I just knew we would be moving rooms.
To my surprise, they said they would send an engineer right up, and he knocked on the door five minutes later. Then he said the toilet needed two parts replaced, and again, I prepared to pack up our stuff and change rooms. But the engineer was back again in 10 minutes with the needed parts, and proceeded to fix the problem very quickly. The whole thing was done in well under an hour, and I was very impressed with the hotel’s responsiveness, especially on a Saturday night.
The Grand Hyatt is one of Tampa’s largest hotels with, 445 rooms. Rates start at about $110 per night.
All photos courtesy of Leigh Caldwell.