World-class Tampa hotels feature historic charms and innovative concepts

With the emergence of the Tampa Bay area as a financial and technological leader in the region, not to mention a prime tourist destination, new hotels have sprouted up dedicated to both business and leisure travelers. To help you make the perfect choice for your stay, 10 Best has put together a list of the 10 best hotels in Tampa.

Many of the best hotels are located downtown, close to the city's most popular attractions and convenient for business travelers. One of the newest and most luxurious options is Le Meridien Tampa located in the renovated federal courthouse. A massive stone staircase leads guests past impressive columns into a comfortable and contemporary oasis. A perk of this hotel is the opportunity to visit the nearby Tampa Museum of Art for free.

Another popular location is Rocky Point Island that features hotel options on the shores of beautiful Tampa Bay. Nearby is the established favorite Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay that boasts 35 acres of pristine grounds and amazing water and city views. Another draw is the two award-winning restaurants; Armani's featuring northern Italian cuisine and Oystercatchers with the freshest seafood in town.

Whether you're interested in experiencing local history or wish to experience the latest in modern design, Tampa has hotel options perfect for your stay.


The Floridan Palace Hotel has been located in downtown Tampa since 1927. Meticulously renovated, this jewel of a hotel has been restored to its Jazz Age grandeur. The exquisitely restored plaster and woodwork brought to life by the seemingly endless number of chandeliers dripping with crystals. The hotel's 213 guest rooms are decorated in the elaborate beaux-arts style while featuring contemporary comfort and amenities. Mediterranean and contemporary cuisine are featured in the Crystal Dining Room where the old-world decor provides a feast for the eyes before diners even open the menu. The hotel also features a bar and lounge, exercise facility and business center.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: The Floridan Palace Hotel is a recently renovated jazz-age charmer located in downtown Tampa.

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Tampa's Saddlebrook Resort is a luxurious getaway for those who like to spend time outdoors. It boasts two Arnold Palmer-designed golf courses, 45 tennis courts in all of the major surfaces, and three heated pools, including the massive 500,000-gallon SuperPool. A 5-acre ropes course rounds out the activities available. After you work up an appetite, you can indulge at one of the seven on-site restaurants before relaxing at the European-style spa. Then you can retire to one of the resort's 800 luxurious guest rooms that all feature private patios or balconies, and are clustered around courtyards and park spaces giving the resort a charming village atmosphere.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Tampa's Saddlebrook Resort is a perfect getaway for those who love the outdoors featuring two golf courses, 45 tennis courts and a resort-style pool area.

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With urban decor and cutting edge design, Aloft Tampa is a boutique downtown hotel that caters to the young and hip. With large airy social spaces including a lounge, bar and 'back yard' with a pool and fire pit, this hotel was made for socializing. Rooms are also large and airy with high ceilings and large windows featuring comfortable beds and furniture as well as all the high-tech amenities a modern traveler needs. Located on the Hillsborough River, the hotel also affords great views of the water and local landmarks including the University of Tampa's iconic minarets. Just a short walk from downtown business and attractions, this hotel is great for business and leisure travelers alike.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Located in downtown Tampa, Aloft Tampa's urban sophistication is quickly gaining popularity among young and hip travelers.

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The Renaissance Tampa is located at International Plaza and Bay Street, very close to Tampa International Airport. Featuring over 200 upscale stores including Nordstrom's and Neiman Marcus, International Plaza is a shopper's dream, while Bay Street features some of Tampa's best dining and nightlife. Both the public spaces and the guest rooms are chic and sophisticated with their visitor's comfort and convenience in mind. The onsite restaurant, Gabriella's Bistro, features Mediterranean tapas and craft cocktails in addition to a delicious breakfast buffet. Other amenities include a large resort-like pool area and a fully-equipped fitness center. Parking is free!

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Easy access to upscale shopping at International Plaza Mall and Tampa's business districts makes the Renaissance Tampa perfect for both business and leisure travelers.

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Tampa Marriott Water Street
Photo courtesy of Tampa Marriott Water Street

Located on the waterfront in downtown Tampa, the Marriott Water Street's most unique feature is their 32 slip full-service marina. At 27 floors, this is one of the largest and also most opulent hotels in the area. The comfortable, modern guestrooms are fully equipped with all the extras, and many feature balconies offering some of the best water and skyline views in the city. The hotel amenities are first class as well with a beautiful rooftop pool and lounge area, outdoor patios with fire pits and water views, and a fitness center. Dining options include the casual Garrison Tavern, the seafood-forward Anchor and Brine and an on-site Starbucks Cafe.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Perfectly located on the downtown waterfront location and boasting it's own 32 slip marina, Tampa's Marriott Water Street is one the city's most luxurious hotels.

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Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Photo courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa

Ready to party like rock star royalty? Check in to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa. Guests are greeted upon entry with a 50-foot guitar and a sample of items from the Hard Rock's extensive rock memorabilia collection. The rooms are luxurious, well-appointed and feature the latest technology. The resort was recently expanded with a new 14-story tower that added over 500 new rooms bringing the total room count to over 800. You can take advantage of the free "Sound of Your Stay" program providing in-room access to legendary guitars and a tailor-made soundtrack for your stay. If you wish to leave your room, you have over 200,000 square feet of high stakes games and the latest in slots, five high-end restaurants, and more casual dining, bars and nightlife options than you can count. After a long night, recover in the recently renovated full-service Rock Spa, or get away from the crowds by chilling poolside in a glitzy cabana, fully equipped with a TV, fridge, and other cool stuff.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Featuring luxurious accommodations and rock and roll amenities, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is one of Tampa's most popular hotels.

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The Hilton Tampa Downtown provides luxury accommodations in the heart of the city. Perfect for both business and leisure travelers, this recently renovated hotel features up-to-date technology, elegant accommodations, state-of-the-art exercise facilities and a beautiful roof-top pool. Nothing beats enjoying the Tampa weather lounging poolside with a fruity cocktail. Business travelers will also appreciate the fully appointed business center and services as well as the easy access to downtown businesses and the Tampa Convention Center. The hotel offers full-service dining options provided by the sophisticated yet cozy 211 Restaurant and Lounge. For those requiring their daily caffeine fix, there is also an on-site Starbucks.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Featuring luxury accommodations, elegant interiors and the latest in technology, the Hilton Tampa Downtown is perfect for both business and leisure travelers.

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Located on the shores of old Tampa Bay, the Grand Hyatt rises splendid and sophisticated from its scenic surroundings. Conveniently located near the airport, this hotel provides luxurious accommodations for both the business and leisure traveler. The views are unrivaled, whether enjoyed in your room, or while soaking up the sun on the gorgeous outdoor pool deck. In addition to stylish and comfortable rooms, beautiful grounds, great views, and spectacular amenities, the Grand Hyatt is also known for its two well-known and popular restaurants. Armani's boasts penthouse views and northern Italian cuisine, while Oystercatchers is one of the area's best seafood restaurants.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Stunning views, luxury accommodations, and world-class cuisine make the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay one of the area's best hotels.

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The Epicurean is an upscale boutique hotel located in Tampa's trendy SoHo neighborhood. Infused with a culinary theme, this hotel is a mecca for foodies, where you can indulge your senses with exceptional cuisine, craft cocktails, and an extensive wine list in the on-site restaurants and lounges. After indulging, guests are invited to relax and restore at the Epicurean Spa that features pampering in keeping with the culinary theme. Guest rooms are comfortable, classic and contemporary and also feature a culinary theme. To complete the foodie experience, the hotel features an on-site culinary school where guests can learn everything from mixology to cooking techniques.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Tampa's unique Epicurean Hotel is a foodie's dream featuring exquisite restaurants and culinary themed amenities including an on-site cooking school.

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Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Tampa, Le Meridien is one of the most unique luxury hotels in the country. Once a federal courthouse, this impressive 1905 beaux-arts building is fronted with soaring columns and a grand staircase. Inside, the national landmark was carefully renovated to create a comfortable and contemporary ambiance while preserving key historic details. Named by Conde Nast as one of the world's best new hotels in 2014, Le Meridien features 130 beautiful guest rooms outfitted with state-of-the-art technology in what were once Judges Chambers. There is also an outdoor pool, exercise facility, Bizou Brasserie French bistro and the Longitude Bar.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Tampa's Le Meridien Hotel is a beautifully renovated grand hotel providing luxurious, world-class accommodations in the heart of downtown.

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Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye is a freelance writer that adopted Tampa as her hometown over a decade ago and never looked back. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no snow climate, and in her spare time...  More About Skye