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 most luxurious options is the JW Marriott in Tampa's new Water Street development. Traveller's love the impressive lobby bar, the glamorous pool deck, and world-class spa.

Another popular location for visitors is Ybor City. Now, travelers can enjoy staying in comfort and style at the Hotel Haya. This boutique hotel celebrates the unique culture and traditions of this historic neighborhood while integrating seamlessly with the surrounding architecture.

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.


Tampa's Saddlebrook Resort is an upscale getaway for those who like to spend time outdoors. Most famous for its tennis academy, players like Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, and Jennifer Capriati have all trained here. In addition to 45 tennis courts in all of the major surfaces, the resort boasts two Arnold Palmer-designed golf courses 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 feature private patios or balconies, clustered around courtyards and park spaces giving the resort a charming village atmosphere.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Saddlebrook Resort and Spa is the perfect getaway for active families with world-class golf and tennis facilities, a massive resort-style pool, and ropes courses too.

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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 also offers guests endless entertainment and dining options.

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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 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 its own 32-slip marina, Tampa's Marriott Water Street is one the city's most popular hotels.

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Emerald Greens Golf and Country Club features condominium vacation rentals just a short drive from most Tampa attractions. On-site, there are tons of outdoor activities to keep the kids and adults busy, including a private 27-hole championship golf course. Families can also relax by the junior Olympic size swimming pool complete with a splash pad for the kids. After a long day of fun, indulge in rejuvenating treatments for the face, body and spirit at the day spa and fitness center. The comfortable two-bedroom suites come with a spacious living room and fully equipped kitchen complete with appliances and utensils.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Emerald Greens is a popular option with families offering fully equipped suites and tons of outdoor activities just a short drive from Tampa's popular attractions.

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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, the 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 accommodation in the heart of downtown.

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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 accommodation for both business and leisure travelers. 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' signature restaurant, Oystercatchers, which 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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Hotel Haya
Photo courtesy of Hotel Haya

Named for the often-overlooked co-founder of Tampa's historic Ybor City, the Hotel Haya seeks to provide a hyper-local hotel experience. This new 178-room boutique hotel was designed to be reflective of its surroundings. Locally sourced talent and products were used to build and furnish the hotel from the architects to the countertops. Dining options include a handy daytime cafe and their signature restaurant, Flor Fina. The cuisine at Flor Fina combines local ingredients and dishes reflective of Ybor City cultures including Cuban, Spanish, and Italian. The rooms are modern and comfortable with a vintage feel. Those with balconies facing 7th Avenue are sure to be popular for viewing Ybor City's many annual parades.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Located in Ybor City, the Hotel Haya celebrates the historic neighborhood's rich history while offering comfortable rooms, fine dining, and a glamorous pool area.

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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. Indulge your obsession with exceptional cuisine, craft cocktails, and an extensive wine list in the on-site restaurants and lounges. After dining, 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, 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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JW Marriott Tampa Water Street
Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Tampa Water Street

The recently completed JW Marriott Tampa Water Street is designed to meet the sophisticated tastes of modern travelers. The hotel features luxurious accommodations, world class dining, and a resort-style pool deck with private cabanas. The focus here is on guest wellness with well-appointed rooms outfitted to help visitors relax and re-energize following a long day. After hours on your feet exploring Tampa attractions, soothe aching muscles with a unique treatment or massage at the on-site Spa by JW. Finish your day with happy hour at Driftlight Lounge located in the hotel's stunning four-story lobby. Dinner is a treat at either Driftlight on the lobby level, or Six (on the 6th floor) that features indoor and outdoor dining with waterfront views.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Narrowly edging out competition for top hotels in Tampa, the JW Marriott wins for its combination of glamorous decor, luxurious accommodations, and innovative amenities.

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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