Best family-friendly hotels in Tampa: convenient for you, fun for the kids

Tampa is a wonderful family destination with year-round sunshine, close proximity to the beach, and exciting attractions and activities. Luckily, there are plenty of conveniently located, family-friendly hotels that will make your entire crew happy. To help you find the perfect hotel, 10 Best has compiled a list of ten best options to choose from.

If you're looking to spend time with your kids or relatives without sacrificing privacy with your spouse, try one of the city's suite hotels. Embassy Suites Downtown is an all-suite hotel located in the heart of everything, close to area attractions such as the Tampa Riverwalk, Florida Aquarium, and the Glazier Children's Museum.

If your family loves sports and the outdoors, there are great area options for you as well. The Saddlebrook Resort offers luxurious family accommodations and a full range of activities including tennis, golf, and swimming. Perhaps best of all, they have a wonderful program called S'Kids Club where your kids can enjoy planned activities while mom and dad enjoy a quiet game of golf, or perhaps a romantic couples massage.


The Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas is located on Rocky Point Island, convenient to both downtown Tampa and the airport. The 260 spacious guest rooms feature views of either the city skyline or the waters of Tampa Bay. Hotel amenities include a pool and fitness center. The hotel's beautiful waterfront location offers access to the Bay with a sandy beach area and pier featuring onsite watersport equipment and boat rentals to take full advantage. The full-service restaurant and bar, WTR Bar & Grill, offers tons of outdoor seating and entertainment including a Tiki bar, beach volleyball and fire pits.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Tampa's Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas is a budget-friendly option that offers families great Bay views and waterfront access.

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Wingate by Wyndham Tampa is located directly across the street from University of South Florida and less than a mile away from Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. Other nearby attractions include the popular Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). Awarded Customer Service honors by Wyndham Worldwide and Green Lodging Certification by the State of Florida DEP, the Wingate strives for the highest standards for their leisure and corporate travelers alike. Hotel highlights include free shuttle service to popular destinations within a three-mile radius, complimentary 40-item hot breakfast, free internet, a business center, fitness room, and indoor whirlpool and outdoor pool. There is also an on-site lounge that serves wine and beer on tap nightly.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: The Wingate by Wyndham is close to Busch Gardens and MOSI and features an outdoor pool and in-room game systems.

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The Homewood Suites by Hilton Tampa Airport - Westshore is conveniently situated in the heart of the Westshore Business District, just two miles from Tampa International Airport. The central location is only minutes away from outdoor activities and top attractions, as well as shopping, dining and entertainment venues. There is a spacious studio, one and two-bedroom suites featuring fully-equipped kitchens with full-size appliances and complimentary high-speed internet access. Whether you're traveling for a few days or an extended period of time, guests can enjoy complimentary airport transportation, dinner delivery service, outdoor swimming pool and fitness center, sport court, and business center. Additionally, the hotel offers complimentary hot breakfast daily and a Welcome Home reception Monday through Thursday evenings with assorted beverages, beer and wine.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Homewood Suites in Tampa offers families large suites, outdoor amenities and a convenient location close to the airport.

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The Residence Inn Tampa Downtown is located in the middle of downtown Tampa and offers pedestrian access to many downtown attractions. Complimentary shuttle service is also offered for destinations within a 2-mile radius of the hotel. The 109 rooms at the Residence Inn Tampa Downtown are mostly suites, some of which have fireplaces. Pets are permitted with a deposit. A complimentary breakfast is offered each morning, and a manager's reception offers free afternoon cocktails Monday thru Thursday. The hotel has a swimming pool, whirlpool, workout room, and sports courts for basketball and tennis. There is free Internet access in the public areas and parking is available on site.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: The Residence Inn located in downtown Tampa offers great outdoor amenities and is within walking distance of many family-friendly attractions.

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The new Holiday Inn Express & Suites is adjacent to Busch Gardens/Adventure Island and is also the closest hotel to the University of South Florida and Florida Hospital. While staying at this tropically landscaped Tampa hotel, you can enjoy premium amenities including an outdoor swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness center, business center and a complimentary hot breakfast bar. The well-appointed rooms come complete with a microwave and mini-fridge to stash your snacks and juice drinks. Pets under 30 pounds are also welcome. This hotel is committed to providing accessible facilities under the American Disabilities Act. Free parking is available.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Kids will enjoy the pool and close access to Busch Gardens at this pet-friendly Holiday Inn Express in 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 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 Family-Friendly Hotels because: Kids and parents alike will enjoy Saddlebrook Resort's outdoor activities, suite accommodations, and popular S'Kids Club.

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The Embassy Suites Tampa Convention Center is in the middle of the downtown entertainment district. For visitors to Tampa's Convention Center, the hotel is conveniently connected via pedestrian walkway and guests are also only a short walk away from attractions such as the Tampa Art Museum and the Tampa Bay History Center. There are 360 well-appointed guest rooms at this hotel designed as two-room suites. Hotel perks include a free, cooked to order breakfast, evening cocktails in the bar area, heated outdoor pool, indoor Jacuzzi, and workout zone. The hotel has its own business center, and conference space for meetings and events is available.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: With convenient access to downtown Tampa attractions and transportation, Embassy Suites is an all-suite hotel that caters to families as well as business travelers.

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Sailport Waterfront Suites
Photo courtesy of Sailport Waterfront Suites

Sailport Waterfront Suites is located on Rocky Point Island with each suite featuring stunning waterfront views and private balconies. Recently renovated guest rooms feature full-size kitchens, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi throughout. Perfect for longer stays, the property features a well-stocked Ships Store, on-site laundry and complimentary parking. Great for families, there is plenty of space in the one and two-bedroom suites for kids to spread out and plenty of outdoor amenities to keep them occupied including a sunning beach, heated pool, beach volleyball and games area. This reasonably-priced hotel offers daily, weekly and monthly rates.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Sailport Waterfront Suites features plenty of space in their one and two-bedroom suites and tons of outdoor amenities.

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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 specializes in northern Italian cuisine and features one of the most inventive menus in town. There is also Oystercatchers, one of the area's best seafood restaurants.

Recommended for Family-Friendly Hotels because: Kids will love the outdoor amenities at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay including two pools, a sunning beach, tennis courts and a beautiful nature walk.

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Emerald Greens Golf and Country Club features condo 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 Family-Friendly Hotels because: Emerald Greens offers families tons of outdoor activities just a short drive to Tampa's popular kid-friendly attractions.

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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