I am a Tampa local. My husband and I just wanted to get away from home and enjoy the weekend at a hotel together. I am a SPG member so I wanted to try out one of their properties that I have not been to yet. There is not one negative thing that I have to say about this hotel.
LOCATION is one of the best things about this hotel. You are just a few minutes from the Tampa Airport, the Buccaneers stadium, International Mall shopping area and more. You are literally staying on the bridge that connects Tampa to Clearwater Beach and St Pete Beach. There is not really anywhere to walk to besides restaurants. If you need a store or CVS or mall you will need to have a rental car or taxi but most places in Florida are like this. There is not good public transportation in Florida like they have in big cities but you do get the laid-back beach life and beautiful weather in exchange!
The hotel is definitely basic. There is no spa etc Just the necessities but everything is Starwood
THE ROOM : We had a basic King room and got a good deal because we have AAA. We had room # 1203 and the view was beautiful. We saw a pretty sunrise and sunset! The bathroom was very spacious. Seperate tub and shower with dual shower heads. The room and the entire hotel feels VERY CLEAN. The Signature Heavenly Bed was of course Heavenly! We were on the "Preferred Guest Level " which I thought was a nice touch. There are no balconies which was a bummer but I checked and no hotels in the surrounding areas have balconies either.
PET FRIENDLY: We traveled with our 6 pound Cavapoo puppy and she was treated like royalty at this property. Major brownie points here! There was no pet deposit. We only had to sign a waiver agreeing to pay for any damages that she might do during the stay. We keep our puppy in a crate so I was not worried about this. A few minutes after we had settled into our room, the bellman delivered a Westin Heavenly Pet Bed and water bowl to our room. It was a really nice touch. At some hotels you feel like you have to sneak around and you feel bad for bringing your pet. The Westin made us not only feel at home, but we felt a little spoiled too! There is a park directly next to the hotel that is perect fopr walking your dog. Even if you don't have a pet - it is a nice place for a walk or jog.
DINING: We had lunch on the outside patio of the AQUA restaurant. It was excellent. The view was wonderful. There is a TINY man made beach area where you can lay out or rent jet skis there. We took the FREE SHUTTLE to Armani's which is an upscale restaurant just about two minutes down the road. The experience there is a must if you are in Tampa. It is sort of an older crowd but the service is impeccable and the view on their outside patio is wonderful. We enjoyed many glasses of champagne by the fire pit. We had late night snacks at the bar which closes at 12midnight once we returned to the hotel. We also ordered breakfast in bed which , like at any hotel, was way overpriced but worth it!
RECREATION: It is about a 25 minute drive to the actual beach from the hotel but you are driving over the Tampa Bay most of the drive so it is very nice. Directly next to the hotel are some areas where you can still enjoy laying out by the water of the Tampa Bay. The pool and the hot tub at the Westin were very basic but clean and open 24 hrs . I really enjoyed our late night swim. The pool is indoors on the first level of the hotel. The hotel now rents out workout clothes and sneakers for you to use. I didn't use this service but it is a great idea because I hate packing sneakers! They take up so much room in my bag.
The staff was wonderful. They went out of their way to fulfill every request we had. We were given at late check out for 2pm. The valet, the front desk, the drivers, the service - all the staff were great.
Over all a wonderful stay at the Westin. If this hotel had a spa I would be returning on a regular basis. Too bad they don't :( For a very basic stay it is great! Feel free to message me if you have any questions about the Westin or travel in the Tampa Bay area!