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“Nice Hotel but Terrible Location” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina

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Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   700 South Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602 (Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #7 of 159 Hotels in Tampa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Calgary, AB
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel but Terrible Location”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2009

I stayed at the Tampa Marriott Waterside for a week in April 2009 for a conference. As one might expect with a Marriott property, the rooms were good, the bed was good, the shower was hot, and the TV worked properly. Checkin and checkout were efficient.

As for location, there's only two reasons you'd ever want to come near this hotel - (1) A convention that's held next door, and (2) A concert or hockey game at the St. Pete Times Forum across the street. In this case the location is so bad that I sent an email to the organizers of my conference and told them that if they ever have it here again I won't attend.

Let's take a step back and talk about Tampa. It's the strangest and dullest city on the planet. I walked for blocks in almost every direction from this hotel. I went over onto Harbor Island, I walked all the way to Channelside a couple of times, and even took the trolley into Centro Ybor. Other than than two Starbucks - one in my hotel and the other across the street in the Embassy Suites, one drycleaners on Harbor Island, and one gas station half way to Centro Ybor there is NOTHING that would sustain life. During my travels I saw no grocery stores, mini-marts, drug stores, strip malls, national fast food or pizza chains, or shopping malls. NOTHING. It was as if some alien life form had come to earth and tried to figure out what the utopian life ought to be and gone home to build their version with fancy condos, marinas, and 5 star hotels, but somehow overlooked all the details that are needed to sustain life. To spend 8 days in a major US city and not see a McDonalds, KFC, Taco Bell, or free-standing starbucks is just simply too strange for words.

As for Centro Ybor, it's the most overrated historic shopping district I've ever encountered. Pretty much all that's there is a movie theater and half a dozen restaurants. Don't waste your time.

Given all of this, you'll often find yourself stuck at the hotel. There are a couple of good restaurants across on Harbor Island (Cafe Dufrain and Jackson's) and a good Cuban place half way to Channelside, but other than that there's nothing. There are three restaurants in the hotel. There's an italian place that's so expensive I didn't dare eat there because my boss woudn't have signed my expense report. There's a sports bar with flat beer on tap and high fat, high salt pub food. There's also another restaurant that I ate breakfast at the first day and the food was mediocre so I never went back. The lobby bar is great however.

So overall there's little or no reason to come to this hotel. If you attend conventions and conferences annually and you find the current year's event is here, perhaps it's a good year to take a break and save your company some money. You'll be happy you did, and so will your boss.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,346 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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S Wales
Top Contributor
234 reviews 234 reviews
189 hotel reviews
Reviews in 132 cities Reviews in 132 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2009

Stayed 3 nights in late Feb at the conference rate of $209 per night.

A good experience. Good location. My room overlooked the harbour. Room slightly smaller than I'd expect from a full service Marriott but no problems.

I like the Marriotts as they provide access to Internet roaming accounts. So instead of paying the $15 per day fee for the Internet, I was able to log on via my roaming account for nothing.

The pool area was pleasant (on the 3rd floor) with a bar and sun loungers. I imagine it could get very crowded in peak season but it was very pleasant in Feb - I even managed to get sun burn. Gym located adjacent to the pool was good with lots of modern well maintained kit. No charge for gym or pool.

They have a Starbucks in the hotel and a small shop so if you don't ant to pay for the full breakfast you can pick up the std stuff without leaving the hotel. Didn't try any of the restaurants but the conference food was fine.

The only niggle/warning I'd pass on is that the in-room folder says that there is no hotel charge for toll free calls. so I made several and noticed that they had charged me $1.15 per call. The receptionist claimed it was a 'typo' and that the calls were chargeable. I presented my evidence and she very sensibly agreed to 'waive' the charge! I wonder how many are caught out.

Other than this it was a fine stay and worked well!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FL
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2009

A group of friends and I just stayed at this property on Saturday, February 28th. The valets, bell staff and the front desk were all very helpful and nice. We requested a roll away bed and got one no problem. The bathroom was clean, but a bit small. The tv is a newer plasma and it has a set up for an ipod charger/speaker. Overall a great location right across the street from the $2 street car station. Picking up your car can be a mess if you dont call down in advance before coming down during peak check out time. Overall a nice place, great location and staff, rooms could me a bit more modern for my taste.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2009

This hotel is a typical Marriott property - that is to say that it is operated to a high standard. The rooms are decorated nicely, with comfortable furnishings and appropriate amenities. The staff are pleasant and professtional and you feel safe and welcome at all times. The location is pretty - overlooking the water and near to where the large cruise ships dock. It is a short walk to the convention center, Canal side entertainment area, the St Pete Times Forum and at least one museum. A streetcar line stop is adjacent to the hotel - the street cars are restored antiques - fun to ride- and they run all the way to Ybor City. The hotel restaurants are as expected - pleasant middle of the road food that will offend no one. The health club is complimentary, as is wifi in the lobby. There is an in room charge for internet. ** The starbucks in the lobby is open limited hours and is not a "real" starbucks. There is a real full line starbucks across the street in the embassy suites. The spa is nice - a manicure/pedicure with all the spa touches is about $85 - (there are also cheaper options) - and a full range of massages and facials are also offered.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, MD
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2009

I stayed at this hotel for a conference - great location for that since the center is right across the street. The hotel itself is great. The rooms are pretty good, the restaurants are great, and the service is amazing. I requested a room overlooking the water a few weeks prior to arriving and got one with no problem. The view was really nice and it was nice to just sit on the balcony with a cold beer after a long day at the convention too.

The only thing I didn't like was the pool not being heated. Granted, I stayed in November. However, the weather outside was good enough for a swim, but the water was ice cold. You'd think that a hotel of this magnitude could keep the pool heated year-round. This was Florida, wasn't it?

Aside from being next to the convention center, there really wasn't anything else location-wise that was good about it. Restaurants are a hike in alost any direction. If you don't have a car at your disposal, this can be frustrating. In addition, it seems like the restaurants and stores at Channelside are feeling the effects of the down economy - some are closed for good, some close a random night a week to save money. Splitsville was better than expected - kitchy bowling alley with restaurant. Surprisingly good drinks and food at reasonable prices. The aquarium was good too, but smaller than I had expected. If you're looking for souvenirs in this area - good luck.

But if you're at a conference where you'll be stuck at the hotel for most of the time, this is a great hotel to be stuck at. The overall room quality is what is to be expected for a Marriott. The rooms also have a cooler - not really a refrigerator. It'll keep food/drinks cool, but not cold. Odd.

  • Liked — Great food selections.
  • Disliked — Location.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
181 helpful votes 181 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2008

We attended meetings here and were impressed, probably in large part because of an upgrade to a newly refurbished suite. The room was lovely and spacious, very good service throughout the hotel, including front desk, concierge, bellman etc. Nice breakfast buffet, big lobby for congregating over drinks with others.
Convenient location to pick up the antique-looking trolley to Ybor City.
The hotel is across the street from the Convention Center and the hockey arena.
Two outstanding local restaurants: Restaurant BT in Hyde Park Village, and Mise en Place on W. Kennedy.
A fun break -- a 20 minute drive to Clearwater Beach and something to eat and a beer at one of the Frenchys restaurants (try the one on the beach itself).

Stayed December 2008, traveled on business
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Austria
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2008

I have just returned from five nights at the Tampa Marriott Waterside during an international scientific conference. The conference organizers offered reduced rates for several hotels. Having consulted Tripadvisor I thought that the most expensive choice - the Tampa Marriott Waterside - would be worth the extra cost. I was wrong.

Having arrived in Tampa late at night after a 20 hour trip from Europe, I was assigned a room in the 4th floor. I immediately realized that there was a noisy fresh air fan next to the beds which could not be turned off (see atached image). The receptionist told me that state law would forbid turning off the fresh air fan, and that this would hold for every room (which turned out to be not true). I have never experienced such an internal noise in any hotel room. I had to buy earplugs the next day. The problems following during the next 24 hours have led to a total of five visits of the house technician: The water of the shower was rather lukewarm than hot (and was brown at the beginning), the water flush of the toilet would not stop after having used it twice. After several items of the toiled water flush had been replaced, it would periodically flush every two minutes. I requested another room, but was told this would only possible if the problem could not be fixed. From 7 a.m to 8 p.m , the room was
surrounded by noise, resulting from refurbishments of several neighboring rooms of the 4th floor and the 5th floor. I was at the convention anyway, but one of the reasons of chosing a hotel near the convention center is to easily have a short break/rest during the day in the hotel room.

The entire floor itself was dirty (see attached images), the floor
has not been cleaned during my entire visit. I have never seen such a run-down environment in a hotel, let alone in a place which is supposed to be upscale. I initially intended to strongly disadvise accepting rooms of the 4th floor. But when checking out the room, the piles of trash cans, electric irons, and coat-hangers in the 4th floor indicated anyway that I had spent the very last night before complete renovation of all rooms of the floor.

Fortunately this was a business trip, with the room being paid by my company. I would have been certainly insisted more on a room change otherwise. All told, this was one of the most unpleasant stays I have ever had in a hotel (including ordinary motel chains). I will never return to any Marriott hotel in the future.

  • Liked — Proximity to convention center
  • Disliked — room
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina

Address: 700 South Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
Location: United States > Florida > Tampa > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Tampa
#4 Business Hotel in Tampa
#7 Family Hotel in Tampa
#8 Green Hotel in Tampa
#10 Romantic Hotel in Tampa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina 3.5*
Number of rooms: 717
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A striking silhouette along the Channel Riverwalk, the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina in Ybor City overlooks Tampa Bay in the heart of Downtown, located adjacent to the Tampa Convention Center. This world-class Downtown Tampa hotel's 50,000 square feet of newly renovated meeting space, full-service spa, and several delicious restaurants such as Café Waterside and Champions, make it the perfect destination for work and play. Part of the Channelside District, the Tampa Marriott is among the most luxurious of hotels in Tampa, Florida, with newly renovated rooms and suites offering private bay or city view balconies. After a busy day, unwind in one of this Tampa, Florida hotel's lounges or enjoy culinary excellence at Il Terrazzo. For ultimate relaxation, try our spa, jacuzzi, or rooftop pool! Boaters can dock and stay using the 32-slip, full-service Marina at the exclusive Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina near Ybor City. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Tampa
Tampa Marriott

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