As a neigbor, I have enjoyed visitng the Sapphire Room at the Floridan Palace several times since it reopened last summer...here are my thoughts, intended to be positively received.
Ambiance - Nicely done, although a decorator for the finishing touches would be helpful (placement of pictures, better atmospheric lighting, esp in the darker corners).
Having a pianist on wkends is a wonderful touch - but, the music is way too loud for conversation and should only be in the background - please!
Food - Usually tasty, although appetitzer portions have varied in serving size several times. And distance from kitchen to bar often means tepid food - there should be a better, more efficient way than having the bar staff leave the area to collect the food orders.
Service - Now that a real, professional bartender is in place, wonderful service is offered...the same with the on-their-toes staff on the floor.
Suggestion to management: It may be necessary to have a manager in the room, but how about one who smiles a welcome, one who steps up to clear tables, take orders when needed, and helps direct first-timers? Rather than one who stands in the corner almost glowering at everyone, other than the staff (who tend to congregate in the corner where he stands guard to chat)...
And staff should never be seen eating their dinner on the floor in an establishment of this level - very tacky. Let them take a much-needed break and enjoy their meal behind the scene.
As someone who loves hotel bars, a visit to the Sapphire Room probably will not disappoint (Th, Fri, Sat only). The upstairs bar is also comfortable, albeit without the loud piano music, and is open more evenings than the Sapphire Room - but without the genial Nate behind the bar to make things run smoothly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the legendary Floridan, located in the heart of Tampa. Built in 1926, this nineteen story hotel has been brought back to its original grandeur.Indulge yourself in old world charm, met with the modern comforts of today. With an eye for detail and a dash of flair, flawless service and luxury awaits you at every turn. The opening ceremony and ribbon cutting of this iconic landmark took place on July 28, 2012, making the Floridan Palace, once more the “crown jewel” of the city of Tampa. With historical expertise, and detailed craftsmanship, the hotel’s beauty and stature of its original state has been recaptured. The Floridan is one of the few hotels in the Tampa Bay area that is on the National Register of Historic Places. ... more less
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