I decided to stay at the Floridan Palace last night after attending the Andrea Bocelli concert at the Tampa Bay Forum. Although my home is only 20 miles away the thought of driving home late at night didn't thrill me. Having attempted to make a reservation at a closer hotel and finding it already booked I reserved a room at the Floridan. When I first saw the hotel I wanted to go back home. It looks old and is in a rather deserted area of downtown Tampa. Glad I didn't judge that book by it's cover! You are transformed into another era when you walk into the door and up the stairs to the lobby. It is beautiful and the smells coming from the packed restaurant were incredible and very welcoming. Upon check-in I realized that maybe the hotel wasn't very welcoming after all. The young man at the desk was not friendly in the slightest way and must have been afraid that if he smiled his face would crack. This was also true of the young woman that took over for him in the evening. I checked in around 2:00 and was told that the restaurant was booked through the entire evening but that I could eat in the bar. I went down to the bar around 4:00 and was pleasantly surprised at the menu! I ordered some wine and decided on the grilled octopus and a wonderful platter of Greek dips, stuffed grape leaves, feta cheese, and pita bread. It was beautiful and delicious! The bar tender was a very friendly young man that made up for the very unfriendly one at the desk. He was extremely busy but kept a smile on his face! My room was absolutely beautiful and huge! Nothing like I expected. It is probably the most elegant room I have ever stayed in. Unfortunately this had to be the most uncomfortable bed that I have ever slept on in my life with the worst pillows!!! There isn't a coffee maker in the room nor is there a soda machine on the premises. There was a fridge with bottled water in the credenza. The new owners have done a lovely job of the renovation but maybe they should now concentrate on the details of putting coffee makers in the rooms, figuring out what to do with those mattresses and pillows, putting blankets/spreads on the beds, and especially.......finding people to work at the reservation desk that can be welcoming and smile!
- 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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