We decided to give Le Meridien and Bizou (see the separate review) a whirl on the second night they were open. It was exciting to have a Le Meridien in Tampa. I'd stayed at the one in Lisbon years ago with my dear friend Brett and enjoyed it quite a bit but hadn't been back to one since.
The staff were inviting and seemed experienced from the valet to the bellhop to the front desk associated. The place looks fantastic with all the old marble and wood restored beautifully. There are wide spaces and halls where you can imagine attorneys, clients and the press clamoring during court recesses.
I was able to see two rooms on account of a minor mix up. I'd booked a suite but was first shown to a regular room. The regular room was minimal in terms of decor with clean lines that I prefer. I inquired of the front desk if this was what they considered a suite and received a profuse apology plus bonus star points for the error. The suite was much nicer with plenty of room to have our friend up to after dinner but not a minibar to entertain out of.
Again, the decorations were clean (sparse) and linear. The bathroom was nicely appointed, water was hot enough and of course it was nice to be the first person to shower in the room. Speaking of water there was only one bottle of water which after a night of drinking was not enough. The final two issues were that at about 330 a loud hammering started. When I called to complain it stopped immediately and the next day I received an apology via email with an offer of more points to make up for it. The other issue that will be more difficult to address is that valet parks the car three blocks away so it's a good 15 minute wait for the car. I'll definitely call ahead next time.