I learned something very important about Tampa/Brandon - there are lots of social rules. This hotel is no exception. My husband and I are not wild and crazy. Actually, we're quite quiet and like very little interference from hotel staff, etc. because we like to do our own thing and enjoy ourselves. There seem to be a lot of rules in the Tampa/Brandon area, for example: "sit wherever you like...but not there!"
What does this have to do with this particular hotel, you ask?
1. Daily notices that we had the do not disturb sign on our door so housekeeping didn't come in to clean our room. At the 3rd day, we were advised that housekeeping is required to clean our room. Reluctantly, we obeyed. We're not dirty people...we just like our privacy and to decrease the risk that housekeeping might take some of our possessions as their own souveniers. The rule is, I should not expect to have my privacy.
2. During the week, complimentary breakfast ends at 9:30...and they mean 9:30! If you show up at 9:00, you can also expect to get chided for not coming down sooner. The rule is, I should arrive early for breakfast and not try to get extra rest.
3. When you try to address the issue of breakfast ending at 9:30, you get directed to the sign that says breakfast ends at 9:30 with an irritated attitude by the front desk. The rule is, I shouldn't question their rules.
4. Complaining about the whirlpool in your room not working when you checkout is your fault for not reporting it sooner. My thought is, it should have worked properly in the first place. I'm responsible for so much at my job that when I take a vacation, I don't want to have to tend to fixing yet another problem. The rule though is that I should have taken care of it when it stopped working.
The room was ok. The non-working whirlpool was annoying. The shower was awesome. The bathroom was clean. The one time I allowed the housekeeper to clean our room, she sweetly put all of our toiletries that we brought on a towel on the counter (slightly creeping me out that she touched every single one of our possessions...but it was a sweet gesture). She didn't however give give us another hand soap (she threw our hand soap away) or lotion (lotion being the one item I forgot to bring). The bed was clean. The room was clean. Though it was a busy week for the hotel, it was rather quiet. The bed was comfy. The breakfast was...better than other hotels I've stayed in (including other Country Inn and Suites). So other than the inconvenience of the rules and the snarky attitude of the front desk and breakfast workers (not all of them but some)...it was an average place to stay. If you use the hotel as a base from which to explore Tampa and St. Pete...it's conveniently located next to the on-ramp for 75.
The complimentary cookies were a nice touch.
Would I stay there again...maybe. If I found some other place, I would probably be willing to try that over this hotel. That being said, I've certainly stayed in worse places - for example: Holiday Inn in Manchester, TN.