My significant other and I spent a couple days in Tampa celebrating New Year's 2013-14 after spending the holidays with family and before flying home to Michigan. We decided early on that we wanted to stay at a fairly nice hotel right in downtown Tampa. We had a few options to choose from but decided on the Hilton - mainly because of the Hilton Honors rewards program (earning points) and because the TripAdvisor reviews were good. I can definitely say we were very pleased.
We arrived at the hotel around 3 p.m. - nice and early - on the day we checked in. The lobby and common areas inside the hotel are very, very nice, and my guess is that they had undergone some renovations in the recent past. The decor had a modern, sophisticated look to it, and it was all very inviting. We were definitely impressed with everything. In the lobby area there are multiple TV monitors, desktop computers, and iPads that guests could use for browsing the internet. That was kinda neat, but we didn't really need all that since we had our own laptop that we had brought (free wifi).
The gentleman who checked us in was very efficient and courteous. He gave us a very nice corner room on the highest floor (17th) of the building. Our room overlooked both the street below and the skyscrapers around it, but we also were able to see the bay in the background. It was quite a view.
The room was elegant, comfortable, and very clean - just as we would expect from a Hilton. The bed was very comfortable. However, there were a couple of disappointments regarding room furnishings not automatically being in working order when we first arrived. (The phone on the nightstand next to the bed wasn't originally working, and the lamp on the other nightstand was also not working. We explained the problems to the front desk staff, and they quickly sent a maintenance staff person up to the room to fix those things.)
There is an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub on the fifth floor roof of the hotel - overlooking the city. When we were there, I think they were in the process of constructing a new fitness center - which you'd get to on the way to the pool. It was too chilly outside to use the pool, but we did enjoy sitting in the hot tub a few hours before midnight on New Year's Eve. That was pretty awesome.
The restaurant (211) in the hotel is nice. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With our Hilton Honors reservation, we were given two vouchers per morning for a free breakfast in the restaurant. We were a bit disappointed that the vouchers were only good for the continental options (cereals, pastries, fruit, and beverage) - so we decided to pay an extra $6 each to upgrade to the full hot breakfast which includes eggs/omelette, bacon/sausage, potatoes, etc. Not that bad of a deal, but it would have been nice if all that had been included with our voucher.
We appreciated the fact that this Hilton had a bar that was open late, and so we were able to enjoy some alcoholic beverages while watching New Year's Eve coverage on the TV's down there. There were quite a few people doing the same ... great atmosphere and pleasant overall.
One thing we did not take advantage of was the Starbucks which is attached to the lobby of the hotel. That could have been nice to visit, but we just didn't have a chance. When we checked out of the hotel on New Year's morning, we had no issues at all. The check-out process was quick.
All in all, we loved this Hilton and would love the opportunity to stay there again in the future.