I spent 5 weeks on business in Tampa January-February 2013 and stayed at this property for the duration. The hotel is well located near downtown and the convention center. My group had rooms on the 12th floor "Starwood Preferred" floor, which seemed indistinguishable from any other floor. I had a 12" balcony but the sliding door would not, and could not not be opened (I asked). The King room I had was nicely appointed and comfortable for work, meaning it had a nice size desk, internet connection, and large-screen flat-panel TV that swivels. The Heavenly bed and dual shower head were welcome amenities. After 5 weeks I was just as comfortable there as when I first arrived.
There were some drawbacks, namely the occasional cockroach some of my colleagues encountered in their rooms an dining area, and very slow elevators. There are only three guest elevators, which in the mornings caused 5-10 minute wait times. To the hotel's credit, whenever the property was fully booked, they made the two service elevators, located behind the guest elevators, available to guests, with helpful lobby signs directing you to them. Actually, the service elevators are available anytime so I used them almost exclusively. The pool area is rather small and difficult to get to first time (ask directions). The fitness room was also quite small, the size of a suite, and too warm and stuffy to be inviting.
In-room food service was fine, with expected high prices. The service and front desk staff were universally pleasant, helpful, and eager to please.
If you need to get downtown, the hotel offers a free shuttle (tips appreciated). I chose to walk the mile to my office and found I really looked forward to that every day. You can swing around the convention center on River Walk and get there in 15-20 minutes.
On weekends, tucked under the bridge from the mainland to Harbour Island is a City Bike Tampa rental hut. I recommend taking one out in the morning (open at 10:00 a.m.) and then make a day of it tooling around neighboring Davis Islands, Channel Side, Ybor City, and the three museums downtown (MOPA, Museum of Art, and Plant Museum). Tampa is a beautiful city so get out and enjoy it if you're there on business.
Our group coordinator was apologetic that she couldn't arrange accommodations closer to our office building downtown because our timing conflicted with several conventions and Gasparilla, the pirate invasion/Mardi Gras festival, but I couldn't have been happier that we stayed on Harbour Island at the Westin.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Westin Tampa Harbour Island is a luxury hotel located on the Bay near the downtown business district, Ybor City, the Convention Center, the Times Forum, Clearwater Beaches, and more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Westin Tampa Harbour Island Hotel Tampa
- Tampa Westin