Date of stay: June 23, 2012-1 night in Room #237
We drove from Orlando for one night since I needed one night to complete my Priority Club 2nd quarter 5000 point bonus reward offer. I had originally booked at the Intercontinental, where I stayed twice for 3 nights altogether in February (one of the rare times that I never wrote a review but will one day). I had a rate of $139, which included a $25 AMEX gift card but nothing else so basically $114 although I would have received an automatic upgrade, a fruit basket, and some bottled water because of my Platinum Ambassador status. About 3 weeks prior to my stay, I emailed Melissa Golub, who had been responding to reviews at this Crowne Plaza hotel and asked her to tell me why I should choose her hotel over the Intercontinental. On June 19, I checked the rates and saw that I could stay at the CP for $104 and receive breakfast for two so I decided to cancel my IC reservation and book at CP, even though I had received no response. The next day, she replied to my email and apologized for the delay and explained she had been on vacation. She offered me a rate slightly lower for the same package so I emailed her and told her that I had booked the day before. She responded quickly and gave me her better rate and offered me a Cabana suite. I accepted her offer. She also mentioned that I would receive one cocktail and one bottled water per person because of my Platinum status. When I arrived, she had also left a handwritten note plus her cell phone number, in case I experienced any major problems. What professional and caring service!
We arrived just after 1 pm and were warmly greeted. My Platinum status was recognized, and I received my room keys, breakfast coupons, and 2 complimentary cocktails because of my Priority status, as mentioned earlier. The water was waiting in the room with Melissa’s note. The Cabana suite rooms are in a separate 3 story area by the pool. The main hotel is about 10 stories tall although I only went to the 4th floor to get ice. This is one of my minor complaints-no ice machine in the Cabana area so you either have to go to the bar or to the machines on the 4th-10th floors. When I asked the housekeeper where the nearest machine was, she did offer to get it for me, but I said no. What over and beyond service! There were some other minor concerns-horrible music playing by the poolside even though it was raining as Tropical Storm Debbie was nearby. This could be heard very easily in the front, living room area of the cabana suite. It did go off at 9pm, and again, another great reaction by the staff, when I asked about 8 pm, they said they could turn it down, but I said, “that’s ok” since they mentioned the 9 pm turn off. One other minor issue was that when I stepped in the shower, the mold/mildew smell was overwhelming, but once the water started, it disappeared. They probably need to take the cap off and wipe or pour bleach or vinegar down the drain. Nothing major and no where near as bad as at the Holiday Inn in Sydney, Australia, two years ago when the smell lingered the whole stay. As I was leaving, it was raining and someone was sitting by the 2nd floor entrance to the elevator area and was smoking. Due to the rain, there was no was to go around him so I had to use steps, which are just partially protected from the weather when the wind is blowing. Smokers should be banned from anywhere with 25 yards (or miles) of the hotel!
The first room had a sectional sofa (leather, which was sticky to hot skin but understood for a cabana suite where people go after swimming), a chair, a table, a large screen tv with computer access (this was not free like wifi). The free wifi worked great, and they gave me an access code at check-in so only positive words there. There was also another table, a sink, and two closets, one of which has a refrigerator and a microwave. There was a short hall to the bedroom area. The bathroom was on the left and had a sink with many wonderful amenities and a rain shower. A tub may have been nice, but the shower was fantastic. The bedroom had a king sized bed plus an armoire with another tv, which was slightly smaller than the one in the living room. There was a closet with hangers. The annoying music from the pool could not be heard in the back bedroom. There was a small high window near the ceiling for exterior light but not much more. The air was controlled from the bedroom and was more easily cooled than the living room area. Separate thermostats would have been wise. One bigger negative was the lack of a safe. This should be a standard in a hotel that is used for business travelers and especially in the highest level rooms! Also, the tv channel selection needs upgrading-about 25 channels but many missing signals and many more potential ones not even offered.
The staff at the Mojito were very friendly when we went for our free cocktails. The coupon was for wine, beer, or well drink. Tanqueray was the well gin. How could you beat that? When I decided to consider booking there on June 19 as I mentioned earlier, I called the hotel directly to inquire about breakfast and parking. They had valet parking, but also free self service, and there were no issues. The nice, enthusiastic lady who answered my call on June 19 described the breakfast buffet as “extensive”. Not really sure where she got that idea. It was better than Holiday Inn Express since there were two hot meats, sausage patties and bacon, but there was no cheese, cold cuts, etc. The service was superb, but one had to ask for juices, coffee, etc. Other than the bacon and sausage, there were waffles (already made) and hot syrup plus mass produced scrambled eggs. I am not sure if it’s standard, but I did ask for and received 3 over medium eggs. This made the situation awkward since I wasn’t 100% sure if they would try to charge me for those 3 eggs even though I had asked the female server who implied that there would be no extra charge. I thought the male server may bring over a bill, but no one did so finally, I got up and just handed them my two coupons. If they had come over to get them, I would have left a tip, but due to the uncertainty and my having to make the effort, I chose not to leave anything. “Extensive” as the lady who answered the phone stated would have implied an omelet station and an offer for made to order egg dishes. I also was told on the phone that I could have either the buffet or order off the menu. I was told very abruptly by one of the male waiters/seaters that my coupon did not entitle me to the menu. There were many breads and a toaster wheel. There was some fresh fruit, but the oranges were very seedy and had lots of hard inedible sectional pieces. They also had yogurt and assorted cereals.
Checkout was smooth and quick. The statement left in my door included a request to post a review on TripAdvisor, but I most always do that anyway. That has happened to me twice, and both times I wondered if they did it because of my status and the perception that I would write a good review because of my attitude and smile. This hotel deserved a great rating so I am going to be honest even if there was a solicitation for a review!
In comparing the IC to the CP, it would depend on the rates at any given date plus my needs and travel reasons so both are top notch and will both receive my future business. To sum up, I had a great stay. I am very picky and write detailed reviews as anyone knows who has read my 100+ reviews on TripAdvisor. Holiday Inn and others should hire me to travel the world and review their hotels and restaurants anonymously! I do point out the few flaws, but I also try to point out the extras. This hotel and the IC both deserve top rankings for their service and accommodations!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Tampa's newest premier hotel. The new Crowne Plaza Hotel Tampa Westshore offers a uniqueness all its own that can perhaps be best described as modern and fresh but elegantly posh. The Crowne Plaza Hotel Tampa Westshore offers its guest complimentary shuttle service to and from Tampa Airport. The Crowne Plaza Hotel Tampa Westshore is located less than 2 miles from Tampa International Airport (TPA) and in the heart of the thriving Westshore business district. Our hotel is only a short walk from the Westshore Plaza Mall, offering the finest in shopping, dining and entertainment. Additionally, we are just minutes from the University of Tampa, Tampa General and the University of South Florida. While visiting the Crowne Plaza Hotel Tampa Westshore, you will find that our location is convenient to many attractions such as Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, Raymond James Stadium, George M Steinbrenner Field, Tropicana Field, Florida Aquarium, St. Pete Times Forum and the Port of Tampa located at Channelside.Local businesses include Bank of America, Humana, MacDill Air Force Base, Verizon, Wachovia, General Electric, Met Life and Cisco Systems. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore Hotel Tampa