I stayed at the Floridan Palace for three nights recently. I and several others were in Downtown Tampa for a festival at nearby Tampa Union Station (all 3 of us rented rooms at the Floridan). We ate several meals there (lunch and dinner) and enjoyed the bars in the hotel, as well.
First of all, this hotel is a great place. Hands down. The decor and history at the Floridan are just amazing and the fact that the owner has put so much time and talent into restoring this great Tampa landmark is laudable in the extreme. After all, this hotel was a boarded-up, vacant hulk of a building not that long ago.
The Floridan is still finding its legs, having been open for under a year. There are plenty of things still to be done, like implementing an online reservation system (I had to call the hotel to make a reservation). There is--as another reviewer noted--also no way yet for you to charge drinks or meals to your room. Policies are not even and consistent yet and things are not all in place. For instance, the nearest ice machine to my top floor room was in the lobby; my room also lacked a Do Not Disturb sign. I am confident that much-needed improvements like these will be implemented over time.
The staff here is friendly and accommodating, although don't expect a Ritz-Carlton-level of service. There is no doorman or harpist in the lobby (although the decor of the place suggests that there should be!). The front desk agents are more reminiscent of the staff you would encounter in a bed-and-breakfast, which is not a bad thing at all--but not 5 star.
I found my room to be quite clean and well-appointed. Others have complained about the mattresses, which are firm, but I had three nights of good sleep on them. The rooms here are not original per se; everything from walls and bathrooms inside of them is new. Still, they had a nice feel, with elegant furniture and plush carpeting.
On the restaurant and the bars, I found the staff to be friendly and hard-working. What they lacked in polish they more than made up for in sincerity and a desire to do well. The food was also very good. The setting is what is really special here--which is what the Floridan is.
I will return to the Floridan often and look forward to seeing them improve from a service level which is already much higher than what you find at many hotels in the Tampa Bay area. The others I travel with agree wholeheartedly with me and plan to return, too.
As a Tampa native, I am especially grateful to the Floridan's owner and staff for bringing this great icon back to life. Stay here if you want to enjoy something different in a very good way.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the legendary Floridan, located in the heart of Tampa. Built in 1926, this nineteen story hotel has been brought back to its original grandeur.Indulge yourself in old world charm, met with the modern comforts of today. With an eye for detail and a dash of flair, flawless service and luxury awaits you at every turn. The opening ceremony and ribbon cutting of this iconic landmark took place on July 28, 2012, making the Floridan Palace, once more the “crown jewel” of the city of Tampa. With historical expertise, and detailed craftsmanship, the hotel’s beauty and stature of its original state has been recaptured. The Floridan is one of the few hotels in the Tampa Bay area that is on the National Register of Historic Places. ... more less
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