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“Amazing New Year's Day Brunch!!”

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Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection
Ranked #7 of 164 Hotels in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed January 1, 2014

My friends and I - a group of 65+ year old women- had brunch there today to celebrate a birthday and it was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! From the moment we walked pulled up into the car entrance the service was spot on. The hotel is beautifully designed- very chic for a neighborhood boutique hotel. We felt like we were in NYC not South Tampa!! The food was unbelievable and priced very nicely as well :) We will most certainly be back again- maybe next time for a visit to the Edge rooftop bar and dinner at Elevage! We can't wait for the spa and bakery to open in the coming weeks- BRAVO!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Carol G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EpicureanHotel, General Manager at Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2014

Thank you for your review of your brunch at Élevage. I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your meal and that you found everything to be top notch. Our Spa and Patisserie are now open and I hope that you will come enjoy both soon.

Sincerely,
Tom Haines
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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686 - 692 of 707 reviews

Reviewed December 28, 2013

Had dinner at Elevage the hotel restaurant last night and service/staff all around bad!!!!! First it took about an hour to get drinks even though we had a waiter and a waiters assistant. We never even got some of our drinks and some apps were also forgotten and the waiter was totally rude about it! We were seated at 7:30 and didnt eat until 10pm, not by choice but that is how long it took them to not only take orders but get food out. We were barely checked on and then our bills were wrong and got an attitude when was asked nicely to fix. Very unprofessional staff, wouldnt expect it even at Mcdonalds let alone a fancy expensive restaurant. The manager didn't seem to care that there were a lot of unhappy customers either and it wasnt just our table complaining. Then to top it off we were never told there was a charge for valet (it was $5) and even after i paid the valet who was very rude looked at me and acted ike he didnt believe I paid him yet! I guess he got amnesia in that 15 min that I was standing there waiting even though there was no line. The place itself is beautiful but customer service is out the door! BAD BAD BAD, and today we find out we were overcharged some by $60 for dinner/tip!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013 via mobile

FINALLY! Tampa has a hotel that flaunts it's hidden traits: fun culture, incredible food and light atmosphere! The city has been patiently waiting for this type of grown-up fun and culture. Having been to some of Marriott's finest locations this property takes the cake and is a MUST EXPERIENCE for anyone who enjoys nice things and exceptional food! The name says it all and any Epicurean will appreciate the reverence to food and beverage this lovely hotel honors!
I envision this property actually becoming the epicenter of foodie-cations. All friends, family and strangers I know who appreciate food will be advised this is the best overall hotel experience in the Bay!
Staff are fantastic, being greeted at the door by my personal concierge was a nice touch and Jessica was very knowledgable about the property. I don't know if all the rooms are the same but the style is like a masculine contemporary, comfortable and obviously very clean. As a huge fan of Tassimo... I was pleasantly surprised there was a top of the line Tassimo machine in each room. I wonder if whoever designed the details of this hotel climbed into my mind and created my dream room? Well done Mariott, Mainsail, Bern's this will have all foodies world wide buzzing!

Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
2  Thank mutinyluv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EpicureanHotel, General Manager at Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2014

Thank you for your kind words about your stay at the Epicurean Hotel. As one of the first guests, your feedback is particularly helpful. I appreciate your comments and hope to see you again in the future.

Sincerely,
Tom Haines
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2013

Excellent Guest service from the moment I made the call to book the room until the moment we checked out and drove away. Personal detail from the reservation staff, Edyta and Russell emailing me new details needed for our trip prior to our arrival. The amazing staff at the hotel, Nicole,S'wat, Shawn & Kelly greeted us with energized professionalism as we were escorted to our room and shown the many details that went into this hotel's completion. The large rooms, Rainshower and flat screen TV made us all want to stay in the room longer than we should. Pre concert drinks and appetizers were enjoyed by my parents and I at E'levage. The staff was very knowledgeable about the menu and wine selections. The Rockapella after party was so much fun and we felt like we were all having a NYC experience as we sipped drinks from the 4th floor rooftop lounge, Edge. The hotel is within walking distance to many of our South Tampa hangouts, but why leave the hotel... the great food and wine is right there under your own roof. During our 4 day stay we even got to meet the General Manager Tom, and the President of Mainsail Lodging and Development Joe Collier. Proud to live in a city that embraces new ideas and enhances the South Tampa experience is such a positive way. We can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Rooms on the West Side look out onto the courtyard, rooms on the east face South Howard Avenue.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Lisa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EpicureanHotel, General Manager at Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2014

Thank you for your review of your stay at the Epicurean Hotel. I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and that our staff provided excellent service. We do hope that you will choose to visit us again in the near future.

Sincerely,
Tom Haines
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

Very disappointed. We have been waiting a long time for the Hotel to open up and made reservations for Christmas day. The menu choices were very slim and casual. The server was rude and could not explain anything on the menu. The side dishes were on the dessert menu so we never saw them till we got the the desert menu.

We all ordered the Berns famous steak sandwich. The server did not ask how we wanted our steak cooked. One of us asked to have it cooked medium Pittsburgh. The server said we can not do that! !

When our food was delivered two of our steaks were delivered not rare but raw!! When we called the server over to send back the steaks he argued with us and said you wanted it Pittsburgh! The funny thing is the person who ordered the Pittsburgh didn't get the raw steak!! And to remind you the server said it could not be be done!

The desserts were all awesome. We over ordered because once again our server did not give us good direction.

For a $400,00 meal I believe there are other restaurant's including Berns across the street were my money would be better spent. By the way there was not a manager around. No one came to the table to see how dinner was!!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Beemer2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EpicureanHotel, General Manager at Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2014

We sincerely appreciate your critique of our restaurant at the Epicurean Hotel. I am disappointed to hear that your meal was not satisfactory and have spoken with the chef about your comments.

Our team of Epicureans is committed to curate the absolute best experience for all of our patrons. Thank you for visiting Elevage, and please come back to try another meal with us the next time you are in South Tampa.

Tom Haines
General Manager

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Reviewed December 21, 2013

This is going to be a long review. It is, of course, my own opinion. Others may have had a completely different experience. This is ours. If you don't have time to read it all, just read the next line.

GO!

I have been waiting for the hotel and restaurant to open since I heard about it over a year ago. I have followed it through Facebook and Twitter, from construction to *near* completion. When they announced their "Friends & Family Rate", I booked right away. I knew that we would be some of the first guinea pigs. I knew that the grand opening weekend is in mid-January and, having been part of a new construction hotel concept during my many years of hospitality management, I knew things could not possibly go smoothly. They didn't, but I have every confidence that they will. The staff was more than accommodating (sometimes cloyingly so in reference to the "hosts" that I will explain later).
From start to finish it was a one night trip. It was my husband, myself and our teenage son. We arrived at 1pm and checked out at 10:30am the following morning. In that time we had the opportunity to try at least 15 different, masterfully created dishes. More about that later!
My son and I arrived first at 1pm and were greeted by the valet. There was no signage installed yet and it was a little tricky finding the entrance but one u-turn and we noticed the entrance in the middle of two of the hotel's buildings. Valet went smoothly. I waited at the front desk for some folks to finish up and was greeted by a pleasant woman who introduced me to a "host" that would help me check in.
I wonder if they haven't received their shipment of name tags yet. None of the employees we encountered had name tags - and they don't have typical hotel employee uniforms - so when we would look around, we had no idea who was an employee, who a guest and in some cases, who was a construction worker (the restaurant employees wore their own plaid shirts and jeans - all different).
A young lady with a cross body bag, holding an iPad introduced herself and told me we would go up to the room to check in and program the keys. She said everything is done through her iPad. We followed her to the elevator and went up to the 4th floor. She said that although we had reserved a room with 2 Queen beds, they did not have any available and we would be given two King rooms at no additional charge. That was a pleasant surprise.
She unlocked the first room's door with her master key and we stepped inside. She asked for my credit card and ID to check me in. Now, I remember watching a TV show about a Nevada brothel many years ago and the thought crossed my mind that this is what they did at the brothel. They would go to the room to privately discuss the monetary arrangement. Frankly, its a bit strange and awkward. If I were still working in hospitality, I can assure you that I would not want to go alone with a guest up to their room to check them in. I've witnessed some *interesting* guests over the years I would not want to be alone with, even for a moment. But I digress. I hope they change this practice. Keep the hosts. Keep the iPads, but please, take care of this in the lobby. (The name tag issue is another concern. It is important for guests to be able to recognize employees for many reasons).
As the young lady tried as she might to process the keys on her iPad, it didn't work. Rather than telling us to stay in the room and get situated, unpack..she told us to follow her back down to the front desk to get our keys. She should have done this herself and brought the keys up to us. She mentioned this was the first hotel she has ever been employed by, so we followed along. I wanted her first few guests not to be a pain, and we were in no particular hurry. After several minutes of trying to check us in and then telling us to go back downstairs, she either forgot to tell us about the most important parts of the room or it was never part of her *tour*. When we had walked in, she showed us the rolling door to the bathroom, she mentioned the large TV, she talked about the view...but what she should have showed us was...there are black out roller blinds BEHIND the privacy blinds. We found out the hard way when the sun came up BRIGHT and early and woke us up. She should have mentioned the *master light switch* by the door. This controlled EVERY light in the room. It was off when we checked in, and still bright, so we didn't turn on any lights. When we tried, none of the switches worked. We thought (since there was so much construction still going on) that the electricity had been turned off. We finally figured it out, but that could have been avoided easily. She should have told us that the app she spent several minutes explaining is not working yet. Rather, I tried to download it later and found out it was not operational. Silly little things that add up.
The hosts seemed overeager. Even stopping me when I stepped out of the elevator to ask if I needed anything when I was clearly not looking for any assistance, but merely walking past to the restaurant. This happened several times and my son finally asked, "Why do they keep following us". It was a little strange. They were just overeager to help. I understand.
The rooms were sparkling clean, as would be expected in a brand new hotel. I would be surprised if we weren't the first guest in each of our rooms. There were, however, several things that were either missing or not *guest friendly*.
- There was a great pod coffee maker and pods displayed on top of the *pantry*, but no coffee cups in either room.
- Other than the mirror above the sink in the bathroom, there are NO MIRRORS in the room. How odd. It was very difficult to get ready in a room with no mirrors. I've never encountered this in ANY hotel or motel room, regardless of cost.
- There is no clock in the room. We used our cell phones to check the time, but it would be nice to have one.
- One of the rooms had a bed skirt, the other just bare box springs. Housekeeping should have caught that (and the missing coffee cups) before putting the room online to be sold.
- There is a rolling door (see picture) to the bathroom. There is no handle, no lock. It was interesting trying to get out of the bathroom, trying to get a grip on the smooth surface of the door to slide it back. The door doesn't close like a typical door, so, let's just say, it is not very soundproof in the bathroom.
Speaking of soundproofing, holy wow, if someone was standing near your door in the hallway you would think they were in your room talking in your ear!
- There is only one casual, upholstered chair in the room. There were two bar stool height chairs at the table/desk area, but they weren't chairs you would sit in to relax and talk.
- The pantry was not set up. I can understand this as we were there while construction was still ongoing and I'm sure they will be set up by grand opening time. (We were given a plate of French macarons, a small bottle of champagne, and a lovely note from the Dir of Sales to make up for that).
- There are many light sources in the room (I counted at least 6 or 7 lamps/overhead lights) but there was not enough light. The bulbs NEED to be brighter.
- The safe in both rooms was not operational yet.
- The water pressure was abysmal. We tried both the rain shower and the wall shower on at the same time, one on one off, switched them, to no avail. The lever was pulled out all the way, but not much pressure to speak of at all.

The great things about the room were the towels (large and soft), the toiletry products, the great bedding and the comfortable beds.

We had quite a time trying to get coffee cups and some cream delivered to the room so we could wake up and make some coffee. We tried on THREE different occasions to request them and it just became laughable. I called the operator the first time and asked for three coffee cups (two for one room and one for the other). We came back from exploring the hotel and only one coffee cup, no saucer, had been left on top of the pantry in one of the rooms. The next time we had mentioned it to one of the bartenders that we had no cups but nothing came of that conversation. Finally, when we were getting ready to go to sleep for the evening, I called the operator again and requested "two coffee cups and cream". Twenty minutes later we heard a knock at the door and a gentleman handed us two coffee cups, two saucers, two small spoons and a small container of sugar substitute! Splenda, Equal and Sweet & Lo. We asked if he had brought the cream and he looked perplexed. He said he would be right back. Fifteen or twenty minutes later, he came back up with a small container of cream. Wow. That really should not have been such a chore.
Now on to the most important part of our stay. The restaurant. Was I expecting Bern's caliber? No. We've dined at Bern's too many times to count over the years, but I was pleasantly surprised. Oh yes, this IS Bern's caliber food. There were a couple of kinks (the pork belly was refrigerator cold on one small spot on one slice and my country pork ribs were impossible to cut through - very tough and over cooked). I overlooked both of these things (although I did let the server know) because I am certain that either one would have been promptly corrected should I have wanted it to be. The server asked multiple times to take back the dishes to correct them and it was really no bother to me. The rest of our many dishes were IMPECCABLE. I have posted pictures. The server at dinner (Betsy) was AMAZING. She is such an asset to the restaurant. Every dish she described was spot on and delicious. If there are employee awards given, she should be #1 on the list. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each was spectacular. What we enjoyed most was the ambiance in the space. The servers wear plaid shirts and jeans, yet the food is FINE DINING at it's best. We will return. No doubt, we will return.
Although our overall experience was more of a 3 star than 5, I am giving the benefit of the doubt because we were obviously one of the first guests, the staff was so pleasant and had the desire to please the guests and these things take some time. Overall a great night in a hotel that has never been duplicated in Tampa - I kept thinking I was in New York or Wine Country! Bravo!

Room Tip: Stay away from the elevator and the service doors. By all means stay away from the Edge bar on the 4...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank OCarr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EpicureanHotel, General Manager at Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2013

Thank you for your amazing, in depth review. It is so chocked with details, suggestions and observations, we have actually used it as a teaching opportunity in both our weekly departmental and leadership meetings.

Our journey will never be over, but thanks to caring people like you, we feel confident we’ll be able to elevate our product and services to achieve the status of a high end, world-class boutique hotel.

Along with the learning moments you’ve provided, we also celebrated the joys. Of particular note was how you called out Betsy in Élevage. She is certainly a key member of our staff of Epicureans, and you can be certain your review has put a feather in her cap. Thank you!

We’ll look forward to your return. May your New Year be filled with spectacular travel experiences.

Sincerely,
Tom Haines, General Manager

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Reviewed December 21, 2013

We were guests as this hotel got up and running. An excellent location opposite Bern's and a really innovative design, the kitchen auditorium needs to be seen to be believed. The room itself was excellent and very obviously everything was new!

The highest commendation though goes to the great staff. The hotel is getting going and staff are very helpful indeed.

The rooftop bar on the fourth floor is clearly the new place to be seen in Tampa.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank RavCambridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EpicureanHotel, General Manager at Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2013

It’s wonderful to receive feedback from our UK travelers! Thank you for taking the time to offer a review and for being one of our very first guests at the Epicurean. We are pleased we were able to make a strong impression, and it seems our staff played a significant role with that.
If our hotel had a heart, it would no doubt be the Epicurean Theatre. We’re delighted you got a peek inside, and perhaps on your next visit, you’ll enroll in a class and travel back home enriched by a unique experience. In the meantime, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch.

On behalf of my fellow Epicureans, thank you for your kind words.

Sincerely,
Tom Haines, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection

Address: 1207 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Tampa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 164 Hotels in Tampa
Price Range: $215 - $550 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 137
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Explore life's many flavors at Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection where your stay will be filled from beginning to end with experiences that activate all your senses. Relax in the urban chic comfort of our luxurious hotel in Tampa, Florida. Along with our elegant guestrooms and suites, we offer a signature restaurant, rooftop bar, full service spa, wine shop and culinary classroom with a robust calendar of events. Awaken Appetites Unknown! ... more   less 
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