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“Fine for a business stay, but be prepared for lots of waiting”

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Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa - Downtown Convention Center
Ranked #41 of 163 Hotels in Tampa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Fine for a business stay, but be prepared for lots of waiting”
Reviewed April 1, 2009

I'm a fan of the Embassy Suites brand because of the large suite layouts, and this property met expectations in that regard. I stayed here for four nights for a conference at the adjacent convention center while my husband spent his days visiting his parents, who live locally. The cab ride from the airport was a fixed $25, and valet parking at the hotel was $12.

My room was clean and comfortable, and the sitting area that is separated from the bedroom by a small hallway and door was perfect for one evening when my in-laws stayed late visiting with my husband. Having a refrigerator and microwave in the suite also meant that any restaurant dinner leftovers could be stored and reheated if so desired. The HVAC system and associated digital control worked well (a pet peeve of mine at hotels is an extreme hot or cold temperature no matter how I adjust the thermostat), and shower water pressure was adequate. The bathroom was well-lit, but the remainder of the suite was quite dark, with only a few small table/floor lamps scattered in lieu of overhead lighting.

I was located in a "convention center view" room on the 17th floor. That billing doesn't quite do the view justice, as I also had a great view of the bay. Unfortunately, I was subjected to a thumping music bass line for the Friday and Saturday nights of my stay - the noise seemed to be coming from the convention center, in which case you may want to request a room on the other side of the hotel if you're bothered by loud noise. I did not experience any other noise problems during my stay (e.g., from neighboring rooms).

There is an uncovered walkway connecting the hotel to the convention center across the street, but there’s not much else in the area. A Starbucks in the lobby was the only option for a quick lunch, even though I walked quite a distance exploring the area – be aware that the much-touted RiverWalk is not yet completed but instead terminates only about a half mile from the hotel rather than continuing on to the Channelside Plaza (though that’s not really worth visiting anyway, as I found out after heading there for dinner one night). Aside from restaurants in the multiple hotels in the area, there seemed to be one independent restaurant, a massive place called Jackson’s Bistro across a small bridge; service there was atrocious, we literally sat there for hours waiting for our food. There is a Tampa area trolley/bus stop directly outside the hotel, but it wasn’t clear that would take us to anyplace better (we did drive to Ybor City one night, which is on the trolley line, but it was a frightening place to which I’d never return!).

The included breakfast was decent, with made-to-order omelets (if you were willing to wait in line), mediocre fruit selection, breads and pastries, and hot items such as pancakes, bacon, and homefries. All of the staff with whom I interacted were very friendly, consistently greeting passersby with a smile and a hello. I did not use the pool, but it was the tiniest I’ve ever seen, with a limited number of lounge chairs scattered around.

My biggest complaint about this hotel was the inordinate amount of time we spent waiting for things. The worst offender was the elevator. There are only four elevators in the entire building serving twenty floors, with two of these tucked away in a less obvious location not convenient for access to many of the rooms (mine included) such that nearly everyone was trying to use the two main elevators. There were times when I waited 10-15 minutes for an elevator. If I were to stay here again, I’d request a room much lower than the 17th floor so using the stairs would be more of an option! Lines for the included breakfast were often quite long, and it was sometimes impossible to even find a table at which to eat. My room was not cleaned until after 2 pm each day – I found it had not yet been serviced when I returned to my room in the early afternoon between meeting sessions each day, usually between 1 and 3, despite the fact that I left the room by 7 am each morning.

Ultimately, this hotel was acceptable for a business stay, but I certainly would not stay here on vacation.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank EricaLynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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MA
Level Contributor
103 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2009

Great location. Staff was very accomodating even though it was a crazy weekend in Tampa. I did not feel like I was a 2nd rate citizen since I was using Hilton Points, which was great. Breakfast was good, room was large.

  • Liked — Large rooms, great location.
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PatUNH1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level Contributor
119 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2009

The HOT included breakfast was very good but could be quite busy. The suites were gorgeous. The beds were very comfortable. The suites had almost all amenities you could want: multiple sinks, fridge, microwave, couch, 2 tvs. The ocean view was very nice. The business center was convenient, and the staff went out of their way to help us find restaurants and give us tips. The fitness center was a little lacking, but at least it existed. And with 20 floors, you could always get your exercise on the stairs. The pool looked nice and warm, but I never went in.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Scrumble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2009

We stayed here for 2 nights on our 5 year anniversary. Its true that you get what you pay for at this hotel.

The suites are spacious and have a great views.
Valet parking only which is $20.00 plus tax each night, but worth the cost and safety of your vehicle.
The have a great manager special from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM free draft beers and mixed drinks. Our bartender Ray was great and even made us a special anniversary shot on the house!
They also have a hot and cold breakfast served every morning.
The food was great made to order eggs and so many things to chose from.

The front desk staff was wonderful. As soon as we checked in we noticed how good our stay would be. Chip at the front desk welcomed us and upgraded our room because of our anniversary without us even asking for it. Then later on that night we received a bottle of champagne and strawberries on the house. Wow! Now I was impressed and amazed at the hotel staff for this. Never have I had such a great time in a hotel.

If you visit Tampa, this is the perfect location for downtown and Channelside. Only a 25 minute ride to St. Petersburg. Busch Garden is less the 15 minutes away too.

We had a room on the 20th floor and we loved it. It was quiet and had a fantastic view of downtown Tampa at night.

I would recommend and will return to this hotel in the near future again.

  • Liked — The Hotel Staff & Location
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank levrana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2008

We stayed here for a week in September, and we cant fault it. Its true that you get what you pay for and although not overly pricey we blew the budget a little, and it was worth every penny.

The suites are spacious and clean, and you really feel like you're being spoilt.

The staff were attentive, without being in your face, and Trolleys bar was great for snacks and beer.

If you visit Tampa, this is the perfect location for downtown and channelside.

We had a room on the 19th floor, and after the initial shock of the height, we loved it. It was quiet and had a fantastic view of downtown Tampa at night.

  • Liked — It was clean and modern.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank claramanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kentucky
2 reviews
Reviewed November 2, 2008

I stayed at this facility with my daughter who was attending a conference at the Convention Center. The location was wonderful, actually attacted to the Convention Center by a 2nd floor skywalk. The room was clean and comfortable. We had a view of Harbour Island from our room. The pool was relaxing and sunny with plenty of chairs and towels. The staff was extremely efficient and helpful. The front desk staff answered questions and gave advise about local attractions. I especially enjoyed the complimentary breakfast and the happy hour in the lobby each evening. There was transportation conveniently available by taxi, trolley or shuttle (not included). There was a restaurant in the hotel but I didn't eat there but I did visit the Starbucks on the first floor. I didn't have a car but noted that the hotel did charge a $20/day parking fee for those who needed it. I noticed the valets were readily available for parking and friendly. Over all, I would highly recommend this hotel if you need to stay in the downtown Tampa area.

  • Liked — Convenient location to Convention Center
  • Disliked — No beach, shopping and few restaurants nearby.
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank KentuckyRosemary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penetanguishene, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2008

I was attending a convention for 5 days (Oct. 19 to 24) while my wife enjoyed some rest and relaxation. 2 years ago we stayed at the Hilton St. Petersburg and the difference was amazing.

All the staff we met at the Embassy were extremely friendly and approachable. The hotel was slightly more expensive than nearby hotels but the suites, complimentary breakfast and 2 hour complimentary drink (happy hour), plus the cheaper internet service actually made it the better deal and talking to others at the convention that stayed nearby, it actually cost us less overall.

The hotel is connected to the Tampa Convention Center with a skywalk, there is a trolley that runs all day to Ybor City and past the aquarium & Channelside Bay Plaza. The area felt very safe during the day & at night and my wife walked alone for miles during the day and never felt uncomfortable.


I mentioned at the beginning there was a difference between the Hilton St. Petersburg and the Embassy Suites Tampa downtown. Both hotels had great accomodations, the difference was the staff at the hotel and in the area. I couldn't believe that two areas so close together could be so different.

The one issue with the area was the lack of choices for casual cheaper dining for the budget minded traveller.

Overall I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone coming to the area.

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — No beach
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank njoynow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa - Downtown Convention Center

Property: Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa - Downtown Convention Center
Address: 513 S Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602-5419
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Tampa > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Green Hotel in Tampa
#30 Romantic Hotel in Tampa
#36 Business Hotel in Tampa
#43 Family Hotel in Tampa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Embassy Suites by Hilton Tampa - Downtown Convention Center 3.5*
Number of rooms: 360
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Connected via skybridge to the Tampa Convention Center, the Embassy Suites is the only upscale all-suite hotel in downtown Tampa. Complimentary Cooked-to-Order Breakfast and a Manager's Reception included daily. Next door to the St. Pete Times Forum for Tampa sporting events, concerts and exhibits. The Tampa Cruise Port is also close by for all Tampa cruise departures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Embassy Suites Tampa - Downtown Hotel Tampa
Tampa Embassy Suites

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