This was a surprise and a very nice place.
On the south side of the USF campus within walking distance of the University buildings. Having said that, 15-20 minutes in the hot sun on a humid day is a very long walk and a car would be better. But for the average person in normal weather, park your car. Also, a short drive to Busch Gardens - or take their free bus.
Not too pricey: my stay was $120 government rate.
The hotel layout was an atrium type effect with open walkways overlooking the hollow interior. About 8 floors.
The rooms I saw were two room suites plus a bathroom. A CRT TV in each the bedroom and the "living room/dining room". Small kitchenette between the rooms. Bed was very comfortable. A/C was adequate but sounded a little old. Everything that you would want and roomy. Lighting left some places dark, so you had to pick where you sat depending on what you needed to do.
The staff were very friendly and helpful. The apparent retirees were especially friendly and took the time to talk to you to see what you needed and if they could anticipate any problems. They were very nice people; a good natured and happy group. The hotel gets a gold star for them. Especially the concierge and the restaurant hostess.
The food was the biggest surprise. Almost the entire open atrium area on the ground floor was the restaurant, bar and "gathering" area. Small gardens here and there, nicely kept.
The restaurant was surprisingly good. We only had the lunch buffet. Although a bit dependent upon some starchy vegetables, it was tasty and at a reasonable price. Salad, soup, beverage, 2 mains, 3 veggies and 4 desserts. Dinner I recall was from the menu, but also available in the bar after the restaurant closed around 10:00.
Breakfast was the biggest food surprise. Eggs cooked to order with a very short line. Sausage and bacon was added to your plate at that station. Also a buffet with typical breakfast meats, thick potato chip style sautéed spuds that were very good and scrambled eggs. Coffee was also better than expected. Fruit was limited to whole fruits (apples, oranges and bananas) and grapefruit halves and cubed watermelon. Would have liked cantaloupe or honeydew as is found in most other breakfast bars.
For food outside the campus, you would need a car. There are lots of places, but a bit too far to walk.
If you are visiting the campus, it's perfect .
We had a wonderful stay and I would make it my first choice if going again to either USF or Busch Gardens.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Embassy Suites Tampa- USF/Near Busch Gardens is located less than 2 miles from major Tampa attractions including Busch Gardens, University of South Florida and the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). Our guests start their day with a free made-to-order breakfast and end the evening with our complimentary Evening Reception with snacks and drinks. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Embassy Suites Tampa
- Embassy Busch Gardens Suites
- Tampa Embassy Suites