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The Westin Tampa Waterside
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Reviewed June 23, 2006

All in all a nice stay. I was a Starwood Preferred Guest on the 11th floor. As a writer working with deadlines I need a peaceful sanctuary at any hour of the day. However, the hardware on the doors is designed such that no matter how softly you try and close the door it makes a resounding "thung" noise as it latches. So when the early risers or late arrivals use them your sleep is disturbed. Fortunately I brought soft ear plugs.

Additionally on Friday night the local Jackson Bistro turns part of their bimini bar and inside bar into a club with live music. While you dont' necessarily hear the band, at closing time when the drunks are back in their cars you will hear some horns being blared occasionally.

This place is convenient if you are in town for a conference at the conferene center nearby. Otherwise local sites and amenities are a long walk or a perilous drive through a labyrinth of one way streets.

Stayed: June 2006
8  Thank StoneyJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2006

The Westin website claims…” Westin Hotels & Resorts® redefine efficient service with an effortless style and gracious attitude that ensures a truly unforgettable experience.” Yeah – the Tampa Westin was unforgettable all right!

Incompetent Desk Staff
I checked in at 12pm for a room but was advised that the hotel was full the night before so I would have to wait until the 3pm check-in time for a room. Fine - I understand. A desk clerk named Jennifer took my name, cell number, and said she would call when it was ready. I offered my credit card to confirm I had checked in and she said "no that isn't needed.” Well - yeah it was! Tip - the Westin requires a credit card in order to generate a room assignment. I together with about 40 other guests lucky enough to also deal with Jennifer had to wait until after 5pm for a room. All of us were attending a tradeshow that started at 5pm. We sat in the lobby and watched person after person get a room card because they were lucky to get a more competent employee working the desk.

Incompetent Management
Once I realized the magnitude of the rooming mess, I used the lobby phone to call the hotel manager to beg for something to be done so I could get a room and get to the convention center so I could work my booth. I spoke to the operator who said she would put me through to Cindy the office manager. I hung up after waiting 18 minutes and called back. This time Cindy was too busy to take calls and, no, I couldn't wait or leave a message. Never did the management team offer us an apology or even a free cup of coffee but they had no problem charging us $209/night.

Incompetent Concierge
How funny to see Aubrey the Concierge's name mentioned in the Virginia Beach user’s review. Yep, I had the joy of her helpful service, too. I went to her little desk and asked for help making reservations at a nice seafood restaurant for a business meeting. Just like with the other guest, Aubrey stopped filing her brochures long enough to hand me a restaurant card and said "Mangroves is a nice place. Give them a call and I'm sure they can take you tonight.” Isn't the purpose of the concierge is to do these things for you? They were booked so I called down to Aubrey and asked for another restaurant. Imagine my delight when she offered to call this time. She called back and said no one was in yet at the St. Bart's Island Club but that I shouldn't have problems getting in on Monday night. .Aubrey couldn't do more for me because she was going home. Good thing I trusted my gut instincts because it turns out St Barts is closed on Monday!

Incompetent Mail Room
We had 1,000 giveaways in 4 large boxes sent to the Westin for use in a tradeshow display. The Westin gave us two of the boxes but insisted that there was nothing more. They refused to let us look around the dock and it was only after printing the Fed Ex confirmation showing the boxes had arrived three days prior on it that they allowed us to go in the back and find the two missing boxes. Another 6-hour delay I didn’t need.

I could go on about the fitness center (pathetic!), the hotel operator who kept putting me through to myself rather than my coworker’s room, the parking ticket machine that was broken for three days yet security kept demanding a ticket in order to exit the garage…

Do yourself a favor and stay at the nearby Marriott – I didn’t hear of anyone having problems there and they were just as booked as the Westin or, even better, the new Embassy Suites that will open this fall. You can take your chances at this Westin and have an “unforgettable experience” like me!

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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17  Thank WISCGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2006

I stayed at the Westin for a conference June 6 - 9. I'm a Starwood preferred guest so I was on the 11th floor and I don't know if there are major differences to the other floors.
The room was excellent...very large and large bathroom. The doublw shower heads made for a nice showering experience. The heavenly bed is always nice for sleeping. Check in was fast and easy and the shuttle from the airport worked without a hitch.

Overall the hotel needs some work and was just recently converted to a Westin. The fitness area was very poor and needs updating ASAP...only two stair steppers, two treadmills, some dumbbells and a bench. All of this in a very small and hot room. The good news is that the area is great for jogging/running in the mornings.

The pool was small, but my wife enjoyed her afternoon at the pool (she arrived the last day of the conference and we spent the rest of the weekend in Clearwater).

The service was excellent and the food was above average. There is a restaurant below the hotel and about a 15 minute walk away (near the hockey arena).

I saw comments about the area...I loved it. Lots of water to look at and some very nice housing in the area. There isn't much retail or restaurants, but still a nice area.

The Marriott is only a block away and looked very nice from the outside and might be the better option.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank dgtray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Virginia Beach
15
Reviewed June 11, 2006

In a nutshell, the Westin looks nice over the internet and it boasts of convienient access to everything - but there is nothing around here. Everything is a walking journey on desolate streets.
The concierge that I encountered here was much less than helpful and quite snooty. She did not want to give touring advice and clearly did not enjoy being asked for directions or dining recommendations. So, thanks for nothing Ms. Aubrey.
The workout facility needs help! It is a small room with a few beat up machines.
The pool is so off the beaten path, you have to take an elevator to the 3rd floor and completely tour the hallway to seek out an elevator to take you down to the first floor level for access to the small outdoor pool. I have never seen anything like it.
The a/c vent is dirty and the room door needs a hard shove to close properly.....
My vote is to go elsewhere next time. It is not worth the money.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Indiana
15
Reviewed April 15, 2006

My husband attended a seminar nearby and I went along. We are BYREQUEST members and upon arrival received a small bottle of wine and cheese and crackers - which is a nice perk. We were on the 8th floor and had a water view. It is not the kind of water view I had expected - as it was reportedly a "harborview" which to me made me expect a boardwalk and sails in the breeze. This hotel is more accurately built on the edge of a very big channel.

I did appreciate the competent "Byrequest Bob" at the front desk who was quite efficient and friendly. Quick check in. Our room was ready upon arrival.

I, however, did NOT appreciate the fact that it is virtually impossible to close your door without a slamming noise. We had people on our floor come in at the pretty reasonable hour of 11:30 - but there was alot of chatting and going back and forth between rooms - which wouldn't be THAT big of a deal if the doors weren't banging everytime they went back and forth...for the next hour. We finally called to complain...at this point I wasn't aware that it was so easy to make the horrible SLAM noise with the doors...so I thought they were being particularly evil and insensitive to those married, in our late 30's old farts trying to get some sleep.

This occured the second nights as well -

The third night we were down the coast and stayed in another hotel after ditching the seminar, so we got some sleep.........but returned to the door slamming the next night.

Needless to say, I was swearing by that point and completely pissed off that there was nothing they could do about doors that slam.

There was pretty obvious wear in the rooms - but I felt the room we were in was more than adequate. It wasn't a luxury stay - but the furniture was not bad, with a desk, a tv in a armoire, a nice marble topped table, comfie bed and bedding.

We ate at Jackson's Restaurant attached to the hotel. The steak there was just fabulous. I think it was $29. It was tender enough to cut with a fork. The second night I had the steak with a crab and blue cheese topper on it. I didn't think much of that...The Kendall Jackson chardonnay is good...desserts are just ok...

Anyway, the valet is prompt. The exterior of the hotel looks nice enough...interior nicely done. Too bad the rooms aren't nicer.

The pool is small...but clean. There are chairs with very nice pads that recline out there which are actually quite comfortable.

They are transitioning to be a Westin I understand by the end of April. It is my hope that Westin will begin renovations.

I guess I expected more of a Wyndham room than this...not that there were bugs or horribly worn carpet or anything, it just seemed more like Holiday Inn rooms inside a nicer hotel.

To be frank, I wasn't impressed with Tampa as a city. It seemed like a downtown of office buildings surrounded immediately by pretty extreme poverty.

I wouldn't vacation in Tampa - for a seminar, it's a fine place to stay. If you're looking for a romantic stay with your wife...I'd look somewhere else.

Stayed: April 2006
5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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