It’s not every day that you can look out of your hotel room and see elephants. Or tigers. Or horses. We happened to be at the Marriott Tampa Waterside when the circus came to town. Right out of our window, we could see the elephants getting exercise and the horses in the training ring.
Oh, and fireworks, too. We happened to be at the hotel on New Year’s Eve, and we had the perfect side room to see the Channelside fireworks right out of our room. We sat, in the beds with our kids, and looked out at the fireworks. No bugs, no weather and no worries – it was the perfect way to watch fireworks.
As far as the hotel, our room was nice, clean and roomy for our family of four. The balcony was a nice touch and the lobby was a scenic two-floor area with a view.
Something I hadn’t seen before in a room was that in place of a mini fridge or minibar, they had what they called a cooler. It had a note on the front that the temperature was in the 50s and that it wasn’t a fridge. I wonder why they’d go through the trouble of installing a cooler when travelers (especially those with families) would want a fridge.
The pool area was on the third floor and the water was warm, although the hot tub was fairly small for the large crowd gathered there.
I only tried one restaurant at the hotel, the Café Waterside, and a soup and a salad were $30. The salad did have some great tropical citrus flavors in the chicken and the dressing.
Outside of the hotel, the walk along the canal is gorgeous, with fantastic boats, a beautiful view and great weather. There’s also a small park on one side with a playscape for the kids. We had an easy walk down to the Channelside complex for dinner. Unfortunately, the movie theater there has closed, as well as several other businesses there.
Overall, the Tampa Marriott is in an ideal location for downtown and sports attractions with clean, comfortable rooms.
Disclosure: I traveled to the hotel for work. No compensation was received and this is my own personal review.