Stylish, Friendly and Unpretentious - A Perfect Combo A review of Renaissance Tampa Hotel International Plaza
My wife and I just returned from a wonderful trip Dec 21-24. Booked this hotel on PL based on the positive reviews on this and other sites. Got it for $65 per night and this was easily the best hotel value I have ever experienced. The hotel has lots of design touches that distinguish itself from every other chain hotel in the industry. The design is inspired by a Spanish mansion, so there are lots of bright colors everywhere and lots of cool furniture. Everyone on the staff was friendly and courteous - several of them asked us how we were enjoying our stay and if there was anything they could do for us - very nice touch. We were actually surprised at how down-to-earth the staff was for such a nice hotel - no snobbishness. The rooms were average size, but were very nicely decorated. The fitness center was just okay - 3 treadmills, a couple of eliptical trainers and an awefully complicated all-in-one weight contraption (that thing is really a piece of garbage). On the plus side, the large outdoor pool is heated and they have a nice hot-tub spa. Some would find it cheesy, but we really enjoyed the fact that the hotel is connected to the Tampa International Mall. Don't worry, you won't have shoppers trouncing through the lobby. The hotel has it's own keyed entrance to the mall and we found this to be a tremendous convenience. There were several nice restaurants, lots of high-end stores and a fabulous outdoor promenade that seemed like it's own little town. We felt that this really added to the hotel and should be listed as one of their best amenities. If you are with a bunch of friends, it's really fun to hang out but the fountain in the courtyard on a nice night. Another plus - the hotel is literally 5 minutes from the airport but we never heard one airplane the entire time were were there. Tampa is so easy to get around that you are about 5 minutes to any of the main highways/arteries in the city. You should also know that this hotel does not have it's own parking lot. It shares its parking with the rest of the mall, so you basically have to park in front of Neiman Marcus and then walk to the hotel. This is not as inconvenient as it sounds, especially at night when all the shoppers go home, leaving the entire lot for hotel guests. Still, I really think the hotel should look into having it's own self parking. All in all, I would definitely recommend this hotel and would gladly stay there again the next time I'm in Tampa.