Review: Grand Hyatt Tampa

My parents live in Tampa, so now that I live in hotels full time, I figured I’d spend as much time as possible close to them. Over the past couple of months the Grand Hyatt Tampa has kind of become my “home” hotel.

Over the years I’ve spent well over a hundred nights here. Back when Hyatt offered their “Faster Free Nights” promotion I would spend two nights per weekend here. For those of you that don’t remember Hyatt’s “Faster Free Nights” promotion, they offered one free night at any Hyatt in the world after two paid stays. So I’d make two stays at the Grand Hyatt Tampa for under $100 each, and then get a free night at any Hyatt in the world, be it the Park Hyatt Paris, Park Hyatt Tokyo, etc.

But that’s not all. This hotel has a closed club lounge, which means if you stay over a weekend you get 2,500 bonus points per stay. And back in the day Hyatt used to have “G3” bonuses, whereby you’d earn an extra 1,500 points per stay. And I’d earn a 1,000 point Diamond welcome amenity. So all in I was earning roughly 6,000 Hyatt points per stay. So two nights cost me roughly $200, and I’d earn a free night at any hotel in the world, plus 12,000 Gold Passport points (at the time, 18,000 points was the highest cost for a free night redemption).

Anyway, that was at the height of the recession so isn’t relevant anymore, but it is nice to reminisce.

The Grand Hyatt Tampa is located near the airport and “on” Tampa Bay, so there’s not really anything within a walkable distance of the hotel. But I kind of like that, because at the end of the day my life is usually pretty fast paced, and it’s nice to come “home” to a more relaxing environment.

Anyway, this review isn’t necessarily specific to one stay, as I stay here all the time. Though it occurred to me I’ve never actually reviewed the hotel, and it did recently undergo a huge renovation, so it’s about time.

The hotel has a courtesy shuttle from the airport, though also has free parking. There are two “towers” — one tower is the hotel, and the other tower is an office building.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa exterior

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Grand Hyatt Tampa exterior

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Grand Hyatt Tampa driveway

Once you walk into the lobby the reception is located to the left, which is also where the elevators to the rooms are located.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa lobby

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Grand Hyatt Tampa lobby

Most weekdays in the afternoons they put out complimentary cookies and juice, which is a fairly new initiative and a really nice touch, in my opinion.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa lobby refreshments

Immediately near the entrance otherwise is a seating area to the right, and the 1823 Bar & Restaurant to the left.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa lobby

The place that is now a general seating area used to be the bar, though post-renovation it’s just an area to lounge around. It’s nice to have an “open” public space in a hotel to sit, where they’re not trying to sell you anything.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa lobby

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Grand Hyatt Tampa lobby

What really makes this hotel so great are the employees, who are exceptional across the board. Selena, Lauren, and Kenny at the front desk are especially awesome, and couldn’t be more accommodating.

The hotel has both bay view and airport view rooms. They’ll usually upgrade Diamond members to bay view rooms, though I typically turn down the upgrade and instead request an airport view room.

The Grand Club is located on level 12, so I’m usually assigned a room on that floor.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa floorplan

The rooms are what you’d expect from a renovated Grand Hyatt. They’re spacious with the standard decor, though I have to say they’re designed with the frequent traveler in mind. There are hotel rooms that look like they’d be nice, but then don’t have outlets in practical locations, etc. The rooms at this hotel are actually well designed.

There’s a large entryway. To the left is the bathroom.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay room entryway

Then directly forward is the rest of the room.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay room entryway

The rooms feature a king bed, chair with ottoman by the window, and a desk with a TV.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay room

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay room

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay room

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay room chair & ottoman

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay room desk & TV

The bathrooms are a decent size, with a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower (I’ll take that over a shower/tub combo any day).

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay shower

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay shower

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay bathroom

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay bathroom

The toiletries are June Jacobs branded.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay toiletries

The bay view rooms actually do have gorgeous views, especially at sunset… I just think airplanes are gorgeouser. šŸ˜‰

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Grand Hyatt Tampa King Bay view

As I mentioned above, the Grand Club is closed on weekends, which means you receive 2,500 bonus points as a Diamond member, in addition to a full breakfast in the restaurant. This applies on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings. I don’t know if there’s a dollar limit to the amount of breakfast you can have, though I’ve never exceeded it (then again, I’m not going to order food just for giggles).

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar

You can either order off the menu, or have the buffet. If you take the hot buffet then that includes cooked to order eggs.

The breakfast menu reads as follows:

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The buffet is good for a US property, with a bunch of continental options including fruit, yogurt, salmon, oatmeal, cereal, toast, pastries, etc.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar buffet

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar buffet

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar buffet

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar buffet

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar buffet

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar buffet

And then there’s a hot section, which usually consists of scrambled eggs, some kind of breakfast sausage, potatoes, and then french toast.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar buffet

The staff in the breakfast area are fantastic as well, especially Lilia, Alyssa, and Laura. It’s nice to sit down at breakfast and immediately be asked if you’d like “the usual.”

Oh, and Lilia whips up a mean non-fat cappuccino. šŸ˜‰

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar cappuccino

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Grand Hyatt Tampa 1823 Kitchen & Bar egg white omelet

The Grand Club is located on the 12th floor, and boasts nice views of the bay. It’s not a huge club, though it’s nicely furnished and never overcrowded.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club

There’s a coffee machine which I use about a dozen times a day when staying here.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club coffee machine

And then a fridge with all the water and Diet Pepsi my heart desires.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club fridge

During the day they have fruit, freshly baked cookies, and cut up Cliff bars available.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club daytime snacks

Breakfast is served from 6AM till 9:30AM Tuesday through Friday, and consists of juice, muffins, fruit, croissants, yogurt, oatmeal, salmon, bagels, cereal, etc.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club breakfast

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club breakfast

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club breakfast

Then there’s always one rotating hot option.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club breakfast

The evening spread is available from 5PM till 7PM, and consists of several individually plated mini-appetizers, chips, veggies, cheese, cold cuts, etc.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club evening spread

Then there’s always one hot option.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club evening spread

As is the norm at Grand Clubs in the US, alcoholic drinks are available for purchase through the “honor bar.”

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club evening spread

Then after the evening appetizer spread they have a dessert spread with two options.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa Grand Club evening spread

For a US Grand Club I think it’s well above average.

The hotel also has a gym on the second floor, which is well equipped and usually empty.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa gym

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Grand Hyatt Tampa gym

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Grand Hyatt Tampa gym

I’m not much for swimming, but there is an outdoor pool and hot tub.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa pool

And if you’re into nature, there are some trails, including a bridge that leads out over the water.

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Grand Hyatt Tampa walkway

Bottom line on Grand Hyatt Tampa

This isn’t the most glamorous hotel you’re stay at, but the employees are phenomenal across the board, Diamond treatment is excellent, they did a great job with renovations, and rates are usually reasonable. I’ll continue to make this my “home” when in Tampa.

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Comments

  1. I’ve stayed there many times and love this review. Being outside I’m confronted with snakes regularly as well as biting insects after dark. Its a gorgeous property in a beautiful setting but I would warn people to be ready to see Florida’s natural wildlife habitats for all their glory.

  2. One of my favorite hotels in FL. Go there at least 2-3 times/year for my pho + Bern’s trip.

    Best Vietnamese (Saigon Deli) and best steakhouse (Bern’s) in the state.

  3. I have to disagree with you, I stayed there a week ago and the staff kept on making mistakes (at the restaurants). Service was bellow average. As a non-status holder (at Hyatt), I think that you don’t get the same as anyone else would.

  4. When you mention the free cookies/new initiative, you say it’s a nice touch “in your opinion.” Whose opinion would it be? It’s your blog.

  5. Your parents won’t let you stay with them, even in exchange for all those flights you’ve bought them with miles?

  6. You didn’t mention Oystercatchers, and its Sunday brunch by the bay, a Tampa traditionā€¦ Is it still open?

  7. It looks like they’ve done a beautiful job of renovating. I stayed at the property last about 4 years ago and found it to be really tired and beat up, with rooms that seemed small for a Grand Hyatt. Don’t be fooled by the beautiful setting and some of the descriptions of the hotel, it’s not a resort, but as Lucky notes, a business hotel in a setting more typical of resorts.

  8. Good review, never stayed there yet. The rooms are at 12K points/night. Do you know what it would be for points + cash? Do they even offer that?

  9. Lucky, was searching for an old review you did on Grand Hyatt Dubai but when I enter the search on the main page, nothing comes up, could you link me to this review please ?. thanks

  10. “and walk-in shower (Iā€™ll take that over a shower/tub combo any day).”

    Every time you type that, your Lufthansa ducks start crying…

  11. “Itā€™s nice to have an ā€œopenā€ public space in a hotel to sit, where theyā€™re not trying to sell you anything.”

    I love open communal hotel space – and it’s so often underutilized! If I am reading or doing work or even just hanging out, I’d much rather do it in the lounge or atrium or bar rather than shut up in my room (unless it is a TRULY ridiculous room).

  12. I have to know! What do bloggers get for reviewing Hyatts. is this something new? Are you guys getting a few hundred dollars or free stays? There have been 20 Hyatt reviews on boardingarea.com in the last week alone.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m 100% great with you guys making money, heck it’s a business and I benefit from everything you guys do including the reviews.

  13. “…all the Diet Pepsi my heart desires” – thought you were a Diet Coke loyalist?!?!

    You can drink both, but you can desire only one šŸ˜‰

  14. I go to Tampa probably two winters out of every three for a long weekend of Bern’s, Cuban food, and a drive down to Siesta Key. I like the GH Tampa when I can get it for $119+tax-ish for Fri/Sat nights, with the 3500 bonus points (Diamond and lounge). The last time I was in town, however, they had a conference going on there and expensive rates, and I decided to unload some excess Hilton points instead.

    Do they have a suite upgrade option with two beds?

  15. @ Nick — Points + Cash would cost 6,000 Gold Passport points plus $75, though rates here are usually quite reasonable, so I never redeem points to stay here.

  16. @ Paul — Legally and morally I’d have to disclose if I were being compensated for it. I get nothing out of it, I’m just a loyal customer. I wouldn’t look at Boarding Area as “one.” It’s a collection of 50 or so blogs, and content isn’t connected in any way.

  17. @ Sem — I haven’t, will have to try it next time since it’s so close to the Grand Hyatt.

  18. Lucky, I seem not to be getting emails since the switchover to the new web design. I tried subscribing again, but it tells me I’m already subscribed. Any suggestions what to try next?

  19. My husband would agree about the “airplanes are gorgeouser” view! He loves a hotel with airport views šŸ™‚

  20. That is my hotel option in Tampa. Hotel feels fresh and I always have a great experience there.

  21. @ Philippe – while it’s likely that Lucky gets somewhat better treatment as a “regular” (there was a post here recently about how hotels treat frequents guests), his sample size is much bigger than yours. Although, I can totally understand how a bad service experience may be enough to question a wisdom of coming back to a restaurant/hotel/etc.

  22. Last time I stayed here, I had a power outage at this hotel (eak!). However, it was a nice touch that they had the elevators and front desk computers on emergency power.

  23. I am having my wedding there dec. 6th it will be outside…are there really a lot of bugs/mosquitos there??? Coming a long way to have it….so I want everything to be go well.

  24. TWO people who actually like Bern’s? Is it the French brothel decor, mediocre steaks, or amateurish waitstaff that you like? YUCK. I cringe any time I have to go there for a function, even if the meal’s being paid for by someone else.

    At one time, Bern’s was good. I remember those days. BUT that time has long passed. There’s plenty of other places to get a decent steak in Tampa these days. I get much better meals (and service!) from Ruth’s Chris over on Westshore.

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