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.
Once you walk into the lobby the reception is located to the left, which is also where the elevators to the rooms are located.
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.
Immediately near the entrance otherwise is a seating area to the right, and the 1823 Bar & Restaurant to the left.
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.
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.
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.
Then directly forward is the rest of the room.
The rooms feature a king bed, chair with ottoman by the window, and a desk with a 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).
The toiletries are June Jacobs branded.
The bay view rooms actually do have gorgeous views, especially at sunset… I just think airplanes are gorgeouser. 😉
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).
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:
The buffet is good for a US property, with a bunch of continental options including fruit, yogurt, salmon, oatmeal, cereal, toast, pastries, etc.
And then there’s a hot section, which usually consists of scrambled eggs, some kind of breakfast sausage, potatoes, and then french toast.
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. 😉
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.
There’s a coffee machine which I use about a dozen times a day when staying here.
And then a fridge with all the water and Diet Pepsi my heart desires.
During the day they have fruit, freshly baked cookies, and cut up Cliff bars available.
Breakfast is served from 6AM till 9:30AM Tuesday through Friday, and consists of juice, muffins, fruit, croissants, yogurt, oatmeal, salmon, bagels, cereal, etc.
Then there’s always one rotating hot option.
The evening spread is available from 5PM till 7PM, and consists of several individually plated mini-appetizers, chips, veggies, cheese, cold cuts, etc.
Then there’s always one hot option.
As is the norm at Grand Clubs in the US, alcoholic drinks are available for purchase through the “honor bar.”
Then after the evening appetizer spread they have a dessert spread with two options.
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.
I’m not much for swimming, but there is an outdoor pool and hot tub.
And if you’re into nature, there are some trails, including a bridge that leads out over the water.
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.