Marriott Tampa: Nice hotel, but inappropriate Elite treatment

As part of a short business trip to Florida, I stayed at the Marriott Tampa for one night.

For your information, here’s the itinerary I followed:

#TypePost
1LoungeAmerican Airlines Admirals Club, Boston Logan (unreported)
2FlightAmerican Airlines Domestic First, Boston Logan – Charlotte (unreported)
3LoungeAmerican Airlines Admirals Club, Charlotte Concourse B (unreported)
4FlightAmerican Airlines Domestic First, Charlotte – Tampa (unreported)
5HotelTampa Marriott Water Street
6LoungeAmerican Airlines Admirals Club, Tampa
7FlightAmerican Airlines Domestic First, Tampa – Charlotte (unreported)
8LoungeAmerican Airlines Admirals Club, Charlottes Concourse B (unreported)
9FlightAmerican Airlines Domestic First, Charlotte – Boston Logan (unreported)
Today’s itinerary

Booking

I booked this itinerary a full week before departure, due to client constraints that forced me to plan it at the last minute.

However, I was able to book on my employer’s Self Booking Tool and paid for upgrades on the American Airlines website for a reasonable amount.

Arrival

48 hours before arrival, I checked-in using the Marriott Bonvoy application, confirming my arrival time at around 5:30pm and my request for a late check-out at 4pm the following day.

I was given an upgrade to a “Concierge” room, with access to the club. However, on the morning of my arrival, I received a notification of the assignment of my room during my first flight.

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And it was indeed a Club room, but with no other frills. I inquired about the availability of a suite through the Marriott Bonvoy chat application, but received a negative reply, and the Ambassador service did not help me.

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I arrived at the hotel at the end of the afternoon. There was no wait for check-in, and I was taken care of immediately.

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Room

My room was on the 25th and penultimate floor of the property.

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It was far from the elevators, as I prefer.

The tour was be quick: the door opened onto a small entrance, which had, on the left, a large closet equipped with a safe and an ironing board.

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On the right was the bathroom, completely renovated and equipped with a beautiful walk-in shower. Toiletries were available in large bottles from a dispenser.

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Opposite was the sleeping area, with a comfortable king-size bed and two large bedside tables.

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Opposite the bed was a good-sized TV, a coffee machine and a comfortable desk.

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Near the window overlooking the bay, a loveseat and coffee table.

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To finish, a video tour:

Hotel facilities

The hotel is equipped with a gym and swimming pool, both located on the 3rd floor of the property.

Gym

The gym was large and well-equipped. Despite the hotel’s age, the equipment was modern. A slightly faded changing room was adjacent.

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Pool

The swimming pool zqs also located on the 3rd floor of the property. It’s quite large. I did not take advantage of it, but if only I had my bathing suit…

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Catering

The property has two main dining outlets: Lona, the Mexican restaurant near reception, and Anchor and Brine, the grill on the ground-floor terrace.

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Note that the neighboring JW Marriott property also welcomes Marriott guests, who can charge the bill to their room.

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Lona – Dinner

For my dinner at the hotel, I chose Lona, the Marriott Tampa’s main restaurant located just off the lobby. I made the reservation in passing as I arrived at the hotel, just before strolling into town.

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Despite the fact that the restaurant was full, the hostess found me a table at the right time.

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I arrived on time and was seated immediately.

The menu and cocktail menu were brought to me. The latter was very interesting, offering Mexican classics.

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I had have a fish taco as a main course, with Mexican rice on the side.

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It was absolutely excellent, and I paid less than $40, which is quite unusual now in the United States.

Concierge Club – Happy Hour

On the evening of my arrival, I took advantage of Happy Hour at the Club Lounge, located on the 24th floor of the hotel.

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This lounge is accessible using your room key.

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Happy Hour was offered between 5.30pm and 7pm, and featured a low-quality buffet, soft drinks of course… And alcoohol… For a fee! Incredible!

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Concierge Club – Breakfast

On the morning of my departure, I had breakfast at the hotel’s Concierge Club. Breakfast is served between 6:30 and 10 a.m. every day.

The offer was acceptable for an American lounge, without being extraordinary. The waiter was rather sullen, which contrasted with the Happy Hour waitress who was quite pleasant.

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I had two slices of toast and a coffee.

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Service

Service in the hotel was pretty good, with smiling, helpful staff. However, I sent a complaint about the pre-arrival service, which I felt was unacceptable not only here but in many North American hotels.

Departure

Check-out formalities were simple: I received my bill by e-mail during the night, which made departure easier. I left my room card at reception before heading to the airport.

Bottom line

A solid stay, but with unacceptable management of loyal customers.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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