A review of the Westin Tampa Bay, a family-friendly hotel located in Tampa and convenient to Clearwater Beach and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
It hasn’t been a bad winter here in Massachusetts, although we’ve definitely had some very cold days. When the opportunity to visit Tampa, Florida over the kids’ winter break presented itself, we decided to cash in some frequent flier miles and travel down there for a quick trip. During our trip, we stayed at the Westin Tampa Bay – a hotel located close to the Tampa International Airport, and convenient to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and other Tampa attractions.
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We arrived at the Westin Tampa Bay in the evening, after flying in to the airport and renting a car. Parking is available for an additional fee – although valet is the same price as self parking. After dropping off our car, we easily checked in, and then headed up to our room.
Rooms at the Westin Tampa Bay
Rooms at the Westin Tampa Bay are standard hotel rooms, featuring the usual Westin amenities including the Heavenly Bed, and the Heavenly Bath (as well as my favorite bath amenities – the Westin White Tea Heavenly Bath Amenities). There are a total of 244 rooms with 18 suites. Rooms are available with either king beds or double beds.
The large bathroom had a separate bath and shower, as well as a double sink. The room itself had a closet, coffee maker (with Starbucks coffee), a small desk with ergonomic chair, and a larger chair. I especially love the linens that Westin offers as part of their Heavenly Bed – they are so comfortable.
Our room had a refrigerator, but it was filled with honor bar items, so it wouldn’t really work for holding leftovers or other food.
Amenities at the Westin Tampa Bay
Whether you are a business traveler, or a family traveler, the Westin Tampa Bay offers a number of great amenities. They participate in the Westin Workout program, where you can rent fitness gear for your stay – no need to pack sneakers. The hotel offers a small fitness center on the first floor, so you have no excuses to skip your regular workouts. Adjacent to the fitness center is a nice-sized indoor pool. My kids really enjoyed swimming on two separate days, and both times, we were the only ones in the pool.
In addition to the pool, there’s also a small private beach, which has a few chairs and umbrellas. We spent about an hour outside, and the kids had fun playing right on the edge of the water. There’s also a kiosk that rents jetskis and other small motorcraft, and while we didn’t rent anything, we saw a few people rent boats and jetskis.
The hotel also offers a courtesy shuttle, which makes an hourly loop to the airport and the nearby International Plaza and Bay Street mall (loaded with shops and restaurants). It also makes stops on demand at other nearby spots. You do need to request the shuttle to make sure it picks you up. We took the shuttle a few times – twice to International Plaza and once to a local restaurant (the Rusty Pelican), and found it to be very convenient. Although we rented a car, we didn’t use it very much, due to the shuttle and Uber.
Service at the Westin Tampa Bay
I was so impressed with the service at the Westin Tampa Bay. The valets/bellmen were especially helpful, even getting me a coupon to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium when I mentioned that we were traveling there. We also found the front desk staff and the restaurant employees to be friendly and helpful.
Restaurants at the Westin Tampa Bay
The Westin Tampa Bay offers an oceanfront restaurant – Aqua – that is absolutely delicious. We went there twice, and loved our meals. Despite looking like a more adult restaurant, they do offer a kids’ menu.
The hotel also offers an on-site Starbucks. We got our breakfast there each morning, and it was quick and easy with almost no line.
Location of the Westin Tampa Bay
The Westin Tampa Bay is about 4 miles from Tampa International Airport. It’s also a short drive to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and about 40 minutes to Clearwater Beach and Clearwater Marine Aquarium.