FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina

by Francis X. Gallagher

Aug 1, 2018
August 2018

Arrival/Check-In: We flew from Philadelphia to Tampa’s efficient airport — I say this as it just created a rental car center which the local newspaper said was a disaster, but we found everything running smoothly. The elevated train takes passengers to the rental center in super-fast speed and comfort. It was just a short drive to the Marriott, where the many valet parking attendants stood ready to quickly and efficiently process us. The hotel has a massive lobby with palm trees in the center, and the building has been undergoing a $40 million multiphase renovation by its new owners, Strategic Property Partners. Frank, the bellman, took our bags, though we had little more than the basic carry-ons, and escorted us to registration. We were swiftly checked in, and Frank took us up to our high floor with its sweeping view of the marina. Frank helped us with local hot spots and restaurant venues. We decided to take the short walk across the bridge to Jackson’s for a cocktail and terrific dinner at the bar the first night. We had a busy next morning, so we were pleased to get settled.

Guest Quarters: I recommend travelers who stay at the Marriott Tampa select a room far from the elevator shaft; elevators run all night and make a significant amount of noise, disrupting sleep. During our two-day stay, we moved farther down the hall and were satisfied. The rooms are basic; our standard room had two double beds with a set of drawers and a flat-screen TV along the opposing wall. The patio was superior, and Frank warned us about the 3-inch step-over to get out — he was right! Obviously, this was built to prevent wild Florida storms from spilling water into the rooms.

The bathroom was nicely appointed with off-white marble from floor to ceiling. The shower was particularly strong and up to new standards. It occupied the entire length of the right side of the bathroom and had a glass door and panels. It was the high point of the room. The shower nozzle and the European hand sprayer were a plus. A host of amenities for guests included shampoos and lotions from the Thanann brand. Separate Aromatherapy shampoo and conditioner were complemented by body lotion and soap.

Services/Amenities: The second night, we tried the Waterside Grill at the hotel and sat outside, enjoying the finish of a charity cancer run. Everyone was enthusiastic about their contributions, and it was fine entertainment as we ordered pre-dinner drinks. Anastasia was our charming server that evening, and the ribeye steak was far better than I expected and cooked perfectly. I started with a Caesar and kale salad that was tasty after our long day.

We also quickly stopped at the main bar in the lobby, full to capacity. We secured two seats in the back and were entertained with the exploits of Ryan as he prepared our cocktails (he pours like a New Yorker). Overall, the property created a friendly atmosphere, and you cannot beat the “marina walk” for a nice run or stroll.

◆ The little yellow trolley cars are cute and stop right in front of the hotel — worthy of an excursion.
◆ Probably the most efficient parking attendants I’ve encountered
◆ Jackson’s and other fine restaurants are within an easy walk.


700 S. Florida Ave.
Tampa, FL 33602
tel 813 221 4900


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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