I stayed at the Tampa Renaissance over Labor Day weekend while in the area. Overall, it was a wonderful experience! I'm not sure I could have asked for much more! I've traveled to Tampa many times over the years, but this was my first stay at this property. It definitely won't be my last!
Check-in / Front Desk
Despite a special event going on the evening I arrived, the front desk staff was prompt and courteous with check-in. They quickly got me to my room, explained amenities and made sure my special requests were taken care of. Throughout the weekend, the front desk was the source of lots of information about the area, local restaurants, directions, etc. They were always friendly and helpful! It was refreshing to feel so welcomed.
I had reserved a King Room on a weekend special -- Buy 2 nights, get the 3rd for Free. I was upgraded to a Suite right across from the concierge lounge. The room had a large desk / living area, a normal size bedroom and a really nice large bathroom. Beds were comfy and the room was clean. Robes were nice and fluffy, rather than the stiff ones you sometimes get. One comment on housekeeping -- when they did nightly turndown, they weren't consistent about swapping out used towels and freshening up the room. Some nights they did it, some nights they didn't. Not a huge thing, but for a property that's obviously watching their experience, it's worth mentioning.
Breakfast at Pelagia Trattoria
Concierge Lounge was closed Saturday and Sunday for Breakfast. Instead, they offered their platinum guests and $11 credit that you could either apply at the bar for coffee and pastries, or in the dining room. The credit would get you the continental buffet. I went ahead and got the full buffett. They do eggs, pancakes and french toast to order. The potatoes were REALLY good! Berries and other fruits on the buffet were excellent. Breads and pastries were a little generic --- after seeing the kinds of breads they do in the restaurant at night, I'd expect a little more here than plain breads and bought pastries. Service was excellent. Both days my servers were friendly and attentive. Anything that wasn't on the buffet, they were happy to find. Was a nice way to start the day, although without the credit, it would have been overpriced for what you got. I understand it's in line with Marriott standard (16-17), but normally, the product is a little less generic.
Dinner at Pelagia Trattoria
After a glowing review from one of the wait staff at breakfast, I decided to have dinner here one night. Glad I did! It was really nice. Service was decent. It was a bit of a surprise to find a waitress who couldn't really answer any of my questions about the wine list, and didn't volunteer to find someone who could. But that aside, it was nice.
They served a nice selection of house made breads with olive tapenade. Yummy! I ordered the crunchy stuffed olives with 3 meats. Never figured out what the meats were..... These were fried olives -- tasty, and different. For dinner, I had the Scallops. These were to die for! They made the experience --- blend of flavors was excellent! You got 4 or 5 really big scallops. I also decided to finish the night with dessert. I choose the dark chocolate flourless mousse cake with pistachio gelato. Wow! Flavors were great and this wasn't a really heavy dessert! Overall, really nice. Dinners were in the $20-30 range. Starters were 5-7 and desserts were about 8.
Nice relaxed atomosphere if you are looking for a place to kick back.
Lounge opened Sunday night, so I did get to experience it. Evening apps that night included hot veal sandwiches, veges, and cheeses. Desserts were cookies. During the day there were cookies and crackerjacks for snacks. Breakfast was nice. Oddly, there seemed to be more options upstairs in the lounge than on the breakfast buffet. Staff was nice and welcoming.
In addition to the lounge, they offered complimentary valet parking to platinum guests. That was a nice add!
Pool / Exercise room
Didn't use either, but checked both out. Workout room was a decent size with new equipment. Pool was nice also.
Overall, this is a great place. I felt welcome and really enjoyed myself. The Mediterranean decor made it feel very much like a resort. I'd definitely come back!
I share your appreciation for this hotel and the Pelagia. The service was outstanding, and the lobby area was beautiful. My wife would have liked its location adjacent to the International Plaza for shopping, and it is also convenient to the airport (with complimentary shuttle). This would be a good choice for a weekend getaway.
I had grouper for dinner at the Pelagia, and this was the best restaurant meal I have had this year.
I live about 20 minutes outside of Tampa and have taken my lady to the Tampa Renaissance many, many times, just for some shopping (International Mall which is located right there), relaxation and romance.
I was glad to hear you enjoy your stay, for the most part, as this is one of my all time favorites. We have spend many hours relaxing at the lounge area or in the beautiful courtyard, as well as the pool area. Which is a bit small, but well maintained and tastefully decorated.
I was surprised to hear about your evening server not being able to answer questions you had concerning the wine. That is really a shock, as we have eaten on the property every time we stay and have always had delightful servers who knew there stuff. Did you mention it to the manager that evening? They are quite efficient and have always made a wrong into a right whenever we have had minor problems.
Breakfast is another story, let me recommend TooJay's on the upper level outside the mall area, where the night life is. It is reasonably priced and you get alot for your money. The food has always been good there.
I truly hope you stay there again and enjoy our wonderful city!
Mark & Kara