Last week I embarked on a cruise to Western Caribbean cruise on Holland America’s Oosterdam along with my dad. Arriving the day before from Europe, we needed a one-night stay in a hotel in Tampa. A lot of popular pre-cruise hotels are located in the Rocky Point Area west of the airport, but we opted for Le Méridien , a hotel in downtown Tampa, so we could do some exploring of the nearby surroundings and go for a walk to the historic Ybor City.

The choice was easily made. Le Méridien is by far the best looking hotel in Tampa. In fact, it doesn’t look like a hotel at all! It’s located in a historic building from 1905 that once was the courthouse. And as you know, I have a thing for historic hotels. The staff gave us a warm welcome and after our long flight it was great to finally lay down on our hotel beds.

It’s a great feeling staying in such a unique building. I absolutely love how they had a lot of original elements throughout the hotel, like the Judge’s Bench in the hotel lobby or the leather doors on the fourth floor. On some doors it is still written what the original purpose of the room was! The Juror’s Bench in the Bizou Brasserie is also original. Speaking of Bizou, they serve some great breakfast there. Instead of a fixed price, you pay for what you order, so the price of your breakfast depends on the amount of side dishes you order. Simple stuff!

While the building’s setting is undoubtedly historic, the rooms had a surprisingly modern touch to them. That’s something I can really appreciate, as a lot of American hotels tend to have that outdated feel compared to European standards. Although I couldn’t find how to turn the noisy airconditioning off, I had a good sleep. Our room featured a nice modern bathroom and the only downside to it were the towels, they felt really hard. Okay I know I’m being really picky but it kinda gave me that large hotel chain feeling.

Whether you’re staying in Tampa for business or leisure, or whether you’re looking for a great pre-cruise hotel, I think you’ll have a hard time finding a better hotel than Le Méridien!

Thanks to everyone at Le Méridien for making our stay so enjoyable. All opinions are my own

Ben

 

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