Point Me to the Miles

Navigating the Path to Great Travel

Surf & Sun Tampa Style: Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel

Introduction
Pasco to Salt Lake City (SLC)
SLC to Los Angeles (LAX)
LAX, “The Bump,” and Torrance Marriott
LAX to Atlanta
Atlanta to Tampa
Hotel Review: DoubleTree Suites Tampa Bay
Exploring Tampa Part 1: Honeymoon Island
Hotel Review: Tampa Marriott Waterside
Bern’s Steak House Tampa
Exploring Tampa Part 2: Cigar City Brewery and Clearwater Beach
Hotel Review: Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel
Exploring Tampa Part 3: Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center and Ybor City
Tampa to New York (LGA)
New York to Minneapolis (MSP) to Pasco, WA (PSC)

Exterior

I arrived late after my Clearwater Beach adventures, and proceeded to the Elite counter for check-in.

Hotel Lobby-Forgive my crookedness, please

Check-In Desk

One thing I have noticed in retrospect is that usually hotels–especially Marriott tend to not check my ID upon check-in.  On one hand, it is convenient when I don’t have to pull it out, but it makes me a little bit worried.  One could easily check-in as me, and snatch up my room.  Even worse, my credit card is on file, making it even easier for someone to pilfer from me.  Should I start asking them to check it?  I can’t think of a good solution to their lack of attentiveness.

Anyway, as always I asked about a suite upgrade and was informed that a wedding party was occupying those.  After my near-miss the day before, I had checked and indeed Marriott was showing no suite availability.

I was given a club-lounge level room on the 8th floor. I was informed that as a Marriott Gold member, I would be able to receive complimentary breakfast in the hotel restaurant (of which there are actually 2) by notifying my waiter.

After finding the elevator (Renaissance hotels always seem to be set up as a maze) I proceeded up to my room.  It seemed a little bit less cramped than the last hotel I had stayed at, but with nearly the exact same room configuration.

Desk Area

Bathroom

On the wall across from the toilet, was a robe which I thought was comically hung:

Robe

I had breakfast at the restaurant Pelagia Trattoria my first morning at the hotel (a Sunday) and when I mentioned that I was a Marriott Gold member, was informed that I would be given a $14 credit for breakfast.

Crab Eggs Benedict

I ordered the Crab Eggs Benedict.  The bread that it was served on was a little firm, but it was still pretty good and perfectly paired with a succulent slice of avocado.

The service was excellent.  At the end of my meal, my waitress asked if I would write down my room number, and write that I was a Platinum member.  I quickly said “Gold, but wish I was was a Platinum!”  She remarked, “You don’t want that.  It just means you stay here a lot.”  If only she knew!

And while the price of the dish and coffee exceeded my $14 allotment by about $5, I was only billed for the tip.  A great benefit of Marriott Rewards Gold!

The second morning I ended up using the Club Lounge, which was just down the hall a little ways from my room.

Lounge Spread

There was a fair spread for breakfast including bread, sliced deli meat in cheese, cereal and oatmeal in addition to the staples of eggs, bacon and sausage.

Lounge Breakfast

Lounge Seating

On the whole, I liked the property.  It is conveniently located in the International Plaza, which has a fair amount of shops including a mall and Cheesecake Factory next door.  In addition, the locale works out since the airport is only a 5 minute ride on the hotel’s complimentary shuttle bus.

I really like Renaissance Hotels, how comfortable and trendy they are, while not be overly pricy.  For a mid-size town like Tampa, this property is certainly tough to beat.

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15 thoughts on “Surf & Sun Tampa Style: Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel

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