Long before I planned a trip to Tampa, I knew I’d wanted to stay at The Epicurean Hotel after hearing about it on The Travel Bite. The foodie hotel opened in 2012 in the Hyde Park neighborhood, a short drive from downtown Tampa.
It started out as a partnership between the hotel and the iconic Bern’s Steak House. The neighborhood surrounding the hotel is very walkable to restaurants and shops as well as to the paths and exercise equipment on Bayshore Boulevard.
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Buses run on this street for additional accessibility. It was the first of Marriott Hotels Autograph Collection properties to be purpose-built and has won countless awards since then. It’s also transformed the area and become a hangout of both visitors and locals alike.
The rooms themselves have a culinary theme, from the pillows to the door designs. The 137 rooms and suites include plush bathrobes, free WiFi, a luxurious mini bar, flat-screen televisions, coffee makers and rain showerheads. Many features are made of reclaimed wood.
Quality toiletries are stocked in the bathrooms, which have a sliding barn-style door. The mini-bar includes craft local beer, wine, sparkling water, chocolates, and cheeses. Some rooms feature pull out couches and balconies.
Among the amenities offered by the hotel are bicycle rentals, valet parking, fitness center, and an outdoor pool. The Evangeline spa features treatments that incorporate chocolate. The Epicurean Theatre brings in chefs and culinary experts for an Iron Chef-style showcase kitchen. Bern’s Fine Wines and Spirits takes the wine program from Bern’s Steakhouse and sells nothing but top-shelf spirits and bottles.
Élevage is the property’s main restaurant, helmed by James Beard semi-finalist Chef Chad Johnson. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and puts a modern spin on classic dishes. Chocolate Pi is a pastry shop where the emphasis is obviously chocolate. High tea is offered, as well as macarons, pies, and tarts. Edge Social Drinkery is the rooftop bar, with views of downtown, small plates, and craft cocktails.
If You Go
Epicurean Hotel is located at 1207 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33606. Parking is self or valet. Room rates start at $199 per night and go up from there. You can book through their website or by calling (855) U-AWAKEN (829-2536).
My stay was partially hosted by the Epicurean Hotel and Hayworth Public Relations.