The Le Méridien Tampa
Le Méridien is among one of the least known brands in the SPG portfolio. The Le Méridien brand incorporates the charm and style of a boutique hotel with the comfort and service of a Westin. The Le Méridien Tampa is no exception. Built within the historic Old Tampa Courthouse, the Le Méridien Tampa boasts phenomenal service and stylish facilities. The property is also located near the heart of Downtown Tampa, seconds away from major highways, and minutes away from Tampa International Airport.
A major part of the Le Méridien brand is incorporating both the destination and Parisian style into the hotel. The Le Méridien Tampa manages to incorporate both by featuring a Tampa-based French restaurant offering a twist on traditional American cuisine.
To top off luxurious rooms, premium hotel amenities, and a great location is the fantastic and professional service offered by the hotel staff at the Le Méridien Tampa. The entire staff legitimately takes pleasure in assisting every guest throughout their entire stay. The tremendous service is also the main reason I’ve decided to keep an eye out for Le Méridien Hotels the next time I need overnight accommodations.
The primary reason for visiting Tampa was to visit extended family already vacationing at nearby Indian Rocks Beach. To save a few bucks and due to a lack of seaside accommodations near Indian Rocks Beach, I decided to look for SPG properties in Downtown Tampa, a thirty or so minute drive away from the beaches. In addition to the Le Méridien, Downtown Tampa SPG properties included a Sheraton and Aloft Hotels. All hotels were located within five minutes of each other and featured similar price tags.
I originally expected only to stay one night and stay the other night at my families’ condo on the beach, however, due to a double-booking error at their condo, I ended up booking a second night.
I booked a Standard King Room, however, was upgraded to a Deluxe King Room because I arrived at the hotel before standard check-in time. The first night was $116 (taxes/fees included) while the second night was $185 (taxes/fees included). Both rates were reasonably priced for the value I received at the Le Méridien Tampa.
Starpoints Earned: ~685 | 1 Night Till SPG Gold
Probably the unique and defining characteristic of the Le Méridien Tampa is the structure in which the property sits; an old courthouse. The hotel, including; guest rooms, the pool, the restaurant, and lobby, are housed in an elaborate courthouse. This courthouse previously served as the courthouse for United States District of Southern Florida and later the United States District of Central Florida. Construction started in 1902 was completed in 1905. The old courthouse was added to the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places in 1974. The courthouse’s unique NRHP number, a number assigned to all Historic Places, can be found throughout the hotel. One place the NRHP reference number (74000633) can be found on is guest room bathroom mirrors.
Le Méridien Tampa put a lot of emphasis on the history and unique design on the old courthouse. For example, many items and structures from the courthouse (which closed in the mid-2000s) were repurposed when the hotel opened. The judges stand serves as the desk for the business center in the lobby while all crown molding throughout the hotel is original molding from when the courthouse opened its doors in 1905. Additionally, many guest rooms were built in former judge and jury chambers and boast the original, oversized windows.
By embracing the rich history and Greek architecture of the property, the Le Méridien in Tampa has created a unique and luxurious guest experience not found in newly constructed chain hotels.
I arrived around 11 AM, roughly four hours before check-in. I usually luck out and score a room even when I’m absurdly early, however, I did end up waiting roughly 45-minutes for a room. I didn’t mind this wait at all as the front desk staff upgraded me to a Deluxe King Room and kept me up to speed on the status of my room. The first impression of every hotel is the front desk staff. The Le Méridien Tampa front desk team might have been the nicest, most welcoming, and professional front desk team I’ve dealt with in a while. In addition to upgrading my room and keeping me well informed on the status of my room, the front desk team engaged in sincere small talk and gave me an overview of the hotel property. Each time I visited the lobby, the front desk team had a warm and welcoming smile on their faces ready to assist any guest at any time.
In addition to the fantastic and welcoming front desk crew, the lobby was feature well-appointed decor and comfortable seating and meeting spaces. The decor throughout the entire hotel is reminiscent of high-end loft furniture with a touch of retro 1950s/60s. In other words, it was the classiest hipster furniture I’ve ever seen. Not only was the furniture fitting and high-end but it was also practical. The lobby boasted great meeting space and comfortable lounge areas. The lobby also features a bar that serves drinks throughout the evening.
The Le Méridien Tampa features Bizou Brasserie, a French-American restaurant, and bar on the second floor. Bizou Brasserie also cooks any in-room dining request and runs the cafe adjacent to the actual restaurant. Bizou Brasserie is not your typical hotel restaurant. The food is fantastic and unique too. From my Bizou Burger to my French Toast, everything was phenomenal. The restaurant staff was also welcoming and professional.
Also noteworthy is that Le Méridien hotels feature high-end coffee company Illy coffee and espresso in-room and at the cafe. I really appreciated the in-room espresso and handcrafted espresso beverages at the cafe. Additionally, the cafe features eclairs made fresh daily.
The Pool+Fitness Center
I spent quite a bit of my time at the pool. I wasn’t aware that the hotel had a pool until I checked in. More and more hotels seem to be doing away with the hotel pool, and I don’t blame them. Luckily for me, the Le Méridien Tampa featured a fairly large pool equipped with fountains mounted alongside. The pool furniture was surprisingly premium with luxurious seating and marble side tables. Outdoor pillows were also provided at each lounge chair. Needless to say, the pool was phenomenal, and I managed to get quite a bit of sun!
I didn’t get to use the fitness center this time around, however, I did take a peak. It’s a fairly standard hotel gym. However, all equipment is fairly new and in great condition. Whether you plan on doing aerobics or weight training, the Le Méridien Tampa gym should have you covered.
I was upgraded from a standard king room to a deluxe king room. The differences are minor; however, if you decide to go with a deluxe room you will get a slightly larger room and a room with one of the massive courthouse windows. Deluxe versus standard rooms aside, every guest room features luxuriously decorated interiors reminiscent of a boutique hotel. Each room is decorated with darker and neutral tones that I found to add to the relaxation and cleanliness of the room.
The bed is phenomenal. The two nights I spent at the Le Méridien Tampa were the best nights sleep I’ve gotten in years. I went to bed quick, slept through the night without interruption and woke up feeling refreshed. The linens are specially designed for Le Méridien hotels while the mattress might have been SPG’s Heavenly bed.
Other noteworthy features of the guest room include the fairly large closet, high desk with leather backed swivel chair, quiet mini-fridge, Illy espresso machine, large leather ottoman and other unique premium furnishings.
Deluxe King Room; In Pictures
Guest bathrooms are also quite luxurious. Each guest bathroom features an oversized shower and premium vanity with marble counters. Additionally, Malin + Goetz products are provided.
Overall I can’t find one flaw in my guest room. It was perfect.
As previously mentioned, the front desk staff was unbelievably professional and welcoming. From check-in to check-out, the front desk team did everything they could to make my stay perfect. Their attentiveness to detail and warm attitudes toward each guest could have made even the worst hotel seem bearable. It’s hotel staff like this that keep me loyal to the SPG portfolio.
Other hotel crews were also fantastic. My room was always fully stocked with toiletries and kept as clean as possible. Though I never valeted a vehicle, the valet crew were also very welcoming each time I returned to the hotel.
I was pleasantly surprised by my first stay at a Le Méridien property. The Le Méridien brand is a fairly interesting concept that has a lot to offer. Le Méridien hotels are designed to be a destination-centric luxurious boutique-ish hotel. That’s exactly how the Le Méridien Tampa felt. It was luxurious, uniquely designed, and destination-centric.
The hotel staff was amazing as well. The entire team took pleasure in helping each and every guest. They’ve made the Le Méridien Tampa a hidden gem among a long list of mundane hotels in the Tampa area.