The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay - Review

My wife and I spent last weekend in Washington D.C., and as is customary for our trips which require flying, I booked our departure on the first flight out at 6:30 AM. Given that we live nearly two hours from the main airports, we usually opt to drive down the night before and crash at a cheap hotel, because those extra few hours of sleep prove to be valuable on the first day of vacation. We usually fly out of Orlando, where the front desk agent at the airport La Quinta knows us by name, however for our trip to the Capital I managed to find us a cheap flight out of Tampa. So I set out to find our "go to" Tampa airport hotel, and was surprised when I found a great deal at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.

As you may have read in a previous post, there are certain requirements that any great airport hotel must meet. Granted, the words "great" and "airport hotel" rarely collide together in the same sentence, however greatness is relative, and in this case, the standards are low. A moderately clean and inexpensive room, combined with a reliable wake-up call, free parking, and an airport shuttle are the essentials for great airport hotels, and the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay exceeded these expectations.
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
We arrived around 8pm for our short overnight stay and were warmly greeted by the front desk, who also offered us a glass of champagne. While I couldn't believe my brain allowed my mouth to turn down free champagne, it was definitely a great first impression. For a larger hotel, the actual lobby of the Grand Hyatt is quite small. The check-in area was a bit dark and dated, in contrast to the nice sitting area near the entrance. This area leads into the hotel's sports bar, which was full of George Clooney in "Up in the Air" types, and with Manchester United on one of their TVs, we decided to pop in for a nightcap.Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
Ready for bed, we boarded the elevator, which I'm quite certain was the first one ever built, and made our way upstairs. Our room at the Hyatt was nice, and certainly beat our usual airport digs, although the obvious upgrades done to the room seemed a bit piecemeal. The bed featured the now standard white duvet, however the curtains seemed to be stuck in the 1980s. The shower and vanity in the bath were a modern marble, paired with dingy wallpaper that might have been original to the room. Despite these seemingly random attempts to modernize the rooms, it was far more than we needed for a one night stay.Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
Our 4:15 AM wake up call came far too early, and was delivered by an actual human being, which is rare these days. The first hotel shuttle to the airport left promptly at 5 AM, and dropped us off directly in front of the Delta ticket counter. The hotel allowed us to leave our car, which is a huge benefit since it saves us the money on parking. The downside is you have to wait for the shuttle when you return, however saving the $80 for parking makes those fifteen minutes worthwhile.Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
It's worth noting that the location of the Grand Hyatt is somewhat isolated in the middle of nowhere. If you're someone who likes to get out of the hotel for dinner, or simply to walk around, then this is not the hotel for you, because it is landlocked by Tampa Bay on one side, and an expressway on another. If you're spending more than a night or two here and want to explore more than just the hotel, I'd suggest you rent a car.

Our short stay at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay was a success, and it's likely we would try to stay there again in the future. We would only do so, however, if I was once again able to find a promo rate, as this hotel is not worth the $175-200 they normally ask. Since we paid less than half that normal rate, to me the hotel presented a great value, but were I paying full price, my opinion would certainly be different.

At those rates, they can afford a new elevator.

Enjoy Your Stay

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