If you have followed my articles for a while you know that one of the aspects of traveling that I love the most takes place months before the actual trip. I am talking about research. When it comes to accommodations my first go-to search is boutique hotels. While doing this I found the mother of uniqueness and boutique style in Tampa – The Epicurean Hotel.
The mere fact that it is located in the SoHo (South of Howard) area caught my interest. Growing up around NYC I learned to associate the word SoHo with chic, hip and artsy. So it was not a surprise for me that this hotel embodied all of that. I was literally transported 2000 miles back to the SoHo I knew.
However, when I got there, I learned that this was much more than hip and chic. It is the art of fine tastes and living.
An Epicurean Hotel Experience You Won’t Want to Leave (I Didn’t)
Arrival and Check In – They have a different check in policy than the one I have found in other hotels. You are taken directly to your room by the receptionist but before you get there, you go on a tour of the hotel. You even get a quick talk about what it is all about and how it was created.
The Epicurean is owned by Mainsail Lodging and the family that owns Bern’s Steakhouse (one of the best steak houses in the U.S.). The restaurant has the LARGEST wine collection in the entire world.
NOTE – When you walk towards the front desk, look around. The entire wall and part of the ceiling over the front desk are covered in boxes from wines and different alcohols. Some of them don’t even exist anymore, or they were one of a kind.
Love for fine wines and alcohols gave this hotel its name, Epicurean, and its overall theme.
The whole concept of the hotel centers around great food and amazing wines. In it you will find 137 rooms and suites luxuriously decorated with furniture and accessories that reflect the culinary heritage and unique nature of the area.
Peak Inside a Room at the Epicurean
I had the king suite. It has a full media center and room for doing work, a wine bar (tea and coffee are included in the room rate but wine is extra charge) and a fully stocked fridge (extra charge).
There is also good room service. They know that once you enter the room chances are you want to stay, rest from the day and enjoy it as much as you possibly can.
More Cool Spots throughout the Hotel
Even though the hotel is privately owned, it is part of the Autograph Collection hotels for the Marriott. It is part of a small group of hotels from around the world that can be part of this exclusive collection. These hotels are noted for their unique style, luxury standards and other qualities that make it a no-brainer to choose to stay with them. This means that you also get to use your Marriott Reward points.
The lounge area resembles the same atmosphere as Bern’s living room. A large amount of the furniture and art and trinkets that you see in it are part of his collection.
The Theatre at Epicurean was created due to Bern’s belief that you must be a student for life. In this theater they hold weekly and monthly classes on wine, fine dining, gourmet cooking and other gastronomy lessons.
Their pool is always heated so it is a great place to hang out even if the weather isn’t cooperating at the time of your visit.
Another great place where you can hang out and relax is at the EDGE bar on the 4th floor. It offers delicious and unique cocktails as well as great views of the entire Tampa Downtown area.
There are also complimentary bikes for those guests feeling adventurous. This allows you to see the neighborhood where the hotel is.