If you want to experience an authentic 1960's Tahitian resort, old Florida style, this is the place. And I don't mean in a moldy, run down kind of way either. This is a top notch property, well kept, and a well known gem in Tampa, with a professional staff, We found it quite by accident, hoping to steer away from our usual 4 and 5 star hotel stays. We decided to try something "different". And we are VERY glad to have done so!
The property sets vertically into a very nice residential area, clean and safe. I love taking the kids on walks outside the property , and to Trader Joes for food snacks.. its very conveniently located, along with latte, and other "must haves" ..all within walking distance. "-)
We've stayed multiple times now, just to see if our initial experience was a happy fluke, and were thrilled to see, excellent service was standard fare, and the magic of this place is for real.
As a result, we now have a "go to" in Tampa, its THAT much fun!
Our first night, a rain storm hit, in fact, we rode in with it! This did not detract from our experience at all. That's when we noticed the magic of this place.. the landscaping, lights, that incredible pool, Tiki Hut, restaurant, smiling, genuinely happy staff.. something was different here, it really stood out.
What we noticed was the engagement between staff and guests.. your check in person is not a clerk, its actual concierge service. The manager is on par with a cruise ship director.. there are no short order cooks, you have a chef with trained assistants.. wait staff, professional and friendly.. our children's blankets have been folded with care, with their stuffed animals propped atop many times now. I felt like we were in an island resort, tucked away from the rest of the world.. like an island of happy, where just about anything fun was possible. I say this because the place is very much alive.. scents, sights, textures.. it really takes you to a far removed place.
What's really neat is we can stay there, without even leaving the premise, and have a really good time! Which goes really far when the kids and I are there, while my husband is in a business meeting. The pool is EXCELLENT. Large, clean, fantastically lit and landscaped.. at night its just magical, hands down. Swaying palms, draped wooden seating areas, Tiki Bar, thatched roofs, music. They have a super friendly DJ by the pool, (back to engaging the guests!) we're talking about genuine, nice people, not programmed staff.
The restaurant is legendary in its own right, and the food EXCELLENT. Its a foodie lover's heaven! Abondanza! The chef knows his way around that kitchen! Who knew this was here? Well.. a lot of folks do.. that's why its always packed! You will leave with extra, and they will be happy to prepare that for you! Karaoke Friday nights is unsurpassed fun. I mean FUN. They have a few people that host this, and its personable, supportive, and they are not going to leave you hanging there! Everyone gets involved, and you end up making friends, its unavoidable!
My husband is now having his client meetings here, for lunch, and the clients are amazed at this place.. They have a conference room, for business meetings, with all the needed professional support.. I wouldn't think twice about booking a conference here.. you are in GOOD hands. Management comes from five star resort back grounds, they know how to run a business environment, conducive to successful meetings. (I'm able to give review for this place as a business person as well as a Mom.. its a five star win-win on both sides of the coin. We can bring the whole family, be fed, entertained, relax, have fun, and do business, all on the same premise.. without getting lost, feeling stuffed shirted, or under served. It truly is amazing how this resort is set up, run, and enjoyed by the staff themselves, they really enjoy what they are doing, and it shows.) While I don't drink personally, I have been told the drinks are not watered down, and are properly prepared, which is also a rarity.
So you have concierge service, chef caliber food , top notch entertainment and karaoke, a surreal perfect Tiki Bar and Tiki thatched, palm lined, landscaped, and lighted pool, with seating that allows you to relax, visit, or just chill out do nothing..
with excellent , right vibe, music, DJ'd live.. and really really good snow cones! (they cater to the little ones too! Its all there for everyone to enjoy, grandma to kiddos, to singles, married couples, professionals, and just trying to get away vacationers.. ).. now.. the rooms..
We have stayed at one of the suites, which felt like a private residence, and was INCREDIBLE. We've traveled coast to coast, and stayed at many top notch suites.. so we know incredible when we see it. I am a recording artist, and can tell you honestly, the acoustics in the living room section were perfect. I don't know how they do it, but they have. I was able to work out harmonies and melodies, with perfect resonance. It was a real treat.
We also have stayed at the regular king suites.. over looking the pool area.. which is more like a setting for a Tahitian Island getaway than a pool at a hotel.. You have to experience this to know what I'm trying to describe.
The rooms are clean, large and well proportioned. The architecture is solid built 60's, in excellent condition. And the air conditioners work really well. You can actually cause a chill in the room if you turn them down too low! This is a GOOD thing.. Its Florida, and can get hot and humid out there.. after a nice swim, you can escape back to your room and enjoy the nice cool relaxing environment. There's a really pleasant scent to the rooms too. We haven't been able to figure it out yet, but The Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas has this too.. Its something 5 star resorts do.. and in a very non allergic way.. Its subtle, refreshing, and I now bring an extra blanket, just to lay out, so when I return home, I can bring some of that scent back with me! It really takes me back to the Tahitian..
I know there's more here than what we have so far utilized, like a day spa, gym, air port transportation, etc. But we will be using these services as our business and clients are brought in to use the premise for meetings and conferences. I'm also very interested in using one of the suites to record in.. the soundscape is that quiet, inside and out, I think some magic can happen there recording wise! :-) The kids cant wait to go back, and neither can we. I believe they also have a park and ride cruise concierge service.. which is really convenient. This would be a perfect place to call home dock. Your cruise would actually start once you checked in, and your car would be in a safe place, and well looked out for.. I'd do it in a heart beat.
This stay is listed as Family.. but we've also used it now for Business.. The write up is long, but I wanted to give both categories a proper review. I wouldn't hesitate to invite family, friends, colleagues, clients, reunions, birthday parties, church functions, civic groups, political functions, entertainment industry parties, sports, (you can watch sports by the pool, huge monitors), you name it, you wont be disappointed.
I do not work for, nor an I affiliated with the hotel, and I am not being paid to write this.. its genuine based on our personal experiences while staying at this hotel. Sometimes you find something you want to let others know about.. this is one of those places :-)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC