We have been to Tampa attractions like Busch Gardens, the Lowry Park Zoo and the Florida Aquarium before but on this 3 day family vacation we really wanted to get to know the city of Tampa and everything it has to offer to families.
For me one of the most important things when planning a family vacation is to choose a hotel that has the right location. When you travel you either don’t have your own car and have to rely on public transportation, taxis, etc. or you have a car, either your own or a rental but do not know your way around the city so you do not want to stay in a hotel that is far away from everything and requires a lot of moving around.
The Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk has a location, that seriously can’t be beat. Resting on the shores of the Hillsborough river the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk is within walking distance, I’m talking a short walk with kids in tow here, of the Tampa Museum of Art, the Glazer Children’s Museum, the Curtis Hixton Park, Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa University and the Starz Center and a 5 minute drive (or less) from the Florida Aquarium, historic Ybor City and so many other places worth visiting. The Teco Streetcar station is just about a block away and you can get an 1-day Unlimited Ride fare card for only $5.00/person, $2.50-for kids. If you don’t feel like walking or taking the historic streetcar you can simply use the hotel’s free shuttle service anywhere within a 3 mile radius!
From the minute we arrived we notice how friendly everyone was, from the valet to the front desk staff everyone greeted us with a smile and seemed sincerely committed to making our stay a great one.
On our first day in Tampa we took a cruise aboard the Tampa Water Taxi Co. right from the hotel dock, then we used the free shuttle service to take us to lunch a the Columbia Restaurant and after walking along La Septima in historic Ybor City we took the historic Teco Streetcar, which both my kids loved, back to the hotel. In the afternoon we walked to the Curtis Hixton Park, visited the Glazer Children’s Museum and finished the day with a delicious gelato from the Sono Café at the Tampa Museum of Art.
Back at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk we enjoyed a gorgeous sunset over the Hillsborough river from our own private balcony overlooking the water. Our jr. suite had a small refrigerator and microwave so we prepared a light dinner in our room, which saved us some money, and enjoyed it outside on the balcony as we watched the city skyline, the boats sailing by and an where even surprised by an occasional dolphin jumping in the water below!
Early the next morning my husband, who is a fitness addict went downstairs to the fitness center and then took a morning run along Tampa’s Riverwalk while I enjoyed the amazingly comfortable bed and got a my well deserved beauty rest.
Before heading out for a fun day at Busch Gardens, just 15 minutes away, we took advantage of the complimentary breakfast at the Club Lounge located on the 6th floor. The Club Lounge has a big screen TV, coffee and a refrigerator with soft drinks, water, etc. available day and night. In the mornings breakfast is served and in the evenings there are hot hors d’oeuvres and discounted beer and wine available. The Club Lounge is available for Starwood Platinum members and can also be purchased by non-members for usually around $25 per day of the guests stay.
The Pros of staying at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk:
- Awesome downtown location
- Clean and comfortable rooms with an amazing view of the river or the city skyline
- Great service and extremely friendly staff
- Private balconies
- Free shuttle service within a 3 mile radius
- Super comfortable Sheraton Sweet SleeperSM beds
- Four legged family members are welcomed
- Free 1 mbps high-speed internet connection, 5mps for just $4.95 per day
If I had to find something to improve I would say that the bathrooms are a bit on the small side and that the hotel is not that new but a complete renovation of guest rooms, corridors, restaurant and bar is scheduled to start June 2013.
We really felt at home at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk and we would have loved to stay a couple more days as there where still so many great things to do in Tampa with the kids, but I am sure we will be coming back soon.
If you stay the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk opt for the Riverview rooms on the 4th or 5th floor to enjoy the best view and take advantage of their ongoing specials, which you can find on their website HERE. For more information you can visit the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk website, like their Facebook page and follow them on twitter @SheratonTampaDT.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary stay at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk. However all opinions are sincere and are my own.
This is part of a series of articles: Tampa with Kids , you can read more articles in the series HERE. #TampaWithKids
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