Tampa, Florida’s first 5-star hotel arrives to leverage billionaire neighborhood

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New York , Miami , Los Angeles , barcelona , London , Dubai and Shanghai are cosmopolitan cities that have one trait in common: they all have a unity of the Edition a chain of five-star hotels with personalized services and bold architecture.

The last place to win a development with the brand’s seal is Tampa, Florida’s third largest city in the United States, which saw the 26-story building officially open its revolving door on October 20th – the weekend was marked by private concerts and a team of celebrities.

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The city, however, is not the first destination when thinking of a world metropolis.

With 172 rooms, seven bars and restaurants, 38 residences, a nightclub and entertainment center with intimate and super sophisticated rooms, the question is: why Tampa?

Accelerated growth and billionaire neighborhood

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The answer lies precisely in the bet that the city on the shores of Tampa Bay, just 1:20 Orlando and at 4 am Miamihas grown exponentially.

THE CNN Travel & Gastronomy report visited Tampa and the hotel before the grand opening and the common sense among locals, restaurant owners and the hotel staff itself is that the city will be completely different five years from now.

True or not, the fact is that efforts to attract more and more people to the Downtown area, once a region filled only by commercial buildings and parking lots, are visible.

Work that has now gained a hand with The Tampa Edition, located in the fledgling neighborhood of Water Street.

First five-star hotel in town the project is part of the $3.5 billion (about BRL 18.5 billion ) invested in the new mixed-use urban district comprising more than 836 thousand m².

A quick walk around the hotel reveals shops, restaurants, grocery stores and other residential and commercial complexes still with fresh paint – the first phase of the project has now been delivered in 2022, with buildings being built from scratch starting in 2018. The plans to revitalize the area, however, date back more than a decade.

Across the street from The Tampa Edition, a modern-day artisanal ice cream shop is next door to a plant shop founded and operated by a family in the best “urban jungle” style. Across the street, an upscale furniture store shares the sidewalk with a chain restaurant serving Asian food based on Japanese cuisine.

The project is led by Strategic Property Partners, a joint venture between Cascade Investment, controlled by bill Gates and Jeff Vinik owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team.

The idea of ​​Water Street is to be inspired by the great European cities that combine a busy urban life just a few steps from the water, as Stockholm, capital of Sweden.

Strategic location

Located at 500 Channelside Drive, The Tampa Edition is right across the street from the Amalie Arena the city’s main multipurpose venue, which hosts concerts and hockey and basketball games.

The location is strategic: the hotel also wants to feed off the hustle and bustle that takes place just across the street, as it is structured to receive artists of the highest level and athletes from different sports teams.

The idea, then, is to become the host venue for receptions and pre- and post-events in the arena – a taste of this took place last October 21, when Lenny Kravitz performed in celebration of the hotel’s opening and a squad of celebrities enjoyed an after party at the resort’s restaurants and bars.

The hotel

After passing through the revolving door marked by a veranda covered with plants, guests are greeted by a large lilac orb – a stainless steel work of art inspired by the works of Anish Kapoor, author of the famous “Cloud Gate” sculpture, the “bean”, in Chicago.

The first impression is that there are no barriers, where the walls are replaced by a true urban jungle: countless vases of different sizes shelter leafy green plants that act as dividers between one environment and another.

Totally open and with floor-to-ceiling glass, the large windows open to the entrance of natural light and reach six meters in height. The lobby has modern white fabric sofas, tables filled with heavy books on fashion and design, and cream-colored marble-clad interiors.

In addition to the rooftop, the location is the the hotel’s social heart.

There are two different atmospheres throughout the day: in the morning and in the afternoon there are serene moments surrounded by the hotel’s elegance; at night, especially from Thursday (3), the area gains a life with the hustle of individuals who drive to downtown Tampa to see and be seen in the hotel’s bars and restaurants.

Mediterranean cuisine

OBlobby air , with a woody central bar and surrounding yellow-toned chairs – there’s even an entirely yellow custom-made pool table – serves classic, signature cocktails from 11 am to 12 am. It’s a good spot for a Negroni or Old Fashioned, prepared in front of you.

Behind it, with a division of plants and chairs, is the lilac , the hotel’s gastronomic “jewel”. Aimed at celebrations and equipped with an open kitchen where the team commands the art of assembling the dishes, the restaurant is marked by green velvet seats and pendant chandeliers with round glasses.

Here, John Fraser restaurateur and chef who has led establishments starred by Michelin Guide prints an elevated Mediterranean cuisine highlighted by the protagonism of vegetables.

Seasonal and local ingredients are used in a prix fixe menu in a sequence that starts with appetizers to share and then moves on to three other dishes of the diner’s choice.

In the restaurant, which is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 17:30 to 22:00, the grouper (grouper), famous fish from the coast of Florida; the skewered short rib and the herb pasta with soft egg and chanterelle mushrooms sautéed in sherry.

Fraser is still responsible for the other gastronomic corners of the enterprise. In the lobby, opposite Lilac, is the Market at Edition a space that serves breakfast and snacks all day, and has a more casual feel.

In the mood for chocolate bars, assorted coffees and a generous slice of multi-layered cake topped with colorful sprinkles? Or still in the mood for fresh pizza, pasta and salads in the best Italian trattoria style? Then this piece of the hotel is the right place.

On the rooftop, nine floors above the first level and below the residences, the restaurant azure which boasts views of the new downtown area, is where chef Fraser’s Greek heritage is most evident.

From Mediterranean cuisine with a predominance of Greek creations, the menu bets on lighter dishes than those normally found in Florida, in which the choices of seasonal ingredients and seafood refresh the palate in contrast to the humid heat outside.

At the table, they go well to share: Greek salad with fresh fruits, vegetables and feta cheese; well-seasoned tzatziki and hummus served with warm pita bread; dolmadakia, stuffed grape leaf cigars; lamb meatballs; seafood tower with shrimp and mussels from California and Maine; and roasted sea bass with peppers and tomatoes.

White leather, linen and light marble stools set the tone of the venue, which has a white oak bar in the center.

Rooftop and entertainment corners

Also accessible by Azure, the rooftop on the ninth floor is like a counterpoint to downtown Tampa, as it is surrounded by tall commercial buildings. The sun combined with the humidity invites guests to relax in the five cabanas by the pool or on the 81 sun loungers.

Open to guests and residents, it’s like a club, where DJs periodically liven up the atmosphere. Japanese blueberries and purple flowers fall from the tops of the huts and also from the bar, creating a cozy atmosphere.

Back inside the hotel, the second floor, accessible via a sculptural white marble staircase from the lobby, features entertainment spaces that are different from each other – working together or separately.

To begin with, one more bar is present: it is the punch room which differs in having a footprint speakeasy . Hidden behind two heavy doors, they open onto a fireplace and blue velvet sofas next to the woody walls.

In the center are moss green sofas and cushions and, at the back, the elegant bar, with a rustic feel, has glass bottles of different sizes and drinks – the focus is on aged spirits and Caribbean drinks.

It’s like stepping into an old select club, where conversations are more intimate and the curtains ensure that nothing inside is seen from the outside.

Just in front of the Punch Room is the arts club , which has entertainment as its target. It is a combination of three spaces that can be discovered throughout the night.

The Lounge is the first of them, dimly lit, black leather sofas and dark walls that create a sexy atmosphere – there’s even a photo booth with a gold interior.

The next step is a dark marble noir bar with yellow velvet benches that precedes the Arts Club Cabaret, a room with an impressive undulating ceiling that has not just one, but 350 globes of light.

The few chairs are red and the lights change color according to the schedule, which targets live jazz concerts and DJ’s in a more select way.

A second-floor spa completes the hotel’s services, where six rooms can be used for facials and body massages.

elegant accommodations

Not least, the 172 rooms are accommodated between the second and ninth floors with views of the city or one of the canals – the rest of the floors are intended for residences. They follow the hotel’s standard of light colors and elegance based on simple designs and straight lines.

There’s no excess: Marble bathrooms have overhead showers, and bedroom furniture is contemporary.

They also have light control, in which it is possible to establish the desired form of incidence of the lamps, with controls for day, afternoon and night.

On the third floor, five bedrooms open onto a garden terrace and there is also a penthouse with a TV room, open living and dining rooms, a pantry and ample wardrobes.

With cutting-edge service and non-intimidating luxuries, The Edition showcases another welcome facet of Tampa.

The Tampa EDITION
500 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602
Reservations via phone +1 813 221 6000 and via email reservations.tpa@editionhotels.com

Source: CNN Brasil

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