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The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay recently completed a renovation of the 442 guestrooms, including their 45 casitas. This is great news for those attending the Frequent Traveler University event in Tampa the weekend of September 27 – 29th. The hotel is very central to the airport, downtown and only a short drive over to the beaches. This has been my go-to Tampa hotel for several years because of the location, cost and amenities.
The hotel is a Hyatt Gold Passport category 3 requiring 12,000 points per night. The rates are often very competitive with the nearby hotels like the Westin Tampa Bay, so I prefer a paid rate to get better value out of my Hyatt points elsewhere. On this stay, I had a very good corporpate rate. Thanks to my Hyatt Diamond status, I was able to apply a suite upgrade to the reservation at the time of booking. Initially I had a little trouble though. The hotel blocks only a certain type of suite available for Diamond upgrade certificates. When I found their lowest suite category availability for sale, I called up the hotel ad kindly asked if they could open up availability. They explained that they had “blocked” the certificate upgrade available rooms, but one would likely not get used, so they opened it up and I confirmed into the lowest tier suite.
At check-in, the suite wasn’t ready. The night before a teen rock band was in town, so the hotel was busy with people checking out. I checked-in exactly at the advertised hotel check-in time, but the room wasn’t ready. Only the parlor side of the suite was available. I asked what options they could provide. Without prompting, the hotel offered up their newly renovated Casita suite. The hotel as 45 of them and they are located a short 5 minute walk on the other side of the property.
We took the additional upgrade offer and re-packed the car to make the short drive over to the other side of the property. It’s an easy walk, but with a little one in tow and more bags than I could wheel, driving made the most sense.
Newly Renovated Casita Suite
Our Casita suite had two levels of living space, a kitchen, second bathroom, dining room, and a patio. It was spacious.
The dining table was great for room service or bringing in take-out from a local favorite restaurant. We ordered the Hyatt Cheeseburger one day and it was as good as ever.
The second bathroom is to the right of the kitchen and behind the dining table.
The Casitas felt very new. A huge improvement over the shape they used to be in.
One cool thing, if interested, is you can see planes taking off and landing directly from the couch of some Casitas.
The kitchen was perfect for us. It had two refrigerators, one regular one and another one for wine bottles.
We couldn’t let the wine refrigerator just sit there, so we stocked it up for our 3 night stay.
The patio is usable, but we preferred taking a walk over to the pool or deck rather than sitting outside.
Just be sure to close the door, and even then, you still may have some uninvited guests show up. After the first night, we started placing a towel at the foot of the door and that seemed to take care of the crab problem.
The stairs are behind the tv and posed an interesting challenge with a little one in the room. We created a blockade with the bar stools to prevent Baby Weekly Flyer from climbing the stairs.
One major improvement is the hotel finally installed blinds over the huge window in each room. Staying in a Casita always meant a sunrise wake up call. Not any more with the newly installed shades.
The upstairs room is spacious and is separated from the bathroom with a sliding barn style door.
The bath products at this hotel are the June Jacobs Green Tea and Cucumber bath amenity.
Grand Hyatt Club Lounge
Diamond members will be given access to the club lounge during the week and will have access to breakfast in the restaurant during the weekend. The lounge is located on the second to top floor of the main hotel. So if you are in the Casita suites, you’ll have to take a short walk or drive over to the main hotel. Not a big deal as you can walk along the bay to the main hotel.
The lounge is well equipped with coffee maker, a few refrigerators full of drinks and plenty of food in the evening and mornings.
Great views from the lounge too.
In addition to the main hotel pool, the Casita Suite guests have easy access to the pool over by Oystercatchers restaurant. The pool has great views of the bay, great views of planes departing and landing, and a dock where you can take a long walk.
The Grand Hyatt did a great job with the renovation. There are several major improvements to the Casita Suites including the window shades, wine refrigerator and overall new design of the rooms. If you can get an upgrade to the Casita Suite I would take it.
If you are considering going to the Frequent Traveler University event on September 27th – 29th, don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a free ticket to attend the event.
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