2021 marked a major milestone event for me because it is the year I celebrate turning 40 years old. If I couldn’t have the big crazy jet-setting party I dreamed of, then I would have a simple but fabulous staycation at the brand new JW Marriott Tampa Water Street.
Transitioning into a new decade of life is definitely a moment deserving of celebration. However, we are still in a global “ponderosa” trying to get the virus under control, so I opted not to put my friends and family at risk by throwing a party. When I decided that a staycation escape would be the way I wanted to celebrate and be pampered, there’s only one hotel I had on my mind, the newest hotel in Tampa, the JW Marriott in the up and coming downtown Water Street district.
The JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, is the 100th property to open in this luxury brand line with an official grand opening celebration planned for April 2021.
I was provided with complimentary accommodations and amenities by the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street. As always, all opinions are honest and completely my own and not influenced by my relationship with the brand. This post contains affiliate links that compensate me if bookings are made using my links. Full disclosures
I stayed in the Superior Corner Spa room on the 16th floor in one of the Stay Well™ Premier Rooms. It is a spacious gorgeous room with an entryway foyer, plush king-size bed, and jaw-dropping floor to ceiling wrap around windows providing views of the river, the harbor, and the pool terrace.
The room has a table and chair, a 55 inch television, and a comfortable bench at the foot of the bed. The room also has a safe, mini fridge, Netflix, iron and ironing board, and the all-important mark of luxury, plush bathrobes!
Some perks of the Stay Well room include circadian lighting and an air-purification system. There are also morning meditation videos and other wellness media from Deepak Chopra, M.D., a world-renowned wellness professional.
However, the star of the show and the reason you want to book this room is the bathroom. I’m obsessed with this exquisite bathroom. The floor to ceiling windows extend into the bathroom, illuminating the marble vanity and the oversized soaking tub with natural light.
The stand alone shower is encased in glass with dual shower heads. The water pressure was excellent and there was an added wellness benefit that I didn’t expect. The shower is actually infused with Vitamin C to add another restorative element to the wellness experience.
Additionally, bath minerals and shower gel with lavender and ylang ylang, which has healing and restorative properties, were provided for the tub soak to make for a wonderful, relaxing oasis right in the room.
- Spa by JW® complete with a spa lounge, 10 treatment suites, plunge pool
- 2 heated pools and poolside cabanas. The Cabanas have a small loveseat and 2 lounge chairs but only the loveseat is fully shaded.
- Fitness Center
- Rooftop terrace lounge area
If there was one improvement I would suggest to the cabana experience, it would be to choose a bit more upscale vessel for the ice and waters instead of the tin bucket labeled with a beer brand. It’s a minor detail but it really didn’t match the sophisticated vibe of the space. It would also be nice for the cabana to come with a juice option or some kind of light snack like a fruit tray in addition to the bottles of water that are provided.
Restaurants at the JW Marriott Tampa
The Six is the rooftop restaurant offering outdoor and indoor seating and views of the Tampa Riverwalk or the Harbor and pool terrace. If you can, I highly recommend sitting outside to get the full rooftop ambiance. I tried the braised lamb shank served with Brussel sprouts for my dinner which was delicious. The lamb shank is a hearty portion and the meat just melts and falls off the bone. For dessert I had the strawberry gateau which is topped with silver flakes for a bit of flare.
Since I wanted to be pampered, I opted to have breakfast room service which serves from the menu at Driftlight, the main dining option in the hotel just off the lobby. The lemon poppy seed pancakes with black berry and maple compote and lemon chantilly cream were divine. I also enjoyed the avocado toast.
The JW Marriott Water Street is connected to its sister property, the Marriott Waterside by a sky bridge on the 3rd floor, making it easy for guests to enjoy the amenities of both properties. For one of my dinners, I walked over to the other property to Anchor and Brine, the outdoor waterfront restaurant. The evening views of the harbor coupled with one of the best scallop dinners I’ve ever had made it a truly memorable dining experience.
The location of JW Marriott is also close to several other downtown Tampa restaurants within walking distance, by trolley, or by water taxi.
There is also a beautiful lobby bar with food service, a coffee stand, and quick service concept called Turntable.
Service at the JW Marriott Tampa
The level of service at the JW Marriott Tampa was on par with what the luxury brand is known for. The check in experience was wonderful and everyone from the bell hops to the housekeeping staff were friendly and went above and beyond to make sure all of our needs were met.
I have to give a special thank you to Crystal, one of the housekeeping staff who serenaded me with a beautiful Happy Birthday song in the hallway.
Safety and Cleaning Protocols
- Masks required for staff and guests in common areas and social distance protocols are in place and this is posted clearly throughout the property.
- Advanced cleaning protocols like UV light to neutralize viruses
- The Stay Well rooms have an air purification system
- Hand sanitizing stations inside elevators and common areas
Now, I have to say my room was immaculate and I felt safe in my room. Of course I still did my usual wipe down of things commonly touched in the room and that probably won’t ever change.
However, I did have concerns when I was in the common areas and for that reason I didn’t spend much time outside of the room aside from the pool and going to dinner. There were numerous guests and visitors that were not wearing masks in the lobby, on the elevators, and in other common areas of the hotel. This policy while posted, was not being enforced as strictly as I’ve seen it done at other properties I’ve stayed in since the After Times.
It didn’t deter me from wanting to stay at the property again, but I wasn’t comfortable to spend much time enjoying the dazzling lobby. It really is a beautiful space.
Plan Your Stay
When you’re ready for a few moments of serenity and luxury, book your stay at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street. At the time of this post, guest room rates start around $289+ and upwards and vary depending on the timing of your stay and the room type. It’s definitely a splurge but it’s worth it to treat yourself, especially if you’re celebrating a milestone event in your life.
Be sure to check the current safety guidelines before planning your trip and follow all CDC, state, county, and hotel guidelines to keep yourself safe as well as others.
Read more about my 40th Laurentines Staycation celebration in the April Issue of Tampa Bay Parenting magazine.