Are you one of those people who book at
chain hotels? If so you could be missing out on a lot of local
flavor. Barrymore Hotel in Tampa is a perfect example. Once part
of a chain, this boutique hotel in Tampa's Downtown River Arts
District, is a unique cultural experience not just a place to
lay your head.
The Barrymore is right next to the Patel
Conservatory and the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the
Performing Arts, one of the nation's top theater facilities. The
Barrymore's romance with the arts begins outside. As you
approach the hotel, the grounds are a mini-gallery. A life sized
stature of John Lennon greets you as you enter the driveway. A
sculpture called Rebirth, a colorful butterfly perched atop a
heart, perches near the front entrance. It's by Clayton Swartz
and won first place in Tampa's Art Loud sculpture project for
|John Lennon greets you as you
||Rebirth by Clayton
Inside, the lobby is spacious and open. It
,too, is filled with art. The Barrymore is owned by HR
development AKA, the Callen family, who has their office onsite.
Perhaps this explains the staff's friendliness and the hotel's
immaculate condition. All good reasons to choose this boutique
I spoke to Richard Marco, Sales Manager who
explained why Barrymore broke away from its chain just about a
year ago. "It leaves us free to try some of the programs we want
and some of the things we do."
Richard showed us some of the new things
they are doing. He pointed to the colorful paintings adorning
the walls. "We are trying to embrace Tampa's art culture. All
the art you see around the hotel is from local artists. The
front desk has price lists. It helps us by displaying their work
and the artists have a place to show their work."
|Ray Paul art in the Business
Another unique factor is The Barrymore
provides some dormitory rooms for some students at University of
Tampa. Instead of creating a dormitory feeling, the students
lend a bit of vitality to the place. One of several little nooks
where a patron can relax is furnished with long tables and
offers a quiet space where the students can study and relax.
|Another piece of noteworthy art
in the Barrymore Hotel
Their dining faculty is the Waterworks Bar
and Grill is another unique idea born of the Barrymore's
independence. It's presided over by Executive Chef Rusty Evers,
previously executive chef at David A. Straz Jr. Center for the
Performing Arts' restaurant before she moved next door to the
Chef Evers roots go back to the Deep South.
She grew up in New Orleans and attended a New Orleans culinary
school. In the culinary field, she has "been there done that,"
from her own prestigious catering company called The Art of the
Feast, to cooking all over the United States, Australia and
|Chef Rusty Evers
Chef Evers has completely revised the menu
at Waterworks incorporating her New Orleans style and gourmet
touch. She creates her dishes based on her inspiration the day
which provides an innovative and fresh menu all the time.
Another unique factor that Richard pointed
out is their Community Table. He stated, "People absolute love
it since it offers a great opportunity to share stories with
other lone travelers."
The bar matches the rest of the restaurant
in being fun and different. There are ten different tap beers
all from Florida and most from the Tampa area.
|Pool is very roomy
Topping it off there is a large pool,
fitness center, two computer business center setup, free WiFi
and because they own their own parking lot they can offer more
economical parking. Since parking is a biggie in Tampa, the
hotel offers complementary van transportation to places within
two miles of the hotel. The Barrymore is a member of Florida's
Green Lodging and a bronze level Green Leader on Trip Advisor.
My room was on the 14th floor
and offered a wonderful view of the Patel Conservatory and the
Straz Center The suites have full sized kitchen with three
burner stove and convection oven dishwasher, and spacious living
area, bedrooms and bath
|Kitchen in suite
The Riverwalk, just outside the hotel, is
one of Tampa's newly developing attractions. The LED lighting on
many of the buildings along the Riverwalk provides a great night
view from the rooms which all have either river or city views.
For More Info:
American Roads and
Global Highways has so many great articles you may
search it for you favorite places or new exciting destinations.