If water views are important to you, then consider these three hotels overlooking Tampa Bay, all located a short drive from Tampa International Airport.
The 244-room Westin Tampa Bay is a contemporary beachfront hotel on Rocky Point Island, close to the airport. Stylish, sunlit rooms offer minibars, iPod docks, and coffeemakers with Starbucks coffee as well as modern bathrooms with walk-in rainfall showers and soaking tubs. Some rooms also offer splendid ocean views, kitchenettes, fitness equipment, and free continental breakfast. The hotel's Aqua restaurant serves seafood in a stylish space, and there's an on-site Starbucks. The beach is small and gets highway noise, but there's a lovely indoor pool and hot tub, as well as a modern fitness center open 24-hours. Business travelers are well catered to with ample meeting rooms and event space, plus a 24/7 business center. Wi-Fi is free in the common areas, but in-room Wi-Fi incurs a fee for non-SPG members, as does parking.
The mid-range Bay Harbor is a 260-room hotel overlooking Tampa Bay and located close to the airport. Interiors and amenities are everything you would expect from the chain, though at times dated and in need of an update. All rooms have private balconies and bayside rooms are particularly popular due to lovely water views. The hotel has many meeting rooms and event venue spaces, as well as an outdoor pool, fitness room, business center, and gift shop. The on-site tiki-style restaurant and bar is a popular nightlife spot, which sometimes incites noise complaints from guests. Wi-Fi and a shuttle to the airport are both free.
Sailport Waterfront Suites is a 191-room mid-range hotel located near the airport on Tampa Bay. There's a modest and rocky bay beach, but the gulf beaches are about a half-hour's drive away. Rooms are clean, comfortable and modern, with full kitchens, and many offer views of the water. Overall, it offers a solid value with amenities such as a small pool, a sunset deck, and barbecue grills, but there's no full restaurant and the fitness facilities are located outside.