Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay Stay Through Priceline
I’ve had a busy couple months and decided recently that I wanted a short getaway. Luckily, when you live in Florida that’s not too hard to do. My boyfriend and I decided to spend a weekend in Tampa to relax. I booked one night using Hilton HHonors points, but we decided the Wednesday before the weekend we were going that we wanted to drive over Friday night and go to the Florida Aquarium on Saturday morning. Since we didn’t really care where we wound up, I decided to try Priceline.com out. I figured I would try for a 4 star hotel and see what we got!
There are a lot of sites around with information on how to bid on Priceline. Two of my favorites are: BetterBidding.com which has hotel lists in each area, and BiddingTraveler.com which is a similar site that lists some Priceline bid results for specific hotels. I am by no means a Priceline bidding expert, but those are the two sites that I use. The general rules on bidding are that you can bid once per 24 hours, unless you modify your bid by adding areas or additional star rating levels you are willing to accept. The bidding strategy I used was to bid once on the area I wanted a 4 star in, then increase my price and add another area where there was no 4 star hotel listed.
Based on what I had read online, I figured the Intercontinental Tampa was closest to my price range and that was probably what I would wind up with. But it was pretty late when I started bidding and looking at it now I’m pretty sure I didn’t even select that area! I started with Tampa Airport West at $50. When that wasn’t accepted, I chose another area listed on the two sites mentioned above that had no 4 star hotels and rebid with the additional location and a price of $52. After that bid wasn’t accepted, I added the Tampa Downtown area at $55. Not only was my bid accepted, but it turned out the be the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. I was pretty happy with the results for a random one night stay. It came to $69.46 after taxes and was well worth it.
I had read on tripadvisor that it was best to request a bay view corner room on a high floor in order to have a nice bay view and a larger room. The day of our stay I emailed the hotel with my confirmation number requesting that room. I am a nobody with Hyatt – no status at all, so that didn’t come into play. I received a response that my requests were recorded. When we arrived, we received a corner room on the 9th floor. The room was great! There was a long hallway entrance with the room straight ahead.
The bathroom was the door on the right side of the hallway.
The room was slightly larger than the average hotel rooms I’ve stayed in – presumably due to the corner room request, but I haven’t seen the other rooms to be sure.
As one of us forgot our iPhone charger, we were very excited that there was an iHome radio next to the bed. Not going to say who forgot their charger, but let’s just say it wasn’t me… 😉
The view from our room was gorgeous. We could see both the bay and the pool area.
The grounds of the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay were also very pretty. We spent an hour or two the evening we arrived wandering around. The pool area near the main hotel was pretty at night.
There is a naturewalk/boardwalk out to a gazebo on the bay, where we saw a ton of fiddler crabs. We also found a ridiculous number of mosquitos – if you are going to go on the boardwalk take bug spray!!
We passed one or two other couples out wandering but it was very quiet and serene. The nature boardwalk is right on the water, and had a great view.
We also walked from the main building out to where the standalone casitas are, which is a whole separate area with a second pool and a restaurant called Oystercatchers. Both the koi pond at the front of the casitas and the boardwalk/dock area behind the second pool and Oystercatchers were beautiful. The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay is fairly close to the airport. We watched a couple planes take off from the dock behind the pool and enjoyed it. While we heard planes outside, we didn’t hear anything from inside our room which was great.
Since my stay was so great, I went ahead and tried Priceline again for the weekend of the Frequent Traveler University session in Tampa. I wasn’t really expecting it to work since there’s high demand at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay which is hosting the event. But oh well, worth a try! I stopped bidding after my $75 bid was declined, because at $92 after taxes we’re getting pretty close to the rate for the event which gives points/status. But for anyone who is attending, we definitely enjoyed our stay at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.
Stay tuned for an upcoming Hilton review, and activities in the Tampa area!