The newest hotel in Tampa is in one of the city’s oldest buildings, after a $26 million transformation of a 108-year-old federal courthouse. Le Méridien Tampa opened in late June 2014 with 130 guestrooms and 4,000 sf of meeting space, including a grand ballroom for up to 150 guests. Business meetings at the hotel are “ahead of projections,” says General Manger Brent Scarbro, who thinks groups are drawn to “the unique juxtaposition of the new with the old. We get to take advantage of the historic elements of the building, yet with a chic and cultured European hotel feeling.”
Scarbro says the hotel retains many original details of the courthouse, including the front door, the terrazzo marble of the walls and floors (“which you just cannot find anymore”), the judge’s chambers and the hand-painted ceiling in the ballroom.
One of the courtrooms has been reimagined as Bizou Brasserie, a French bistro. The hotel also features the signature Le Méridien Hub, which reinterprets the traditional lobby as a social gathering place that indulges four of the five senses.
Through Le Méridien’s Unlock Art program, the Tampa hotel provides artistic key cards that act as passes to the Tampa Musuem of Art. Le Méridien Tampa is just 12 minutes from Tampa International Airport and within walking distance of the Tampa Convention Center and the shops of Riverwalk. You don’t have to love art to enjoy a meeting there, Scarbro says, but “it creates an experience outside of a transactional hotel stay.”-Kate McClare