When the Bay Harbor Hotel was acquired by Oxford Hotels & Resorts LLC in 2015, plans were immediately made to transform the property into an upscale lifestyle hotel like those the company pioneered in Chicago and Boston. Enter The Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa, which come to the Tampa side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway near Rocky Point.
“We were initially drawn to the irreplaceable waterfront real estate with its beautiful views and sunsets,” said John W. Rutledge, founder, president, and CEO of Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC and its parent company Oxford Capital Group, LLC. “The Oxford team is excited to bring our vision to life with this distinctive lifestyle property, fully embracing the unique character of Tampa Bay.”
Three years later and after multimillion-dollar renovations, the hotel is now operating under its new name and displaying a new look. While some iconic features remain, such as the infamous pier, private dock and waterfront dining restaurant, the entire property went through a polishing. Fifteen new rooms have been added, including four suites, which brings the number of guestrooms and suites up to 276. All new rooms include a balcony or patio, continuing the Bay Harbor feature.
All of the rooms were renovated, and large changes include hardwood floors in all rooms, marble countertops, new double sink vanities, frameless walk-in showers and 42-inch flat screen TVs. Smaller additions are the rooms’ plush mattresses, backlit LED mirrors, Keurig coffee makers, mini fridges and complimentary WiFi. The reimagined hotel theme is nautical-inspired, evident in the rooms as nautical accents in the drapery and artwork. In the hotel as a whole, nautical accents are prevalent and the new color theme is based on soft, neutral and modern tones inspired by sunsets and the bay.
The new lobby sports relaxing furnishings, Italian tile, a social table that doubles as a communal workstation and a lounge that serves locally-loved Buddy Brew Coffee. Exterior renovations include a soft blue façade, fireplaces, a South Beach-style heated outdoor pool coming this Spring, and the reinvention of the Beach Bar Restaurant. A reimagining of the waterfront, including changes to the 3,200 square foot pier and cabanas lounge, with the new waterfront experience being activity-based, including jet skiing, boating, paddle boarding and kayaking.
Changes also include a slight reduction of the resort space dedicated to meetings, but there's still plenty of corporate meeting room in an ideal location seven minutes from Tampa International Airport. The Beach Bar Restaurant’s renovation included a renovation of the menu; its casual beach fare is now influenced by Latin and Caribbean flavors, with breakfasts on the beach and sunset dinners continuing to dazzle guests.
The final change is new entertainment programming. The lobby will be host to weekly live music, with additional nightlife programming in the works. Crystal Rivera, General Manager of The Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa is excited about what the new features offer for guests.
“The resort brings the best of Tampa Bay’s waterfront community to life, and the final phase of the comprehensive repositioning will enhance the Tampa experience with The Godfrey’s iconic food and beverage, and entertainment programming,” Rivera said.
After three years of hard work, The Godfrey Hotel & Cabana Tampa remains a premier location for locals, tourists and business trips alike. Whether you’re looking for a vacation, staycation, drinks by the pool or a waterfront meal, The Godfrey is the place for you. Book a stay now to enjoy a piece of waterfront paradise.
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