The NCAA National Championship Football Game is about to touchdown in Tampa and it goes without saying, the past three months have been nothing short of exciting in NCAA Football! Who do you think is headed to the Championship game in Tampa?  'Bama' looks like a lock, but who do you think they will play in the Championship game if they stay on their Roll? Though we may not know the who, we here at do know a little sumpthin' about the where and why! The 'fan festival fun' is guaranteed, sun and fun will be in big supply in Tampa and we want you to plan a trip designed to capture the excitement of the big game and all Tampa Bay offers.  Whether you live nearby or Tampa is a destination city, you want to stay in a class hotel on the beach or near the game. Or perhaps you want to do both,  we encourage hotel hopping for the best overall experience. Think 'Extended Stay'!

Below you will find 'picks' created to help you score the best deals, at the best hotels and resorts in Tampa Bay.  No matter who wins the big game, your trip to Tampa will be a winner at any one of these great venues:

Hotels Closest to the Raymond James Stadium

Marriott Renaissance Tampa International Plaza

Find LUXURY defined at the newly renovated Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel. Mere steps away from premier shopping, dining and entertainment at International Plaza and Bay Street the amenities at this stunning modern hotel and it's anchor restaurant and bar  Pelagia At Renaissance Tampa will have you cheering for more!  We encourage you to come in early and indulge in Pelagia's Amazing Dinner for Two available only on Friday nights! Central to everything, and within view of the stadium, you are in the perfect place to quickly transport yourself to the activities surrounding the BIG day from downtown to the beaches. 

4200 Jim Walter Blvd, Tampa FL Phone 813-877-9200 

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tampa Airport

This down-to-earth airport hotel is a 3-mile drive from the Tampa International Airport and a 4.4-mile drive (Approx 15 mins) to  Raymond James Stadium. Their recently renovated rooms and suites offer FREE WiFi with complimentary shuttle service, perfect for traveling with fans to the incredible number of activities and fan friendly places ready to help you cheer on your team!

4500 W Cypress St, Tampa FL Phone (813) 879-4800

Tampa Airport Marriott

This airport hotel is connected to the terminal at Tampa International Airport and is 7.8 miles to Raymond James (18 mins) and only 7 miles to fan central in downtown Tampa. Offering modern rooms with flat-screen TVs and premium cable channels you can enjoy a sumptuous breakfast buffet daily or continental breakfast if you are in a hurry to get to the action, PS, they have Starbucks in the coffee bar! This hotel is laid back and casual. The Skyy Bar and Grille overlooking the shimmering pool serves delicious pub style food, cold beer, and craft cocktails.  With dozens of choices within minutes for drinking and dining in style, why not consider sleeping in till the last minute before you must leave AT the airport! #SmartMove

4200 George J Bean Pkwy., Tampa FL Phone 813-879-5151

Embassy Suites Tampa Airport Westshore

Embassy Suites is across the street from Westshore Mall and a hop, skip and a jump from International Plaza. Approximately 4.4 miles and 15 minutes from the stadium. This Westshore District hotel chain known for catering to travelers’ needs deliver what matters most with a two-room suite, free made-to-order breakfast each morning, and complimentary drinks and snacks every night. A fan favorite, we had to include them on or list of where to stay for the NCAA National Football Championship Game in Tampa

555 N Westshore Blvd, Tampa FL Phone (813) 875-1555

Hotels Near the Stadium/Downtown Tampa

Aloft Tampa Downtown

Do an extended stay at the new Aloft in the heart of Downtown Tampa,  steps from the Riverwalk, and half a mile walking distance to NCAA Fan Central (11 mins walking 4 driving) at the Tampa Convention Center. Only ten minutes driving to Raymond James Stadium and you are in the heart of the fan activity taking place downtown at Aloft.

100 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa FL Phone 813-898-8000 

Embassy Suites Tampa Downtown

Embassy Suites Tampa - Downtown is one block away, approx 1 tenth of a mile from Fan Central at the Convention Center and conveniently connected to the Tampa Convention Center via a sky-bridge! Approximately 11 minutes to Raymond James Stadium, you can't beat the 'connection'  Embassy Suites provides to the Convention Center! 

513 S Florida Ave, Tampa FL Phone 813-769-8300

Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina

Rise refreshed and above the rest at Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, one of the city's most popular hotels in Downtown Tampa the hotel is across the street from Embassy Downtown, is ON THE WATER and on the Riverwalk.  They also offer world-class food on the patio, in the restaurant and in their very own sports bar with an 18 foot TV screen (yes that's feet) inside Champions Sports Bar & Grille.  There is so much to tell you about this hotel I do not know where to begin!  They too are 1 tenth of a mile from Fan Central at the Convention Center, are caddy-corner to Amalie Arena, and minutes from Ray-Jay.
They do offer many unique choices to discerning travelers, starting with their StayWell Floor. As part of the Vinik initiative towards improved health and well-being, if you choose to stay on this floor the amenities are off the chain. Read more about the Staywell Floor in Experience the Best of Boutique at this Luxury Hotel in Tampa.  If you love craft beer and good pub grub, read Marriott Waterside Craft Beer Happy Hour Has Gone Digital. No need to check out all the craft beer breweries in Tampa, enjoy the best of the best at Champions! (But if you must: Easy Guide with Links to the Best Craft Breweries | Hillsborough).  Featuring first-class accommodations and modern amenities, the hotel has won many awards, my favorite, however, was Best Bloody Mary at the Bloody Mary Battle! Read:  Best Bloody Mary Bars Found in Tampa | Top 50. If you want to swim, check out the pool, it is private to guests only and on the roof deck!  You are also in short walking distance to Cotanchobee Fort Brooke ParkTampa Bay History Center and something we know you will LOVE, the docks for both the  Pirate Water Taxi ( Performance Inspired, the New Pirate Water Taxi is Delightful) and the Cross Bay Ferry- Tampa Dock , which takes you across the bay to St. Petersburg in 15 minutes where you can explore the historic Vinoy Hotel along with the famous restaurants and shops in Downtown St. Pete

700 South Florida Avenue, Tampa FL Phone 813-221-4900

The Westin Tampa (Harbor Island)

The Westin Tampa Harbour Island has long been downtown Tampa's premiere venue for weddings, special events, and conferences. Also on the water, they offer spectacular views.  Across the channel from the Convention Center it is a quick walk over the bridge to Fan Central if you stay at the Westin. While there be sure to sample the delicious food, wine, beers and craft drinks from Jackson's where on Friday nights you will find Tampa's up and coming enjoying a brisk happy hour after work!  They are conveniently located near the Tampa Convention Center, and Amalie Arena,

725 South Harbour Island Blvd, Tampa FL Phone 813-229-5000

Hotels On the Causeway

Bay Harbor Hotel

Nestled amid lush tropical waters at the edge of Tampa Bay, this island-inspired hotel is a waterfront escape. Bay Harbor is perfectly situated for the NCAA Championship game in Tampa, on the causeway, you will find yourself minutes from downtown Tampa as well as the NCAA beach activities scheduled for fans, families, and players while staying at a resort with the feel of being on the gulf beaches!  Best of Both worlds here! Read more about what this local favorite has to offer in  Looking for the Beach Bar Life, it's on the Causeway Silly! Stay in and head to Beach Bar & Restaurant to dine, then sip cocktails by the fire pit, watch the sunset and unwind as the bay breeze gently diffuses the night.

7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa FL Phone 813-281-8900 

The Westin Tampa Bay

On Tampa Bay's Rocky Point Island on the Causeway, this sophisticated, modern hotel is 5.3 miles from Raymond James Stadium and 9 miles (Approx 20 min) to Fan Central at the Convention Center. Find yourself only 16 miles from Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach (approx 30 mins) where you can catch a sunset on the Pier and dine at some of the best seafood restaurants on the gulf. As you can see the rooms are colorful, and chic, some with water views. They feature flat-screens, WiFi access (for a fee) and iPod docks, plus coffeemakers and minibars. Some rooms have fitness equipment. Select suites add kitchenettes. They offer a 24-hour fitness center, an indoor pool and a private beach, and an airport shuttle service.

7627 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa FL Phone (813) 281-0000

The Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay

This classic hotel is on Courtney Campbell Causeway, waterfront and only 4 miles from the Airport. It is 5 miles to Raymond James Stadium, a 10-minute drive and 8miles / 15 minutes to Fan Central at the Convention Center. WiFi is free, rooms offer you flat screens, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers, Upgrade to a bay view or a suite offering lounge access with complimentary breakfast and appetizers during Happy Hour. There are 2 tennis courts, 2 pools, a fitness center and a nature preserve, Upstairs find one of Tampa's upscale Italian restaurants with the most miraculous views of Tampa and Tampa Bay in the acclaimed Armani's. At the end of the nature trail, tucked inside the mangroves find another local favorite, Oystercatchers! Right on the water, this is a premier seafood restaurant serving mouth watering dishes! This hotel offers complimentary shuttles to the airport and you can rent bicycles to explore the nature walk and the trails along Courtney Campbell Causeway. It's a quick 30-minute ride to the beach and about 15 minutes to the quaint city of Safety Harbor, the historic Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and many eclectic southern eateries, art shops, Phillipe Park and more.

2900 Bayport Dr., Tampa FL Phone 9546477799


Boutique Hotel

Epicurean Hotel

The Epicurean Hotel is Tampa's latest 137 room boutique hotel offering a sophisticated, unique experience from it's contemporary rooms to every foodie's love, the Elevage Restaurant, and EDGE Bar, their acclaimed spa, pool and more. Located within walking distance of the longest sidewalk in the world,  the beautiful Bayshore Boulevard Linear Park. The hotel is 4.4 miles from the stadium, about a 12-minute drive due to traffic, and 2 miles / 5 minutes to Fan Central, you can see the Convention Center from Bayshore Boulevard. 

1207 South Howard, Tampa FL Phone 813-999-8700

Hotels on the Beach St. Petersburg / Clearwater

Don Cesar

This historic St. Pete Beach 4 Diamond, beachfront hotel offers you a purely indulgent experience. From powder-white sugar sand to tropical sunsets, each detail of the resort is designed with extraordinary pleasure in mind. The Don, as we call it, is 28 miles from Raymond James and takes about  40 minutes driving time, to Fan Central it's 30 miles and 40 minutes also. Built in the 1920s resort it is surprisingly contemporary featuring ocean-inspired themes, rooms have flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, desks and Keurig coffeemakers. Upgrade to add a balcony or a suite with separate living areas, pull-out sofas, and kitchenettes. Room service is available at the Don 24/7. You can explore the sports bar, a hip lobby lounge serving light bites and 4 restaurants, including upscale seafood dining. Their daily resort fee includes WiFi, the local area shuttle, access to 2 heated outdoor pools,  fitness classes, and a 24-hour gym. There’s also a wellness spa with a separate fee schedule for services.

3400 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach FL Phone 727-360-1881 

Tradewinds Island Grand Resort

Tradewinds Island Grand Resort is the premier Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach offering luxury experiences from their pools, including the lazy river to beautiful beach days in the pure white soft, sugar sand, to a multitude of activities for all ages, and so much more. Approx. 39 miles to Ray Jay and 32 miles to NCAA Fan Central at the Convention Center it takes approximately 40 minutes to the stadium and 45 minutes to Fan Central. They offer free WiFi, and free parking at this 20-acre British West-Indies styled resort hotel boasting a Guy Harvey Outpost, great Kids club and much much more! Regular rooms offer flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, microwaves, coffeemakers, suites have separate bedrooms and kitchenettes. The nightly resort fee includes unlimited rides on the water slide; use of their paddleboats, tennis court and fitness center and the beach cabanas!  On property you find a spa, 7 heated pools, water activities and 11 places to dine from casual to fancy, they also have beach bars on-site. How about this for an idea!  Extend you stay by coming in early to enjoy everything the area offers and spend NYE at Tradewinds, read 

5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach FL Phone 727-367-6461 

Shephard's Beach Resort

Hip new luxury rooms with modern amenities and stunning views, you will love the resort's amazing new pool with a 7,000 square ft. tropical pool deck featuring a SOAK bar and VIP cabanas. Enjoy the  SALT Tequila Bar and Tap Room with craft beer and so much more at Shephard's. Travel to Raymond James from the resort (22 miles) in approx 40 minutes, and to Fan Central in Tampa at the Convention Center in approx 50 minutes depending on traffic. You can stay during the NCAA Tournament in Tampa or decide on an extended stay, moving over after the festivities are over.  Why not move the party to the beach, you are sure to run into celebratory fans across the Bay too!

619 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater Beach FL Phone 727-442-5107

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach

Savor the season with an experience that puts you on the of one of the world’s beautiful beaches in a lively, fun energetic hotel. Feel the warm sun, breathe the fresh salt air and step into the lobby of one of the most popular, well-located resorts on the Gulf while visiting Tampa Bay for NCAA!  Via the Causeway you are approx 34 miles from Ray Jay and 41 miles to Fan Central. Approx 40 to Ray and 50 minutes to Fan Central depending on the time of day. So you certainly can stay at the resort or choose to hop over for an extended stay after the fun in Tampa is over. 

301 South Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater FL Phone 727-373-123

Vinoy Hotel

Built in 1925, this pink historical landmark resort and spa is across the street from a harbor and Cross Bay Ferry, the newest addition to travel between Downtown St. Pete and Downtown Tampa. Hop aboard and you will be transported to the Tampa Convention Center and Fan Central in 15 minutes without driving!  This is a stunning hotel chock full of History, take the tour and dine at Marchands. On Sundays, you can enjoy their sumptuous Sunday Craft Beer Brunch featuring a local brewery, read Taste of 727 Spotlight | Vinoy's Fantastic Sunday Beer Brunch. PS... they also serve mimosas and offer one of the BEST Bloody Mary Bars, and for regular daily breakfast they recently reintroduced an old menu favorite, Grouper Hash! Be sure to save on the NEW 1925 Classic Menu at The Vinoy during your stay!  Less than 1 mile from the St. Petersburg Pier and The Dali Museum. Expertly designed rooms come with minibars, coffeemakers, and stunning marble bathrooms. You can upgrade to add balconies and pull-out sofas; some rooms have whirlpool tubs. Suites add living and dining areas with separate bedrooms. Wi-Fi is available for a fee). We call her the Grand Dame', she includes 5 restaurants, including a ’20s-style speakeasy eatery you need the code to enter, a coffee shop, a lobby bar and the indescribable Veranda overlooking the harbor where you can relax in a classic rocker, recline on comfy sofas and enjoy light bites, fine wines, and spectacular cocktails.  The fitness club offers free classes, and there's a heated outdoor pool, a hot tub & a sauna, as well as a luxe spa and a golf course should you choose the Vinoy! If you take the ferry to Tampa it's a 10 minute Uber ride to Ray Jay from the dock at Fan Central. To drive from the hotel it is 21 miles and 27 minutes to drive, while the drive to Fan Central is approximately 23 miles and 30 minutes.

501 5th Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, St Petersburg FL Phone (727) 894-1000

Choose the property that fits you best, the one you want to explore and experience. Each offers something unique from the classic Vinoy in St Pete connected to the Marriott Waterside by the Cross Bay Ferry,  to the modern Epicurean off Bayshore Boulevard. We are rolling out the red-carpet and looking forward to your visit! We hope Where you found Where to Stay for the NCAA National Football Championship Game in Tampa 2017 helpful in choosing the best hotel or resort for you and your family and encourage you to bookmark our site for all the information you need about what you can do and what to see in Tampa Bay!

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