Florida's West Coast

emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico

Tampa newcomer
The 323-room Westshore Grand, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, opened in Tampa last November with a heated rooftop pool, Shula's Steak House and more than 14,000 square feet of function space.


Local Update

 The 319-room Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club has refurbished its 18-hole championship golf course. The hotel also features a seven-mile stretch of white sand beach (with beachside pools), a spa with nine treatment rooms and 34,000 square feet of meeting space.

• Naples and environs are undergoing a restaurant renaissance, with new eateries popping up all over. Among the best of the class of 2017, according to Gulfshore Life magazine, are 1500 South, 21 Spices by Chef Asif, Zen Asian BBQ, Midtown Kitchen + Bar and Tacos & Tequila Cantina.  

Meeting Hotels: Major properties in the greater Naples area include the 474-room Naples Grande Beach Resort; 454-room Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa; 450-room Ritz-Carlton, Naples; 319-room Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club; 295-room Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples; 199-room Hilton Naples; 189-room LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, and 119-room Inn on Fifth.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.

Airport Transit: Southwest Florida International Airport, approximately 33 miles northeast of Naples; transfer cost by taxi to downtown Naples, $70

Naples Municipal Airport, three miles from downtown Naples; transfer cost by taxi to downtown, $20

Taxes: Naples and Marco Island: room tax, 4%; sales tax, 6%; total tax on hotel rooms, 10%

Contact: Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau, (239) 252-2384 or (800) 688-3600

 Set to open this month is the 37-suite Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club on Anna Maria Island in Holmes Beach. This Autograph Collection hotel from Marriott has 5,570 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space.

 Coming in July is the 255-room Westin Sarasota with a spa, a fitness center, a rooftop pool and fine dining, plus more than 26,000 square feet of meeting space.


Local Update

 The 175-room Hyatt Place, Downtown St. Petersburg, is being built in 13 stories of what will become the city's tallest building, at 41 stories, upon completion by year's end. Highlights include a 5,000-square-foot restaurant, a 5,500-square-foot elevated pool deck and 4,600 square feet of meeting space.

 The luxury-class Wyndham Grand Resort, Clearwater Beach, opened in January with 343 guest rooms, a waterside bar and restaurant, and 22,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.

The 230-room Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach, opened last year with a sleek mid-20th-century vibe and a gently curving facade fronting the Gulf of Mexico. The resort has approximately 17,000 square feet of waterfront meeting space, and all guest rooms feature impressive, unobstructed views of the Gulf.

 Construction on a new JW Marriott hotel on Clearwater Beach is set to begin this fall, with opening day projected for 2019. The $120 million property will have 166 guest rooms and aims to become the first 5-star hotel in the Tampa Bay area. Stay tuned for further details.

Meeting Hotels: For a list of area properties, and to compare hotels and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.

Convention Center:
Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center; exhibit space, 30,000 square feet; meeting rooms, 14. (855) 318-4768; sirata.com

Airport Transit: Tampa International Airport, about 18 miles east of Clearwater and 20 miles northeast of St. Petersburg. Transfer cost to Clearwater or St. Petersburg by taxi, $50; by Uber, about $25

Taxes: Room tax, 6%; sales tax, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13%

Contact: Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, (727) 464-7200 or (877) 352-3224