Get ready for Tampa's newest luxury hotel. The renovated and historical Classic Federal Courthouse on Florida Avenue is almost ready for its debut as Le Meridien.
Opening date for the upscale, 130-room hotel is June 1, with a grand opening planned for later that month. It is one of 11 Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts planned in the next 12 months by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
Le Meridien Tampa brings an artsy vibe to what the city plans as an "art promenade" on Zack Street between Florida and Ashley Drive. Guests at Le Meridien
will receive a free pass to the Tampa Museum of Arts. A wall on the main floor, near Bizou Brasserie and Longitude Bar, will be a gallery of the best from local artists.
"Le Meridiens around the world emphasize art," says Gary Prosterman, CEO of Development Services Group
in Memphis. "It has a tremendous amount of architectural features that are really appealing. It's obviously a different experience from just your typical business class hotel or certainly different from a select service hotel."
The "cultural heritage traveler" and the creative segment of travelers, regardless of profession, will appreciate the environment and amenities at Le Meridien, Prosterman says.
The 109-year-old neo-classical building is on the National Register of Historic Places but for years sat vacant. In 2012 the city, with Tampa City Council approval, agreed to a long-term lease. DSG was selected as developers for the project. Kobi Karp
of Miami did the conceptual design: The Beck Group
is design builder, serving as architect and construction manager; and Ferrell Redevelopment of Tampa
consulted on the building's historic preservation.
Two courtrooms have been transformed. One is now the Bizou at the top of a grand staircase leading to the main floor. A fourth floor courtroom is the hotel's ballroom.
Marble and terrazzo features, floor-to-ceiling windows and extra wide corridors recall the grandeur of the historical courthouse. Guests can enjoy modern conveniences of business and fitness centers, an outdoor lawn area for dining, the restaurant, bakery, coffee house and bar, and a garden.
Room rates will vary with peak season prices ranging from about $180 to $280; in off-peak season rooms will be about $150 to $220.