The Washington Times - May 27, 2008, 03:33PM

By Lisa M. Ruth

Tampa, Florida [May 2008] … The Quorum Hotel, Tampa is billed as “The Business Resort.”


The Quorum Hotel, Tampa, FL (Photo courtesy of The Quorum Hotel)

For this inaugural release of the Amazonian Road Warrior, The Quorum Hotel fully met the quest for quality business, and leisure hotels that meet the demands of we, the “fairer” sex.


Not only was this quest fulfilled, the stay far exceeded my expectations, perfectly delivering the services a business traveler requires, the comfort a traveler desires, and the extras most travelers don’t even consider.

The staff is exceptional, the furnishings are soothing, and the surroundings are warm and tropical. All that and the “little extras” add up to a big bonus for feminine travelers who choose The Quorum.

The hotel environs highlight palm trees and beach themes, welcoming guests to a mainland tropical paradise that is soothing, without being kitschy. The lobby area seems endlessly bright with a large skylight, opening an already spacious area. Resonating the hotel’s theme are several unique starfish pieces on the wall that can’t help but draw your attention.

Comfort and warmth radiate from every area of the hotel. The décor and furnishings are distinctly Floridian, with cherry woods and warm yellows throughout.

Blue Water Grill, The Quorum Hotel (Photo courtesy of The Quorum Hotel)

The Blue Water Grill melds into lobby, with no walls separating the two spaces, creating a casual, friendly atmosphere. The hallways to the guest rooms are freshly decorated and sport more palm trees springing forth from new carpet. Everything in the hotel is clean, tropical, and well-placed.

Continuing the relaxed, but luxurious vibe of the lobby, guest rooms envelope the weary with comfort while providing the hard tools needed to get that last bit of work done.

Keeping the floor space open of heavy furniture, each room has a 32” flat-screen TV with premium channels, a coffee maker, a desk wide enough to hold a computer and files and Internet access. While not expansive, the rooms are large enough to meet guests’ needs, and designers have used the space extremely well.

The club-level rooms also have in-room wireless.

Personally, I appreciate the luxe of the washroom vanities with rich granite countertops.

For this tired road-warrior, the main focus of the room is, of course, the bed. The Quorum features a ComfortCrafted bed that is soft but firm, with the high quality duvet and linens that assure a good night sleep. The thick drapes and good insulation create a quiet retreat, allowing for undisturbed sleep, or time to work or read. Most of us do not consider the importance of silence, the restorative benefit of being within our own space, until we are distracted by other guests talking in the hallway or wake to the sound of running feet.

All of this is remarkably welcome because of the properties location in bustling downtown Tampa. From the outside in, the hotel is a remarkably calm oasis, as the property successfully uses tropical plants to buffer the hotel from the cacophony outside.

The Quorum has a nice pool with a waterfall and a spa. The deck has plenty of space for sun-worshipers, as well as a shaded area for those who want to enjoy the pool but avoid the extra UV rays. The fitness center offers several types of equipment. It has treadmills, stationary bikes, a stair climber, free weights, and weight balls. The rubber flooring was added earlier this year, as were the multiple flat screen televisions.

Two of our favorite features are a large map showing various running paths and their mileage, and complimentary refrigerated bottled water.

The furnishings are wonderful, but the true stand out at the Quorum is the staff.

We had the pleasure of meeting Ian Larson, Assistant General Manager/Director of Operation who greeted us at check in. Mr. Larson and his entire staff were remarkably personable, professional, and knowledgeable. They happily fielded a barrage of questions from guests on subjects as varied as restaurant recommendations, the location of a supermarket, the history of cigar-making in Tampa, and the names of plants used to landscape the property. Every member of the staff was pleasant and proficient.

It’s hard to imagine there is even more for the feminine business traveler at the Quorum, but there is. The hotel offers additional specialties that put it in a class above other properties. At check in, the staff offers guests’ cold bottled water and fresh fruit, displayed in a tropical arrangement in the lobby.

The Quorum Hotel lobby, Tampa, FL (Photo courtesy of The Quorum Hotel)

Every weeknight, the hotel hosts a Manager’s Reception, with complementary beverages and hors d’oeuvres. Staff attends the function and is available to answer questions and provide recommendations. A certified massage therapist is in the lobbying during the reception, offering free massages to guests.

On Wednesday’s, the hotel offers a cigar rolling demonstration and discussion of the history of cigars.

There are little extras in the rooms as well. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and soaps are by Bath and Body Works. They provide a vanity kit and even a make-up removing cloth. The towels smell fresh and are clean and soft. Bedside lamps have dimmers that are easily accessible without requiring guests to get out of bed to adjust the lighting.

For this Amazonian Road Warrior, the proverbial icing on the cake is the recycling bin in the lobby. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection awarded the Quorum a Florida Green Lodging Certificate, which recognizes hotels for their effort in conserving natural resources and works with the lodging industry to reduce waste and minimize pollution.

The hotel has an active recycling program, encourages multiple-uses of towels and linens, and conserves water. The Quorum Hotel-Tampa is truly “The Business Resort,” exceeding expectations for properties in this category.

The ground-floor business center has flat-monitor computers with free Internet access, printers, and a fax. There are also wireless computers and printers at the Club Level on the 11th floor.

Overall, the combination of comfort, superior service, and added features makes it a top pick for Tampa travelers.

Rating: Five out of five golden arrows!

Quorum Hotel – Tampa

700 N. Westshore Blvd.

Tampa, FL 33609

Phone: 813-289-8200

Fax: 813-287-8275