This suite is the perfect home away from home. When I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay (check my review) a little bit over a year ago, I found their little “Resort Area” as they call it. Its a concentration of a few smaller buildings which are called “Casitas”.
Read more: Hotel Review Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay
A work project had me come back to Tampa and just to stay at the Grand Hyatt and especially the Casita Suite, I burdened myself with a long drive to work. Staying here will take me about 25 minutes to get to work, coming back to the hotel during rush hour took me one time 40 minutes. There were plenty of closer options nearby, even a Hyatt property but I just love this place so much.
To get the Casita Suite confirmed, I used one of my Suite Upgrade Awards I received as a Globalist (Top Tier) with Hyatt. That way, I got a decent rate ~$140/night including a free upgrade to a suite. There were suites too in the main building, which is fabulous, but I really wanted to try the Casita Suite.
After a quick stop at the main hotel building, I was checked in and the front desk clerk explained to me how to get to my Casita Suite. To be honest, the directions were very helpful, as my last and only stay so far, was over a year ago. I jumped back into my SUV and headed down the somewhat narrow street towards the Casitas. It’s the same street you will take to get to the Oystercatchers Restaurant.
Casita Suite (Room 2028)
There is a big parking lot right in front of the Casitas and I was lucky enough to get a suite facing the bay rather than the parking lot. Also, my suite, Room 2028 dubbed “Santa Rosa”, was just a straight walk up from the parking lot, along the little Koi Pond. However, the view itself is not worth that much, as all the scrubs and bushes in the backyard hinder the view of the bay. However, you get to see the planes coming in to land at the nearby Tampa International Airport. Besides the small outdoor patio with two chairs and a small table, you have a little bit of green available but this area isn’t really intended to be used. Just a few feet behind the bush line is the Fish Creek.
Of course as soon as I arrived in my suite, I had to explore it and of course, I ventured off to the backyard patio. The door closed behind me and as I tried to get back in with my room key, it wouldn’t work. I tried multiple times and I know the key works as I was able to get in from the front door. So I had to walk around the building, past a couple of other patios, to get back to my front door. It makes sense that the door automatically locks behind you, as otherwise, everyone could walk into your room from the back. I was just unfortunate enough to have a door with a dead battery for the door lock. Both doors, the main entrance and the one to the patio are mainly glass. To give you more privacy all of the doors and windows have shutters.
Let’s talk about the suite. The Casita Suite is amazing. It’s a loft-style room. Immediately as you walk into the suite, you have the dining area with the dining table in front of you. The table has for chairs and next to it is a little Kitchenette. The Kitchenette is equipped with regular utensils and dishes to enjoy a meal. The kitchenette comes with a pretty large refrigerator and an additional wine cooler. However, besides a microwave and the coffee maker, there is nothing to even cook a meal yourself. No oven, no pans or anything. But it’s perfect if you ordered room service or takeout from a restaurant. With my world-renowned skills as microwave chef. After enjoying a great meal with the left-overs from a restaurant visit, I was yet to face another problem. After dining I started washing my dishes and silverware in the rather small sink. I found the sponge and dishwashing soap in the drawer next to the sink but how would I dry them? Unfortunately, there are no kitchen towels or paper towels to dry the dishes. I used one of the small towels from the bathroom as my future kitchen towel.
To the right of the entrance is the small table with a lamp. Perfect to put your car keys and other stuff you need while leaving the suite. The table is followed by a door which leads to the guest bathroom or half bathroom as there is no shower or bathtub.
In the middle of the room is the living area with a wall mounted TV to the left and below a small closet. In the middle is a cocktail table surrounded by two comfy chairs and a sofa. The sofa can be transformed into a bed but you will have a hard time to move the cocktail table, which is in the way and super heavy. In the corner between the sofa and the two chairs was another small table which had two magazines laying on top of it.
Behind the sofa is a small office desk to set up your laptop. On the desk, you find a small lamp, notepad and pen, wireless room telephone and some additional information about the property. There are multiple power outlets including two USB ports to charge all your equipment.
Behind the work desk is another door leading to another Casita Room next to this one. The hotel offers Casita Suites and Casita Rooms. The Casita Rooms are available in a One-King Bed or 2 Double Bed configuration. This way you can add an extra bedroom to your Suite if you travel with a larger family or group. For myself, the suite was plenty to be happy.
Immediate to the left of the main entrance is another door leading to a “Casita Room” next door. These connecting doors have one weak point. Noise from the other room is easy to be heard in your room. I was able to hear the people talking next door. Not very cleary but if you wanted to, you could listen in to the conversation. A little bit better sound-proof doors would be a great addition here.
On the same side of the room is a wall-mounted mirror with a chair in front of it. Followed by a closet under the staircase which leads up to the master bedroom. Inside the closet, you find hangers, additional bedding and an umbrella, which can be very helpful while staying in the Lightning Capital of North America.
As you walk up the stairs you will have another closet right in front of you. In this closet are more hangers, an ironing board, iron, 2 PJ’s and additional bedding. In the middle of the upstairs loft is the King Bed which has nightstands with a lamp on either side of the bed. In my suite, the one to the left of the suite had a safe inside the nightstand and on top power outlets, an alarm clock with additional power outlets and a white noise machine. The nightstand on the right had power outlets as well, a telephone and a notepad with a pen.
In front of the bed is another flatscreen TV standing on a with more storage space to store your stuff. Following the bedroom is the master bathroom. As you walk in you will see the vanity and mirror right in front of you, followed by the toilet and then the shower with glass sliding doors. Plenty of towels are provided as well as a hairdryer. As a special gift, you receive a small tube of Colgate toothpaste and some mouthwash, which is rather unusual to be found in regular hotel rooms. Of course, there are the usual shampoos and conditioner bottles as you know it from other hotels. Hyatt uses June Jacobs products. There is a sliding door to separate the bathroom from the bedroom.
On the ceiling are two fans. One directly above the bed and the other one above the living room area. You can turn them on and off individually.
From the Casitas, it’s a small walk to the best pool of the property. Yes, the hotel actually has two pools. One right behind the main building and the lesser known pool near the casitas. Which is far better than the other one and even has a small beach with access to the Tampa Bay. Also, the Oystercatchers restaurant is just a short walk away, which has a nice outdoor patio. Near the pool is a boardwalk to the boat dock or walk out there to have a great view of Tampa Bay and the sunset. At the far end of the parking lot and the casita-buildings are Basketball and Tennis Courts.
You have multiple ways to get from the Casitas to the main building. Either walk the nature trail, which is a nice boardwalk, to the backside of the main building or follow the sidewalk along the street you drove in to get to the Casitas. Cross the “Employee Parking Lot” to get to a walkway to get to the front entrance without circling all the way around the parking garage. I really recommend you to take the nature trail at least once and go out to the gazebo. The more convenient way would be the shuttle between the main building and the casitas. Just dial “0” on your room phone and request the shuttle. Shuttle pick up is at the corner of the parking lot and the walkway which leads up to the Koi Pond. You will see it, there is a marker close by. Between my Casita Building and the next one, was a small grass area with a bench and garden swing under a big tree. This is also a great place for your four-legged friends as doggy-bags are provided right there as well.
This suite is like staying in a small apartment rather than a hotel. I really enjoyed the two stays I had here so far. Oh, I forgot to mention that self-parking is free here. This is a surprise, as usually upper-class hotels and hotels close to airports always charge for parking. I really love staying at the Casita Suites, but if I ever get the chance I would also like to try their Presidential Suite, which seems to offer spectacular views of the bay.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.