A Standing O for the Epicurean | Epicurean Hotel Part 2 | Review

8/21/2014

Poolside at the Epicurean Hotel

Recently I visited a destination that still has my mouth watering. So much brilliance in one spot, it's hard to find a starting place to describe this hotel with a culinary heart. From the moment I learned about the Epicurean Hotel I was attracted to it's Foodie foundation, and knew this was a place I would find like minded wanderers. What I didn't realize was how deep the Epicurean's roots went, and how inspired the concept would leave me.






Why the Epicurean
Deserves a Standing Ovation

The Epicurean is located in Tampa's SoHo neighborhood. 
Pioneering a Whole New Concept...
It's all about the details my friends...
From the moment my husband and I crossed the threshold of the Epicurean, I realized, this is something entirely different. We were personally greeted by a staff member who offered us a glass of wine and then escorted us directly to our room checking us in by tablet. No front desk lines, no awkward formalities. A refreshing combination of front desk staff, concierge, and bell man all in one, our new friend made himself available to answer all our questions while encouraging us to feel at home. 

We learned that the rooms at the hotel fell into four themes: Imbibe, Create, Indulge, and Grow. Art installed on the walls reflected these themes with a nod to Tampa's cityscape scattered through out. Details around the interior of the hotel pay homage to the food and wine inspiration in the way of whisk inspired light fixtures, wine crate deco walls, and large murals of food and wine on each floor.
Home is where you rest your hat. His and hers fedoras in our Epicurean haven. 
A Rich History...
Embracing each #EpicMoment as it comes
As General Manager Tom Haines explained during our three hour tour and sit down, the original vision for the hotel was completely unique. A partnership between Mainsail Lodging and Development and the Legendary Bern's Steak House of Tampa, the two have successfully paired together as perfectly as well... food and wine. 

To completely get a grasp for the concept of the hotel, it's best to understand the context via the history of the culinary genius that was Bern Laxer. Having known very little of Bern's Steak House previous to the trip, we eagerly accepted a private tour, venturing into some rarely visited behind the scenes areas. After exploring the birth place of Bern's vision and legacy, we were overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of his accomplishments. He was truly a visionary ahead of his time.

How appropriate that directly across the street a virtual Mecca for lovers of food, art, and culture would come into fruition as the hotel Epicurean.
Wine is inspected at Bern's Steak House


Bringing the Local Culture to You...
The vision for the Epicurean was to be not just a hotel, but a series of restaurants and outlets that serve and engage the local culture as well as the guests. Think about it, when you travel to a new place, where do you want to visit? The hot spots of the local culture. By collaborating with businesses that operate independently and serve the local patrons, the Epicurean has produced exactly what guests are seeking, located conveniently outside their room. 

We couldn't help but feel the buzz of excitement as locals and guests alike streamed in and out of the hotel and it's neighboring businesses creating a social atmosphere you just really wanted to jump into. 
Delectable Macarons from Chocolate Pi
Epicurus
Food and Philosophy Combine...
Epicurus, the Greek philosopher that first established the idea of cuisine, and an important figure to Bern, was the perfect namesake for a destination centered on that same devotion. One of the most distinguishing features of the hotel is the Epicurean Theatre. Described to me as "The Food Channel brought to life in front of you". The theatre follows suit with the popular trend of supper clubs, but is so much more. Paying tribute to Epicurus philosopher's ideal, the Epicurean Theatre is a place to learn, engage, debate, and scrutinize new flavors. Get hands on, watch, observe, and inhale the rich aromas. We had a chance to learn from the Voodoo Chef, and I was completely mesmerized with learning his trade secrets and then tasting his creations for myself. You better believe I took home lots of notes, and maybe even a little swag. 
A captive audience at the Epicurean Theatre
Don't mind if I do...

Eat, laugh, nourish.... 
The hotel's atmosphere is a mix of urban chic coolness and rustic warmth. Cozy vignettes through out the hotel draw you in, keep you comfortable, and welcome you to stick around and discover all the Epicurean has to offer. Whether you are down to socialize at the EDGE (a hip rooftop lounge), indulge your senses at the Evangeline Spa, ride the Epicurean's bikes down Bayshore Blvd, or get a taste of the nostalgic meeting the nouveau at √Člevage be prepared to make memories and leave your cares behind. 
A feast at √Člevage
With so much greatness in one spot, not to mention the scores of noteworthy foodie destinations nearby on SoHo, you're sure to make the Epicurean your next "Go To" retreat. 

Until then...

Enjoy the Journey!

xo- Amy West


Read my "Top 10 Things you Must Do at the Epicurean Hotel"

See more great images from Amy's visit to the Epicurean here on facebook.


Listen to Amy discuss Girls Getaways featuring the Epicurean Hotel.


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Copyright © Amy West Travel. All rights reserved. Photography by Journey Productions Media.

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