Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Tampa’s Current Hotel celebrates grand opening on Rocky Point

Take a look inside Tampa Bay’s newest boutique hotel.
The lobby bar at the Current Hotel on Rocky Point in Tampa serves eclectic cocktails and locally brewed coffee. [SARA DINATALE | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 22

TAMPA — In an era where travelers are seeking out experience authentic to a region, boutique hotel Current has made a point to be on trend.

Its lobby is full of local art and its gift shop with stylish goodies. Current is Tampa Bay’s third member of the Autograph Collection, a designation Marriott only gives to hotels that create an experience unlike what a typical hotel offers. The Current’s draw isn’t just its 180 rooms. It is the boutique experience and waterfront views — but the proximity to the airport helps, too.

“This city is going to change more in the next decade than it has in my lifetime,” Mayor Jane Castor told the small crowd outside the hotel ahead of its ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This is the perfect example of what’s lifting the city.”

The Current opened at a time other developers are trying to finish projects ahead of Tampa’s Super Bowl in 2021 and older hotels are renovating to keep up with competition.

Bartenders mix cocktails at the Current Hotel's rooftop bar, the Rox. [SARA DINATALE | Tampa Bay Times]

When Julian Lifsey began developing Rocky Point in the 1960s, he knew the island’s views of the bay made it an ideal spot for an upscale hotel. Current has been hosting guests for two months, but held its official opening party on Tuesday evening.

RELATED: Take a look at Current while its was still under construction

“As many of you know, my grandfather was quite the visionary,” Stan Lifsey, now the president at Lifsey Real Estate Holdings, told attendees. “But I don’t know that he could have imagined quite this caliber.”

The Current has a lobby bar and rooftop bar, the Rox, that are open to the public. The Julian restaurant, named for the Lifsey patriarch, offers a mix of shareable small plates and seasonal entrees. The lobby bar serves Buddy Brew coffees and a small gift shop has items curated by the Oxford exchange, giving guests a taste of Tampa.

In recent years, the Renaissance hotel at International Plaza, though not a boutique hotel, has made efforts to give off a more local feel. Its redone its lobby, room and menus and promotes locally roasted coffee and craft beers and cocktails.

The boutique, experience-driven, trend shows no signs of slowing down. Developers filed plans to turn the old Balbin Bros. Cigar Factory into a boutique hotel, making use of the historic structure. The Yuengling brewery near the University of South Florida in Tampa has also filed plans for a hotel and beer garden.

More traditional hotels such as the 10-story Hampton Inn and Home2Suites have already opened, while the 26-story J.W. Marriott is still under construction.

Local tourism experts have said that between 2019 and 2021, Hillsborough County could add up to 2,000 new hotel rooms.



ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Apollo Global Management has offered $130 per share for Tech Data's stock in an acquisition worth $5.4 billion. If regulators shareholders approve, the home-grown company will remain based in Pinellas County, where it employs 2,000 of its 14,000 workers. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Private equity firms like Apollo create wealth for pension funds, financial institutions and individual investors by buying assets that typically are sold later at a profit.
  2. Some of Tampa Bay's largest companies are being sold or are up for sale. Times files and Bloomin' Brands
    Tech Data is just the latest in a growing list of public companies bought up by out-of-state firms.
  3. Hillsborough Community College solicited "non-binding letters of interest or intent” last month from developers interested in purchasing the Dr. Gwendolyn W. Stephenson District Administration Center on Davis Islands. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Developers have eyed the 3.7 acre waterfront parcel for years, but recent interest has prompted the college’s trustees to finally start the conversation.
  4. Tampa International Airport looking north. The Wall Street Journal ranked it the best midsize airport in America. [Times files]
    TPA took first place in the Wall Street Journal’s annual survey of U.S. airports.
  5. Tech Data's CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with former CEO Bob Dutkowsky during a send off celebration for Dutkowsky earlier this year. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
    A private equity firm has agreed to buy Tech Data.
  6. Joseph Erickson, 53, looks out the window at the gulf-[front condo he thought he won at a foreclosure auction last year.t JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times
    "There have been serious allegations,'' Judge Keith Meyer said.
  7. Sam's Club fulfillment center manager Nick Barbieri explains to a shopper how the new Scan & Go shop works at 5135 S Dale Mabry Highway. SARA DINATALE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Shoppers in Tampa Bay can now skip the line and cash out alcohol on their own phones.
  8. Which cars hold their value best in Tampa Bay? Pictured is traffic in Tampa Bay in 2017. [Times file photo] ELLIOTT, LOREN  |  Elliott, Loren
    For the top spots, think big and rugged.
  9. A rendering of the planned Pinstripes bowling, bocce and bistro space that is planned to open at International Plaza alongside a Cinemex in spring 2021. Pinstripes
    In addition to upscale bowling and movies, there will also be bocce ball and a bistro.
  10. Tech Data's headquarters in Largo. TD AGENCY  |  Courtesy of Tech Data
    The company is being sold to a private equity firm.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement