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Water Street Tampa’s Edition hotel, restaurants opening next week

The five-star property will feature several food and drink concepts from a Michelin-starred chef.
This rendering shows a room in the Tampa Edition hotel, scheduled for a soft opening Sept. 20.
This rendering shows a room in the Tampa Edition hotel, scheduled for a soft opening Sept. 20. [ Courtesy of the Tampa Edition ]
Published Sep. 14|Updated Sep. 14

Tampa’s splashiest hotel in recent memory is only days away.

The Tampa Edition hotel, a property that’s setting out to stake its claim as the region’s first five-star hotel, will have a soft opening next week, developers announced Tuesday. A grand opening will take place in October, but guests will be able to reserve rooms and restaurant tables starting Sept. 20.

The 26-story, 172-room Marriott hotel, created in partnership with New York hospitality veteran Ian Schrager, sits at 500 Channelside Drive in Water Street Tampa, the $3.5 billion downtown development from Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment.

“Not often have I had the opportunity to work on a project that will completely transform the very center and heartbeat of a great city like Tampa, and make it even greater,” Schrager, a cofounder of New York’s legendary Studio 54, said in a statement. “I call it urban expansion, rather than urban renewal, and it serves as a model for how cities will transform and evolve the future. The scale of it is mind-boggling and we’re very happy to be right here and a part of it.”

Related: From Studio 54 to Water Street Tampa, Ian Schrager talks new Tampa Edition hotel

Schrager’s team also unveiled details about its culinary program, led by Michelin-starred chef John Fraser. The New York chef will lead five restaurants at the Tampa Edition: Lilac, a Greek-Mediterranean restaurant; Market at Edition, an indoor-outdoor Italian trattoria; Azure at Edition, a ninth-floor Mediterranean eatery; and two lobby and poolside bars. There’s also an upscale second-floor cocktail bar called Punch Room and a space called Arts Club that will offer drinks, small bites and a small performance space.

This rendering shows Lilac, a restaurant from Michelin-starred chef John Fraser, that will open at the Tampa Edition hotel on Sept. 20.
This rendering shows Lilac, a restaurant from Michelin-starred chef John Fraser, that will open at the Tampa Edition hotel on Sept. 20. [ Courtesy of the Tampa Edition ]

“Through great hospitality, architecture, and design, we strive for our guests to feel as if they have arrived at a sanctuary where they never have to leave,” Fraser said in a statement.

Other amenities include a fitness center, spa, event space, meeting rooms and rooftop pool. The building also has 38 luxury residences whose residents can use the facilities.

While Tampa has hotels in the four-star class — including the JW Marriott on the other side of Amalie Arena — the Edition promises a different level of luxury. Tuesday’s announcement touted such features as a “dramatic white marble sculptural staircase” in the lobby and, in the Arts Club, “an organic undulating ceiling of 350 mirrored balls of various sizes and theatrical ruby red velvet drapery.”

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“The design is simple and pure,” Schrager said. “There isn’t anything superfluous or gratuitous, nor a wasted gesture.”

While the hotel’s first few nights are sold out, Marriott’s website on Tuesday showed rooms available that weekend starting at more than $600 and running to more than $5,000 per night.

The soft opening Sept. 20 will give Schrager’s team a month or so to work out whatever kinks arise. Some amenities and services may initially be limited; for example, room service will operate on a modified morning schedule.

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