Friday, February 14, 2014

The Epicurean Hotel accentuates the Bern's Steak House (Tampa, FL) experience

After Ron's pre-birthday bash concluded at 3:15 am, they rolled back down I-4 to Orlando while we rolled across the street and climbed into our bed at the Epicurean. The Epicurean is a Marriott-managed, Bern's-owned (in partnership with others) 137-room hotel that is situated obliquely opposite the restaurant and is perfectly situated to meet the accommodation needs of the individuals traveling from out of town to partake in the "Bern's experience." The hotel, which has been on the drawing board for well nigh 10-years, is situated on vacant land that was bought expressly for that purpose plus land that was previously occupied by the old Bern's wine warehouse. The hotel opened for business to the public 1 month ago.

Epicurean, as seen from Bern's Steak House

As you step into the hotel, the reception area is located to the right-hand side of the lobby. The one theme hits you smack in the face as the reception desks sit atop wine coolers and the entire area is "tiled" with wooden wine boxes. At the reception area you are greeted by a smiling employee who asks your name and then offers to show you to your room.

Wine- or food-themed room indicators
Once in the room, the employee proceeded to show us the amenities (mini-bar with artisinal pastries and savory treats, in-room coffee maker with complimentary water, wine bar with six varietals and associated wine glasses) and, upon completion of the room tour, proceeded to check us in on the spot using an iPad. Room keys were issued on the spot.

Wine-barrel-themed bathroom sliding door

The hotel has four floors and a rooftop bar called Edge is located  on the top floor. Both guests and non-guests have access to the bar, the latter via a dedicated elevator and the former from the guest rooms with keys required for re-entry.

The Epicurean Theater is an area in the lobby that is dedicated to teaching food, wine, art, and culture. The day that we were there a class on Tea and Chocolate pairing was being taught by Abigail St. Clair.

Wine shop on the first floor
Wine bar on the first floor
The hotel has its own restaurant -- Elevage --that is separate and distinct from Bern's. We had brunch there on Sunday morning and I enjoyed my Boudoin Noir omelette.

The living wall. Order an Epicurean Salad and this is the source.

Bern's Steak House, as seen from the Epicurean
This hotel stands on its own. This is not a hotel that you stay at because you are going to Bern's. This is a hotel that you would consider staying at. Period. Its proximity to Bern's makes the decision to run over to Bern's for dinner a lot easier.

©Wine -- Mise en abyme

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