01. Introduction: San Diego to Tampa and back in American Airlines economy class
02. American Airlines economy class San Diego to Dallas
03. American Airlines economy class Dallas to Tampa
04. Marriott Hotel at Tampa International Airport
05. American Airlines economy class Tampa to Chicago O’Hare
06. American Airlines economy class Chicago O’Hare to San Diego
The primary objective for overnight accommodations during my San Diego to Tampa mileage run was to stay in a place which allowed nice views of the terminal and / or runways. A quick search on Travelocity revealed that the airport Marriott at TPA was the best choice by far, as it is literally connected to the airport with most rooms having a pretty good view of the action. With no other airport offering this kind of proximity to the airport, booking a room was the obvious choice.
The Marriott is located adjacent to the main terminal, which is just a short walk from where all the restaurants and shops are. It is really easy to find, and does not require taking a shuttle bus or long walks – it’s literally part of the airport.
The rooms are nicely furnished, and they look modern and clean. As far as airport hotels go, there is certainly nothing to complain about here.
My main interest, however, was the views of the terminal from the windows. My room was on the third floor, which was high enough to see over the outside pool area of the hotel. Unfortunately, the room was positioned between terminals, with the closest one being the Southwest Airlines concourse (Airside C). I didn’t have a direct view, so I had to look pretty far to the right to see anything. This wouldn’t have been so bad if the windows opened, because then I could poke my head (or camera) out for a better look.
But all was not lost. Even though the angle was slightly unfortunate and I had to shoot through two panes of thick sound-deadening glass, I managed to get a decent shot of the action at the Airside C terminal:
Unfortunately, due to my late arrival and early departure the next morning, this was the only shot I got. I would think that photography would be pretty good here during the day assuming the windows are clean.
For spotting and photography purposes, the Marriott Airport hotel at Tampa International Airport is pretty good. For overall convenience as a place to stay after arriving late (or departing early), it’s very good.