Passion Sells – Successfully linking food and lodging

Epicurean Hotel – Tampa, FL

This morning, I had to drop my kids off early at school and as a result, was early for a meeting in South Tampa, so I took a drive in the area of town called SoHo. My destination was the site of the development of a new boutique hotel called the Epicurean. I just heard about the project last night and frankly was curious.

Set across the street from the venerable and renowned Bern’s Steak House, the project is in the construction phase after an economically induced 4 year hiatus.

I am intrigued by the project because of my fascination with all things food and wine and my career focus on the distribution of travel. Add to that my involvement as an investor in a resort development project in Antigua, and it made for a great early morning outing.

The $32.5 million four-story project is being pitched as a boutique
hotel with 145 rooms priced at about $200 a night. Named the Epicurean,
the hotel is being built on the 2.3-acre parking lot site of Bern’s as a
partnership between Bern’s and Mainsail Lodging and Development.  It will be marketed as part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.

  • Bern Laxer School of Food & Wine
  • Restaurant and Lounge
  • Wine Shop
  • Retail & Production Bakery
  • Spa and Treatment Rooms
  • Pool and Fitness Center
  • Meeting and Function Space
  • Rooftop Bar

There are many ways to sell travel, but to me, none better than
marrying passion and need. The Epicurean project has captured that in
their tag line – Accommodation for the Senses.  The promo video is laden with emotion, as well as with photos of food and
wine, alongside the artist’s rendition of the property.

The SoHo area is long on
charm, restaurants and shopping and short on lodging. Bern’s, long
known for the old world charm, amazing steaks and the largest private
wine collection in North America fully understands the associated

It is not the first time a restauranteur and a hotelier have gotten together, but I for one will make sure to book a room and have a great steak dinner once it opens!  And, I’m thinking that I should also add a visit to each of the other Autograph Collection properties to my personal bucket list. 

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