Orlando couples with a love for getaways packed with gourmet adventure will want to check out the new Epicurean Hotel, a 137-room boutique property that just opened in Tampa’s trendy South Howard (SoHo) district. I recently visited this food-focused spot and fell in love with its culinary aesthetic, rooftop bar, French patisserie, and luxurious spa, where a menu of gourmet treatments keep the foodie theme alive.

Besides cozy guest rooms with cute little outdoor patios, the hotel boasts the 42-seat Epicurean Theatre, a state-of-the-art culinary classroom where cooking classes, wine tastings and mixology seminars are held continuously throughout the month. Be sure to check the calendar and book your spots before you go.

While the area nearby is home to several fabulous restaurants (including the legendary Bern’s Steak House), I loved the hotel’s onsite eatery, Élevage, which features comfort foods with haughty twists created by James Beard Semi-Finalist, Executive Chef Chad Johnson. A standout was The Epicurean Salad, which is made with lettuce and herbs from the hotel’s indoor wall garden. Talk about sourcing locally!

Those on a weekend getaway will want to order a picnic lunch from the front desk and then set out on a pair of the hotel’s custom Electra bikes, which have been retrofitted with picnic baskets. A cycle along nearby Bayshore Boulevard, which is lined with million-dollar homes and overlooks Hillsborough Bay, is a great way to spend a few hours together exploring the area.

1207 South Howard Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33606
** Guest rooms from $179/night