42 Hours at Hotel Alba + Hidden Gems for Local Bites

Last month, my sister and I were invited to stay at Hotel Alba, one of Tampa’s newest hotels and the product of an $11.3 million renovation. It’s the first Tapestry Collection by Hilton property in Florida, nestled in the heart of the Westshore Business District, and we got a chance to personally take in the sights, sounds and tastes of Hotel Alba.

With this area being a prime destination for business and leisure travelers alike, I thought I’d highlight a couple of my favorite, nearby gems for a bite to eat, in addition to Hotel Alba’s restaurant, The Spaniard. Keep on scrolling for a property tour, along with all the delicious bites!

Friday, 4 p.m. - Hotel Alba Check-In

After we checked in to our room, we gave ourselves a self-guided tour - Hotel Alba is truly a gorgeous hotel, with contemporary touches and hints of its connection to Tampa scattered throughout the property.

Friday, 7 p.m. - Matoi Sushi

After exploring all the sights that Hotel Alba has to offer, we decided to meet up with some friends that same evening just seven minutes away. Matoi Sushi is one of my favorite hidden gems to visit when I’m in the mood for both sushi and Korean barbecue. The restaurant always offers a fresh selection of sushi and delicious Korean appetizers and entrees, and we always go big by ordering all the things when we’re at Matoi.

Spicy Salmon Handroll

Fried Green Beans

Korean Poke Bowl

Salmon and Tuna Nigiri

Galbi: Korean BBQ Spare Ribs

Saturday, 11 a.m. - La Pequeña Colombia Express

After somewhat sleeping in and grabbing coffee at Buffalo Bayou Coffee & Cafe in Hotel Alba’s lobby, we made our plans for lunch. Less than a 20 minute drive away, is La Pequeña Colombia Express, a Colombian cafe and bakery that I’d recommend any visitor stop by for a delicious taste of Colombian cuisine paired with a perfectly crafted coffee.


Tostones Mixtos: Crispy tostones topped with shredded beef, chicken, hogao and cheese

Latte: Made with Ventola Colombian Coffee

Guava & Cheese Pastries

Saturday, 2 p.m. - Poolside Drinks

After a very satisfying lunch, we made our way back to our hotel room to change into our swimsuits and soak in some vitamin D with a few drinks from the Poolside Bar.

Saturday, 6 p.m. - The Spaniard

After a quick nap and some freshening up, we headed downstairs to The Spaniard Restaurant for dinner. The Spaniard prides itself in highlighting fresh Florida and authentic Tampa flavors. We dove right in to the tapas menu, sharing the Gambas al Ajillo, Tocino and Brussels Sprouts, and Chef’s Charcuterie.

Gambas Al Ajillo: Prawns in olive oil & garlic, served with grilled bread

Tocino & Brussels Sprouts: With roasted garlic cloves & manchego

Half Chef’s Charcuterie: Spanish cured meats & aged cheese, flatbread crackers, tomato bacon jam, creole mustard & marinated olives

While a return later that evening for dessert didn’t quite work out in our favor (fellow caffeine lovers, espresso beverages are not served at The Spaniard), we enjoyed our dinner, especially the Gambas al Ajillo - the shrimp were so large and delicious in the garlicky sauce!

Sunday, 8 a.m. - Hotel Alba Checkout

We had a memorable stay at Hotel Alba, and an even more delicious time exploring the menu at The Spaniard and venturing out to our favorite hidden gems - until next time!

*Disclosure: The accommodations featured in this post were provided by Hotel Alba for editorial placement. This post was written on my own accord, and opinions expressed here are my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Hotel Alba or Tapestry Collection by Hilton.