Lifsey and Pinnacle Plan June 2019 Opening of Current, a New-Build Boutique Hotel as Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection

USA, Tampa, Florida. May 13, 2019

Development company, Lifsey Real Estate & Holdings, and Pinnacle Hotel Management announced today the opening of their joint venture - the new-build Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel - Current. The contemporary boutique hotel, specifically designed to offer guests sweeping views of the Bay from every room, is projected to start taking reservations this summer.

Current is a ten-story, 4-star hotel with 180 luxuriously appointed guest rooms. Amenities include but are not limited to a water-facing 9th-story fitness center, infinity-style pool, a full-service restaurant, Tampa Bay's tallest rooftop bar, and a 2,300 square-foot ballroom. Guests also have access to a private beach with complimentary water sports equipment and firepits.

The restaurant, Julian, is housed in the first-floor lobby area and named after the Lifsey family patriarch, Julian Lifsey. It will offer lunch and dinner, featuring internationally-inspired small plates with a focus on incorporating the freshest local ingredients available. The hotel is also home to Rox, a rooftop lounge on the 10th floor, overlooking Tampa Bay's skyline, with a floor-to-ceiling glass atrium, and open-air terrace.

Chef Andrew Basch, former executive chef of the Marriott Suites Sand Key and Watercolor Grill House, leads all culinary activity throughout the hotel. With more than 20 years in the hospitality industry, Basch challenges mainstream food and beverage concepts, serving innovative, carefully crafted dishes and creating memorable dining experiences for guests and visitors.

"Current has been a very personal, longstanding project for myself and my family, and we are proud to finally see our vision come to life," said President of Lifsey Real Estate & Holdings, Stan Lifsey. "It's rooted in history but also embraces the present by staying current, and that's what makes it a stand-out in the Tampa Bay area."

True to its name and design, Current is home to a rotating art gallery showcasing local artists' work. All art is curated by the Lifsey family, and seven pieces by the late Theo Wujcik are currently on display and throughout the hotel, as well as a sculpture by Mark Aeling with MGA Sculpture Studio. The first exhibit will feature work by abstract expressionist Alberto Murillo, whose art is also featured in a number of selected collections including the Givenchy Family Collection, among others.

Current embraces the Tampa Bay community every chance it can, incorporating local elements into the hotel itself. Oxford Exchange, a dining and retail establishment near Downtown Tampa, has curated the hotel's retail space, and local coffee roaster Buddy Brew will manage Current's lobby coffee bar.

Offering guests panoramic views of Tampa Bay, Current is ideally situated on the edge of Tampa's business district, approximately five minutes from the Tampa International Airport and ten minutes from Downtown Tampa. Its positioning allows easy access to the area's many idyllic beach destinations and corporate headquarters in Clearwater and St. Petersburg.

"An urban oasis, Current is authentically unique, showcasing Tampa Bay's best assets." said Pinnacle's Vice President of Operations John Marks. "We are proud to be a part of a development that values and supports this community and its economy."

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Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.