From 2000-2002, I spent my freshman & sophomore years of college at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. At that time, the hotel options for visiting parents, lobbyists & lawmakers were limited. Luckily, several new hotels have arrived in Florida’s capital city, most notably the Aloft Hotel (a branch of W Hotels) & the Hotel Duval (part of Marriott Hotels Autograph Collection). B & I stayed at Hotel Duval for my first visit back to Tallahassee since the spring day I left 10 years ago.
The Hotel Duval, renovated in 2009 to restore the iconic 1950’s hotel, looks more like a boutique property you’d find in New York City rather than lil’ ol’ Tallahassee. The design is sleek & modern, with bright white linens contrasting against dark wood in each guest room. Each floor of the hotel is a different “theme” – we stayed on the 3rd floor, which was done in calming neutrals. Stepping off the elevator, guests are greeted with a pleasant vanilla scent. Our room was a decent size for a city hotel & the stylishly modern bathroom was a highlight of the space. The showers feature a rainmaker showerhead & river rock floors (mini-massages for your feet as you bathe!)
Each guest room also features an interactive, electronic computer system, which gives guests the ability to make dinner reservations, request their car to be brought around by the valet or read about local attractions, all with the swipe of a finger.
99.9% of the guests who were there during our stay were in town to see the Florida State vs. Wake Forest football game. The hotel did a great job embracing the game day atmosphere, with a FSU football helmet greeting guests on the front desk, staff decked out in FSU-gear on Friday during check-in, & a special pre-game brunch. Despite this, I have no doubt that Hotel Duval would be an equally comfortable hotel for a business stay.
The hotel has several on-site restaurants including a Shula’s Steakhouse & a rooftop lounge. The rooftop space is the perfect place to relax after a long day of business meetings or football cheering & watch one of Florida’s famous sunsets. The drinks are incredibly reasonably priced ($4 house wine) & the service is attentive. On Friday evenings & late in the evening on Saturday’s, the lounge attracts a younger crowd, dressed to the nines & ready to party at one of Tallahassee’s nicer (if not the nicest) bar spaces.
On my next return to Tallahassee – hopefully in less than 10 years – I’ll gladly stay at the Hotel Duval again. It’s nice to finally see some posh hotel accommodations in a town that can definitely support them.
If you go…
– Parking at the hotel is valet only. It’s $12 a day with unlimited in & out privileges. The valets are speedy about getting your vehicle, even when they’re very busy.
– Request a corner room – the extra windows are welcomed balance to the dark furnishings of the room.
– The hotel is located convenient to downtown & the capital, FAMU & FSU. It’s just a short drive to the shops & restaurants in Midtown & is about a two mile walk to Doak Campbell Stadium.
– If you’re a light sleeper, ask for a room not on the 7th floor – I’ve heard from more than one person that the 8th floor lounge can be rocking late into the night.