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Celebrate Christmas: Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina

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Downtown Tampa turns into a Christmas wonderland in December. While you are checking out the sights and sounds of the season, be sure to stop in at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina. I was invited to attend the Christmas the Christmas tree lighting event on December 2nd. I had such a fun time!


Celebrate Christmas: Tampa –See the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina Gingerbread Village!

The Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina is such a beautiful hotel. We pulled up to the hotel and they offer valet parking for $18. Since that was not in my budget, my husband and I opted to park across the street in the parking garage and paid just $1.50/hour.

Once you walk into the hotel you see the beautiful nautical themed Christmas tree that is surrounded by the gingerbread village. It gives both tourists and locals a look at what a Florida Christmas means. We may not have snow and ice, but Florida still decks the halls with style!


The gingerbread village is very impressive and is the creation of Pastry Chef, Sinai! It took a team over 340 hours to build and you can see all that hard work in the details. Over 300 pounds of icing was used for decoration in the nautical themed gingerbread village. I believe there was also 35 different kinds of candy used.

During the tree lighting ceremony the Brandon High School Chorus sang. Here is a sample of the beautiful music they made.


Celebrate Christmas: Tampa

One of my favorite parts of the gingerbread village is the real working train traveling around the masterpiece! Once the lights were dimmed the buildings also showcased lit windows.

This is a very frugal Christmas Spectacle in Tampa as you only have to pay parking. If you are looking for a nice bite to eat, check out the Champions Sports Bar located inside the hotel. It is one of the best sports bars in Tampa!


I had an amazing time at the tree lighting ceremony. I was able to sample local brewed beer, snack on amazing hors d’oeuvres, partake in a delicious hot cocoa bar, and have some spiked cider.

Other than the main tree and village, the hotel is adorned all throughout with beautiful Christmas decor and is a must see!

Thank you for sharing!