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“Ahhh...so THAT'S why the sign says "No Refunds"” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Howard Johnson Express Calgary

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Howard Johnson Express Calgary
5307 McLeod Trail SW, Calgary, Alberta T2H 0J3 , Canada (Southwest Calgary)   |  
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Ranked #86 of 98 Hotels in Calgary
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Ahhh...so THAT'S why the sign says "No Refunds"”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

The price may seem right for a cheap overnight ($79) but this is one of those rare places where just spending another $30 at another hotel is a better idea.

The rooms are tiny, with the foot of your bed only a couple of feet from the door. The walls are paper thin to the point where if someone is knocking on someone else's door, you would think that it was your own. The floors are so creaky that when people are walking in the hallway it'll wake you up (not like you'll sleep anyways on the poor quality mattresses and the cheap pillows). The heating is poor which is why every room has a plug-in space heater so prepare to freeze, lol.

There is no plug-in near the little desk where the coffee maker is located so you'll need to make your coffee on the floor of the room. The balcony is sloped poorly and judging by the dip on a section of balcony floor it wouldn't surprise me of an impending collapse down the road. Cigarette burns in the comforter and pubic hairs in the shower...I wish I was making this stuff up.

Hey, free entertainment though...sketchier part of Calgary had us up at 6 am with 3 police cars, and ambulance and one hell of a commotion in the hallway.

We could not wait to write off the lack of sleep, count our losses and get back onto the highway.

If you're just looking for a place to "get it on" then yes, this might be the place. If you're looking for a place to rest...errr...go somewhere else and spend the little extra for a hell of a lot more.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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179 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    32
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Let's face it - you get what you pay for. And for what you pay, the Howard Johnson Express is a fairly good hotel / motel with a pretty good location.

So I keep my review relevant to the price I paid - which was quite economical.

On the plus side:

I found most of the staff polite and helpful, even went out their way to introduce me to references for work.

The location is very good. Its close to shopping and plenty of restaurants that are within a 5 to 10 minute walk.

The free wireless internet is excellent. No trouble whatsoever.

The staff is flexible with guests going to the kitchen to get breakfast and coffee even after 10 am closing time.

It's very close to Budget Car Rental.

I got my $150 damage deposit back without any argument or issues.

The beds were reasonably comfortable.

On the negative side:

The rooms are old and dated. Dents in doors, peeling wallpaper, etc. If aesthetics are what you want, go elsewhere, but also be willing to pay more.

You're not going to get top-class people staying in a budget motel. Yes you will smell the occasional weed being smoked, rough talk, slightly drunk people, etc. But most people are friendly.

The kitchenette lacked any pots and pans and utensils - I had to buy everything at a nearby dollar store.

All in all, a fairly good hotel considering the price. It's very good with the basics and no more, and if you want more, the next best place will cost you $20 a night more on average.

Room Tip: All rooms may not have the same quality of wifi. If wifi is critical for you, make sure you mention...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, Delhi, India
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

It was real good experience & worth it to stay there. Must visit this place if you are in Calgary.
Next time also I will going to stay over here only.
Staff members are quite cooperative, had a good interactive session with there staff members.
Ambiance was excellent.
Easy to reach and well connected.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012 via mobile

I was staying at this hotel last week .. The staff is really very good and rooms are clean and price is also very good.. They provide free continental breakfast and front desk is open 24 hours.. So whenever you need their help they are available.. The location is awesome because its nearer to the downtown & chinook mall.. I would recommend others to stay at this place whenever you go to calgary..

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medicine Hat, Canada
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

unclean, the peope stayin here are rowdy and i even saw a hooker going upstairs. Bedding was dirty. Wireless Internet was poor. the kind of people that go to this hotel are not good people. I specially told the company i work with that i would not stay here again. Somebody even scraped my car and then just drove away. The walls have no soundproofing, i could hear the hooker having sex upstairs.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

I had prepaid my reservation on line with a credit card. Upon check in I was asked for a security deposit in cash or on my credit for $150.00. When I questioned this since they had already charged my credit card and had my number on file, Iwas told that this is their regular practice and there was nothing I could do about it since my reservation was non cancellable. Then they asked me to give them my CAA card, my credit card and my drivers licence to take photocopies for 'security reasons. I told them that this is a perfect way to set me up for identity theft. If I would not have been so tired and had prepaid I would have walked out.
The hotel and our room were in dire need of renovations.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012 via mobile

Stayed for two nights , not knowing any better. Been in town for about a week bouncing from motel to motel as I try to find an apartment. The first tip off was that there was a disgruntled fellow who's key did not work. I went ahead and booked the night anyway. The first night wasnt so bad. That morning I decided to stay another night and went down and payed at the front desk. Went back to the room hoping to sleep in. One of the staff knocked on my door shortly after 11am. I said "just a minute" then she unlocked the door and barged in. I was in bed, in my underwear. She was talking loudly saying "check out! you check out!" I said "no, i booked another night, i already paid!" She goes "oh ok" and leaves. Then later as I was heading out for some lunch Alberta Health inspectors came in and were checking the room. Don't stay here folks!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vishal C, Front Office Manager at Howard Johnson Express Calgary, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Thank you for bring this to my attention I am truly sorry for my staff wakening you after you had extended your stay with us. I have spoke to our house keeping staff and front desk and have implemented better communication between the departments so this issue will never happen again.
 
I do realize that you again were disturbed by the Alberta Health Dept. later in the day, the health Dept. does annual inspections of all Alberta hotels  which I am glad to inform you that we have passed.  I do wish to pass on our apologies for both  inconvenience’s and I hope you will return and give us a second chance.
 
Best Regards,
 
Vishal
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Express Calgary

Address: 5307 McLeod Trail SW, Calgary, Alberta T2H 0J3 , Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > Alberta > Calgary > Southwest Calgary
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #86 of 98 Hotels in Calgary
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Free breakfast, Wifi, parking, Local calls & room coffee. Guest Laundry. Few minutes to downtown, Stampede ground, Saddledome, Chinook centre, Heritage park, Rockyview Hospital & Mitchell Eye Care. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Express Calgary Hotel Calgary

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