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“Close to Busch Gardens Tampa gate but a disappointment” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens

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Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   2807 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612   |  
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Ranked #30 of 159 hotels in Tampa
New Orleans
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Close to Busch Gardens Tampa gate but a disappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2011

Stayed here July 9-10 11, 2011 What a great location but disappointing hotel because of management. Let me be very honest this could be a great review but because of lack of management I have to write this. We had reservations 6 weeks in advance and were flying into Tampa for two nights before going on a cruise on Carnival out of Tampa. We flew into Tampa from New Orleans on Saturday morning and were also meeting friends at the hotel that were flying from another city. We all arrived at hotel about 11:30 and were told rooms were not ready. I'm also a priority rewards member for over 10 years and stay at Holiday inns about 35 nights a year. When our rooms were not ready we walked next door to Red Lobster for lunch no problem a lot of restaurants close by you can walk to. Now we came back and had to wait until 3:45 for our room to be ready. It gets better we went upstairs and our friends we were waiting with were told their room would be ready in about 15 minutes so we went to our room. Over a hour and half later they got their room around 5:30 and they also had reservations about 6 weeks in advance. Saturday was shot so we chilled and thought we will get up Sunday and eat then head over to Busch Gardens for the day. The breakfast at the hotel was crazy. It is set up wrong period and its design so unorganized. People tripping over each other attempting to get to different parts of the breakfast bar because it's so mixed up and eating tables so tight you cannot walk through them when people are sitting at them. It may seem trivial but they were out of everything and very slow and had to be asked for everything. No orange juice, no plates, no milk, out of yogurt etc. you get the picture. One lady over seeing everything in kitchen and eating area at peak time by her self and she was so slow most people could have worked circles around her. The girl at the front desk who manages in the morning/day should be fired she has no people skills or training and no help at all. Rules are 3:00 check in period whether a room is ready earlier or not. The hotel is not clean like a new Holiday Inn Express should be and it starts with the over flowing garbage cans at the entrance and dirty smoking area at the entrance. Now the hotel has a shuttle that runs about three hours a day and sits idle in parking lot for 21 hours a day. Does this make since? They will carry you to Busch Gardens gate 9-10:30 and pick you up 4-5:30. No airport or cruise ship shuttle. I even offered to pay like a taxi fee but it was refused. Why you are a resort entrance hotel that has a van that does nothing 21 hours a day. We did use shuttle to BG on Sunday morning but returned in a taxi after 6 because the shuttle doesn't work after 5:30. It was only a 4.00 fee for 7 people. We checked out on Monday and went on a cruise. This could be a wonderful hotel but because of lack of over-site and management I give it barely two stars and on the same level as a Days Inn that's next door or Super Eight. It could be four stars but with out a change in management this hotel will look 25 years old in under three years. Hope this helps some one traveling.

Room Tip: Front desk day time management is terrible don't get to hotel before 4-5 you will not get your r...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JanetnTampa, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, August 3, 2011
Please accept our sincere apology for your negative experience during your stay. You can be assured that we are working on these issues and began putting two ladies in the breakfast area as well as added hotel housekeeping staff in order to have rooms ready on time. We have also done some recent training so our team is ready for your next visit to our property. I hope you will give us another chance in the near future and let us show you that we are prepared and ready to take care of our guests.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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English first
Tonawanda, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2011

Being my first time in Florida we booked a night here for a next day family day at Busch Gardens. Spent alot of time reseraching where to stay and We made the right decision. This place was awsome. I was impressed from start to finish. It was everything and more. The room was perfect the view was great the pool was outstanding. Very professional staff and very knowledgeable. I will be back in Feb or March of 2012 for sure. The shuttle was a nice touch too. See ya in 2012!!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
JanetnTampa, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, August 3, 2011
Hello: Thank you so much for allowing us to be part of your families get away to Tampa! I'm so pleased to hear that we accommodated you and took good care of you. We look forward to seeing you again in February or March of next year. Thank you for taking the time to give your feedback as well. Janet
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Miami Springs, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2011

We had a one night stay at this beautiful hotel but the walls are too thin. You can hear conversations down the hall. The room and bathroom are super clean. The bed is super confortable.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, July 6, 2011
Hello:
Thank you for taking your personal time to rate us! I apologize if you could hear other guests through the walls. I know sometimes this happens in a hotel especially if some guests are louder than others. I'm glad that for the most part your stay was excellent! Please think of us next time you are in Tampa. I greatly appreciate your feedback!
Heather
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Naples
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2011

We stayed as a family of 4, i had booked two rooms, the hotel desk provided two adjoining rooms both of which were clean, bright and airy. there was small area with a microwave, mini fridge, with coffee making facilities. As tea drinkers we took our own kettle and tea bags. The inclusive breakfast was provided although all served in plastic. You could get milk in containers for your tea / coffee and take your breakfast back to your room. the breakfast room can get busy. The swimming pool was clean, and on the side of the hotel and well fenced. The beds were clean, not worn out, and comfortable. Air-con in our room worked very well although a bit noisy, ( we are light sleepers) Staff we very friendly, and very helpful, and keen to provide what we requested. If you go to Busch Gardens (which is just one block away) on the day you check out the hotel has a luggage room to save taking all your cases into your car. Just come back at the end of the day and collect your cases. There is a large car park, and a shuttle to Busch Gardens (although that does limit your time in the park but save $13 parking charge at Busch) We definitely stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, June 22, 2011
Hello: Thank you so much for allowing us to be part of your families get away to Tampa! I'm so pleased to hear that we accommodated you and took good care of you. Yes, please think of us when you are in the Tampa area again. It was our pleasure to have you and it will be our pleasure to have you again in the future!
Heather
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Cocoa Beach, Florida
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2011

I was in Tampa to purchase a car and decided to stay the night at the Holiday Inn Express near Busch Gardens in order to take my young cousin to the theme park. The location of the hotel is phenomenal. I knew it was close to the park but I did not realize how close. It is exactly half a mile to the entrance of Busch Gardens and is not a difficult walk for those in moderate shape.

I arrived at the hotel a few hours earlier than expected wanting to place our bags in our room. The room was not ready but the front desk was quite friendly and said I could put them in a locked luggage room. It was greatly appreciated and secure. Upon arrival at the hotel I was also impressed with the cleanliness. I am not sure what I was expecting but the hotel cleanliness surpassed any expectations I had.

Breakfast was standard fare for the most part. However, I was surprised to find hot items at the breakfast as well. There was the staple cereal bar with milk and fruit but eggs, bacon, sausage gravy and pancakes were also made available. This was a nice, unexpected surprise.

The only issue I had during my stay at the hotel was a rather big one in my opinion. My young cousin and I returned from dinner out in town and went to bed at 10:30pm. At exactly 11:13pm I heard someone messing with the door mechanism. I figured it was just a weary traveler who had their room number confused. To my surprise the door opened and in walked a complete stranger as I laid in my bed. The lady apologized after I confronted her and quickly left the room. I called the front desk immediately and they came down to my room. Apparently, there was a mixup during registration and we were both assigned the same room, therefore she was given a room key for my room. I understand human errors happen and this could have resulted in a much worse situation. I'm grateful that the person who gained unwarranted access to my room was simply a lady who wanted no part in mischief. It is quite unsettling to be laying in a hotel room at 11PM and have someone you don't know walk into your room. It made for a long night but the extremely comfortable bed and pillows made up for it.

The GM Heather contacted me quite quickly after the incident and apologized for the situation. Having a General Manager so in-tune with what is going on at the hotel gives me a little more confidence that this issue was just a one-time event and I happened to be the unlucky recipient. Despite the security concern, I would recommend this hotel to others and already have... just make sure to use the deadbolt!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, June 10, 2011
Hello: Thank you again for being understanding. We absolutely had an incident with human error. Mixed registration cards, similar names. I can't apologize enough, as I relayed in my email to you. I appreciate your business, and please come see us again if you are in the area. I want you to know the incident is absolutely not normal protocol at my hotel.
Heather
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Panama City, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2011

We were welcomed and assigned our room immediately upon arrival. As platinum members of priority club, we requested an upgrade, but the hotel was sold out. The room was a standard two queen unit. It was very clean with a newer flat screen t.v.. The location was excellent for us as we were heading to Adventure Island water park. We got the complimentary shuttle at 10:15 and pickup at 5:15 which saved us $12.00 in parking. It was about a 5 minute drive with traffic. The shuttle driver was very friendly and courteous. The breakfast was the typical holiday inn express fare which suits us all just fine! Would highly reccomend to everyone! Pool looked nice but we didn't go in as we spent all day at the waterpark! Ate at Olive Garden right next door for dinner.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, June 1, 2011
Hello:
Thank you so much for clearly loving our hotel! I was so excited to see that my staff and accommodations were exactly what you were looking for on your vacation! Please think of us when you are in the Tampa area again. It would be our pleasure to have you!
Heather
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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2011

Stayed here for 5 nights with a family of 5 in a suite and we were very happy. It is almost literally across the street but the entrance to the park is 1/2 mile down the road. We took the shuttle a few times, parked at the park a few times, (you can come and go as you please once you have paid $13 for the day) and even walked once. It is a very long walk for young children especially when it is hot and especially considering all the walking you will be doing once you get to the park. The room was very nice but the kitchenette area only had a microwave and a small fridge but we did manage to have lunch in our room and typically went out for dinner - there are tons of restaurants around since it is located in a pretty busy area. The kids loved the pool and the all-you-can eat breakfast. I could probably nitpick a few things - for example our AC unit was very noisy and the washing machine broke a few times - but these things were dealt with promptly and to our satisfaction. All in all we were very happy and will consider staying again if in the area.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, May 4, 2011
Hello:
Thank you so much for staying with us on your family vacation! I'm disappointed to hear about the room issues and the washer, however was VERY pleased to read that we took care of you right away. I found your review to be very honest, but very positive. Thank you for rating us well. Please come back and see us whenever you are in the Tampa BG area.
Heather
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens

Address: 2807 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Tampa
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#24 Family Hotel in Tampa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens 2.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Brand New Holiday Inn Express & Suites is adjacent to Busch Gardens / Adventure Island and is the closest hotel to the University of South Florida and University Community Health Hospital. Enjoy a comfortable stay at the new Holiday Inn in Tampa, a preferred hotel of Busch Gardens, located within walking distance of the hotel. Your family will love staying at our Florida Green Lodging designated hotel in Tampa. We're located just off I-275, directly across the street from Busch Gardens and just a mile away from USF and University Community Health Hospital. Located in the heart of Tampa, we are in close proximity to several other local attractions, including Lowry Park Zoo, Port of Tampa, Florida Aquarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Business travelers will appreciate the amenities and services provided at our hotel too! Our Green Lodging hotel is in close proximity to many area businesses, such as Syniverse, Verizon Information Technologies, USAA and the Anheuser-Busch and the Yuengling Breweries. In addition, we provide meeting space that can accommodate up to 60 people with free wireless Internet access. While staying at our tropically landscaped Tampa hotel, you can enjoy our premium amenities, including an outdoor swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness center, and complimentary, hot breakfast bar. Book your reservations now to take advantage of our great Tampa, FL hotel room deals and rates. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express And Suites Tampa Usf-Busch Gardens
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa Usf-Busch Gardens Hotel Tampa
Holiday Inn Express Tampa
Holiday Inn Tampa

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