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“Closest to Busch Gardens. Great off -season price.” 5 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 #39 of 159 Hotels in Tampa
Akron, Ohio
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
“Closest to Busch Gardens. Great off -season price.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2011

I reserved and pre paid for the room about 15 days in advance, at the Holiday Inn website, locking in a large discount. I chose this hotel because of a) Tripadvisor reviews; and b) I like Holiday Inn Express.
I arrived at around 7:00PM on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 for a 3 night stay. My main idea for making this trip was to spend a day at Busch Gardens, and the hotel's advertized free shuttle service back and forth was also a deciding factor, avoiding parking fees at the park. Therefore, for the purposes of this trip, the hotel's location was perfect. That is why I rated it a 5 star for location.
I asked for and received a non smoking king leisure, on the second floor. I took a few pictures, which I will attach to this memo. The modern flatscreen TV, the HVAC unit and the microwave all worked great. Lots and lots of TV stations. The bathroom was super sparkling and nicely decorated too, and very large. The room itself was spacious as can be. I did not use the coffee maker. There was always some coffee ready in the lobby! If not, they would make some, I was told. By the way, I drink coffee 24-7. I did not use the outdoor pool either, though it looked very nice, and the fitness room had just 3 cardio machines, and I tried 2 of them and they both worked.
I was driving a rental car anyway, and to get around this city you just have to have a car. There is plenty of free parking just outside the front lobby; also tons more around the sides of the building. The day I went to the park, I just left my car behind.
The hotel was quiet and there seemed to be not too many guests. I could tell this because at breakfast time, 6:30 to 9:30AM, there were not many coming to the Express Breakfast area. When busy, these are usually packed.
I am a breakfast person, usually up and at 'em before 6AM. The 'standard' Holiday Inn Express breakfast is something I always look forward to. Here, I always know what to expect. Holiday Inn Express has never let me down, their breakfasts are identical everywhere. The short list: An automatic pancake machine, sausage patties, hard boiled eggs along with either scrambled eggs or omelet, biscuits and sausage gravy which I love the best, bacon sometimes, bagels and toast and toppings for them, 3 juices, milk and coffee and yogurt, sweet rolls, cold cereal choices and more.
The condition of the property was very good, what you would expect from a recently opened hotel; it's about 2 years old I think I read. Housekeeping was above average, including employees constantly cleaning, sweeping and polishing the lobby and hallways and seating areas. I was very impressed by that. My room was cleaned perfectly every day while I was out.
The front desk personnel were extremely friendly and helpful, greeting guests with a "Good morning, sir" or "hello, sir" every time you pass by. I did meet the manager, on my last day as I was checking out, and told him that I was pleased with my stay.
The shuttle service was ready to go, on time basically, according to the published schedule.
When I say on time basically, I mean give or take 15 minutes. I was not the only one on the bus that day, and we were all 5 basically pleased with the service. For me, I could drink a couple of beers at the park, (guess what, Budweisers!), and not have to drive "home".
Now a final note about location. Busch Blvd, and the entire north side of Tampa, is not known for its beauty. I don't think there is any neighborhood within 10 miles of Busch Gardens where you could go out safely and fearlessly for a walk after dark. That is a little confining, but not unsettling as long as you stay indoors. I did walk down the street a couple of times for dinner, but stayed pretty close to the hotel, watching when I crossed the street, and generally on guard at all times. 2 of the 'better' places to eat require 2 u-turns to get to if you drive there. So walking made more sense to me. Personal preference, and I am a vigorous male too and that makes a difference.
I would highly recommend the Holiday Inn Express at Busch Gardens and USF if you will be going to Busch Gardens.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, November 11, 2011
What a kind review from someone who is a prolific Trip Advisor contributor! Thank you so much! I love how you took us step by step through your entire stay. Including mentioning how to get a great rate by booking in advance. I also found it fantastic for you to mention the reviews here on Trip Advisor were a contributing factor on choosing us. My team and I continue to cultivate the best customer service available to anyone who is planning on staying in the Tampa area. We know there are hotels out there that offer a bed and a TV and a bathroom. We are also very aware it is the service and the genuine caring attitude our guests receive that will set us apart from everyone else. That is why we are so focused on bringing the right people onboard that mesh well with the crew I have, and can contribute to our ongoing development of an elite team of hospitality professionals. I can’t wait for you to come back and try us again in the near future!
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490 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
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English first
Tallahassee, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2011

Went for a three day trip to Busch Gardens with my wife and 2 and 9 year old, Picked this hotel because of the location. This was one of the best hotel visits we've had in a long time.

Front Desk Staff: Very helpful and contacted us shortly after we checked in to ask if we needed anything. Because of work circumstances I had to move our check-in date a month later. The move reduced the daily rate of the hotel, I just found out that they had refunded me the difference..nice!!

Room: Room(first floor, east side) was huge and smelled clean and fresh. The double queen beds were super comfy and we all slept very well. The bath room was nice and the shower was excellent and provided plenty of hot water. The fit and finish in the bathroom was very good. I didn't see any areas that looked like they weren't being cleaned. All the standard toiletries are provided and there is a blow dryer.
The room had a mini-fridge and a microwave which all worked as expected. The cabinets have plenty of room if you choose to bring your own food. Although the room was wired for internet access I can't say how well it worked since I didn't use it.. Overall the room was plenty big for our two kids to play in and not trip over each other or us. If you have a little one that needs a pack and play there was plenty of room.

Location: The area around the hotel is not somewhere I would leave my car unlocked but I didn't feel like a mugging was imminent. I wouldn't recommend walking to the park with kids. There is at least one busy intersection to cross and although we did make the trek with the kids when we first arrived; on subsequent days we decided to drive. Pass holders get preferred parking at the park for 10 dollars. The drive over is easy especially in the morning. When leaving the park remember to get in the center turn lane at the light leaving the park, makes turning at the Busch blvd light much easier.

Extras: The breakfast was very good and had something for everyone. The eggs weren't quite done for my taste but that's just nitpicking :) Some of the choices were pancakes, 4 different cereal choices, doughnuts, muffins, scrambled eggs, patty sausage(some days) and much more. The breakfast area fills up quickly so get there early to get a table.
We didn't use the shuttle( a van) because I find it easier to drive so I can't say anything good or bad about that. But given the distance to the park I can't imagine it would matter.

There is no doubt in my mind we will stay here again on our next visit to the park

The misses says that the shower was nice and she really liked the TV.

Room Tip: Upper floor rooms away from the room are quieter and provide a better view of the park. Rooms on the...
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  • Stayed October 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, November 6, 2011
Wow. Now that is a thorough review! I love it! Thank you very much for taking time out of your day to write this review for us! My team and I love it when we get to share reviews such as yours with each other! Since August when I arrived here, we have really been focusing on making sure everything about our hotel is perfect when you arrive. We have been making great strides in that area, and our service scores, and reviews online are starting to reflect all the hard work my team have been putting in. I have to give them all the credit. We have some exciting things lined up for the rest of this year, and the beginning of 2012. We are only going to get better and better everyday in every way! We look forward to seeing you return soon so you can see all the changes for the better we are making!
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Coral Springs, Florida
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2011

Only went with this hotel because I was told they run a shuttle service to Busch Gardens every hour. Total lie and they also lied about shuttle service to the Halloscream event. I could have gone with another hotel cheaper but with what I was told for the shuttle decided with this one. Front desk not helpful and could careless when I told what I was told. Rooms ok and their free hot breakfast nothing that great! In terrible neighborhood would not suggest staying here!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, October 18, 2011
Hello. Please let me start by giving you a heartfelt apology for the issues you described in your review of my team and property. I take full responsibility when a guest lets us know we completely missed the mark on meeting or exceeding expectations. And by the tone of your review, it seems we missed the mark completely. For that, I am truly sorry. While you are correct, there are many places to stay around Busch Gardens that would have been less expensive; I believe you made the correct choice to stay with us when it comes to the value we offer. We are one of the newest properties to open around Busch Gardens, and we do offer a complimentary shuttle service to and from Busch Gardens. Currently it runs 30 minutes before the park opens, on the hour the park opens, and again 30 minutes after the park opens. Then the schedule repeats when the park closes (30 minutes before close, at closing and then 30 minutes after closing.) For the Howl-O-Scream event, we run the shuttle every hour from 7pm-11pm. I am truly upset about this miscommunication and misunderstanding between us. We should have done much better in recovering from this issue. Please rest assured steps will be taken to make sure this type of review won’t happen again. We pride ourselves on learning from our missteps, and constantly improving on our service we offer to valuable guests such as you. Sincerely.
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South Florida, Florida
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2011

We recently visited Bush Gardens to celebrate our son's birthday. After reading some nice comments from the general manager at this hotel regarding some changes being made to enhance guests stay. We felt that by taking the time answering to some of the reviews here, the manager genuinely cared for the comfort of the guests. We decided to make reservations for a suite, and did not regret our decision. The location of the hotel is just perfect, perhaps about 5 minutes drive to Bush Gardens. We could actually see some of the roller coasters from our window!!! There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance. The front desk employees were very friendly and accommodating. They made us feel they really cared about our needs. Our room was very spacious and clean, and although our room was facing the front of the hotel, we did not feel any outside noise. Our beds were very comfortable. Hot breakfast is included every morning. Hours have been extended to 9:30am which is fine, since most people leave for the parks very early. The added convenience of the extra breakfast room alleviated the flow of the crowd in the dinning room. Kudos for that decision. Although we drove to the park, we noticed that they also added extra hours to the shuttle that take guests from the hotel to the park. Overall we had a very good stay at this hotel and will probably stay here again if returning to Bush Gardens.

Room Tip: Suites are large enough to accommodate 5 people confortably
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, October 18, 2011
Wow! Thank you so much for your review! My team will love seeing this. We have all been working very hard to make our place exactly as you described it. We have been trouble shooting known issues, like the breakfast overflow, and the shuttle service. And while we have made some fantastic advances in these areas we still aren’t satisfied until all our guests are satisfied. Please let me thank you for taking time out of your schedule to write these nice comments about my team. We can’t wait for you to come back again soon to see what else we have been able to accomplish since your last visit.
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Orlando, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2011

My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon and we stayed here one night after visiting Busch Gardens for the day. The hotel is very close to the park (we could easily see the rollercosters from our room.) The hotel is clean and the decor was very up to date and modern. The staff is was also friendly. The surrounding area around the hotel is a little rough but I I would certainly recommend staying here, especially if you're visiting Busch Gardens.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, September 30, 2011
Congratulations! We are so happy you chose to stay with us to wrap up such a special occasion! My team and I take your satisfaction very seriously. We have all made it a personal mission to meet and exceed each of our guests expectations, and we hope it shows in the quality work we do in keeping our property clean and fresh. From the moment you walk in the front door and are greeted by my elite team of Guest Service Representatives, to my fantastic breakfast hostesses, to the excellent team responsible for your room, it is our goal and mission to make sure you feel at home. I am happy our heart for hospitality shows through for you, and we can’t wait for you to come back and see us soon (maybe even a return trip for your 1st anniversary)! Thank you.
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Urbandale, Iowa, USA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

The hotel is close to Busch Gardens. It is in a bit of a rough neighborhood but the rooms are great and roomy. The breakfast was hot and delicious everyday. The staff was very friendly and made it a great stay for my family. Will stay there again next time we go to Tampa.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, September 15, 2011
Hello! Thank you so much for your kind words of review for my team! We have a heart for hospitality here, and truly appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to let us know we were on the mark for you and your family! We cant wait for you to come back and see us agian. We are working hard each day to become better at what we do, and hopefully when you return you will see our progress! Again, Thank you for your kind review!
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Miami, FL
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

Close to Busch Gardens, well worth the difference in price from other hotels nearby. Breakfast was great and staff friendly. Great job everyone!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, September 13, 2011
Hello! My team loves to see reviews like yours! We will be sharing it with them all at the next stand up meeting we have. You are very kind to let us know we did well for you and your family. So often these days we only get comments when we miss the mark with a guest. It is nice and we want to thank you for letting us know we met your expectations during your stay.

It is our ongoing goal to now exceed those expectations, and we look forward to having you back soon to show you all the progress we are making!
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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:
#31 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*
Number of rooms: 123
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 & Suites Tampa Usf-Busch Gardens Hotel Tampa
Holiday Inn Express And Suites Tampa Usf-Busch Gardens
Holiday Inn Express Tampa
Holiday Inn Tampa

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