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“Busch Gardens Bound” 4 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 #36 of 159 Hotels in Tampa
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Busch Gardens Bound”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We stayed here the week before Easter and it was enjoyable.

There were several pros:
-the rooms were clean and quiet despite the hotel being filled with what looked like a college volleyball team. While walking down the hallway you could hear them talking and having a good time but after you entered your room it was extremely quiet.
-it was close enough that we were able to walk to Busch Gardens (about 1/2 mile) when the shuttle wasn't running. Let me stress that this walk wasn't for small children or people who tire easily. It was quite the trek down 2 or 3 city blocks with a lot of traffic but in my opinion worth the savings on parking and the madhouse of trying to exit the park at closing time. The problem is that the pedestrian entrance is at the opposite end of the parking lot so that you basically walk the length of the lot twice and double back. This could be resolved if Busch Gardens would add another pedestrian entrance at the opposite end of the wall.
-the pool area and common areas looked clean and smelled nice but we did not go swimming.
-it offered a free shuttle to the park.

The only cons to the experience were:
-Most of our problems came from the shuttle. It took about 30 minutes to pick us up when we called from the park (It took so long I called twice) and it was extremely dirty on the inside. I guess someone had eaten a bag of chips before us and left half of the bag all over the seat. The driver obviously saw it as he kept looking inside to see if all of the passengers had exited the van. The driver also used a plastic Rubbermaid step ladder which he unfolded and placed in the doorway to help people get in and out of the van. While the gesture was nice, the ladder didn't feel secure and seemed dangerous. I think he would have been better off without anything or perhaps a small wooden box to step down on. Lastly when we called for some information about how close to Busch Gardens the park was the receptionist informed us that they had a shuttle which was available on demand. She mentioned that he didn’t work during lunch but did not say much else. What we didn’t realize until after we got there and parked was that "lunch" lasted from 1 PM - 4 PM. We ended up just walking instead of trying to deal with traffic to get there and then pay for parking.
-we rented a suite expecting it to be a separate bedroom and living space. The pull out couch bed was so hard that it wasn't even possible to sleep on it. I don't blame the hotel for the room issue as it could have been prevented if I had called beforehand and just went with the double beds.
-when we met downstairs for breakfast they had all the lights off in the dining area. We asked the receptionist several times about when they were serving breakfast just to make sure that we weren’t outside of the window. We also asked her to turn the lights on or direct us to the switch. Her response was to find someone in the dining area to help. After waiting for 5 minutes in the dark for the waitress/attendant - we left and ate breakfast elsewhere. Understandable that she didn't want to leave the desk but the dining room was less than 15 feet away and there were no other customers in sight. She just seemed to be standing there waiting.

(Rated average on Restaurant and Room Service because we had no experience with either.)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, March 27, 2013
Hello! Thank you for the review of our hotel, and your honest comments about the cons you experienced. Please allow me to address some of them.

Our shuttle service is run by Rolando, and as you can see from all the comments about him on Trip Advisor, he is a true customer service champion. For your comments I can see he was having a very busy day. It is very uncharacteristic for his wait times to exceed 30 minutes, or for his shuttle to be anything less than spotless. He takes great pride in his work, and the condition of the shuttle for his guests. For him to have a wait time and not to take the time to clean up a mess in his van from a previous guest lets me know he must have been super busy. I know when I show him your comments he will be upset he wasn't able to make everyone happy. As for the hours of operation, we have done our best to make sure everyone knows we can't run the shuttle 24 hours a day. Over the course of the last 24 months we have monitored the use of the shuttle and found it is hardly utilized between the hours of 1pm and 4pm. Other than those hours the shuttle times vary based on when Busch Gardens opens and closes, and our website states to see guest services for more information. We start the shuttle 30 minutes prior to the park opening, then stop at 1pm. Then we start up again at 4pm and run until 30 minutes after the park closes. It offers the best service to our guests within the constraints of our resources. We hope this helps future guests when they are making plans to stay with us.

As for our breakfast it is open every day from 6:30 - 9:30 to serve you. It is a complimentary self serve full hot buffet breakfast. Since we are a green hotel, when the space is not being used, we turn off the lights.

I hope this sheds some light on your experience, and that you chose to stay with us again in the future.
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458 reviews from our community

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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 (79)
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United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
296 helpful votes 296 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We stayed here in early February and chose it for its convenient location to Busch Gardens and because we'd been using Holiday Inn Express Hotels for our trip which we had been happy with.

Check in was a breeze and Drew, the young man on the Guest Service desk was an absolute delight! A more pleasant, friendly and well mannered chap would be difficult to find. He really is a credit to both the Hotel and his Mum, he will go far!

The other members of staff we encountered were also very friendly. The room was clean and well equipped and the free shuttle to and from the park in the morning and late afternoon was a nice bonus.

We would love to have stayed another night but had got behind schedule and had to move on to Orlando.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 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, March 27, 2013
Drew has made another fan! He has been fantastic since joining my team just a few short months ago. Recently he has worked his way up to a promotion to Assistant General Manager, and I couldn't be more proud of him. His work ethic, and dedication to our guests is second to none. I am so very happy he made your stay pleasurable. Please come back and see us again soon!
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Ft. Lauderdale
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

My boyfriend had stayed here in the past and recommended it. He was not wrong! The hotel was very clean and modern with friendly staff. Definitely walking distance to Busch Gardens, we could see coasters from our room.

The rooms are huge, it was like a small suite. We had the 2 queens room. There was a bathroom, kitchenette (refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker and sink), a sitting area (2 chairs, coffee table and a desk) and then the beds and dresser.

The beds were firm yet soft. The pillows are labeled firm or soft. The bathroom was very up to date. The only bad thing was, we were on the 1st floor and could hear people walking outside after parking. Vending/Ice is not on every floor. Recommend requesting floor 2 or 4.

Would recommend this!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Hey! Thanks for posting those great pictures from your stay! We appreciate the time it must have taken to load those on Trip Advisor! Thank you so much for your review, and the advice about requesting the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th floor. It comes in handy to future guests to hear other guests experiences! Thank you again!
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Bedford, Massachusetts
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We had a beautiful room (suite) with all the amenities: fridge, microwave, two large screen tvs. We found the beds a little firmer than we are used to. They have a shuttle to Busch Gardens which we used. It was at the door each morning and at the end of the day at the park, we just called and the shuttle arrived in minutes(no exageration) to pick us up. The door to door service was great. We found the driver (Rolando) to be very friendly and a lot of fun. And It saved us money by not having to park a car at the park. TThe breakfast at the hotel was OK. I'm not saying it was bad, just nothing special, very much in line with what we find at other hotels.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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, March 27, 2013
Thank you for your review! While many hotels these days offer the same amenities, we know it is our service that sets us apart from the other hotels in the area. Please come back and see us again real soon!
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Grantsburg, Wisconsin
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We had a great stay at this motel. Location was great to Bush Gardens. Transportation to the park from the motel was available and used. Staff was friendly.Breakfest was good. Rooms clean. I would recomend this motel to others who want to go to bush gardens or are looking for a friendly clean place to stay at a reasonable rate.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, March 27, 2013
Hello, and thank you for your review!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We chose this hotel because of it's close proximity to Busch Gardens and the complimentary shuttle service which was great (thanks Rolando) The staff were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed the Olive Garden next door as well. We found the room to be spacious and it had a little kitchenette (fridge and microwave). We asked for a quiet room. The beds were comfortable. The complimentary breakfast was good (no yogurt the 2 days we were there,). The staff work very hard to keep everyone happy. I would stay there again when I go to Busch Gardens.

Room Tip: If you are on the top floor (4th) no one is over you and it is quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Hi! Thank you for letting us know how we did during your stay. Once again Rolando is mentioned for his excellent customer service! We hope you get a chance to come stay with us again soon!
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Sarasota, Florida
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We looked at a number of hotels close to Busch Gardens and many reviews. This was noce, clean newer hotel. Restaurants were close by and within walking distance. The free shuttle to Busch Garden was a nice perk as it made our day even easier and fun. Only issue was that our bed was extremly soft, I like soft but this was sink in soft!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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, March 27, 2013
Hello! Thank you for choosing our hotel, and thank you again for your review! We appreciate the time you took to fill it out for us!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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:
#26 Family Hotel in Tampa
#51 Business 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 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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