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.)
- 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