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“Excellent Hotel/Shuttle Service” 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 #31 of 159 hotels in Tampa
Cocoa, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent Hotel/Shuttle Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We checked in on a Sunday afternoon, the kids were raring to go to Busch Gardens. The shuttle service doesn't run between 1 and 4 PM. The driver, Rolando, overheard us talking and was gracious enough to take us to the park. We appreciated that very much. I would like to add that Rolando was very jovial, informative and prompt. Besides our satisfaction with the hotel/staff he also made it a pleasant experience. Our room was very clean as well as all the other areas of the establishment. It was very quiet, the breakfast was a plus and there were many good restaurants in the area and some were within walking distance. We would definitely recommend this hotel to our family and friends and can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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, April 8, 2013
Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to write a review for us! And especially Rolando! He gets mentioned so much here on Trip Advisor, so he must be doing something good!

We all hope you get to come back and see us again real soon!
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438 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (78)
Date | Rating
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English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013 via mobile

Overall, I was pretty impressed with the hotel. There were some minor things that were a bit bothersome, but we were here for a short stay so it was nothing to make a big deal about. I can't speak for all of the rooms, but our blankets had a couple of dark stains resembling blood near the head of the bed, the carpeting also had a few dark spots as well. In the bathroom, on the floor and in the shower there was quite a bit of hair left behind from the previous guest/cleaning. If I can notice it after 10 hours of driving and right after pulling back the curtain, then it was something that probably shouldn't have been missed.

In other words, you can see roller coasters of Busch gardens from the entrance. With that being said, the hotel the slightly busy when we checked in, but the staff that we encountered was very friendly with check-in, and as we were coming and going. If being around families and kids aren't really you're thing, this seems to be a family friendly hotel, but it does seem to be fairly quiet once inside of the room. Breakfast was decent, didn't check out the pool since it rained for the duration of our stay. If we have to come down here again we will be sure to stay here again.

Stayed April 2013
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, April 8, 2013
Hi! Thank you so much for your review. While we pride ourselves on exceeding guest expectations, sometimes constructive comments are needed - and welcomed - to help us improve our service and product! Please feel free to reach out to me directly at the hotel so I can further investigate the room you stayed in and give it a good once over to make sure we get any discrepancies corrected.

Thank you again for your review, and I look forward to hearing from you.
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Tampa, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Myself and my two boys traveled alone for the first time. When we entered the hotel at 2:00 am the desk clerk advised that they had overbooked, and had no more available rooms. This was upsetting to me, because I had reserved a room for over a month ago. The clerk advised that they had made arrangements for us at a different hotel down the street until the next morning. The next morning the hotel manager called me personally and said he would send over their shuttle to pick us up and that we would be staying in the presidential suite. So instead of the regular 1 room I had booked we stayed in the best 2 bdrm suite in the hotel! The staff was so friendly. The shuttle driver Rolando was very helpful and went out of his way to make sure we were picked up on time. He also had advice about the surrounding restaurants and the area in general. The end result to a situation that could have ruined our family vacation was great service! Thank you Holiday Inn Express for making our family vacation so comfortable!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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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, April 8, 2013
Hello! Now this is a review I really love to see. When something doesn't go exactly as planned for you, I want my team to jump in there and come up with a solution and make sure you walk away happy! I am thrilled to see Drew and his front office team pulled together to turn a potentially awful experience into a wonderful one! Rolando and his shuttle keep getting comments about how great he is. Did you know he gives out his personal cell phone on his own? We tell him it is not required but he wants to make sure his guests can get back in forth to the park as quickly as possible! He is one in a million.

We hope you get a chance to come back and see us all again real soon!
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Chancellor
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Checked in on Saturday afternoon to a clean hotel with a friendly staff. We were upgraded without asking to a suite at no extra charge. The breakfast was fabulous and the shuttle to Busch Gardens was too. We only waited about 10 minutes for the shuttle to come back from taking other guests and when we were dropped off we were given the driver's cell phone number to call him when we needed to be picked up. When we called he was there in less than 10 minutes. Thanks for a great stay! Would definitely recommend this hotel and stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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, April 8, 2013
Hello! You must be a Priority Club Member! One of the perks for being a Priority Club Platinum member with us is getting a free upgrade! Someone who travels and stays with Holiday Inn Express so much deserves a perk like that! We hope you get to come stay with us again soon. Hopefully it will be on vacation instead of for business!
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Minneapolis
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

OK the neighborhood is not that great but the hotel was great. The staff was excellent and helped me with transportation, restaurants and pizza delivery. Ask for the number for Five Star Pizza. Rooms were really clean with comfortable beds. The van to Busch Gardens may be a bit worn but it is free. Fast food in easy walking distance. If your main destination in Tampa is Busch Gardens this is the place to stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the elevators.
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Hello, and thank you for your review! We are happy you chose to stay with us and take our free shuttle to Busch Gardens! Our shuttle is a workhorse for sure, and gets plenty of use. Rolando and Sam (our two shuttle drivers) are meticulous when it comes to keeping their chariot clean. Most days I can see them out there in between shuttle runs sweeping it out to get ready for the next group coming on board. We hope you get a chance to come see us again soon!
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West Palm Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

This was an average stay. Nothing bad happened. I received what was expected, such as a clean room. I do not give "Very Good" ratings for places for just being clean because that is like rewarding someone for doing what they should have done. I give "Very Good" ratings for extras (take a look at my review for one of the Wingate Hotels in Tampa, Very Good). Something I did not appreciate was the cleaning staff coming in to clean after I told the front desk I did not want any housekeeping service for the duration of my stay and after even signing a paper so I would not receive the service.

Room Tip: If you are here for peace and quiet, which was not my case, but still a little noisy...Try not to ge...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
Hi! Wow! Look at how many reviews you have done! We are honored you took time out to include us with you impressive list of reviews! Most of the guests that stay with us find our service to be impeccable, and they generally have a great stay. I wish there was something we could have done to impress such a seasoned traveler.
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Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
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
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, 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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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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