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“Can't recommend until they work out the kinks...” 3 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 #37 of 159 Hotels in Tampa
Sarasota, FL
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Can't recommend until they work out the kinks...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2010

Every year, we take an overnight trip to Busch Gardens as we live locally. We usually stay at the Embassy Suites on Fowler Ave, but this year decided to "change it up" and try the new H.I.E.- Not a terrible experience, however, they do need to work out some kinks before I would recommend. Check-in was a nightmare. We arrived at 2 pm and were told check-in wasn' until 3pm, which is true. No problem, we changed and hung out at the pool (which is a small area and shouldn't have been located on the east side of the building as the sun disappears in the afternoon, but, nothing can be done about that now). At 2:55, I arrive again at the front desk and was told I had to wait until 3- Okay, first rule of management and customer service: Tell the truth and give out the straight story. We find out, only after over an hour wait thereafter (and only after one of the housekeepers told us) that one of their dryers broke-down and they couldn't get the linens dried. Why not simply tell all the guests stewing in the lobby this? I would have gone back out to the pool. Instead, I'm told every 10 minutes that it would be another 10 minutes. This went on for over an hour. I've stayed in a lot of hotels for both business and pleasure and I have never seen anything like it. To make matters worse, they had a new gal behind the desk (How did I know this? She kept telling everyone) and the manager, "Monique" had quite the attitude- No explanation given and she was quite strident to all that "around 3 pm" for a check-in time was the industry standard- Okay, that got a little old by 4 pm, as you can probably imagine. It didn't help that they also claimed I hadn't paid for one of the two rooms I booked and billed me for another one. I had to go online to show them my bank transactions. Are you kidding? No apology, no break on the price. I was told that I could order a movie and they'd reverse the charge, truth be told, however, after the double billing issue I really didn't want to deal with it. Olive Garden is next door and was great. This hotel is not within walking distance- Yes, you can walk, but it's a very bad neighborhood on Busch Blvd and, while it may be okay in the day, you would not want to do it at night. We booked 2 "Queen Suites" and found them not to be true suites- It's all one long room. Beds were okay (once we finally were delivered pillow cases). Free breakfast was okay as well. All & all not a terrible experience, however, the initial check-in really soured my impression of this hotel and their management staff and I cannot recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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, April 11, 2010
Hello: Thank you so much for letting me know there were some check in issues. We should be addressing the check in as it starts at 3:00pm. Very rarely all rooms are completed at exactly 3:00pm when we were sold out the night before. I'm not sure of the exact incident, but please know that it is not the norm for us, and I will address the issues you present. Thank you again, and please come see us again when you are in the area.
Heather
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447 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
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michigan
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2010

I traveled here with my 10 y.o. son to go to Busch Gardens. It was apleasant stay, the beds were comfortable, which is NOT usually the case for me, usually the beds are to hard. The hotel was very clean, and front desk staff were nice and helpful. Couple things though, the closeness to Busch Gardens is misleading, it is walking distance but they make you think it is across the street and TECHNICALLY it is but the entrance is 10 min walk down the street, but the walk wasn't to bad. The free shuttle only leaves at certain times in morning 9,930,10 and returns only at 5 but the park doesn't close till 7 so this wasn't as convenient as I thought either. There isn't a shuttle to the hotel so if you aren't renting a car, taxi is the only way to reach hotel and it will cost you $40. If you are aware of these extra before you go, then it will be a good experience. We had a fun time!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, April 2, 2010
Hello: Thank you so much for letting us know your stay was wonderful! Yes, we do suggest that if guests are not sure of the shuttle times, minimum age to rent, pets, etc that guests should call ahead. For the shuttle, we are a limited hotel (Express), so we only drop off 3xs, and pick up 3xs. We chose the times that seemed to work the best for all guests. (Busch Gardens changes their closing time sometimes on a daily basis). Thank you for letting other guests know that they should call ahead to make their plans easier!
Heather
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Hamburg, Germany
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2010

This is a decent place close to Busch Gardens. Nothing spectacular but a good value. They do have a shuttle to the airport and Busch Gardens.

Pros:
*Spacious rooms
*Breakfast, parking and internet included
*Close to Busch Gardens
*Outdoor swimming pool (couldn't use it as the weather was rainy and cold)

Cons:
*You do need a car if you want to go to downtown or the beaches
*The hotel made a safe impression but one should not walk around the area t night

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 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, April 3, 2010
Thank you so much for your positive feedback. We are only about (1) yr old, so we appreciate you letting us know how we are doing! Readers plese note: our local shuttle doesn't go to the airport, but we have a company that we use. Guests can call us to get the # to get a special rate.
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Jacksonville, FL
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2010

Beware! Hotel tried to charge me $35 for a missing green blanket a week after my one night stay. I explained I did not steal their blanket that was easily worth $5. Management explained they charge for any alleged missing item based on their housekeeping staff report. I suggested they may have problems with housekeeping staff. So be ready to look for late charges and dispute. Otherwise, hotel was striclty average; not worth the money in comparison other hotels in the area.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, March 27, 2010
Hello: We do have a policy that items missing from the room will be charged for. It is on the registration card at check in. Being a new hotel (and at other hotels) this is standard. It was difficult to resolve this matter professionally because of foul language and other negative intensions. I am apologetic, however, I gave the only option I had to reseolve the problem, and the offer was refused.
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ontario
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2010

The hotel and employees are very good.Employees are very friendly and helpfull from arrival to departure.Location is excellent to visit Bush Garden.Rooms are big and very comfortable

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 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.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, March 22, 2010
Thank you for choosing us to host you! I take pride in my employees on catering to the service of our guests and I'm glad to see they took care of you! Our rooms are more spacious than the average standard room which I believe make guests more comfortable (I see you agree).
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Haslemere, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2010

I booked this based on Tripadvisor reviews and the fact that the hotel is relatively new and just a few mins' walk to Busch Gardens. It turned out to be a good decision.

After speaking to Reception, who were very pleasant, we left our car in the car park and walked to Busch Gardens, returning late afternoon to check in. The room was spacious and nicely furnished - it could easily have been in a 4 star hotel given the amenities and room furnishings. As we were on the top floor poolside, we had a good view of the coasters in the park.

The location is not scenic - it's a main road, but if you're just here to visit Busch Gardens, that shouldn't matter. You are surrounded by places to eat - Olive Garden is next door, and there are several other chains that you pass walking to Busch Gardens.

Complimentary breakfast in the breakfast room was better than expected including some hot dishes. We clearly arrived at the right time as by the time we left the room was full and busy at the counter. Quality/choice was good for an included breakfast.

A good choice for an overnight stay when visiting Busch Gardens.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, March 22, 2010
Thank you so much for the compliments on our hotel. I apprecaite that you mention how close we really are to Busch Gardens, and that we met all your accommodation needs. Please come and see us again when you visit the area!
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Evergreen, AL
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2010

My son was graduating from USF, so the location was excellent. Nice spacious and com.fortable room. Room was very clean suite had sofa, microwave oven and small refrigerator. There are several restaurants in the area and a CVS drugstore right down the street. There was a lot to choose from at the complimentary breakfast. I have no complaints.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, March 15, 2010
Congrats on your son's Graduation! I'm glad that we were a positive part of that event for you and your family. Please definitely come see us again when you are in the area, we would love to have you!
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#27 Family Hotel in Tampa
#50 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*
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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