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“As good as we expected” 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 #50 of 159 Hotels in Tampa
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“As good as we expected”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2010

We booked this hotel based upon reviews we read on this website. Good thing we read the reviews first!
We dropped our bags at the hotel around 9 am and check in after spending the day at Busch Gardens around 4:30 pm. Guess what!? Our room was not ready! Instead of being upset (my normal reaction) I just laughed and told the manager I expected such a thing based on the trip advisor reviews. We were able to go up to the room since we were only missing pillow cases and towels.
The breakfast was atrocious. I should have spent the extra money and eaten at IHOP down the street.
The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. Although we hadn't checked in yet, we were able to utilize the shuttle bus to Busch Gardens.
There is a closet to store luggage and only certain members of the staff have the key. However, the luggage is not tagged and any ruthless guest could easily steal someone's luggage.
The room was clean and quiet.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, April 28, 2010
Thank you for reviewing us. It seems mixed in reaction but I am glad you looked at it in an odd but positive light. I'm glad that my staff took care of you while you were waiting and that you were able to be accommodated for Busch Gardens. I'm not sure what was wrong with the breakfast as it seems you were aiming at the taste perhaps? We offer a wide variety of hot and cold items. There are issues about wait time & re-fill time occasionally, but I've never heard it tasted awful. I'm sorry that there wasn't anything in breakfast that pleased you.
Heather
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528 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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
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English first
Jesup, Georgia
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2010

We stayed at the hotel on April 23rd and had a wonderful stay. Hotel very clean, no problem with staff as I had read before. I was a little worried after reading the reviews, but we stayed any how. Hotel is located across from Bush Gardens but the entrance is further down. I would drive there instead of walking. They had Red Lobster and Olive Garden withing a short walking distance of the hotel, We asked directions to Applebees and was able to find it with no problem.The pool is only 5ft deep and deeper would have been nice but it was fine. Kids had a good time.The beds were wonderful!!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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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 28, 2010
Thank you so much for the great review! I'm glad that you bipased some of the rough reviews we received during busy season. The staff do push themselves to cater to our guests and aim for time frames to accommodate and be less stressful. So thank you, as we are a wonderful new hotel...we just run into snags like anyone else when there are 300-350 for breakfast or some of a full house checks out at exactly 12 noon or later.
Heather
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Dahlonega, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2010

Hotel was new and fairly clean.
Housekeeping staff was rude and used foul language.
We did not eat at the hotel because the line for breakfast was too long.
It is not right across the street to Busch Gardens entrance. It is a 10 block walk in a bad neighborhood. The website is misleading and should be corrected. Had I know this, I would not have stayed there.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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 16, 2010
Hello: Thank you for letting me know how your stay was. Please feel free to email me the details of the staff member who used foul language. That is unacceptable and will be addressed. I'm sorry that you didn't want to experience a line at breakfast. It is quite common, especially when we are sold out or full. We do have a free shuttle that runs (3)xs in the morning and (3)xs in the evening. The neighborhood is not as bad as you would think, however because it is a 8 lane busy street, we wouln't reccommend a walk at night. It is approx a 1/2 mile to the park or about 10blocks. We also suggest a cab $6.00 or you can drive and park for $12.00. I'm sorry you felt walking was your only option.
Heather
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SE coast
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2010

We originally booked this room for 2 nights as my daughter as I were touring USF. We arrived at approximately 5pm on Apr 8 and was told our room "wasn't ready yet." The gentleman at the front desk said he would check on the status and I should have a seat in the lobby area and he would let me know.. Fifteen minutes later I went back to the front desk as he continued checking-in other guests. Apparently MANY guests were delayed check-in due to lack of housekeeping staff and many disgruntled people were moaning. It's now 5:45 and our room still is not ready. When I asked "why" the reply I received was......... "I know.......it's ridiculous, ma'am." At that point I canceled our room for the 2nd night. Finally at 6:20 we got tired of waiting and we left for dinner. However, the room was ready when we returned at 8pm. It would have been nice to hear the hotel was sorry for the delay......something.......any comment. The room we were given was directly across from the elevator, so that lead to a noisy, sleepless night. I was told the hotel was "sold out", therefore we couldn't change rooms. The TV didn't work/turn on. I called on that, and we had to wait for someone to come fix it. As it turns out, it was the connection of the cord to the TV. The girl (from the front desk) who came up to fix it knew exactly what the problem was without even looking at it. Her reply was "the cord comes loose all the time." If that's the case, could they not have said that over the phone instead of sending her up? We have always been more than pleased with our choices with Holiday Inn's. I was excited to think there was a nice new one close to the University when we visit our daughter........NOT! Word of mouth is the best advertising, and we will not go back or recommend it to anyone. People/companies make mistakes, and I fully understand that. What kills the deal is when you receive the " I don't care attitude." Such a shame....
On a positive note, I will say the room was very nice and clean, and the complimentary breakfast was nice and plentiful.
There are many choices for hotels in the area, so I would seek elsewhere until they can work out- their issues.

Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
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, April 15, 2010
Hello: First I want to say that I apologize for the waiting time that you endured. There are days that happen that we can be short on staff due to call outs, sickness, etc. The girls always try to do the best they can with any situation. The desk staff does try to make conversation light to take the edge and offer seating. As far as location of the room, we were indeed sold out, and unless a preference is requested, we don't know if location is an issue. With the TVs it does happen when previous guests turn the TVs at certain angles. Please know that yes, my desk staff could've told you over the phone, but she felt it was more personal to help you herself. I was pleased however to see that we did give you a quality room and the staff wasn't rude or unpleasant, but I do apologize again for your wait time.
Heather
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Sarasota, FL
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
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, 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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michigan
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 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
Level Contributor
29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 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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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:
#39 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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