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“Beautiful Hotel, Bad customer service.” 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 #39 of 159 Hotels in Tampa
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hotel, Bad customer service.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2010

This was a very nice, clean new hotel with a nice pool and great location for going to Busch Gardens. They have a shuttle that takes you to the Park which is really great and so convenient. The gentleman that drove us to the park was very nice and helpful. Out of the staff at this hotel, him and the woman who runs the breakfast were about the only two people who had customer service in mind when dealing with the guests. I found the people at the front desk were not willing to help, if you could find them in the first place. A few times we had asked for towels because the maid service did not leave us any, and they would only bring us one when we asked for three. We were told one price by one employee and was told we could get that price anytime that day, when we went to add on extra nights they told us that rate was never available and we would have to pay $30 more per night. We did not end up adding those extra nights not only because of the service but also because of the housekeeping. The garbage in our room was not changed for 3 days, also the first day we had our showers and left our towels hanging behind the door, the maid service took our towels from behind the door and the third one that we had left on the floor and did not replace any of them. We were left with one towel between the two of us. I think that even though it was a nice hotel, the staff is your first impression and makes a difference in your stay. I would only recommend this hotel if you are looking for a nice room to stay in, but if you are concerned with customer service it would be a no.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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
    • 1 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, June 2, 2010
Hello: Thank you for letting me know of issues you had while here at my hotel. Without a name it's difficult for me to investiage further. I can't speak of the rate issue as I wasn't present for the conversation, however a rate issue could've been resolved. I wish you had mentioned to myself or someone else that could've helped prior to you leaving to see where the misunderstanding was. I would have loved to have you continue to stay with me. Occationally we do have mistakes with towels, not enough, needed hand towl not a big towel, etc however again, I'm not sure what the situation was with not getting enough towels. I apologize, and assure you that it wasn't intentional. I thank you again for complemeting my staff members & my hotel, I wish that it could've been a more satisfied visit for you.
Heather
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450 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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essex
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2010

We only stayed for one night at this hotel- a stop gap between Tampa (Busch Gardens) and Sarasota.
The room was very clean, well equiped- wifi, iron, hairdryer etc and close to Busch Gardens ( the reason for our visit). We took the free shuttle bus to the park in the morning and walked home that evening- it took us about 25 mins.
The staff were friendly and helpful. They called about 30 mins after you check into your room to check that everything is ok which is a nice touch. The hotel lays on a wonderful breakfast buffet in the morning which we just made!
The only negetive I could say about is that the walls are quite thin so you do get disturbed by other people- we got a wake up call from someones alarm (country music!) at 6am of all times- not good when you are tired from a days theme park.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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, May 16, 2010
Hello: I am so glad we made a great impression upon you! We strive to make sure every guest is comfortable and pleased. I'm happy to see my staff came through for you. I know that sometimes other guests are not as aware as they should be of others. For you to hear his alarm, he had to of had the volume to its max. I look forward to you coming back to see us the next time you're in Tampa. Thank you again.
Heather
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, FL
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2010

Probably the best front desk staff I have ever dealt with in all my years of traveling - particularly in regards to recognizing my young children and getting them excited about Busch Gardens. They even offered tips to help enjoy our day better. The lobby had some Busch Gardens decor and the rest of the hotel was suitably appointed. The room was above average - particularly for the price. We won a bid on the room through Priceline and got a very fair price. We would definitely come back.

The only blemish was that while we had only about 30 minutes for breakfast, we spent 25 of those minutes waiting for our food. (We were the first and ONLY ones in the restaurant). This was a little unnerving when our goal was to get to the park before it opened. Even though the kids ate free, had we known about the slow service we probably would have just skipped the HI breakfast and grabbed something on the go. That being said, it would be fair to assume the kitchen may have not yet been fully set up.

  • Stayed March 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, May 16, 2010
Hello: Thank you for the great comments about my front desk staff! They do such a great job (even though some days they get overwhelmed like anyone). I'm so proud to see them recognized rather than picked apart. I push service and I'm glad they shined for you! As for the breakfast I'm not sure what happened. The continental items should always be out first thing. I'm not sure if they had issues with the hot items starting up? I will look into it and address that staff. Thank you again, I look forward to you coming back!
Heather
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
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
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 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
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 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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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:
#26 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*
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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