We only stayed one night as we were in Tampa for a getaway and to work towards continued Hilton Honors Gold status in 2013. The room was a very nice, SMALL suite with kitchen/living room combo in one room and bed and bath on other side of door. Everything was clean and seemed very new. Another positive was the front desk lady at check-in. The hotel was also quiet, but that was due to the fact that it was mostly empty. Each room had its own television although neither was extra large. There were about 45 channels, and reception was good.
Now for the negatives:
1) Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and, of course, the most important as well. I was happy to see that a hot breakfast was advertised. There were pictures in the elevator of moist, tasty looking, fresh-made scrambled eggs although I prefer over medium. We went down with my stomach in anticipation of at least a decent breakfast with either bacon or sausage or both, and what did we find? Two metal containers with two items each. One had plain mass produced scrambled eggs and the other side had mass produced scrambled eggs with something nauseating mixed in. Both look dried out! The other had mushy potatoes on one side and greasy, fatty, nasty-looking fried chicken pieces on the other. I was not happy. I made some comments, and others agreed that the chicken looking mixture was nasty. I complained at the front desk since no one was around the breakfast area, and, I think, she offered to have them make something else, but I was already too upset to eat so I returned to my room without breakfast and had the coffee that was in the room. This ruined my morning and put this motel off my list of any future stay. If you advertise a hot breakfast, give the people something traditional that they want and deserve.
2)We were there on a Friday night so no manager’s reception. This may have been a blessing after seeing their attempt at a “hot breakfast”. The menu was on the refrigerator in the room and looked like a junior high school lunch menu before health was a factor. I guess that’s why they have beer and wine (not sure if there are other spirits), but you would need something to wash down a heartburn nightmare.
3)Parking-you could either park in a garage with about a hundred other cars parked by people who leave their car there while they fly in the Park & Fly special-they claimed there was security at night, but it still looked dark. There were about 10 spots between the pool and a chain linked fence enclosed area with dozens of cars, probably also belonging to those who were flying. We parked by the fence. I am writing this before we check out, but the car looks ok since I can see it from my window, which leads to #4.
4)The view from window would be lovely with the bay in the distance, but there are many lanes of highway (the Veterans, I think) that block the view. Looking down, you see a small pool, the 10 or so cars by the fence, including mine, and those inside the chain linked fence. (This is not the hotel’s fault but adds to list)
5)The free shuttle-this is shared with the Hilton Garden Inn next door. It was not marked with either hotel as far as we could tell. I drove my friend to the International Mall and left him to take the shuttle back, but he never saw one for the Hilton Garden of the Homewood Suites, even though he was at the spot listed and waited 15 minutes around the pick up time stated on the paper they have at the front desk. Most hotels that have shuttles put the hotel's name on the side and have them parked near the door or continuously making trips. There were times posted for trips to the 2 nearby malls. I’m not sure what you do about pickup and dropoff times if you’re going to the airport since no times were posted! It seems that this has been outsourced. Maybe they’re driving people around Bombay!
6)We were supposedly upgraded to a 1 bedroom suite, but the overall square footage was less than a standard room I’ve had at Crowne Plaza. It was cookie cutter design. The bedroom barely fit the king sized bed (about a foot on each side with end tables squeezed in between bed and wall). There weren’t enough outlets either so one of the lamps had to be unplugged. The bathroom had a shower/tub combo, but the tub was very slippery-needs safety strips or something. The living room area was cramped as well. It would have done better as a studio suite with the wall removed between the two rooms. The kitchen was nice with plates and utensils, but there were some extra touches missing like a restocked, rather than quarter full, small plastic bottle of dish washer soap. (only enough to wash one or two spoons). We didn’t use stove. Ice maker was nice to have but was loud when ice dropped. I did enjoy the microwave popcorn!
In summary, I was not impressed with my first stay at a Homewood Suite. I am giving it a 2 since there were at least a very few bright spots. I had no issues with smokers, but in 2012, the whole hotel should be smoke-free (they said that the smoking rooms were on the 3rd floor). Due to the lack of guests, I assume that they put out their least impressive breakfast. To be honest, the breakfast offering often makes or breaks my overall impression. If I’m not expecting anything, then I’m not disappointed, but this place built up my expectations for a great, “hot breakfast” and provided chicken fingers!
Plan to skip breakfast if you want more than coffee and toast!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.