I stayed at this hotel during the Republican National Convention. I was working during the convention and my employer booked most of the rooms in the hotel for my company.
I arrived late in the evening - around 1am. I was checked in quickly and efficiently. The room was a decent size.
Breakfast each morning was the typical hotel breakfast. Everything I ate tasted good, but I can't vouch for the healthiness of the food.
The hotel manager was always walking around and asking if everything was okay which was nice. You normally don't see a hotel manager so frequently. The hotel was clean and I have no complaints about the service.
I did use the hotel gym twice. There were several machines that served their purpose.
There was an iron, ironing board and hairdryer in the room... all things that I used every day and was appreciative for.
In the late afternoon / early evenings the hotel staff would put complimentary popcorn and fresh baked cookies out in the lobby. There was also an alcove in the lobby that housed all sorts of food for purchase... candy, chips, microwaveable foods, etc.
I liked the room's setup in that there was a desk and comfortable office chair where I set up my laptop. Unlike many hotels, there were many visible power outlets so I was able to plug everything in without moving furniture and crawling around looking for a free outlet.
The hotel internet access left much to be desired. I was traveling with my personal laptop and a company laptop. Most of us had trouble accessing the program that allows us to check our company e-mail. The wifi signal was strong and let me do everything else (surf the web, watch online videos, check personal e-mail), but something would cause the company e-mail to crash every few minutes. It got to the point where I would have to log in a dozen times in an hour which was a little ridiculous.
Unfortunately, there wasn't much close to the hotel. There is a Five Guys next door which I visited for lunch one day simply because I didn't have a company car and it was the only thing closeby. Our company provided hourly shuttles from the hotel, but we had to take cabs from the airport since this hotel does not provide an airport shuttle. (Cab from TPA was $47 including the tip.)
I doubt I will ever have a reason to stay at this hotel again mainly based on the location. There are hotels in more accessible areas that cost the same amount, so I would stay elsewhere next time. I didn't have a choice for this trip. The hotel itself was clean and adequate.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Fairgrounds/Casino is located across from the entrance of both the Florida State Fairgrounds and the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre. We are also only a half mile from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and offer complimentary shuttle service to guests visiting there. We are conveniently located off I-4, less than 5 minutes away from I-75. If shopping is your pleasure, we are easily accessible to Brandon Town Center mall (7 miles), Westshore Mall (12 miles) and International Plaza (12 miles). With easy access to I-75, I-4, I-275, US 41 and US 301, our guests are minutes away from all area attractions and points of interests. Our rooms either feature one King Bed or two Queen beds. Guests can enjoy our outdoor pool, fitness center, free wireless & wired high speed Internet access, business center, and great breakfast with signature cinnamon rolls. We also have a few rooms with special jacuzzi tub for some extra relaxation after a great day in the Bay area. So whether you are in the area for the Fairgrounds, Raymond James Stadium, the area Beaches, Busch Gardens, or taking in an event at the Ford Amphitheater, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites at the Fairgrounds is the STAY SMART location to be. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Tampa/Fairgrounds/ Hotel Tampa
- Holiday Inn Tampa
- Tampa Holiday Inn