I have been staying at this hotel for the past four days and check out tomorrow- and I can't WAIT to leave. I will do my best to be very non-subjective/honest as I highlight the positives along with the negatives.
Positives: "Maybe" the location, but only if you're here to catch a game at the Tampa Stadium since it's literally about 5000 feet up the road. Another positive would be the daily breakfast, but don't misunderstand my intent there. It's not that breakfast is anything above and beyond what you get elsewhere, it's just that it's at least averagely consistent and worth taking advantage of. It is truly unfortunate that for me, the positives end right there.
Negatives: I arrived after a 3.5 hr drive to get here and was *really* looking forward to flopping down on a fresh, clean bed to just "rest" for a few minutes. The first thing that stood out was the parking lot and general condition of the immediate area. In a nutshell, it is just flat out barren around the immediate area of this hotel. There is a very dilapidated and closed restaurant directly in the front, and there is another closed business directly beside it. These two businesses have essentially become parking lots for local construction vehicles and other cars that I have not seen move from their spot in four days now. On the other side of the hotel is well, another hotel, that is obviously old and in a very bad state; which in turn is naturally attracting the kind of guests that you would not want your children to even be exposed to. To put it another way, I made sure that I did not leave ANYTHING valuable in my car overnight- enough said on that.
Still hopeful, I entered the lobby and waited for no less than 5 or 6 minutes before someone came to greet me; but only after I started saying, "Hello?" out loud several times. Ok, not a big deal in the grand scheme and I'm not "that" anal about things, but I was already beginning to feel that it was just another omen of what my stay was going to be like. I was quickly checked in and the staff was in fact courteous- perfect and off to the room I go. But.....read other reviews and take note of what's said about the front desk and staff which I think helps to validate my own.
I entered the room and my first impression was that everything was neat, clean and welcoming. I had a king sized bed, there was a business desk to work at, a separate lounge chair w/ottoman, a microwave and refrigerator, and there was a full size bath. While the room appeared to be clean overall, something just didn't quite "feel" right although I couldn't put my finger on it yet. It wasn't until that evening that things began to quickly sway my opinion.
As I closed the curtains for the evening, I observed that they were ripped on both sides with DUCT TAPE reinforcing the back of them; only the holes with tape were still wide open and appeared to have been that way for some time now. There is simply no way that any of the hotel staff could miss that, and I have NEVER seen a hotel actually condone DUCT TAPE as a fix for ripped curtains.
Exhausted, I just wanted a nice hot shower and some rest as I prepared for the following day. I unfolded and placed the towel meant for the bathroom floor only to see that it too was ripped and needed replacing. I get it, it's a floor towel, but I giggled at the thought that there was a common theme developing with all fabric related items here.
As I began my shower, the bathtub drained so slowly that I actually stood in my own runoff water for the duration of my shower. I also noticed that I was initially leaving black footprints when my feet first hit the water, but I thought it was just from the day's travel in flip flops and mistakenly misidentified and dismissed the real cause. I had two choices for water temperature: HOT and HOT. In order to cool the water, I had to just about turn it off which in turn reduced the water pressure to a trickle, but the drain STILL held water over my feet.
The next morning I stopped at the desk to inform them of the tub and the same thing- no one tending to the desk for about 5 minutes. This isn't much time, but it is when you're on your way to a business meeting and need to get going. They assured me that it would be fixed by the end of they day and were polite about it- fair as expected, good. I returned at the end of the day and looked around, and I just knew that the drain hadn't been tended to. However, the room appeared to be clean and in the same order as before, so I held out hope.
When I took my next shower, the drain immediately stopped up just as it had before, and I once again stood in my own water until finished. Once again, there it was: my feet were leaving BLACK footprints when I first stepped into the tub, and it was only then that I realized why- the room CARPET was THAT dirty! I had been walking around barefoot for about 2 hrs before my shower. That is a very disgusting feeling and instantly made me wonder what else in the room was not visible to the naked eye. One thing was for sure, I no longer wanted to touch anything but what was absolutely necessary in this particular room. I was also instantly grateful that I had brought my own pillow.
The next morning I again informed the staff of the bathtub, and this time it was fixed when I returned that evening. Even so, that was 2 days of my stay already "down the drain," only in this case not literally.
Another observance was that the hotel's housecleaning crew always appeared to be busy as mice, but they were never finished with the rooms before 5 or 6 p.m. each day. I returned one day right around 5 to find them just walking out of my room. That may not seem like an issue to some, but I find it worth mentioning since it's obvious that you may not be able to rely on any certain time table if you have dinner plans after work and want to freshen up first.
I mentioned in the title that I would NOT recommend this hotel as a family stay; even if you are visiting the local theme parks. It is my opinion that this hotel is only surviving due to having the airport nearby. Well, actually, I should amend that to add that certain "businesses" in the immediate vicinity (for which Tampa is known for) probably help to sustain the hotel as well for travelers looking for such a thing. This too is worth mentioning, because you need to know that if you choose to bring your children here, they WILL be exposed certain businesses. in turn, you may find yourself engaged in a very uncomfortable discussion with your children that you'd rather avoid. There is no escaping this either as the hotel is surrounded by them in ALL directions within a 2 mile radius; even on the back roads behind the hotel.
In an effort to be fair, would I stay here again with a group of guys coming to see a football game? Only "maybe" and ONLY for these reasons: (1) because those kinds of guy trips "are what they are," (2) the drive to the stadium is less than 3 minutes, and (3) well, there just aren't too many other choices in the area. However, would I bring my spouse or family here? Absolutely NOT with a VERY resounding "NO!" The hotel is in dire need of an overhauling and would enjoy a much better overall and consistent clientele with a little housekeeping of its own. For the rate charged, there are better choices elsewhere.
Hopefully this will help someone make an informed decision of their own, because it's still an option for certain types of trip plans....but NOT, in my opinion, a good option for the family.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stay SMART at the Tampa Stadium Hotel Airport area. We are the closest Tampa hotel to Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Legends Field, the spring training site of the New York Yankees. Our hotel is close to Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Westshore business district. Downtown Tampa, Port of Tampa, the Convention Center and St. Pete Times Forum are just a 5 minute drive. Tampa Stadium Hotel is also close to all attractions such as Ybor City, Busch Gardens, Tampa Aquarium and MOSI. We offer free shuttle service within 3 miles, between the hours of 6:30 am and 10 pm. The Tampa Stadium Area hotel is a non-smoking facility featuring our free continental breakfast, high speed internet access and business center. Our Tampa hotel also offers 7,000 square feet of meeting space and full-service catering facilities and our peaceful setting on our own private lake is the perfect location for exchanging your wedding vows. Unwind at the end of your busy day at our outdoor heated pool and spa or in our state-of-the-art fitness center. Corporations located nearby the hotel include Hertz, St. Joseph's Hospital, General Motors, Lear Corporation, General Electric and FEDEX Corporation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel And Suites - Tampa Stadium Airport
- Holiday Inn Express Tampa
- Holiday Inn Tampa
- Tampa Holiday Inn