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“Perfect location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk

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The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   111 W Fortune Street, 275N Ex-44 I-4/275S Ex-45A, Tampa, FL 33602 (Formerly Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown)   |  
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Ranked #86 of 159 Hotels in Tampa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Indian Harbour Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Perfect location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2012

I was in Tampa to see a concert and do general sightseeing and I needed a hotel close to the downtown area. This hotel was in a perfectly convenient spot, we were able to walk back to the hotel from the Tampa Bay Times Forum after our concert ended. Many of the reviews on this website made it sound as though this hotel would be loud, inconvenient or dirty. I did not find any of these things to be true. If this hotel was being used as a dorm I did not feel any ill effects from this. In fact, I don't recall seeing any students who were living in the hotel. All of the staff was extremely accommodating and knowledgeable. The shuttle service provided was very convenient and one of the drivers we got (I can't remember his name at this moment) was awesome and hilarious. The lobby is nicely decorated and the room was clean (which is my number one concern) and quiet. It seems to me that people who left bad reviews were expecting something much nicer without actually wanting to pay for it. I booked this hotel looking for something in a safe part of downtown Tampa that was comfortable, clean, and not wildly expensive. That is exactly what I got.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoleyT, General Manager at The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk, responded to this review, April 2, 2012
I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your positive thoughts about your recent stay with the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown. We love it when our guests take the time out of their busy lives to post a positive review about our hotel.

I’m so glad you mentioned that we are a dorm. Most of our guests would never even know the hotel is used as a dorm. The hotel sees more students in the fall semester but as students move on campus fewer rooms are occupied by the school. The spring semester is a lot quieter as about half of the students have moved on campus.

Our shuttle drivers are an asset to the hotel and I will be sure to mention your comments to them as they are hard working individuals.

Again, thank you and we look forward to your return visit as a guest in the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown.

Sincerely,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
tfoley@tampahjp.com
(813) 223-1351 Ext. 3102
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440 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
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English first
Weston, MA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights while he attended a conference at the Tampa Convention Center. The hotel is about 5 miles from the airport ($25 flat fee cab ride from the airport) and very convenient to the highway. The lobby is nice, but the elevators and hallways are, as others have noted, dated and worn. The rooms were a bit better--clean, functional, generally comfortable--but nothing special. The WIFI was free but a bit slow, the AC was good (if loud), and the pool was fine (small, basic, but got the job done). The hotel is about a 15 minute walk to the Convention Center, which is easy to get to. The hotel also offers a free shuttle anywhere within a 2 mile radius, which was a big plus when it was hot going back and forth around town! It is true that the hotel is being used as a dorm for local college students, but we didn't run into any problems due to that. Overall, it was a decent less expensive place to stay for our needs, and it was easy enough to walk to nearby restaurants, etc., but nothing amazing.

Stayed March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoleyT, General Manager at The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk, responded to this review, March 28, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post your positive comments about your recent stay with the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown.

We take great pride in providing comfortable rooms at affordable prices with amenities that are hard to find when there are so many different choices in the Downtown Tampa area.

Again, thank you for your positive feedback and we look forward to your future return with the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown.

Sincerely,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
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Florida
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2012

The previous reviews must have been posted by people who inhabit an alternate universe because they do not reflect the reality of this hotel. This hotel is abominable.

The lobby is nice enough but so what? One does not sleep or stay in the lobby. The staff at the check-in counter was friendly and accommodating. After reading about the horrors of the older rooms I had to ask 3 times for a renovated room, finally we got one of "the most recently renovated rooms." It was on the 14th floor; OK, no problem.

The elevators are old an rickety with a tricycle bell announcing the floors. The lighting in the elevator raises the temperature about 5 degrees making it uncomfortable to ride in for the long ride to the 14th floor.

Our room was OK, not good; just barely OK. We had 2 queen beds rendering the room overcrowded and difficult to maneuver in. Consequently, there was no club chair to rest in for casual reading, just an Office Depot, low priced, computer-desk chair.

The TV was the best thing in the room but there was no TV listing to be found anywhere. In all fairness I must say the beds were comfortable but the walls are paper thin and we could hear the TV and conversation from rooms to either side of us.

The bathroom was small with a wash basin that was badly cracked - so much for a renovated room. Over the sink in the bathroom there is a bank of 6 -150 watt incandescent light bulbs injecting 900 watts of light AND HEAT into a very small space. The temperature in the bathroom was so high it was difficult to stay in there for enough time to do what needed to be done. We bring a night-light with us so that's all we could use for light to make the bathroom temperature bearable.

Oh, one other thing, the towels in the bathroom are fine, that is, if you like to towel-off with sandpaper.

Finally, we went down to the cafe for breakfast and were repulsed by the buffet breakfast being offered. It is basically the same kind of breakfast buffet guests get at Residence Inns - for no additional charge, this buffet was priced at $9.50. The serving dishes at this buffet table were mostly empty, there was no attendant taking care of the cleanliness nor refilling the serving dishes - it was almost revolting. We left immediately and found a better place to have breakfast nearby.

This is not an acceptable place to stay in downtown Tampa; it is to be avoided.

Room Tip: Higher floor have the "renovated" rooms.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoleyT, General Manager at The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk, responded to this review, March 28, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your recent stay with the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown. Please accept my sincerest apologizes for not meeting your expectations while staying with us.

We do take all of our reviews seriously and when our guests are not completely satisfied with our hotel we make it a point to correct problems from happening again in the future. When we are planning renovations we will consider your comments regarding the elevators, guest rooms and bathrooms to improve our overall guests experience when staying at our hotel.

Again, thank you for providing your comments about your experience with the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown.

Sincerely,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Paul, MN
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2012

I really enjoyed my stay at HoJo Tampa. I am planning on returning any time I am in the Tampa area and in fact may plan a trip to Tampa just because of my positive experience there. My first impresssion was a great one due to the response I got from Tracy who went out of her way to answer my questions and ease my doubts about my upcoming stay. I was reluctant at first when I found out that my "winning" bid hotel was the Howard Johnson Tampa. I guess I had a negative feeling about the chain and I am not sure why because I had never stayed at one before.
Upon arrival we were greeted enthusiastically by the check in staff and Tracy came out to meet us and shake our hands. What a shining star she is and what an asset to your company. She was so delightful and upbeat and from the minute we arrived we knew we were in the right place and in the right hands. I can honestly say that I don't know when I have had better treatment at a hotel...no matter how many "stars".
We checked out our room and it was spotlessly clean with great views and comfy beds and flat screen tv and a microwave and fridge. These "perks" checked all my boxes as of what is most important to me in a hotel room. We were so impressed that we asked if we could reserve a room for a night post cruise and I actually wished I had booked a couple of more nights because we loved touring Tampa and with the help of the shuttle drivers (I could write a review about the shuttle drivers alone and how awesome they all were) we were able to get around easily with no rental car.
The pool is really nice and large and quite pretty and I only have one complaint, and it isn't really even a complaint at all but I wished the pool had some piped in music...seriously that was all that was missing.
The bar served up some very good cocktails and we enjoyed hanging out there. The restaurant was good and when I asked if I could have reduced price at the breakfast buffet because I only wanted eggs and toast, I was accommodated cheerfully and the price was a great deal.
Back to the shining star of HoJo Tampa, Tracy. Thank you for being the most wonderful hostess I have ever had in any hotel stay. Your cheery attitude and the way you went WAY above and beyond to make our pre and post cruise stay the highlight of the whole vacation will never be forgotten by my travel companion and myself. I am spreading the word about not only how fun Tampa is but how the HoJo is the only hotel I will ever stay in Tampa. I won't even visit any travel site (Expedia, Priceline, etc) instead I will just book directly to the HoJo...why mess around with a good thing? You just can't do better!

Room Tip: The 14th floor had wonderful views of the area.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Larry C, General Manager at The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk, responded to this review, May 20, 2014
First and foremost I thank you for your business. I also thank you for taking the time to review your stay at the Howard Johnson Plaza in Downtown Tampa. It is very nice to hear when we get it right. With the goal of outstanding service to every guest every time we pride ourselves on great reviews such as yours. Thank you
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Hoboken, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2012

Not sure what all the fuss is about over this place being old and worn. I had a room on the 7th floor that was nice. Yes, there were a couple of stains on the carpet but who cares? No one is sleeping on the floor. Bed was comfy, sheets clean, free wireless, AC ice cold, nice view of the water. Hotel staff was friendly. Location is good. It's located more uptown than the other hotels, but it's still within walking distance of all the restaurants and bars in town.

My only complaint is that last call at the bar on a friday night was 11pm. Other than that everything was fine. I'd stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Larry C, General Manager at The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk, responded to this review, May 28, 2014
We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to review your stay at the Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown Tampa. Feed back such as yours is invaluable in helping us to improve and recognizing what we are doing well. I am pleased that enjoyed your stay. Thank you for your business and we look forward to seeing you again.
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West Palm Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2012 via mobile

Booked a room on Hotwire.com. As it was a "Hot Rate," I didn't know what hotel I'd be staying at. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised! First of all, the hotel has a great location in downtown Tampa. From the moment I arrived, the hotel staff were extremely friendly and welcoming. The room was clean and I had a 7th floor room with a great view of the city. Not the most luxurious room I've ever stayed in, but it was perfect for the price. The next morning I walked along the river, through the city, and through the University of Tampa before heading over to Clearwater Beach. I will book a room at the Howard Johnson next time I visit Tampa!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Larry C, General Manager at The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk, responded to this review, May 28, 2014
I am glad to hear that yo enjoyed your stay at the Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown Tampa. We pride ourselves on the outstanding value we deliver in a downtown market. Our location at the gateway to downtown Tampa makes us the perfect location to experience all downtown Tampa has to offer. From the Museums and Performing Arts of Tampa to the exciting and scintillating streets of Ybor City, it is all easily accessed from our location.
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Newberry, Florida, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2012

my family and I are native Floridians and we like to enjoy our state as much as anyone else,however,so many times in the larger touristy areas we have not been pleased with the customer service we've received.Howard Johnson plaza is now one of our favorite get away places.Every time we experience the pleasure of staying in this hotel we are reminded that the staff and management appreciate our business.because of the wonderful service we only stay at this hotel when we are in Tampa

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoleyT, General Manager at The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk, responded to this review, February 24, 2012
Thank you for sharing your stay at the Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown-Tampa on TripAdvisor. It is our goal to provide the best costumer service to all our guests and is appreciated to be recognized. On behalf of the entire Howard Johnson Plaza staff we Thank You for your patronage and look forward to exceeding all expectations when you and your family come and enjoy future trips to beautiful Downtown-Tampa.

Sincerely,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
(813)223-1351
tfoley@tampahjp.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk

Address: 111 W Fortune Street, 275N Ex-44 I-4/275S Ex-45A, Tampa, FL 33602 (Formerly Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Tampa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Green Hotel in Tampa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk 3*
Number of rooms: 312
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk is located adjacent to the David A Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and the beautiful Hillsborough River. The hotel is approximately 1 mile from the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa Bay Historic Center, Tampa Bay Times Forum, Channelside Dining and Entertainment Complex, and the Port of Tampa Cruise Terminals. The Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown offers a complimentary on-demand shuttle service from 7am until 10pm, 7 days a week. Popular Attractions include Channelside Dining and Entertainment Complex, The Florida Aquarium, and Historic Ybor City. Hotel Amenities Include:- All Non-Smoking Rooms- Onsite Restaurant, WaterWorks Bar & Grill, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.- Free Wireless High Speed Internet Access- Free Local Calls- Business Center- Outdoor Swimming Pool- Onsite Fitness Center- Complimentary Shuttle Service within 2 miles - Tampa International Airport is only six miles from the Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown Hotel Tampa
Tampa Howard Johnson
Howard Johnson Tampa

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