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“Cruising out of Tampa...here is a good cruise port hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown

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Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   111 W Fortune Street, 275N Ex-44 I-4/275S Ex-45A, Tampa, FL 33602   |  
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Ranked #88 of 159 hotels in Tampa
GreenLeadersBronze level
Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Cruising out of Tampa...here is a good cruise port hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

Western Caribbean cruise on Carnival Legend (4-11 March 2012)....we drove north from our condo in Sarasota....we wanted to find a hotel for 1 night where we could leave our car (for free) for the duration of the cruise (7 days) and offering a free two-way shuttle to the Port of Tampa:

We chose the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown....and it was a good choice !

Reasonable rate ( just over $105)
Just off I-275
Only minutes away from Tampa International Airport
Right near a beautiful river (good view)
Quiet neighbourhood with no traffic noise
Decent hotel with clean lobby and rooms(...but no free continental breakfast..)
Just minutes away from Port of Tampa
Excellent shuttle to Cruise Port (but had to wait 2 hours at end of cruise to return to hotel...next time we will take a taxi instead of the return shuttel)

We will return to this hotel the next time we cruise out of Tampa.

Room Tip: higher floor rooms facing river have a better view book through Stay 123 to get a better price din...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FoleyT, Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, responded to this review, June 20, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent stay with us. Your positive review is greatly appreciated and I would like to apologize for the shuttle wait time back to the hotel from your cruise. Normally the time it takes to get back to the hotel is much shorter and I apologize you waited two hours. Myself and the entire staff here at the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown look forward to seeing again in the near future.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (46)
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2012

** I love to travel and I make sure to provide feedback to fellow travelers. I hope this review is helpful for other travelers and to the hotel management. ** Let me start my review with a few good things regarding this hotel, the complimentary shuttle, the decent housekeeping, and the renovated lobby/elevators. All else fails. ** I emailed the hotel for simple requests approximately 3 days prior to arrival and I did not receive a reply. The email address was stated on their official website (rmarkko@tampahjp.com). ** The rooms and bathrooms are old and needs remodeling including beds, TV, and furniture. The swimming pool is also old. The exercise room was not available due to renovations. ** College kids are noisy, slamming doors, and conversing loudly. They occupy some of the rooms in the hotel which prompted me to report this unacceptable behavior to hotel management. I was offered to move to a different room. Why should I move to a different room if I was not at fault? It should be the college kids who needed to be transferred. After being warned by hotel management, the college kids calmed down. ** Another annoying thing which hotel management allows is the constant bombardment of food menus from area pizza and delivery establishments slipped underneath your room door. Is this a hotel or a motel? ** My Priceline package stated "Free Breakfast" as a hotel freebie as indicated on my trip receipt. To my surprise, breakfast was not free. I will pursue an investigation regarding this matter. The breakfast buffet costs approx. $10. For convenience, it is ok but if you have a lot of time, go somewhere else. It is nothing special. Moreover, the breakfast which I charged to my room for two mornings (via credit card) was indicated as "Lunch" on day 1 and "Waterworks Bar and Gri" and nowhere did it indicate "Breakfast" on the summary of charges which seemed very odd. Clearly, I ate breakfast at 7:02 am and 7:12 am as evidenced/printed in the receipts which I requested from the front desk supervisor on the day of my departure. How can this be lunch if I ate my meals on those hours? It doesn't make sense. There was no specific, clear reason/clarification why this has happened. I intend to report this to Priceline to which I have booked the vacation package. Overall, my stay was not relaxing. This is one of the worst hotels I have ever stayed in. If you intend to stay for a conference, consider staying somewhere else and pay more for quality service and amenities. The convention center is approximately 1 mile away from this hotel. I do not recommend this hotel. Choose wisely.

Room Tip: If you decide to stay here for whatever reason, make sure to request a room far away from the colleg...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, responded to this review, June 13, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your previous stay at the Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown-Tampa on TripAdvisor. We apologize that your visit was not the standard we strive to uphold. As you mentioned we are in the process of renovations in select areas threw out the hotel and apologize for the inconvenience this has caused during your stay. **I also would like to bring to attention that WE DO NOT promote any fliers that surrounding restaurants slide under the doors of our guest rooms in the hotel, this is a battle that the City of Tampa police department and hoteliers are all fighting to have stopped. **Regarding the restaurant and the third party website I am very sorry that the information that was sent to you was not accurate and we are contacting Priceline to have resolved. **We currently do not have any University of Tampa Students stay at the Howard Johnson Plaza and again I apologize to you that the room surrounding you was loud that evening and never meant to inconvenience you any further buy asking if you if you would like to move rooms. On behave of the entire Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown-Tampa I deeply apologize for your stay and would like to speak further with you at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
(813)223-1351 ext 3102
tfoley@tampahjp.com
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Clermont, Florida
Top Contributor
538 reviews 538 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 150 cities Reviews in 150 cities
170 helpful votes 170 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2012 via mobile

Location is great and the place is nice but not really nice. They have done about all they can do to make this place worth staying at short of beginning again. The pillows were way too small and the AC has the humidity way too high. The conference room was great and the staff friendly and efficient. Eight dollars a night to park in an unprotected lot seemed off .

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
FoleyT, General Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, responded to this review, June 13, 2012
Thank you for writing your review of the Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown-Tampa on TripAdvisor. We are grateful to hear how efficient the staff and our location to the Convention Center were for you during your stay. We hope to see you the next time you are Tampa to see the new renovations that are currently being done throughout the property. We look forward to seeing you again.

Sincerely,

Tracy Foley
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2012

Stayed there for one night in May 2012 and was very happy with the customer service provided.

The front desk were very accommodating and polite.

What I really appreciated was the free Shuttle service they offer. Literally saved us about $100 dollars in the 2 days we were there. They dropped us off & picked us up at Channelside on Day 1, and then later dropped/picked me from Walmart.

The next day they dropped us off at the Pier to meet our Carnival ship.

The money saved on transport was more than the cost of the hotel.

Room Tip: The floors seem dirty but the rooms are very clean. Try to get a room facing the city center (not t...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
, Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, responded to this review, June 24, 2012
Thank you for you kind comments regarding the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown. Our shuttle is a great service for our guests that will take them anywhere they need to go within 2 miles of the hotel from 7am to 10pm. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed you stay with us and we hope to see you again in the near future.

Sincerely,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
(813) 223-1351 x 3102
tfoley@tampahjp.com
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Miami, Florida
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2012

I stayed here one night for an event in Ybor City. Location is centric and convenient, and I guess the prices are okay for the area, although no bargain for what it is. The hotel is quite outdated and my room was not clean. The carpet both in the hallway and in the rooms looked and smelled old. The carpet in my room had a lot of stains and the whole room smelled like dirty socks and very musty. I did not dare to take my socks off and walk on that carpet. The wall air conditioning unit also was old and a bit noisy, although bearable. The worst part was the toilet: it had a thick band of grime under the bowl rim (hard to see at first sight), like it hadn't been cleaned in years. Quite disgusting. I didn't have time to ask for cleaning or getting another room, so I had to put up with it. (Note to manager: do a good inspection of the toilet in room 729 to see what I mean.) Furthermore, the shower curtain rod was bent downward, causing the curtain to sag toward the middle of the rod and leaving openings on both sides - which in term got the whole bathroom floor wet no matter how careful I was when taking a shower. The bed covers smelled and were quite wrinkled, which tells me they had not been washed recently. The coffee maker was also dirty. I tried to get some hot water and the steam that came out smelled really bad, and then it stop working before I got any hot water. The lobby of the hotel had a renovation a few years ago, it seems, but the rest of the place is a dump.I'm amazed that this hotel has positive reviews - I guess I got stuck with the dirtiest room in the whole place?

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, responded to this review, May 20, 2012
Dear Tatatu,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review about your experiences at the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown. I am utterly disappointed and I apologize that we did not meet your expectations during your stay with our hotel. I am working closely with our housekeeping and maintenance departments to insure that these mistakes do not happen again with increased training and supervision. Again, thank you for staying with the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown and sharing your review of our hotel.

Sincerely,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
tfoley@tampahjp.com
813-223-1351 ext. 3102
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Savannah, Georgia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

We stayed at this hotel in February 2012 while leaving on a cruise the next day. Ask for the Ship and Shore Package (call the hotel directly to get this package). We stayed for $109 per night and they provided a FREE Shuttle to and from the cruise port. Also, they allowed us to leave our car there for NO CHARGE. At the port, you'll pay atleast $15 per DAY. So do the math, you're practically staying there for $50... They were prompt in picking us up when we called them once we got back (they provided us with a card with all contact information).

The hotel room was spacious and clean and the staff was very kind. I would recommend this hotel to any cruiser. Also, I think they will shuttle you to and from the airport for free as well.

We are returning to this same hotel on May 27th, 2012 and will be receiving the same package. I spoke with Carlos, who was a nice and helpful gentleman. He appreciated my business.

I look forward to my stay and my cruise with Carnival...... :)

  • 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
    • 4 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.
FoleyT, General Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Thank you for sharing your previous experience and excitement of your return to the Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown-Tampa on TripAdvisor. With our Ship to Shore package we do offer the free shuttle service to and from the Port of Tampa while you park your vehicle with us but we do not offer free Airport shuttles. Rowe Transportation does have shuttle service to and from the airport for a small fee.
We are looking forward to your upcoming arrival and hope you share your next experience as well on TripAdvisor.

Thank You,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

I was recently in town for a convention. When coming to the front of the building the main door was rattling as it slid along its track. The interior has pale lighting and a strange use of colors on the walls that just scream run down. I started to my room and a guest had to get out on the 3rd floor. Once the doors opened it was like a locker room had been closed off for 2 years and just opened complete with sweaty drawers and all. I have no idea what it was but the musty smell was enough to make a passenger cover their mouth to avoid throwing up on us. The room was standard not bad at all but nothing current. TV's are old and only have inputs via coax. The bathroom design has the toilet so close to the shower you have to step around it to get out. Did have a fridge and microwave in my room but other mates did not have that. The staff was pleasant and very helpful though. Answered all our questions and the hotel does provide free shuttle service.


Hojo decide are you a hotel or college dorm. I would prefer to stay at a place that was servicing the tourist industry/out of towners. I would not expect a 139.00/night room to be competing with a college dorm 4 floors below me.

Room Tip: Avoid the 3rd-6th floors and from what I gathered from the staff come school time next year ALL but...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
FoleyT, General Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, responded to this review, May 12, 2012
Thank you for sharing your experience at the Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown-Tampa on TripAdvisor. I apologize that your experience and impression of the Howard Johnson Plaza was less than satisfying.
As you have noticed we do have University of Tampa students stay with us under a current contract with the University and the floors you had mentioned 3rd-6th floors are only occupied with students. We do not rent out those rooms during the fall and spring semesters to our guests while they have the floors contracted.
Thank you for recognizing our staff and shuttle service in your review, it is our goal to provide the best service to each and every guest. We look forward to your return in the future as we continue to renovate.

Sincerely,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
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 Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown

Address: 111 W Fortune Street, 275N Ex-44 I-4/275S Ex-45A, Tampa, FL 33602
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 ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Green Hotel in Tampa
#88 Spa Hotel in Tampa
#88 On the Beach Hotel in Tampa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown 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 Gym Access at Lifestyle Family Fitness- Complimentary Shuttle Service within 2 milesTampa International Airport is only six miles from the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa ... 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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