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“Very nice hotel in downtown Tampa, Fl” 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
Summerfield, Florida, United States
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Very nice hotel in downtown Tampa, Fl”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We have stayed at this hotel many times when we were going on a cruise out of the cruise port in Tampa. The rooms are nice and you can walk to several restaurants in down town Tampa. It is a safe place near the performing art building and has plenty of free parking.

Room Tip: It used to be very reasonable, but the last time we booked a room, the price went up considerably.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Larry C, General Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, responded to this review, May 20, 2014
We really appreciate you taking the time to provide us with feedback regarding your stay here at the Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown Tampa. I am glad that you enjoyed your visit. It is always nice to hear that we have met the expectations of our valued guests. With the goal of delivering outstanding service to every guest everyday, we are pleased to receive feedback such as yours.
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422 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (41)
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English first
Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

I booked this room 6 months in advance through the Howard Johnson website with a rate that included free parking and a continental breakfast. Upon arriving to the hotel, check-in was delayed due to many people checking in at the same time. The lobby was updated and looked good. Most of the front desk staff were friendly and courteous, except for one member who I interacted with twice. During check-in, I was told that parking was not included in the rate (I had booked a ship & shore package that included parking, but was not asked if I was cruising, they just assumed I wasn't. When I booked the rate, it did not say that it was ONLY for people cruising, but I could understand that since I wasn't cruising, then it might not apply. Hey, I was being honest! So that was an unexpected $8 per night.) I also let them know that I was bringing my dog (a 10lb poodle) to which the unfriendly clerk asked me, "You know there's a $75 charge for the dog's stay, right?" Yes, I knew from looking at their website though I thought that was a bit exorbitant (especially for the condition of the property). Once checked-in, we made our way to our room on the 9th floor. The elevator ride was precarious (serious maintenance is needed as they sounded like they would either plummet or just stop working...all 3 of them!) but the elevator did work. Once in the room, we immediately noticed a pizza restaurant flyer under the door. This turned out to be a daily occurrence with anywhere between 1 and 3 menus popping in randomly. A quick inspection of the room found the furniture to be fine, but the tv was outdated: no RCA jacks, channel selection was limited, the channel guide was inaccurate, reception was snowy; the ceiling had water damage in the tiles as well as the drapes nearby, the coffeemaker’s reservoir had a plastic chunk sitting in it and wouldn’t close properly, the ice bucket didn’t have a liner, the bathroom fixtures were old and in need of either replacement or deep cleaning (rust in the shower, water stains in the sink). I will say, that the air conditioning worked EXTREMELY well, which was a vast relief in the central Florida mid-summer's heat. The bed was comfortable and the linens were clean (bedspreads being the exception...it felt dirty so we didn't use it). The hallways were dank (my husband said they reminded him of a locker room). The rate said that a continental breakfast was included, which was inaccurate, as the restaurant didn't seem to be open during the morning hours.
I mention the ice bucket liner because I went downstairs and asked the clerk (the unfriendly one was the only one up there, unfortunately) for a liner, to which she curtly said that she didn’t have any down there, then rummages through cabinets before saying “oh wait, here’s one”, then proceeds to hand me a garbage can liner. When I point out that it’s for a garbage can (way too big), she hesitantly asks, “Do you want me to have one sent up?” Sensing that this would be too much to ask, I passed. This clerk was the only one who was consistently unpleasant. The daytime front desk manager (her name escapes me, unfortunately) along with the rest of the staff were very pleasant and the bright spot of an otherwise dour experience.
The stay was rather uneventful, except for the fact that the room keys suddenly stopped working on the second day. A quick trip to the front desk yielded another nice staffer who pleasantly assisted me with this problem. The room was at the end of the hall and relatively quiet, though you could hear all of the doors slam in the morning. Wi-fi was fine, when the hotel was empty. In the evenings when the guests were back (most turned out to be people taking the bar exam), the connectivity was virtually non-existent. It clearly isn’t capable of handling that many people utilizing bandwidth. Check-out wasn't too problematic, except for the bill. The $75 pet fee accidentally got charged 3 times, but again, the desk staff assisted with this matter. While reconciling my hotel bill to my credit card, though, I found that there was an inaccurate charge (the entire bill including the extra $150 pet fee, though I was told I wasn't charged), a credit for the charge, a charge for the correct amount, but a remaining charge that is still pending days later (perhaps it's a hold that I wasn't aware of and will be released soon?). Finally, it is worth mentioning that I was told by the staff that come the fall, the vast majority of the hotel will be used as a dormitory for nearby UT students. This would definitely prevent me from staying again, as my college dorm days are not something I'd like to relive anytime soon! It might be a little more expensive or time consuming, but I would definitely stay elsewhere.

Room Tip: Ask for a room as close to the top as possible, with a city view.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, August 8, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your previous experience at the Howard Johnson Plaza Downtown-Tampa. I apologize that your stay was less than satisfactory. We are currently undergoing renovations to improve our hotel rooms and select common areas. As we continue to make beautifications through out the interior of the hotel I have taken note by your experience that we will also be retraining the staff. We look forward to your future return when renovations are complete. Please feel free to contact me directly for any further assistance.

Sincerley,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
(813)223-1351 ext 3102
tfoley@tampahjp.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

Our AFL recently traveled to Tampa for a game, and the accommodations at this hotel were above expectations. The staff were all courteous and beyond helpful with any and all needs we had.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Wyndham Hotel Group

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 Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, 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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DeLand, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

While my husband was having surgery at Tampa General, I lodged at HJP. I was skeptical after reading some of these reviews, but the price was good so I took a chance. And I am so glad I did! My 14th floor room was perfect. Beautiful view of Tampa Bay and the city lights. It was very clean and new and stylish. Great amenities. Staff was great, restaurant and lounge good. The hotel was being renovated but the construction was not outright visible to the guests. Thank you, HJP, for making a trying medical situation more pleasurable for me when I would return to my room in the evenings.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 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.
, Assistant General Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, responded to this review, July 7, 2012
Thank you for providing your kind comments regarding our Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown hotel. We love it when our guests share their experiences after enjoying their stay with us. I am personally glad to hear that you enjoyed your 14th floor room. We are doing some construction in the hotel but it is mostly behind the scenes and very little construction can be seen by our guests. We are in the process of upgrading our fitness center and guest laundry to be more accommodating to our guests. We hope to see you again soon after the renovations are complete.

Sincerely,
Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
(813) 223-1351 x 3102
tfoley@tampahjp.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Paltz, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

HoJo Plaza Tampa is a fabulous find! It is right next to Tampa Performing Arts Center. Free Shuttle to area attractions like Tibor City and MOSI. Everything is close and you can enjoy culture , science and great food from HoJo Plaza Tampa.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 4 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.
, Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown, responded to this review, July 3, 2012
Thank you for writing a review for our hotel. We are very glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us at the Howard Johnson Plaza Tampa-Downtown. We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.

Sincerely,

Tracy Foley
Assistant General Manager
TFoley@tampahjp.com
(813) 223-1351 X 3102
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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
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, 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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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
29 helpful votes 29 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
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:
#16 Green Hotel in Tampa
#88 Spa Hotel in Tampa
#88 Luxury 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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