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“Dirtiest hotel I've ever seen” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Howard Johnson Express Inn - Tampa North/Busch Gardens

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Howard Johnson Express Inn - Tampa North/Busch Gardens
2.0 of 5 Motel   |   720 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33612   |  
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Ranked #132 of 159 Hotels in Tampa
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Dirtiest hotel I've ever seen”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2012

I stayed there with my family because it was really close to Busch Gardens. The rooms were very dirty, the carpet could not have more stains and dirt. Same for the bed covers. The toilet in my room was falling off the wall. The bathtub was NOT white, more like brown. Honestly I find hard to believe someone EVER enjoyed themselves there. I was glad to leave and NEVER come back. It's worth driving to a further hotel. I'll never stay there again. I was the one that booked it and I apologized to everyone for making them go thru one night there. Really disgusting.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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101 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    4
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    20
    13
    54
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
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English first
Spartanburg
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012 via mobile

Decent. Overall ok. Near Busch Gardens if your going thru.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Ormond Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2011

Rented a room because it was nearby Busch Gardens and we were attending Howl O Scream and didn't want to drive back to the East coast late at night. Upon entering, the gentleman at the front desk was nice. Our room was on the second floor, and we found it to be adequate upon first look.....we only had a few moments to change and head back out the door to get to our event. When we got back to the HJE around midnight, we were tired and not in the mood to deal with the things we suddenly had to upon re-entering our room. My friend decided to inspect the bed more closely (we laughed about searching for bedbugs) and the suddenly the laughter stopped when we located a bag of TRASH someone had stuffed up under the mattress. So being totally creeped at out at that moment, I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and found hair on the floor of the bathroom - not mine and not my friends - little black curly hairs and they were EVERYWHERE. I ran out of the bathroom only to find my friend, who had pulled back the nightstand that was in between the beds standing there aghast with horror at the site of many, and I do mean many, dead cockroach carcasses. About that time, a German cockroach came OUT of the alarm clock on the nightstand (we must have disturbed them) because following it was a small army of BABY GERMAN COCKROACHES. I grabbed the room key and marched down to the front desk and demanded to be moved. Would have liked to have left but it was late and we were so tired. Moved to a different room, no roaches to be seen but the room still lacked that "clean" feel. Beds were actually quite comfy (maybe we were just REALLy tired) but upon showering we found there to be ZERO water pressure, and I don't know about you but I can't stand to take a shower with no water pressure. Might as well throw the tap water at me from the sink. We checked out promptly after waking and when the nice lady (she really was nice) asked how our stay was, I told her "not good" and she did nothing to correct the problems, other than to say "oh, I'm sorry. Have a nice day!" Needless to say. i will NEVER be going back there again. In fact the entire area around Busch Gardens loding wise is not good as last year's motel wasn't that great either, but was a 5-star compared to this one. Run away from this one.

Room Tip: READ THE REVIEWS. I didn't beforehand and I wish I had!
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Miami, FL
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2011

Our family just needed a simple, clean room for 2 nights as we were headed to Busch Gardens for a few days. We arrived at 11pm at night and were immediately put off by the location - right on the highway with a high fence around the parking lot, which was adjacent to a Pawn shop, storage facility and a brightly lit gas station. It looked like prison. Had it not been so late on a busy weekend, and had we not had sleeping children, we would have gone elsewhere immediately. Even though we had a non-smoking room, you could smell smoke everywhere - in the halls, outside the doors, even in the rooms. Loud A/C units in the halls and rooms made it worse, and the tiled hallway did not help the noise level. The room was short on pillows and when we called the front desk to ask for more, he said they did not have any. Bathroom had no hot water - barely even lukewarm - and there was a musty smell. Horrified, I immediately called Wyndham, as I had used hotel award points to book our stay. Despite telling them that it less like an "award" and more like "punishment", the Wyndham rep never really apologized (saying "I'm sorry you are having a problem" without actually offering a solution to the problem is just aggravating), nor did they refund my used points. As a meeting planner I see a LOT of hotels, and I certainly did not expect this to be a 4 star property, but never will I recommend a Howard Johnson Express to anyone. Ever.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2011

I just recently stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks and it was just wonderful ,the price was excellent ,the staff very friendly and helpful ,the hotel is well maintained the grounds well kept .Two weeks visiting from New York i didn't know what to expect but i was able to enjoy my stay .Housekeeping i must say thanks to the two ladies who kept my room clean with fresh bed linens and well supplied with towels and whatever i needed .The breakfast was good basically the same thing every day but from 7am - 10 am what more can you asked for ?I would stay at the Howard Johnson on Fowler ave again next time i'm in Tampa .I was not driving but you need to have transportation to get around .

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Fort Stewart, Georgia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2011

First i have to say the service was excellent, the staff was always friends and helpfull and speedy checkin and out. But the carpets in the room were gross! Stains covered the floor and didnt look like it was cleaned in a long time. a good shampooing is needed. The beds were awful but we did notice they were replacing the beds in several rooms. we asked if they were going to get to our room soon and they said they dont know till that day what rooms they are doing so i m not sure if they are doing all or just a few everynow and then. But the new beds looked really comfortable, pillow tops! So if your lucky to get one of those your good! Only other thing is location, its really close to everything we wanted to do and only 30-45 mins from the beach but its on a street where when u come off the highway you have to do u turns. It just annoys me but nothing they can really do about that so i gave it a 4. The price is fair compared to other places. Not the best rooms but bareable to get a better price. Came with micro and fridge too. Swimming pool is clean, we were told we could stay past 10 when it closes if we are quiet which was nice too. When we first arrived there was an awful smell in the hallways and i couldnt put my finger on what it was but it was gross. Luckly it went away by that night. The breakfast was basic cereals, bagels, danishs and toast. with coffe and milk. U cant drive more then 5 mins without seeing a Dunkin Doughnuts so thats an option too! If u can over look the carpets for the amount of money u save i would recommand it.

Room Tip: 2nd floor has balcony, 1st has window only
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lawrencevile, GA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2011

Oh my God!!! We made reservations a few weeks in advance. When we pulled up to this place, prostitutes with their pimps were literally everywhere around this place! We were so tired from driving, we decided to stay at least one night and bear it...BIG mistake! The no-smoking room wreaked of cigarette and canibus smoke (as did the hallways). The bathtub literally had no finish left on it. The sheets were stained with, well we won't go there. The swimming pool had a sheet of oil? on the surface and looked liked it hadn't been cleaned in months. People were hollering and screaming and slamming doors (and this was at 6:00 pm on a Friday!). We stayed the one night and high-tailed it out of there first thing the next morning after a heated argument with the desk clerk to refund our funds for the reamaining stay. We ended up the the Holiday Inn which was a blessing in disguise (highly recommend). HoJo is a NoGo for us!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Express Inn - Tampa North/Busch Gardens

Address: 720 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33612
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Tampa
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #132 of 159 Hotels in Tampa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Howard Johnson Express Inn - Tampa North/Busch Gardens 2*
Number of rooms: 68
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Express Inn - Tampa North/Busch Gardens Hotel Tampa
Howard Johnson Tampa
Tampa Howard Johnson

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