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“Worst Hotel Ever!” 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 #128 of 159 Hotels in Tampa
Miami
1 review
“Worst Hotel Ever!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

Upon entering at the check in spot, the front desk area was dank and smelly. I looked over to see where the so called breakfast spot was and it was a couple of rinky dink wooden tables that would not have fit even our family of 5 comfortably let alone if other travelers came in. With all that being said, I still tried to give it a chance figuring the rooms would be more up to par. The hotel hallways smelled of smoke and mildew. There was running water spots at different areas of the rug. Upon entering our room, I realized that we could not stay at this hotel. There were roaches running around on the desks, it was very disgusting. I requested a smoke free room but the whole hotel smells of smoke and mildew. This is not a hotel to bring your family to stay for even one night. After checking out the room I immediately called another hotel to make a reservation to stay and let the front desk manager know that we could not spend one night here, he did not ask me any questions about why I wanted leave or anything, he just proceeded to refund me my money as if he already knew what my issues were. This reminded me of one of those seedy hotels you see on tv that people go to for one night stands. I was very disappointed in this hotel because I've stayed at Howard Johnson hotels before and this hotel is not on its level in any way. I do not recommend this particular Howard Johnson Hotel at all!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Wyndham Hotel Group

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85 reviews from our community

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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
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Perrysburg, OH
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
145 hotel reviews
Reviews in 121 cities Reviews in 121 cities
302 helpful votes 302 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

This is one of the nicer places I have stayed for such a low Priceline rate as I got. The room was large and comfortable with a huge bed, TV and microwave, and excellent bathroom amenities (nice soap, and conditioner!). The carpet was very old and needed replacing though. Pool area looked excellent--you could really do laps in that pool. The hallways seem kind of grungy and ugly though. Breakfast selection was horrible--no fruit or anything healthy. Check in staff (at 1:00 a.m.) was incredibly sweet and pleasant, really made me feel at home (Raven B. was the woman's name who checked me in) and they let me have a late checkout since I got in so late. Location of motel is good, convenient with 7-11 right across the street.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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.
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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Ormond Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 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
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 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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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#128 Spa Hotel in Tampa
#128 On the Beach Hotel in Tampa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Howard Johnson Express Inn - Tampa North/Busch Gardens 2*
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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