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Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls
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2,313 - 2,318 of 2,675 reviews
Reviewed July 21, 2012

Enjoyed a 4 night stay, 3 couples in 3 rooms. All 6 of us were very happy with the whole experience. Kevin checked us in and was friendly as were all other front desk staff we spoke to.

Room was super clean. The loudness of the air conditioner bothered my husband a little bit, but I didn't mind, at least it worked! We stayed at a different, more expensive hotel in Niagara falls last year and the room never cooled down.

Bed was comfy! Tv was fuzzy but as others have said, there's alot more to do then watch tv.
Everything is in walking distance so there is always something to do.
Pool was actually nicer than expensive hotel we stayed at last year. My only complaint there is the adult swim time. Should be longer and the time should be enforced. There were still children in the pool one night at 10:30 pm. I do understand this is a family friendly motel but 10 - 11 just isn't enough.

The rooms were very quiet. We were on the third floor in the Superior Whirlpool/Fireplace Suite. We never heard a sound from outside or in the hallways.

House keeping and maintence staff were all very friendly always greeting us with a hello and a smile.
We would stay here again for sure. Thanks HOJO!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jean L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HJ Manager, General Manager at Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2012

Thank you for the compliments. I am pleased that the staff provided you with a positive stay. I am sorry that the pool issue caused you any stress, we will endeavour to patrol it better and I will gladly pass on your suggestions to my superiors. Thank you for your patronage of Howard Johnson.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

Detailed review follows Summary.

SUMMARY: HoJo by the Falls is a good value hotel with decent quality and close proximity to attractions and restaurants. The staff are very friendly and helpful and there's plenty of parking. The hotel appeared to be mainly be used by families and the hallway noise was almost non-existent. We had trouble accessing the free wifi from our room and had to go in the hall. The pool area is a good amenity but it needs some fixing up. Definitely worth the price if you're getting the room for under $100.

DETAILED: Stayed from July 2 to 5, 2012 (three nights). Family vacation with a ten year old.

Location - On Victoria Ave which is easy to find and access from the QEW (the main highway that runs through Niagara Falls) as you exit on to Stanley Ave and then turn on to Ferry which turns in to Victoria. You can also easily reach Lundy's Lane as Victoria turns in to Ferry and Ferry turns in to Lundy's Lane without making a single turn (Lundy's Lane is great if you want to save some money on food as most restaurants within the falls area have inflated prices). The hotel itself is in a great location because it's steps from Clifton Hill (where most of the attractions are) but you don't have as much pedestrian and vehicle traffic in front of the hotel. You can also easily reach Marineland by way of Stanley Ave. The falls and Fallsview Casino are reachable by vehicle (if you want to pay for parking) or by foot (if you don't mind the walk) but you'd be better off purchasing a pass on the people-mover (a bus that runs along the Niagara river to various parks attractions like Maid of the Mist and Journey Behind the Falls - free with purchase of the Adventure Pass).

Proximity - The hotel is conveniently located within an area of concentrated attractions, shops, and restaurants without the hassle of being right on Clifton Hill with all of the traffic and noise.

In terms of attractions, there's a haunted house attraction directly across the street and the Greg Frewin magic show is just behind the property but the majority of attractions are accessibe from Clifton Hill, which is only a short walk from the hotel (three minutes). From the base of Clifton Hill there's Maid of the Mist and a people-mover stop which allows you access to the other parks attractions like Journey Behind the Falls (if you purchase a pass). At the base of Clifton Hill is also Bird Kingdom and the Hershey Store. From Clifton Hill you can reach the Fallsview Waterpark. The Horse-shoe falls themselves are a good walk from the base of Clifton Hill (which is why the people-mover is so great) but the American falls and Bridal Vale falls are right across the river from the base of Clifton Hill.

Souvenir shops are scattered everywhere along the streets. You find much in terms of supplies but you can take a short drive up to Lundy's Lane.

Proximity to restaurants, however, is what makes this hotel's proximity so great. The lobby contains a KFC, Pizza Hut, and Baskin Robins; there's a Denny's across the parking lot; across the street is TGIFs, Outback, The Keg; there are several restaurants along the street like Golden Griddle, Montana's, Love Boat, and Subway; Clifton Hill is only a short walk away and there you can find Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Wendys, Burger King, Pizza Pizza, Kelseys, Boston Pizza, Ruby Tuesdays, Rainforeset Cafe, Dairy Queen, and so much more; plus near Clifton Hill is an Applebees and Perkins and at the other end there's a Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood. All of the above restaurants are in the falls area so that means the prices are inflated - it's even worse if you eat by the Fallsview Casino - but you can save some money by driving up to Lundy's Lane (only a few minutes drive) where there's plenty of restaurants and stores.

Hotel Quality - The hotel exterior isn't fancy by any means but it doesn't show its age as other hotels in the area do. The parking costs $9 per day and the lot is spacious above ground but there's a limited number of spaces below ground. There's a $5 parking lot behind the hotel but I'm not sure if they allow overnight parking. The lobby is nice and offers a comfortable area to sit, a computer to use the internet, washrooms, and a conceirge desk with pamphlets for local attractions (you can actually purchase some tickets, like the Adventure Pass from the front desk). Interestingly, the lobby was very well air conditioned but the rest of the hotel halls weren't. The decor is nice and in good condition. There are two elevators - the one from the lobby is larger than the rear elevator. The pool is a good amenity, especially since there is both an indoor and outdoor pool and they are connected. The swimming pool itself does not have a deep end (only 1.3 metres at its deepest). Some of the tiles in the pool have some sort of caulking or mineral growth from the chemicals - regardless, it's an eyesore. The hot tub is good. When we first arrived late in the afternoon we noticed the foam build-up that others described but it's not always like that - it likely depends on the amount of constant use. The foam build-up is likely the result of a chemical imbalance or perhaps because of the bar infront of the skimmer blocking the foam from entering the skimmer (a grate would be better suited). It's really not that big of a deal. There's also a dry sauna that works well and plenty of seating. The slide on the pool is not as great as you would think and can only be used by people under 90 lbs - but its better than no slide, I suppose. The fitness room and arcade are as you would expect to find in a value hotel.

Room Quality - The room we stayed in was a two queen bedroom on the North side of the building on the sixth floor. The room itself was a decent size - I didn't notice a smell as others have described. The bathroom was large and in good condition aside from some paint peeling on the ceiling. It wouldn't surprise me if the smell others described is from the shower's steam as the vent didn't expel air very well so unless you want the mirror to fog up you have to leave the bathroom door open which exposes the room to moisture. The beds were comfy and there were plenty of sheets and pillows in good condition. The air control isn't precise but worked well, except you had the option of low air conditioning and high air conditioning - both of which were too cold for extended periods. The temperature dial was broken on our unit. This wasn't a big deal though given how hot it was outside during our stay. The TV was a tube unit and the channel selection was extremely poor (and at least on our TV most of the channels were poor quality reception) but this is Niagara Falls so hopefully you're not spending a lot of time watching TV. My main complaint about the room was that I couldn't access the free wifi on any of our devices as the signal was too weak. I had to go out in to the hallway. This was a big inconvenience for me. The only other real complaint I had about the room was that you could faintly hear the horror music from the haunted house across the street even though we were toward the back of the hotel. But that didn't disrupt my sleep at all.

Service - We only had three interactions with the staff. The first was when we checked-in and were assisted by Brendan. He was extremely helpful - we had called around noon to ask about early check-in and although the earliest he could offer the check-in was 2:30 pm he suggested we drop off the car, get our parking pass, and walk around until the check-in time. We've been to Niagara Falls before and stayed at other hotels where they wouldn't allow us to drop off the car early or check-in early. On top of that, Brendan was very nice and helpful. The next day we spoke with another employee and she assisted us in getting our Adventure Pass vouchers - she never mentioned the price but aside from that was very helpful. The check-out experience was quick and again the staff were very friendly.

OVERALL: Overall, the room is good for the price and if you're expecting better quality than you should stay at a different hotel and be willing to pay more for that quality. What you're actually paying for is the location which makes this hotel a great value for families. We paid $93 per night plus $9 for parking per night. That is a good rate in Niagara Falls, especially in the Clifton Hill area. Other nearby hotels offer similar rates but there are many other considerations to trade-off, like the amount of noise pollution. I would stay here again but I may hesitate due to the difficulty I had connecting to the wifi.

TIPS:

The Outback restaurant across the street was fantastic. We had dinner there one night and we all found the food to be excellent and worth the price (best side dishes I've ever had, especially the mashed potatoes). During our dinner we learned that the restaurant had just started serving a breakfast buffet for $6.99. The breakfast buffet was also great in quality and I certainly recommend you visit for breakfast. They serve bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns (tater tots style), pancakes, waffles, french toast dippers, and toast, as well as small donuts and fruit salad. I will caution however that since this is a new venture I cannot guarantee it will be the same price or quality we experienced. On the second day that we attended the buffet breakfast they tried to charge us for water until we complained - it could've just been the waitress's mistake or attempt to run up the bill. Montanna's down the street also offers a breakfast buffet for the same price and I would guess it is just as good.

If you plan on going on the Maid of the Mist and taking the Journey Behind the Falls then get the Adventure Pass. You can purchase the Adventure Pass from the front desk of the hotel (you just get the voucher and still have to go to the welcome centre to redeem) or any of the welcome centers (there's one at the base of Clifton Hill). With the pass you get White Water Walk (boring but it is rare to see a class 6 rapids), Maid of the Mist, Journey Behind the Falls, and Niagara Fury 4D water ride, as well as two days use of the people-mover. We did all of these within 3.5 hours one morning (definitely do this first thing in the morning to avoid lines and waiting in the heat). You can also use the people-mover to take you to the Fallsview Casino (or at least close enough that you can reach it with a short uphill walk).

Don't buy attraction tickets online as they are cheaper to purchase in person. We found that this applied to the Ripleys attractions, Clifton Hill's Movieland/Dino Golf/Skywheel, the Adventure Pass, and Marine Land.

Check out the Greg Frewin magic show. It is appropriate for young kids (our ten year old loved it) and it makes for a very fun evening activity.

Rather than going down to the river to view the fireworks you can see them from some hotel rooms (if you can see the Skylon tower you can see the fireworks) and the parking lot.

Room Tip: Don't settle for the Denny's next door for breakfast - venture out to the various buffets like Outback, Golden Griddle, and Montannas which are also cheaper than ordering meals at Denny's.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank B-l-a-i-r_82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HJ Manager, General Manager at Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2012

Thank you for the extensive and definitive review of your stay. We are pleased to hear that your overall stay was a pleasant one. We appreciate your comments and hope that we may be of service again on your next trip to the Falls.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

Close to all the attractions yet somehow peaceful with little noise disruption.
Heart shaped jaccuzzi in our room added to our pleasure, it was slightly noisey but noone seemed to mind and was a really nice touch, plus unlike other hotels once the toiletries were depleated they were restocked.
Ice machines and vending machines are located on alternating floorsand for those wanting something more substantial there are restaurants linked to the hotel or extremely close by.
Staff friendly and welcoming even when we were late checking in (11.30pm) they still had a smile for us.

A great hotel, worth the money and would recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HJ Manager, General Manager at Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2012

It is a pleasure to hear that we were able to provide a positive and memorable experience for you. Thank you for the compliments of the staff. We look forward to the opportunity to have you as our guest again soon.

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Reviewed July 4, 2012

My husband and I are in our late 50s and wanted to get away for a couple of days. I chose this hotel because a friend recommended it, the location, price, and the fact that there was an outdoor pool. I read all the reviews, looked at the pictures, and thought although it was older, it looked okay. I didn't take the negative reviews too seriously because you can never please everybody. Because of the reasonable internet rate I booked a room with balcony for 3 nights.
Check-in was quick, and we had no problem finding a parking spot. Upon entering the room my first impression was that the decor was old, but the room and bed linens were clean. The bathroom was good, the tub looked fairly new. Again nothing fancy, but it was functional and clean. The balcony was very small, just enough for two chairs. We were on the 6th floor which was great for people watching, and although we couldn't see the falls, there was still a good view. It was an easy walk to Clifton Hill, and there was no shortage of restaraunts and souvenir shops close by. The pool was small, and yes there was a strong chlorine smell, but no stronger than any other hotel pool. The water looked clean, but while in the pool I got someone's hair tangled around my fingers a few times which kind of turned me off. While in our room for the evening we could hear music from across the street, not overly loud, but very repetetive and annoying. The more time I spent in the room, the less I liked it. I didn't feel comfortable walking on the carpet in bare feet, so I had shoes on the whole time, the air conditioning unit was loud, but the worst thing of all was the bed itself. It was hard as a rock. Just a mattress on a thin piece of plywood. We struggled to get a couple hours sleep, and around 3 a.m. my husband got up and said he just couldn't stay in bed any longer. We are not picky people at all, and are willing to overlook the little things, but there were too many negatives for us, and the hard bed was the final straw. My husband wanted to go home! I went down to the front desk in the morning and asked if we might only pay for the one night, because we were leaving early, but was told I had to pay for all 3 nights regardless. I knew their policy, but figured it was worth a shot. I managed to convince my husband to stay another night at a better hotel, which was very nice, so our holiday wasn't a total loss. In conclusion, I have to say we were very disappointed with our room. It is well worth the extra money to stay in a better hotel, which we will do the next time.

  • Stayed: July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank arolm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HJ Manager, General Manager at Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to make us aware of your concerns regarding your recent stay. I am sorry that we were not able to meet your expectations. We do get many positive comments about the balcony rooms and they were renovated within the last two years. If there was a problem and we are made aware of the issue we do our best to rectify the problem as we want you to have a positive experience. I do apologize that we could not overcome the issues you had difficulty with. Thank you for bringing your points to our attention.

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Reviewed June 27, 2012

Check in was easy. We have five in the family and it is hard to find hotels for that number. We had a great, updated room with two queens and a sofa bed. We fit easily. We were in walking distance to most of the attractions.
The staff was responsive. Our shower was draining slow and they fixed that day.
The room was quiet, we could not hear anyone else. The AC was done the right way, the fan can stay on all the time instead of having the unit kick on and off in the middle of the night.
The only negative is the shower is a strange one piece unit that is a little cramped.
If we ever come back, we would not hesitate to re-book.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank machinetool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded June 28, 2012

Thank you for the kind compliments. We are always happy to hear that we have provided a positive impression for our guests. We hope that you will come back and visit soon as we would be pleased to have you as our guests on your next trip to the Falls. Thank you for choosing Howard Johnson.

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