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Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens
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Reviews (814)
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All reviewsolive gardenbusch gardensthe shuttle driverred lobsterfront desktaco bellpancake machinebush gardensfree shuttleadventure islandfree breakfastyogurtparking feewould stay here againbeds were very comfortablefamily vacationbreakfast staff
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426 - 431 of 814 reviews
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Checked in on Saturday afternoon to a clean hotel with a friendly staff. We were upgraded without asking to a suite at no extra charge. The breakfast was fabulous and the shuttle to Busch Gardens was too. We only waited about 10 minutes for the shuttle to come back from taking other guests and when we were dropped off we were given the driver's cell phone number to call him when we needed to be picked up. When we called he was there in less than 10 minutes. Thanks for a great stay! Would definitely recommend this hotel and stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank B T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Hello! You must be a Priority Club Member! One of the perks for being a Priority Club Platinum member with us is getting a free upgrade! Someone who travels and stays with Holiday Inn Express so much deserves a perk like that! We hope you get to come stay with us again soon. Hopefully it will be on vacation instead of for business!

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Reviewed April 1, 2013

OK the neighborhood is not that great but the hotel was great. The staff was excellent and helped me with transportation, restaurants and pizza delivery. Ask for the number for Five Star Pizza. Rooms were really clean with comfortable beds. The van to Busch Gardens may be a bit worn but it is free. Fast food in easy walking distance. If your main destination in Tampa is Busch Gardens this is the place to stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the elevators.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank rgtiedeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Hello, and thank you for your review! We are happy you chose to stay with us and take our free shuttle to Busch Gardens! Our shuttle is a workhorse for sure, and gets plenty of use. Rolando and Sam (our two shuttle drivers) are meticulous when it comes to keeping their chariot clean. Most days I can see them out there in between shuttle runs sweeping it out to get ready for the next group coming on board. We hope you get a chance to come see us again soon!

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Reviewed March 25, 2013

This was an average stay. Nothing bad happened. I received what was expected, such as a clean room. I do not give "Very Good" ratings for places for just being clean because that is like rewarding someone for doing what they should have done. I give "Very Good" ratings for extras (take a look at my review for one of the Wingate Hotels in Tampa, Very Good). Something I did not appreciate was the cleaning staff coming in to clean after I told the front desk I did not want any housekeeping service for the duration of my stay and after even signing a paper so I would not receive the service.

Room Tip: If you are here for peace and quiet, which was not my case, but still a little noisy...Try not to get the first floor, especially not a room by the back door entrance/exit.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Amanda P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Hi! Wow! Look at how many reviews you have done! We are honored you took time out to include us with you impressive list of reviews! Most of the guests that stay with us find our service to be impeccable, and they generally have a great stay. I wish there was something we could have done to impress such a seasoned traveler.

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Reviewed March 25, 2013

We stayed here the week before Easter and it was enjoyable.

There were several pros:
-the rooms were clean and quiet despite the hotel being filled with what looked like a college volleyball team. While walking down the hallway you could hear them talking and having a good time but after you entered your room it was extremely quiet.
-it was close enough that we were able to walk to Busch Gardens (about 1/2 mile) when the shuttle wasn't running. Let me stress that this walk wasn't for small children or people who tire easily. It was quite the trek down 2 or 3 city blocks with a lot of traffic but in my opinion worth the savings on parking and the madhouse of trying to exit the park at closing time. The problem is that the pedestrian entrance is at the opposite end of the parking lot so that you basically walk the length of the lot twice and double back. This could be resolved if Busch Gardens would add another pedestrian entrance at the opposite end of the wall.
-the pool area and common areas looked clean and smelled nice but we did not go swimming.
-it offered a free shuttle to the park.

The only cons to the experience were:
-Most of our problems came from the shuttle. It took about 30 minutes to pick us up when we called from the park (It took so long I called twice) and it was extremely dirty on the inside. I guess someone had eaten a bag of chips before us and left half of the bag all over the seat. The driver obviously saw it as he kept looking inside to see if all of the passengers had exited the van. The driver also used a plastic Rubbermaid step ladder which he unfolded and placed in the doorway to help people get in and out of the van. While the gesture was nice, the ladder didn't feel secure and seemed dangerous. I think he would have been better off without anything or perhaps a small wooden box to step down on. Lastly when we called for some information about how close to Busch Gardens the park was the receptionist informed us that they had a shuttle which was available on demand. She mentioned that he didn’t work during lunch but did not say much else. What we didn’t realize until after we got there and parked was that "lunch" lasted from 1 PM - 4 PM. We ended up just walking instead of trying to deal with traffic to get there and then pay for parking.
-we rented a suite expecting it to be a separate bedroom and living space. The pull out couch bed was so hard that it wasn't even possible to sleep on it. I don't blame the hotel for the room issue as it could have been prevented if I had called beforehand and just went with the double beds.
-when we met downstairs for breakfast they had all the lights off in the dining area. We asked the receptionist several times about when they were serving breakfast just to make sure that we weren’t outside of the window. We also asked her to turn the lights on or direct us to the switch. Her response was to find someone in the dining area to help. After waiting for 5 minutes in the dark for the waitress/attendant - we left and ate breakfast elsewhere. Understandable that she didn't want to leave the desk but the dining room was less than 15 feet away and there were no other customers in sight. She just seemed to be standing there waiting.

(Rated average on Restaurant and Room Service because we had no experience with either.)

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Mindy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Hello! Thank you for the review of our hotel, and your honest comments about the cons you experienced. Please allow me to address some of them.

Our shuttle service is run by Rolando, and as you can see from all the comments about him on Trip Advisor, he is a true customer service champion. For your comments I can see he was having a very busy day. It is very uncharacteristic for his wait times to exceed 30 minutes, or for his shuttle to be anything less than spotless. He takes great pride in his work, and the condition of the shuttle for his guests. For him to have a wait time and not to take the time to clean up a mess in his van from a previous guest lets me know he must have been super busy. I know when I show him your comments he will be upset he wasn't able to make everyone happy. As for the hours of operation, we have done our best to make sure everyone knows we can't run the shuttle 24 hours a day. Over the course of the last 24 months we have monitored the use of the shuttle and found it is hardly utilized between the hours of 1pm and 4pm. Other than those hours the shuttle times vary based on when Busch Gardens opens and closes, and our website states to see guest services for more information. We start the shuttle 30 minutes prior to the park opening, then stop at 1pm. Then we start up again at 4pm and run until 30 minutes after the park closes. It offers the best service to our guests within the constraints of our resources. We hope this helps future guests when they are making plans to stay with us.

As for our breakfast it is open every day from 6:30 - 9:30 to serve you. It is a complimentary self serve full hot buffet breakfast. Since we are a green hotel, when the space is not being used, we turn off the lights.

I hope this sheds some light on your experience, and that you chose to stay with us again in the future.

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Reviewed March 24, 2013

We stayed here in early February and chose it for its convenient location to Busch Gardens and because we'd been using Holiday Inn Express Hotels for our trip which we had been happy with.

Check in was a breeze and Drew, the young man on the Guest Service desk was an absolute delight! A more pleasant, friendly and well mannered chap would be difficult to find. He really is a credit to both the Hotel and his Mum, he will go far!

The other members of staff we encountered were also very friendly. The room was clean and well equipped and the free shuttle to and from the park in the morning and late afternoon was a nice bonus.

We would love to have stayed another night but had got behind schedule and had to move on to Orlando.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank pistonbroke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ryan C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Drew has made another fan! He has been fantastic since joining my team just a few short months ago. Recently he has worked his way up to a promotion to Assistant General Manager, and I couldn't be more proud of him. His work ethic, and dedication to our guests is second to none. I am so very happy he made your stay pleasurable. Please come back and see us again soon!

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