Every year, we take an overnight trip to Busch Gardens as we live locally. We usually stay at the Embassy Suites on Fowler Ave, but this year decided to "change it up" and try the new H.I.E.- Not a terrible experience, however, they do need to work out some kinks before I would recommend. Check-in was a nightmare. We arrived at 2 pm and were told check-in wasn' until 3pm, which is true. No problem, we changed and hung out at the pool (which is a small area and shouldn't have been located on the east side of the building as the sun disappears in the afternoon, but, nothing can be done about that now). At 2:55, I arrive again at the front desk and was told I had to wait until 3- Okay, first rule of management and customer service: Tell the truth and give out the straight story. We find out, only after over an hour wait thereafter (and only after one of the housekeepers told us) that one of their dryers broke-down and they couldn't get the linens dried. Why not simply tell all the guests stewing in the lobby this? I would have gone back out to the pool. Instead, I'm told every 10 minutes that it would be another 10 minutes. This went on for over an hour. I've stayed in a lot of hotels for both business and pleasure and I have never seen anything like it. To make matters worse, they had a new gal behind the desk (How did I know this? She kept telling everyone) and the manager, "Monique" had quite the attitude- No explanation given and she was quite strident to all that "around 3 pm" for a check-in time was the industry standard- Okay, that got a little old by 4 pm, as you can probably imagine. It didn't help that they also claimed I hadn't paid for one of the two rooms I booked and billed me for another one. I had to go online to show them my bank transactions. Are you kidding? No apology, no break on the price. I was told that I could order a movie and they'd reverse the charge, truth be told, however, after the double billing issue I really didn't want to deal with it. Olive Garden is next door and was great. This hotel is not within walking distance- Yes, you can walk, but it's a very bad neighborhood on Busch Blvd and, while it may be okay in the day, you would not want to do it at night. We booked 2 "Queen Suites" and found them not to be true suites- It's all one long room. Beds were okay (once we finally were delivered pillow cases). Free breakfast was okay as well. All & all not a terrible experience, however, the initial check-in really soured my impression of this hotel and their management staff and I cannot recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Brand New Holiday Inn Express & Suites is adjacent to Busch Gardens / Adventure Island and is the closest hotel to the University of South Florida and University Community Health Hospital. Enjoy a comfortable stay at the new Holiday Inn in Tampa, a preferred hotel of Busch Gardens, located within walking distance of the hotel. Your family will love staying at our Florida Green Lodging designated hotel in Tampa. We're located just off I-275, directly across the street from Busch Gardens and just a mile away from USF and University Community Health Hospital. Located in the heart of Tampa, we are in close proximity to several other local attractions, including Lowry Park Zoo, Port of Tampa, Florida Aquarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry. Business travelers will appreciate the amenities and services provided at our hotel too! Our Green Lodging hotel is in close proximity to many area businesses, such as Syniverse, Verizon Information Technologies, USAA and the Anheuser-Busch and the Yuengling Breweries. In addition, we provide meeting space that can accommodate up to 60 people with free wireless Internet access. While staying at our tropically landscaped Tampa hotel, you can enjoy our premium amenities, including an outdoor swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness center, and complimentary, hot breakfast bar. Book your reservations now to take advantage of our great Tampa, FL hotel room deals and rates. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express And Suites Tampa Usf-Busch Gardens
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa Usf-Busch Gardens Hotel Tampa
- Holiday Inn Express Tampa
- Holiday Inn Tampa