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“Average hotel at best” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens

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Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens
Ranked #38 of 162 Hotels in Tampa
Charleston, South Carolina
1 review
“Average hotel at best”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2010

My family stayed at this hotel for several days. After a full day at Busch Gardens-Tampa we enjoyed the outdoor pool. Luckily, we checked with the front desk to see where we could get towels for the pool. The clerk gave us a few towels (more on this later).

The next morning we sampled the free breakfast since it began at 6:30 AM and we wanted to get an earlyl start to the day. The breakfast had a decent variety of breakfast foods (no pancakes or waffles). Everything was buffet style. The egss were very bland )even with the packet hot sauce I added). All in all though, it gave us basic nourishment for the morning.

After another long day at Busch Gardens-Tampa we headed to the front desk for pool towels. The clerk said they were in the dryer and would be delivered to the pool area very soon. Well, we relaxed and enjoyed the pool for over an hour and never saw any towels.

The next morning my family were heading out to Adventure Island but first we needed a good breakfast. Unfortunately, the same buffet foods offered the day before were not prepared well. The bacon was extremely over salted. The orange juice was so watered down (about 8 parts water and 2 parts orange juice). I had much higher expectations of orange jucie since afterall we were in Florida. From here on out, my family went next Door to the Days Inn for breakfast. It was not free, but the food was of much better quality.

After Adventur Island, we relaxed in our room (very basic for what passes as a suite now days. Add a sink and a microwave oven in the main room and voila, it's a suite. The kids were still active and wanted to go swimming. I peeked out the window and noticed many used towels around the pool even though there were only 2 people lounging poolside. No towels were available at the front desk (no surprise there).

One more day of Busch Gardens-Tampa the next day made everyone very tired. We did not go to the pool that night. Although, as I looked out my window, sure enough, numerous used towels were still laying poolside.

Other itms of concer include:
-Constant music playing through the poolside speakers past the established 11:00 PM closing. This goes on all day and night
-The maid service did not resupply our towels (even though they took our used towels). We had to ask for new towels.
-Maid service must have been short handed since our room was only "made up" twice during our stay, and one of those times it was after a long day at Busch Gardens-Tampa.
I normally tip the maid staff each day, but after the first day that practice abruptly stopped.

It looks as though I've written a novel here, and I guess I should really include something positive:
-The location is exellent for both Busch Gardens-Tampa and Adventure Island
-The staff was friendly even though short-handed.
- The outdoor pool was clean.
.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jetset46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, June 22, 2010
Hello: Thank you for your feedback of my hotel. No worries on the novel, I enjoy reading! I appreciate the positive as well as mentioning some areas that can improve to make future stays more pleasant. I saw several mentions concerning the breakfast items. The bacon, eggs, muffins, etc are items that come from a supplier. It may be possible a box of extra salty bacon was delivered. The eggs aren't allowed to be "compromised" by chain standards. Salt & Pepper only, and the items are standard as well. The juice is mixed by machine which odd as we only replace the concentrate container when empty...so not sure why it seemed worse one day than others?

As for the pool towels, unfortunately we cannot control if a guest asks for 1 or 10. It's our service to provide what is needed. Used pool towels are collected in the mornings from the night before. There is a dirty towel bin out by the pool, but again...some guests just leave them on chairs etc. Our staff is pretty solid as far as #s but housekeeping does strip rooms in the mornings, hence possible no towels in the room. I apologize if that was an issue.

Thank you again for the comments and I hope that you come and see us again when you are in the area. I truly appreciate your business!
Heather
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678 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
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English first
Palm Coast, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2010

We stay at this hotel when we go to Busch Gardens. It is spotless clean, employees are very friendly a nd helpful. We were at Busch Gardens and they closed the rides down because of lightening, and we called the hotel to see if the shuttle would pick us up even though it wasnt a scheduled time. They were there in 5 minutes . We were allowed to leave our car at the hotel even thought we had checked out. The breakfast is good, always being refilled, and quite a variety of foods.
The Olive Garden is right next store, great food, wait staff very good,.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank busch10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, June 24, 2010
Thank you so much for letting us complete your vacation experience! I love to see such great reviews of my hotel and my staff. The rating system with this site isn't just based on how good or how bad it's also based on how many reviews we get and in what time frame. We encourage guests like you to praise us if you loved us since it helps us rank higher. Thank you for not being discouraged by the #. It's low mainly because we are so new we don't get as many notes as some other hotels. Again, please come back and see us, I'm so happy that my staff took care of you.
Heather
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2010

From check in to check out the staff and hotel did not disappoint. We were greeted with a smile by every employee, the FREE breakfast was great, And Kevin the shuttle drive/ Maintenance/ Concierge had all the information on the best things to do in the area. Fort Desoto beach was the icing on the cake. The only downside "not the hotels fault" is the lack of attention the city of Tampa gives to this area.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AKA1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, June 18, 2010
I am so proud of my staff for making your experience with our hotel a wonderful one! We aim to go above and beyond, even though now and then we hit bumps like everyone else. I so appreciate the positive feedback and love to read that we definitely took care of you. Thank you again!
Heather
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2010

We had a view of two Busch Gardens rollercoasters from our room. The staff was very friendly. Breakfast was good but a little bit crowded (Memorial weekend). Very close to Busch Gardens. Would stay again and definitely recommend.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MelanieValentine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, June 18, 2010
Thank you, Thank you for writing such a great review! I love to see that my staff took care of you and yours. Yes, please come back and see us when you are in the area. We apprecaite your business!
Heather
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Lakes, Florida
Level Contributor
47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2010

I wasn't expecting much, but it turned out great for the two nights we stayed. Great location , very close to the park and restaurants. The room was confortable and clean, the only problem was that we ordered pizza the night that we arrived and had some left over for the next day , we left to the park the next morning and when we came back the pizza and a new bag of chips were gone ???????? So don't leave any food or drinks around the room. If you want to stay close to the park , this hotel will work out just fine.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BUorD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, June 18, 2010
Hello: Thank you so much for the great review, and I'm glad you were pleasantly surprised with the service and my hotel. The only thing I can think of is that possible the houekeeper thought the leftover pizza was trash? I'm not sure about the chips (maybe they were together?). I apologize for that. Please come and see us next time you are in Tampa!
Heather
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2010

This was a very nice, clean new hotel with a nice pool and great location for going to Busch Gardens. They have a shuttle that takes you to the Park which is really great and so convenient. The gentleman that drove us to the park was very nice and helpful. Out of the staff at this hotel, him and the woman who runs the breakfast were about the only two people who had customer service in mind when dealing with the guests. I found the people at the front desk were not willing to help, if you could find them in the first place. A few times we had asked for towels because the maid service did not leave us any, and they would only bring us one when we asked for three. We were told one price by one employee and was told we could get that price anytime that day, when we went to add on extra nights they told us that rate was never available and we would have to pay $30 more per night. We did not end up adding those extra nights not only because of the service but also because of the housekeeping. The garbage in our room was not changed for 3 days, also the first day we had our showers and left our towels hanging behind the door, the maid service took our towels from behind the door and the third one that we had left on the floor and did not replace any of them. We were left with one towel between the two of us. I think that even though it was a nice hotel, the staff is your first impression and makes a difference in your stay. I would only recommend this hotel if you are looking for a nice room to stay in, but if you are concerned with customer service it would be a no.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Frescafizz85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, June 2, 2010
Hello: Thank you for letting me know of issues you had while here at my hotel. Without a name it's difficult for me to investiage further. I can't speak of the rate issue as I wasn't present for the conversation, however a rate issue could've been resolved. I wish you had mentioned to myself or someone else that could've helped prior to you leaving to see where the misunderstanding was. I would have loved to have you continue to stay with me. Occationally we do have mistakes with towels, not enough, needed hand towl not a big towel, etc however again, I'm not sure what the situation was with not getting enough towels. I apologize, and assure you that it wasn't intentional. I thank you again for complemeting my staff members & my hotel, I wish that it could've been a more satisfied visit for you.
Heather
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
essex
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2010

We only stayed for one night at this hotel- a stop gap between Tampa (Busch Gardens) and Sarasota.
The room was very clean, well equiped- wifi, iron, hairdryer etc and close to Busch Gardens ( the reason for our visit). We took the free shuttle bus to the park in the morning and walked home that evening- it took us about 25 mins.
The staff were friendly and helpful. They called about 30 mins after you check into your room to check that everything is ok which is a nice touch. The hotel lays on a wonderful breakfast buffet in the morning which we just made!
The only negetive I could say about is that the walls are quite thin so you do get disturbed by other people- we got a wake up call from someones alarm (country music!) at 6am of all times- not good when you are tired from a days theme park.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scubalassy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TampaHIExpress, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens, responded to this review, May 16, 2010
Hello: I am so glad we made a great impression upon you! We strive to make sure every guest is comfortable and pleased. I'm happy to see my staff came through for you. I know that sometimes other guests are not as aware as they should be of others. For you to hear his alarm, he had to of had the volume to its max. I look forward to you coming back to see us the next time you're in Tampa. Thank you again.
Heather
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens

Property: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens
Address: 2807 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Tampa
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#38 Family Hotel in Tampa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa USF-Busch Gardens 2.5*
Number of rooms: 123
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

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