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“Irritated by Resort layout”

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Saddlebrook Resort Tampa
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Wesley Chapel
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Traveling for business, I didn't enjoy the 45-minute drive from the Tampa airport and then meandering through the property's confusing roads to reach the main resort. You give your car to valet, only option, check-in and then require the assistance of golf cart shuttles to your rooms spread throughout the vast property. This is not efficient when one is working and would prefer to just come down the elevator bank to the conference center at all hours. The property seems dated, rooms/bathrooms weren't as clean as they could be, and dining options were limited. The out buildings seem like old motels, so as a female, I didn't appreciate being on the first floor for safety concerns, but I wouldn't have liked the second floor without elevators either. Very happy to depart!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank HMRoch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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546 - 552 of 797 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2012

They've done as much as they could with this aging lady, but she's still ancient. Ceilings creak when guests walk on floors above, smell of mildew is striking in the rooms, Dempsey's restaurant hasn't updated the menu since Ike was President except for the stunning prices. A place to stay only if required by a conference.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Stillooking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

I stayed at the Saddlebrook Resort recently for a wedding on 09/14-09/16. I was so upset and disappointed.
Before actually booking a room, I called to find out what the prices would be as a discount for the wedding party. The two bedroom suite listed online was $204 and the discounts for the wedding guest were $199. I informed the Bride-to-be about this because she was under the impression (from her wedding planner) that she would be getting a great discount deal for her guests; $5 isn’t a discount. We were not informed either about the $10 valet parking a night, or $10 resort fee.
The conditions of the suite we stayed in were less than satisfactory. Everything seemed neat and picture perfect. The lobby was very nice and elegant looking. However, the cleanliness of our room was terrible. We stayed in a two-bedroom suite and the smaller bedroom sheet had stains on them, the bathroom mirror was broken, wallpaper coming off in the rooms, the appliances were out of date/old. For the amount of money people pay for the rooms, especially the suites, we were under the impression it would be nicer than this. But all of these issues do not compare to the disgust of seeing not one but two roaches, different sizes, in the matter of 30minutes. I brought this to the staffs attention at the front desk (mind you I was in the middle of a welcome party by the pool for the bride and groom) and nothing was done. They wrote down the information, and asked if I wanted someone to spray, and informed me that it would be brought to a manager’s attention and I should receive a call the next morning. No one called me, no manager contacted me. I was apart of the bridal party, and I was getting ready for the wedding the following day, I did not hear from any manager. I had to call to find out why I hadn’t heard from anyone. I still to this day never spoke with a manager, they asked if I wanted to have someone come spray the room, and I told them no because we didn’t want our stuff being sprayed. They ignored our request and sprayed anyways. I felt like our concerns, and experience as a customer didn’t matter to this staff.
The last problem I want to address, when we first got there to check-in there was an issue. I had another couple sharing this room with me, and a friend. Our friend arrived first and in order for her to be able to check-in to our room, I had to talk to three different departments. They then took a card number from her to have on hold (which I didn’t know about) when I arrived they took my card number also and informed me that I had to hold $380 on my card (meanwhile they still had the first card still holding for the room). I said I didn’t want a hold that large on my card because I wasn’t the only one paying for the room. They said they would be able to hold $100 and then when I check out we can pay for it however we wanted to. That wasn’t the case. On Saturday there was a message on the room phone, when I called I spoke to someone I believe her name was Sherry, who was incredibly rude. She stated she informed me of this and she knew she told me. I was arguing with her for awhile because she wasn’t the one who checked me in. Then she started repeating “your card was declined…it’s declined and we need to have another card number to hold the room”. When I explained continuously to her that we were told they would hold $100 on my card and then when we checked out we could pay however we wanted she corrected me saying that isn’t how it worked, almost as if I was lying. She then stated “Your card is being declined because we need to hold another $140 on the card”, now totally $240 that needed to be held. I have never heard of this.

Needless to say, I will not ever be coming back to this resort, and I will be sure to pass my experience along to friends and family. I will also note that the Brides family was shocked as well, and wanted to make sure I brought these issues to someone’s attention.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Alisha H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Disappointing. Although the front desk told my group at check in that the rooms had recently been updated, the carpet had stains, the wallpaper was peeling, and the bathroom was outdated other than a newer tiled shower. The hotel rooms did not have adequate lighting in the sleeping area or the bathrooms. The area outside of the room was filthy-the outdoor carpet look ancient and was covered in debris from the trees.
I was at the resort for a convention, and the restaurant did not have enough staff to handle the rushes at lunch and at the end of the night. Oh, and the morning of check out I had items on my bill that the front desk could not explain and the little cafe in the lobby charged me $10 for a latte (Starbucks is less than half of that!). The shuttle service around the resort was great , prompt and available at all times.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank KeriDMI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

I've returned this week from 5 days of the Harry Hopman program at Saddlebrook.  
There are lots of reviews on the resort in various places and I'll let the reader turn to those for the 'resort' goer.  My suite was more than adequate.  This review will focus on tennis.  
First thoughts:  it would be very difficult to improve on this program if what you are interested in is full immersion tennis for 5 hours a day.  It is challenging, compelling and addictive regardless of your fitness level (disclosure:  age 50, relatively fit, and worn out by the 5 day mark).

STAFF:  headed up by Howard Moore, the staff hails from all corners of the globe and all are superb experts at both the game and instruction of the game.
Howard (England) has been there for better than 25 years, and has boundless energy.  Truly boundless.  He is very excited to do what he does and if you aren't motivated to excel for him, you aren't motivatable
Thai (Vietnam) is an expert on your technique.  He is able to breakdown your stroke (each of them) in pieces and communicate to you what you do, why it's bad and what and how to change.  He is a phenomenal player.  To give you an idea, on day one, the first 3 hour session he fed balls to three of us in various manner and missed a grand total of one feed.  One.  Something like 600-800 balls.... Kind of unfathomable.
Vlad (Cuba) is another great instructor who is very good at picking out your most obscene stroke malfunction and massaging it till he can work on the next most offending part.  He is very affable and fun to drill with.
Shawn (New Jersey) takes the Hopman program to heart.  He will work you as hard as you can go.  Then push you just a little harder.  It matters not how fit you are (or are not) he will challenge you.  He is big on consistency and match type play, and will make you better very quickly.
Mitch (USA) is another young instructor who wants you to do well.  He will spend extra time with you focusing on your biggest needs, and empathizes with  his students well so that they improve on their skills.  He can see well across the court what is happening good and bad and offers good insight.  There are more.  These are the guys with whom I worked.
I cannot imagine a better group of instructors to improve your game.

Facilities:  you will play on clay.  Har-Tru.  They are dragged smooth and clean each morning, and are in fine shape.  The courts have shade, cold water, towels chairs and anything else you may need.  We spent all of our time on one of about 4 courts, there are many, many more if they need them.

Your day:  will start with some very light jogging, then stretching for 5-10 minutes.  Then you will break up in groups based on skill levels.  Mini tennis is typical for 5 minutes then some baseline strokes to warm up.  After that it'll be 2.5+ hours of drills, games (different types that expose different things) and match play.  It is fun fun fun.  And as intense as you want it to be.  You will break for lunch, then back at it for the 2 hour afternoon session.   You will be tired at the end of the day, but fired up about the next day because you're here to get better and you will.   

In conclusion, if you want country club light tennis lessons, perhaps another place is your best bet.  You want to work your but off, learn intricacies of strokes you probably didn't know (but are capable ofemulating), then go to Saddlebrook.  You'll be glad.  And I'll be back.

Room Tip: Well, I got an upgrade without asking for it. Off season perhaps. Ask, maybe?
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank Cbeeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2012

WE were there for the tennis.We(the girls/ladies) came here to Saddlebrook because of Racquet Wars( a tennis tournament) We stayed in the "walking village".. we got the 2 bedroom suite/condo with kitchen and balcony overlooking the tennis courts in CLUSTER 3. It was perfect for us. The beds were extremely comfy and plenty of towels to go around. The decor was in Bahama style with flat screen TV's in every bedroom plus living area..The room was clean and carpet was clean and good air conditioning. The grounds are VERY lush and beautiful and pool area expansive.. there are 2 pools next to each other.. supposedly one warmer than the other but we did not notice the difference most likely due to SUMMER in FL. There are two Jacuzzi's and a pool bar. The walking village has a few clusters of rooms with the pool in the center..... around the pool you can find the spa, a restaurant which included a sports bar and an adjoining steak house, and the few shops, ie. tennis and golf shops. I had a steak and salad bar and 2 cocktails which was $77.00. But must say STEAK and salad bar were excellent. Everything is a la carte and they add 18% automatically on the check(but you may adjust tip). Prices to me where a TAD on the high side . And next time will stock more of our own stuff in our refrigerator in the room. The staff was FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL and can't say enough about Howard the tennis program director there...They offer a 30 minute FREE tennis clinic Mon-Sat. They have tons of courts both hard, grass and clay but did not look like the grass were in order when we were there..but looking forward to my return because of the TENNIS. And of course they have a golf course but know little about golf so can't comment on that. Saddlebrook is in a great setting and is perfect for the golfer, the tennis player(in any level) and a great family place...they had a wine tasting one evening, outdoor movie by pool, there are basketball courts, volleyball, and fitness center in the sports village which is in walking distance of the lobby and pool but there is a free shuttle if you want a ride. Bike rentals are available. There are also free laundry facilities and ice machines which comes in handy if you have there doing sports or with kids. To me this place has an Old Florida feel to it so don't expect and sleek contemporary look. Also like the fact the regular homes in Saddlebrook are NOT that cookie cutter design, where every house looks the same. Also the grounds are well maintained and love the walkway with the tall cypress trees.. but a little TLC is needed to the outside.ie. paint. I realize it is not a new resort and the weather is hard on wood in Florida so more upkeep is needed.We did not leave the property all weekend long. one side note, they do charge for valet parking $10-$15/night and not sure if it is for the whole property or not. supposedly there is also room service which we did not use. They also offer package deals if you play golf or tennis. I can't wait to go back

Room Tip: I believe there are room overlooking golf course , some more pool side, and other overlooking tennis...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank kraftite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

Our room was a little old fashioned but the beds were wonderfull. Roomservice was excellent and so was the spa treatments.

Best of all was the tennis facilities and the academy in all. We got the best service and the professionells were very skilled. They even made sure that our little son could play tennis next to us on the courts and the professional who played with our son was the best!! (Thank you for your good heart and patience Brian..)

We would love to come back in the future!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Maria K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Saddlebrook Resort Tampa

Address: 5700 Saddlebrook Way, Wesley Chapel, FL 33543-4499
Location: United States > Florida > Wesley Chapel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Wesley Chapel
Price Range: $192 - $337 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Saddlebrook Resort Tampa 4*
Number of rooms: 540
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
780 Acre resort 30 minutes north of Tampa International Airport with 95,000 Sq. Ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting and function space, two Arnold Palmer signature golf courses, 45 tennis courts in every grand slam surface, European-style Spa, Half-million gallon Superpool, Sports Village with Fitness Center; four award-winning restaurants and three lounges, the Saddlebrook Golf Academy and Hopman Tennis Programs for instruction. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saddlebrook Resort Tampa Hotel Wesley Chapel
Saddlebrook Hotel Tampa
Saddlebrook Resort Wesley Chapel

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