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“Doors bang when closing....people were arguing, a dog was...”

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Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Madison
Ranked #47 of 63 Hotels in Madison
Reviewed September 6, 2013

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Howard Johnson
Thank Jane Y
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Kyle M, Front Office Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Madison, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2013

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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668 - 674 of 894 reviews

Reviewed September 4, 2013

I found the front desk staff to be friendly and helpful, even though they were very busy. They'd be a lot less busy if this hotel didn't have so many problems. We were told that door 3 would be closest to our room. We were unable to get in door 3, however, as the card reader wouldn't read our card. Door 4 was just a few steps away, so we went over there, and the card reader worked and we got a green light - that's when we noticed that the door handle was missing (we later found it laying in the hall inside the door). We walked a little farther and finally were able to get in door 5, which also happened to be right next to our room. The ice machine closest to our room was out of order, and the WiFi was a joke - my laptop connected for about 3 minutes, then the connection dropped and I wasted another half hour trying to get it back.

On the plus side, the bed was very comfortable and the soundproofing is way better than most places this age/condition/price range. We didn't have any problems with the hot water, but other guests we met in the hall were complaining about it, it must be a matter of where in the hotel your room is. The breakfast buffet was very nice and really helps make you feel like you got some value for your dollar here. I also like the noon checkout time. We didn't get to use the pool but it looked great and the water was very warm. We booked the first night at a discount and would have liked to stay a second night, but they wanted rack rate for that and I would never stay here at that rate, it's not worth it. With a little maintenance and updating this could be a really nice hotel, as it stands it's a decent place to stay if you can get a deal on it.

Room Tip: We were in 146, on the "back" side of the building and had no problems with hot water. Oth...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kyle M, Front Office Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Madison, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Thank you for your review of the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. Although this is an older property, we are continually making improvements on the overall appearance of the hotel. I will forward these concerns to our general manager to ensure everything gets handled accordingly, We are in the process of a remodel, we just received new beds for the whole hotel, new work out facility, and we also just re-updated our largest indoor pool in madison! This next week we are also getting new Wireless Internet! We do take pride in cleanliness and our friendly staff. Please accept this as an apology and we hope your experience doesn't deter you from staying at Howard Johnson Plaza in the future.

Warmest Regards,
The Staff at the Howard Johnson Plaza

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

The rooms are dated but clean and comfortable. The front desk staff is somewhat difficult to work with. I have styed here two seprate times and the only true complaint I can speak of is the inaccuracy of my reservation information upon arrival. Both times the incorrect rate was listed. The 2nd and 3rd shift staff was not able to resolve the situation and thus, I had to wait to speak with management in the morning to optain my refund. The computer in the lobby was not working properly. The TV Channel selection is limited. Otherwise, OK and a good price. PLENTY of Truck parking for you drivers out there.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TheNighthawkBender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kyle M, Front Office Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Madison, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2013

Thank you for your kind review, we take pride in the customer service we are able to give to our guests, We are glad to hear you enjoyed your stay! I will pass along the positive feedback with our staff, We appreciate all input! If you ever have questions on any future reservations we would gladly verify rates ahead of time so there is no confusion at check in, Thanks again for staying at the Howard Johnson Plaza! We hope to see you back in Madison real soon!

Warmest regards!

The staff at the Howard Johnson Plaza!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Howard Johnson
Thank Marie O
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Kyle M, Front Office Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Madison, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

So, basically my husband and I wanted a reasonable place to stay so we could spend our money on fun stuff for the weekend. We understand the "you get what you pay for" rule. There are a few things this hotel does right. The breakfast is tasty and the pool is nice and big.

The ice machine was our of order, the wifi rarely worked throughout our weekend, and our showers were COLD. Maybe the worst thing was that every time we called to ask about something, we were given a short, tense, borderline rude answer. Never once did the front desk attendant say, "I'm sorry." Or "that really stinks, let me see if I can help you." No. They told us they couldn't do anything and basically made us feel awful for asking. I understand that this is a dated property and that everything that goes wrong isn't their fault, but I just think they could have acted a little more human especially when it came to the cold showers. That's just a basic commodity you expect . . .

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jill T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kyle M, Front Office Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Madison, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Thank you for your review of the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. I will forward these concerns to our general manager to ensure everything gets handled accordingly, We do take pride in cleanliness and our friendly staff. Please accept this as an apology and we hope your experience doesn't deter you from staying at Howard Johnson Plaza in the future.

Warmest Regards,
The Staff at the Howard Johnson Plaza

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

The value/product quality are consistent with the room rate (and support the TripAdvisor Rating)...a lobby flyer touts "a million dollar renovation project" and outlines further improvements (curb appeal - the landscaping/parking lot are "brutal," televisions, etc) - which is great. However, with or without a rehabilitation, the property is in dire need of cleaning....hallway carpet is dirty, bedspreads are stained, ice machines are dysfunctional (at all hours), public area air conditioning is inoperable and housekeeping is lax. For a Madison area visit, the location is convenient, the staff is accommodating and the price is commensurate with the experience.

Room Tip: The property is a "maze" - request a room that meets your needs (if you are going to be le...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Chet L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kyle M, Front Office Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Madison, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Thank you for your review of the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. Although this is an older property, we are continually making improvements on the overall appearance of the hotel. I will forward these concerns to our general manager to ensure everything gets handled accordingly, We are in the process of a remodel, we just received new beds for the whole hotel, new work out facility, and we also just re-updated our largest indoor pool in madison! We do take pride in cleanliness and our friendly staff. Please accept this as an apology and we hope your experience doesn't deter you from staying at Howard Johnson Plaza in the future.

Warmest Regards,
The Staff at the Howard Johnson Plaza

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2013

The dead bugs in one room and a live cockroach in another room wasn't a
real turn on. Sat on one bed and noticed the sheets had a mess on them yet
not sure what it was from. Called the front desk to tell them about it and they
were ever so nice to say they would immediately send someone up to change them. However, they never got changed so we shuffled some people around to use the other beds we had. Both rooms had rings in the tub of dirt or rust, not sure. I am never a complainer but for the money I spent there I thought I would at least get a clean room to be in. I just wrote it
down in my book of bad experiences.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Howard Johnson
1  Thank Jodi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kyle M, Front Office Manager at Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Madison, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2013

Thank you for your review of the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. Although this is an older property, we are continually making improvements on the overall appearance of the hotel. I will forward these concerns to our general manager and housekeeping manager to ensure everything gets handled accordingly, We are in the process of a remodel, we just received new beds for the whole hotel, new work out facility, and we also just re-updated our largest indoor pool in madison! We do take pride in cleanliness and our friendly staff. Please accept this as an apology and we hope your experience doesn't deter you from staying at Howard Johnson Plaza in the future.

Warmest Regards,
The Staff at the Howard Johnson Plaza

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Madison

Address: 3841 E Washington Ave, Madison, WI 53704-3648
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Madison
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #47 of 63 Hotels in Madison
Price Range: $74 - $202 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Madison 2.5*
Number of rooms: 197
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With the largest indoor pool in town and one of the best room rates, our full-service Howard Johnson Madison hotel is located near Dane County Regional Airport with airport shuttle service available. Our Madison, WI, hotel offers easy access to Interstates 39, 90 and 94, with easy access for events at Lake Mendota, UW Madison, the state capitol and Alliant Energy Center. Enjoy our enormous game room, work out in the fitness center, or a soak in the whirlpool during your stay. Guest room amenities include free Wi-Fi Internet access and refrigerators are available upon request. Handicapped-accessible rooms are available at our pet-friendly Madison, Wisconsin, hotel, and there is parking for your truck, bus or RV. Room service is available or you can enjoy a meal at the Northwood's Bar & Grill, our on-site restaurant. After a sound sleep, start fresh with complimentary Rise and Dine continental breakfast with a hot buffet before heading out. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Madison Hotel Madison
Madison Howard Johnson

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