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Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa-Fairgrounds-Casino

8610 Elm Fair Boulevard , Tampa, Florida 33610

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Guest Reviews
Each review and rating that we receive is verified to ensure that we only display information provided by guests who have actually stayed in the hotel.
86%
Recommend This Property

Overall Experience

4.2

based on 168 reviews
86%
Recommend This Property

Ratings Breakdown

168reviews

  • 5 Stars
    96
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    9

Thorough Honest Review

By

21 September 2021

I arrived at the location and the front desk guy was welcoming. I arrived late due to flight delays. After getting into my room, I immediately encountered a damp mildew odor. The floor felt slippery and the carpet was damp. So, I called the front desk using my cell phone as the room phone did not work. The front desk guy informed me to return to the lobby. Since, there were no more two bed queen beds rooms available at that time, he upgraded me to a two queen beds suite. Thank you.

The upgraded room had extra space for a sofa, coffee table and small work area. This room also smelled damp, the floor was slippery (believed to be a film of moisture) and the carpet was damp. This lead me to believe all the rooms are like this considering another guest, I spoke with in the lobby, had the same issue. Tired, I accepted it is what it is and stayed in the room. I will say, the room appeared clean, but I did find an adult sized roach sitting on the bathroom sink on my second day. I did not complain as I thought maybe it came from the drain. The third and last day, while taking a shower, I noticed a small roach had been smashed on the ceiling of the shower. I cleaned it myself. I did not want to hear it from my room occupant.

The free breakfast was okay, I suppose, if you like what they had. Although, I over heard another guest tell his son, "this is not it. Let's go get some breakfast at (inaudible place)." Breakfast included: Bagels, bread slices for toast, muffins, cinnamon rolls, pork sausages, turkey sausages, veggie omelets, scrambled eggs, cereal, yogurt, bananas, oranges, fruit punch juice, water, coffee and tea. I was puzzled by two selections of eggs, but no home fries/potatoes nor pancakes/waffles. Before it is blamed on the pandemic, we were able to toast our bagels/bread slices, but could not make pancakes or waffles. There was an area that appeared to have been previously dedicated to making pancakes/waffles. Also, if one is going to blame it on the pandemic, how come we were able to serve ourselves buffet style? Just like the other food items were already made, potatoes and pancakes/waffles could have also. Breakfast staples. Lets be clear! I'm not complaining about anything free. Just giving my assessment so others know what to expect. Nevertheless, I don't eat meat nor eggs, so breakfast was very light for me. I enjoyed the coffee although it got cold quickly. The initial temperature was not that hot. I stayed three nights and the same food was served.

The gym was nice, although there were no cleaning materials in the gym. I brought wipes the next time I went considering I saw sweat stains on the treadmill and weight training bench. Also, some dumbells were missing.

The outdoor pool was unusable. I would not recommend getting into that water. I saw no guests use the pool. There were dead bugs and leaves and the pool looked like it had not been cleaned in a while. The floor of the pool looked like green algae had settled and the water filter looked dirty. I also did not smell any chlorine. There is no indoor pool.

Over all, the stay was not that bad as I was able to rest well, the purpose of the room. The room had a nice modern decor. If the damp smell was not there, my rating would be higher. I hated the damp mildew like odor. It appeared, there were no ventilation/poor ventilation in the rooms. The staff was amazing. They were friendly, welcoming and did what they can to make our stay enjoyable. Would I stay here again? No. There are too many hotels in Tampa to deal with the damp mildew smell. Would I recommend this location? No, unless you do not mind the dampness.

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General Manager Arrogance

By

20 February 2021

We made reservations in September anticipating a visit to the Florida State Fair. We understand that rates are increased during special events. When we checked out, I inquired about the rate and asked about the standard rate since the fair was cancelled. The front desk clerk asked if the clerk that checked us in offered the standard rate option. He did not make this offer. Based on the rate she quoted as standard, it was $57.00 a day less than my charged rate. She also said I could have cancelled my reservation the day before and booked again for the lower rate. She indicated that the manager wasn't available and she would talk to him and someone would call me back to discuss. Twenty four hours later, no call back, so I called the hotel. The gentleman, and I use this word loosely, who answered the phone said that the clerk informed him of my question and that he didn't think a change was in order. I asked why I didn't get a callback and he said that since an adjustment wasn't going to be made, I didn't need a callback. I asked to speak to the general manager and he said that he was the GM. I indicated that because of his failure to follow through on the promise to his customer, that we may consider using a competitor for our next visit; he said that was fine since you only stayed here once. Apparently his records are inaccurate or he simply made that comment, because we have stayed there on multiple occasions. He didn't care about us as a customer and presented a terrible image of his hotel. Overall, we enjoyed our stay, but the general manager's arrogance ruined our experience. At this point, we do not recommend making reservations at this location.

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Smell & bed bugs

By

18 October 2019

I should have known because when i walked in the smell of air freshener was very strong at the front desk. The room was the same. It was as if they were trying to hide something. If mom and i hadn't been going all day and i didn't need to attend to some of her medical needs asap we would have left. Then at 4:30am as i got up to attend to mom again i noticed a bug on my bed. It looked like a tick but figured it was a bed bug. I caught the bug in a tissue and brought it to customer service. When i opened the tissue to show the clerk it was now just a flat black spot and blood in the tissue. Needless to say we packed up and left. Didn't even get to take advantage of breakfast as we left so early and didn't want to hang around the hotel. 24 hrs later i have 2 welts on my body. Yep, bed bugs. This never happened before and this was the only hotel we stayed in. Now i have the worry if the critters hitched a ride home with us. Spent a whole day washing and drying everything and throwing things out. Sprayed alcohol in car. I hope i did enough but time will tell. I will never ever stay in a hotel again.

Beyond that whole ordeal the staff was pleasant and hotel very quiet. Beds a little too soft for my liking.

I wish i would have gone with my instinct and never stayed. I had stayed in the hotel a few years ago several times with no incidents but things change. I was in room 407. Stay at your own risk.

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Very Pleasent Weekend...

By

22 August 2019

I arrive early in the morning because we were headed to a religious convention at the Fairground. I was welcome by this young fellow by the name of Dylan I think. He was extra accommodating to us. We had a long trip and imagine after a long drive you're welcome with professionalism and care and compassion, that make our morning. Not even that, he also allow us to check in because the availability and the room was great. Dylan also allow us to enjoy breakfast and assure us that our room was to our expectation. Also , he was organize and for his age, very attentive and professional. I don't know if he realized it, but he sold to us informally our next stay, it was great all around.
Also the other two ladies that we have the honor to speak with, Amber and Dianne, they also were very accommodating and help us in everything we need. If I would say something, nothing against those that decided to use Tabaco products, you need to find a different location for those that choose to use Tabaco other than your front entrance. Just a humble well thought suggestion. Other than that , overall , all was fine. Thank you all for make our weekend so pleasant. Ferdinand & Griselle Morales.

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Good stay!

By

19 October 2014

platinumelite

Stopped in. Already a IHG member & AAA member. Gave a respectable trate. Although problems with my room key, staff was VERY accommodating.

Posted byHotelStaff
22 October 2014
Thank you for being an IHG Rewards Platinum Member! We are pleased that you enjoyed our staff. Thank you again!
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Slept well, great service

By

15 October 2014

Front desk very helpful and polite. Shuttle service was great to and from Hard Rock Casino. Would like to see it run on the 1/2 hr vs. every hour. Beds were very comfortable, free breakfast was good. Nice clean hotel
Would definite recommend!!

Posted byHotelStaff
22 October 2014
Thank you for your review. We are happy that you enjoyed our beds and breakfast. We hope to see you again the next time you are in the area and thank you again for your feedback!
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friendly

By

15 October 2014

Everyone at the hotel was very nice, will stay there again fir sure. If I had to find one thing to bellyache about it woul.d be the slow elevator.

Posted byHotelStaff
22 October 2014
Thank you for your review! I am happy to hear that our team provided a pleasant experience. I apologize for the slow elevator. We hope to see you again in the near future.
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Best IHG on our 2 week trip

By

10 October 2014

club

Greatest stop on our 2 week vacation to Florida, only the 2nd IHG to recognize that I was a Priority Club Member

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Very bad customer service experience

By

10 October 2014

club

For the first time in my history as a regular customer of HIE (and Priority Club member) I had a terrible experience a week ago with the HIE Tampa-Fairgrounds-Casino hotel. When I reserved one hotel night for my 19-year old daughter and her friend and gave my credit card as guarantee for payment, the person at central reservations assured me that the minimum age for a guest was 18 years, and never mentioned that I wouldn't be able to charge the room to my credit card.
When my daughter and her friend arrived, they were told that they wouldn't be allowed to check in without proof that I was the legitimate owner of credit card. My daughter called me right away and put the front desk lady on the phone, who proceeded to say that I needed to send in a written and signed authorization for the hotel to charge my credit card. She was kind enough to allow my daughter to check in, but I would need to send the authorization ASAP. I asked if she could e-mail me a form for that, which she did. When I proceeded to fill the form out, I called to ask if for safety reasons it would be OK if I just specified the last 4 digits of the credit card number, since they already had the number. Not only was I told I could not do that, but that I additionally needed to send the hotel a copy of my drivers license. I didn't feel comfortable e-mailing all this personal information and expressed my concern, when she transferred me to Mr. N., the manager. He did not show any desire to try to understand my concerns, or help resolve the situation, and kept insisting that the only solution was for me to send them all my personal information and my signed form, and then proceeded to threaten to lock my daughter and her friend out of their room if I didn't send in the documents before 11 pm. He then chastised the front desk lady for checking them in in the first place, especially since they were not 21 years of age which was the minimum age to stay at that hotel. I asked him why I was not informed by the central reservations person of this age limit (on the contrary, I was assured 18 was the minimum age), nor that I wouldn't be able to pay without a signed authorization and copy of my drivers license. He said HIE central reservation staff often give incorrect information and that I should have called the hotel directly; plus, every HIE hotel has their own policy and a central reservations person doesn't always know that. Mr. N rudely reminded me that he would lock my daughter out of her room if I didn't send in the documentation before 11 pm. Out of frustration, I transferred the phone to my husband hoping that he would be better able to get across to him, but Mr. N said that he was getting ready to leave and gave my husband an ultimatum that if we didn't send the documents right away he would lock our daughter and her friend out of their room; then he hung up on my husband. I called back and talked to the front desk lady again and asked her if my daughter would be able to pay the hotel with her debit card, and she said yes, as long as she ran it through before returning to her room that night. That is how this unpleasant situation was finally resolved. But not after major distress and rude treatment on the part of Mr. N. I don't understand how HIE can have such a rude and intransigent person as a hotel manager, why company policies are not consistent, and why central reservations staff do not inform the guests of these policies. I also can't understand why on earth the hotel would not be able or willing to charge the stay to a card of a person not staying at the hotel, when credit cards are used all the time to buy merchandise or pay for services over the phone or over the internet (and hotels will charge to them when there is a no-show for a reserved stay).
My husband and I are very shocked at the rude treatment we received from the manager. We have never had an experience like this before.

Posted byHotelStaff
14 October 2014
Thank you fro taking the time to provide your feedback. I would like to offer a sincere apology for the poor customer service you received. We will address these concerns. I assure you the feedback of our hotel will be reviewed and most certainly forwarded to the appropriate departments. Your comments are highly valuable and will assist us in our continuous efforts to maintain and improve the service level we aim for.
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Interview stay

By

09 October 2014

My stay was excellent and the staff was great. The breakfast buffet is just awesome. I did have small situation with my coffee maker in my room but the problem was immediately taken care of to my complete satisfaction.
I would definitely recommend this hotel to everybody.

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Clean Property. Staff not so good

By

07 October 2014

This is probably the cleanest hotel or Holiday Inn hotel I've stayed so far. The property is good. I did smell propane gas upon arrival ,though. The check in was... "I can't believe she's texting or I hope she was texting someone (because she had my credit card) while she is checking me in." That was the first. But, it's all good. She was nonchalant about it. Place the room keys on the counter-top sent me on my way. Not to bad talk, but that type of attitude or demeanor is not for hospitality. The nicest person there was probably the maintenance person I bump into at breakfast. He probably was the manager undercover.

Posted byHotelStaff
14 October 2014
Thank you for being an IHG Rewards Gold Member and taking the time out of your busy day to leave us a candid review. I would like to offer a sincere apology for the poor customer service you received upon check in. I will address these concerns with the staff. Again I sincerely apologize!
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Very clean and great staff

By

04 October 2014

club

Very nice place and I would recommend to any and all.

Posted byHotelStaff
14 October 2014
Thank you so much for recommending the hotel. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay. We always appreciate your feedback and look forward to seeing you again next time you are in the area.
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