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Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg

Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg is a 2 star hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 3740 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Estimated Price
$72
CAD
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Budget-friendly hotel with friendly staff, but many guest concerns

Pros
  • Free wireless Internet throughout, free parking, free local calls, and free coffee available in lobby
  • Many guests thought the staff at the hotel were friendly and courteous
  • Many guests thought the hotel's prices were reasonable
  • Some guests liked the hotel's location for proximity to the Trans Canada Highway, Walmart and Assiniboia Downs
Cons
  • No elevator an inconvenience, according to guests
  • Bathrooms received a lot of complaints for being unclean, mouldy, in a state of disrepair and for hot and cold surges from the showers
  • Noise a common complaint from guests
  • Many guests cited the hotel's need for renovations
  • Unpleasant odours a common complaint among guests
  • Several guests complained about dirty carpets in hallways
  • Several guests complained about poor Internet connectivity
  • A few guests thought the hotel was inconvenient to the airport
  • A few guests complained about the parking lot in the back of the hotel being far from the front door of the hotel

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Editor's Analysis
Updated on Nov 29, 2012
Overview
The Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg hotel is located at 3740 Portage Avenue, in Winnipeg  just inside the Perimeter Highway and 11.9 km west of the Winnipeg international airport.

The 100% non-smoking, non pet-friendly, air-conditioned property has 2 floors with no elevator and 40 rooms, including 6 kitchenettes and 4 executive suites. Hotel amenities include a 24-hour Front Desk with free coffee available in the lobby, free wireless Internet throughout, free parking, and free local calls. There is an ATM on site.

There is currently no sauna, jacuzzi, business centre, meeting rooms, or banquet and conference rooms available as is currently stated online (on some sites).

Food facilities are currently not open, due to renovations, and are scheduled to re-open on August 7, 2012. The hotel has an on-site restaurant called Howard Johnson Grill which is open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily, serving homestyle food. The Hatrick Pub and VLT Lounge with billiard table and outdoor patio are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. (or may close earlier). Pick-up is available for dining in the rooms.

Basic rooms come with either one or two queen-size beds and include a phone, an ironing board with iron, a coffee maker and cable television. 

Rooms with kitchenettes come with one bed (mostly queen-size) and an additional hot-plate for cooking and mini-fridge, but no utensils. 

Executive Suites come with 2 queen-size beds, and an additional work desk and chair, a microwave and a mini-fridge.

The hotel is a short drive (4 minutes) to the Assiniboia Downs Race Track with on-site restaurant, lounge and entertainment, and a 6 minute walk to a Sobey's grocery store and an 8 minute walk to Walmart on Knox Street. The John Blumberg Municipal Golf Course and Grace Hospital are a 6 minute drive away and Polo Park Shopping Centre with 200 shops, restaurants and services is a 12 minute drive away.

(Google Maps is referenced for all distances, walking and driving times.)

Check-in is at 3:00 p.m. and check-out is at 11:00 a.m.

Verified by a Front Desk Agent on July 5, 2012:  room configurations and extra amenities, ATM on site, no sauna, no jacuzzi, no meeting, conference or banquet rooms, no room service but guests can pick-up food for in-room dining, no food services currently on site 
The Good
This hotel did not satisfy the majority of guest reviewers who reviewed the hotel online on various hotel sites, and whose reviews were used for this analysis, however a couple of strong points regarding the hotel were mentioned with regularity.

Many guests found the staff to be helpful, friendly and courteous. One guest mentioned how a staff member carried his bag up the stairs to the guest room. There was some criticism directed at the staff and service as well with a few complaints which touched on the attitude of the staff and also errors made by the staff. 

Location was seen as another strong point for some who had chosen the hotel because it was conveniently located to the hospital they were visiting, to the Trans Canada Highway, to Assiniboia Downs for those who raced their horses, and for those who wanted to shop at a nearby Walmart. One guest mentioned that it was an easy 15-minute bus ride from the central city. However, some guests complained about the hotel's location and thought it was inconveniently located with regard to the airport and complained of having to pay a $30 taxi fare to the airport from the hotel.

There were guests who thought their rooms were clean and neat and the beds clean and comfortable, although there were also complaints from some guests regarding the rooms with reference to its cleanliness and upkeep, who also mentioned that the beds in the rooms they stayed in were missing duvet covers and bed skirts and some found cigarette burns, and stains on the bedspreads.

Many thought the hotel offered a reasonable price and was, in the words of one guest, a good place to crash at the end of a day.

The Bad
This hotel received a lot of complaints across a variety of themes from guests who posted reviews online to date in the reviews used for this analysis.

Many guests found the bathrooms to be unacceptable due to a variety of reasons. Several guests complained of scalding hot and cold water surges from the showers, some said the bathrooms were not clean, mouldy in places and cited particular repairs needed.

Another guest concern that received a lot of negative commentary was noise. Many blamed the bar's music and patrons, some of whom were on the outside patio and some of whom were awaiting rides and taxis at 2:30 a.m. when the bar closed; some blamed outdoor noise and traffic; and others blamed airplanes flying overhead. Some mentioned their neighbours who were opening and closing doors near to their rooms.

Needed renovations and the hotel's state of disrepair was another major complaint across various guest review sites to date. Many guests complained that the advertised hot tub and sauna were not operational and had not been for months. Many cited areas that needed fixing specifically. Although the hotel's official website states renovations performed in 2011 and says that all guest rooms have been recently renovated, the complaints continued past that date regarding the need for repairs and renovations in the hotel and rooms.

Unpleasant odours were another common complaint with guests mentioning specifically the smell of a perfumed (one guest said chemical) cleaning product that some people had trouble enduring. Some mentioned the smell of smoke and mustiness as well.

Other common complaints were: the thermostats did not work well and guests could not get the rooms to a comfortable temperature, there were dirty and stained carpets in rooms and in hallways, and there was poor Internet connectivity. Some mentioned that the parking lot was inconveniently situated behind the hotel with guests having to bring their luggage around to the front door in order to access the building. In addition, a couple guests had feelings of insecurity regarding one's personal safety and the security of their parked vehicle in the lot.

Many guest reviewers said they would not return to the hotel and did not recommend it to others.
TripAdvisor.com ranked the hotel 39th out of 57 properties in Winnipeg, and the hotel achieved an average rating of 3 points out of 5 from 24 reviews

Expedia.com guest ratings averaged 2.4 points out of 5 from 10 reviews with 30% of guests recommending this hotel.

Booking.com guest ratings averaged 6 points out of 10 from 9 reviews.

Priceline.com guest ratings averaged 5.8 points out of 10 from 15 reviews, and the hotel was ranked 12th out of 43 hotels in Winnipeg.

Verified by a Front Desk Agent on July 5, 2012: room configurations and extra amenities, ATM on site, no sauna, no jacuzzi, no meeting, conference or banquet rooms, no room service but guests can pick-up food for in room dining, no food services currently on site 
Editor's Analysis by Scott B.
Analyzed by Scott B.
With a keen interest in the flow of information and an eye for communication optimization, Scott is always looking for ways to finish this sentence...


Guest Reviews
6.0
Fair
Guest Rating Explained
Rating: 6.0 / 10 Details

No. of guest reviews: 79
Guest Recommended: Yes
Guest Ranking Explained

Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg is #44 out of 47 hotels in Winnipeg ranked by the ratings provided by guests.
Guest Recommendations and Comments
Hotel review by guest is Negative
Madison from Winnipeg, MB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg on March 08, 2014 Verified Guest Hotel Review
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Krystle from Kenora, ON CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 8 out of 10 on March 13, 2013 Verified Guest Hotel Review
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Jodi from Swan River, MB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 7 out of 10 on January 11, 2013 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Heat was turned off, very cold entering room."
Hotel review by guest is Negative
Darlene from Palisade, MN US rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 6 out of 10 on August 14, 2012 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Not happy"
"The hotel was O.K., not great, but all we really wanted was a bed and a place to eat. The restaurant was closed for remodeling."
Hotel review by guest is Negative
Randy from Hartington, ON CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 1 out of 10 on July 09, 2012 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Do not stay here!"
"Air conditioning did not work in our first room---the staff were very acccommodating in moving us to another room with air. TVs substandard. Ice machine not working in 30 degree celsius weather. Dirt around baseboards, poor caulking in bathrooms, rooms smell, generally poor workmanship in all respects. (very tacky) Welcome letter from Manager is not consistent with the experience. I would be embarrassed as a Manager to put my name on that letter until Howard Johnson's can truly offer what it promises. Wi-fi did not work (advertised online as an amenity). This place should be torn down and rebuilt. The restaurant was apparently closed for renovation, but Howard Johnson's should start with the hotel first! Staff tried hard to be helpful."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Greg from Dauphin, MB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 9 out of 10 on February 28, 2012 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Great Value Accomodations"
"Room was exactly as expected. Breakfast was excellent value. As a smoker, outdoor heated area was greatly appreciated. Overall, I would recomment hotel."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Margaret from Portage La Prairie, MB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 7 out of 10 on February 14, 2012 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Good location, comfortable beds, quiet area"
"Overall my stay at the Howard Johnson Hotel was good. Had never stayed there before. Good rate, comfortable and quiet. The room was comfortable and clean."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Loretta from Brandon, MB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 6 out of 10 on June 14, 2011 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"good overall"
"I definitely missed continental breakfast here for the price. This hotel is the same price as many others that offer free breakfast. We did eat at the cafe and the food was very good (dinner). We stayed in the motel portion of this hotel and found it to be fine. The room was clean, water was hot, beds were ok (could be a bit softer), sound between rooms was pretty good. You could hear people talking, but not make out what they were saying. Desk staff was friendly and efficient, prices in the cafe were reasonable and wait staff were very friendly. Overall good experience for an overnighter. Would choose a different place for an extended stay."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Verified Guest from Edmonton, AB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 5 out of 10 on June 04, 2011 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Nothing special, price was okay."
"The hot tub and sauna were down, I was dissapointed because that was one of the reasons I chose this hotel."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Verified Guest from Daysland, AB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 6 out of 10 on August 20, 2010 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"good location"
"it could have been cleaner the walls had dirty marks and the carpet could have been cleaned. no elevator made it a little difficult as we are older but staff helped us with our bags. the staff were very friendly and helpful"
Hotel review by guest is Negative
Jill from Calgary, AB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 3 out of 10 on August 07, 2010 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Unfortunate choice of hotels"
"I did read other reviews about this hotel prior to booking rooms for my family. They were satisfactory, so I went ahead and booked. I was indeed disappointed. There are two types of rooms: those in the main building and those in a motel-style building next to the main one. I was charged the same price for rooms in either location despite the fact that the motel rooms were in far worse shape and not clean. There was mildew around the tub and the carpets were dirty. Plain and simply these rooms were old and worn looking. I stayed in the main building, in a room that backed onto the offsales liquor store below. It was noisy late into the night with people coming and going, yelling and acting like twits. I called out the window on a couple of occasions to ask that they quiet down. There was a bar attached to the hotel which was also very noisy late into the night, with seemingly no one to enforce any rules. The carpet in the dining room was horribly dirty and in need of replacement. Under no circumstances would I ever recommend this hotel to anyone. This hotel is in need of complete remodeling in every way!!"
Hotel review by guest is Negative
Ian from Calgary, AB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 1 out of 10 on August 07, 2010 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"sleepless in winnipeg"
"we stayed as a family group for 4 days. some of us had rooms outside the main building and some had rooms inside. there was a huge difference in quality between these rooms. the inside being poor and the outside being atrocious, yet the pricing was the same...odd. also there was so much evening and night time noise due to the attached bar and off licence establishments. management did nothing to prevent this...i could go on and on..."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Kari from Colorado Springs, CO US rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 5 out of 10 on July 16, 2010 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"You get what you pay for."
"The rooms were clean, but poor condition. The staff was very nice."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Glenn from Brandon, MB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 8 out of 10 on February 16, 2010 Verified Guest Hotel Review
Show older reviews
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Ruth from Fleming, SK CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 8 out of 10 on October 03, 2009 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"It should be noted that there is no elevator, a problem for some seniors, I'm sure."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
Verified Guest from Fleming, SK CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 8 out of 10 on October 03, 2009 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Would have been nice if there was an elevator. We little old ladies with arthritis have a bit of a problem."
Hotel review by guest is Negative
Scott from Drumheller, AB CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 3 out of 10 on September 12, 2005 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"No internet of any kind. In a city this is ridiculous. On top of that we were very concerned with our vehicles parked in the back. Just had a slezy feel to it."
Hotel review by guest is Positive
John from Kenora, ON CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 8 out of 10 on September 03, 2005 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"THE LIGHTING IN THE BATHROOM WAS VERY POOR COULDN'T SEE TO USE THE MIRRIR MY WIFE HAD TO USE THE MIRROR IN THE ROOM BY THE TV, WAS DISSAPOINTED THAT YOUS DIDNT HAVE A POOL BUT MY SON USED THE HOT TUB BUT OTHER THAN THAT THE ROOM WAS OK"
Hotel review by guest is Negative
Irene from Gatineau, QC CA rated Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg 3 out of 10 on April 11, 2005 Verified Guest Hotel Review

"Do not stay in this motel until the staff has more experience. They gave me a key to a room which was already occupied. I walked into a room to find a naked man there! They were chipping at tiles, at 10:30pm, somewhere in the building and the sound carried through all the walls. The clerk was surprised when we complained. DUH!! The continental breakfast started an hour late. Travellers are on a schedule, and we consider this motel to be very inconsiderate of their patrons."


Amenities

  • Restaurant
  • Bar / Lounge
  • 24 Hour Reception
  • Air Conditioned
  • Sauna
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Billiards
  • Photocopier
  • Jacuzzi
  • Games Available
  • Vending Machines
  • Express Check-In/Check-Out

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6.0
Fair

#44 out of 47 hotels in Winnipeg city based on 79 guest reviews

Other hotel options in Winnipeg:
More Frequently Booked
7.8 Good
Comfort Inn Winnipeg South
C$105
Higher Rated By Guests
6.4 Fair
Express by Canad Inns
C$108
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