Howard Johnson Express WinnipegHoward Johnson Express WinnipegHoward Johnson Express WinnipegHoward Johnson Express WinnipegHoward Johnson Express Winnipeg

Cheaper west Winnipeg hotel near the Perimeter Hwy with many guest concerns

  • 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
  • Guests liked the breakfast and food served in the lounge
  • Some guests found recently renovated rooms clean and comfortable
  • 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
  • No elevator to the 2nd floor
jump to full editor's analysis (below)
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Editor's Analysis
Updated Oct 19, 2014
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.

A few guests mentioned enjoying breakfast and fast food on site with good portions.

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.

Show Sources
Sources 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 guest ratings averaged 2.4 points out of 5 from 10 reviews with 30% of guests recommending this hotel. guest ratings averaged 6 points out of 10 from 9 reviews. 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

Rated 6.2/10 based on 236 reviews

Ranked #45 out of 48 hotels in Winnipeg


7 out of 10 | Jodi stayed January 11, 2013

"Heat was turned off, very cold entering room."


6 out of 10 | Darlene stayed August 14, 2012

"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."


1 out of 10 | Randy stayed July 09, 2012

"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."


9 out of 10 | Greg stayed February 28, 2012

"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."


7 out of 10 | Margaret stayed February 14, 2012

"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."


6 out of 10 | Loretta stayed June 14, 2011

"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."


5 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed June 04, 2011

"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."

show older reviews

6 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed August 20, 2010

"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"


3 out of 10 | Jill stayed August 07, 2010

"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!!"


1 out of 10 | Ian stayed August 07, 2010

"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..."


5 out of 10 | Kari stayed July 16, 2010

"You get what you pay for."

"The rooms were clean, but poor condition. The staff was very nice."


8 out of 10 | Ruth stayed October 03, 2009

"It should be noted that there is no elevator, a problem for some seniors, I'm sure."


8 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed October 03, 2009

"Would have been nice if there was an elevator. We little old ladies with arthritis have a bit of a problem."


3 out of 10 | Scott stayed September 12, 2005

"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."


8 out of 10 | John stayed September 03, 2005



3 out of 10 | Irene stayed April 11, 2005

"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."

Map Marker Howard Johnson Express Winnipeg
3740 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB