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Howard Johnson Fort Howe Plaza And Convention Center

6.8 | Fair
MAP

Older St John budget hotel with indoor pool, free parking & free cooked-to-order breakfast

Pros
  • Free amenities: Wi-Fi, cooked-to-order breakfast, parking
  • Guests typically found clean rooms and comfortable beds
  • The staff were frequently described as accommodating and friendly
  • Several guests enjoyed the indoor pool area
  • Guests liked the location near to the city centre and highway
  • Many guests enjoyed meals and the free cooked-to-order breakfast at the hotel
Cons
  • Several guests felt the hotel and rooms needed better cleaning and updates
  • A few guests complained of noisy guests
  • A few guests found the Wi-Fi spotty or unreliable
Freebies
Free Wi-Fi
Free Breakfast
Free Parking
Editor's Analysis
Updated Oct 19, 2015
Overview
This hotel offers a budget stay with a free cooked-to-order breakfast, just off Hwy 1 and about a 15-minute walk, or 2-minute drive from Saint John's city centre. Offering convenient highway access, this property is easy to find and well located for guests accessing the ferry.

All rooms are smoke free and include free Wi-Fi, free local calls, a 32" flat screen cable TV, a coffeemaker, a mini-fridge, a microwave, a desk, an iron and ironing board, a hair dryer and air conditioning. Rooms are furnished with 2 double beds, 2 queen beds or 1 or 2 king beds. Room extras include a sofabed and a jacuzzi. Wheelchair-accessible rooms are available. 

Free parking is available on site for cars and oversize vehicles. A free airport shuttle is provided to guests staying a minimum of 7 nights. Guests staying 1 to 6 days are charged $20 each way. The front desk requires 24 hours notice to arrange the shuttle service. Pets under 75 lbs are permitted in certain rooms for an additional fee of $25 per stay.

A free cooked-to-order breakfast is served daily at the on-site restaurant from 6:30 am to 10:30 am. The Vegas Bar & Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while room service is also available. There is also a Tim Hortons within a 3-minute walk, and many downtown restaurants for guests to choose from, in a healthy walk or short drive.

Other on-site amenities include an indoor pool, a hot tub, a fitness centre, a business centre, free newspapers, a 24-hour front desk, an ATM, a guest laundry, dry cleaning service, elevators and meeting rooms.

Downtown attractions are accessible within a 3-minute drive or 15- to 20-minute walk and include Market Square, the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre, the Saint John City Market, Brunswick Square shopping centre and Harbour Station Arena. The Fort Howe Historic site is a 2-minute drive away. Rockwood Park is 5 minutes away by car, while the ferry to Digby, N.S. is a 7-minute drive away. The Saint John Airport (YSJ) is an 18-minute drive away without traffic. (All walking and driving time estimates: Google Maps) 

Confirmed with the front desk on October 19, 2015: breakfast hours, room extras include a sofabed and in-room jacuzzi tub, all rooms have a mini-fridge and microwave; there are no kitchenettes at the hotel
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The Good
Guests were usually satisfied with their stays at the hotel. It seems that they enjoyed the views from their rooms, meals at the on-site restaurant, the hotel's location and the friendliness of the staff.

The rooms were described as clean and generally comfortable, by several guests. A few reviewers said that they had pleasant views of the harbour from their rooms. The pool was a benefit to some guests as well. However, there were also many guests who complained about their rooms and the older state of the hotel (see below for more details).

The location of the hotel was high on the list of positives. Several guests found the hotel well located for accessing the ferry, downtown and nearby attractions. Others said it was easy to find, close to the highway, and convenient for stopping over by US travellers who were driving up to Nova Scotia.

The staff were frequently complimented for their friendly and accommodating service. Often, staff were described as being very willing to solve issues and address complaints.

Many guests enjoyed the food served at the made-to-order free breakfast, as well as other meals, while several reviewers praised the wait staff for their friendly service.
 
Many felt the hotel provided a decent place to stay for the price, when it came to the consideration of value.
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The Bad
Although guests usually found the hotel satisfactory for a short budget stay, there was a common theme in the negative feedback found for this hotel which centred on the hotel's age and its need for updates.

Many guests said the hotel needed updates. Complaints included mouldy bathroom caulking, musty odours, slow drainage in the bathroom, old TVs and beds, and broken equipment in the exercise room. Although there were lots of positive comments about the comfort of the beds, there was also the occasional complaint about old mattresses.

Service was a problem for some guests. Occasionally guests complained of not having enough towels or coffee provided, for the amount of guests in the rooms and some guests ran into rude or unfriendly treatment at the front desk.

Some guests felt the hotel should be better cleaned. Complaints in this regard touched on the carpets, bathrooms, the parking lot, as well as the hot tub and indoor pool. 

Noise was sometimes an issue with rowdy or otherwise noisy guests or occasionally even highway noise.

A few complained of an unreliable Wi-Fi connection.

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Show Sources
Sources
TripAdvisor.ca ranked this hotel #10 out of 19 hotels in Saint John, with an average score of 3.5 out of 5, from 215 reviews.

Expedia.ca gave this hotel an average score of 3.4 out of 5, with 78% of 364 guests recommending the property.


Editor's Analysis by Tammy B.
Analyzed by Tammy B.
Writing chose Tammy from the moment she could hold a pencil. The stories may have changed through the years, from creative fiction to television news reporting, but Tammy's passion for words (and fondness for pencils) continues on.
Guest Reviews
6.8
Fair
#
16 / out of 17
hotels in Saint John

Rated 6.8/10 based on 1241 reviews

Ranked #16 out of 17 hotels in Saint John

1241
Map Marker Howard Johnson Fort Howe Plaza And Convention Center
10 Portland Street, Saint John, NB