Howard Johnson Express Inn Barrie OntarioHoward Johnson Express Inn Barrie OntarioHoward Johnson Express Inn Barrie OntarioHoward Johnson Express Inn Barrie OntarioHoward Johnson Express Inn Barrie Ontario
4.0 | Poor

Howard Johnson Express Inn Barrie Ontario

Map Call

Pet-friendly Barrie hotel with free breakfast and free parking but mixed guest reviews

Pros
  • Free Wi-Fi, parking, continental breakfast
  • Cheap rates, according to numerous guests
  • Many guests liked the location, close to the city centre
  • Helpful staff, said several guests
Cons
  • Many guests said the area around the hotel felt unsafe
  • Terrible smells throughout the hotel, said many guests
  • Many guests felt the rooms and common areas were not clean
  • Numerous guests complained about noise late into the night
  • Hotel was out-dated and worn, according to many guests
jump to full editor's analysis (below)
Freebies
Free Wi-Fi
Free Breakfast
Free Parking
Choose dates to check rates & book this hotel
Editor's Analysis
Updated Oct 22, 2014
Overview
This hotel is a 5-minute drive or a 15-minute walk from downtown Barrie, making it popular with guests looking for an affordable, basic overnight stay close to local restaurants and bars.

This 100% smoke-free hotel has 42 standard rooms, which come with one double, queen or king bed or two double beds, along with a coffeemaker, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi access. Some rooms include a mini-fridge and/or a microwave. An iron and ironing board are available upon request. Pets under 20 lbs. are welcome for a fee of $10 per night.

The hotel offers complimentary continental breakfast each morning. Parking is free. The website states there is a hot tub, however a front desk agent confirmed there is no hot tub. Kings Buffet restaurant, offering an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, is located on site and is open for lunch and dinner. Other restaurants, including The Keg and Tim Hortons, are within a 5-minute drive of the hotel.

Downtown Barrie, with movie theatres, shopping and restaurants, is a 5-minute drive or a 15- to 20-minute walk away. Centennial Park (beach area) and Georgian College are also within a 5-minute drive, and Georgian Down slots and racing is a 15-minute drive away. Horseshoe Valley and Mount St. Louis Ski Resorts are within a 30-minute drive of the hotel. (All distances and travel time estimates: Google Maps)

Verified with a front desk agent on November 7, 2012: 42 guest rooms, free Wi-Fi, 100% non-smoking, some rooms have a fridge and/or microwave, all rooms have a coffeemaker, irons available upon request, there is no hot tub.

more
The Good
In the reviews used for this analysis, negative comments typically outweighed the good, however there were some positive remarks about the room rates, location, staff, and rooms.

Many of the guests chose this hotel for the price, stating it was the cheapest they could find in the city.

The location was praised for being close to downtown Barrie. Many guests enjoyed the hotel's proximity to restaurants, bars, the beach and more (all within a 5-minute drive).

The reviews of this hotel's staff were mixed. Some guests felt the staff were very helpful and accommodating, while others complained about staff who were rude and unaccommodating.

The reviews regarding the comfort of the rooms were also mixed. More reviews were negative, but a number of guests did think the rooms were "reasonably comfortable for the price," as one guest said.
more
The Bad
A high number of the reviews used for the analysis of this hotel were negative and focused on the hotel's location, upkeep, and noise levels.

Many of the reviewers felt the hotel was in an unsafe neighbourhood. One guest said, "The area was somewhat creepy with homeless abound." Another guest said, "A shady looking character knocked at my door around midnight." According to some guests, the locks did not work on the back doors leading into the hallways, so anybody could enter the hotel at any time.

Another frequent complaint was of various smells in the rooms and common areas, including smells of urine, vomit and cigarette smoke, even though the hotel claims to be smoke-free.

Many guests complained about unclean sheets. Guests reported stains from mold or other unknown substances. A few guests also opted out of the free breakfast because they felt the breakfast area was too dirty to be serving food safely.

Numerous guests complained about noise during the night from people partying in the hotel and also in the parking lot. One guest said “The Inn attracts many young, noisy weekend revellers and I did not sleep more than fifteen minutes all night.”

The hotel was run-down according to many guests. There were complaints of rotting ceilings, peeling paint, rusty bathroom fixtures, broken toilet seats, stained carpets, and cigarette burns in the curtains.

As mentioned above, some guests had positive experiences with the staff, however a few had negative encounters and described rude and unaccommodating staff.

While some people did think the beds were comfortable, there were quite a few guests who did not. One guest said "Every time you sat or lay down on the bed, it felt like you were falling off of it.”
more

Show Sources
Sources
TripAdvisor.com guest reviews ranked this hotel #15 out of 20 hotels in Barrie, and rated it 3 out of 5, based on 37 reviews.

Booking.com guest reviews rated this hotel 5.5 out of 10, based on 39 reviews.

Hotels.com guest reviews rated this hotel 2.2 out of 5, based on 32 reviews.

Verified with a front desk agent on November 7, 2012: 42 guest rooms, free Wi-Fi, 100% non-smoking, some rooms have a fridge and/or microwave, all rooms have a coffeemaker, irons available upon request, there is no hot tub.
Editor's Analysis by Candice F.
Analyzed by Candice F.
Having travelled to 25 countries on 5 continents, Candice understands what a traveller is looking for when booking a hotel. She currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, but originally hails from Toronto, Ontario.
Guest Reviews
4.0
Poor

Rated 4.0/10 based on 313 reviews

Ranked #15 out of 15 hotels in Barrie

313
Location
  • Snow Valley Ski Resort (8.1 km)
  • Downtown Barrie
Map Marker Howard Johnson Express Inn Barrie Ontario
150 Dunlop Street West, Barrie, ON