Howard Johnson HamiltonHoward Johnson HamiltonHoward Johnson HamiltonHoward Johnson HamiltonHoward Johnson Hamilton

1-min. drive from Lincoln M. Alexander Pkwy, many guest concerns about the rooms

Pros
  • Free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, free parking and free local calls
  • Several guests found the beds comfortable
  • The staff were complimented for their friendly service by a few guests
Cons
  • Many guests thought that their rooms were in need of renovations and updates
  • Many reviewers said that the rooms did not meet their cleanliness expectations
  • Several guests complained about noise disturbances from neighbouring rooms and the halls
jump to full editor's analysis (below)
Freebies
Free Wi-fi
Free Breakfast
Free Parking
Rates & Availability
Editor's Analysis
Updated Mar 31, 2014
Overview
This hotel is situated among shops and restaurants, within a 1-minute drive of the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway. This property is centrally located for guests looking to explore the area by car. Access to Highway 403 is 4 minutes away by car, while downtown Hamilton is about a 10-minute drive away. 

All rooms are smoke free and include free Wi-Fi, free local calls, a TV, a coffeemaker, an iron and ironing board, a hair dryer and individual climate control. This hotel also offers suites that include a jetted tub. Wheelchair-accessible rooms are available. Pets are not permitted in the guest rooms.

A free breakfast is served daily from 7 am to 10 am. The on-site Pastacino's restaurant serves lunch and dinner. This hotel also has an on-site Yuk Yuks Comedy Club.

Other on-site amenities include free parking, copy/fax service, ice/vending machines and an ATM. 

Meadowlands Power Centre shopping area is about a 6-minute drive away. Downtown Hamilton, which is about a 10-minute drive away, features Copps Coliseum, Bayfront Park, the Hamilton Military Museum, HMCS Haida Historic Site and the Hamilton Art Gallery. Ivor Wynne Stadium is about 11 minutes away by car, while McMaster University is a 13-minute drive away. Access to Highway 401 is about 35 minutes away by car. (All driving time estimates: Google Maps)

Verified by a front desk agent on March 21, 2014: Free breakfast hours, no airport shuttle service and wheelchair accessibility. 
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The Good
Among the reviews used for this analysis, many guests described generally disappointing experiences at this hotel. However, there were some positive comments found for this property.

The staff were complimented for friendly service by a few guests. 

A couple of reviewers appreciated the free breakfast.

Several guests found the beds comfortable, while a couple of other reviewers said that the rooms were generally comfortable. However, many other reviewers were unhappy with the condition of their rooms (see below for more details).
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The Bad
As mentioned above, many guests were unhappy with their experiences at this hotel, among the reviews sourced for this editorial.

Many guests thought that their rooms were in need of renovations and updates. These guests described stained carpeting, walls in need of painting, doors that wouldn't lock properly, duct tape around the windows and worn linens. One reviewer noted a "leaking roof and deteriorating walls", while another guest described her room as "shabby".

Many reviewers were also disappointed with the cleanliness of their rooms, while a few guests specifically mentioned an unpleasant smell in the rooms and halls.

Several reviewers complained about hearing conversations and guests partying in neighbouring rooms.
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Show Sources
Sources
Expedia.ca gave this hotel an average score of 2.5 out of 5, with 61% of 257 guests recommending the property.

TripAdvisor.com ranked this hotel #18 out of 21 hotels in Hamilton, with an average score of 2 out of 5, from 189 reviews.

The author called the hotel on March 21, 2014 to verify some information.
Editor's Analysis by Shane L.
Analyzed by Shane L.
With ample personal travel experience and years of professional hotel work experience, Shane is prepared and determined to help travelers find what they want when booking Canadian hotels.
Guest Reviews
4.9
Poor

Rated 4.9/10 based on 455 reviews

Ranked #13 out of 14 hotels in Hamilton


2 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed July 29, 2014

"Depressing"

"Hotel is in need of major renovations."Sad, tired exterior."Lobby decorated with poinsettias in July. Hallways smelled badly of cigarette smoke. Room A/c in the window,so curtain had to be left open in order to not block air flow. This meant that lights from car lot next door shone into room. On plus side, several nice restaurants across street."

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7 out of 10 | Cal stayed April 08, 2014

"you definitly get what you pay for"

"They offer all the amenities that you would expect from Howard Johnson. However, the wing that we where in was showing it's aged design & should be completlely renovated. Also the motel's road appearance needs major improvement. We did have a restfull sleep & definitly did not overpay for what we received."

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8 out of 10 | James stayed March 08, 2014

"nice bed, great location"

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4 out of 10 | Erin stayed August 19, 2013

"Could be cheaper for the quality."

"I was in a Motel room where I had to walk up outside stairs to enter my room from an outside balcony. There's hotel rooms as well but I mistakenly booked the cheapest and got the outside room. I'm not always picky but it was late and I'm a lady and I was alone. The room wasn't vacuumed well and in the tub there was one spot that was very yellow... gross. The door was so flimsy I'd bet that anyone who weighs more than 100lbs could kick it in. I could also see light thru a crack in it. It is surrounded by a Hooters, a fat laser clinic and dominos pizza. If that doesn't give you a scary mental image... Being as tired as I was I took it and slept fully clothed. I also had some astringent containing alcohol which I dumped all over the shower and rinsed before entering it on tippy toes and took the fastest shower ever. The people I met at the front desk were all nice no complaints there. Usually a hotel/motel like this would have miserable people working in it but not here. I do not want to stay again. For a little more money I will find a better place."

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7 out of 10 | Faviola stayed August 04, 2013

"Faviola"

"Good location and confort. Affordable rates."

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6 out of 10 | Lieann stayed July 21, 2013

"Reasonable place to stay for the rate you pay"

"Location is good close to everything restaurants etc. Rooms are okay"

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3 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed June 30, 2013

"get what you pay for"

"This place needs a major overhaul, it is falling apart. Roof leaks....throw pillows smelled of B.O...white towels so old they looked dirty even though supposedly clean...staff was great, but we will never stay again...thank goodness we didn't bring the kids!"

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7 out of 10 | Jose stayed December 02, 2012

"confortable"

"Excellent customer service and clerk staff."

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8 out of 10 | Andreas stayed October 28, 2012

"Good enough for the price and location"

"If you're not looking for something fancy but cheap then this should do. Rooms are very basic but clean with the usual amenities such as bath and TV, continental breakfast in the lobby is included. While the hotel is not located downtown it is located on a major street to the airport and if you want to save on taxi fare the local Hamilton transit which operates in between the airport and downtown, at a cost of $2.55 per trip, stops in front of the hotel."

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9 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed December 23, 2011

"good"

"it is a good hotel"

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7 out of 10 | Robert stayed November 12, 2011

"Too much gap in front door and frame due to lock system. Had cold night air blowing in during night. TV was a bit antiquated."

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1 out of 10 | Ron stayed September 09, 2011

"AVOID AT ALL COSTS...I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS!"

"This hotel should be closed...stuck between Hooters and a comedy club the front lobby is passable as long as you don't trip on the "coming unglued" front fake wood floor. The doors on rooms and entrances don't close properly, water marks around windows and in bath, steep stairs to second floor with ripped carpets from people dragging suitcases, TV has several channels ( 4 were clear enough to watch), street is being redone creating huge line ups (the only thing not the hotels fault) generally dirty/grungy and the front desk person agreed with all of our assessments."

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6 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed August 23, 2011

"Spend some money on this location - it deserves it."

"This is an old motel/hotel however in a very very good location. It was busy when we were there. Some money needs to be spent on it! It is badly in need of an upgrade - painting, bathroom features. This location has room to put in a pool/hot tubs etc."

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8 out of 10 | Fred stayed July 21, 2011

"Great value."

"Very good and the price was right."

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7 out of 10 | Gino stayed April 20, 2011

"Do not expect a Sheraton or a Hilton good value for your buc"

"My room was very clean and I found it to be pleasant. It was a simple motel there was no pool or extra amenities like other hotels, but good value for the price. I would stay there again."

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6 out of 10 | Bob stayed February 22, 2011

"You get what you pay for."

"For what I needed it was great."

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2 out of 10 | Alexander stayed May 13, 2010

"what a dump"

"this hotel was an absolute dump for the money. there were other guests that gathered in the parking lot at 4 a.m. to drink coffee and talk in loud voices. all in all this hotel should be dropped from your list of recommendations."

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5 out of 10 | Verified Guest stayed February 09, 2010

"The room had a problem with the heating system and we had to be moved. The desk staff were very accommodating in moving us to two adjoining rooms that were better. Full credit to the staff. Nevertheless, the heating system was still below par - still chilly."

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Map Marker Howard Johnson Hamilton
1187 Upper James Street, Hamilton, ON