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“HIE Jacksonville - Room for Improvement”

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Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville - Blount Island
Ranked #58 of 133 Hotels in Jacksonville
Certificate of Excellence
New Brighton
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“HIE Jacksonville - Room for Improvement”
Reviewed 22 January 2012

I'm a big fan of the Holiday Inn Express brand - so much value for the money... theoretically. The payoff is in the execution, however, and I found it somewhat lacking at this HIE location.

The primary rationale for this location's existence is to function as a one-night, pre-cruise crash pad and transportation service to the JAXPORT. Cruisers stay here for that transit service - if this HIE can't absolutely nail that function, then one might well consider staying elsewhere.

Don't get me wrong - the three person shuttle team worked like the proverbial one-legging man in a butt kicking contest to get everyone to and from the port in a timely fashion - Edward, Sheila and the shuttle coordinator hustled all the way. I just don't think that management has given them the resources needed to do the job right.

A better ride registration system (perhaps using an iPad?) is needed, along with a better method of notifying guests when their ride is ready to go (using the hotel TV channel?). We almost missed our ride because we were left off of a handwritten list. The service might also benefit from giving the shuttle drivers two-way radios so that they can report their location to the shuttle coordinator.

I also think a third shuttle van is needed on days when the Carnival Fasciation both arrives and then later leaves on the same day (as was the case when I returned from my cruise). There are simply too many bodies to move to and from the ship (some even being transported directly to the airport, a rather lengthly trip) for the process to run to anyone's satisfaction. My group stayed over one night after the cruise and so we spent a bit of time in the hotel's lobby (waiting for a rental car to arrive), and listening to the grumbling and complaining of those waiting for their ride to JAXPORT told a tale of near failure. I'm sure all those folks made it to the port on time, but not many of them seemed particularly happy.

I also thought the breakfast buffet was subpar by HIE standards. The pancake maker didn't work on either of the mornings I ate there - might as well put it in the closet (I suspect there wasn't any batter on hand). The biscuits were rock hard (a sheet of foil over the warming pan would have kept them moist). Worst of all - no cinnamon rolls. I was told that the cruisers really cleaned them out - curious, but shouldn't such demand be planned for, given the primary purpose of this location? Was the influx of cruisers a surprise? How do you run out of the signature breakfast buffet item?

Bottom line: I get the feeling that management doesn't embrace their cruise-centric role as fully as they should - they're doing a passing job but hardly up to expected HIE standards. Maybe this location is great for regular guests, but my impression is that cruisers are being shortchanged.

Plusses: the outdoor heated jacuzzi was the bomb and the outdoor pool was also heated (for real), making it usable in mid-January. The reception desk was staffed by very friendly and helpful folks.

Need to Know: The only food available for those without transportation is the next door Wendy's. There are some delivery options, however.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Creeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dhilloncorp, Owner at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville - Blount Island, responded to this review, 29 January 2012
Dear Guest,
We are extremely sorry for not delivering what you expected from us. We are humbled and we apologize for the letdown. Just like you said, it appears that the team was working hard, yet it didn't matter simply because, it was just not our lucky day. Once again, we regret this happened and we are sorry for the inconvenience you endured during your stay.
On a separate note, we appreciate your feedback. Your suggestions were excellent and we have taken note of everything you said. Along with that, we have set aside our hurt pride and taken the time to regroup. We are ready for the re-test today. Please come see us again, we are yearning to claim back our name to fame. After all, we work hard towards it, every day.
Warm regards,
Marshal Dhillon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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282 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Gloucester, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 19 January 2012

The staff at this hotel are very courtious, obliging and friendly. The bed was very comfortable. The hotel is very clean and well maintained. The breakfast was excellent and coffee,tea and cookies were available 24 hrs/day.

Room Tip: If you do not smoke, don't take a smoking room
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EPCruiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, FL
Level 6 Contributor
159 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2012

After reading the reviews for this hotel I was expecting more, it's just a Holiday Inn Express in the end. It's a nice hotel, especially for the price, but if this is the #1 hotel in Jacksonville, I'd hate to see the middle of the road options.

Asked for a "King Suite".... ended up with a room that seemed pretty standard to me, but I guess it was the suite because it had a chair and table?? I don't know, but it didn't meet my definition of suite.

Everything was clean, and in good shape. The hotel has been built/redone in the style of the newer HIE hotels, the beds are very comfortable and the fixtures and bathroom setup is nice. I wish they'd put the shower heads higher up on the wall, but that's a personal preference. Flatscreen TV, but no HD. Couldn't get wireless internet to work, had to use an ethernet cable, which was no problem in the end just slightly annoying.

Service was very friendly and attentive. Breakfast was well stocked and attended, but lacked variety. Seemed like mostly the same things every day.

Easy to find right off the highway, but the location is not good for anything other than a cruise the next day. Only thing in walking distance was a Wendy's and a gas station. 10 minute drive to any shopping, restaurants, etc.

Fitness center consisted of 4 cardio machines. Business center was a computer on a desk in the lobby. Pool/hot tub/patio area was nice, other than backing up to the highway, a little cold during my stay to use it though.

Also, another thing that I found lacking....... none of the external doors locked. Normally you would use a key to come in any door at night, but none of them locked, ever. Wide open to anyone looking to come in, good thing there was nothing around so no reason for people to be there.

Overall pretty average, if you're looking for value this is good. If you're going on a cruise, perfect. Anything else, maybe keep looking.

Room Tip: Don't bother with the "suite", not worth the extra few bucks.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Canesfan16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canton, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
488 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2012

It's to see an HI Express being the top-rated hotel in a city as large as Jacksonville. Anyway, this was a very good one-night pre-cruise stop for us, located only about one mile to the cruise terminal. The property appears to be fairly new. It's certainly clean and orderly, with nice rooms (very good shower and mattress) and helpful, courteous staff.
We didn't eat the continental breakfast but it looked consistent with what you'd find at any chain hotel in this price range.

Room Tip: Rooms near the rear have less customer traffic and more privacy.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank RoswellDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dhilloncorp, Owner at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville - Blount Island, responded to this review, 14 January 2012
Dear Guest,
You are so absolutely right; Holiday Inn Express Blount Island is a little kid on this block and to be ranked #1 in Jacksonville is a distinction bestowed upon us by generous Guests like youself. No doubt, we work passionately hard to create hotels that our guests love but truthfully, all credit for our success goes to no one else but patrons like you. Now the sentiment I am about to express may have the sounds of a Thanksgiving Day speech but I must still convey: Our team members and our families appreciate your business and we love your compliments too. We thank you all for what you do. Simply said, what we are today is what you have made us to be. We truly love and enjoy serving you.
Sincerely,
Marshal Dhillon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 6 January 2012

The staff were great. Mr. Harold in maintenance came to our room to fix our heater. Very nice man. The rest of the staff were friendly, professional & very helpful, also. It was close to cruise ship with a shuttle to & from ship which was very convenient. Very tasty continental breakfast. Awesome service. Highly recommend!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MandyBlues
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dhilloncorp, Owner at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville - Blount Island, responded to this review, 14 January 2012
Dear Guest,
Please accept our sincere gratitude and a million thanks for your kind comments on Trip Advisor. Our staff wishes that you could stay longer and make more time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Blount Island Florida. We have so much more to offer besides the Cruise Terminal. With that said, I hope you always remember, you do have a home with us here, in Jacksonville Florida.
We thank you very much for giving us the chance to earn your confidence.
Yours Sincerely,
Blount Island Holiday Inn Express Team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Wayne, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 January 2012

Our stay was delightful...we arrived a few days early for our family cruise...Lauren, at the main desk, went out of her way to make our stay the best. When our family arrived, Lauren again had all the details taken care of so that our stay and transportation to and from the cruise went very smoothly... There were 17 of us...including toddlers...I can't tell you how much we appreciated all the extra TLC...I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone....Those responsible for transporting us to the cruise ship were so helpful ...Truly this staff is one of the best...

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kathy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anderson, South Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2011

Stayed one night with the family returning to South Carolina from the Keys. This is a very nice hotel, the room was clean, the lobby is huge and the pool was nice and warm and clean.

Be prepared to drive if you want to get something other than Wendy's for dinner. Since we had been in the car all day we just walked to Wendy's but the girl at the front desk was very helpful with alternative suggestions.

If I come this way again on business or leisure I would consider this hotel. I love the view of the reactor cooling towers. Just like the HIE in Limrick, PA.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeff J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dhilloncorp, Owner at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville - Blount Island, responded to this review, 1 January 2012
Dear Guest:
First of all, I thank you and family for giving us the opportunity to serve you during your recent visit to beautiful Florida. On the same note, we are grateful to you for your kind compliments, and we appreciate you sharing your kind thoughts with all those traveling to this area.
Secondly,I agree with all you have said, however I would like to elaborate a bit more on the dining options available in this immediate area.
As you have rightly stated, we do stand tucked in to a quiet and picture perfect setting. Come to think of it, this hotel has the best of both worlds. We are located half way between the Airport and Downtown Jacksonville areas. This means; no noisy jets or flight paths; no annoying traffic; no inner city noise!! How cool is that? More so, we are only one quarter of a mile from the Carnival Cruise ship terminal. In other words, we are right off the highway and just minutes away from everything, (including beaches and fishing).
Speaking of everything; with Wendy's and Quiznos next door we are 7 minutes away from multiple dining & entertainment options. (For example: Panera Bread, Logan’s Steak House, Ruby Tuesdays, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Buffalo Wild Wings, Five Guy's, Red Lobster, Chili's, Wasabi's, Casa Maria and many more are close by). Better yet the hotel shuttle is available (upon request) to take you there. You can simply leave the driving to us, (however restrictions apply).
Lastly, we do have business partnerships with Italian, Mexican and Chinese restaurants who deliver freshly prepared good quality food to the hotel room. Should you feel tired and don’t feel like going out, we will gladly assist you in having your favorite food delivered right to your room.
Having said, I thank you and Trip Advisor for giving us the chance to utilize this space as an informatory platform so we can better assist our audience form an opinion regarding their future stay in Jacksonville Florida.
Warm Regards,
Marshal Dhillon
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville - Blount Island

Property: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville - Blount Island
Address: 10148 New Berlin Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32226-2210
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Jacksonville
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Business Hotel in Jacksonville
#30 Romantic Hotel in Jacksonville
#32 Family Hotel in Jacksonville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express & Suites Jacksonville - Blount Island 2.5*
Number of rooms: 73
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are ideally situated just off Route 9A near the picturesque St. Johns River, Jaxport Cruise Ship Terminal and the Jacksonville Airport. As the closest hotel to the Jaxport Carnival Cruise Ship Terminal, our accommodations are the perfect choice for cruise ship travelers.. Our J hotel is minutes from downtown Jacksonville and area attractions like Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Jacksonville Zoo, Kinsley Plantation and Jacksonville Landing. We are just 11 miles from the beautiful Jacksonville Beach.Corporate travelers also find our hotel's location in Jacksonville to be ideal. Trapac, Jacksonville Electric Authority, Atlantic Marine Shipyard and Dry Dock are just a few of the nearby businesses, and we are just 15 miles from the Mayo Clinic. Staying productive has never been easier with the Business Center and free Wi-Fi access. And, we have a 644-sq-ft meeting room that can seat up to 30 people.When staying at this Jacksonville, Florida hotel, you can expect a comfortable stay and great amenities, such as the free, hot breakfast bar, a fitness center, outdoor pool and whirlpool. ... more   less 
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Holiday Inn Express And Suites Jacksonville - Blount Island

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