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“Good value - decent room”

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Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls
Ranked #20 of 129 Hotels in Niagara Falls
GreenLeadersBronze level
Streamwood, IL
Level Contributor
56 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good value - decent room”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2012

First I have to say that I bugged Kelly (front desk representative) about 20 times before and during my stay there and she ALWAYS had a smile for me and a friendly 'Hello' when I would arrive into the lobby, thanks Kelly!!!! In fact all of the hotel staff were very nice and friendly, but not always the best informed (i'll explain later).

I would have given higher ratings if it weren't for a few details, which is really a shame.

First the good:
1. The staff, (see above) were all very friendly and accommodating.

2. My son LOVED the pool. It had a slide which is always a big plus and it went indoor/outdoor which is very fun. It was clean in there, which is a plus from my perspective.

3. Underground parking - this was excellent, kept my car out of the heat of the days and since we walked or took the shuttle everywhere, we never even moved the car after we arrived.

4. This was a great location - not too close to the main drag (Clifton Hill av) but an easy walk there and to the falls. They also offer shuttle passes with packages which goes all over the touristy area.

Now the not so good:

1. the AC was loud, my son even made a comment about it which is unusual since he sleeps like a rock! And it didn't always cool well, but it was sufficient.

2. No fridge, nuff said.

3. No free breakfast despite advertising on the little key card holder that they had such an amenity. I was really disappointed about this since most of the other hotels in the area seemed to have this. They did offer two $25 vouchers for breakfast at the Denny's that's across the parking lot with my 2 day waterpark package which was good, but BEWARE the Denny's is VERY expensive and it doesn't include the tax, which you have to pay for. We went way over the $25 for myself and my 8 yr old!! :( And you can't charge anything to your room, this would be a really nice feature if they could work out a deal. I guess I assumed they would have that amenity since they did provide the vouchers...

4. The jacuzzi had TONS of yucky foam. I did some research online which said it could be caused by a # of factors (I did the research because I was thinking it was from something bad!!). Basically they could be using cheap chemicals and/or too much chemical, those are the main causes... So they may need to do some of their own research to see how to properly maintain their hot tub. Kept me from going in... :(

5. $9 per day for parking that was not optional if you came in a car. I know there are more expensive hotel parking lots, I'm just diametrically opposed to paying for parking somewhere that I am staying.

6. Probably the biggest disappointment was that the front desk (and Kelly, I'm sad to say) weren't aware of the fact that the Fallsview Waterpark (which was fabulous by the way) was not always open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and that the week we were there they had limited hours (i'm sure because it wasn't 'season' yet). No one mentioned this when I purchased my Waterpark package or when I asked several questions about it upon check-in and even after that. My son and I kind of arranged our whole stay around the one day we would visit the waterpark, which we decided to do on Tuesday only to find out upon arriving at 9am (which is the normal opening time) that they were only open from 3pm-8pm on that day and 11am-7pm then next day (normal hours during high season is 9am-8pm). So we came back to the hotel after our disappointment and when we asked the front desk why they didn't let us know this they were totally taken by surprise and actually said that whoever told us that it's closed on many Tuesday's and Wednesday's was lying. Well I went online and you can clearly see the Waterpark schedule (which the HOJO staff could benefit from printing out and posting maybe) that shows that they are closed more than 1/2 the Tues/Wed between January and May, must open for school breaks and such and then limited hours as the high season approaches. Anyway, my son and I decided to go from 3-8 on Tuesday and it worked out fine because the place was basically empty and so no lines to go on any of the slides, we had a blast. All this to say that the Staff at the hotel should have known this, this is their business...

7. The TV was kind of sad (like a 32 inch, if that big) older style (not flat screen) kind. And reception was pretty bad as others have said, lines running across most channels. My son didn't seem to mind much but he's a bit of a TV zombie at times...

8. We didn't really take advantage of housekeeping except the first day and they failed to leave us a replacement lining bag for the ice bucket and the beds were remade fairly lumpily... Just a bit less than professional.

9. With the package you get a $10 voucher to their on-site 'food court' but it's pretty pricey so don't expect a free meal or even dessert, and you still have to pay the taxes. the woman who served us at the Pizza hut clearly wasn't enjoying her job, not very pleasant, not mean or anything but not pleasant either.

10. The washer and dryer were pricey and the dryer took 2 cycles to dry my clothes, but I was grateful they had it. I was a bit freaked out by the broken glass I found in the washing machine before washing my clothes... :(

Overall this is a good value for the money. In retrospect, I may have spent a little more to get more amenities. NF is a tourist trap so everything is pretty expensive, I hadn't been there in over 25 years so I didn't expect this. It didn't ruin our vacation at all but we did leave a day earlier than planned because I couldn't spend one more dollar on another wax museum or arcade!!! LOL!

Niagara Falls General Comments:

1. Buy the Adventure Pass, it's the best deal there, you get to do 4 activities: Maid of the Mist boat ride, Journey Behind the falls tour, Niagara Fury 4D movie experience, and White Water Walk (don't be misled by the title, your feet go nowhere near the water, you walk along a wooden pathway along the Niagara River Great Gorge which was really spectacular watching these class 6 rapids rushing by, but you remain completely dry and out of the water). This was the highlight of our trip.

2. The Fallsview waterpark is a blast! Huge slides and a great Tidal Pool. We were there before the official season started so it was pretty empty which was awesome! But check the hours before you go to make sure it's open when you want to visit. This is often part of Hotel packages.

3. There are so many tourist trappy places like all the wax museums and Ripleys and Guinness book of world records, etc... We went to the Ripleys museum and the 4D 'moving theater' and enjoyed both, not sure if they are totally worth the money but they offer a '2, 3, or 4 attraction package' which made it more palatable.

4. Went to AlMac's buffet for breakfast one morning thinking we would save a few $$'s since they advertised breakfast buffet for $6.99 but don't be deceived. The food choices were decent but pretty limited and a glass of juice was $3.39 or something and they wouldn't even serve you a glass of water, you had to purchase bottled water... When I mentioned my disappointment to the owner (I think that's who that was running the register), he said, "we're in business to make money'. WOW!! :(

5. Surprisingly enough the souvenir stores are the best deal in NF! You can get souvenir hats and tees for under $5!!!! Stock up! :)

6. one item to note, when they say there are 'fireworks' at the falls, if you're from the states don't expect '4th of July' kind of fireworks. They are the same quality, but they literally lasted 5 minutes!!!! How weird... We were even there on Memorial day which was a special event display so even my hotel staff thought they would be better, but they were their typical 5 minutes of fireworks. It's pretty much just the grand finale and out...

7. One of the highlights for us were the people, all the Canadians were very hospitable and kind, gotta love that!

It's worth the trip at least once, this was my 3rd trip but they were so many years apart that I didn't remember from one to the next. Probably won't go again, but have great memories!

Room Tip: we had room 616, the window faced 'Screamers' which we could hear a bit at night... Not the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jfreak5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HJ Manager, General Manager at Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls, responded to this review, 7 June 2012
Thank you for the abundance of information. We do appreciate hearing from our guests on both positive and negative as it helps us to improve our service for future guests. I hope that in the end your overall stay was positive and that we will see you again on your next visit to Niagara. Thank you for your input and for choosing Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (153)
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Wasaga Beach
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2012

We always enjoy our stay at HoJo by the falls! It's an older hotel so the deluxe rooms are HUGE compared to most hotels these days. Love the king size bed (complete with overhead lighted mirror -- its NF after all!) and the double jacuzzi! We asked at the front desk about the Friday night fireworks timing because we were going to go and watch them and they told us we would be able to see them from our room, so we stayed in and watched them right before our eyes in the comfort of our room. We booked the getaway package, so we dined 'fashionably late' after the fireworks across the street at the Keg (delicious crab/shrimp/sirloin meal!) and then breakfasted (emphasis on FAST) at Denny's Saturday morning. A great mini-vacay for around $200 CDN

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kikiblue99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HJ Manager, General Manager at Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls, responded to this review, 27 May 2012
Thank you for your wonderful comments. We are always happy to hear from our returning guests how we have been able to provide a memorable experience. We hope to have you back with us again soon, thank you for your continued patronage of Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed for only one night, thank goodness, but when we went up to the room it had a very bad smell, not sure what it was? We left the room door open to air it out because for some reason the windows do not open, I have read in another review that this is because they dont want things being thrown out of them. To me this makes no sense because they do offer rooms with balconies, should have gotten one of them I guess. Oh well because we were only staying for 1 night we just let it go. You would think for the price that they could do something about it. Also, the rooms are dated, beds uncomfortable and I dont think the pillows have been changed in years. Very noisy air conditioner and the tvs are super old with terrible reception!! I understand that in Niagara falls you pay for location but I have stayed in far nicer hotels closer to the falls that were not much pricier and offered way more bang for the buck. Will not be returning to this hotel. Would much rather pay a little extra and get the quality.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lisa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HJ Manager, General Manager at Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls, responded to this review, 24 May 2012
We do appreciate hearing from our guests as to how we may improve our product and services to our guests. You are correct the windows are secured for the safety of our guests as they are in many hotels. If there was an issue with the room and we are made aware of the situation we may have been able to provide more acceptable accomodations to make your stay more comfortable. The rooms were all just renovated within the last two years for carpets, window dressings, wallpaper and linens. The beds have also all been replaced in the last few years, Comfort is a personal preference and many tell us they like the beds. Thank you for your perspective on how we may improve our services.
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Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2012

My husband and I are smokers, unfortunately, so we booked a room with a balcony because they are the only rooms that you are permitted to smoke,(on balcony only) which didnt bother us at all. So my husband and I were very careful to ONLY smoke on the balcony and to make sure that the balcony door was closed while we were doing so. We also noticed that the rooftop below us was littered with cigarette butts because while you are allowed to smoke they do not provide ashtrays so we thought instead of adding to the mess we put our butts in cups and drink bottles!!. Upon checkout we waited while security went up and checked the room, no problem, I thought, so when the manager informed me that there was evidence of us smoking in the room, I was stunned!!!...while cleaning up the balcony we brought in the cups and bottles and left them in the room, all cigarettes were out long before they were brought into the room. we made sure of this!!! I was told that there were ashes in the room, and I told him to please show me what he was talking about, he would not, the cups with the extinguished cigarettes were thrown in the garbage by my husband before we left so I dont know how the actual smell of smoke could have happened. I believe that them seeing the butts that they very wrongly assumed that we were smoking in the room when we took EVERY precaution not to let any smoke come into the room!!! Although we did enjoy the room, and loved the view, we were definitely thinking about rebooking with them again, it spoiled our whole weekend when we checked out and were told that we would be charged a fee for deodorizing the room!!! I was so upset by this and since there was a line of people behind me waiting to check out (embarrassing) I swore to the manager on duty (Kevin) and tried to explain that we definitely HAD NOT smoked in the room and that there were NO ASHES anywhere in the room and wanted him to show me where these so called ashes were he would not, so I stormed out and let my husband know what was said and he then went in to go and talk to the manager about it, the manager would absolutely not listen to anything he was saying. Believe me, I would NOT be this upset if I thought for a second that he was right!!! I am not that kind of person, but I am totally stunned by this and feel that we are being penalized for trying not to litter and truly thought that we were doing a good thing...NOPE. I know that the manager will reply below and say that the room "had an odor of smoke" but this is ABSOLUTELY 100% NOT TRUE!!!! I will be contacting their corporate office to let them know what happened and I dont know if there will be any resolution to this but they need to know. As a matter of fact, there was a room close to us on another balcony that was smoking so much pot that my husband and I were afraid that as we were going in and out of the balcony the smell would get into our room and we would be blamed for it, we almost called down to tell the front desk that is was not us in case it did permeate our room but we didnt want to cause any trouble. Whew, sorry this is long winded but I just had to get it out because we were so upset by it. If I can fight this any other way I would LOVE to know how, maybe when you reply to this Kevin, you can let me know.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Tracy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HJ Manager, General Manager at Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls, responded to this review, 24 May 2012
Thank you for your commentary regarding the smoking policy at the Hotel. The property is a smoke free Hotel and that is what our guests come to expect. While we do have the balcony rooms for guests to smoke outside, we do ask that the guests do not bring any of the items in the room as the odours do remain in the room. These odours are difficult to remove once in the room and we must deodorize the room for the next guest renting those facilities as they expect a smoke free environment. The room was inspected at check out and the ashes and butts were in the bathroom as you stated leaving a noticeable odor. The deposit is kept at that time to cover the costs of taking the room offline to deodorize it, the policy is in place to protect the expectations of all of our guests. Once again I am sorry if you do not agree with the policy but it is to ensure we meet the expectations of those guests looking for a smoke free property.
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Werribee, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2012

Stayed Friday/Saturday nights, found the front desk staff to be particularly helpful in terms of local attractions, restaurant choices and anything else we needed to know. The rooms were ok ... the location great. The only challenge we had was with changing dates, keep on the phone for ages on two occasions and not very flexible. Totally different experience with the team front desk team face to face.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HJ Manager, General Manager at Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls, responded to this review, 24 May 2012
Thank you for your kind compliments of our staff. It is always appreciated to hear that our staff has provided our guests with a memorable and positive stay. We hope to be of service to you on future visits to the Falls.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls

Property: Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls
Address: 5905 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2G 3L8, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > Ontario > Niagara Falls
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Niagara Falls
#22 Romantic Hotel in Niagara Falls
Price range (per night): ₹ 3,753 - ₹ 12,493
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls Niagara Falls 2.5*
Number of rooms: 198
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just one short block to the Top 10 best Clifton Hill Attractions and the mighty water Falls itself and just steps away from the Great Canadian Midway. The Howard Johnson Hotel by the Falls is superbly located in the center of the Niagara Falls/Clifton Hill tourist district offering you an incredible selection of restaurants and shopping adventures. The Niagara Falls Howard Johnson Hotel By The Falls is a 3 Key-Green Certified family-oriented full-service hotel that offers you wonderful Niagara Falls Hotel Accommodations consisting of 198 newly renovated spacious guest rooms including Family Suites, Whirlpool Guest Rooms and Traditional 2-Queen Bedded Guest Rooms, as well as our Balcony Rooms overlooking all the action below along the Clifton Hill District. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls Howard Johnson

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