I just came back from a 4-night stay at the Peabody Hotel while attending the Photoshop World 2013 conference (April 16-19). I stayed in a Loft room (Room 12522) on the 25th floor, and I was by myself. I am 55, female and an experienced traveler.
ACCESS TO THE OCCC: Overall, this is a magnificent hotel and conference facility. The covered walkway over to the Orange County Convention Center is ideal, particularly if it rains. This is a big hotel, so put on your walking shoes, folks. After a long day of sitting through classes, the walk to and from the hotel was a welcome relief. Allocate 10 to 15 minutes to get from your room to the meeting rooms at the convention center. There are other hotels in close proximity to the OCCC (the Hilton and another one right next to the Hilton), but I believe that the Peabody was the only one with an attached covered walkway.
MY ROOM: My room was average size, not huge, but roomy with a desk, a coffee/vanity area, a comfy chair for extra seating, and 2 queen beds. The view of the convention center and the beautiful, large pool was fantastic! As an added plus, I could see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom in the distance.
There was a nice nook next to the TV for my suitcase and enough room to stash my duffle bag. There was an iron & ironing board, an extra pillow, and an in-room safe, which I am happy to say was large enough to store my 12-inch Mac Air and 2 small cameras. The mini-fridge was located in the cabinetry underneath the TV. I had no trouble finding enough outlets for my iPad, iPhone, and laptop. If my husband had been with me and we were sharing the room, there wouldn't have been enough outlets. The large umbrella in the closet was a very nice addition and a real convenience for guests.
The automatic floor lights underneath both the nightstand and the bathroom counter were a very nice touch! Also, the in-mirron remote-control TV in the bathroom was very cool, and I used it every night when I took a bath. I appreciated the spa bath salts that were replenished each day. Shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, bath soap, and a cute little duck-shaped souvenir soap were all of good quality and did not dry out my hair & skin. The tub & shower were clean & new. The large rain shower head was quite nice. The spa robe & spa slippers were soft and cozy, as were the towels. The bed & pillows were comfortable, as well.
This hotel provides 2 bottles of water every day as part of the room package, which is a very nice amenity. Also, there is a complimentary wine (1 glass or house red or chardonnay) and a nice cheese & crackers spread for the Loft guests every evening between 5-6 p.m. Complimentary bottles of iced water, coffee and cookies are available every evening in the lobby for weary travelers and guests.
IN-ROOM COFFEE: I agree with everyone else about the in-room coffee supply. There was 1 tea pod, 1 hazelnut pod (ick) and one plain coffee pod, which is not adequate for the average coffee drinker. I've learned to check ahead and find out what kind of coffeemaker is provided in the rooms. A lot of hotels are converting to K-pods from the old Mr. Coffee style mini-pots. I check ahead to see if they have K-pods (Keurig brand), and I buy a box of 10 Starbucks dark-blend K-pods (readily available at Safeway & Target) to pack in my luggage. I've stayed in hotels where they charge for each individual pod, but the issue is solvable if you just BRING YOUR OWN. Having said that, you only get 4 teaspoon size half-&-half containers in the room each day, so either bring powdered creamer with you, or request extra half-&-half from room service. I scoured the hotel looking for freebie half-&-half (none at the B-Line coffee condiment table), and I couldn't find any. So, the answer is to bring your own pods & creamer, or leave a note for the maid to leave extra packages of coffee condiments in your room. Or, call room service and simply ask them to bring up a dozen extra creamers.
TEMP: My room was a little warm, especially when I first arrived, and I wasn't quite sure how to adjust the temp. After a long day traveling and after long days at the conference, I wanted to come back to a cool room. I was on the southern-west side of the hotel, so my room got hit with pretty intense afternoon sun, and the black-out drapes did a pretty good job of blocking the heat. It's not like it takes a rocket scientist to figure out a thermostat, but it looked like it was set on an automatic setting of 73 degrees, and although I could adjust it down, I wasn't sure if it was cooling efficiently, or not. I could have called downstairs about it, but it wasn't that big of a deal because the room was comfortable most of the time. If it had been summer, and I was staying for longer, I would have called.
NOISE: I could just barely hear the elevators during quiet times of the evening, but I could really hear whatever was going on in the hall outside of my room. I could hear other guests coming & going from their rooms. But, the rooms themselves are pretty sound-proof. I couldn't hear any next door noise from TVs or conversations.
ROOM SERVICE & IN-ROOM DINING: Great service, prices were reasonable for room service, delivered within 30 minutes, and the food was excellent. I highly recommend the pizza place!
TIPS: I tipped the morning maid and the evening turn-down maid ($5 per). I also tipped the shuttle drivers ($2 per trip). I tipped 20 percent for room service.
HOTEL DINING: The B-Line Express counter is okay, but if you want fresh food, go to the Coffee Etcetera counter just down from B-Line. I got fresh fruit and yogurt there every morning. Fast & efficient service there, as well.
PRINTING YOUR BOARDING PASS: I was able to print my boarding pass at a computer terminal & printer that was available in the wine & cheese area upstairs on the 26th floor. If you're not in the Loft rooms, there is a business facility in the hotel. Just ask the concierge about it.
IN-ROOM CHECKOUT: It is a huge convenience and a big timesaver to be able to check-out using the in-room TV guest account services. My bill was slipped under the door the night before I checked-out, and I was able to settle up the next morning on the TV monitor.
AIRPORT SHUTTLE SERVICE: Plan on an hour to an hour and a half from the airport to the hotel. Mears runs the van service to all of the hotels on International Drive. I purchased my round-trip ticket when I made my hotel reservations online. You print your voucher, then check in at the Mears counter on Level 1 to get your round-trip tickets. If you've ever taken the Disney Magic bus to the resorts, the check-in counter is in the same location. But, you get a van, not the big motor coach. Be sure to check the pickup time on your return ticket. Mine was incorrect and had my pickup time at 8:45 pm. rather than 8:45 a.m. The woman at the Mears counter brought it to my attention and told me to call the number on the ticket when I got to my hotel to correct the time, which I did. You need to confirm 24-hours ahead of your pickup time, so do this anyway. The van was about 20 minutes late picking us up, so add an extra 20-30 minutes to your return schedule.
The pickup area at the Peabody is not in front of the lobby. It is located outside of the Mallard lounge where the duck fountain is. Go through those doors, and there is a MEARS SHUTTLE sign to the right along the sidewalk. That's where you wait. One passenger got there just in time because she thought the shuttle pickup was someplace else. If you're not sure, ask the concierge desk. Also, if you are traveling with your family, and you have a lot of luggage and gear, mention it when you confirm your return reservation. The vans only hold so much!
THE PEABODY DUCKS: Don't miss this! It's super cute, and it's a hallmark of the hotel. They come in at 11 a.m. and go back to their duck "palace" at 5 p.m. I got there about a half-hour early and just waited at one of the tables while I had yogurt & fruit. There was a pretty good crowd there by the time it started. Expect kids and families. Kids are well behaved, and the duck master is there to maintain order and safety for the little ducks. It is a lot more crowded in the evenings, especially when a new conference rolls in. It's packed because there is a bar right next to the fountain, and it's a great place to sit and have a drink while waiting for the duck show to start.
OVERALL: This is a fantastic hotel and convention facility! I'd definitely recommend it, and I plan to stay there again.
Pay the extra to stay in the Loft if you are traveling as a couple or by yourself. The views are sp...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.