I had planned on taking my four children to Disney since this past summer. Originally, I had booked to stay at Disney World in a suite. But the more I researched the experience of staying at Disney, the less appealing it became to me.
I realized that I did not want to stay in a large oversized resort, dealing with crowds of screaming toddlers at breakfast. Nor did I want us to be packed into Disney buses like a head of cattle. I came to realize that the whole Disney experience may not be as "magical" as it was perceived on television.
So, I turned to Tripadvisor to find a hotel outside of the Disney resorts. But how to choose a hotel from over the 300 listed? I read each hotel review, and decided to make a reservation at this Fairfield for a number of reasons. Firstly, I was impressed by the photos of the modern and clean areas of the hotel. I was also equally impressed by the individual responses to each review on Tripadvisor that had been left by Mr. Lower, the General Manager of the hotel.
I have four children aged 15, 13, 12 and 9. Upon arrival at Orlando International, we picked up our rented minivan and had a short 25 minute drive to the hotel. Upon arrival, our rooms (one double queen and one king) were not ready as we had arrived early in the morning. We left our bags with Carlos at the hotel and headed over to Epcot. We spent the day at Epcot, and stayed for the firework show which closed the park. When we left Epcot, we saw the Disney Resort guests lining up in long lines to board their buses. As I had suspected, the buses were being crammed full of people. I was already happy with the choice of not staying at a Disney Resort. We climbed into our minivan and had a fifteen minute drive back to the hotel. The Disney buses can take much longer to get to their resorts, not to mention the additional time to get to your room once you arrive at the resort.
We parked easily, and checked into our rooms. The rooms were magnificent in every detail. Modern, spacious, and impeccably clean, and trust me I look carefully. We climbed into beds which were clean, fresh and extremely comfortable. I was thinking that night about the rooms at Disney's Art of Animation, where the table turns into a bed, and was so thankful to be sleeping in such comfortable surroundings.
After a wonderful nights sleep we headed to the dining room in the morning for our complimentary breakfast. We did make an effort to dine early everyday, so that we could be at the Disney Parks when they opened. We enjoyed a plethora of choices for breakfast. Waffles, eggs, bagels, pastries, yogurts, fresh fruit, oatmeal, sausages, and juices to name but a few. Like our hotel rooms, the breakfast room was impeccably clean. The staff replenished items and kept the room running meticulously.
Every evening when we returned to the resort we were all exhausted, and had had more than enough of being with people. We were able to park our car and choose from a variety of restaurants located within steps of the hotel. We would carry out from the restaurant, and eat in our hotel room, giving us much needed down time.
The location of the hotel is what makes this hotel unique. Unlike the other hotels on the street, it is tucked away from the road deep within a strip mall on a perpendicular angle to the street. This results in the guest rooms being cushioned from the street noise. We slept soundly every night we were there.
The hotel also has two laundry rooms which we utilized on a daily basis. I am happy to tell you that the drier actually dries a load of laundry in one 30 minute cycle.
What truly makes this hotel special though, is it's staff. We were always greeted in the hallways by every hotel team member we encountered. It is clearly apparent that the staff have such a sense of pride in adhering to the high standards Mr. Lower has come to expect from his team.
In summary, if you are looking for a hotel in a fantastic location with immaculate standards, and a team of dedicated staff, then this is the hotel to stay in. The value for money against a Disney resort is excessively favorable, and I believe you get better personalized service than you would at Disney. Really, why stay anywhere else?
Thank you to Mr. Lower and his team members for making our Disney vacation truly "magical". When we return, we look forward to staying with you again!