This was a second stay at the Residence Inn Seaworld and while my first was on business, this time round my wife and I were paying the bill, so our perspective was slightly different.
Firstly, we got an excellent deal from BA.com for our 10-day stay and would thoroughly recommend their hotel booking service. They told us this was one of their more popular hotels in Orlando, so watch out on their website for deals they run occasionally. We chose it as it was central for all we wanted to do and the free breakfast was a bonus. I would describe Residence Inn as extended stay apartments with the comforts of a conventional hotel room (although no hotel restaurant or room service) with the convenience of an apartment. We booked a Studio Suite, which meant two queen beds, with ensuite dressing area and bathroom room, as well as a good sized 'lounge' area with sofa (sofabed if required), coffee table, desk (with ethernet and wireless internet access), a dining table for twp and a small kitchen area complete with large fridge (including freezer compartment), microwave, hotplate, sink with disposal unit and dishwasher. Internet access is free.
It was a nice room and the beds were comfortable, while the 37 inch LG LCD TV was a nice addition since my last visit. Choice of channels is limited to less than 20, but there are the usual paid-for channels if you wish to indulge.
The room was cleaned every day, with fresh towels and toiletries and they did a great job. Having the fridge and freezer was a real bonus, while the dining area was also excellent for when you return after a long day and fancied bringing a take-away back with you, rather than having the change for dinner and head back our to a restaurant. There is a very small Pizza Hut by the pool area offering a limited take away menu, as well as a small bar, both of which are open until around 11pm, although we never tried either.
Having previously stayed in a one bedroom apartment on my last visit, the only downside of a Studio Suite is that the dressing area and bathroom face towards the beds so if you get up in the night and turn on the light it shines directly onto the beds, invariably waking your partner. Other than that, we really liked the room.
The free breakfast was fine, although I must admit that after a few days of exactly the same scrambled eggs, sausage patties, toast (from two very sow toasters), grits (whatever they are), biscuits (scones to Europeans), cinnamon toast, 3 cereals and fruit salad, I was a little bored. Being a family orientated hotel, breakfast was always busy and noisy - although the earlier you took breakfast the quieter it was. As crowded as the breakfast area got, it was actually quite nice being able to sit outside to start your day knowing the temperatures back in the UK were below freezing. During our visit at the end of November we had only one day with rain and the temperature ranged from 21 to 28 degrees centigrade.
One slight downside is the lifts (elevators), which are slow and there are simply not enough of them. Just four elevators (two at each end of the building) mean you often had to wait quite a time, which, when your apartment is on the 6th floor, can be a little frustrating.
The hotel pool is not that big either, but nice and fun for kids, with plenty of sun beds for lazing away the day, although most people head to Orlando for the attraction parks and the shopping, and Residence Inn is ideally placed to get to these. Like everywhere in Orlando, you need a car to get around, but Seaworld is 3 minutes drive (and walkable), Universal is a 10 – 15 minute drive depending on traffic, and Disney’s Parks around 20 minutes by car. Downtown Disney is just 10 – 12 minutes in the car. Kissimmee and the 192 highway with its excellent selection of restaurant chains is 10 – 15 minutes. There are also 4 Walmart Super stores within 15 minutes drive, and a Super Target, while the attractions of International Drive start just a few minutes drive away.
The excellent Vineland Premium Outlets shopping centre has been enlarged (now 150 stores) and is a 5 minute drive away (although allow plenty of time for parking), while the old Belz shopping outlet at the top of International Drive is now a second Premium Outlets (180 stores), having been totally redeveloped and enlarged. The Festival Bay shopping centre, also on International Drive, has some nice stores, but unfortunately has many empty units, which is sad because it’s a nice centre with easy parking and access. Also excellent shopping locations are The Florida Mall (about 20 minutes east by car from the Residence Inn) and the Mall At Millenia (20 minutes north).
The shopping is excellent at all these locations, although I would say we were in Orlando during Thanksgiving and experienced the madness of Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving Day when pre-Christmas Sales start). Many Black Friday sales started at midnight and wandering around the outdoor Premium Outlet Mall at 2am with thousands (and I mean thousands) of eager bargain hunters in 22 degrees C was a strange experience.
For venturing further afield, the I-4 freeway westbound access is 2 minutes from your door (taking you to the Gulf Coast), while east bound just a few minutes more, for access to Daytona, NASA and many other beaches.
So overall, it was another nice stay at the Residence Inn and the check out was super fast as well, so top marks.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Marriott, Booking.com, Expedia, HotelTravel.com, Cheap Tickets, TripOnline SA, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Residence Inn Orlando at SeaWorld reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Residence Inn Orlando At Seaworldr Hotel Orlando
- Residence Inn Sea World
- Orlando Residence Inn