It's difficult to be very enthusiastic about this accomodation, but equally, we have no major grounds for complaint - average overall.
First impressions of the place - it's more of a motel than a hotel, with the traditional motel-style layout and one 3/4 storey block in the middle. We were disappointed to arrive at our room to find that it was under the water park roofed area, overlooking the power plant for the water park, with the outdoor bar area opposite blaring really loud music. The first impression inside the room was that it stank (mold/damp).
We therefore rang reception and asked to be moved and were told that there were no other rooms free, but that we could try again the following day. We eventually decided against this as we had planned to go to Universal early the following day and were eager to start our holiday. We took the view that we only really wanted the room to sleep in.
However, this even proved difficult even the first few nights. The bar area (outdoors/under water park roof) was advertised as being open until 9pm, but on our first couple of nights when we were desperate for sleep (slightly jet lagged) we came back to find that the bar was still going at 10pm, with music blaring (really loud even in our room). I rang reception to ask when it would finish to be told that it was going on until midnight. I wasn't particularly happy, with two small children, so she said that she would ask them to turn it down, which they did, a little. However, after the first few days, the bar seemed to stick rigidly to the 9pm closing time (much to our frustration on one evening when the weather forced us to stay in), apart from a couple of weekend nights.
To be completely honest, between the bar situation, and the water park, you had the feeling that hotel guests came second to local business. I could be wrong, but I had the impression that the busy bar nights were full of local residents, with the bar opening for them on weekends!
Ok, pros and cons of Coco Key:
Great location for Universal, Sea World, Aquatica and Discovery Cove. Shuttle bus operates from the hotel free of charge (however, the times for the shuttle bus changed considerably after the first few days as though they were changing to off-peak times, and weren't particularly convenient). Also, there's a really stupid system where you have to get a pass for the bus from a desk in reception (even though they don't even ask for name/room number and they won't let you on the bus without it - a farce!).
It's located at the scruffier end of I-drive. The I-ride bus, $1.50 per adult no matter how many stops, free children under 12, is excellent. You can get to the nicer areas on I-drive easily. It's also a long way from Walt Disney World. We were shocked when we arrived, despite a reasonable amount of research prior to leaving the UK to find that the only way to get to the Disney parks was two or three buses (a 2-hour trip door-to-door each way) or a $88 taxi ride, return trip. Obviously to get a $88 taxi every time you visit a Disney park adds a considerable cost to an already expensive holiday. If your main focus is to be Disney, do not stay here unless you have a car.
Heated pools (apart from slide area in water park), decent shop (despite the fact that the only thing we really wanted there was some sort of breakfast pastries, which there was a section for, but seemed to sell out at the crack of dawn, as we never saw anything in it!). Fairly pleasant reception area, with PCs, ticket desk etc (although the decor did somewhat betray the new Coco Key image and appeared to be from the Ramada days).
Our children loved the Water Park, on the rare occasion when it wasn't heaving with locals. They also liked the arcade area where they could play games (at a cost, of course!!).
Apart from the Water Park, upon which they are obviously heavily reliant as a source of income, public areas did not appear to be cleaned particularly often. We returned to our room one day to find that someone had vomited by our door on the stone path. We washed it down as best we could with a bottle of water, but the remains of it were still there almost a week later when we left. The paths around the hotel did not appear to be cleaned at all. The restaurant 'Tradewinds' was one of the most unwelcoming looking restaurants we came across. Never saw anyone in there.
The staff at reception weren't particularly professional, there didn't seem to be much leadership of the front desk, and no one appeared to be able to answer simple questions.
Pleasant, bright decor (apart from bathroom, which again, appeared to have been somewhat overlooked in the refurbishment). Good TV, fridge (although too cold - everything froze solid in there), ironing board, iron, hairdryer. Free wi-fi (but this was a bit of a joke as it kept disconnecting and anything you wanted to do online took twice as long as it should). Plenty of storage space. Comfy beds.
The SMELL!! Really musty, damp smell. Carpet felt sticky/dirty underfoot, which is possibly where the smell came from. In our room, we had a dodgy light switch which meant that the brightest light in the room turned itself on mysteriously in the middle of the night on several occasions (and the switch to turn it off was right over the other side of the room!!). The view, from our room in particular, left a lot to be desired!! In terms of housekeeping, this was acceptable on the whole, but we had a couple of incidents where there were towels/clean sheet left just inside the door and another occasion where freshly ironed trousers I had left on the bed were thrown in a crumpled ball on the side!
The other thing I would say is to warn people against timeshare-type hassle you may get. We went to what was meant to be a tourist information office a little down from the hotel to pick up a discount dining card which we ordered online (VIP diners card), only to be almost forced into attending 'Wyndham Suites' for a viewing, with a taxi to Disney thrown in for us as the carrot (we eventually escaped before they made us sign up, even though she had already started completing the paperwork!). We also overheard a man working on the desk in the hotel arranging this for someone else (and telling her not to mention it to the person who would be working there in the morning as he wasn't meant to do this!!).
They also have an 'arrangement' with a taxi firm, Vanstar, which basically appears to be the hotel's own taxi, as the one main vehicle is almost always outside. What I would say however, is that the prices seemed to be in line with other firms, and the drivers were reliable and friendly (one in particular - I think his name was Jay).
Overall, average accomodation in an average location on I-drive. I don't think I would really recommend it, or stay there again. If someone had already booked it I would tell them not to worry, it didn't really spoil our holiday, and the hotel is only a base for all that Orlando has to offer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Family friendly hotel and water resort located near the major theme parks and shopping. Coco Key Hotel and Water Resort is Orlando's first canopy covered water park boasting fourteen flumes, featuring "The Boomerango," 60ft of thrill seeking adventure offering twists and turns until you splash into our heated outdoor pool. Coco Key offers a 6,000 sq.ft. arcade featuring over 50 of the newest and coolest video games and interactive gaming on the market today. Coco Key Hotel and Water Resort-Orlando offers 391 well appointed Guestrooms and Suites designed for your Orlando, Florida lodging needs. Amenities include free local calls, coffee/tea makers, self controlled air conditioning, 37" plasma televisions with ESPN, am/fm alarm clock radios. Additional amenities include complimentary transportation to Universal, SeaWorld, Aquatica and Wet n' Wild, complimentary area shuttle, kids club and daily activities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Coco Key Hotel And Water Park Orlando
- Orlando Grand Hotel