My girlfriend and I stayed in this hotel from the 26th January to the 5th Feb 2013.
My girlfriend had already booked in with some extended family as one of her family was getting married in Orlando. I had decided I wanted to visit Orlando with them so managed to find flights and the hotel for less than £1000 with a small London Travel agent online, despite most places saying it was sold out.
When we arrived at the hotel we were met by a cooled reception area with 2 reception desks. At first it wasn't too clear which desk we needed, but the one on the right is for booking theme park tickets as displayed by all the leaflets etc. So we headed to the desk to the left. We didn't have to wait and were immediately seen to by staff who soon issued us our room cards (2 per room which was handy) and sent us on our way.
We walked past the Zebra bar and down the fan-cooled corridor towards the rear of the reception, passing the small gift shop and starbucks on the left, and the dining room on the right. We exited the double doors to find a pool in front of us, also a block of rooms on the opposite side of the pool and a block of rooms to our right.
We were in the block to the right so made our way to the lift/staircase.
The lift was rather slow and at any floor above the ground floor (or as the USA call it first floor) there is no indication outside the lift as to what floor it's on. So when you press the call lift button at any floor above ground floor, you have no indication of how long you'll have to wait. I used the stairs most of the week, only opting for the lift when I had large bags to carry.
Once we left the lift on the fifth floor, we found our room (1507) to the right, looking out of the hotel to the North. As we went to open our room we heard a loud helicopter landing behind us. Unfortunately, not very far from the hotel to the North is a helicopter tour landing pad. This sounds terrible, but they start late in the morning and seem to finish quite early in the evening so it didn't bother us really. I would say it could be quite disturbing to anyone trying to sleep through the day though. A lot of people also seem to complain about the noise from Interstate 4, which is noisy with the door open but once the hotel room door was closed I can’t say I noticed it.
We entered the room to find it very tidy, with 2 double beds neatly made, a large flat screen TV to the left, along with a large wardrobe, large mirror with seat and desk space in front of it. Impressions so far were very good. Wander through the double sliding doors at the far end of the room into the wash room which just had a sink (with a larger mirror above), with a microwave and fridge to the left, with a coffee machine, some paper and plastic cups on top and some very basic coffee making facilities (although no milk!). Turn to the right to find a door into the WC and bath room with a over the bath shower built into the bath and basic shower curtain. All was very clean though and no complaints from either my girlfriend or my fussier self.
We settled in, and unpacked. In the wardrobe was a full length mirror which my girlfriend found handy, and some hangers for clothes (although there were only about 10 and having smart clothes for wedding etc, we could have done with a couple more really). THere were 4 very large drawers under the TV as well as some storage space. Between the beds there is a bedside table with a large lamp on which has two switches on for 2 independant bulbs (so creates a lot of light), storage space underneath (inc. Bible) and a safe also.
To the left of the TV on the desk space with the mirror above there is another large lamp but which only has one bulb. The only other light in the main bedroom is the small light above the window which doesnt light up the far end of the room from the window.
In the sink room there is a wall light above the mirror above the sink, which we found gave an unflattering light while trying to do hair or something so we would tend to sit at the desk in the room. The light in the WC/bathroom is sufficient and bright.
The room has a very large window along the same wall as the door which can let a LOT of light in during the day but even with the net curtains supplied (which don't look great) I was worried about privacy and people being able to see in through such a large window to the items within, so I would tend to leave the curtains closed most of the day, as most guests seemed to also be doing.
In the evening I went to try and charge my phone and some batteries for my camera but only found one wall plug behidn the bed. This was awful to get at and I often found the bed would push the plug out of the socket. It wasn't until the second day that I realised there were 2 sockets on the base of each of the lamps. It just wasn't where I expected a socket to be. The problem then was that the lamp base was too close to the table top to allow for the UK plug adaptors and so I had to put the Bible under the lamp to enable the ground clearance.
There are also two plug sockets in the bathroom next to the built in hair drier, which work but I found many adapters simply fell out of the sockets for some reason.
The plug sockets on the lamps were deffiently the best to use in the end.
I checked the bed before getting in on the first night (just because I'm fussy like that) to find it very clean inside so we got into bed. It was very comfy and I was very impressed. No painful broken springs or anything even if the mattress did sag on each side slightly, it wasn't in anyway uncomfy. This gave us many nights of good sleep. Very impressive.
The bathroom always had hot water, yet the cold water isn’t very cold and therefore isn’t too great to drink. I used the shower mostly, while my girlfriend had a bath a couple of times. She had no complaints about either. I would have to complain about the shower for me though as I’m not the tallest guy in the world at a mere 5’9’’, yet when stood upright I was hitting my head on the shower head. This would be awful for a taller person.
The TV in the room was very good quality with about half of the channels being in HD. It did advertise some movie choices but when we selected this option it always said that the service was unavilable. There were a varied selection of TV channels with many sports, news and kids TV to choose from. I was expecting a larger selection of channels from a USA hotel to be honest but we werent in the hotel much anyway so we weren't too bothered. But it does seem that all there is to watch in a morning is the repetative news channels.
On the second day I did notice a couple of small ants on the bed side table as we'd split a little bit of coca-cola on it the night before. I cleaned it up though and never saw them again. One of our friends had swopped room though because of a worse problem on the ground floor, but they said the hotel had no problem with the moving room and soon offered them a cleaner one. It was a very quiet time of year though so don't know how easy it would be to swop room in the height of season.
My only other issue with the room would be that the walls/ceiling/floor are quite thin and some noise can be heard from other rooms, particularly in the middle of the night when it is quiet. There is also a ventilation vent in the WC/bathroom which seems to let a lot of noise in from other rooms. I could hear people using hair driers and coughing in other bathrooms due to this vent in the WC. This was rather annoying.
The rooms are air conditioned with an air conditioning unit under each window. I prefer my room quite cool so used this a lot and found it very good, although a little noisy to leave on every night, I did manage to sleep through it most nights though.
The doors into the rooms all seemed very secure with numerous locks, including the American version of a door chain. There was an eye hole in the door to see through but I found ours to be very clouded and not much use. The safe also seemed very secure and I never had any problems with any items going missing throughout our stay. I made full use of the safe, trusting it enough to leave extra Dollars in there etc throughout our stay, all of which was safe inside the safe.
Cleaning staff would visit every day, and would often start around the 8:30am time. Knowing this, I would place the "do not disturb" sign on the outside of the door if I was going to be in while they were cleaning. I found that we never got disturbed like this and was surprised some days to find they had even come back to do our room later in the afternoon if we'd put this out and they'd gone past our room. The staff were all very friendly, often greeting us with a "Good morning" every morning as we passed them on the corridor/staircase etc.
We never ate in the dining room, as we opted to eat out, however our friends who swopped room were given a complimentary breakfast for their trouble and said it was surprisingly good.
We used both the shops in the hotel lobby. the gift shop with Starbucks is NOT 24 hours and seems to operate a more 9am-5pm basis. The coffee in there was very good though and came in handy as the coffee machine in the room was very difficult to understand and left us confused about how to operate it so we gave up on it. The other shop in the lobby to the left of reception is 24 hour and offers many snacks, drinks and supplies all day. We found this very handy, especially when you want a bottle of cold water in the early hours instead of drinking the luke warm water which comes from the bathroom taps.
The Zerba bar to the right of the Reception was a great place to meet our friends in an evening but drinks were quite pricey. They seemed to have karaoke a couple of times a week which couldn’t be heard in the hotel but was quite noisy in the lobby. They offer a good selection of drinks though with many lovely cocktails and lagers. They also have a pool table and juke box.
Staff in all places were very friendly and staff on the reception desk improved as the week went on. The only time I wasn’t overly impressed was with the staff on reception when I asked them to book me a taxi. They seemed adamant that we had to use their Romanian taxi firm, which the driver could not understand where we wanted to go (we wanted to visit a specific sports bar further North up international drive), so in the end I ended up flagging down a taxi on the main road for us to use instead.
There are lots of car parking spaces for the hotel, as there needs to be seen as there are about 6 blocks of flats of rooms. There are also great transport links on the International Drive right outside the hotel with both Lynx bus and i-trolley stops right outside. There are many places to eat and drink within a short walk from the hotel, as well as a 24 hour supermarket just across the other side of international drive. Only a few mins walk from the hotel rooms.
Overall this is a great hotel, some of our party weren’t too impressed with it as I think they were expecting a higher class of hotel for a wedding party but it was all on a budget, and for that budget I was very impressed. I had no issues with staying there for the duration of our stay, and longer if we’d been able to. The hotel is in a great location, it’s clean, friendly and had plenty to see and do in the vicinity. I’d defiantly recommend it for anyone looking to visit Orlando and the theme parks etc. Staff are mostly friendly and there’s great transport links to all around Orlando. It isn’t too noisy yet managed to remain in a busy area.
Hotel buildings: 6/10 – clean yet old fashioned and rather “motel” looking with corridors on outside.
Rooms: 8/10 – great sizes, a little old fashioned
Cleanliness: 7/10 – only a few ants to complain of but keep sugar away and you’ll never see them.
Staff: 7/10 – most are warm and welcoming, only reception staff let the side down.
Facilities: 9/10 – always open shops and a good bar downstairs are great facilities. Pools seemed clean too.
Location: 10/10 – PERFECT
Overall: 7/10 – a great hotel for a budget stay in Orlando. Great if you’d rather spend your money on your days out than on your hotel. And without sacrificing cleanliness or comfort. A great choice for anyone wishing to stay on International Drive.
One to the back of the hotel in Block D--F would probably be better, away from Highway 4 and the hel...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.