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“Okay hotel, not as nice as some others” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sonesta ES Suites Orlando

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Sonesta ES Suites Orlando
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   8480 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819   |  
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Ranked #110 of 328 hotels in Orlando
Denver, Colorado
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Okay hotel, not as nice as some others”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2008

We stayed at this property in April, 2008 for 9 nights. We have stayed at several Staybridge properties before and this one was the "least nice" of others we've stayed in. One reason for that might've been the 'feel' of the hotel with the open-air layout and outside entrances of the rooms. Instead of enclosed hallways leading to room doors, there are open (but covered) walkways, which make it feel much more "motel-ish". It rained terribly the first few days we were there and the walkways to the rooms were standing pools of water. The rooms were decent; we had one of the one room suites and it seemed smaller than we thought it would because the bedroom had double doors that opened onto the living room at an angle. Bathroom very small, toilet and shower/tub in one room, double sink countertop and closet just off bedroom, not behind a door. We got groceries for the kitchenette and enjoyed being able to cook our own breakfasts, etc. Hubby went down to the complimentary breakfast room twice and, although it was supposedly past the Spring Break rush, it was absolutely packed and often out of certain foods. Exercise room is super cramped and maybe one window going out to a dark hallway. Went in the hot tub once but got kind of grossed out b/c we all had to evacuate when some kid vomited in the pool. LOTS of families there, including parents who seemed to let their kids run around unsupervised around the pool area. Lots of echoing noise from the pool up the central atrium; we were on the top floor and could still hear quite a bit. Several nights there were very loud people late at night somewhere; could've been on our floor or elsewhere because the sound would echo. Had to call the front desk one night because of noise. Location was pretty good; if you're driving, we quickly figured out to avoid the intersection of Intl. Drive/Sand Lake Road at all costs. It backs up terribly and you can easily get around by using the Austrian Court road beside the hotel and going over to Universal Drive. Intl. Drive North of Sand Lake Road narrows and gets MUCH more congested than South of there; From Sand Lake to 528 tollway, Intl. Drive is very nice; wide lanes and wide sidewalks and medians with beautiful flowers and trees. That area was great for walking and running; we loved smelling the honeysuckle that was in bloom. Universal Drive between Sand Lake and the 528 tollway goes MUCH faster than the length of International Drive at the same area. International Drive South of the hotel is a bit less congested, but still not great. The I-Drive trolley is a great feature to use to get around the area and the maps they provide show all the restaurants, attractions, and shops on the street and which trolley stop coincides with which location. Don Pablo's Mexican Restaurant about 1 block from the hotel was really good. Also, the Japanese steakhouse about 1 block North; Kobe steakhouse; at the corner of a strip mall; recommended by the hotel and SOOOOOOO great! We had both entrees and sushi and it was ALL fantastic! If you like sushi and/or sweets, you've GOT to try the kiwi sushi! Absolutely delicious! For shopping, there is a massive Super Wal-Mart at Sand Lake Road and John Young parkway, maybe 2 miles East of the hotel. They even have a complete Disney store in the Wal-Mart with all the shirts and souvenirs. Also, lowest priced, but nice, nails place I've ever seen. A couple other notes; we did Kennedy Space Center one day and really enjoyed it; you really neat two days to see everything, and we did Disney World (Magic Kingdom) one day and, after having been to DisneyLand in CA 4 times between the two of us in the past, we found it CRAAAAAZZYYY! It was just so completely overwhelming; more people at a theme park than we've EVER seen! It would be nice if they would somehow limit the #'s of people to less than what they do. We felt that the experience is really dampened now with the massive hoardes of people. The "fast pass" option for the rides is NOT much of a saving grace, either; we would put in for a "fast pass" and it would be 2-4 hours until we could come back for the fast pass line, and over two hours before we could get another "fast pass" for another attraction. There were lines for EVERYthing; just really amazing. One last note; before you plan a trip to Orlando, be sure to look online at the weather patterns; I was absolutely shocked at how much rain they get there, and we were even there during one of the lowest rainfall months of the year!

Stayed April 2008
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2008

My wife and I stayed at the Staybridge Suites during the Easter holidays having previously got married in Florida two years previously. We were not originally staying here but are glad that we got 'bumped' from the Rosen Plaza (we later found out this was because of a Christain Dance/Band/Majorettes Camp that happens about this time every year), but anyway on with the review. The rooms are more than big enough, ours was on the top floor which was quiet even though it overlooked the pool. They still look a little dated despite having been recently upgraded, but then thats Florida style for you. Everything was clean and in perfect working order. There was free wireless interent, which worked well and was reasonably quick. The bed was comfortable and the shower quite powerful. One really good point was that the safe was a really good size (enough for a laptop). The maid came everyday and cleaned and put the dishwaser on (even if there were only two glasses to be done!), and the towels changed daily. I can't comment on the pool, but then who goes to Florida to sit by a hotel swimming pool when you can go to Typhoon Lagoon instead. The hotel shop was quite hand for milk. There's complimentary coffee in the room which was refilled when needed.

The breakfast is basic compared to say Ponderossa, as there are only 2 hot items at any one time, but these were always good quality and tasted good. The best thing about the breakfast is that you can take a pastry or muffin along with a coffee with you while for when you're travelling to the parks etc. It saved us so much time as you could be in and out in 20 inutes as opposed to well over 40 if you eat out.

The best thing about this hotel is the location. There are loads of good restaurants within 5 minutes walk. Olive Garden was good as always (note: waitress there said that from the customers she'd talked to, Aquatica was disspointing), Cafe Tu Tu Tango was very lively and good for a drink at the end of the evening and Bahama Breeze was excellent.

Getting to Universal takes a little under 10 minutes (don't go up I-drive, cut across to Universal Boulevard, there's no traffic on it and you don't have to queue for ages at the top to turn left as it;s a straught on, cutting across all the other folk who've waited for ages on I-drive). Getting a cab costs $8 each way to universal. I wouldn't drive myself as the parking is $11 and you can end up upwalking half a mile to get into the park anyway.

Best experince: Being a contestant on Fear Factor
Best fun: Spiderman (still)
Best thrill: Gwazi (Busch Gardens)
Best day: Universal Studios
Best show: Clyde and Seamore (hilarious)
Best food: Mythos or Choup Choup
Best ambience: Sharks Grill
Best tips: Get to the parks early or be prepared to but fast passes
Best value: Sketchers shoes
Best dance: Groove (Citywalk)
Got most wet on: Bilge Barges (everyone gets soaked).
Biggest waste of money: Coffee in Choup Choup
Biggest dissapointment: Pontiac Grand Prix (our car)
Most embarassed at: Breaking the Crush 'n' Gusher for 20 minutes.
Worst thing: Coming Home!

My wife and I are both in education and so have to take our holidays during the kids school holiday, we've found Florida to be ideal since there is loads for adults to do in the evening and plenty of entertainment during the day. We come back exhausted everytime we go, but that's because we don't stop while we're there. In 7days we did the following Kennedy, Surfing on Coco Beach, Universal, Islands, Typhoon, Busch Gardens, St Petes Beach, SeaWorld, Florida Mall (x2).

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Slow lifts
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2008

We had never heard of Staybridge Suites and came across it online. We stayed there Spring Break, it was WONDERFUL! The staff was so friendly and made sure that we had everything we needed and they kept checking in on us. We stayed 3 nights, from March 31 - April 3rd and will definately be staying again when visiting Orlando. It was safe and very very clean. We loved the 2 bedroom/2 bath suite, as we had 6 in our party.

  • Liked — The Spacious Rooms
  • Disliked — There was nothing to not like.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2008

My Hubby and I stayed at the Staybridge Suites for 5 days and I was very pleased. He was at a conference at the Orange County Convention ctr and could walk to and from the conference. There were plenty of things for me to do during the day - the I-train is only $1 or $3 for an all day pass or $6 for a 3 day pass and will take you all up and down the drive. I will repeat all the praises - the rooms were very clean, the suite was spacious, the breakfast was good (sometimes more hectic than others) and the staff was all friendly and helpful. We paid $109 per night which I felt was a good price - booked directly with the hotel about 3 weeks before.
As stated before, the hotel is built around a courtyard with a pool and the sounds do echo. During the day this is not much of a problem but each night we were woke up by people coming in late. One night 3 men were talking in the courtyard for about an hour and we heard everyword - as well as people that went out of their rooms to use their cell phone. The halls are not carpeted and our smaller room had 3 windows so there is not much of a buffer. My husband had to get up at 6:30 to get off to work so that was a problem.
The other thing I found strange was that there was no dresser in the bedroom and no luggage rack in the closet and 10 hangers for our clothes!! No place for clothes!!
But, overall , I was satisfied with the hotel and would try it again.

  • Liked — clean rooms and friendly staff
  • Disliked — no place to put my clothes . Also, rooms not sound proof!
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2008

Extremely convenient to the YMCA pool - I was there with my son for a sporting event. Also, many restaurants nearby as well as good shuttle service to parks and good price by taxi to the airport. We didn't rent a car and didn't need it. Full kitchen allowed us to have sandwiches, etc. in the room.

Room was comfortable and quiet, amenities nice. Staff was friendly and helpful, property well maintained. Only drawback was that breakfast was very competitive - crowded and hard to get a waffle. We were disappointed in the breakfast that looked so good but was mediocre - ended up cooking eggs in our room.

Overall a good experience.

  • Liked — convenience, large room
  • Disliked — breakfast
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2008

We booked Staybridge through a travel agent the first time we went to USA. But we will book direct through them next time as it is easy to contact them via phone etc and cheap to stay in if you have a good sized party going.. Check out their website for pics etc.
Rooms were lovely . Like your own little house. Cleaners did more than enough. Cleaned up our mess when we were enjoying the theme parks for the day. We left them a good tip as they really deserved it. My 3 kids are messy little sods and our apartment was always lovely and tidy when we came back each night. Excellent!!
Pool was nice. Maybe a bit busy during the day but we only spent one day in the pool as we were out most days. we were always the last ones in after coming back from the parks at night. You get chased out the pool about 10 pm. Our 6 year old daughter had to be persuaded!!
Look out for managers special !if you come back early enough or are on a rest day free wine, beer and snacks by the pool for a couple of hours once or twice a week.
The staff are lovely and really friendly. Very helpful in the shop also. They even arranged to post our postcards for us as we appeared to be so stupid as not to be able to find a post office ourselves. You can also rent videos to watch at night if you have the energy to stay awake.
As for breakfast you could help yourselves to whatever was on the menu out that day. My kids especially loved the "hyper cereal". which were little rice coloured hoops. They thought this was great to be able to take as much as they wanted. (greedy pigs) You know what kids are like. Lots of other options for healthier cereal.There was also other options of sausages, little fried potato things, fresh orange, coffee, fruit, eggs etc. Something for everyone.Some days were better than others. But you could also cook your own in your room if you preffered, or take food upstairs from the dining room if you wanted. We use dto smuggle little portions of jam, coffee, teabags etc, for ur cupboard. Nobody bothered you. We used to take extra and take it out with us.Cheek eh!!
In the hotel you can do your own laundry, go on the internet free, and have session of the small gym if you don't wan't to put on to much weight with all the American all-you-can -eat food. I would advise the gym as I have been to America twice and put on about a stone each time, The all you can eat restuareants are just too much temptation!!
We stayed in a Kissimee villa 2nd time round but it was not the same. If you stay on International Drive you can catch buses to Seaworld etc quite cheaply and go out for the night knowing your hotel is only a short walk or pedalo home.
I would definitely recommend Staybridge as you can more or less do what you please and nobody bugs you. Many other hotels do not have the option of you rown little kitchen etc. This is like home from home.
We loved Staybridge and will def be visitng next year with our friends. Dead handy for attactions etc. Much better and livlier than Kissimee where you ahve to drive to see anywhere interesting. On International Drive everything is on your doorstep.


  • Liked — friendliness of staff and availability to attractions etc
  • Disliked — nothing love it all
  • Stayed September 2005, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rydal, PA
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2008

My husband and I spent three nights at the Staybridge suites. I was there for a business trip. The room was lovely and we liked the fact that we had so much space. We had a two bedroom suite with two bathrooms, living room and full kitchen. I could get ready for my conference in the morning and not disturb my husband who was still sleeping. There is a small exercise room, but the YMCA is right next door and you can go there for a small fee.

The room itself was very nice. We like to be able to have snacks or make our own food at times, so the kitchen was very handy. We didn't have any problems with noise at the pool, but there was a problem for me with noise from the cars on the International Drive side of the hotel. I asked for a room away from the street and I was accommodated quickly.

Our only complaint was that the hotel is not non-smoking. We had a non-smoking room, but it bothered us that people were smoking in the pool area. The pool is nice and there is an nice hot tub, but we don't like to be around smoke.

On Tues, Wed, Thurs, there is a manager's reception. One night there was a barbeque with hot dogs and burgers, the next night they had Mexican food. Free wine and beer came with the reception. Breakfast was much larger than most hotels offer with waffles, pastries, bagels, eggs both scrambled and hard boiled, fresh fruit, oatmeal and assorted drinks.

The location on I-drive was convenient for us. We didn't go to Disney. There is a shuttle for the parks, but it is very limited.
There are plenty of restaurants that are within walking distance, and a movie theatre that is about 1/2 mile away. You can take the I-drive trolley. There are also young guys on bikes that have seats attached. We chose to walk, but that looked like a fun way to get around. Of course, there is always a taxi.

Some of the restaurants that we liked: Cafe Tu Tu Tango, right across the street. A fun tapas restaurant with artwork everywhere, the artists are often on the premises. At night, they have belly dancing and other entertainment. Hanimazuki, a wonderful, authentic Japanese restaurant in a shopping center about two blocks away, next to the Goodings supermarket. The restaurant had great food, very reasonably priced and the service could not have been better. Seasons 52 is about two miles away. They advertise fresh, healthy, low fat cooking. It was good, a little too salty, but we would go there again. The place itself was very romantic and pretty.

  • Liked — Spacious rooms
  • Disliked — Smoking allowed at the pool area
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sonesta ES Suites Orlando

Address: 8480 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#43 Business Hotel in Orlando
#97 Family Hotel in Orlando
#125 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sonesta ES Suites Orlando 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Choosing Sonesta ES Suites Orlando on International Drive puts you right in the middle of central Florida's Vacation Magic! Located in the International Drive Resort Area, the hotel is convenient to the Walt Disney World Theme Parks, Universal Orlando, Sea World, and the Orange County Convention Center. Our signature Two Bedroom/Two Bath Suites provide the blend of relaxation and enjoyment for the whole family. Convenience and comfort abound at Sonesta ES Suites Orlando. With its central location you'll find numerous restaurants, shops, and attractions are within walking distance. On property you will find recently redecorated suites, an inviting lobby area, cocktail lounge, beautifully landscaped grounds, courtyards, a heated swimming pool, children's pool, jacuzzi, video game room, as well as laundry facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Staybridge Suites Orlando Hotel Orlando
Orlando Staybridge Suites

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