I am part of a fire department band from Canada that was to play at an event hosted by the Orlando Fire Department. We had been planning the trip for quite some time and we needed a place to stay that was close to the entertainment district that wasn't too expensive. We had a group of about 10, so budget was an issue. We relied on a friend of the band to book our accomodations and believe me, none of us were thrilled when we found out what hotel we were staying at. He told us not to worry because he had stayed there before. I read the other reviews on the Advisor and was genuinely expecting a roach motel. We were booked to stay from Feb. 21st - 24th. When we arrived, it didn't look like much but it was apparent that renos were under way. We were given rooms on the 2nd floor since the first floor was closed. I walked into the first floor area and saw the old carpets others have mentioned, but they were getting ripped out and all the rooms were stripped bare to the walls and concrete floors. Seeing what I saw made me believe what others had written about the condition of the place. I would've never stayed there! But the second floor was entirely a different story. It was nearing completion because the rooms had already been re-done and the workers were just laying the new carpet in the halls.
Granted, this hotel is not 4-star, but the rooms were clean and decent....just a little on the smaller side. Our room had a large TV, fridge, and microwave and 2 queen beds. Towels were plentiful and more could be requested easily. The cleaning staff was pleasant and helpful...beds were always made and the floor was vacuumed. The bed seemed comfortable enough and I had decent sleeps during all of my nights. The shower was adequate although the tub needed a good scouring. Soap, shampoo, etc, was always replenished.
The pool was unusable because it needed some TLC, but I didn't really care. It may be part of the reno plan. Also, workers were pruning back some over-growth of the vegetation around the hotel...I guess in an attempt to spruce up the curb appeal. I took that as a sign that they were serious about rectifying the terrible state that things used to be in.
The front desk staff was helpful and personable. They actually laughed when we mentioned the terrible reviews because I'm sure they've heard it before and business has probably suffered because of it. But as we checked out, I told them that it was good to see that they were trying to turn things around and that I would give them a positive review when I got home...for which they were thankful.
All in all, I would stay there again. I am guessing that in about 2-3 months, all renos will be complete and you will have a decent place to stay if you need to be downtown in Orlando...and the price is right. It is really close to the entertainment district , which I think is called Church Street (the area our band played in was on Wall St.). The only downfall of the area is the lack of restaurants. On a side note: DO NOT go to the diner which is beside the hotel. I didn't go, but some of our group did and said it was terrible! And these are firefighters! WE EAT ANYTHING! They said the food was really greasy and the waitresses were "tough, rude, old broads"! their words...not mine. We had a rental car so we drove a mile or 2 to the IHOP and a Denny's. We did have some decent food at some of the restaurants on Wall street.
So...in conclusion, I think if you give this place some more time to finish fixing the place and you're not expecting the Ritz-Carlton, it will be a decent place to stay that is inexpensive in a city where hotels can get a little crazy. I applaud these guys for trying to right a sinking ship. I was pleasantly surprised. Most hotels that get bad reviews don't care because they know that there are plenty of travelers that come and go, so there is no need to fix things up.
And I know I have seen reviews that were obviously written by management of a crappy hotel in an attempt to protray a better image...but I am definitely not that guy. I just believe in giving credit where credit is due. Take my opinion for what it's worth.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.