Be minded to know I don't write such a damning review lightly. My wife and I have stayed in many places in Orlando, many of which I have reviewed for Trip Advisor, and in general I try to look very positively on everything regarding the accommodation. However, it has proven to be difficult/impossible to be positive about anything to do with this motel.
As I have said, I'm not well versed in writing complaints about accommodations so I've decided to list my concerns under various headings.
We stayed here for 8 days, on the 2nd day the lights blew when we went to flick a switch on a lamp. You have to give the benefit of the doubt here - sure - because a light blowing can be for any reason. However, after a temporary fix, the lights blew again on the 5th night. We asked if it could be looked at, we were given promises that it would be, but as we went to the theme parks and arrived back in our room to discover it hadn't been done, we were having to have baths in the complete dark. The rooms are inward facing (this information is for UK guests who might not be aware) with no bathroom windows so it was literally pitch black aside from a lamp that was almost wired into one side of the main room that we dare not move as it was, aside from the TV, our only source of light. Enjoy taking baths or showers in the pitch black? No, nor did we. On the night of the temporary fix the maintenance guy that was sent was, shall we say, eccentric? That's putting it in a nice way - I don't want to sound like I'm being critical of someone's personality but his job was to come in and fix the light, he ended up giving a long speech about how the country restricted his capability to work in his chosen field and how, eventually, he wanted to move to Germany... I enjoy the social and friendly aspect that you generally get from customer service staff (and well, anyone come to think of it) in Florida but this was seriously over bearing to the point of discomfort.
After the second break of the lights, we were offered the chance to move rooms, but as this was late on the penultimate night of our stay, it would have represented a waste of what time we had left to be packing on that night when that was the activity for the following day and we’d already made plans.
Bed bugs -
Yes, this was annoying. We take extra care whenever we are in Florida and the motels there, even accounting for budget the Travelodge was disgraceful for bedbugs, I was bitten around 9 times, some bites got so swollen that the pharmacist at the local CVS had to recommend more powerful medication than just basic bite cream. That is a warning to anyone wanting to stay here, and I don't say that lightly - towards the end of the holiday, I became to feel unwell and on my first night home I immediately felt better. Coincidence maybe but given the track of events I suggest not. Maybe the fact that the bed linen wasn’t changed for our entire stay accounted for some of the general uncleanliness, thankfully we had a room with two beds so we eventually just decided to sleep in the other.
There was plenty of maintenance work during the day. Better than during the night, sure, but not exactly ideal when trying to use the extremely unreliable wifi connection to Skype people back home - it became something of a running joke that conversations would have to take place in between the noise of the maintenance. Our room was right next to a walkway and a stairwell - this in itself didn’t present any noise problems but leaving the room was farcical, the top of the stairwell was almost constantly cluttered with room furniture, beds, mattresses, cabinets that was being moved around. There didn’t seem to be a skip or removal van of any sort (though, honestly I may have missed it) but if this furniture was going straight back in to the rooms it’s no surprise whatsoever that there is a huge problem with bugs at the property. It is a surprise however that we managed to make it down the stairs safely! If it wasn’t avoiding the furniture it was avoiding the gangs of youths that were allowed to congregate at the bottom of the stairwells smoking and generally creating an intimidating and unpleasant atmosphere. Again, this isn’t to have a pop at the personalities of any of the individuals as I’m sure they are all very pleasant, however there are “no loitering” signs about and it’s not exactly a great look.
Nor was the pool a good look - we used it once, briefly, but the area was not well maintained. The pool area was dirty, the pool itself, well it had leaves in it but wasn’t filthy so we gave it a try. A family followed us in and one of their young girls started screaming and wouldn’t get in because there was a dead spider floating in it. We gave the jacuzzi a try, this wasn’t unclean and I imagine it would serve its purpose but not on a day when it is already 93 degrees!
The breakfast was basic but is what it said it was so it too served its purpose; location wise, there isn’t really anything in walking distance (other than a Waffle House which is essentially situated on the same premises) to have a proper breakfast in the morning.
The theme park shuttles are fine (we only used it on one day but didn’t have a problem with it - we used the Lynx bus service, as you can get that a little earlier, and it takes you to the ticket and transportation centre at Magic Kingdom where you can get to any park from one of the Disney buses for free). The theme park shuttle leaves for Epcot at 7:50am, from Epcot you can get a bus to any Disney park too - but it arrives at Epcot at around 8:20, and by the time you get to one of the other parks (Hollywood Studios maybe 8:35, Animal Kingdom 8:45, Magic Kingdom 8:55 once you have caught the ferry or monorail), if it’s a busy day you’ll already find yourself with a long wait for the major attractions (Toy Story at Hollywood Studios, the Safari/Everest at Animal Kingdom and any of the “Mountains” at Magic Kingdom). I guess this is tailing off a little as this is about the parks and not the accommodation, so back to the Travelodge..
Location wise for restaurants and eateries is pretty good for lunch and dinner options - plenty of options in walking distance or one or two stops away on the Lynx bus. Location wise for shopping - not particularly great to get to to Florida Mall (two bus changes in both directions, you’ll really have to do your work on it too as the journey will take about 1hr and half if you work it well), no bus or shuttle that goes to either of the “Premium Outlets” on International Drive (though, I suppose if you so choose and you know your way around on public transport, you could take the free shuttle provided by the hotel to Universal Studios and make your own way from there). There are plenty of the cheap and cheerful local shops that offer you Disney tees for cheaper than in the parks and, there is a CVS (pharmacy and general store) in walking distance.
Kissimmee in general - this was my first time staying in this part of Florida and I can safely say I won’t be staying here again, either in the area and certainly not in a Travelodge again. The Travelodge played a big part in this decision and I will most certainly not be recommending it to family or friends - further, if you are reading this review and others like it and are basing your decision to stay on feedback you read here - I urge you to look elsewhere. Pay the little extra to stay somewhere that is nicer - I have stayed in basic, and have no problem with basic (we go by the “a room in the Disney area is just for sleeping in” philosophy) but this was worse than basic and I would really recommend staying elsewhere. If you must stay in Kissimmee then we saw plenty of nicer options along the 192, but in reality, if you’re looking at doing Disney on a budget I’d suggest looking at International Drive with a free or cheap fee shuttle.
Though the staff we dealt with (aside from the one mentioned above) were nice enough, I can’t help feeling there’s a significant difference between nice and doing your job properly - I do feel a little uncomfortable writing this as, like I say, most of our interaction was pleasant (even when complaining about problems, we try our best to play it down) but true quality customer service is in two parts, customer interaction and ability to follow through on your promise (ie. doing your job). Maybe this was due to maintenance not doing their own jobs properly, but as a customer my concern should be about getting value for money and not where I should give the benefit of the doubt.
I just want to re-iterate a point I made earlier, about the mantra we normally adopt of knowing that a room in Florida when you’re doing the Theme Parks essentially only being a base. Even taking that into account, and the relatively low price we paid, I certainly would not consider the stay at this Travelodge value for money and if you are looking for value from your money, I certainly urge you to consider elsewhere.
There are significant problems that I feel need to be overcome in this Travelodge to even make it reasonably habitable for a paying customer and I hope feedback like this (given in a fair way and not just blindly running down everything about it) urges them to improve.
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- Also Known As:
- Travelodge Suites East Gate Orange Hotel Kissimmee
- Travelodge East Gate Orange
- Travelodge Hotel Kissimmee
- Travel Lodge Kissimmee
- Travelodge Kissimmee
- Kissimmee Travel Lodge
- Kissimmee Travelodge