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“Room smelled like smoke”

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Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando
Ranked #151 of 337 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Smithtown, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Room smelled like smoke”
Reviewed March 29, 2014

This is a typical Holiday Inn. Rooms are kinda worn out.Pool adjacent to noisy parking lot. Staff is kinda friendly but not too helpful. They want to help you check in and then have you be on your way. Free breakfast is just ok at best. Got a non smoking suite that smelled terribly of smoke. Of course there was nothing they could do for me. No other rooms available. Really? there are many things they coould have done but didn't make any effort to do anything. I don't know which is worse. that they know the room smells like smoke and don't do anything about it before the next guest arrives or they don't communicate with each other and therefore the proper staff members aren't aware of the problem! Shame on this hotel for forcing guests to be uncomfortable. Holiday Inn and suites down the road from this one a much nicer choice and probably worth the extra cash. Only thing this place has going for it is it's close location to Universal.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fmtd519
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmmiller123456, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando, responded to this review, April 8, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments regarding your recent stay. It is extremely disappointing that you found the quality of the room to be poor, and we apologize we did not have the availability to change your room. This is not the service we strive to deliver, and we hope you will give us another opportunity to make your stay an enjoyable. Thank you.
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English first
Orlando, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 19, 2014

I have been staying at this Holidayinn express on and off for a few months on buisiness. I m new to being away from home and thanks to the great staff here , I ve been able to really feel at home. Not knowing the area ,the staff at the front desk gave me directions anywhere i wanted to go and local amazing places to eat. Most importantly the rooms are clean and well kept. The pool , Gym, and free hearty breakfast is a definite plus too. I recommend this holidayinn express to anybody staying for a day or months..Thanks again to the great staff...

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank william c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmmiller123456, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando, responded to this review, March 26, 2014
Thank you for considering our Holiday Inn Express your Home Away From Home! We appreciate the great review, and the staff will be thrilled to read your comments. We hope we will keep meeting your expectations, and we appreciate that you continue to choose our hotel for your business travels.
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Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 17, 2014 via mobile

Rented a car from MCO airport and drove to hotel. Stayed for 4 nights. Room was on 2nd floor. Had a king bed. What I like about this hotel: convenient location to universal theme park as it was a short drive, room was big enough for 2, free parking, free wifi and breakfast included was simple and nice. Reception staff were friendly and helpful when I wanted to order pizza to the room. What I didn't like: being on the 2nd floor and not being able to draw the curtains. The day curtain was able to close fully but you could still see outside. The shower floor was slippery. Overall I love this hotel despite its little shortcoming and would recommended others to stay but to request for higher floor.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Yan87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmmiller123456, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando, responded to this review, March 20, 2014
Thank you for the nice review, and we appreciate that you chose our Holiday Inn Express. You Our rooms do have black out drapes. You may have missed them if they were pushed all the way to the side walks. Sorry about that, as I know the outside lighting can disturb your sleep. We appreciate your comments. Have a good day.
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 7, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here because we booked a hotel nearby and it was absolutely disgusting. When we called Holiday Inn, they were more than accommodating and felt bad for our troubles at the previous hotel. The room was beautiful and upgraded! Very happy with our stay, and to top it off we left behind a very important item by accident and Elizabeth at the front desk was so helpful and even checked a second time for our lost item, found it, and is mailing it to us! Great staff and hotel, highly recommended

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sunshinexnik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmmiller123456, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
We are happy you found our hotel! Thank you for the great review. We hope you received your lost item by now, and we look forward to seeing you again.
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London, ON
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2014

We booked this hotel via a discount site and got a really great rate. We were attracted to this hotel because of proximity to park (walking distance to avoid parking fees) and free breakfast.

Staff were helpful, professional and friendly. Breakfast was a full, hot breakfast with lots of options. We were able to eat a large breakfast every day, saving our dining budget for better dinners. Pool was clean and warm and not very busy.

We were traveling with two adults and two pre-teen kids. The rooms were VERY small. We had a room with two double beds and we felt like we were on top of each other. We had to store most of our luggage in our rental car, because there was simply no place to put four large suitcases. You also felt a lack of privacy using the bathroom since room so small. We opted for getting a second adjoining room for our last night when it became available. It was manageable though as we hardly spent any time in the room.

Beds were comfortable and room was clean. I did a full inspection for bedbugs with no evidence of them. Furnishings, carpet etc. a bit "tired" though, because of the high turnover, but that is to be expected in a hotel so close to the parks. Staff were continuously cleaning - we had to wait to get a second adjoining room because of carpet cleaning - which is a good thing. Double rooms DO NOT have a fridge, so bring a cooler or you can pick up a foam one at nearby Walgreens.

From the front door to Universal City Walk is about 1.5 kms (cutting across plaza/Double Tree) parking lot. It took us 15-20 minutes to walk with two pre-teen kids. It is easily walkable for most people and families of average fitness, even after being at the parks. We did both parks in one day and kids did not complain about walking to or from.

We there are a few good restaurants in immediate area where you can get a decent meal and drink after the parks as well as fast food options. There is also a Walgreens within walking distance were you can get snacks, beer etc.

Overall, because we got a deep discount on the room it was a good value for bargain hunters.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 3zigs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmmiller123456, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Thank you for the detailed review. We appreciate that you chose our hotel to host your Universal stay in Orlando. We apologize that you were not comfortable in the standard room. Please note that we do have some suites that are larger and equipped with refrigerator and microwave, plus pull out sofa sleeper. Overall it sounds like your group enjoyed your time in Orlando. We hope to see you again.
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
Reviewed March 1, 2014 via mobile

The staff was very friendly and welcoming! Our stay was just for two nights. When booking it says nearest to universal it's not that close, especially after walking all day the last thing you want to do is walk back to hotel. The shuttles end at 7:30 so unless u plan on paying for a taxi make sure you catch the shuttle.
When we arrived we were told our room type had changed. We were a little upset about our reservation it was for a king size suite and we were going to get a double bed. It took about 10 min for the staff to correct their error in booking. But in the end we got our king size suite.(make sure u bring with a paper copy of your reservation, this is what saved us)
We were surprised by the selection of the breakfast buffet lots of choices, hot or cold breakfast. Something for everyone.
Overall this was a good place to stay for the price!!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank stephanie303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmmiller123456, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Thank you for staying with us and sharing your comments. We apologize for the confusion at check in. We are pleased you enjoyed breakfast and we hope to see you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
631 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 256 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2014

I was in Orlando for a few days and decided to book a "partner hotel" through Universal Studios so that I could get early entrance to Harry Potter World. I chose the HI Express because I typically stay at them and love their accommodations. This one also was close to Universal and I could walk there if I wanted to (about 20 min). There is also a shuttle in the am and evening for guests.

Ug...this place was NOT what I expected at all. I just found out that it used to be a Sleep Inn...which explains EVERYTHING! I would never have chosen this hotel had I known that. Especially not for the price I paid. It's all about managing expectations and what I got was not HI quality.

First the good.
It's nicely located - about a 20 min walk from Universal.There is a shuttle to Universal a few times in the am and in the afternoon (you need a ticket from the Universal Sales counter in the lobby)
There is a Wendy's right next door. A McDonalds about a 10 min walk away and a Walgreens about 5 min walk away.
The room was fine. Nothing special and not particularly comfortable. But it was clean enough and the TV worked.
There are TWO breakfast set ups- so if there is a savage horde you can still get your food pretty quickly. It's the standard HI stuff. Freshly made pancakes from a machine. Scrambled eggs. Cereals, yogurt. One day there were sausage patties and the other bacon. Bagels, muffins and bread that can be toasted (or not).
The pool was tiny but looked clean.

The not so good
Very limited parking. After driving around and around I decided to squeeze the rental into the last spot between two idiots that parked at angles.
All the smokers congregate outside- in front of the doors- probably because there is a bench and trash can. How about moving it? As a single women travelling I HATE pushing my way through a crowd just to get into the hotel.
You need a hotel key to get into the front lobby after 10 pm. That's just a giant red flag there- that the area is not the best.
The front desk staff didn't seem to be busy but no one would "beep" me into the lobby. A middle aged woman with a suitcase...not exactly a threat. I had to enter with a group of smokers heading back inside.(Guess I should be grateful they were outside)
The shower head was clogged with mineral deposits so only the inside ring worked- made for a long and tedious shower with all of an inch of spray.

In summary- if you're expecting a nice HI Express room & service this is not it. It's just a budget place with the HI name. If I had paid significantly less for this place I might have liked it more. Nah...probably not!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jen78703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jmmiller123456, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando, responded to this review, February 27, 2014
Hello Jen,

Thank for your the review and the good you enjoyed, and the not so good. We apologize that this hotel did not meet your expectations, and we hope you did enjoy your time at the Universal parks. As a security feature most hotels do secure the entrance doors after a certain time in the evening. Our doors do lock at 10PM, and yes you will need to access with your room key.
As far as the group of smokers by the entrance, this was unfortunate as the smoking bench and receptacle are located away from the entrance doors.
Thank you again for your comments and we hope you have a good day.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando

Property: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando
Address: 5605 Major Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819-7960 (Formerly Sleep Inn & Suites @ Univ Studios)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#98 Business Hotel in Orlando
#155 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Universal Studios Orlando 2.5*
Number of rooms: 196
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Closest Holiday Inn Express Hotel to Universal Orlando Just steps away from Universal Studios and 10 minutes from the Orlando Convention Center, our central Orlando hotel offers both comfort and convenience. If you are looking for lodging near Orlando theme parks, look no further than our charming Orlando hotel, conveniently located at the intersection of Florida s Turnpike and I-4. Easy access to popular Orlando attractions like Walt Disney World Resort and SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica. Cruise International Drive, also known as I-Drive , for the best shopping, restaurants and entertainment in Orlando. Prime Outlets, Festival Bay, and Mall at Millenia are all five minutes away. Also, we are only 15 minutes away from downtown Orlando. During your Orlando business trip, you will be impressed with the accommodations our Orlando hotel provides. Our Universal hotel is conveniently located near the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center and is the perfect place to stay during your visit to Orlando, FL. While vacationing in Orlando, enjoy several hotel amenities including free high-speed Internet access, pool heated (seasonally) and hot breakfast buffet. Book your reservation today and enjoy our great Orlando hotel deals and rates. Must be 21 years of age with valid credit card at check in. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express Hotel And Suites Universal Studios Orlando
Holiday Inn Express Orlando
Holiday Inn Orlando

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