Right so like me you've read the reviews on here. The good reviews, the bad reviews and the ugly reviews. Don't know what to believe? I was the same.
This is my review and before you read I'll give you a little bit of info about me and the kind of holidays I have. Or Vacations!
I'm not one of these Brits that sit in the hotel room all day long, only making it as far as the hotel bar or the reception to moan about the lack of fresh towels. I'm an "up and out" kind of guy. My girlfriend is the same, well she has little choice in the matter, and we make it our mission to get to the theme parks for "rope drop".
We don't bother with getting to know all the staff at the desk, checking out Enrique's eggs or even hearing Terry's tones on the bus. I come to Orlando to see Harry Potter at Universal, not Enrique in the Virgin Breakfast room. Now I'm sure he's a lovely bloke, and he probably does make some mean eggs but that's not what an Orlando holiday should be about and it seems that people that have been reviewing this hotel based solely on a few characters at the hotel.
This review will be based on a energetic couple's experience of the enclave. If you want to know how much dust was under the seats of Pizza Hut or how lovely Terry sings you'll have to read another review. You shouldn't have to wait long...there should be one any minute now.
Right let's get going. We arrived on August 26th. Hot as always and wanted to check-in as quick as possible and get down I.Drive for some well-deserved grub at Chilis. Now Chilis is awesome and is about a 2 minute walk from the hotel. Go PAST Pizza Hut and eat there. You have Pizza Hut in England! Now I had emailed ahead of time and asked for a room with a view. The higher levels do offer some great views of Universal. I didn't mention anything at the desk and was just going to wait and see what we got. It took a little time to check-in to be honest. It wasn't that busy that there was only one lady and the phone was ringing a lot. I didn't get her name or anything. Like I said I'm not one of those reviews who is chatting up the staff while Orlando is waiting. But anyway, we're in, we've handed over Card Details. Now this is a bit of a sticky point that I didn't fully understand. They take a $50 dollar deposit plus $1 a day for the safe in the room. Now that's regardless if you want the safe or not. That wasn't made clear to me at check-in. So anyway we've signed all the paperwork, handed over card details and made it to our room. The elevator worked fine. You know up and down, doors opened closed, marvellous. The card keys also worked. They worked fine the whole two weeks. The room was..........FINE. It smelt fresh. The furniture was fine. I wouldn't have it in my house but I wasn't going to be slouched in the chair watching Friends all day anyway. There were no bugs. The shower worked. After all the bad reviews, I was expecting something out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre when I walked in. Nope everything was okay...well it was at this stage. Remember this was afternoon so I didn't have to use the lights. That was later. So we were happy. I didn't know if this was the upgraded room I have asked for but it was the clean so I wasn't about to push my luck, be moved and end up somewhere worse. We had a view of the pool and we could see the top of Hogwarts and Wet & Wild. It did us. We weren't going to be in the room a lot so it was fine.
So we had our first meal at Chili's, came back to get ourselves ready for Islands of Adventure the next morning. We discovered half the lights didn't work. We tried to switch plugs...still no luck. How odd. We had a few that did work, so we thought "ah forget it" it was late and Islands of Adventure was all I was thinking about. We unpacked and the drawers were diabolical. You had to be the Hulk to rip one open and when you did you had the jenga like game of putting it back. But like I said I'm not the kind of person who is going to phone up reception at midnight and ask someone to come and check out my drawers. The bed was fine. No surprises in the lining or anything. No lumps or bumps, only from the girlfriend! way-hay!!
The Air-Con is loud. Very Loud. Louder than sleeping on the Interstate 4. We had to turn it off to sleep. Now that means you can't really sleep with covers on because it's still 75 outside. I suggest moaning about it and seeing where it gets you but I would think that they have the same system in every room. But because you have turned the air-con off you can now hear the fridge, who is trying to make up for the noise his mate the air-con can't make anymore. Also the fridge likes to throw out some nasty smells every so often as well. And no it wasn't me, although the girlfriend accused me a fair few times. The fridge makes the sound like someone is trying to get in the room. It caught me out a few times and I was prepared to go all Batman on the intruder who was trying to steal my Disney merchandise. But my judo skills had to stay hidden as it was just the fridge. The first night, I couldn't sleep. Bit of Jet Lag and excitement I put it down to. I checked out the all night indoor pool. It was nice and quiet. No english families who like to play the game, "who can scream at each other the loudest" Me and the girlfriend went back there one night after a park and it was too busy. Full of English and doing what most English are great at....moaning. Oh it's too hot out there. Disney is too expensive. You know the sort. We quickly left.
So on the first day we walked to Universal. It's a good 25 minutes but no more than that. It's a nice walk and well worth it if you want to get there early. And I suggest that you do. Get there for 8.30. Now I know from the other reviews that Enclave offers a free bus (god don't I know it) but my experience is that Buses always get you to places late and pick you up early. You miss the "rope drop" and the fireworks and shows late at night. What's the point? If you can do it, I suggest walking it. Very easy. Just turn left out of the hotel and left again up Uni Blvd.
This means that we missed breakfast! Oh no! Not the eggs! How did we manage! There are plenty of cheap places to eat breakfast if you have to get out to a park early. We did manage to get in for the Virgin Breakfast one morning but found it quite depressing in all honesty. I didn't see no guy smiling at me and offering to make me eggs. I saw a bloke who said hello and he said goodbye and it was a very quiet room that looked like a seminar that I have at work. I thought someone was going to come out and start talking about health & safety in the workplace or something. We quickly left. Maybe Enrique had the day off. Who knows. Who cares? You're holiday.
One night we had to go down to reception on our way back from a park because we didn't have a plug for the bath. My girlfriend spent about five minutes explaining what a plug was to the lady at reception. It was a very strange experience.
Anyway the maintenance man was up in a flash, actually he beat us up, and he said he would come back with a new plug. Which he did....at midnight. I'm not letting people in at midnight. So we told him we'd be out all day and he could come back anytime the next day he wanted to. We are nice like that. He was a nice bloke. Looked a bit like Super Mario actually.
We were down the pool one night and got told off by security being in there because one of the doors was locked. I said "yeah but that one wasn't" there was two doors you see. The security guard was a bit confused by that and said because it was broken. Might be nice to invest in a pen and paper and write something on the gates if you don't want people in the pool. Just a suggestion.
Anyway the two weeks went by in a flash. Spent every single cent we had and don't regret one thing. Now the staff didn't bother us and we didn't bother the staff. We didn't use the free bus or have the free breakfast.
The hotel is a at a great location. For the money, you couldn't find better. The rooms are basic but it's nice to have a balcony for once. Other hotels for a similar price don't.
The Air-Con situation needs to be looked at. It's a must in Florida and it really lets the room down.
I wouldn't stay there again. I think it's nice to explore new places down I drive and Orlando area. It's an okay hotel and I recommend it for people who are up and out. I recommend Orlando only to people who are up and out.
Next time i'm going to try and save up a little more and stay onsite at Disney. It's not much more expensive. Virgin do some good deals. When you're standing waiting for a tram to take you back to you car after a 13 hour day at Magic Kingdom...then you will know what I'm talking about.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Spacious two bedroom/two bath suites and deluxe studio suites with fully equipped kitchenettes and private balconies. Located just off famous International Drive and 5 minutes to Universal Orlando. Two outdoor pools plus an indoor heated pool & spa. Free continental breakfast and shuttle to Universal and Sea World, small fee for Disney Shuttle. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Enclave Hotel Orlando
- The Enclave Hotel And Suites