This was our second visit to the Westgate Palace Hotel and we weren't disappointed.
Our party of nine people had four apartments on the 4th floor. My wife and I had an apartment to ourselves and we had an incredible view across the lake showing a great view of Wet n Wild as well as Universal's two parks (Islands of Adventures and Studios) - in fact Hogwarts was a constant reminder on our horizon of where we were.
The apartments themselves are massive. A big kitchen area (with seriously big fridge/freezer and microwave), a very handy washing machine / tumble dryer, dishwasher and useful breakfast bar.
The lounge area with its large flat screen TV was great (it also has a DVD player and stereo).
Then there's the main bedroom with a stupidly large bed, jacuzzi bath and ensuite. And to top it off, to the other side of the lounge is a double bedroom with two biggish single beds and another en-suite with double wash basins and a huge walk in shower. All the showers have the 'rain effect' shower head as well as the normal one on the side of the wall.
Anyway, the apartments are amazing. I don't think many people will be disappointed. They are cleaned daily and there is also a free safe. There are plenty of free electrical points too to charge your camcorders and cameras up.
The pool area is great. The pool opens at 7am and closes when it gets dark. The early opening time is handy as you can get some lengths in before going to the theme parks. The pool is about 20-25 metres in length and is a freeform shape. The only negative with the pool I guess is that first thing in the morning it doesn't get the sun. But in saying that the pool is generally very warm, so as long as you're in the pool, it doesn't matter.
We've now stayed in both towers and don't think there is any difference in them. If you get an odd number room though then you'll get the lovely lake view. Otherwise it's the car park side (which isn't necessarily an ugly view, just not as good).
The car park is huge and of course, free. So there's no worries about parking your car there. There's a security guard occasionally there too.
The lobby staff are pretty polite, but they're not the most organised :oS. They get there in the end though.
The wifi costs unfortunately. This time it was 9.99 a day or 39.99 for a week. (Gets quite expensive when you're there for 17 days).
The position of the hotel is fantastic as it's on Carrier Drive, just between I-Drive and Universal Boulevard. You can walk to wet n wild and you can also walk to most of the restaurants and attractions on I-Drive. Chillis and TGI Fridays are the closest two restaurant, probably about 200 yards away.
The infamous Ponderosa is about 15 minutes’ walk away and in our opinion had really up'd its game. We ate at pretty much all the restaurants in the local area. There were none that we wouldn't recommend. The China Jade Buffet is great, as is Buffalo Wild Wings, Sweet Tomatoes, Sizzler, Wild Jacks.
Driving tips, avoid the Sand Lake Road / I-Drive junction that can get really busy. Try to use the Universal Boulevard instead of I-Drive as it's pretty much empty all the time and runs pretty parallel (for example, when coming back from Disney, turn off the I4 at the junction signed for the convention centre and then hop on to the Universal boulevard and you're home in no time).
For shopping, there's a massive Wal-Mart on Sand Lake road (out of the hotel, turn left, at the junction of Universal boulevard turn right, then at the next junction with Sand Lake Road, turn left and it's about 2 miles up there on the right). If you carry on past Wal-Mart, you'll come to the Florida Mall (a massive shopping mall with pretty much every shop in there). Or for local shopping, there's the Premium Outlets (formerly called Prime Outlets) at the bottom of I-Drive. (oh, and there's also a big Ron Jon shop at the Festival Bay Mall, on the way to Premium Outlets on the right).
Universal Studios is about a 5-minute car journey away.
Disney is about 20-minutes away.
Busch Gardens is about 1hour 20mins away.
Kennedy Space Centre is about an hour away
And of course I-Drive has the I-Trolley which covers all of I-Drive as well as other side roads (including Carrier Drive where the Westgate is positioned).
Anyway, hope that helps :o)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Stylish, Two-Towers Vacation Resort in the Heart of Orlando Westgate Palace Resort is an amazing two-tower, lakeside Orlando, Florida, hotel that lies just off world-famous International Drive and within walking distance of Wet 'n Wild(R) Water Park and more than 200 specialty shops and family-friendly restaurants. Guests enjoy spacious accommodations that feature all the comforts of a fully furnished home and a multitude of onsite amenities, including a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, Pool Bar and much more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Westgate Palace Hotel Orlando
- Westgate Palace Orlando