I stayed at this hotel for a conference in June of 2008. I chose it specifically because I've always liked the Embassy Suites hotels; I like the hot breakfast and the full suites. I arrived after a grueling 8-hour flight and an over 2-hour wait for a shuttle to the hotel (there were 14,000 people in the area for the conference), and made it just barely in time to catch the last five minutes of the manager's reception. I took my glass of wine with me up to the room before I even dropped off my bags. ;-) I caught that manager's reception every night, and the bartender was great; by the second night, she was pouring my wine as soon as she saw me, and was unfailingly friendly and efficient.
I was a little taken aback by the room; it was very dim and smelled extremely musty (I later found out this is pretty common for Orlando; everything is humid and rather mildewy owing to the climate). I was also disappointed to get a third-floor room DIRECTLY over the HVAC units when I'd specifically requested a high floor. The rooms have no windows, just a tiny little balcony (it's actually too narrow to stand on), and my balcony overlooked the aforementioned giant (LOUD) HVAC units and the freeway. Not exactly scenic.
The rooms are peculiar; to admit some light to the living room, they have floor-to-ceiling windows on either side of the front door which look out onto the hallway. Given that people are going up and down the hall right outside those windows, it's not as if you can leave the curtains open. The layout otherwise is nice; the bedroom especially was quite spacious.
Lighting over the desk/table was somewhat inadequate, and the hotel charged $10/day to use their wi-fi, which seems excessive to me. Power outlets were adequate. The bedding was quite comfortable and there were ample lamps and lights in the bedroom. I can't comment on the TVs, as I never turned them on, nor the pools, as I never used them. The elevators were slower than molasses.
I really appreciated the mini-fridge and microwave, since I was there for a week. It would have been nice to have a real coffeemaker, not a miniature one. I very much disliked the air conditioning; the filters obviously badly needing changing, as the a/c was causing me horrible allergy issues. I tried turning it off and opening the balcony slider, but between the heat and humidity, the bugs (there's no screen on the slider, which I find extremely peculiar), and the exhaust fumes from the HVAC and the freeway, that wasn't practical as an option. As other reviewers have mentioned, there's a constant white noise from the A/C. Probably not a bad thing, since the plumbing is quite loud; you hear every nearby shower and toilet flush.
Weirdly, the wastebaskets in the suite were never emptied during my week-long stay, even though housekeeping had clearly been in to make the bed and replace linens. Since I quite often have dinner in my room (and thus have food waste to dispose of), that was a distressing oversight. I also came back to my room twice after housekeeping had been in and found the door wasn't all the way closed, which was unnerving. Anyone could have simply pushed it open.
Hotel staff were very helpful, when I did have occasion to deal with them. I needed to print a boarding pass on the last day of my stay, but the printers in the business center were both malfunctioning. The desk clerk was kind enough to print it for me. The valets out front were especially helpful and friendly.
The lines for the hot breakfast were horrifically long each morning, so I ended up giving up on it. I never did have a made-to-order breakfast during my stay. The coffee at breakfast was AWFUL. I know I'm a coffee snob, but that stuff was paint remover.
The location is quite convenient - far enough off I-Drive to not get too much noise, but right there for all the restaurants, shops, etc. Don't count on using the I-Drive Trolley to get around, though - I had three of them pass me up one night before I gave up on that as a form of transportation.
Overall, this wasn't an unpleasant stay, but I think the Jamaican Court Embassy Suites is a slightly nicer hotel, and there are options much closer to the convention center (it's within walking distance, presuming you don't pass out from the heat and humidity) if you want to avoid having to rent a car.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Deluxe, all suite hotel located in the convenient, exciting International Drive area, surrounded by a variety of dining, entertainment and shopping venues. Accommodations are spacious one-bedroom suites with microwave, refrigerator & coffee maker. All guests enjoy a Complimentary Breakfast and free evening beverages daily! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Embassy Suites Hotel Orlando - International Drive / Orlando
- Embassy Suites Orlando
- Orlando Embassy Suites