I was back here on a business trip because the "boss" picked the hotel as a meeting place for our three small groups to meet. I'm glad he did. I stayed here in March when this was a Sonesta and enjoyed it. Now that Hilton recently took it over and made it a Doubletree it over it is even better -- with more reasonable prices.
The first thing that was apparent was the attitude of the staff -- they bent over backwards to make the stay pleasant. Doris was behind the desk in the morning when I checked in and each morning I was there and she is worth her weight in gold, as is Elaina who works in the afternoons and evenings. Expect to be greeted with a huge smile, and one of their warm chocolate chip walnut cookies from the bottomless cookie drawer. There was a minor mechanical problem in the first room I was given. I was willing to accept the room but Doris simply switched rooms rather than have me wait for the repair person, and even gave me the key to check it before we switched. She also made sure I had a refrigerator for my medications.
The only problem I had was with my room keys (I went through 11 in the 5 days I was there). Each time they made me extra so that when one would stop working I could still get into my room. I've noticed that this is something that a lot of hotels have with the keyless entry systems lately. The staff felt it was a defective set of keys and they were switching to a different brand while I was there. The new ones worked better.
This is a hotel in transition. Some of changes are apparent (like some new carpeting) and others they promise will come shortly (like renovated rooms). My room already had a new mattress that was very comfortable. The present WIFI is TERRIBLE! I could not get fast enough connection speeds on most days to even check my e-mail. However, I watched the technician installing the wiring for the new WIFI which the hotel promises will be the fastest in town. The managers had a reception on Wednesday afternoon and talked about the new carpeting, furniture, and bathroom renovations that will be coming.
They have a business center between the first floor elevators and bar area that has several computers with extremely fast internet connections connected to a printer which can be used without charge for registered guests. Two nice features are the time clock on each of the computers that keeps people from "hogging" it, and the feature that completely clears the cache of anything you did when you log out of it (which prevents anyone from stealing your data).
At my level of Hilton Honors the breakfast buffet was included in the room rate and it was good. They did not complain about fixing me poached eggs instead of the furnished scrambled eggs. Besides eggs it included bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, hot and cold cereal, a rotation of French toast, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and the usual breads. The coffee was strong.
I was told that the hotel restaurant has a new chef and the food I had was good, but pricey. That's OK because the hotel provides a free shuttle (tips encouraged) to the many nearby restaurants that are 2-3 miles from the hotel. David and Gary were the drivers we used each evening. They are very friendly, knowledgeable, and honest about what they know about the various places.
Much has been said about the train tracks. As you can see from my pictures, I could see them out of my window on the 11th floor. They are just beyond the pool. Yes, the trains are frequent during the day, and one or two at night. I found that pulling the room darkening blinds helped block the sound.
The halls can be noisy. This is a large hotel with a variety of guests. The first of a family reunion crowd checked in on the last night of my stay and the 2-6 year old children were having "races" up and down the hall until about 11:00 p.m. When I opened my door to see what was going on I was greeted by a kindly grandmother type who looked at me with horror and apologized profusely. She told me that they thought the family had the entire floor and were letting the kids (many of which hadn't see each other in months) run off their steam so they would go to sleep. She quickly herded them into the room and it became suddenly quiet. I bet the hotel wishes all grandmothers were like that!
The bed was very comfortable and has a table on each side. You can see my extension cord going to one outlet so I could plug things in on that side of the bed. If you have several items to plug in I would suggest that you bring at least a 6' extension cord or two. The table in front of the window does not have an outlet.
My group is scheduled for several more meetings here over the next few months. I hope they keep sending me back here. It made a nice "home away from home."
One last note: There is a large 15 story office building across the street from the hotel that has one of the best NY style delicatessens that I've ever eaten at. It is small and priced so the hundreds of office workers will eat there regularly. They are open for breakfast and lunch.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown offers prime accommodations near Lake Ivanhoe in downtown Orlando. Hotel guests will find themselves nine miles from Universal Studios® and 16 miles from Walt Disney World®. Attractions within two mile’s reach of the hotel include the Bob Car Performing Arts Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Science Center, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and the Amway Arena. Hotel amenities at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown hotel include a rooftop Olympic-style heated swimming pool and sun deck; a 24-hour shuttle whisks hotel guests to downtown Orlando attractions within the business and culture districts. Indoors, we provide our signature fitness center, gift shop and complimentary 24-hour business center. The hotel offers a lobby coffee bar serving Starbucks® coffee, and a contemporary restaurant. Picturesque Lake Ivanhoe serves as the backdrop to 341 beautifully appointed oversized guest rooms, including 22 suites with complimentary high-speed Internet access, flat panel HDTVs, premium cable with on-demand movies, and Sweet Dreams® by Doubletree bedding. Many suites feature views of the pool area and beautiful downtown Orlando and Lake Ivanhoe. The DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown is a perfect pick for an Orlando business meeting or social event, boasting 35,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Proud to feature the largest hotel ballroom in downtown Orlando, the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown can comfortably accommodate groups from 15 to 1000 guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Doubletree By Hilton Orlando Downtown Hotel Orlando