We were looking for a hotel to stay while our family of four with 2 small children went to Sea World. We booked the hotel through Hotwire, and were very happy with the selection that they made for us when we read the Trip Advisor reviews. We got a great price, so even when we discovered that there was a per day fee for parking, we were satisfied with the price.
Upon arrival we were impressed with the appearance of the lobby area, were given freshly baked still-warm cookies, were told that we would be given free parking (didn't even request it!) and were given a map (with an activities list) which the check in employee wrote on to direct us where to park by our room. Since we have 2 small children and A LOT of stuff, we were really pleased that the rooms in the buildings around the perimeter of the hotels (not the tower rooms) had parking very near to the door. There is also a walkway to Sea World from the parking lot, and we were given a room near that corner of the property, so it ended up being perfect for us.
The grounds were beautiful and cared for meticulously. It really felt like being at a true resort. There were several pools, so no matter where your room was, you were near one of the pools. The beds were fairly comfortable although it seemed like the sheets were always coming off of the beds. The room seemed mostly renovated and had nice furniture. I can't be entirely sure, but it seemed like my feet were getting dirty from walking around barefoot in the room, so I don't think the carpet was new.
The only area of complaint was that we found out the hard way that the map with the list of activities that we were given upon our arrival was out of date. There was a breakfast with Sea World characters advertised as a $12 breakfast for adults, kids eat free, photo opportunity. Our 2 year old LOVES costumed characters, so we planned to go. Since it said "reservations suggested" my husband checked ahead of time and the restaurant staff said that it wouldn't be necessary but to come during a certain time frame to see the characters. Again, when we were seated and given the option of indoor or outdoor and we asked if one of the other were better for seeing the characters, they said both would areas would be visited. After over 45 minutes of pushing bland and cold buffet food around on my plate, we left, no characters. We got our bill and were charged $17 for each adult. When we questioned the server, not once, but twice, he told us that the $12 was for a cold breakfast and that $17 was the price for the hot items. I didn't have the activity page with me, so I decided to just get the paper and take it up with the front desk. When I spoke with the woman at the front desk, she basically told me "that activity page is it out of date, too bad." I told her we were never given any menus or options other than the hot buffet, never saw a price listing the full price, and would have never paid $17, characters or not. I persisted, and begrudgingly she spoke with someone else and said that they would credit us the difference. There wasn't really any apology or acknowledgment that they were in the wrong for advertising something that was no longer in effect, and that their staff was so poorly informed that they led us to believe that the activity was still on. Furthermore, the food was not good at all. The fresh fruit was the only thing worth eating, and if I knew what I was getting, I would have ordered a coffee and skipped the breakfast completely. When we got our bill on the last day, we were only credited for the difference on one meal, not the two that we paid for. I brought it up at check out not because the few dollars mattered so much, but wanted to give them one more chance to make things right. The woman at the front desk who checked us out was friendly and willing to go through the process to have us properly credited, even though it required some work on her part. In the end, things were mostly made right and the majority of the staff that we encountered left a pleasant impression.
Overall, it was a great place to stay in order to visit Sea World. It was maybe a half mile walk to get into the park, but not all that much farther than the far parking spots. We even have free parking with our Sea World passes, but decided to walk one of the days, and were glad that we did. It is somewhat difficult to cross the street (no signal) if you walk out of the park back to the hotel right at closing when there is a lot of traffic coming out of the park.
Overall a good experience. Would stay there again if we had the opportunity to do so at the same price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld. Conveniently located adjacent to SeaWorld and its water park Aquatica and just minutes away from Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World and the Orange County Convention Center. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Doubletree By Hilton Orlando At Seaworld Hotel Orlando
- International Plaza Orlando