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“Good but where did the refurb money go?”

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Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel
Ranked #116 of 339 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
155 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Good but where did the refurb money go?”
Reviewed November 8, 2009

Third year staying at the Clarion or Universal Best Western as it is know these days. Love the location, staff, basic but comfortable rooms.

Only question I have is where did that $2 Million they spent on a refurb go? They have new TVs and Vanity units in the room but looks like thats about it. I expected more to be honest but still enjoyed my stay and would return.

Made more use of the pool area this year which was nice. One thing that is a bit annoying is only one PC for internet and its always being hogged by teenagers charging their IPods. They should introduce a token system where guests only have 30 minutes each and disabling the usb ports so people dont hog the PC.

I also went to the Gym a few times and was always the only one in there. Good facility but a few free weights would make it much better. Nice and air conditioned though making it comfortable for a work out.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank spicyhippo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Plantation, FL
2 reviews
Reviewed October 31, 2009

This is my group's 4th or 5th year in a row staying at this hotel (formerly known as the Clarion) for our annual Halloween Horror Nights trip, not for any particular reason as there is really nothing too special about this hotel except that it is very close to Universal and always has cheap rates. Since the switch to Best Western I noticed some improvements that I liked- the flat screen TVs, the fridges & microwaves, and an upgrade in decor. It is still a pretty basic hotel, but here are the pros & cons from my October 2009 trip:

Pros:
+ Location: Easy access to Universal Studios (5 min) & I-4 (2 min), Disney (20 min), Sea World (10 min), countless restaurants, shops, and grocery stores. I would recommend renting or bringing your car if you plan to stay here.
+ Price: Great for travelers on a budget
+ Decor: Looks modern, has obviously been recently updated, unlike most in this price range that look like they were designed in the 80's.
+ Pool area: Good sized pool, LOVED the two private hot tub areas, surprisingly romantic area, plenty of sunbeds also in a private area if that's what you're looking for.
+ Grocery/Restaurant: Very convenient to have food available if you don't feel like leaving the hotel- just be prepared for the up-charge. One of the four rooms we had received breakfast coupons upon check-in. I don't know what they did differently to get these other than check in at a different time- be sure to ask about this if you want any.
+ Service: 1) Somehow, a guest managed to break off the elevator call button on the first floor that summons the elevator. I'm still not sure how they accomplished this. Anyway, instead of just putting an "out-of-order" sign up, they actually had some maintenance crew that would use a special tool to summon the elevator, and he stood there for hours while it was being fixed. It was back to normal later that night. 2) We noticed upon arrival that part of our second lock, the door guard, was broken. We mentioned this to them on our way out and when we came back a few hours later, a new one had already been installed.
+ Noise: We were on the top floor and never heard a thing.
+ Presence of fridge & microwave, and internet
+ Extra sink and vanity area outside of bathroom
+ Clean
+ Effective room darkening shades

Cons:
- Beds: Those in our group who were sensitive sleepers found the beds to be uncomfortable. They seemed very hard, the pillows didn't sit right and the blankets were awkward feeling. Also, the beds are very SMALL, they must be doubles instead of true queens. If you are the type that can fall asleep anywhere and aren't sharing a bed, you will be fine.
- Bathroom: Our tub drained very very slowly during and after a shower, and the towels and toilet paper were made of very cheap materials.
- Appliances: Microwave was very rickety, and the fridge did not feel that cold, although both seemed to get the job done. Basic "economy" models.
- Closet: When closed looked full-size, but half of the sliding door revealed a hidden wall instead of closet space. It wasn't really a problem for my group, but for those staying longer it would be really limiting.
- Alarm clock: Oddly bright, with lit-up buttons. I like to sleep in total darkness so I just unplugged this and used my cell phone alarm.
- Cold air: The a/c worked okay, but look elsewhere if you like very cold rooms- ours was comfortable on full blast but never got cold-cold.

Overall, I would stay at this hotel again because I feel it is a good value. There is still room for improvement, but that comes with the cheaper price tag. Some of the things are easy remedies if you think they will bother you and you are driving- just throw a soft blanket and towels in your car.

Also a side note for those who like to bring video game consoles or DVD players, you will not be able to easily use them using the flat screen TVs provided. Best to leave them at home, or if you absolutely must bring them, you'll need to bring your TV as well.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pointybubble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2009

Stayed for 2 weeks in October,great hotel,rooms were an excellent size with 2 very comfy double (queen size)beds,large screen flat panel TV,Microwave,mini fridge,coffee maker,iron and ironing board,hairdryer,everything you could possibly need.Fresh free coffee and tea everyday,towels changed every day,plus shampoo soap and body lotions, everyday.Air conditioned. Soda and ice machines on every floor. Also 2 computers with free internet near reception.
Nice sized heated pool with an abundance of clean towels provided all day,plus 2 hot tubs ,basketball and tennis playing area.Fully equipped gym.Nice clean reception and restaurant area,only ate their twice though as there is so much around the immediate area.Situated literally yards from Wet n Wild waterpark,about 300 yards from the junction with International drive, so it's nice and quiet away from any traffic noise.24 Hour Walgreens just around the corner,plus Pizza joint close by which is open until 4.00 am ,handy for midnight snacks.Universal partner hotel so any tickets available in hotel lobby inc I ride tickets($53 for all of us 14 days unlimited use) Within easy reach of plenty of eateries, where you can eat cheaply or expensively without having to eat rubbish. Free shuttle to Universal, seaworld and Aquatica provided also Busch gardens{Tampa) shuttle bus free with flex plus ticket or $10. Local I ride stops just outside the hotel.Staff very friendly and helpful.Ideal location for all that Orlando has to offer. An excellent holiday,with this hotel providing the perfect base...will definitely be booking this hotel again as it is in the perfect spot,and I found it to be absolutely faultless.I cant recommend it highly enough.
There is a $3.49 charge per room per night but itis well worth it for the amenities.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SheffieldUKMichelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wales
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2009

This is my second trip to Orlando and to this hotel. We loved our first stay which is why we opted to stay here a second time.

The second time round was even better than the first. This hotel was formely the Clarion Hotel but now it has been taken over by Best Western. There have been some very welcomed changes to the hotel some of which are brand new flat screenm tv's in all rooms, fridges and microaves, these little facilities provide very useful.

They have also set about updating all the rooms and there is now a much more plush feeling to the rooms, it is no longer a motel but a hotel.

We went in July and found it to be very quiet, suprisingly!! We never found it difficult to get a sunbed even if we got up at noon.

We never tried out the breakfast in Sharky's nor the dinner since there is a such a wide variety of places to eat out you wouldnt really need to.

Locality wise this hotel is a little set back from all of the action and is now actually situated on international drive, rather it is set in a lovely area, a little more upmarket than international drive. There is an I Drive bus stop right outside the hotel so transport isnt really a problem.

As already stated the rooms are really lovely and have recently been refurbished. The staff here are lovely as is everything, I loved loved loved this hotel. I have fallen in love with Orlando and will be returning next year and back to this hotel.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank welsh_wonderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm beach
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed October 18, 2009

THE SERVICE WAS GREAT, but the hotel is not what I was expecting at all! It looks a lot better in photo! I could here the people next door and it does not look clean clean.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fitbusiness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cheshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 13, 2009

we stayed in this hotel for 2 weeks in september, my son his girlfreind, my brother his wife and 2 teenagers.. the staff we helpful in every way and very freindly the rooms were cleaned every day with clean towls etc..the pool was a decent size and had a bonus of 2 hot tubs , tennis courts, they have a sharkeys cafe where you can buy pizzas pastrys and chicken wraps etc...the location was excellent just across the road from i drive and a 15 min walk to universal..this was the 6th time we have been to orlando and have tried many hotels...this was the best hotel by far, i would reccomend it to my freinds and family....we are going to go there next year AND i cannot wait

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank babsg50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel

Property: Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel
Address: 7299 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando > Florida Center
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Best Value Hotel in Orlando
#122 Family Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 297
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay at this stylish Orlando, Florida hotel situated close to SeaWorld(R), Universal Studios(R) and the Disney(R) Theme Parks. Welcome to the Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel, the "Gateway to Orlando Attractions" in Central Florida. This full-service hotel offers the best in customer service for both business and leisure travelers. Guests will be minutes from Universal Studios, the Islands of Adventure theme park and the Hard Rock Amphitheatre where visitors can enjoy local concerts. Each well-appointed guest room and suite at this Orlando hotel features cable satellite television with HBO(R) and free high-speed Internet access. Hotel guests will find great dining onsite at the hotel's restaurant or cocktail lounge. The hotel is also ideal for group travel with full-business services and meeting facilities, perfect for conferences, family reunions and other events. The Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel also features a fitness center, guest laundry and tennis and basketball courts. Guests staying at the Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel will be less than ten miles from local attractions such as the Walt Disney World Resort and Theme Parks, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Disney's the Wide World of Sports. Corporate travelers staying at this Florida hotel will be close to the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center, Coleman Aerospace, L-3 Communications and Lockheed Martine Missiles and Fore Control. Hotel guests will also enjoy sky diving at the indoor Sky Venture, less than one mile away.The Best Western Orlando Gateway Hotel is proud to offer superior customer service and a convenient location in Orlando. Make a reservation today and save! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Orlando
Clarion Orlando
Clarion Hotel Universal
Orlando Clarion

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