I like Holiday Inn Express and Crown Plaza. The hotels tend to be clean comfortable and dependable. I stay at the Crown Plaza when I want a more pampered experience than the typical cookie cutter Express. The experience is usually delightful. Not so with the downtown Orlando Crown. The jewels in this Crown Plaza are clearly paste. To begin with this is clearly a converted hotel. I have stayed in Holiday Inns that were successfully converted. This is not one of them. The hotel is situated right next to the freeway and trains in an iffy part of town. If the hotel had been built to Crown Plaza specifications I am sure that the walls and doors would have been built to counter act the noise. Alas the large gaps in the dead bolted and permanently locked doors to the outside balcony (of no use to anyone as you cannot go out the or open the doors), let in all the noise. The walls are also thin allowing noise from the rooms on either side and the hallway. The hotel itself is a locked fortress at night similar to many low level motels in dangerous parts of town. I arrived at 11:30PM and was waved off twice by the three security guards standing behind the locked main entry before I was able to yell to them through the locked glass doors that I DID NOT have an entry card to let myself in as I was NOT registered yet. I had reserved a king room on the executive floor. When registering I was told there is no executive or concierge level. The exec rooms were scattered about the hotel. Hmmmm. I smell a scam for higher rates. The clerk was neutral in her attitude neither friendly or unfriendly as she kept an eye on the six Japanese businessmen on their computers in the stark lobby clearly trying to find a better hotel on line. Since I had prepaid for my three days I was stuck. The lobby is stark, brightly lit with no real place to sit or relax. This was an old Holiday Inn and it looked like a bus station entrance. The elevators groaned their way to the fifth floor. The hallway needed paint, new carpets and the walls were patched in multiple places. The room was actually very well appointed, like a calm place in the middle of a storm. Large newer king bed, rug, chair, desk, kitchenette are with microwave and small fridge. A standard small bathroom that had been spruced up as far as you can with the space available. No shelf space for my kit. No wash clothes, no hand towels, two rough bath towels. Yep, old Holiday Inn for sure. The room was warm even though the thermostat showed 68 degrees. The cooling system was the old through the wall air conditioning unit form the 60's, now hooked up to the shiny new thermostat. It would not go below 68 (cost savings to the hotel per the desk) and the air blew directly on the bed. The cold air directly on my back and face was extremely uncomfortable. If I turned off the unit the room was sweltering in minutes. This is a very poor design initiated by Holiday Inns in the 60's and has NO PLACE at a Crown Plaza. I ended up rigging a card board deflector to keep the air out of my face and sinuses. Sad. I solved the noise issue by purchasing ear plugs. I solved the hand towel and wash cloth issue by asking at the desk the next morning. I received one wash cloth and one hand towel the second night and three of both the third. Maybe there is a shortage of towels. Certainly people are not taking these as they are not Crown Plaza quality but rather rough thin cheap hotel towels. Parking in their "secure" lot (a card operated mini gate) is $15 or $18 for the valet. SInce I never saw a valet or a bellman this was a moot point.
The Crown Plaza is supposed to be IHG top of the line hotels. They speak of Sleep Advantage, aroma therapy kits, quiet, and quality. Not at this hotel. NOt in any way shape or manner. It will be a long time before I will try a Crown Plaza that I have not been to again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perfect for business or vacation travel, come experience the Crowne Plaza Orlando Downtown. Located in beautiful downtown Orlando the hotel provides easy access to all area businesses and entertainment venues. Catching a show or sporting event at the Amway Arena, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts or the Citrus Bowl? Enjoy a meal at our Bite Bistro and Wine Bar and then take advantage of our free shuttle within 3 miles of the hotel. The hotel provides complimentary wifi, fitness center, pool and spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Orlando Downtown Hotel Orlando
- Holiday Inn Orlando