View Full Version : Favorite/Worst Off-Site Hotels
10-02-2003, 12:29 PM
Just wondering what everyones favorite and least favorite off site hotel and why.
10-02-2003, 01:17 PM
In College, my honor society had a convention at the Peabody in Orlando. That was an incredible hotel! I'm sure it was extremely pricey though!
In the lobby there is a fountain that ducks swim in, and every day at 5:00 the 'Duck Master' comes in and marches them to the elevator to music. They have an apartment on the roof. It's really cute!
10-02-2003, 01:19 PM
We stayed at an rci timeshare with arnold palmer golf courses that was really nice!! Can't remember the name right now but will edit after I google it. They were large villas which was nice but I would not do it again as I like not needing a car.
10-02-2003, 01:26 PM
We love the Comfort Inn Suites Maingate East. It is inexpensive, but the rooms are big and clean, the hotel is new, and the breakfast is good and comes with the price of the room. You can get a two room two bathroom suite for around $100/night!
10-02-2003, 03:58 PM
My favorite off-site hotel is the Marriott Cypress Harbour...awesome rooms and so many things to do!
My least favorite would have to be the Days Suites by Old Town. It wasn't overly cheap either, and there was toothpicks and cotton swabs on the ground. Also, the door didn't lock right either.
10-04-2003, 01:07 PM
Least favourite: Grosvenor Resort
10-04-2003, 01:46 PM
As I am a college student with a very limited budget, I have stayed in some very interesting :rolleyes: hotels in the past. But there are two that stick out in my memory.
I have to agree with the post on the Days in Suites by Old Town. It was awful. Our air conditioner leaked all over the rug so that that the room smelled like old feet. Our door didn't lock correctly either. The pool was 6 miles away. Oh and the kicker....we only went to breakfast once. The waiter was so rude. He practically threw our breakfasts at us and told us that tourists were ruining Orlando.
Two years ago my friends and I stayed at the Econo Lodge Maingate West (I think). It was gross. Now I know it was an econolodge, but we still payed good money for a clean, comfortable place to sleep and we recieved neither. It was so gross that we left and found another hotel to stay at (No small feat during Spring Break).
When staying off the Disney property I have learned that you can't go wrong with a Holiday Inn, or a Hampton Inn. They are just always nice. They are pretty much the only hotel chains that I have never had a problem with.
10-04-2003, 01:56 PM
Haven't been to the Best Western LBV (on Hotel Plaza Blvd.) since I discovered on-property--
Do they still have the same huge rooms and breakfast-buffet lobby restaurant (and walking distance to Crossroads), for about the price of the All-Stars? graemlins/mickey.gif graemlins/thumbsup.gif
10-04-2003, 05:51 PM
Our favorite is the Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort. After discovering it in 2001, we've decided to stay there whenever we go off-site in the future.
10-04-2003, 06:20 PM
Ok, we have been to WDW twice, the first time we were of site and stayed at the Howard Johnson on Interntation Drive (near Universal). No I realise that it was only a Howard Johnson, and it was reasonable cheap, but the place was horrible.
As we had flown in from Australia (with a few delays), we arrived at the hotel around 1am. We were greeted(??) by a very rude check in person who exclaimed - 'You're Late!'
The airconditioning made funny noices and the whole place had a pretty weird smell that I can distinctly remember and have never really been able to fully describe. Needless to say that I have never smelt that smell since, but I would recognise it in a second!
The final straw was the cleaning staff. none of them spoke much (or any English), I think they were all from Haiti or somewhere. Well there was no problem with their lack of English. The problem was the arguments that they had everyday in the corridors. I don't know what it was about, as I couldn't understand what they were saying, but it was quite passionate and went on for several days. Until on day, as we retured to our room we discovered two of the staff ramming each other with their cleaning trollies and yelling at each other. graemlins/shakehead.gif
To this day I can't work out what it was over. But it was a very interesting place to stay. For the same $$ you could stay at a much nicer place along International Drive though.
We just gave up on off site and started staying with Disney :D
10-04-2003, 09:28 PM
College Student Special!!
Hehe...the last few times I went to WDW, I was still in school (part-time without a full-time job) or traveled with friends that still were. If you're looking for an EXTREMELY budget-friendly hotel, check out the Masters Inn on International Drive. Web rates are amazing, and I think with a AAA card that get amazing-er.
Rooms are no bigger than your typical budget motel, but the people at the front desk were nice, housekeeping was thorough, and late check-ins were fine (flying budget-friendly flights too smile.gif )
When I stayed the 1st 2 times, DGF was a College Program CM, so we had her car, but last time I was part of a foursome and we rented...So I don't know about park shuttles. Call them to find out..they're nice folks. Also, I found International Drive to be close to almost all the parks, and a neat place to stay...in a Vegas kind of way.
Now that I've moved on from my college days, I'll be staying at the Wilderness Lodge in....88 days smile.gif
10-05-2003, 10:50 AM
The best one I've been at is the Swan Hotel. Nice rooms, nice pool, nice atmosphere, nice everything.
My lest favorite was from the night I left the Swan. I stayed at a seedy little motel with a noisy air conditioner that kept breaking down.
'Guest' of the MasterControlProgram
10-05-2003, 11:24 AM
Ok, so I had not been to WDW/MK since 1979/1980. I have heard there is new stuff, but I don't know a darn thing. My girlfriend is dead set on our going to FL (in Jan '02). She's been there a handful of times over the past 10+ years. It seems, however, two things worked against us for that trip:
1) she didn't know as much as I'd hoped, especially concerning hotels/motels.
2) we were going even 'though I just had a 911 after-effect layoff. She had saved up for the trip, so it was still on. And her saving up meant "budget." Hence our hotel situation.
We drive down to WDW along I-95 (and Rt.13 NJ->VA). We stop for the night in NC, about 30 miles to the SC border. The coupon book had something for a Days Inn. We should have known something was up when I go straight into the bathroom and the sink's stopper fails to work (forget if it wouldn't go up, not down, or just fell out). We had the lovely corner room under the stairs. The ambiance was "dreary." The bed so-so. Morning was readily welcomed and off to South Of the Border.
So the next day, it rained heavily in FL by the time we got there in the evening. From Jacksonville to Daytona it seemed. We were on our way to All Star Sports. Yes, my budget girlfriend booked two nights there. I didn't understand the room hopping, nor why she picked sports since music or movies appeal to us more, but at least it was as totally awesome experience. Once we found ASsp I felt vindicated for the night before... I say "found" because she seemed to forget how to get there and didn't bring a WDW map, so we wound up following signs to All Star Sports Cafe in Wild World of Sports! The only issue I had was that we were in the back Surf's Up #6 and it was farther to walk to/from our car than the other buildings along the perimeter. That, and we had to switch rooms to get a king bed. I had clothes that needed washing and I thought I spied a laundry sign, but my girlfriend said "oh, no, there isn't any here" and I believed her! Well, we all know the truth. Anyhow, I was already convinced to go back to WDW and stay on-site... that was before the next room! graemlins/doubleeek.gif
After our two nights in paradise, we were off to Universal Studios and IoA. At least both of us had never been to IoA. But my girlfriend was wrong in that USF was better than MGM (at least in recent years w/ RnR + ToT). After a semi-long day in the park, we had to find our new room (all of our stuff was, of course, packed up in the car since we'd checked out of All Stars). Let me tell you about MAGIC CASTLE. There is no magic, let alone a castle. This was the location closer to WDW, near the corner of maingate and 535, near marker #11. Turns out that you'd best pull into the shopping plaza that has a Denny's stuffed in the corner or you will miss MC. You see, in my opinion, the cheapies that own this place saved a few $ by getting land that wasn't directly on the highway. MC is sorta behind the tourist-trap plaza. Heck, there is even a go-kart track closer to the road! Anyhow, we nearly missed it and its a shame we didn't. The place is shaped like an L and in the corner is the elevator. I would not get in that thing if my life depended on it. In retrospect, ToT isn't nearly as scary (retrospect because it won't be until the next trip that I go to MGM so I hadn't ridden ToT at that time). There were a few washer and dryers sitting behind the building in the corner area. No roof over them, just sitting in the sun and rain. Rust everywhere. No thank you! Having had to drag our luggage up the stairs to the 2nd floor, we arrive at our room. Inside of our king room, we had to plug the airconditioner into the wall outlet!! And the mini fridge was unplugged as well (and a little smelly). I swear I thought I saw lead paint peeling in our room. And the colors were not too good. The bathroom looked like some new tiles and caulk would do wonders. And there was this weird partition/wall in the room that seperated the bed and bathroom side from the couch and window/door side. It didn't go any higher than 4' or so. Can't figure that out. I am going to say I even found the sink to be defective, chances are I'm right because defective sinks have been following us for two years now!! :D If you stay at this place and pay over $35/night, you paid too much, that is how cheap this place is. You get what you pay for entered my mind many times. I asked my girlfriend if there wasn't any more room in her budget when she planned, why oh why did we have to suffer two nights in this place? Anyhow, we are never going back there.
Another place we aren't going back to is just outside of Tampa. It's a Days Inn (oh, no, not again :eek: ) at what I am sure is the Tarpon Springs location. Its right on US19. There is an IHOP in the lobby building, but not one of the more invititng ones. The places looks okay from a distance, but get close to the rooms and its "ick." It was a "functional" room. Naturally, the fact that earlier in the day we were roaming around Disney's Boardwalk had put a damper on this place. But on its own merrits it was a gloomy place. We found the laundry room. Looks like one of the guest rooms had everything ripped out, fixtures, carpet, and all. In there barren concrete slab of a room were some cruddy washers and dryers (not rusty and cruddy like Magic Castle - plus these were indoor) and a dirty table. The windows of the former room were covered - so only flourescent light and whatever sun that came in through the doorway lit the room.
So, what off-site places have I liked? Well, on the way back home on this trip we stayed at the Best Western in Emporia, VA at exit 11 of I-95 where it meets US 54. At the time I didn't realize this was the same place and road that took us from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on US13 (with I-64 connecting 13 and 54). Then again, we approached from the other side (I-85 from GA) and at night. The Best Western was wonderful! Nice soft cozy bed, room looked nice and smelled nice. Everything worked. Is that too much to ask? I remember sitting in bed in that room watching the Enron situation unfold on the news. That'll put a date on it!
Also, on the next trip (Sept '02) we stopped at Savannah, GA on the way down and stayed at the Savannah Inn. Its fairly new and very nice. No complaints. And so close to WDW, we were in Daytona Beach by noon after checking out.
On our recent trip (February '03) we failed to realize that the event in Daytona Beach would have rooms for miles and miles booked. So on the way back we stayed at the last room available at the only place with a vacancy for mile and miles (we'd been looking since southern GA) at a place in SC that was way way off I-95. Lets just say that they had real keys for the doors! If you like dark wood panneling and a tv with a knob, you're set! Very twilight zone-ish. I won't go further into it, its too recent of a memory. ;)
10-05-2003, 03:49 PM
Absolutely, hands down, The Gaylord Palms Resort. Wow!!! I got it for an $80 priceline bid in August.
Next after that,
Resorts: it's a tie between the Marriott World Center, the Hilton DD, the Wyndham Palace, and the Renaissance Resort across from Sea World.
3-Star: The Renaissance Worldgate and the Doubletree Guest Suites Kissimmee
2-Star: The Holiday Inn Nikki Bird (but avoid Angel's for breakfast! Icky.), the Clarion Maingate, and the Hampton Inn LBV.
Least favorite: Bar none, the Days Inn by Old Town. Ugh. Also, the Best Western LBV resort is a great location, but the rooms are in need of a lot of work.
This past May I stayed at the Rosen Centre on I drive for business and it was horrible. For a couple of hundred a night I expected a cleaner room and a friendly staff. Just glad I wasn't paying for it.
10-05-2003, 11:14 PM
Country Inn & Suites gets my inexpensive vote.
Renaissance at Seaworld and also at downtown Orlando gets my 4 star votes. I have not stayed at the one by maingate.
In general, Marriot's Courtyards are also nice inexpensive choices. Thruout my business travels, they have been consistantly pleasant.
10-06-2003, 12:54 AM
Another vote for the Comfort Suites Maingate East - - stayed there in 2001, very nice, clean, new room with inside corridors - - breakfast included.
This year got a great deal at Amerisuites (next to the Country Inn and Suites) on Calypso Cay - - heard good things on the internet. Would have stayed at Comfort Suites again, but the couldn't beat my deal.
10-06-2003, 04:57 PM
Two vacations ago, I decided to go 'cheap' and book a room through the internet. Found the cheapest price with an okay location (I thought) was a Days Inn off of I4 (Universal area). It had a picture of a lake, pools, tiki bar... so I booked it for our stay. Well, we arrived there and found out what $34.95 a night will buy you. A room that smells like someone's moldy basement, a faucet without a handle, and a bathroom with no light. We looked at each other and decided that we could probably live with it (it was only for 2-3 nights)... and as soon as we left the room, started to rethink our decision. As we were driving to dinner, we thought stopping at another hotel to see if they might ahve something would be worth it, even if the Days Inn made us pay for the night. Well, we found the Ramada Inn Maingate (right near the entrance of WDW) and took it on the spot after seeing the rooms. It was clean, quiet, and the location was perfect! We went back to the Days Inn (after a very happy dinner) and thankfully they didn't give us a hard time when we said we wanted to check out. Made us think that they got complaints often...
We stayed at the Ramada Inn Maingate the last trip we made with no complaints. It's not luxury, but it's a place to lay your head after a long day at the parks.
10-07-2003, 05:48 PM
2-Star: The Holiday Inn Nikki Bird WHEW! We needed a 1st night/last night room as we're driving-- didn't want to waste anything on those UPHs. I bid on Priceline and got this both times, for $28. I've been stressed that it was a total dive. You just made my day! graemlins/thumbsup.gif
10-08-2003, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by illini:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />2-Star: The Holiday Inn Nikki Bird WHEW! We needed a 1st night/last night room as we're driving-- didn't want to waste anything on those UPHs. I bid on Priceline and got this both times, for $28. I've been stressed that it was a total dive. You just made my day! graemlins/thumbsup.gif </font>[/QUOTE]smile.gif Glad I could help! We just stayed there on Priceline two weekends ago; it's still pleasant. Be sure to request a room facing the inner courtyard/pool. That's really the nicest area. The rooms are average motel sized, but there is a little more than expected; 27" TV's, Video Checkout, Coffeemaker/Coffee, and shower massage w/good water pressure. Oh, and all the rooms have microwaves/fridges, too!
10-09-2003, 12:14 AM
I stayed at the rennesance world gate in aug this year and it was horrible. they are appearently in the middle of major renovation and it showed. the first room I was placed in did not meet the requests that I had booked with my travel arangements. It was right next to the elevators, ice machine and vending machines. the floor was in need of help and the place smelled funny. of course the best part was the air conditioner did not work AND I was right next to the construction entrance! the room they moved me to was slightly better but I can't tell if they had renovated it yet or not, it was that hard to tell.
any way, going to movies for thanksgiving and Swan after new years so that will be better. Haven't decided where to go after I graduate college.
10-09-2003, 12:49 AM
Just to set the record straight, the 6 resorts on Hotel Plaza Blvd. and the Wyndham Palace are all "on-site".
10-09-2003, 02:10 PM
Radisson Resort Parkway: The resort itself was just fine, food offerings were decent, rooms were nice, the pool was great! Transportation offered however was TERRIBLE! I've never taken so many taxi rides in my life as we did that week!
10-11-2003, 01:00 AM
The last time I stayed off-site was about 10 yrs ago and it was for one night in the worst hotel I've ever seen. I went on vacation with my aunt and cousin and when we hit Georgia the car stalled. We ended up having it repaired and got back on the road. As we got closer to Orlando my cousin somehow talked my aunt into cancelling that nights reservations at the carribean beach by convincing her that by the time we arrived it would be so late that it would really be a waste of a night. I threw my 2 cents in and lost! We ended up arriving in Orlando at around 6 and I was so mad to be missing at night in Disney!!! We found this place called the knights inn. It looked clean so we pulled in and my aunt ran inside to get us a room. We went to our room which had no windows and no clock. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I remember making a sarcastic remark about being happy that I brought my watch. That night when we went to bed I laid there wide awake all night because I was afriad that we would sleep all day and never get out of that place. I was the first one out of bed and I peeked out the door to make sure it was daylight then i took a shower, woke up my aunt and cousin and hurried everyone up so we could go! When we arrived at the caribbean beach I was so happy to have windows and clocks that I almost cried!
10-11-2003, 09:13 AM
I have to agree, the Days Inn at Olde town is disgusting. My friends and I went there a few years ago and had to switch rooms a number of times before we said the heck with it. The last rooms didn't even have hot water or lights. :mad: We checked out the next morning and moved down the street to Travelodge, it was like night and day. The rooms were great, the food, the pool was right there. I stayed there till I found out I could actually afford some of the Disney resorts. On a quick trip though I still go there. smile.gif
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