More about Crowne Plaza Universal
Best there is in Orlando!
I just got back from a five night stay at the Crowne Plaza Universal and loved it. I was staying on business and it was perfect for what I needed. The rooms are very spacious and clean and the pool was perfect and very relaxing, although I would've liked to be able to order drinks from out there. The staff was amazing and very helpful especially Tommy the bellman and Nate at the front desk. They both helped me navigate the spread out city and find great places to eat. The main thing lacking in the hotel is the food as it is very average and leaves a lot to be desired. But other than that this hotel is great. The bed was extremely comfortable and made for the most relaxing business trip I ever had to take. I will never stay anywhere else when I'm in Orlando!
We lived in Orlando for several years and moved away. I worked inspecting and rating the hotels so I knew all the local hotels. The Crowne Plaza Universal was built after we moved and I had not been there. We purchased through Hotwire.com and got a great deal. The hotel was EXCELLENT. It is new with a very friendly and helpful staff. We had a king room that had amble space and a comfortable bed, desk and sitting chair. Pay per view movies and a tourist channel make for enjoyable viewing. Valet parking is available for $8 or self parking for free. The pool is outdoors. It was unusually cool during our stay in Feb. but the hot tub next to the pool was very warm and refreshing (although it is the standard concrete hotel type). The hotel is located just behind I Drive so it is easy to get around the quick access streets without having to deal with the traffic of I Drive. You can't go wrong staying here. Enjoy your trip.
Don't stay anywhere else!
We booked our holiday to Florida through Premier Holidays; 2 weeks at the Crowne Plaza Universal and Virgin premium economy flights, for the last two weeks of April 2004. After booking we trawled the websites and found tripadisor. It only made our excitement grow. We totally concur with all of the reviews.The hotel was about 15 minutes from the airport, although you could see the planes taking off there was no noise. It is a block behind International Drive and again that is a plus as there is no traffic noise. We had booked a double for 2 adults and a 4 yr old. We were upgraded upon arrival to a queen suite. This was situated in the atrium (no noise) and included a king size bed (absolutely the most comfortable bed in the world!), pull out sofa bed (heavy duty kind) in separate(ish) seating area, comfy chair, desk and chair, several side tables, fridge and mini sink. There was also a room safe (free), full size ironing board with iron, bathroom toiletries and hairdryer. The TV had more channels than I care to remember and if you can master the wireless keyboard you can send free emails home via the greetings cards. You can pay extra for internet access etc on a daily rate of about £6. My only complaint about the room is that there was very little hanging storage. There are 3 drawers under the tv cabinet, two small bedside drawers and a slimline wardrobe with 8 hangers! An incentive to take nothing with you and buy it all there! The hotel facilities were excellent, we used the inhouse laundry to do a quick wash whilst by the pool (30 mins). The pool was very warm, almost like a hot bath on some days. There is no landscaping to the pool area but all we wanted was a heated pool to swim in. It was cleaned daily. The hotel supply all towels, you just collect them by the pool and chuck them in the laundry tub after use. The hot tub was great too. The gift shop stocked a wide array of items but understandably was more expensive than the local 7-11 supermarket or Walmart (which is only a few minutes away by car). Hotel staff on the whole were excellent. Stay away from the desk opposite reception - he is the timeshare guy, who will try to wangle all sorts of deals but never actually give you a price! We ate at the hotel twice and unfortunately had two different experiences. The first occasion was fantastic, we had Eddy as a waiter and he couldn't do enough for us. The food was excellent. The second time was not so good, in fact everything went downhill, I guess Miguel the waiter was having a very bad day. Both times we were the only diners. We did complain to the hotel restaurant manager about the bad service on the second occasion and it was dealt with in a very professional manner. We ate mostely at the parks or Perkins. The best restaurant by far was Fishbones. Fantastic. I would stay away from the 'all you can eat' Sizzler and Ponderosa. You pay as you enter and the service is slow, tables dirty etc. Sizzler was better than Ponderosa if you really must try it. Parking at the hotel is easy and not once did we have a problem. We always managed to park out front. All of the attractions are closeby. Our best buy was the Flexticket for 14 days unlimited access to Wet and Wild, Seaword (the best park, even better than Disney), Univeral and Islands of Adventure. We bought this from ------------------ and it was the cheapest we could find. £80 child £100 adult. This is fantastic value for money. The only extra you have to pay is the USD8 for parking. But you only pay at one park and your parking ticket will do for all others that day. The flex ticket lets you see the parks at leisure, ie you don't feel you have to do the full day (although we did occasionally!) Shopping is phenominal! Despite warnings before we left about customs, we weren't even looked at, at the airport. We took all the labels off clothes but other than that the only way out we can see is to mail your receipts home if you need them. Belz factory outlet, Orlando Florida Mall etc are all nearby but the best for us was Orlando Premium Outlet. A hoard of shops all in an outdoor X shaped mall with a huge foodhall in the middle - you must have the 2 meat combo chinese! Overall I cannot say how great the hotel was. If you have booked (or thinking of it) then all I can say is LUCKY YOU - I wish I was going back tomorrow. Hope this was helpful.
There are three main locations...
There are three main locations to go at night in Orlando: Pointe Orlando, City Walk and Downtown. Pointe Orlando is on International Drive and very near to most hotels on the strip. City Walk is in Universal and near to the hotels there. Downtown takes some effort: it requires a cab if you don't have a rental car, but it's where you'll find the Floridians and not the tourists.
Pointe Orlando has only two clubs, both are new and I've been to neither. The whole area is only a few years old. It is a great place for a cheap date, though: There's a huge movie theatre there, which can be followed by a good hour of playing with toys in the FAO Shwartz and then walking around and people watching.
Citywalk has one kind of every club: a techno club, a jazz club, a Latin club, a reggea club. Only the jazz club is for those under 21. You can buy one pass for all clubs and parking is free at night. Sometimes the techno club will host legal raves (good, but not as good as the illegal kind) and those require a seperate ticket. Because it is Universal, the clubs have a prefabricated feel to them, but the music and vibe is not bad. The only problem is selection: if you only like one kind of music, you only get one kind of club. When tired of dancing, take a ride on the free water taxi. You'll round a bend into the water entrance to Portafino Bay Hotel. At night it's breathtaking and the hotel is purposely built to hide the Orlando hotels behind it. In other words, you feel like you stepped into Italy.
Downtown: This is where Orlando nightlife resides. I-4 East will get you there from most Orlando hotels (roll your window down when pasing the Marina Bread Factory--they bake at night and the smell is divine.) Get off on any of the downtown exits. My recommendation is not to pay for parking at the pay parking lots. You can park at any of the banks for free or at the metered parking lot near the police station just off Orange Ave. It's 25 cents per half-hour and will save you a $5-$10 parking fee. Almost all the clubs along Orange Ave have no cover for 21 and over and often host well known artists if they do charge a cover (including mainstream techno acts and the occasional Backstreet Boy appearance). If you work in the foodservice or hotel industry (even if you are from out of town), you can get in free on Thursdays at some of the clubs. Several of the better, more upscale clubs are just a few blocks south, away from the crowds, including Cairo (a three story club, with different music on each story, including the roof) and Icon (a very upscale house club--dress to impress or they won't let you in). All the bars are over on Church street, but tend to have their share of drunken tourists. If you're tired, walk even farther south to the park. It's Orlando's biggest, with a huge lake with a fountain in the middle, running paths, benches and, most importantly after the thumping clubs, some quiet. Pointe Orlando and City walk will take you in jeans and tee-shirts. Many downtown clubs will not let you in unless you have a nicer shirt (also, no hats, bandannas, etc.)
Terriffic hotel experience
After reading some reviews here, we were confident about our choice of
hotels for the springbreak stay in Orlando. I read a few times that
Crown Plaza was clean, and my thought was that, I think of every hotel
that I've stayed in, as being clean. Well this place was noticably
clean. The metal surfaces were polished, the glass surfaces were
cleaned, floors vaccuumed in the common areas. 9 out of 10 times when
you enter a hotel room, the AC is turned up to mask the smell, not so
at the Crown Plaza.
I never sleep well in hotel beds, I read in reviews here that the beds are comfortable, they are absolutely wonderful, I slept like a baby all six nights. After spending the day standing in line at the theme parks, that bed was sent from heaven. I awoke refreshed and ready to do it all over again.
Every staff member we encountered was professional and friendly. Three times after getting in around 10:30 pm from the theme parks, we called housekeeping for extra towels and they were delivered promptly. The clerk in the gift shop even opened up after closing to allow us to purchased some much needed cough syrup for one of our children.
The heated pool is a must do, very relaxing. We ate at several places, Chili's, IHOP, TGIF, but Perkin's was our favorite. It is a "no brainer" if you have children $2.99 and $3.99 childrens menu which includes drinks, juices, milk with free refills and a free cookie.
Also, there is a very nice work out area overlooking the pool. Crown Plaza Universal moves to the top of our Hotel list in Orlando.
Great place to sleep!
Just spent 5 nights at the OCP on a business trip. I picked the hotel because of the reviews here, and for the most part they were right on target.The bed was sooooo comfortable, and the room was perfect. I didn't know there was an atrium and may have preferred a room there although 5th floor over the pool was ok. The hotel shuttle services were excellent and the bar was nice.The worst part was breakfast - not the quality of food - but the terrible, slow, forgetful service. I never got the hot sauce for my eggs and had to ask three times when potatoes would be coming out. All in all not bad, but since I like to experience new places I probably wouldn't stay there on my next visit.
great place to stay
stayed at this hotel in june 2003. the hotel is very clean and the staff are very friendly. i would recommend it to anyone. it is off the main drive, however this is an advantage as it is very quiet.excellent stay.
excellent attention to detail
a very pretty, spotless hotel with nice art-deco detail, very near universal studios. the woman who booked us gave us incorrect room info, so upon confirmation, the hotel upgraded us to a junior suite immediately, for the same price as a standard. the room was large enough for the five of us (3 kids) to sleep comfortably and just hang out and included a small refrigerator. nice bathroom accessories and extra towels and shampoos delivered with no problem. quick taxi service (about 5.00 w/o tip to universal). hotel restaurant's food was fine - they were very kind to the kids and kids meals actually not a bad deal as they include dessert. the restaurant is very pretty and huge. salads were good. fishbones restaurant, next door, is a very nice meal, though. perkins was not so hot, really, for breakfast. a long wait near video and candy machines which is torture for parents and bad service to boot. one small problem upon checkout - we had local calls charged to our phone and the clerk didn't want to remove them. my husband called the numbers and it turned out that the maids had used the phone (four times!) to call taxi services from our room! the problem was, of course, corrected, but still...overall, though, a wonderful experience for the price. the pool was very warm, clean, plenty of towels. even a few dress bargains in the gift shop, though the gift shops attendants were, without exception, rude. really though, these minor detrctions didn't take away from a lovely experience. we would go back anytime.
Stayed at The Crowne Plaza in February. Lovely spacious rooms, quiet location, great atmosphere, great staff - eapecially Paul, Miguel and Frank THE CHEF who made fresh omelets and waffles every day. Breakfast was around $24 for 2 but great quality and miles apart from Sizzler or Ponderosa style breakfasts. The hotel offered rooms of a quality unlike the usual American room. Spotlesly clean, fabulous beds. Great pool/spa area. One quibble... Breakfast times varied but this was not indicated to us - if there was a seminar in the hotel, the restaurant would close early and rush the guests throuh or turn them away but we did have breakfast at around 9 - 10 am later than you may usually go down. We did complain and it was being looked into. Superbowl night was a free buffet for guests and excellent atmosphere. Grammys were great too!
Will stay there again. Holoday Autos great for car hire too if you need a car as we did not use the shuttle.
Best bed in Florida
Spent the last 2 weeks in |March here. Have previously only stayed in Disney Hotels.Although the Crowne Plaza did not have the character or style of Disney, the bedroom was twice as large and the bed twice as comfortable.The room had everything we could possibly need, and would definitely stay here again.Our only complaint was the guy on the information desk kept trying to sell us cheap tickets in exchange for listening to a time share talk and free breakfast at the Sheraton. We avoided him by exiting to the car park through a side entrance. We did not eat or drink here so can't comment on the restaurant or bar. The shop was fine for snacks & drinks for our room, and the pool was nearly always empty.
WEDDING PARTY STAYING AT THE CROWNE PLAZA UNIVERSAL,THE LADYS ARE LOOKING FOR A HAIRDRESSER,IS THERE ONE CLOSE? OR ARE THE BETTER TO HIRE ONE?THANKS
That area (where the hotel is) is kinda short on TALENTED hair dressers. I mean there are a few but nothing exceptional. OR WEDDING WORTHY I should say.
My stylist will go out (to hotels) or do in (his home) for wedding parties. He's pretty exceptional w/ hair and make up (He's the Asst make-up director for Orlando Opera.)
Pepe : 407/455-0635
Tell him Patty recommended you so that he knows how you got his information. Great guy.
My boyfriend and I will be going to Universal Studios and Sea World in late September. Need help finding a hotel. I've read alot of bad hotel reviews like bugs and run down conditions. I would appreciate any help.
Re: Orlando Hotels
If you want to stay at a great resort and can afford the price AND want to go to the front of the line in every ride at Universal, stay at the Porto Fino Resort. The other two inisde Universal, Hard Rock and the polynesian place are nice too, but I have never stayed at them.
Re: Orlando Hotels
There are all sorts of hotels and motels along Universal Drive near the Convention Center. That area also has a lot of restaurants and a nice shopping center.
Re: Re: Orlando Hotels
Thanks. Those hotels are a little too expensive. I was just looking for a nice clean hotel. One that was built recently. I've read alot of bad reviews on the major chains and I think it is because they are older hotels and ones that the kids on spring break would stay in so they are a little rundown.
Re: Orlando Hotels
I have to say for living in orlando for 5 yrs. that most hotel are quite awesome. anything in Disney has no bugs for sure. Any hotel in Universal area has no bugs, but if your staying for a week or longer -go to www.studioplus.com stay at the universal area or International Drive area (westwood st.) or their sister hotel, extendedstay- www.extstay.com. you get a full kitchen, big bed, t.v- pool area, workout room and more for a good $230 or less a week. I've stayed there many of times and its nice, with no bugs!
~ the dolphin girl.
Re: Re: Orlando Hotels
We have stayed at Embassy Suites on International Drive and Quality Suites on Canada Ave, have have never encountered a bug of any sort !!! The Embassy Suites was a bit more up-market, and you get a fantastic complimentary buffet breakfast! The quality suites was full of teenagers on school trips, but also had a free breakfast and wasn't bad for a budget place! Good luck with your planning!
Hotel with shuttle to disney and Universal?
Does anyone know a hotel that have shuttle service to Disney parks and Universal parks?
I cannot afford taxis in orlando, and I don't to rent for a car for a week.
If you have any ideas please tell me. I'm looking for nice hotel, but not very expensive!
thanks a lot
Re: Hotel with shuttle to disney and Universal?
When in Orlando, you can stay near the gates to Disney or on International Drive. There is much more to do on International Drive and there are many hotels and places to eat and drink. Most hotels have a shuttle to all attractions. It is best to go to the Orlando Hotels website and find a hotel and see if they offer a shuttle. If in doubt, send them an emai. Good Luck.
Re: Hotel with shuttle to disney and Universal?
unfortunately the hotels in Orlando do not have free shuttle from the airport
Re: Hotel with shuttle to disney and Universal?
I stayed in the red horse inn last year and it offers shuttle services to both parks from it's sister hotel which is right next door. We had a wonderful time, the hotel was really cheap, clean and free bufffet breakfast aswell which was excellent before setting off to the parks. We are going back later this year to the same hotel but with all the family. I hope this helps you and enjoy your trip.